Thursday, February 14, 2008

Your winning streaks are being manipulated

A friend of mine came up with a theory of people's winning streaks in Call of Duty 4. He thinks they’re rigged. After playing and seeing what he told me to look for I believe him.

When you get online in COD4 look at your friends leaderboards for wins. Under "winning streak" how many wins do your friends have? 10? 5? 3? Based on Evil's theory they will probably only have a win streak of 2. Why? Because if you win 2 games in a row most likely you'll lose the third.

I looked at all my friends and sure enough the longest winning streak anyone had was at 2. And I have players on my list who play this game religiously. And they're good. And one of them has finished prestige. So why aren't they winning more in a row.

The thing with this theory is that it only applies if you stay in the same room with mostly the same group of people for three rounds. If you swap out a few players between matches it won't effect things very much. If you leave the game lobby after two rounds things start all over again when you enter your next lobby.

For three or four nights I watched this, keeping track of wins and loses and how long we've been in a room. Sure enough if we won 2 matches in a row the next match we would lose (even if we totally dominated the other team in the previous matches). For some reason we couldn't seem to aim and shoot anyone. Our targeting seemed to be off. Their grenades seem to have a wider explosion radius. We'd have to knife someone two times. They could shot us once in the knee caps and we'd die. It's all very subtle unless you know what to look for. And the reverse of this theory works too. If you've lost 2 matches in a row against the same group of people you'll win the next one.

We got into a match when a full team (all with the same Clan Tag) jumped in. We knew we were playing against a cohesive clan and that we'd probably get our butts kicked. We did. The first two matches were a blowout. And humiliating. Why we stayed in I don't know, but we did. And sure enough we won the next map. We weren't doing anything different and I don't think the map is one we favored. We just seemed to get "lucky" . . . a lot. Playing the third time was easy. It made us wonder why we had so many problems before. But that didn't last. The next map they were back to owning us.

Now part of me can understand why a developer would like to even the playing field and make sure one group of people can't consistently dominate another. But another part of me wants to win fair and square by my own efforts (and that of my teammates because I'm a terrible player) without getting some "special help" behind the scenes. It cheapens the whole experience when you finally beat a good team if you know the developers, in some way, helped you along.

Yes, people glitch and cheat in games. It comes with the territory that some people want the glory without the effort. I wish it wasn't that way, but there's very little I can do about it besides booting and reporting players that cheat. But when game developers cheat and rig the system, even if it's to help someone, that's uncalled for. So what if I lose 10 games in a row. Let me enjoy the game and if I do I won't mind losing because I'M HAVING FUN. Rigging the game to manipulate players winning and losing streaks and suddenly I'M NOT HAVING FUN ANYMORE. And if I'm not having fun why should I still play your game?

1 comment:

Natra said...

Just so you know Pen, Kralon, Evil and myself played last night and got 5 wins before succumbing. Ric's conspiracy has been found null by snopes. ;-0