In my spare time, apart from this website, I play online games. Over the last 10 years or so, I have tracked the various behaviors of players who have played either with me or against me. Therefore, I would like to introduce why and what you can do to be smarter and better than the others.
Primarily what I’m going to write about today relates to online strategy games which can be multiplayer versus multiplayer. So more of an MMO strategy, but I believe what I’m going to write about will be applicable to all other subtopics of strategy games. Let’s get right to it…
… in general, I have identified the following criteria that can make you a perfect player.
Know the rules
The key in strategy games is that you know all the rules – you have to know what you can do and when. Often, especially in a game against other players, you get into a kind of “grey area” and you have to know what else you can and cannot do. This will give you the power to go “over the edge” and thus give you an advantage over others.
The important thing is to respect that you are moving at the level of the grey zone so someone else can do it too. Whenever you see someone else moving “on the edge” take notes and learn instead of swearing at them. And at the same time be careful there is some honor and fairness here. By being too far behind the line you can often demotivate your opponents which can lead to no one wanting to play with you or your opponents dwindling in the game.
Understand the basic game mechanics
One of the other prerequisites is that you know the game mechanics perfectly. The worst thing that can happen is that you copy some basic tactics without thinking as someone taught you before you. Mechanics can change over time and there is always room to play even the most basic tactics better.
You can always make a spreadsheet for everything, a calculator in Google Sheets or Excel, for example, which allows you to do more complex tasks easily, so it’s worth doing even more complex things and again, you’ll be a little bit better than everyone else.
Investigate according to the information you have today
Always carefully check the game’s wikipedia, tutorials, and any constants and percentages that the developers themselves publish. Often they will post more than they need to. If there is a public statistic, by knowing your account you can calculate it and thus find out what coefficients and if you know the formula and its rules you can find out how your opponent is doing. Yes it’s complicated, but it certainly pays off.
Developer diaries and news announcements are important
Developers often post news describing the new version or even write developer diaries. If you want to be an expert on the game and gain an advantage you need to have everything loaded and tested. Try to figure out how to combine everything with what you already know today and this will put you ahead of the rest.
Basic math can come in handy
If you know basic things like percentages, trinomials or combinatorics, this can help you. Many players will be hobby players who don’t necessarily think about games in detail. By knowing the patterns of what counts and what the odds are, you increase your chances of success.
Often you can tell yourself that you are on your own to do some exploit that will help you evaluate if some random mechanics are working in your favor or not. It’s good to use teammates and you can work together to figure out how it works more effectively. The important thing is to do aggregate stats, and by having more of you working on it, you’ll get to enough sample data faster to say it works.