Everyone rejoice, despite Gevlon’s claims, he is still playing LoL (I know, shocker that what Gevlon says doesn’t align with what he does. Wonder how much ISK he is back up to now huh?) But since his alternative facts ‘proved’ that LoL is rigged, I’m sure he is just casually messing around now right? Behold and despair/laugh:
Yes, he played 18 games (two were cut from the image) in one 24 hour period. For those who don’t play LoL, every game takes about 1hr after you account for queue times (longer for Gevlon’s toxic-flagged account), champ select, and then the actual game itself. So out of the 24 hours in a day, Gevlon was rage-playing LoL for 18+ of them, and this after convincing himself Riot is out to get him and the game is unfair. You can’t kill that which has no life!
(Also if anyone was still wondering how someone after 4 years can get about 1t ISK hauling skill books and station trading, imagine that person doing that across a dozen accounts for 18+ hours each day, and there ya go. So impressive it sounds like a bot could do it!).
But hey, after only playing a game for 1000+ hours, Gevlon has finally made it out of the tutorial (Silver) in ranked. Huge congrats on that, it really is impressive. I mean look, he said it himself, he is now in the top 25% in a game with about a hundred million players. 75 morons and slackers below mighty Gevlon in the most popular game out, of which for sure 0% have bought a skin to further ‘prove’ just how rigged LoL is. And now there are only 25m or so people better at LoL than Gevlon, and I’m totally sure those 25m certainly played the game more than 1000+ hours in a few months. I mean, I’m not one of them, and none of the accounts around my ranking are either, and Gevlon has double+ the games played of anyone in his league, but I’m ‘sure’ most everyone else in a sample of 25m people is most certainly playing the game as ultra-hardcore as Gevlon. How else could you explain such a ‘high’ ranking as Gold in such a terribly rigged, P2W game as LoL?
Oh look Gevlon has the answer, you just have to play better to climb. Is… is that how rigging works? Because that sounds pretty awesome. Does anyone else know any ‘rigged’ games where if you improve by playing, you progress? I think there might be a niche market for such an offering, especially if it allowed even those with an extremely slow learning rate to continue playing for thousands of hours. Such a game sounds neat.
LoL is in fact so ‘rigged’, that even someone who doesn’t understand WHAT SKILL EVEN MEANS can improve! (shhh, don’t tell Gevlon, but map awareness and warding are a huge part of that at lower rankings where everyone (minus special snowflakes) are still learning the basics.)
Finally, I do like Gevlon bringing up damage as if that’s the be-all end-all in LoL, especially when he plays a jungle champion with only an ult as an AoE. Maybe he should come up with some kind of brilliant Killboard-like analysis of that. I’m sure it would be tackle-titan levels of helpful and meaningful to everyone.
Please, please keep playing Gevlon. You are truly doing gods work here.
Why are you obsessed with this guy? Stop feeding the beast
He is extremely entertaining, what can I say? Plus he deletes comments on his blogs, so these things have to be pointed out to him here rather than at his own site.
Easy content for the blog – just rant about GG instead coming up with a topic of your own.
GG is a juica target, thats for sure.
I am a little late to the party with this, but that just means I had a lot of concentrated fun catching up, both with Gevlon’s research and your mockery of it.
I’ll grant you that all those hours our hero is piling up with the game are a little cringy, but to be fair, he is not really trying to get good. He is trying to hack the matchmaker. It is a bit like personal training versus studying kinesiology. Also, the idea that Riot would rig, or if we want to be less pejorative, use the matchmaking engine to manipulate the user experience to influence purchasing behaviour, is not outlandish tinfoil at all. Using behavioural data and secret-sauce content matching to herd customers/ad-viewers is practically corporate bread and butter these days, as you well know. There is no need for pearl clutching over this.
If I understand the narrative correctly, then, the goblin has learned the game far too slowly to be seen as ‘good’, but just quickly enough that his skill, rather than his exploit algorithm, is the reason for his victories. Sure, it’s possible. However, the sudden, rather than gradual, improvement of his results seems to speak against it.
An elegant way to test which it is would be for a complete novice to LoL to use his little checklist to try to advance to Gold, eliminating all skill. I am a little tempted to do this myself, but I’m not sure it’s the kind of rabbit hole I’ve got time to dive into, even if it does actually work.
As it stands, I, too, regret that this saga is coming to an end. You haven’t been so personally invested and passionate about a blog topic for a long time, and it is a joy to behold. In Gevlon, you’ve truly found your muse, and this reader hopes he moves on to gnaw at other things you identify with, beyond EVE and LoL. Perhaps Supercell rigging next?
Thing is, he is trying very very hard to get better. It’s why he changes masteries, runes, and plays differently over time. Don’t let his instance on playing one champ fool you (funny how he picked two of the easiest to play champs that are strong at lower tiers huh?), he isn’t doing that to control the experiment, he is doing it because that’s all he seems capable of learning at his rate. If this was a pure matchmaking study, he wouldn’t do things to improve his own play. The REASON he says he isn’t trying to get better (despite the above making it obvious that he is) is because if he admits that, he then has to also admit that he gets better far, far slower than almost anyone else in a game of 100m+, and that he is constantly far behind casual players who don’t no-life the game. Again, no one in my league, or in his league, has anywhere close to the amount of games played as he does this season. But Gevlon can’t admit that, because his closet-social thin skin won’t allow it.
As for Riot rigging matchmaking to give those who spend higher rankings, that’s pretty much nonsense (the argument was never do they manipulate matchmaking, because that they do. They, for example, put toxic people like Gevlon with other toxic players. They also boost accounts that win at a fast rate (smurfs), or require more losses to drop out of a tier when your are at V with zero points. But all of this is widely known and accepted, and isn’t related to P2W, which is what Gevlon claims).
Let’s pretend it is rigged for P2W (and lets pretend such a system would hold up long-term, because realistically it wouldn’t), do you think Gevlon, with his demonstrated and documented rate of learning (EVE, now LoL), would be the first to discover that after all these years and millions of far, far more mentally capable players playing? Because once discovered, this would pretty much crush LoL as a viable MOBA to many, especially since other choices are readily available (DoTA2, Smite). Do you honestly think Riot would take that risk, when they are sitting on a literal gold mine?
Well, I imagine Riot would be subtle about it. Crass and easily demonstrable P2W would demolish their credibility as you say, but a little string of feelgood reward match-ups for buyers which cannot be explicitly proven… eh, I can see it. Though I also don’t think it would matter to most people, especially if the phenomenon were largely restricted to lower levels of difficulty. I suspect most would rather play and accept being occasional fodder than obsessively audit their teammates and opposition.
Among the millions, Gevlon would be a high-odds candidate for discoverer, though. He’s done it for World of Tanks before, after all. That’s the one advantage of being an eccentric, science-minded guy: when everyone’s climbing the visible peak, he descends into the valley (risking being seen as a moron by other optimisers) to search for a higher peak farther off.
Let’s pretend it is rigged in the way Gevlon thinks, in that when you buy something, you win more without an increase in skill. What happens when the ‘buy=win’ inflation stops? Suddenly a Silver 3 player is now in Silver 1, so what happens? They lose 70% of their games (getting flamed in most as they are the weak link), because they are artificially higher than they should be. Does that sounds like a good customer retention plan, especially for your ‘best’ (paying) customers?
Lets pretend rather than a single buy, the player above steadily buys 3-4 times, keeping their ‘buy=win’ Gevlon-logic inflation going for multiple leagues. So now the S3 is in G3 and stops buying. They now lose 90% of their games, almost always in horrible fashion, for much longer than the first example. Does that sound like a good multi-buyer customer retention plan?
Please try and defend how Gevlon’s pants-head idea might actually work and actually help the game to grow and earn more vs the reality (people buy skins because they like the game/champ/skin, and they like the game because as they get better, they move up in leagues naturally and steadily, each at their own pace.)
The WoT thing is a total joke. He went into a game that sold gold ammo (sky is blue P2W), did some ‘stuff’ (was it EVE or LoL levels of smart?), and concluded to the amazement of everyone that the sky is blue. Only difference is while Gevlon spend thousands of hours figuring it out, most people just look up and see a blue sky. That was WoT before they removed gold ammo, a ‘sky is blue’ P2W game. What an accomplishment. What’s next, ‘discovering’ that most F2P asian imports are also Pay-4-Power MMOs? Can’t wait for that blue sky to be investigated…
(@SynCaine 8:31 am)
“Please try and defend how Gevlon’s pants-head idea might actually work and actually help the game to grow and earn more vs the reality (people buy skins because they like the game/champ/skin, and they like the game because as they get better, they move up in leagues naturally and steadily, each at their own pace.)”
First, I think it was you who made the point that no matter what happens, you don’t stop learning as you play. You would not be learning as efficiently, because these ‘easy’ wins in the mix would teach you less, but you would still be learning a lot, particularly in what I assume to be the high-yield part of the learning curve when you’re just getting started with a new champion. So when the matchmaker training wheels fall off, you would not be completely at sea.
Meanwhile, were this cushion of softballed wins absent, I assume you would be losing most of the time while learning the new champ. While you and I might accept these losses as natural and even helpful, I can at least see the argument that Riot would not want the player to be conditioned to associate purchases with an immediate school of hard knocks but instead with the pleasure of a few victories.
And hey, if we want to be perverse, we could even say that win rates drying up would motivate the player (who is now a confirmed buyer) to look around for solutions, and at least consider buying a ‘better’ champion again as one of them. But as I said, if the phenomenon did exist, it would be more subtle than that.
I don’t work for Riot (conflict of interest with being Gevlon’s full-time attorney) and I cannot math out the overall effect on retention of subtle encouragement after a buy versus the discouragement of a potentially more drastic clash with reality later on. But you can’t tell me that inside that billion-dollar colossus you don’t have very clever people paying close attention to gamer psychology and internal metrics on buyer behaviour, and considering doing stuff exactly like that every day.
But buying champs isn’t where riot makes money, its off skins (and the vast majority of players buy new champs via the free IP currency, which can’t be used to buy skins), which is another factor in why Gevlon is wrong, but we are firmly in pretend land now here anyway so lets continue anyway.
Learning: While true, the fact still remains that if Riot boosted buyers, buyers would be above their level of ability and after said boost go on a harsh losing streak. Yes eventually they would catch up (assuming they haven’t hit their natural plateau of playtime/learning), but that happens whether they buy/boost or not, only in Gevlon-land they go up and swiftly down. That’s especially bad if the link between buy=win exists for people (if it doesn’t, then Riot gains nothing from boosting buyers and makes all of this pointless), as now shortly after the purchase they associate new champ (or skin) with losing. Human psychology makes it so people remember negative stuff more than positive (“I always have feeders on my team, the enemy never does!”), so the net-gain in Gevlon-land is negative association to buying. That sounds bad for business.
Riot analysis: They do a ton of analysis about buying and what works, far above anything Gevlon could come to grasp with judging by his reasoning around his now failed LoL project. Rigging a system you say is fair is bad, and at best a short-term gain for long-term sacrifice. LoL has been in long-term mode for a while now, and haven’t experienced the type of events (decreased players or sales/profit) that usually lead some to make underhanded changes (many MMOs going F2P for example). Could Riot sell hotbars and make money off them quickly? Sure. Would selling hotbars be good for the game long-term? Nope, which is why they don’t do it. Rigging your ranking ladder to short-term boost champ sales is hotbar-selling level of dumb for a game that doesn’t need it to stay on top.
Well, this theory assumes that they’re able to push the buy=win association in such a way that it’s not bleeding obvious (hence requiring a Gevlon to drill down and find it) and by the time the mark starts losing more (again, we’re talking about a substantially increased win rate for the buy, not a stark string of wins on a platter) he associates those losses with something else, nothing specific, or some rubbish like ‘changing meta’.
The idea that Riot doesn’t rig because the game’s successful enough without rigging is a bit circular. If you accept the existence of some hard-to-detect P2W-flavoured matchmaker social engineering, then such tactics would be baked into the extent of LoL’s success.
My main point in this particular exchange is that it’s hardly tinfoil-unthinkable for them to do so. As I mentioned to Gevlon on his blog, he would require a larger and rigorously controlled dataset to properly substantiate the claims he makes, and even then I suspect most people would shrug and play on.
But if the buyer doesn’t associate buying=winning, how does that influence sales? Especially since just about everyone will buy some (if not all) champs with IP, and we are assuming in crazy-land that champs bought with IP don’t boost you (of course, Gevlon’s analysis has zero ways of making this distinction, which is just another flaw on top of that already high mountain), so for the totally unaware player, sometimes when they play a new champ, they do great (buying with RP), and sometimes they do poorly (buying with IP). If the RP=wins connection isn’t at least strong enough for them to make that connection, it won’t lead to more sales, while still compromising the integrity of the system and all those downfalls. Why would Riot do that?
The blogger reminds me of a jilted lover, that follows every move of their ex, exalting in the failures, denigrating the successes. To quote another loser who tweets a lot: “Sad!”
Or its a comedy blog, which has been the case here for 8+ years now. Welcome first-timer, enjoy the stay.