Thursday, July 14, 2011

Statistical analysis

An image I didn't make? Madness. QWOP will have more to do in a minute though.

There has been a long standing tradition in games to take a nature vs nurture approach in games. Nature being your innate abilities that are largely unchanging, though can grow in minor ways , and skills which are constantly being increased in decent numbers. There is a lot of weird things to this, so I'll begin with the parts I know decently well.

I know there were other games around when chain mail became Old Dungeons and Dragons but I just don't know how to find them, a lot were probably lost to the passing of time. But D&D had Stats. Back then stats didn't matter quite as much, in fact I think it had weird system of bonus EXP when you did things involving the bonus from your governing stat and magical things.

First things first, D&D is rooted in wargames so is a little weird at times. I know the modern statistics are Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Don't know if any were added along the way and not in the mood for long research, which I may take up later for fun, on the original game. I do know stat "bonuses" were calculated completely differently making an 18 in them a godly thing. Supposedly wasn't too different throughout the years until 3.5 started making them mater a lot more and be prerequisite to a lot of feats which were needed, or spells cast, or even just hitting something.

The approach to this is a little weird. A lot of stats line up with one thing, sword hitting things intelligence hitting another, and in latter editions exceptions get made everywhere. 3.5, and possibly 3rd, in general had feats or little extras that you can get when you level up allow you to use Wisdom to fire bows and arrows. Strength has added to accuracy for melee attacks, except for light weapons which could use dexterity if you took the feat for it. Wisdom is some where between common sense, experience over time, and flat out natural instinct as every natural animal has high wisdom. The more "what is this stat actually representing?" of all of them is Charisma. It's always been described as a "force of personality" while having attractive races get bonuses to it and ugly races getting penalties, until 4th edition but another box of dead horses.

What does this all mean? Stats, attributes, and characteristics are somewhat silly. Though they serve a purpose. Table top gaming or even computer RPGs need some amount of abstraction to not be horribly cumbersome and not understandable by the people who use them. This is where QWOP comes in, it's a game that is realistic to a degree. You don't hold left or right to move the guy along, you actually go to the source of how he goes about moving muscular movement. Legitimately categorizing how a character should realistically go about things would be about as elegant as making QWOP man jump a hurdle, it can be done but I doubt most people will enjoy it. All games use some form of abstraction for this reason, reality isn't clean and fun. The most we can ask is that we can only eye roll a little at the designers choice and keep them constant. I'll probably revisit this under different systems, nWoD had I think 9 stats in total and comparing it to D&D could be fun.


  1. woah, woah, woah.. You're doing historical research while building something new. What are you some time ninja? Joking of course good idea see the evolution of something see where it started and where they went with it, maybe you can predict and implement the future.

  2. DnD is one of those things I've always felt I should get into, but never got into. Mostly because I don't have a circle of friends lol. Despite the "social pariahs" DnD players were, they at least knew eachother, and got together and made shit happen. In short, I had even less friends than DnD players....****

  3. haha, I know that game, it's pretty insane and nearly impossible to play :D
    but still fun!

  4. QWOP is like the FATAL of flash games.

  5. I'm convinced qwop was created by the devil.

  6. QWOP I remember when I first played this game it got me mad never again will I play it. +1

  7. Yeah, QWOP is pretty darn frustrating. I'm glad all games aren't like that.