flap wrote:Well, I have tried to summarize the definitions and debate in the wiki.
At least, new players reading AA reports and annotated play-through will get an idea of other players mean with that term.
Well, it's a good effort but it's a bit confusing, and makes it look as if there's a debate about what a spike is. Which I'm not sure is the case - I think Dislekcia and me and all the vets know what it is. There was/is a confusion because various people though someone was trying to make the definition too broad. But that's just a communication problem.
@Dislekcia: You might remember the time we the players made the thread about how regen fighting was not supported by enough features in the game and was too counter-intuitive for new players to learn? When afterwards you remade the Bloody Sigil and added Burning to put regen fighting tools closer to the begginning of the game?
Well, the reason it's counter intuitive is the same reson why me using the term "blackspace spike" started off this much controversy. It's difficulty to see it as a "spike" if your definition of "spike" is too narrow (call a spike whatever, we seem to all know and in fact agree on what it is). "One of the first things you learn is that you cant regen while you fight" = "One of the first things you learn is that you can't spike with blackspace". That idea is wrong (because you can and Monk does), but you know that statement is true, it is one of the first things people "learn". So true that even after years of playing people can still have trouble with the idea that regen-fighting isn't something that exists "opposed to spiking".
I'm saying this to try to cut the communication issue - the intention behind spike theory wasn't further mistification and elitization, it came from ruminations on and effort to understand the kinks in the learning curve. Namely why regen fighting seemed to confuse people, what's the best way to describe the importance of gods, and why people latch onto classess and feel like they lost too much when they get nerfed. If the buildup/spiking cycling is understood (under whatever name), those things become much less problematic and the game on the whole much less arcane. It does lose a quite a bit of mystery though.
1) Why was regen fighting confusing?
Because the early kingdom game teaches that you cant regen while you fight, so people come to think of consuming blackspace as something which divides the fights. And regen fighters use "blackspace spike" as their spike of choice. Once you figure this out (in whatever terminology), you lose the original misasumption and start regen fighting.
"Popcorn stacking" which is requred for level cannons or XP spikes is confusing too - because neither popcorn or blackspace can be stacked in an inventory or a bar somewhere on the screen. You can only conserve them. And monsters look like something you need to burn to get the XP to be able to fight the boss, just like blackspace is something you need to burn to heal up between fights and even know where everything is. Just saying. (And I'm curious about what it would be like to have a "blackspace" counter somewhere in the interface which ticked down as you explore.)
2) Why do you have to learn about the gods?
Well, for various reasons, but a very important reason is that without gods on the board the number of tools for potential spikes on the board is limited. With gods on the board (and in your prep screen) you're mostly never without a spike handy even if you blew all your other resources. What's most important - without gods you're very constrained with the way your class works, with gods you can build up a guard to spike whichever way you want.
3) Why people latch onto classes?
Because they familiarize themelves with them before they familiarize themselves with gods (or used to). So they get the idea that class is more important than it is and that mechanics are way less general than they are (this had to have been a design decision it would've been an entirely lesser game if gods were unlocked right away). Classess are just sets of pre-determined 3-boon-packages applied to guards (or in some cases more than 3 crammed into that format). This greatly extends the learning process (and the logevity of the game) because people are learning it in a specific and fun but suboptimal way. That's why at times it seemed that it's "impossible" to do VGT with a Fighter, or that certain dungeons could only be done with certain classess - when you start thinking in tems of spikes (again, any terminology) you can do anything with anything (except VT VGT possibly, and Goatperson since Goatperson is in fact playing a whole different game).
4) Why people get upset over class nerfs?
Because they're not aware of all the opitions and are overjoyed with having figured out any instance of a more general mechanism that they managed to understand/stumble upon. They latched onto them all the time often thinking that playing a particular class was the only way to spike in a certain fashion. But after you've been up and down VGT, NC and the PQI a lot you figure out that your character is way more modular than that and that you can build most any character for whatever spike.
So understanding it is the end of the learning curve (or a large chunk of it). Sure, someone can discover cool sinergies that were unknown up till then, and you can realize something has an application in more than one strat, but the learning curve ends with throwing off false assumptimptions that come about because of how the early kingdom development is structured. And it probably can't be structured any other way, because there'd both be too many elements too soon, and there'd be much less mystery about the game.