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Kills vs Deaths Ratio - which is more important?

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I've always been one of those gamers who looks at the scoreboard after a match, subtracts the deaths from the kills and then decides the real winner - it just kinda seems more natural that way. I can't think of an example game that uses such a system, but I'm sure I've seen one in the past where 1 kill = 1 point while a death/suicide = minus 1 point, with negative final scores being quite possible. Interestingly, with my "high risk, high reward" style of play quite often I'll finish a match with the highest number of kills but also the most deaths, even more than the guy in last place, a trait I've seen shared by a number of other consistently high scoring players. Perhaps the ideal system shouldn't be so black and white; suicides should always result in a major penalty, but crafty and skilful kills should be always be rewarded. Take for example the humble knife, when I finally get behind that pesky sniper and stab him in the back, I feel I deserve more than plus 1 frags to my name. Battlefield 2142 took a step in the right direction by presenting you with the enemies "dog tags", but I feel they should have gone all the way and truly rewarded the player for their act of skill.

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Maybe an overall ranking system is best. Where the current round shows the number of kills, death (as in your death), and suicides. Then the ranking board shows the kind of kills (stealth, reckless, accurate, etc), deaths, and suicide (revenge, kamikaze, etc).

The different kinds of kills, deaths, and suicide have a point system attached and that's how the ranking system is determined. It would be a good (but not perfect) measure of how skilled the player is.

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Except that such judgements are very qualitative and thus hard to codify. Even if you tried, you'd likely just end up with problems (ex. sweet ninja knife move that doesn't quite kill someone nets you 0 points) and people gaming the system.

But really, skill will directly translate into more kills without any sort of bonus.

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You could have an American Idol-style system in which people phone up and vote for their favorite player.

All joking aside, it doesn't really matter. In some gametypes, there's a clear-cut obvious one thing that makes you the winner (eg: in deathmatch, kills is all that really matters, though someone who gets almost as many kills and only dies a couple times is surely quite skilled). But in many others, different styles of playing are going to get you different points. A sniper might have a higher KD ratio, but a lower kill ratio. That doesn't mean that they're worse than the person who got lots of kills, died a lot, and also scored a couple flags.

Either way, people like looking at 'stats'. Show them all that you can think of. Track stats across games. List their best killing sprees, their longest living streak, etc. People will gobble-up whatever you can give 'em. Hence why people like the awards in things like XBox Live.

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Quote:
Original post by Alpha_ProgDes
Then the ranking board shows the kind of kills (stealth, reckless, accurate, etc), deaths, and suicide (revenge, kamikaze, etc).


Oh yeah, I'd also love to see an "honour and revenge" system as well. How many times have you been killed in Counter-Strike, only to see your assailant gloat over your body, then spray paint you with a stupid picture in one final act of humiliation? If that could be worked into the gameplay somehow it would be gold.

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I always went by ratio, not difference. Difference is simply going to keep getting larger as the game goes on (unless you suck, I guess), whereas ratio actually scales itself for how long you've been playing.

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I personally prefer sum(i = 0..n-1, Ki / 2n-i) where Ki is the number of kills you made on your (i + 1)'th life as it emphasis how you did recently more then how you've done previously. Unfortunately most games don't make it easy to calculate this in which case I use Kills/death.

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When I play Warcraft or Starcraft I usually have the personal goal of having no deaths if this is at all feasible for the level. I mean, getting your soldiers killed is the very definition of being a bad leader, right?

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Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
When I play Warcraft or Starcraft I usually have the personal goal of having no deaths if this is at all feasible for the level. I mean, getting your soldiers killed is the very definition of being a bad leader, right?


Not necessarily. A good leader is one that does what's best for the overall group in the game, and someones that means sending people to their death so you can get a better strategic point.

Whereas in Starcraft you could possibly win the game without dieing, the you could technically play a FPS without dieing, but most likely your team will lose if it's a retrieval based game. Overall, I think kdr and most kills, etc actually promote bad habits, as they discourage teamwork, but I don't have a suggestion for improvement. Sometimes, a player can be more beneficial to the team, even if they have few kills, and a high death count. IE: When I'm playing CTF and a teammate has the flag going back to base, my job is to

A) Protect Him
B) Kill the opponents
C) If overwhelming odds in which I have no shot of killing the opponents, at least distract the opponents to buy the FC time.

One day I hope for a game which rewards teamwork over individual goals. I'm sure someone will find a working formula.

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You play for the team win.

Often I run directly behind (or between) the flag carrier (and the opponent) in order to make sure the flag gets back.

I pay no attention to kills/ deaths only goal wins.

I liked natural selection as it rewarded good teamwork the most. Playing on an open server was a completely lottery. Day of Defeat was good too until they turned it into quake.

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im fairly sure that in Timesplitters on the PS2, a death subtracts 1 from your kills.

much better system I feel, especially when real skill is getting the most kills, with the least deaths. My personal best was 100 kills/30 deaths on CoD2, against 9 other players, the bloke in second place had 40+ kills and 36 deaths, it was a first to 100 kills/30 mins time limit affair, I saved a screeny of the table :D

anyone can charge around getting lucky kills then spawning instantly, hardly taking a breath, but its great being able to kill everyone with some sense of self preservation.

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