Momentum Dueling - Toxic or Productive?

A$APRocky

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Damn I suck
 
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Preface
If you dislike reading, click off this forum post as I'm tired of people complaining when I practice momentum dueling on the duel servers. They sit there and lame me before I can fully explain my argument - so I shall do so here. 80% of people won't read this, so it'll at least be a hyperlink I can send in the chat when someone complains. I've wrote about this several times in discord servers before - but I was told I should make a post about it on the forums since discussion like this is welcome here. This post is full of grammatical errors and run-on sentences as I'm just rapidly thought-dumping, so it's not particularly enjoyable to read anyways. I know I've only been playing the game for 6 months and I'm not a top-tier duelist yet - but when I become the best this will become much more credible.

A Case For Productivity
To start, I'm a strong advocate for momentum dueling in MBII. For those who don't know what it is - I shall explain: Momentum dueling is when you end the duel upon reaching low health or if you're certain someone's about to make the killing blow. Preferably, your opponent will do the same so no kills are had. You then immediately re-enter the duel. The only level of skill it requires to do this is having your end duel control bound to something easy to tap (I use the End key on my Numpad) - and also making sure you only end when you're certain you're about to die, which is easier than most think. Avoid ending the duel just because you get low or you'll lose out on defensive and retreating practice (however, if you're not focusing on this aspect of combat it's fine).

Why?

Well - as the name suggests - it's about momentum. There's extensive research in psychology when it comes to learning - which is also applied to game design in a concept called 'Newtonian Engagement'. It's based on the law that states that an object in motion will remain in motion until acted upon by an outside force - except in this case the law is that a player engaged in a game will remain engaged in that game until acted upon by an outside force. Whenever your mom calls you for dinner, you reach a level select screen in a video game, you return to your hideout in Tarkov, or you get killed on [tR] Deathstar and get put into spectator mode before the next round (a few examples) you trigger what's called a 're-evaluation' point. This is where the gamer/learner decides if they want to continue engaging in their activity because they've been pulled out of their flow state.

Game designers go to extensive lengths to minimize the amount and frequency of re-evaluation points in their games to increase average playtimes. They're not something you want to avoid though, re-evaluation points are necessary in order to prevent burnout and to give the player time to make long-term decisions (changing your loadout in Tarkov, changing your class while you're spectating in response to an enemy tactic [most people are brainless in open mode and most don't do this anyways], etc). A good example of this is in Battle Royale games. The typical amount (depending on time to kill and average lifespan) of players in a BR game is 100. The reason it's not 10 is because the matches are short and you reach re-evaluation points too frequently - which leads to a decrease in playtime. It's not 200 because it drags on too long and the players burnout and are more likely to quit playing at the re-evaluation point anyways (obviously there are other factors like what the servers can handle and mapsize/player density and etc - but this is a factor you see in their game design documents).

Outside of games, which was the most relevant example, this applies heavily to learning. If you're studying for an exam the smallest distractions will demolish your flow-state no matter how big or small - as research shows the size of the distraction actually doesn't have much bearing. (I know I'm citing a lot of 'research', but I'm not trying to make a professional paper here). So, something as simple as a subtle buzz from your phone will impair your ability to learn and concentrate.

So, then. What are the re-evaluation points when you're on a duel server? In my opinion, it's each time an opponent dies in a private duel - and also the cooldown between rounds. You can also count map changes, but this is too infrequent to matter. When you or your opponent is killed in a private duel, you trigger a re-evaluation point and you decide if you want to keep dueling that person and if you even want to keep dueling at all. Your mind is relieved from the flow and concentration of dueling and begins to evaluate things outside of the game. You reach this re-evaluation point in dueling VERY often. Once you kill your opponent you wait for them to come back - if they'll even come back at all (this is even worse depending on the map/time it takes to return to you) or you decide to duel someone else (they may also decide to go duel someone else as well or just leave the server/saying they've had enough).

These moments constantly kill your flow state when dueling. You're still learning of course, but not as well as you could if you were in a solid flow state for a significant amount of time (only reaching your re-evaluation point at the cooldown between rounds instead of every 20-40 seconds). For most, it's not that much of a nuisance. However, I've found I'm able to learn significantly faster and get a lot more out of my gameplay sessions by practicing momentum dueling (bonus if you're tank-dueling or doing weighted dueling techniques). When you break out of your flowstate you also magnify the part of your brain that avoids pain/uncomfortability when you start to consciously think about it. This is common when you're dueling someone around or slightly above your level. The duels aren't completely one-sided and they take a lot of effort to decide. You'll notice rivals or players who engage in these consciously or unconsciously don't enjoy them and will avoid them after the duel - but not while in the flow state. This is also an ego problem that prevents people from learning because they see the server list full of people that trigger this pain aversion and think twice about joining - but that's out of scope. It's also worth noting that almost every other fighting game also minimizes these re-evaluation points by at least having the rounds happen in quick succession.

Toxicity and Ego
Now. It sounds great - but the reason I'm unable to engage in momentum duels very often is because it's perceived as extremely toxic. In an environment where ego-lords sit in discord servers talking about how good they are and battling with their ego's like they're pokemon instead of actually dueling - you can imagine why this is disliked. Depriving someone of their ego kill is blasphemy. You also have people who think you're egoing them when you end the duel before they're about to kill you - and can't accept that this is also a victory for them. This is all understandable of course, and I encourage these people to simply not duel me. For some reason, they think when I say to avoid dueling me that this is also an ego challenge - and they continue to engage in duels: a cycle of ego inflation for them. You also have the people who lame you when you end the duel anyways.

Consent
Of course, the question is if I should be asking people if they want to engage in momentum duels with me instead of always practicing it. Most people are good sports about it, and actually compliment the method, but the productivity of the method decreases each time you run into an ego-lord or dopamine junkie who sits there and argues with you for 5 minutes after each duel. This is left to opinion, but I don't really care about the person I'm dueling - especially if they're an ego-lord. Everyone else who exists in the game is a vessel of knowledge and skill that I'm here to absorb in order to become the best. It's selfish - but I don't care. I think communication is essential of course, since ending the duel when someone doesn't expect it will catch anyone off-guard. More often than not though, I find people enjoy the method and keep dueling me because of the high-intensity and thrill the flow state provides - only those with fragile egos and an obsession with their 30-0 K/D's they farmed from white names really complain.

Conclusion
In any case, it's unlikely I'll be able to practice momentum dueling even though I've garnered successful results from it. The way of dueling as it is now works for most people, so it'll only cause annoyance when someone attempts to challenge the status quo. A lot of people focus too much on winning duels instead of learning from duels as you won't find many people who like to tank duel or only practice specific techniques in duels like investing extra energy into practicing swing selection until it becomes instinct, or excessively slapping to practice timings among other mechanics to practice - knowing that they'll usually lose but learn those techniques solidly. Most people at the high level know that playtime doesn't matter - dueling 5 hours a day is much slower than deliberately practicing by watching back your gameplay and restricting/weighing yourself down in duels in order to learn. People don't do that because it takes effort and it's not particularly fun for you or your ego - which is what most people play for anyways. At the very least, I hope I've informed a few people about the benefits of momentum dueling in MBII. If you don't want to make it a lifestyle - then at the very least consider doing it as a drill (even though it's not really a drill which focuses on a specific aspect of combat). Farewell.
mf be doing some roleplay when dueling
 
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Yes. You definitely need to train 14:40 of 15:00 total in round instead of 13:00 to get better. I definitely agree it is most needed and very productive to cancel duel before death just so you don't need to walk another 10 seconds.


Obviously this is a bait. 0/8
Very, fucking, shit thought JokerLEL
i don't see a problem with the method in theory so it sounds more like your problem is with the guy who wrote it
 
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I am going to ignore half of the replies to this thread and tell you what is really wrong here Joker. 90 percent of the people who play duel do so because they just want to have Jedi 1v1s, not train. This is why it is 'toxic' to end duels early. They want to land the killing blow. Not necessarily for ego score, but for the simple satisfaction of killing an opponent. Not everyone is there for the same reason as you.

Also, your talk about staying in the flow state is downright strange to me. I think you just have not played enough to get used to duel mode. I personally, along with everyone else I have seen, am not taken out of the flow state when killing or being killed when I am in a training mindset. Also, you evaluate and reevaluate your performance between rounds if you are taken out of the flow state, which can be good for adapting your training anyway.

Finally, you leaving when 'you or your opponent are about to land the final blow' is not exactly possible most of the time. People mess up the final swing, you have the possibility of PBing, or you can make an emergency slap most of the time. In none of these circumstance, indeed in almost no circumstances at all, can you predict a final blow with certainty. If you really are trying to actively train, you need to know how to dig yourself out of the 0 BP hole. You do say that you do not just do it at low health, but what I mean is that 99 percent of coup de graces can be countered or can fail before you can realistically react and press the duel_end key. Your solution is not viable.

All in all, I get where you are coming from, but ending duels early is generally unneeded or toxic. This can also contribute to you not being able to adapt in other circumstances in open when you are at 0 BP. I appreciate the high effort post either way, and I do not mean any of this as an insult.
 

JokerLel

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I am going to ignore half of the replies to this thread and tell you what is really wrong here Joker. 90 percent of the people who play duel do so because they just want to have Jedi 1v1s, not train. This is why it is 'toxic' to end duels early. They want to land the killing blow. Not necessarily for ego score, but for the simple satisfaction of killing an opponent. Not everyone is there for the same reason as you.

Also, your talk about staying in the flow state is downright strange to me. I think you just have not played enough to get used to duel mode. I personally, along with everyone else I have seen, am not taken out of the flow state when killing or being killed when I am in a training mindset. Also, you evaluate and reevaluate your performance between rounds if you are taken out of the flow state, which can be good for adapting your training anyway.

Finally, you leaving when 'you or your opponent are about to land the final blow' is not exactly possible most of the time. People mess up the final swing, you have the possibility of PBing, or you can make an emergency slap most of the time. In none of these circumstance, indeed in almost no circumstances at all, can you predict a final blow with certainty. If you really are trying to actively train, you need to know how to dig yourself out of the 0 BP hole. You do say that you do not just do it at low health, but what I mean is that 99 percent of coup de graces can be countered or can fail before you can realistically react and press the duel_end key. Your solution is not viable.

All in all, I get where you are coming from, but ending duels early is generally unneeded or toxic. This can also contribute to you not being able to adapt in other circumstances in open when you are at 0 BP. I appreciate the high effort post either way, and I do not mean any of this as an insult.
I decided to start ignoring the troll replies as well. However, I do thank you for taking the time to make a coherent reply that develops the topic further as Recourse did. You raise reasonable points and highlight the reason for why it's perceived as toxic depending on the person you're dueling and their mindset as well.
 
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The idea is also inherently subjective, inconsistent and open to a great deal of abuse. You practically rid yourself of any opportunity to come back from a perceived loss. I can't count how many times I thought I was about to lose a duel and managed to win despite the odds. I'd argue this impacts your ability to learn how to duel far more than the micro-periods in which you're no longer in a flow state.
This ^ It kills off the Sheaconn playstyle of draining your BP to 0 right at the start of a duel followed by shadowswing and 4 hit spamming until the opponent gives up trying to chase you and cancels the duel. Which is then followed by you backhitting them as soon as they turn around.
 
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