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If the relation was monotone, this would mean that playing against real humans is less fun than playing against a stupid AI. Which is not the case, so I guess we have something like an "uncanny valley" here.

So making the bots not a little bit more clever, but really a lot more clever, would improve the game.

In what I remember, they made their bots so clever it wasn't fun because it overpowered any player in their tests. Humans want to win, so losing every time wasn't fun.

I'm trying to find that interview.

  Humans want to win, so losing every time wasn't fun.
This needs to be a bit more qualified.

I personally love games where the skill gap is SO HUGE it seems impossible to win at first. I get my ass kicked for months and years before becoming any good. Go, Quake, Elastomania... Losing doesn't trouble me at all.

On the other hand, "reasonable" games where advancement is assured, the skill curve mostly flat (I can beat top players with a bit of luck or the right items / grind / setup), hold no appeal to me whatsoever. Diablo & co.

> Losing is fun ~ Dwarf Fortress Motto

I'm on basically the same boat. One of my biggest frustrations with my gaming friends is that they can't ever lose. Sometimes they can't even win unless they win by enough.

When I play games I'm there to have fun. Trying to win is fun, winning is fun, losing is also fun. It's all fun.

DotA, LoL, etc would be games I'd play a lot if the community weren't the shining example of "can't lose, or even win by less than they `should have`".

Maybe you remember when you started playing go. If you played with strong kyu players (not even dans) you could get all your stones captured. I managed to win a 17 stones handicap game by 80 points as white. It's ok to try it for fun once (we did that for fun) but it's not fun anymore on the second time. I went on explaining all the most common mistakes in that game.

The point is that a game with such a gap as go is fun of you have a ladder of increasingly stronger opponents to play with. 20 kyu, 18 kyu, 16 kyu, etc. If the AI is a dan player, whatever it means in Quake, the gap is probably too wide for many people, especially since games started to be easy to win to retain players.

This works best when you can see visible progress from one try to the next. Dwarf Fortress is Fun because every loss is different, and you got farther/learned new things every time.

Fighting 13-year-olds in Call of Duty or League of Legends is less fun (provided you don't play much like me), because often you'll drop dead for reasons you can't divine, or anything you try loses the game with no feedback on what worked and what didn't.

(Full disclosure, I'm one of the people who doesn't take losing well.)

If you're a casual player, then playing against humans sometimes isn't fun at all. There are a few shooters that I loved the single player campaign, but very quickly got frustrated by and sick of the multiplayer. Why? Simple - because I wasn't very good and the other players destroyed me. Its just as un-fun as playing against a bot with perfect aim: not at all, its frustrating.

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