Wednesday, October 30, 2013

To concede, or not to concede?

It would not be wise to concede at this point. Additionally, my AI opponent did not concede even though I had it clearly beaten.
That's the question I'm diverting to this morning, taking a short break from all things Warcraft and Blizzcon. I'm talking Hearthstone, of course. Late last night, I was reminded via Twitter that not everyone views the option to concede in the same light. The flurry of tweets I'm referencing argued that conceding shouldn't be an option at all. I use it regularly, especially when I find myself in the mid-to-late game being absolutely crushed. I'll usually emote "Well played" before doing so. It's not to slight my opponent, or give them a victory on my terms; it's to save us both time and get us both back into the next match more quickly. I do this more frequently when I'm in for a longer play session. It's a practical point of view.

Conceding saves time. If it's quite clear there's no way you can recover from a series of strategic plays by your opponent, or the terrible cards you've been dealt, why drag it out? If you're trying to maximize your gold per hour -- something you might want to do to remain competitive without having to spend real money on packs of cards -- conceding when it's clear the game is lost is smart if you're trying to maximize your gold intake. There's no way around that fact.

Some might argue that you never know what's going to happen, and thus should never concede. I'll leave room for that point. Sometimes you never know, but I'd like to think that I don't concede until it's clear to me that it's the most efficient way to end things. Yes, you never know, but when your football team is down 45 points with 90 seconds to go -- and though strange things have happened -- the game is over. Granted, I can't remember the last time I saw a team walk off the field or court early because they were losing terribly. Could allowing your opponent to achieve the killing blow be more true to the spirit of competition and the game (ala sportsmanship, but I don't like that word)?

Perhaps it is more true to the spirit of the game. But the game dictates that cards are either bought with gold or real money. To those who eschew spending real money, gold is earned through playing. People have varying, but finite amounts of time to devote to the game. Time really is money. So is conceding truly rude, or are the concedee's just getting worked up about not being able to smash the stained-glass window representation of their opponent's hero? Maybe a bit of both.

Personally, I don't share the view that it's inherently rude, but I can understand it. Some say that conceding robs the other player of their victory. This of course, by definition, is not true: when a player concedes, they are essentially delivering the victory to their opponent more quickly than it would've been won organically. In most cases.

Maybe some players are tired of "clean wins" being snatched away right before the game is over. For instance, in a match the other night, I faced a priest who had 13HP remaining. I didn't have the needed damage on the board to whittle my opponent down. However, the next card I drew assured I did. I played the card, was able to smack my opponent with two of my minions, and when picking up the last minion for the final blow, I heard the line "You have bested me," and the game was conceded .5 seconds before I would've won myself.

I thought that was kind of silly, and in that regard I can agree with those who find the Concede option annoying, but would never go so far to call for its removal. I do understand where the criticisms come from, and I think there are some small tweaks that could be made. Maybe players should only be allowed to concede when it's their turn, or something along those lines.

How about you? Do you concede often? Why or why not? Do you think the Concede option is fine the way it is, or should it be tweaked?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this is really an issue? Why in the world would someone have a problem with the other player conceding?
    In tournament chess, a king gets checkmated on the board exactly never.

    In MtG, concessions are often done. You _know_ your deck, you know what's it in, and you know when you don't have anything that can get out of the current board/life situation.

    I don't have the hearthstone beta, but I can't imagine that it's much different than MtG.

    It's not like this is backgammon, where you MUST play it out in certain situations, as certain types of wins are worth more than others. Even then, once a gammon is no longer possible concessions are often done.