Yes, I already addressed this question in a previous post, but Strung Muppet had some more to say on the matter and I want to make sure the point is properly explored.
Strung Monkey said in the comments to this post:
"I don't like the thought of W/L and only awarding the undefeated players. I think the point was made that when this is the case it encourages more WAAC behavior simply because one loss and you’re out. That to me defeats what I like about W/L."To which I said:
"Please explain what you mean by this. I really want to know how you think that W/L might increase WAAC when the degree of win doesn't matter. Because I can't see it."This is his reply, with my comments added (in red):
What I was getting at is if I show up to an event and I know that 1 loss and I am out of contention for anything then I will be more inclined to play much harder against my opponents. I feel this is true about most competitive players but I will stick with me for now. So I know that if I lose and am out, then there is no reason to kick back and take it easy I will play to win
I hope you do play hard against your opponents. This is a competition we're talking about after all. I'm not suggesting that you not bring your best to the table. But, in a Win/Loss game, there isn't as much incentive to nitpick over every little thing. Because you're not getting points for them. Since it doesn't matter how much you win by, you can relax a bit and let the little stuff slide.
Consider if you will, my experience in the last tourney, getting my butt handed to me by Steve's terminator-heavy list. We played hard, but my deployment sucked and the dice were not with me at all. Once it became obvious that Steve had it in the bag, we were able to relax and joke around. At the end of the game, when all I had left was my Command Squad and a single Vendetta, his last assault terminator was still (impossibly) alive, and was saving every single wound I threw at him. I even started calling down meteors from the sky, exterminatus, plus other silly stuff, and Steve was rolling (and passing) saves for them!
In short, we had fun with it. Rather than the usual story, which would have been Steve apologetically milking me for every single additional battlepoint that he could get. That's a real difference that I enjoy.
I will say our opinions on WAAC differ so let me clarify. You seem to almost relate it to cheating where I relate it to being competitive to a point where it may not be fun for the other guy up to and including being a rules lawyer but not cheating.
At it's most basic, true WAAC is all about the ego. While Competitiveness is about the desire to test yourself against a challenge and either win or learn something from the contest. Hence WAACs do tend to cheat more, because their ego often demands a win that their skills cannot provide. Even when they don't outright cheat, they can still push the envelope by various other strategies that are designed to knock you off your game. Such as arguing every move you make or otherwise distracting you.
But, if you don't have to win by a massacre every time, then the incentives for being a prick lessen quite a bit. Yes, somewhere there is a WAAC player or two that just want to smash face no matter what. But they're a tiny, cartoon-like minority. Most competitive players don't like smashing face without a good reason, and will stop doing so when the rules of the game don't require it.
As an example, imagine yourself playing a series of football games with a bunch of pre-teen kids. And let's imagine that there's a big pile of money on the line. If only wins count, then you can win your games without making them cry and ruining their fun. It might even be fun for you. While if your prize is determined by your cumulative score, then you have every incentive to run the kids over and send them crying back to mommy. Because if you don't, someone else will.
The uncomfortable feeling you'd get afterward is how I've felt many times at events like 'Ard Boyz. Where I had to ruin someone's day in order to advance.
Now say that you do prizes to the top players not just the undefeated players. I can lose 1 and still get something for doing well not 1st or 2nd and that is fine but something none the less.
That's what Mike Brandt is doing for the NOVA this year. Each bracket from the 1rst day will get it's own mini-tourney on the 2nd.
I would be content with that. I wouldn't expect something if I lost two rounds and outside of the real DB's out there I don't think any other competitive player would complain either. I think most guys can be happy if by losing 1 they have a chance at something even if they don't end up getting something simply the chance that they might is usually good enough...
That's why I think a best overall prize and some random prizes or in-game objective prizes work well. They give the rest of the field something to strive for.
...but when as soon as you lose its all over then yeah I think it encourages more of a desire to win each game and so increases WAAC behavior.
There's nothing wrong with desiring to win! The problem is when winning requires that you beat your opponent senseless. I would have no problem losing a basketball game to Michael Jordan. I imagine he'd be a good sport and even give me some tips. But I would have a big problem with him constantly fouling me and calling me names because he thought he could get more points that way. I'd be especially pissed if I discovered that the event encouraged him to do this because of it's scoring system.
I look at a tournament where I have to pay to play like an investment and I want to see a return on my investment. I enjoy having a good time but when I have to worry about losing out on my investment then I buckle down and go to work.
This just sounds like normal competitiveness to me. You're paying (in time and money) for the opportunity to (hopefully) play good players and maybe win the day. But most people won't win, and there's nothing at all wrong with that.
I plan on going to both Adepticon and NOVA this year. Winning is my goal, but even if I don't win I'll get to test myself against some of the best competitive players around. That's the real draw, and what would make a win all the sweeter.
If I wanted to just have fun I could just hang out with you guys and play the game.
True. If you don't care about winning, then why go to a tourney? I don't see people who don't care about winning clamoring to go to one. So I don't see how W/L is going to encourage more bad behavior than we see now. The real point is: What happens after that moment in the game where the outcome is decided? Do you relax, enjoy yourself, and discuss the details of the game? Or do you plow forward, smash face, and alienate a potential friend?
If it was a free event then I would just be playing to play the game prizes would just be a bonus and there would be no real desire to win outside of bragging rights and well those alone aren’t worth being a pain over. Just my opinion though.
Well once again I'm saying that you shouldn't be ashamed of wanting to win or playing your best. You should only be ashamed of cheating, bullying, or turning an opponent's loss into a humiliation. Because that's bad sportsmanship. Which shouldn't be encouraged by the event itself.