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Dota2 a behaviour economics approach

By: C Poon March 10, 2014

Dota an eSports Game


5v5
Objective: Capture points on map Communication and teamwork is key Experienced players have strong backward induction
Able to refrain from committing too much

Winning as a Public Good


Non-rivalrous, non-excludable (to teammates)
winning is an utility function unique by person, however shared by team

Expending Positive Acts to Win


This is behaviour economics because it defies traits of homoeconomicus model
Unbound willpower Positive communication as a scarce resource Unbound rationality Griefing, purposely reducing utility of others Unbound Selfishness Players teach others how to become better players

Find out the utility trade-off of good manners to winning

Positive Communication as a Resource


Positive Communication/Acts of support are scarce and are depleted per use
May be replenished by other activities (ie sleeping)

Must be strategic in expending positive behaviour


Utility maximizing Fear of betrayal (similar to trust games and honesty)

Experience factor
High Elo players still exhibit both types of play
However, a significant trend towards cooperation
Positive contribution ( 64% win rate) Negative contribution (19% win rate) Free-riders assumed to be 50% win rate

As players repeat this hundreds of times, they develop their unique tradeoff and adjust their internal MPCR (marginal per capita return) which is the joy of winning
Restart effect with new group of players

Experience Factor contd


Are there declining contributions over time?
No, the average contribution is on the 45 degree line
Zero sum game at higher levels (This explains the 54% win rate overall with positive contributions since some players will quit the game with <50% win rate)

Players with high Elo are strategic and are highly-sensitive conditional cooperators
Highly sensitive because they are able to directly watch the actions of teammates (explains the polar cooperation styles per game)

Thank you!
Is this model applicable?
Practical slides follow

Determinants of Voluntary Cooperation


Valve has already done some things to improve the cooperation
Increase in Group size and MPCR
Added items that make the game more than zero sum with in-game items (thus even with losing, you still win something) Further use of economic items to increase MPCR

Pre-made teams vs Random teams


Significant increase in win rate (therefore public good) in pre-made teams
Due to effect of communication and non-communication before the game

It is known that this game breaks friendships


By the end of the session, players will communicate less (scarcity?) and thus contribution is reduced (first line dip in NC)