[MUD-Dev] Skill vs Knowledge (was: Re: Brand Loyalty)

ceo ceo at grexengine.com
Fri Feb 14 13:20:37 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

Caliban Tiresias Darklock wrote:
> You are really talking about the skill of *gathering* knowledge,
> which -- being a skill -- works in every level.

To recap from earlier comments:

 > AM:
 >> CTD:
 >>> That's not how to play, it's where to play, and I consider it
 >>> evidence of a flaw in the system. There shouldn't BE "good
 >>> places". There should be good *ways*, and places where those ways
 >>> work. Unfortunately, we only have one good way to level these days
 >>> -- kill things -- so you have to go someplace where there are good
 >>> things to kill.

 >> From a strategic analysis point of view, that really is how to
 >> play. In this situation, the optimal solution to "how" to play is to
 >> identify key geographical locations, and farm them.

So perhaps now you agree with my first statements?

...that the acquistion and application of knowledge is actually a
skill in itself? So that being good at this is (contrary to your
original stance) "how to play [well]".

[re-inserting the statement I was referring to:]
>> Skill works in *every* level. Knowledge works in one.
>> What you say makes perfect sense, if you believe that the
>> Knowledge of every other level ever played has no beneficial
>> effect on playing a new one.

Here I'm saying that knowledge is itself part of a
transferrable-skill; and postulating that you fundamentally do not
believe / haven't observed this yourself. (Which you confirm below).

> Here, you're confusing knowledge with experience. Experience
> builds skill.  In this case, the skill of level analysis: powerups
> tend to sit in the same general kinds of places, and as you
> develop experience in what those places are and how they are
> normally accessed, you also develop skill in finding
> powerups. Once you find them, you can apply that knowledge rather
> than the skill -- but that knowledge does not mean squat when you
> go to another level, and you need to obtain different
> knowledge. The skill of obtaining it, of course, is useful.  

I think that the distinction between "experience" and "knowledge"
here is irrelevant (other than to enable you to claim "knowledge is
irrelevant, but experience is relevant"), but I'll bear with you on

You correctly point out that there is a whole skill of "applying
[experience]". So, the [experience] (which I term "knowledge" as
encompassing more than pure experience) must exist and have value
for that skill to work at all.

(courtesy of Dictionary.com - which is by no means perfect, but
quite a good quick reference:)

    Knowledge: Specific information about something.

    Experience: The knowledge or skill derived from active

Hence, experience is a particular type of knowledge. Knowing "good
places to farm" (your original statements) is also a form of
knowledge (and not necessarily, depending upon how one learned the
knowledge, experience). What I've failed to illustrate is how both
types of knowledge have useful application when "you go to another

You've shown how experience can help, and I've tried to show how
pure geographic knowledge helps too, but apparently I didn't do too
well at explaining. So, trying to put it another way...

 > ... -- but that knowledge does not mean squat when you go to
 > another level

Perhaps your mind just doesn't work in a way that this kind of
knowledge can help you, whereas mine does? I'm quite crap (in all
honesty) at learning FPS levels - it takes me a real long time, I
suspect because of the high speed at which you move around an FPS
level, and the way that I reason about 3D spaces.

So, I'm rubbish at "the skill of level analysis" - but I'm very good
at recognising patterns, and once I see an area - perhaps just a
vantage point and its relation to a key item and a certain type of
powerup - which reminds me of a successful tactic from a previous
level, I now have something to try.

Admittedly, it can sometimes require losing 15 or 20 frags in a row
experimenting with the old tactic in the new environment until I hit
the sweet-spot :) ...

For the sake of completeness, outside of FPS'ing I'm excellent at
level-analysis and 3D reasoning - it just takes me rather a long
time, enough to be non-applicable during the first five hours of

Adam M

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