I play a trading card game called Magic: The Gathering. You’ve probably heard of it in some way or another. It is complex, deep, and rewarding on many levels, while playing and beyond the game itself.
My thoughts on this might cover some of this stuff in greater detail in the future, but let me say that games with large competitive scenes run on data. Match-ups, top strategies, metagame shares, new decks, rogue one-off decks, shifts in the metagame–all of that is observable through data, if you can find it and sift through it. Having raw data allows you to actually paint a picture of what the game is actually doing in a given format.
Wizards of the Coast, however, doesn’t believe this. A lot of their reasoning is that too much data reinforces pre-conceived notions, which, okay sure. But after greatly restricting decklist information from online events, the Standard metagame coalesced around two decks and their third-tier counterplays. Which informed players intuited, and then had confirmed when cards from said decks were banned with data backing up their assertions.
I don’t think less data makes a better game. Less data in these situations just makes you look stupid when you try to spin your actions.
As always, let me know what you think in the comments.
(I might try writing more on this at a later date, with more links and other information, so you’ll just have to let this sit for a bit.)