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 Post subject: Re: Balance WAR between JOJO and CHRISM
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:22 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:33 am
Posts: 3
I feel what JOJO is saying, and there is logic in his words. I understand his point as this: "Some cards, in the given metagame, aren't costed rightly. The counter-argument is: "the metagame will shift as more cards are released, bringing some of those improperly costed cards into the limelight."

Ok, if those assumptions are correct, please allow me the chance to speak about something critical & long-term that isn't being weighed properly in this argument.

I have tremendous experience playing minis games at the very highest level of play -- and of playtesting multiple minis engines. In fact, I think I am the world's first professional minis player; that is, before anybody else, I was the first to survive solely off the profits of playing minis games. :ugeek:

Here is a snapshot of some of my experience:

MW:DA admited they printed a unit wrong, and changed it. (The unit was worthless either way.)
Warmachine players figured out a way to attack their own, low defense units with template based weapons as a way to hit higher defense enemy units, so they changed it.
WoW minis changed the way you roll for attacking multiple units with a single attack.

Don't do it. Here's why...

Once you make a single change, from that point on you have opened a door that you cannot close. And through that door pours more complaints & desires for changes, & worse: entitlement creeps in! Suddenly players stop experimenting with cards to the level they need to experiment to make those cards work. They complain instead. The basic idea will be, "I lost my last game because my arty was still one range short after I played +2 range; change the card to +3 range NOWWWW!!!1!!11! :evil:

The reverse becomes true, also. Notice how Disengagment Theory aka Highvibes says sharpshooter sucks. Many of us know that card's hidden value. He's trying to squeeze an extra inch out of it. :twisted:

But playtesters themselves are the most vulnerable to this behavior because once a game goes public because they had, up until the game went public, some power to direct the course of the game. Designers need to establish, with emphasis, the boundries of what is acceptable. And it is not acceptable to entertain (at least publically) the idea that the game could have been made better. Otherwise, and we can see it starting, game designers are forced to perpetually defend their decisions. And that is a very slippery slope that leads only into ever bigger and bigger challenges.

Now, in the above mini's game examples, I can't tell you how often players would get together and bltch about this rule or that. Playtesters, those that often feel most vested and entitled, commense a secret game of power. They attempt to cull players to their side against the designers. The game designers see shadows of the complaints, but often can't pinpoint the origin, just a growing unrest. We are all gamers at heart; and we design our little power struggles for our entertainment. This behavior, however, runs anti-thetical to crafting a solid platform for a public game. I'm sure we can all see how players against designers is a bad idea for the health of a game.

Playtesters, as very intelligent people, often need very little direction to help out. But they do need this one piece of knowledge: before a game goes public, they can, and should, voice concerns; but once it goes public, they have to redraw the boundries of what is acceptable and not-acceptable.

It is not acceptable, even when they are right, to challenge the design staff publically. The overall net effect is so bad for the environment in so many subtle ways that it far, far outweighs any gains in tinkering with the cost or benefits of single cards.

-Corle


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 Post subject: Re: Balance WAR between JOJO and CHRISM
PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:50 am
Posts: 227
Location: Barcelona
I was really more paraphrasing Jojo and Schlumpi, who said they were "weak" and "really too bad" and "very very bad in general", I never actually said that I think it sucks. :) I asked them "how would you recommend balancing the sharpshooters cards" (in their opinion). But sure, Corleamos, I'm a shining example of what you speak of :P

Also, no one answered my inquiry about why kevlar and kevlar 2 are "sucky".

Thoughts?

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 Post subject: Re: Balance WAR between JOJO and CHRISM
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:24 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:18 pm
Posts: 728
Kevlar is good, kevlar 2 is too expensive and ends up losing you the game unless you have other things to buff the infs.

Sharpshooter will be useless except on some very very specific situations. Like having armor piercing.


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 Post subject: Re: Balance WAR between JOJO and CHRISM
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:46 pm 
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Corle makes good points and it is consistent with our view. We are not going to change any cards unless they are too powerful and ruin the game ('broken"). Could something be costed differently to make it better. Yes. Again thought, this assumes we want all cards to be equally powered. As I have repeatedly said, we do not. If all cards are equal, there is no skill in sealed and no benefit in collecting cards.

Card powers will change as new cards are released. Some cards will get better. Some worse. For instance, I will give you a sneak peak on one card in the next set -- increase units maximum hp by 20. That is better on a buffed unit than a regular unit.


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 Post subject: Re: Balance WAR between JOJO and CHRISM
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:49 pm 
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I liked Corle's post and mostly agree with Chrism as well. Obviously by now I grown accustomed to certain cards being better than others, and I agree with Chrism that not all cards should be equal.

However, I don't think anyone should read Corle's post and take away from it the idea that card strength or imbalance should not be discussed. I think discussion is good, as it can lend itself to sharing strategy of what to bring and give developers some insight as to which future cards they may want to release. For instance, if jojo points out a glaring imbalance in one area or another, while they may not change a current card, perhaps they will release a card in the future that will combine well and make stronger one of the cards jojo points out is weak.

The point I want to re-emphasize involves some simple math. I'm not sure exactly, but the odds of getting armor piercing in a three pack sealed deck game is very slim (ultra rare card) yet my odds of getting sharpshooter or sharpshooter boost are significantly higher (although by no means automatic). Well, in every situation where I get sharpshooter or sharpshooter boost but do not get armor piercing, these cards appear to be a waste in my deck.

If there are too many of these sorts of cards - commons or uncommons that require a rare or ultra-rare in combination to be effective - then in three deck sealed games, you may find that the vast majority of the time you are looking at a lot of worthless cards. This is what leads to Geral complaining about enlists and debuffs, because those don't need counterparts. This is why you get jojo complaining about imbalance, because the cards do seem imbalanced because this is how he mostly encounters them.

I just think its important to keep in a frame of reference, what percentage of commons and uncommons require a rare or ultra rare to be effective? If 80% require a rare or ultra rare, then players are generally hoping to have commons and uncommons from a very small 20% pool. If we are talking 90% require a rare or ultra rare, then players are hoping for cards from an even smaller 10% pool.

I think what some players like myself, Geral, jojo, and maybe some others feel, is that when we look at small sealed deck, we quickly scan for cards from that smaller percentage pool. If we have very few of these, we feel shafted, if we have a lot, we feel lucky. The problem I have with this, is that rather than feeling like all my cards are options to bring, and its merely a matter of what strategy I want to employ, I'm simply scanning for the best cards to bring. If all cards are not equal, as Chrism states, then it should be possible for me to rank them in order from best to worst. I scan my sealed deck, grab the 8-10 best cards, then try to pick my last few based on the map and my intended strategy.

I just feel like I should be selecting my deck from more of a strategy standpoint, rather than good card vs bad card standpoint, but currently picking based on good card over bad card works best. I have lobbied for more five pack sealed deck games before, and once again that would help with this problem. Giving me two more rare or ultra rares would potentially increase the value of some commons and uncommons currently labeled as "bad", because I now have the necessary combination for them to be effective - or at least the theory would seem to go....


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 Post subject: Re: Balance WAR between JOJO and CHRISM
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:38 pm 
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chrism wrote:
Corle makes good points and it is consistent with our view. We are not going to change any cards unless they are too powerful and ruin the game ('broken"). Could something be costed differently to make it better. Yes. Again thought, this assumes we want all cards to be equally powered. As I have repeatedly said, we do not. If all cards are equal, there is no skill in sealed and no benefit in collecting cards.


well i totally agree on that point. There should be better and cards and slightly worse cards. Thats one reason why i never complained about tankger/special force/ heroes etc. However when cards exist which are not worthy playing that is really not acceptable and doesnt makes sense. What first comes to my mind about this topic is magic the gathering. That game also has a LOT of stronger and weaker cards. For example spell for 1 that lets you get 3 additional cards very strong! Also there are card which cost 4 and give you 3 cards... not as good BUT decent!
It isnt my intention to equal every card in the card pool up but cards which never get played and arent playable should not be in it. About the sharpshooter its a good card btw why? because the rarity is common. i already like regret that i but it on the list. However i knew why i didnt put some cards on it like high caliber boost or airborne 2 or abandon. Those feal a bit weak but they are DECENT!
In general the card pool is nice and allows a lot of different strategies but those easter eggs in it like boot camp are really not good. You need 2 buffed infs to make that card playable not good or decent only playable. And when you have 2 buffed infs lets say you enlist 2 and put 2 spec forces on them then you really dont need boot camp.

And one last think which really needs to be discussed are cards like evac or smoke. Those cards tell you you CAN lift an immoed units or you CAN blind on a cp but when you want to do it you CANT. That is bad for developing new strats and also in sealed when you for example take eject and a merc fighter with the plan to eject him and then you want to but an error occurs you cant use eject on merc wouldnt you all go WTF? ;)

thats why stuff like this is needed and thats why i want chrism to play with those cards. If for any reason anyone finds a way to use the cards on the list pls just instant tell me and i will spend him at least 20 points.
I could also start flaming about the new card here already but yet i dont know if this card will keep my superfighter alive when the airlift 2 with 2 aas happen if not thats imo is a reason to say this card should give more hp. Also the question is if not a +40% armor card is better but well see.
That is what goes through my mind when i see a new card. I compare it with other cards which i think fill the same role then i compare viability cost effect and all those stuff. Afterwards i think about how i can play with this card as the CORE of a deck. And just then after i did all this stuff i do some testing about power in game. And then when i feel the card isnt DECENT or STRONG but just BAD and not USABLE then i start a forum post saying well well this card has a minor problem here...

and whoever finished this *cookie give* :D

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 Post subject: Re: Balance WAR between JOJO and CHRISM
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 10:33 pm
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jojo wrote:
and whoever finished this *cookie give* :D


:) cookie eaten

enlist 2 heli - anti-tank rush card

tech aa / lethal aa - obviously enlist 2 aa for 150 is better, but if you are doing an airlift to kill a buffed fighter, you can either use tech aa/lethal aa and airlift 1 or enlist 2 aa and airlift 2. Lethal AA+Airlift 1 is cheaper. Witcher has used this before to kill a super fighter of mine.

evac 1-4 - Evac 1 and 2 have been very helpful to me in some sealed games saving a heli hero or buffed unit when they run into trouble... evac 3 and 4 can be used to save your base late in a game if you are protecting side control points and your opponent pulls a last minute base rush... watch my most recent replay against jamaltheguy for an example of where this card would have saved him

sharpshooters - combo is armor piercing

all trainings(i think ill regret this) - gaining 25% damage, 15% defense, and small HP boost should be just as good as firepower, right?

engine trouble/backfire - I will definately sometimes bring these in sealed games as one of my last few cards

last line of defense - good on close quarters, and can be used to fend off a base assault, even if these are rare


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 Post subject: Re: Balance WAR between JOJO and CHRISM
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:55 pm 
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dojadoug wrote:
However, I don't think anyone should read Corle's post and take away from it the idea that card strength or imbalance should not be discussed.


I believe corle was not talking about discussing cards in general. He was talking about playtesters and by that he meant beta testers or people with blue names on this forums. And he said that they shouldnt challenge devs publicly like jojo did here. We have our own test forum, we can do that there if necessary.

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Last edited by fewar on Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Balance WAR between JOJO and CHRISM
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:25 pm 

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:19 am
Posts: 37
chrism wrote:
Corle makes good points and it is consistent with our view. We are not going to change any cards unless they are too powerful and ruin the game ('broken"). Could something be costed differently to make it better. Yes. Again thought, this assumes we want all cards to be equally powered. As I have repeatedly said, we do not. If all cards are equal, there is no skill in sealed and no benefit in collecting cards.

Card powers will change as new cards are released. Some cards will get better. Some worse. For instance, I will give you a sneak peak on one card in the next set -- increase units maximum hp by 20. That is better on a buffed unit than a regular unit.


I have to say i see your point, but i don't think anyone can expect that every single card will be just as powerful as any other because that is not even close to possible, just look at any competitive game; even StarCraft Brood War, regarded as an example of balance, is not 100% balanced and it doesn't have as many variables as a game with almost 200 cards.

Nor is the issue really about balance per se, but the fact that a large group of cards are borderline useless, which causes two problems:

1) They become dead weight instead of being a viable alternative to make the game even more varied.

2) The increased luck factor in sealed matches, giving advantage to a player with many enlists/mercs over someone with a lot of buffed.

So the mediocrity of this cards should be adressed, if you don't want to do this by changing the cards themselves but by the future introduction of new cards with good sinergy with them, that's great, but they better have great sinergy (only or mostly with buffed units) or the problem won't go away.


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 Post subject: Re: Balance WAR between JOJO and CHRISM
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 7:57 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:33 am
Posts: 3
Personally, I find sealed is always a problem in any minis/card game. Always. The problem is that some pulls are better than others. You'd have to completely pull synergy out of the card pool to make sealed balanced -- and that is impossible.

Up until this point in my career, I've never seen a game that could fix that issue. However, I actually think Battledex, with its unique online environment, can fix it.

3/4/5 packs; doesn't matter. Just give both players the exact same pull. And do a new pull each round. 100% balanced. Also, adds a new element. Do i take the 'best' cards or the cards that might counter the 'best' cards. And, honestly, you've lost nothing of the current sealed environment. In fact, skill would play a lot more roll, as in theory, you'd know a good 4-6 of the opponents cards; that makes for a whole new feel to any game.

But, best of all, it eliminates cheating. If you get a new card pool each round, talking between rounds is worthless.

This cannot be done in the real world environment, but it could here.
-c


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