about loyalty

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copono
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about loyalty

Post by copono » Wed Jan 02, 2013 08:15

Hi,
I know that i'm quite new around here, and maybe suggesting changes in the rules is too soon (even though i spent a lot of time already reading a good proportion of the material).
The thing is, i find a little bit restrictive the fact that you can't use some cards unless you have a hero with the exact kind of abilities you need and loyalty points you need or etc. To make it more flexible and extend the possible combinations i would suggest the following:

Instead of not being able to play a card with higher loyalty than your hero, why not penalize the cost? For example, if your hero has one point less than the card, 50% more rounded up, if it has two of difference 100% more rounded up.

additionally, this would make it less necessary to create cards with "out of faction characteristics".

It's just my humble opinion.

**edit: i skimmed the "more on loyalty" thread, but I think it deviated into some other things**
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snowdrop
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Re: about loyalty

Post by snowdrop » Thu Jan 03, 2013 21:27

copono wrote:Hi,
I know that i'm quite new around here, and maybe suggesting changes in the rules is too soon (even though i spent a lot of time already reading a good proportion of the material).
It doesn't matter how new or old a person is in here as it has no relevance for the ideas presented.. :P
The thing is, i find a little bit restrictive the fact that you can't use some cards unless you have a hero with the exact kind of abilities you need and loyalty points you need or etc.
What abilities the Hero has or hasn't does probably not affect which cards you can play, and if it did it wouldn't be on a huge scale.

The only thing "set in stone" for the Hero that does affect that is the loyalty the Hero generates. That does indeed affect a lot of how you would build your deck.
To make it more flexible and extend the possible combinations i would suggest the following:

Instead of not being able to play a card with higher loyalty than your hero, why not penalize the cost? For example, if your hero has one point less than the card, 50% more rounded up, if it has two of difference 100% more rounded up.
Loyalty is there to solve a problem. The problem is that we want huge creativity while buuilding a deck, while at the same time not allowing a player to easily mix any cards from any faction into one single deck, as it would bring great benefits unless they are somehow counter-balanced for.

One way to do that is what you suggest - to make such cards more expensive somehow. That particular solution works pretty well. Reason it isn't used is that it will also bring one thing that isn't currently around - the possibility to actually take any crucial card and combine it with whatever. You are right that it makes more combos possible, but it also means that game balance would probably suffer greatly and skew the game against playing mono-factioned decks, even if we punish such usage by raising gold cost for it (so what of you raise it, mid-game and end-game other-factioned cards would win you the game more or less even if you paid a lot for them). This problem, while not necessarily obvious in our core set due to the very limited number of cards per faction and combos, will grow exponentially(?) with every new expansion we release. So, even if it isn't a problem today, it will be tomorrow, I think...

What I imagine instead and want to see is the player having to make a tough choice when (s)he starts building the deck: "What hero should I use? Why? In what kind of deck would I want it?" are questions I want the players to think about. In the end, there will be heroes that allow many combinations anyway, but, all will have their pros and cons - none will allow everything and anything. Granted this isn't all that obvious in a core release where each faction will only have 1-2 heroes, but in the course of expansions releasing a new hero every now and then would surely change the possibilities and meta-game.
additionally, this would make it less necessary to create cards with "out of faction characteristics".
Those cards should not be created, in general, and if the exist they should be to a minimal extent and for some very good reason that can't be covered by a diff. hero selection.
copono
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Re: about loyalty

Post by copono » Sat Jan 05, 2013 06:29

I do think that abilities of the hero restrict the selection. A deck that is consistent with the hero's abilities has a huge advantage (I think). So, if a hero has only certain kind of abilities in some faction, you are only going to use certain kind of cards with that faction. For, example, if only a certain faction's hero gives +2/+0 to all your attacking creatures, a deck with small and cheap creatures will most likely be in that faction.
I think also that, that exponential combinatory, makes it more interesting, challenging and "smart". And if you take into account that heros will have 2 points in one faction and 1 in the other, playing cards of the second will already be very restrictive. Any card that requires 3 points will be heavily penalized. You could do something like 50% for 1 point difference and 150% for two. Just think about it. Imagine in magic paying 5 mana for a counter or 10 mana for a 5/5 creature. Also, if u want to restrict the usage of certain card that have shown to be extremely good as out of faction, you can patch it adding to it a loyalty point. the result is that cards will tend to have
1 LP - just for belonging to a faction.
2 LP - cards with a weak ability belonging to a faction.
3 LP - cards with strong or highly combinable characteristics.
And a combo will have a penalty of 50% for cards of one faction and 150% for the others. It's really a lot.
Additionally, it will allow you to have a deck that contains just a few cards of another faction (not necessarily 50% and 50%, like you need do in magic). Take it as an army that recruited a few people that you convinced to changed the side and join you cause ;)
You can even do (in a very far future, if necessary) cards with 4 LP (even when the maximum for a hero is 3) if they have two important abilities of the same faction.
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Re: about loyalty

Post by snowdrop » Sat Jan 05, 2013 15:00

loyalty restricting
I believe we just used the word "restrict" differently: With restriction I meant that a card with the requirement of loyalty 3 will never be playable (actually "available") to a hero that only generates >3 of that particular loyalty. Thus, the cards are restricted from even entering the same deck as that hero in the deck-creation phase of the game. "Prohibited" would be a better word to describe what's going on, as "restriction" maybe suggests that it still can happen to some degree.

abilities restricting
copono wrote:I do think that abilities of the hero restrict the selection. A deck that is consistent with the hero's abilities has a huge advantage (I think).
Yes, I also believe that. I see it as a strength though to be able to find the perfect deckbuild that is really fine-tuned to the heroes abilities and also wins over 50% of the games in its matchups with any other human-built-deck out there. A deck that works very well with it's hero abilities should indeed increase it's chances of winning - why else would you care about selecting a hero in the first place?

Even though chances to win become higher to win, it doesn't necessarily translate into that you have a good or better deck than the opponent: Maybe some decks built totally around their heroes abilities would be a failure due to which those abilities are and given both the quantity and quality of the other non-hero cards in the cardpool that happen to work with the hero ability. This would be the result if we create the cards to stand "on their own" and not necessarily with the heros and their abilities as the origo. Most of the cards should not be created to "complement" the available hero or "for"/with a specific named hero in mind - such an approach would be a disaster in our project due to what it does with card compatibility and what it means for our resources in terms of art/money.
So, if a hero has only certain kind of abilities in some faction, you are only going to use certain kind of cards with that faction. For, example, if only a certain faction's hero gives +2/+0 to all your attacking creatures, a deck with small and cheap creatures will most likely be in that faction.
Yes, all true. However, how does that in any way differ from what a player does with every single card in his/her deck? No matter if it's hero or not the player wants to maximize synergy. What you're writing is that certain cards, x, will lead to that certain other cards are included in deck, y z etc. That is always the case in a cardgame and is the heart of the deckbuilding.

The problem that arises in the case with heroes is if we only offer a) specialist heroes and b) very few heroes to choose from.

"Specialist heroes" would be a hero that has all of the abilities focused on a particular thing. Say for example a dwarf hero that focuses on attack, that has 2-3 abilities relating to all kinds of situations that are connected to attacks. If we release each faction with just 1-2 such heroes, then of course we'd see a majority of decks that played in one of two ways. This is a problem because it kills of deckbuilding, combos and variety in the game, especiall in the games early stages where it has a small cardpool and few heroes to choose from.

I agree with you that it really is a problem if we do it that way. Luckily we don't have to. I believe that no true specialist heroes should be created while the game has a small cardpool. Heroes can still be designed to be more versatile, giving each hero more ways to be played. Compare our dwarf hero that only had attack abilities with a hero that has one attack ability, one defensive and one that relates to magic, or with another hero that has two event related abilities and one with defense. Clearly the latter ones have less obvious and more flexible deckbuilds around them compared with the dwarvish attack hero.
And if you take into account that heros will have 2 points in one faction and 1 in the other, playing cards of the second will already be very restrictive
Not really: The cards in the secondary faction aren't restricted. Whatever the text says on them still applies. What's restricted is the cardpool from which that player can pick cards from to that specific hero, due to the heroes 1 loyalty in the secondary facion.

For the sake of argument let's pretend that we eventually will have an even ratio so a third of each factions cardpool requires loyalty 1, another third loyalty 2 and the final third loyalty 3. That translates into that specific player having the choice to include 66% of the cards from the primary factions pool and 33% from the secondary factions. In what way is that a problem? The level of loyalty required isn't related to power of the card (gold cost handles that), the loyalty just indicates how characteristic the card is for the faction functions.

To give an example of that we can imagine two gaian cards:

Code: Select all

Elvish Healer
Creature
Goldcost: 1 
Gaian Loyalty cost: 3
0/1

(T/2) [mark]: Target fighting creature that should have been placed in the grave after the combat has resolved remains in play instead.

Code: Select all

Healers touch
Event
Goldcost: 3
Gaian Loyalty cost: 1

Target fighting creature that should have been placed in the grave after the combat has resolved remains in play instead.
Compare the two. They both have pros and cons, but if you want to be a healing expert then you really should go with the Healer and not the Touch. Now, any faction/deck won't be able to do that. Why? Because due to loyalty 3 requirement the healing ability is still one that the gaian faction excels at. It's part of what they do best and their identity. Multi-factioned heroes that have a gaian loyalty of 1 can still benefit from the gaian healing by including the Touch, but to a lesser extent. That said, since they're multifactioned, they can also do stuff that the mono-factioned gaian deck can't ever pull off. It's a matter of choosing playstyle and you do that by choosing the faction.
You could do something like 50% for 1 point difference and 150% for two. Just think about it. Imagine in magic paying 5 mana for a counter or 10 mana for a 5/5 creature.
It's definitely a way to do it, the way you describe. It's one of the standard solutions to the problem at hand. Issue I have with the solution is:

1. Identity. Factions in MtG have much less meaning than I want them to have in WT or in any game. The more factions you can use and put in a deck, the less you actually play a certain faction or a certain style and the more you become the jack of all trades. This is true even if it costs you plenty. While it does indeed allow more combos it does so at a price for both the player in mana cost/mana development/timing and the overall feeling of what your deck represents. In real life most of the good and current MtG-decks tend to be 1-3 factions anyway, suggestiong that we are already on par with that anyhow in WT.

2. Balance I still see very strange combos coming around in the future that will cause all kinds of balancing problems even if we price "faction deviation" steeply. The larger the cardpool, the larger the problems. These problems are already proven and inherent in MtG due to their huge cardpool but also very liberal deck building rules (and yes, there you do already pay steeply when you play multifactioned): Cards are banned altogether, some are made limited, blocks are created, rotated in, and rotated out, and new core sets are released every now and then. The banning, limitations and block rotation are really a disasterous failure from a development point of view, and also for all players that wasted money on the cards that "happened" to be rotated out or restricted. Banning and limitation is there because there are obvious problems with the cards implication on balance. In part that is also why rotation of blocks/sets is around. In our case we can't afford banning, limiting or rotating, and even if we could all those actions are symptoms of bad design and should never have to happen in the first place.

problem?
What I want to have more clearly identified is the actual problem(s) we'd be facing by using the loyalty and versatile heros as I have described in previous paragraphs. It's true that it would be somewhat more limiting when it comes to deck building compared with a 100% open deck building system as MtG has, but in return we would also resolve some of the issues that I believe MtG has and the combos would still be very many and growing with time.

Would you mine showing me how to do the step-by-step calculations for how many possible deck combinations one would be able to build? Let's say we have 50 cards per faction in the cardpool, and that we in the core only have mono or duo-factioned heroes and that a card may exist up to 4 times in one and the same deck. How many "meaningful" deck variations would then be possible for a faction? (With "meaningful variation" I guess we should not count all deck versions where only 5 or less cards with unique names have been swapped out)
copono
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Re: about loyalty

Post by copono » Sat Jan 05, 2013 15:46

I disagree, but I think that this is a change that can be done later. So, i'll return to this in some weeks or months.
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snowdrop
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Re: about loyalty

Post by snowdrop » Sat Jan 05, 2013 19:36

I don't follow which parts you disagree with: All I stated about MtG seems to be facts and what else would cause those issues if not the very possibility to build a deck from any factions you want (also across blocks)?

It would still be cool to see the math I asked for on number of variations/permutations etc one could create when building a deck. :P
copono
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Re: about loyalty

Post by copono » Sat Jan 05, 2013 21:33

I disagree with the fact of having restrictions in the mixture of cards. I just enjoy trying to find that kind of things, and I think that it's better to penalize it but give you the choice, than forbidding it. I think it's good to combine and more fun. I'm sure that it's not going to be unbalancing. and if it is, the penalization can always be increased until reach a balance. If you think about it, forbidding the usage is a particular case of penalizing it when the penalty is 6000%. So, if it's not good you increase it to 400%, if it's still not good, to 800%, etc etc. but at some point it will give you some choice, that will make you feel more free. Instead of thinking "oh, i would like so much that card in my deck, what a pity i'm not allowed", people will think "no, I'm not including that in my deck, It's dumb to use cards with penalty 2 (for two LP of difference)".
copono
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Re: about loyalty

Post by copono » Sat Jan 05, 2013 21:41

also take into account that magic has problems at banning cards because of the pricing. But here there's no pricing. You don't have someone losing $900 because you change something. If there's a problem with a card you remove or modify it, and it and it's done. No one loses anything.
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Erundil
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Re: about loyalty

Post by Erundil » Sat Jun 08, 2013 16:41

I disagree with the fact of having restrictions in the mixture of cards.
No, it is actually important to have that sort of restrictions, otherwise anyone would just play the strongest cards as they go. If you are limited to some factions, because each factions has some weaknesses, it will improve deck buidling/picking much more.
Mtg has the same, only they use lands.
However in Mtg, the limit is not hard-ruled, simply it becomes inefficient to play more than 2 colours for an average deck.
lso take into account that magic has problems at banning cards because of the pricing
They ban them because they are too strong, are overused and ruin the game, not because of pricing. Mtg actually protects high-priced cards by deciding not to reprint them.
Would you mine showing me how to do the step-by-step calculations for how many possible deck combinations one would be able to build?
If we have n cards, they can be combined in N! ways.
If they are grouped, eg. 4 copy of each card, then it's N!/(N-4)!

We need to count also decks that will have 3, 2 or 1 copies of each card, you can use the same formula as above, but r N!/(N-4)! + N!(N-3)! + N!(N-2)! + N! will not give you a right answer, because N! contains all possible decks already, N!(N-2)! contains N!(N-3)! and N!(N-4)!, and so on.

Then, the fact that every card may appear in a different number of copies complicates it enough for me not to be able to solve it.

Anyway N!/(N-4)! will give you the minimum number of decks, whilst N! will give you the maximum.

If you want to pick X cards out of N, you use N!/X!, so currently 230!/50!, then i am not sure if 230!/(50!4!) will actually work out for 4 cards limit.
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Erundil
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Re: about loyalty

Post by Erundil » Sat Jun 08, 2013 17:12

I will double post, because this is a different argument from the first post.
Neutral cards: 0
Traitors: 1
Normal: 2
Stronger/cards using a faction feature: 3
Faction-only cards (eg: leaders, etc): 4
I think this setting for loyalty would be improve the deck building a lot.

Also I am not really a fan of the hard-decked limit, but I don't have a nice solution for it.
You could be allowed to have any loyalty in covered areas (hand, deck), and loyalty with sum <= 4 in uncovered areas (fronts, graveyards and such). When the total loyalty between the cards with highest loyalty is more than 4, you should simply discard/put aside (out of the game) the cards from one faction, until the loyalty rule is not being breaked, from the highest to lowest loyalty.

It may seem a bit complicated but it allows a lot more of strategics and flavour (the traitors).
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