More on Loyalty

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More on Loyalty

Post by Q_x » Wed Jul 18, 2012 22:47

One of the strange ideas we have, probably the most chimeric one, is the usage of my (beloved) Loyalty marks (or Threshold, by their ancient name).

Once Loyalty is determined (by Hero's stat) it'll pretty much remain the same through the game. Maybe some kind of magic will help here, raising or lowering the loyalty for a round, but apart from that - it's carved deeply in stone, determining deck design and game style.

Why the function is so static? If we have cards of only 3 kinds (loyalty 1, 2 or 3), we can differentiate them otherwise, like by military rank sneaked into card type, or three sub-factions, like warriors, leaders and war beasts/war machines, or elves, elvish leaders, merefolk, or any other way of telling about weak/medium/strong loyalty by card name, type, template or design.

Why can't we figure out anything that makes the marks under faction logo to become really cool feature? Why can't we use those marks to address some of foreseeable design flaws - even such we think now are normal part of every CCG, or introduce mechanics that will make our game really interesting?

How I see loyalty marks and points could be used:

to make player more immobile, putting a cap on playing creatures at certain point, or slowly limiting gold supply
to make player defenseless - so that having more creatures (aggressive fire power) makes player more vulnerable to attacks, and possibly even losing the game faster
to make player less capable, limiting all his means of controlling the game (it's a bit abstract, so let me give you an example rule: 'When attacking or defending, you have to use at least as many creatures, as the highest loyalty of any of your creature cards you want to attack or defend with').

It's again my own quest of exploring "negative feedback" ideas (I really feel like it's the way to go in terms of rule design), but if you have any thoughts other than that, please post it. I really feel like the Loyalty (even though i like the current concept) in this shape is not enough meaningful to really take the marks for itself. Or can share those marks with one more rule. And I think it's the best place where we can squeeze some extra coolness to Quick Rules.
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Re: More on Loyalty

Post by snowdrop » Thu Jul 19, 2012 00:22

One of the strange ideas we have, probably the most chimeric one, is the usage of my (beloved) Loyalty marks (or Threshold, by their ancient name).
( First I have to re-tract my genius defense of the terminology not too long ago where it was discussed if we could name it something else. I think we can, and shall, once we figure out something better. I just don't think it is a pressing matter right now. Whoever vs snow: 1-0 )

The way I understand the threshold is that it first and foremost solves the issues we would get with balancing factions in one and the same deck. In MtG that is done by different colors of lands/mana. I intentionally don't want different currencies though, hence the problem has to be addressed some other way if and only if we have a game where playing multiple factions is legal. And it is and should be, in ours. In short that is the primary function and what threshold does, and does so quite well in theory.
Once Loyalty is determined (by Hero's stat) it'll pretty much remain the same through the game. Maybe some kind of magic will help here, raising or lowering the loyalty for a round, but apart from that - it's carved deeply in stone, determining deck design and game style.
No, 99% of the time nothing will ever change it, if anything, ever. The player is free to choose whichever hero he/she wants to though.
Why the function is so static?
For the same reason most lands are very static in MtG: Balancing out the factions in a deck, making it impossible to play the "best cards" and/or most characteristic for a faction from any and all factions in one and the same deck.

In MtG you start a game with x y z lands of each type. There are 5 types in total. As a player you decide yourself when you build your deck if you want a x y or z deck, or maybe one that's x AND y and so on. Once you have your lands in the deck you have sealed your fate of course and you can't get new ones on the fly.

In MtG there is also multi-lands, which produce x AND y-mana. Since these "break" balance they need to balanced out, so often they come with serious drawbacks or steep prices involved, suggesting you can't fill your whole deck with them and somehow ignore the fundamental role that lands play in the game as a divider between what factions (and in the extended meaning: what functions and mechanics) you as a player have access to.
Why the function is so static? If we have cards of only 3 kinds (loyalty 1, 2 or 3),
There are 5 different types of thresholds, as each faction has it's own. So if I have a Gaian hero and he allows me to play up to threshold 3 Gaian cards I can do that, but that doesn't allow me to play any other cards except for gaian 1 to 3 (and of course those cards in the game that lack threshold alltogether, maybe). If I have a hero that is multi-factioned, for example Gaian 2 and Noble 1, I have those two types instead available to me in my deck.

The scale for each factions threshold is 1 to 3, or 0 if the card lacks a threshold requirement at all.
If we have cards of only 3 kinds (loyalty 1, 2 or 3), we can differentiate them otherwise, like by military rank sneaked into card type, or three sub-factions, like warriors, leaders and war beasts/war machines, or elves, elvish leaders, merefolk, or any other way of telling about weak/medium/strong loyalty by card name, type, template or design.


Due to how our templates look like there is not space to put in more text in the text fields, so I am against that idea due to us not cramming or downsizing text areas that already exist (with maybe the exception for stats and logo).

I have nothing at all against the idea of finding some fluffier way of visualizing loyalty instead of the random icons we use now (although I fancy all 3 variants we have now for gaia, shadow and banner) but can't myself imagine how, what or where without it causing some total template revamp or looking crap. That is not to say that it isn't doable. It surely is, and I'd be interested in seeing the results.

The issue with many of your suggestions is that they are all very specific and bound to a certain structure or situation. They are too specific and not abstract enough. For example, whatever "rank" or "titles" or "icons" we invent that are not abstract will lead to the situation where we can't use them on some other card type. Take for example "leader" and such ranks - it can only be used on creature cards, and not event cards or magic cards or equipment cards and so on. The same goes for the rest of the suggestions.

What I think that shows us is that we either need to call the threshold different things on different cardtypes or have different icons for it - which is all a very bad idea since it's always the same thing on every card type, or that we should keep it as abstract as possible, like for instance right now by showing "meaningless" rectangles or elipses. Furthermore, having a high threshold isn't necessarily a sign of the card being good or bad: It is more a sign of the card being very in line with what the faction specializes at.

(One thing I don't follow is how anything becomes less static and how threshold would work differently at all by just dressing it in even more shapes than we already do, but I think I may have misunderstood you...)
Why can't we figure out anything that makes the marks under faction logo to become really cool feature? Why can't we use those marks to address some of foreseeable design flaws - even such we think now are normal part of every CCG, or introduce mechanics that will make our game really interesting?
Set aside from the balancing there is nothing that hinders us from using threshold in game. Say for example I create a card that "kills all creatures with threshold 1". The you use it. Not in the more deeper sense you speak of though, admittedly. The intention with threshold was to create deck-design space. Not design space for us as designers. If we however can get both with one stroke, then it's all good and well. =)
Why can't we figure out anything that makes
We maybe can. I mean, just because I haven't doesn't mean it isn't doable ;) Only thing I want to make sure of is that it doesn't add admin and playtime + that it would bring something which wouldn't be there elsewise.

How I see loyalty marks and points could be used:
This is actually a discussion that can be had regardless if we're dicussing loyalty points or not, and relates to the following question for those of you that have missed out on our polemics in the past:

"Will our game allow run away leads? Will it allow survival of the fittest and totally ignore the perils of the loser, or will it try to balance itself out so the losing party has some chance to win the game even if he/she got a bad start? Or is it just downward humiliation if you start losing and then a matter of time before you are frakked?

I think that is what the issue that qx has raised is all about, if I hae understood him properly. Qx also wants a game that is self-balancing, in contrast to for example chess, poker, monopoly and MTG, but very much like many famous Euro/strategy-games.

I tend to lean towards the same vision and would embrace it if it can be done, with or without touching the loyalty.

The subject is overly complex though. Very very complex, mainly because of the genre we're dealing with and because all of our rules are so modular and will and do change all the time depending on deck builds.

Here are the goals:

- keep possibility and safety vent that allows creation of balanced multifactioned decks
- keep gold system intact with one single currency
- no additional serious admin
- no additional serious playing time
- no hard or repetitive/tedious calculations

to make player more immobile, putting a cap on playing creatures at certain point, or slowly limiting gold supply
Why is playing creatures an issue? The game is creature centric, much more so than MtG. You are suppsoed to play them. And if you have millions around then they are weak and die easily, else you couldnt affford them to begin with. I don't see the issue with many creatures around.

to make player defenseless - so that having more creatures (aggressive fire power) makes player more vulnerable to attacks, and possibly even losing the game faster
Number of creatures say nothing about how aggro they are or how good they are on attacking or how much defense you would have after you attacked . It is a too crude measure and impossible to quantify. It is also possible for other player to handle the damage in various ways even without many creatures (i.e. merfolk have ability to multi-defend). How eaxctlty would your formula look like for determening what's aggro or not?
'When attacking or defending, you have to use at least as many creatures, as the highest loyalty of any of your creature cards you want to attack or defend with"
Of the suggested ones that's the least problematic I think. I don't think we should have that hard coded in the rules but think it is an excellent idea for a (negative) ability some creatures can come with printed on them.

Thing is that much of what was suggested can be hard coded on a hero as well... and maybe interact with loyalty. Let me revisit and revamp one of my earlier ideas:

triforce
Once each turn a player may place either an additional worker, military or scholar token on the hero.

Different types of tokens open up different powers on hero and/or other cards by either being on the hero card or by being used up.

Whenever you lose creatures you may either:

A) Take 1 more extra hero token and place it on hero...

B) Remove 1 hero token from opponents hero...

C) Draw a card...

D) Put a card down as a resource

....for every 3 loyalty points of worth you lost creatures for. So say you died with 3 creatures and they all had gaian loyalty 2, that makes 3*2=6 loyalty in total, and 6/3 = 2 additional tokens extra for you or 2 tokens removed from opponent hero or 2 new cards for you. And no, you can''t mix a/b/c however you want ;) Either ABCD would be hard coded core rules or they would vary, so some heroes had only AB while others had BCD and yet others all ABCD etc, depending on hero stats, how easy it is for it to win and so on.

I think it creates the negative feedback as I understand it and gives the losing side a handicap without enforcing some specific style of play or hindering deck building strategies much. If we keep it to loyalty points then it is in proportion to how factioned deck you play and how much losses you take. This could be replaced by gold-cost instead, or by a mix of the two, whee AB is one and CD another.

Only issue with all of such attempts to control the game is that we end up with more "major battles" and less action between the turns, maybe... if so, then what are the players to do meanwhile? (Else one is already occupied by winning over the other.. lol... ;)
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Re: More on Loyalty

Post by Q_x » Thu Jul 19, 2012 07:21

As for
"Will our game allow run away leads? Will it allow survival of the fittest and totally ignore the perils of the loser, or will it try to balance itself out so the losing party has some chance to win the game even if he/she got a bad start? Or is it just downward humiliation if you start losing and then a matter of time before you are frakked?
Believe me or not, our short discussion was not the trigger - reading Quick Rules was.

I think the way to win should not be determined by rules, but by our faction design and whatever players will invent. I'm not sure if problem for dominating player should be in winning, or in not losing. But in some sense I think it would be good to have built in features that make a little benefit when losing and make life harder for when someone starts to dominate.

It's not about complete self-balance via negative feedback (this would be really easy). It's, at least in my mind, about flexibility, forgiveness and reducing issues related to randomness (eg. a given tactical solution lacking a crucial card for the first half of the game).

I know how MtG resource system works, however I see our to be completely different, preventing us to copy their solutions. As I see it now, we have 15 pseudo-factions. Some pseudo-factions, sharing common logo, are (or could) interact with each other easier than others, and that's it. We could easily make our game way more interesting and fun to design, by allowing incorporating to a deck, for example, only cards of loyalty equal to 3 of a given faction (like HoN or Shadowguild could hire soldiers of fortune, experts or spies that will work this way).
How to express the fact that a card belongs to one of those 15 pseudo-factions? Well, I must agree I like our current templates as well.
to make player more immobile, putting a cap on playing creatures at certain point, or slowly limiting gold supply
Why is playing creatures an issue? The game is creature centric, much more so than MtG. You are suppsoed to play them. And if you have millions around then they are weak and die easily, else you couldnt affford them to begin with. I don't see the issue with many creatures around.
Oh, c'mon. You have 10 creatures and you really want to be easy to play 11th? For me it's a situation where it should be easy to have 5-6 creatures on the table and later it should get harder and harder. Why? To prevent domination, to force other strategies, like actually using those creatures. (It'll only get harder to follow my mind after now:P.)
to make player defenseless - so that having more creatures (aggressive fire power) makes player more vulnerable to attacks, and possibly even losing the game faster
Number of creatures say nothing about how aggro they are or how good they are on attacking or how much defense you would have after you attacked . It is a too crude measure and impossible to quantify. It is also possible for other player to handle the damage in various ways even without many creatures (i.e. merfolk have ability to multi-defend). How eaxctlty would your formula look like for determening what's aggro or not?
I don't care about how powerful given creature is - player should care about it assembling his deck. However - life shows that big army needs, for example, good supply chain, otherwise it crumbles and loses. Small, precise attack is what was killing Goliath or Achilles. Example crappy rule: "If an attack gets through, one influence point is lost for every five loyalty points of creatures that were not defending during an attack." Crappy due to extra calculations, but shows how small army can defeat really big enemy with a trick f some kind. Whole "fighting" is turned upside down with it - especially when balanced with
When attacking or defending, you have to use at least as many creatures, as the highest loyalty of any of your creature cards you want to attack or defend with
.

I like triforce concept, though without any hero card to serve an example it's nothing more than "liking". What's good is it may be almost entirely designed on the fly, card by card. The name is problematic though, and having three kinds of tokens, or tokens in three places on a single cards shouldn't happen, but I think all those issues can be easily avoided.
if so, then what are the players to do meanwhile?
Move their cards around, just like on every war, plan ahead and prepare for action.
But really, it won't promote major battles. It'll do whatever you want, whatever it'll be designed to do. Rewarding loss will be more beneficial in small portions due to how our resource system works (gold regenerated every turn).
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Re: More on Loyalty

Post by snowdrop » Sat Jul 21, 2012 13:38

I think the way to win should not be determined by rules, but by our faction design and whatever players will invent /.. / it would be good to have built in features that make a little benefit when losing and make life harder for when someone starts to dominate.
Yes, agreed.
It's not about complete self-balance via negative feedback (this would be really easy). It's, at least in my mind, about flexibility, forgiveness and reducing issues related to randomness (eg. a given tactical solution lacking a crucial card for the first half of the game).
Agreed.

(Although reducing issues related to randomness seems strange to me as we have 25 more usable cards in our deck than MtG has, and you decide yourself how many copies you put in of each card between 0 to 4. Let's look at the math. Say I have a"key card" I really must get.

4 copies of that card in a 60 card deck means they make up 6,6% of my deck. If I am drawing my first seven cards in the start of the game I have the following chance of drawing it each time I take the top card to my hand:

1st card drawn: 4/60 = 6,7%
2nd card drawn: 4/59 = 6,8 %
3:d: 4/58 = 6,9%
4:th: 4/57 = 7%
5:th: 4/56 = 7,1%
6:th: 4/55 = 7,3%
7:th: 4/54 = 7,4%

The above was our initial draw of 7 cards when the game starts. Your lowest chance of getting a single copy of your key card is 6,7% and your highest is 7,4%. Let's pretend you didn't get it. You then do your mulligan: You throw away all cards and draw 6 new ones instead after shuffling in the old cards you just threw away, giving you in total 13 card s drawn (22% of your deck) even before the game has started. I'd say you have a very good chance to draw your key card the first round if you built your deck correct.

What we also disregard in this discussion is if the player is sane or not and why we have random card draws if we from a dev point of view try to negate them totally. I don't think we can be more forgiving and give more chances than we already do when it comes to compensating for randomness. Randomness wrecking the game isn't an issue we'll have due to us not having lands and not drawing just 1 card per turn. I mean, if we have that issue with those circumstances than ALL other CCG:s have it way more and are unplayable according to your (my?) reasoning. I just don't agree with the statement that randomness has to be further compensated for in our game.

All numbers above still don't insure that " a given tactical solution lacking a crucial card for the first half of the game" doesn't happen. After a mulligan you still didn't draw 80% or more of your total card amount in the deck, so there is of course a chance that you did not get the card you wanted. So let's assume that you have played 4 rounds, and that you did a mulligan: When the 4:th round has ended you have drawn At least: (3*2) + 7 + 6 = 18 cards, which is nearly 33% of your deck.

Here's the deal: By turn 4, even without a mulligan, you have more than a 64% chance of drawing a key card (if you had 4 of them in deck) if we have a 2-card draw per turn. With a mulligan you have a 79% chance of getting your keycard by turn 4. By just drawing your first 7 cards you do have a 40% chance of getting the key card,

When a player builds your deck he/she know all of this, or a least should know it if there is a care about it and one is playing a CCG, just like a poker player is expected to have some basic grasp of probability and at least know of the concept.

Question is, would you build a deck that you know will not function in any way without a keycard that shows up at turn 4, at the latest? After all, there is still a 21% chance that you will fail to draw your keycard when you are at turn 4 even if you did a mulligan. The odds favour your success, but, they also say you can fail miserably and that you probably will lose the game indeed if your deck depends on you drawing one of those four cards during any of the turns 1 to 4.

If a player builds such a deck, and then loses because he/she didn't draw the key card in time - is that bad game design? Do we have issues with randomness? No, I don't think so, in a million years. The flaw is obviously the player that build a crap deck.

If such a player exists he/she is better off playing with pre-constructed decks instead that we give to him/her. Clearly the issue is that a) the player doesn't mind losing every 5:th game in average due to lack of drawing key card or b) the player not understanding that he/she has to have a failsafe. In case a) we have no problem since the player is happy. In case b) we also don't have a problem since the player can construct a deck in a different way where there are failsafes that can counter/balance up the "unlucky" card dras where the player doesn't get the key card. In MtG this is often done by using abilities/helpers (like a card that gets another card, or a card that allows you to re-arrange your deck to some extent, or a card that gives you more draws, or a card that can make buy you more time.. and so on).

Summed up: I don't think we should touch how randomness works in WT and don't see any problems with it. The problem would be there if players were not allowed to build their own decks, if for example, they got all their cards at random in a deck. Then it would be a real concern. In reality though most players play with pre-constructed decks. Either by their own design or by somebody else's.

http://stattrek.com/online-calculator/h ... etric.aspx
http://www.kibble.net/magic/magic10.php

(broken?: http://www.tollie.org/files/cardcount.p ... mes=100000 )

For me the issue is about the runaway lead and nothing else: As you write yourself, we shouldn't be too forgiving since it would make our game less competitive and make skills play less and less of a role the more "forgiving" we become. In the end we want to keep it skill based.

What I still believe though is that we can have "small things" in place to somehow give the losing party a chance of still being in the game. Question is how those small things should look like, and how/when they kick in. Your suggestion is while stuff happens, while mine is post-loss-of-something for a player.

The solution should however not be devised until the problem is shown and clearly defined. I don't think any of us have done that anywhere in forum or otherwise. Not strange considering we haven't playtested though. But even if we keep it purely hypothetical I still don't see the issues we're supposedly fixing. (More than the one with the run away lead being a problem in CCG:s: That I do acknowledge and I think we will have it as well if we don't put in mild negative feedback)
I know how MtG resource system works, however I see our to be completely different, preventing us to copy their solutions.
Their solution was based on currency: Deck is self-balanced faction wise due to:

a) random card draws
b) only playing a land per turn
c) having x lands of various colours in deck
d) different cards cost in different currency

We haven't copied their solution anywhere and aren't trying to copy it, other than us using cards to track resource usage per turn. What we do is offer another solution to the same problem as they solved with currency. Ours is called "threshold" and simply says that your hero decides which factions you can play and up to which tier within that faction. So, a deck can never become more (un)balanced than we as designers make it by creating heroes.

No matter which CCG you build you will end up having to solve this issue if you have more than one faction and if multi-factions are allowed and if factions indeed are unique. If any of the IF's mentioned just now aren't in place then you also don't have the problem to begin with. We have it though, but in my book it is already solved. :P
As I see it now, we have 15 pseudo-factions.
A faction is a group of cards that share a theme/identity or a couple of them, and more importantly, mechanics: Style of playing and being played. What they can and can't do. What they excel at and don't cope with well or at all. That is how I'd define a faction in our game. Nothing more, nothing less.

Seen from that perspective we will have 4-5 factions and won't ever introduce more of them as I believe having broader/richer factions that are still unique is preferable over having 20 factions where each is very narrow and specialize in a very few number of things. In addition we have a budget to keep, making it costly to have many factions and it also fragments the game even if we were to be billionaires as it lowers overall card compatibility.

I guess you took number of factions multiplied by 3 to get to 15, but wouldn't describe the loyalty requirement of a creature anything that makes it into a separate faction.

Loyalty requirement is only there to tell us which cards can be played with which heroes (in other words, in which decks and combined with what other faction): If you want full access to the gaians you choose a hero that is all-gaian and brings 3 loyalty with him/her. If you want some access but can be happy without the "elite of Gaia" or what is "the most gaian" then you can pick a hero that brings 2 gaian loyalty, and if you just want access to the basic gaian units one with 1 loyalty.

Thus loyalty doesn't divide the gaian cards into sub-factions. There is nothing that forces us to map put only certain skills to creatures with gaian loyalty req 3, for example. What loyalty req. a creature has should be an overall sum of how characteristic the unit is to the faction. If we for example want the gaians to excel at x, then a unit that excels at x is more likely to be gaian loyalty req 3. However that same unit could maybe just have a loyalty req of 1 or 2 if it had some drawbacks instead since it in that case doesn't excel as much overall. This still means that a lot of gaian cards can have 0 or 1 as loyalty requirement as faction beloging, together with creature types, will still matter a lot if you want high card compatibility and synergy in your deck build.
Some pseudo-factions, sharing common logo, are (or could) interact with each other easier than others, and that's it.
Yes, but there isn't anything more to it in a CCG: The best deck is always the one that has a good balance of synergy (which you describe as "that's it" above) and flexibility to take on any other type of deck. That is what will win you a tournament. If you lack one of those you will fail overall with your deck.

The best player on the other hand is one that has a good deck (not necessarily the best) and that knows how to read the game, adapt and maximize utility of what he/he has. Sometimes I'd even say that the best player loses, and it still isn't a design flaw. (Reasoning being how I measure "best player": If you started off with a crappier deck for example and should have insta.los but prevailed and found many creative ways to keep alive maybe you were "better" than your opponent in some regard..)
We could easily make our game way more interesting and fun to design, by allowing incorporating to a deck, for example, only cards of loyalty equal to 3 of a given faction (like HoN or Shadowguild could hire soldiers of fortune, experts or spies that will work this way).
We have that, and even more flexibility already. Create a hero that brings 1 gaian loyalty and 2 shadowguild loyalty, and it would mean that you can play:
  • any card with loyalty req. 0 regardless of facion belonging (not sure, but I lean towards that)
  • any gaian card that's up to 1 loy.
  • any shadowguild card between 1 and 2 shadow loy.
By restricting it even further the way you suggest we fragment the game and strike a serious blow to deck building given we will always have a very small card pool compared to games that have a 3000 card pool, and it's exactly why I don't want us to have more factions than the ones we have. Consider that we will have around 220 - 250 cards in core and that it is a max of 50 cards per faction. Once you start dividing them into subfactions there are really not many builds to choose from and each "subfaction" will be minimal.

And in any case, what does it bring that we don't have?
Oh, c'mon. You have 10 creatures and you really want to be easy to play 11th? For me it's a situation where it should be easy to have 5-6 creatures on the table and later it should get harder and harder. Why? To prevent domination, to force other strategies, like actually using those creatures. (It'll only get harder to follow my mind after now:P.)
Yes, I want it to be easy to play the 11:th creature if you as a player choose to design a deck that was optimized for you to do so. And the only decks that will be able to do that are those that bring forth cheap creatures all the time, meaning it's a "weenie"-deck with whimpy creatures that usually die like flies.

You aren't considering what it means to play with such a deck and still insist on deriving a players domination/success-rate from the amount of creatures on table: I insist that there is no logical way of doing that and that amount of creatures isn't relevant to how much (s)he will dominate or not, even if it is of course usually preferable to have as many as possible around.

Why is that so? Because quantity doesn't entail quality. If you have 5 x Bozo around and your opponent has 2 x Chaplin, and you both payed same amount of resources to put them all in play in total, there is a reason that Chaplins are more expensive and why the player choose to put them in his deck instead of the Bozos. For example the Bozos mayb lack abilities, while Chaplins have them. Say that each Chaplin has the ability "[m]: Restore up to 2 influence of the infuence you lost this turn due to combat." That ability alone, together with the Chaplins 1/2 or 2/2 stats, will counter all 5 Bozos.

You also forget that a weenie deck:
  • is usually good at start but seldom strong in late game and sometimes struggle even in mid game if you don't get enough of your upgrade cards for your weak creatures or play them in the wrong situation...
  • has a lot of creature cards in it that eat slots in your deck (and which die fast). This is a very important point as it means you have less room for something else.
  • is more likely to put the player in situations where he has too much resources which just sit there and can't be spent since you already afforded everything you drew (granted, this is because bad play from player but hard to balance nevertheless)
I have written this may times before as I don't see how different tempo of factions, where tempo is the speed of which it can start gathering a force of creatures ready to fight, is an issue. It isn't in MtG, nor in any other game I know of. Why would it ever be in ours? We don't have anything that they don't that turns it into a problem suddenly.

This is more about design preference. I think you prefer if all go in equal pace. I don't. I think players should make the choice themselves how to build their deck. If they want one with explosive start but that they're doomed with if they fail the first 3 turns then so be it. If they want one where they just keep defending for 5 turns and then bring out some huge monster that will crush most things around then fine - whatever make the players happy, as long as it is counterable and balanced. That allows more deck creativity and also makes it meaningful to have a resource system such as ours.

Else you could just skip the resource system if all are to use it in very similar way anyhow. Say I have a fast deck and we both have 4 resources, but you have a normal-speed deck. It means that I, at round 4, could play 4 weak creatures for 1 gold each, while you could play only 2 creatures since all of your creatures cost 2 or more gold. That isn't a problem. It's a feature. Once I attack with my weaklings you'll see why.

This is also all easily demonstrated in MtG: I've offered to play some games with you before, and I can willingly bet 10 Euro that you can't build a fast deck that beats me when I'm playing a medium-deck ;) And if worst comes to worst we'll win/lose 50-50. You won't beat me most of the time, because as a player I'm confident I know how to build my deck to manage to survive. Just say the word and I'd gladly play 10 - 50 games with you. It's no problem for me, and the result is directly transferable to any game that has the free resourcemanagement and such huge diff between creatures.
Oh, c'mon. You have 10 creatures and you really want to be easy to play 11th? For me it's a situation where it should be easy to have 5-6 creatures on the table and later it should get harder and harder. Why? To prevent domination, to force other strategies, like actually using those creatures. (It'll only get harder to follow my mind after now:P.)
I don't think we should force a player to play in any specific way, nor that we should force the player to change strategies. I believe it should be up to the player. For all I care if a player is happy with filling his whole deck with 1/1 1Gold creatures that lack abilities I am also fine with it. If we design the game right that player won't keep winning anyways. And "designing right" would be to allow it to happen, but also allow others ways to counter it.

I also don't agree with that we should define when the player feels he/she is using the creatures "properly" or not: The more we do that, the less deck building matters, and the less personal the game becomes, and the less creativity flows. It's bad enough already that we have to divide the game into 5 factions (yet necessary for balancing). Shouldn't the game, that specific situation, show the player what strategies should be adpoted instead of us telling that pre-made in the core rules?
I don't care about how powerful given creature is - player should care about it assembling his deck. However - life shows that big army needs, for example, good supply chain, otherwise it crumbles and loses
( No, but you care about amount of creatures, which is kind of strange ; ) )

What life shows isn't relevant... we're not creating a simulation or aspiring for realism. That said, if we can manage to create a theme that relates well to the genre and that is understandable for the players it is a bonus, yes. And I think your example is good, yet I don't understand what problem it fixes. I suppose it relates to the a-player-should-not-easily-be-able-to-play-an-11th-creature-example you gave earlier.

If we assume that you are right and that amount of creatures is somehow important and we should discourage players from having more than x creatures on table at same time you could enforce taxation: Let the player pay an upkeep in accordance to what his hero's King taxes. A hero migt have 10 - 15: 5, 16 - 20: 7, meaning that if he at any point has a grand total of 10 to 15 loyalty req. in his army on tble he'd have to pay 5 gold each turn for upkeeping those. Diff heroes would have diff taxation depending on other feats, but nevermind my numbers, they're mere examples.

If taxation is too much overhead then simple resource based caps would wok better: Let a hero have a stats that says that you may not have more creatures than x when you have between y to z resource cards in play.

I am against taxation and anything at all that regulates number of creatures until it's proven that it is an issue though.
Small, precise attack is what was killing Goliath or Achilles
If that is what you are after, a game where a smaller army can defeat one with more members of higher attack values, then I'm all in agreement. We should indeed make sure that we come out that way, else I'd say we've failed.

The good news is that all that you describe is already possible: Again, as long as you pick quality over quantity you can pull it off with fewer creatures than the opponent. It is doable in Mtg and it will doable here as well... else the game would only be a race about getting the highest number of creatures on the table.
I like triforce concept, though without any hero card to serve an example it's nothing more than "liking". What's good is it may be almost entirely designed on the fly, card by card. The name is problematic though, and having three kinds of tokens, or tokens in three places on a single cards shouldn't happen, but I think all those issues can be easily avoided.
The name was more of a joke = P and yeah, wouldn't be there. I agree that heroes need to be around to evaluate them. People are free to create a couple ;) ..else I will sooner or later.

The 3 kinds of tokens should just look differently. It doesnt matter at all where they are placed, on or next to the card, or wherever, as long as its visible to opponents.
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Re: More on Loyalty

Post by Gallaecio » Sat Jul 21, 2012 14:20

I read half the last message and feel proud of it :P
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Re: More on Loyalty

Post by Q_x » Sat Jul 21, 2012 14:52

For me the issue is about the runaway lead and nothing else: As you write yourself, we shouldn't be too forgiving since it would make our game less competitive and make skills play less and less of a role the more "forgiving" we become. In the end we want to keep it skill based.
Once every 100 games you won't draw ANY of four cards in first 40 cards from 60-card deck. That's if you need only one card and you have 4 copies of it. That's more or less once every tournament. If you rely on 3-4 different cards, and have 2 copies of each in the deck, things may not go that smooth.
Statistcs have less to do, than chaos theory - that is developing the deck in the way that makes certain patterns occurring more often than others due to cards sticking together :D.
What I still believe though is that we can have "small things" in place to somehow give the losing party a chance of still being in the game. Question is how those small things should look like, and how/when they kick in. Your suggestion is while stuff happens, while mine is post-loss-of-something for a player.
Not small things are on my mind, but whole design that supports long preparations and quick blows.
The solution should however not be devised until the problem is shown and clearly defined. I don't think any of us have done that anywhere in forum or otherwise. Not strange considering we haven't playtested though. But even if we keep it purely hypothetical I still don't see the issues we're supposedly fixing. (More than the one with the run away lead being a problem in CCG:s: That I do acknowledge and I think we will have it as well if we don't put in mild negative feedback)
I'm waiting and waiting for all this "playtesting" to happen for a really long time, and all that I saw were long posts. We spent 10x more of our common time preparing and releasing Lackey patches, than using them, you know... How about making the next month a month of playtesting and drawing conclusions? I'm sure my "100% creatures" deck would win :P :P.
Oh, c'mon. You have 10 creatures and you really want to be easy to play 11th? For me it's a situation where it should be easy to have 5-6 creatures on the table and later it should get harder and harder. Why? To prevent domination, to force other strategies, like actually using those creatures. (It'll only get harder to follow my mind after now:P.)
Yes, I want it to be easy to play the 11:th creature if you as a player choose to design a deck that was optimized for you to do so. And the only decks that will be able to do that are those that bring forth cheap creatures all the time, meaning it's a "weenie"-deck with whimpy creatures that usually die like flies.
You'vde designed the system yourself. There are no cheap or expensive creatures, there are only those you're able to play sooner or later. The stream of cards is steadily going with the speed of one or up to two cards per turn, and that's it. As long as you're able to play that, there's no real cost.
You aren't considering what it means to play with such a deck and still insist on deriving a players domination/success-rate from the amount of creatures on table: I insist that there is no logical way of doing that and that amount of creatures isn't relevant to how much (s)he will dominate or not, even if it is of course usually preferable to have as many as possible around.

Why is that so? Because quantity doesn't entail quality. If you have 5 x Bozo around and your opponent has 2 x Chaplin, and you both payed same amount of resources to put them all in play in total, there is a reason that Chaplins are more expensive and why the player choose to put them in his deck instead of the Bozos. For example the Bozos mayb lack abilities, while Chaplins have them. Say that each Chaplin has the ability "[m]: Restore up to 2 influence of the infuence you lost this turn due to combat." That ability alone, together with the Chaplins 1/2 or 2/2 stats, will counter all 5 Bozos.
All but one or two Bozos would make their way into resource piles. I'd play Ubers after that, one after another, to eat my opponent's heart.
I have written this may times before as I don't see how different tempo of factions, where tempo is the speed of which it can start gathering a force of creatures ready to fight, is an issue. It isn't in MtG, nor in any other game I know of. Why would it ever be in ours? We don't have anything that they don't that turns it into a problem suddenly.
The only tempo I can think of is one or up to two cards per turn. Put strong ones inside your deck to win and weak and moderate to make resource foundation and defense at start. Unless we develop good cards, cards worth playing other than creatures, factions and strategies promoting other schemes, and rules that make those things possible, there is little that may change in terms of any advanced thinking about general strategy, player preferences, abilities, game planning etc. Now we have really nothing to choose from - nothing in terms of organized faction design, nothing else but raw power that may make strategic advantage. One or two brilliant cards change little in this general image.
I'm not stating we're doing something wrong - it's quite the opposite, we just need more of everything to really taste the game.
If we assume that you are right and that amount of creatures is somehow important and we should discourage players from having more than x creatures on table at same time you could enforce taxation: Let the player pay an upkeep in accordance to what his hero's King taxes. A hero migt have 10 - 15: 5, 16 - 20: 7, meaning that if he at any point has a grand total of 10 to 15 loyalty req. in his army on tble he'd have to pay 5 gold each turn for upkeeping those. Diff heroes would have diff taxation depending on other feats, but nevermind my numbers, they're mere examples.

If taxation is too much overhead then simple resource based caps would wok better: Let a hero have a stats that says that you may not have more creatures than x when you have between y to z resource cards in play.

I am against taxation and anything at all that regulates number of creatures until it's proven that it is an issue though.
One more good-looking idea to keep somewhere. Dunno about the amount of calculation that needs to be done, but it may be easy to simplify somehow.
Small, precise attack is what was killing Goliath or Achilles
If that is what you are after, a game where a smaller army can defeat one with more members of higher attack values, then I'm all in agreement. We should indeed make sure that we come out that way, else I'd say we've failed.

The good news is that all that you describe is already possible: Again, as long as you pick quality over quantity you can pull it off with fewer creatures than the opponent. It is doable in Mtg and it will doable here as well... else the game would only be a race about getting the highest number of creatures on the table.
That was one of "negative feedback" thoughts - big army should be easy to crumble under its own weight, you just need to know how to hit it.
The 3 kinds of tokens should just look differently. It doesnt matter at all where they are placed, on or next to the card, or wherever, as long as its visible to opponents.
If you're serious with us having 3 diff kinds of tokens, I must have logged in to a wrong forum.
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Re: More on Loyalty

Post by Q_x » Sat Jul 21, 2012 14:57

Gallaecio, beware of this sneaky snowdrop's tactics, proving he's right by "overtalking". :D

Things are always incredibly complex if you don't understand them, and simple when you do. I have some real problems explaining those simple things, that's my flaw since like forever, but I have no problems reading.
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Re: More on Loyalty

Post by snowdrop » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:23

Q_x wrote:Once every 100 games you won't draw ANY of four cards in first 40 cards from 60-card deck. That's if you need only one card and you have 4 copies of it. That's more or less once every tournament. If you rely on 3-4 different cards, and have 2 copies of each in the deck, things may not go that smooth.

If you build a bad deck and lose once every 100:th game with it I don't see it as a game designers issue. The issue would be if the player didn't lose with the deck due to bad draws, since the player choose to build it in a bad way. We're not trying to create an idiot-proof game: If we did, then we wouldn't allow deck building and would build them all for the players, and then they could just play with pre-built decks (much like army lists etc).

This is all particularly true in a tournament environment: Such a player wouldn't ever exist in a tournament since he sucks, and in worst case scenario he will understand that after partaking in it vs players that understand basics of probability. :twisted:

In addition, every tournament would typically play best of 3, and usually do in card games or some variation of it, to counter any super-unlikely scenario from happening and just "bad luck". That also speaks against this from being relevant in a tourney.

But basically, if you rely on 3-4 cards, getting all of them in combo at the same time, and only have 2 copies of each card in your deck, then you're in deep shit since that won't happen in a while (unless you have x other cards that can do similar things or fetch those cards faster). I believe you'd have the same result in any CCG, hence you can always choose to include more copies of a card in your deck instead of just the two, at the cost of sacrificing deck "flexibility".

Statistcs have less to do, than chaos theory - that is developing the deck in the way that makes certain patterns occurring more often than others due to cards sticking together :D.
I don't follow: "Certain patterns occuring more often than others" = probability, at least it can be expressed in terms of probability, even though probability itself causes nothing. There is no chaos anywhere in deckbuilding, unless the player just picks cards at random.
Not small things are on my mind, but whole design that supports long preparations and quick blows.
Now I get it: We have been discussing this in 1-2 other threads. It all relates to overall design and gameflow. It seems to e you want the game to have different "stages" or "modes" where there is first much and long periods of planning and strategical choices, a so called "build-up", and then later on unleash some battle-mode.

As I wrote the last time this was on the table, the current ORC does not really work that way. ORC says "game on" from the first turn, and all the players have to do is to kill each other and stay alive. A player could start fighting directly, and you'd have to take action to defend yourself, espcially if you have a slow deck and want to do a build-up.

I am still not against creating a game that has your flow instead of the one found in ORC/Mtg, but as combat works currently in ORC and the overall structure of it the ORC isn't it. .I don't see how it would be incorporated and don't believe your suggestions for ORC creates that flow or those stages. It would be easier to just redo it from the ground up or fork.

I also still think you should write up such rules/system here or in wiki, as a separate thread/entry, as I'm very curious of how it would work. In theory I even prefer such a model that I believe you want to turn the game into, and last time I also recommended you look at "Legend of the five rings", which, to my understanding, does have that kind of flow.

Present a model, and we'd test. My personal issues with devising what you speak of has been to understand what the players actually DO while they are not fighting, defending or playing something that is indirectly related to it. I don't grasp where/what is done and interesting inbetween that and what they're doing that is strategical, how it integrates with the rest of the game, and how it differs.

I'm waiting and waiting for all this "playtesting" to happen for a really long time, and all that I saw were long posts. We spent 10x more of our common time preparing and releasing Lackey patches, than using them, you know... How about making the next month a month of playtesting and drawing conclusions? I'm sure my "100% creatures" deck would win :P :P.
The playtesting I am referring to when it comes to the discussion about "can a slow deck beat a fast deck" can be done with more or less any CCG that allows for it. Mtg is a perfect example of a game that is already around and also already balanced. If we need to prove that the concept of different pacing is flawed, then I suggest we use that when playtesting the concept.

I know this may sound bizarre to not use our own game, but the reason is simply that it isn't needed for testing the concept. (If concept works, and then is to be implemented in ours, it would have to be tested there as well eventually though). I also don't think the concept can be properly tested with an unbalanced game or a game in flux - whatever can go wrong during such a game, and you can't properly isolate the cause for the state of the game. (We saw this the only time we playtested...)

How about making the next month a month of playtesting and drawing conclusions? I'm sure my "100% creatures" deck would win :P :P.
We can try to set a deadline, and check if people are aboard. But we don't have anything to playtest until the red banner cards are have been suggested - we need more of them, and nobody is suggesting. Also, they need to be put into Scribus and turned into gccg and/or Lackey. (Lackey doesn' work anymore on Linux, but that doesn't hinder people from using it in Win..)

I'd say our first prio is to create more banner cards.
You'vde designed the system yourself. There are no cheap or expensive creatures, there are only those you're able to play sooner or later. The stream of cards is steadily going with the speed of one or up to two cards per turn, and that's it. As long as you're able to play that, there's no real cost.
Every card has a cost. It is either cheap or expensive. You can only lay down one card per turn as resource, so clearly everything will have to be balanced and you would have to make choices based on our economy. A creature is cheap if it's in the range of 0 to 3 gold, and expensive if it's in the range of 6 to 9+

The more expensive creatures you play during your turn, the less gold you have to use for magic, equipment, other creatures and abilities of creatures etc. Gold is depleted every turn (in contrast to when we playtested with the piles the first time). You can't have it all at the same time.

The only tempo I can think of is one or up to two cards per turn.
Yes, amount of new cards drawn per turn does affect tempo. Other things that do is price of cards and abilities, and also amount of abilities that can be used in a given situation and makes sense. Also, card types - just because you can draw 1-2 cards per turn doesn't mean you will have the opportunity to play them. Maybe you filled your deck with instants that you want to hold onto for a while? And so on..
Put strong ones inside your deck to win and weak and moderate to make resource foundation and defense at start.
What "strong creatures" mean is hard to understand form our discussion. I still cling onto the thought that a strong creature isn't necessarily one that is 5/5: The game's most interesting parts shouldn't be about playing out the "biggest" creature. It should be about synergy between cards, combos, usage of abilities and support cards like Events/Instants etc.

But yeah, in general I'd agree with you description. I just see nothing wrong with it. Sometimes you would, if you're a good player, recognize a situation where it made sense to sacrifice even a "good" creature as a resource in a situation where you know you could also benefit from playing it.
Unless we develop good cards, cards worth playing other than creatures, factions and strategies promoting other schemes, and rules that make those things possible, there is little that may change in terms of any advanced thinking about general strategy, player preferences, abilities, game planning etc. Now we have really nothing to choose from - nothing in terms of organized faction design, nothing else but raw power that may make strategic advantage. One or two brilliant cards change little in this general image.
I totally agree. Nothing stops us from creating such cards though :) "Somebody" just has to start creating them.
I'm not stating we're doing something wrong - it's quite the opposite, we just need more of everything to really taste the game.
Yeah, and especially more of a review of the cards that are around, their synergy (or lack thereof) and new non-creature cards. I'm also thinking quests & heroes.

The 3 kinds of tokens should just look differently. It doesnt matter at all where they are placed, on or next to the card, or wherever, as long as its visible to opponents.
If you're serious with us having 3 diff kinds of tokens, I must have logged in to a wrong forum.[/quote]

It doesn't matter to me personally if you use 3 different token types, or arrange the same type differently on a table (i.e. below, to the righ and to the left of your hero card). I don't see any issue with either, while I see an issue with us requiring that a player should have 3 different ones.
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