Arcane Wonders Forum

Mage Wars => General Discussion => Topic started by: Sailor Vulcan on January 25, 2015, 08:22:46 AM

Title: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on January 25, 2015, 08:22:46 AM
I'm starting to get the impression that mage wars is losing popularity. This thread on reddit was particularly disheartening:

http://www.reddit.com/r/boardgames/comments/2jft95/mage_wars_disappointment/

Almost none of the posts disagreed with the claims in the op, in particular:

-That the priestess is the most powerful mage in a core set only metagame.
-that mage wars involves significantly MORE luck than CCGs like Magic the Gathering.
-that Mage wars decks are all generic due to being able to put any card in your spellbook

Are these misconceptions common? The person who posted originally said they were an experienced gamer and that they had skipped both apprentice mode and the preconstructed spellbooks and tried to build their own right from the start.

And I've been having more difficulty in getting people interested in trying mage wars for the first time than I used to. The impression I'm getting (although it might be wrong) is that most people have heard of mage wars but don't want to try it.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Schwenkgott on January 25, 2015, 08:55:03 AM
I would not think too much about this. What we have there is a guy, that plays with the same guy over and over without getting deep inside in the game or learning advanced strategies from better players. After what he wrote in his posting, I imagine their games like building up the army for 5 rounds and then meeting in the middle of the arena.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Laddinfance on January 25, 2015, 10:20:27 AM
I think in the thread, that poster hit on something important. He was conditioned to find dice more random than card draw. It's totally a matter of perspective. I have a strong background in Miniatures games, and so it infuriates me when I can't play the strategy I want (as in I didn't draw it), whereas I'm uses to having a figure roll poorly occasionally. I also think that people remember the negative times far more often than the positive ones.

In the end, Mage Wars is a game that rewards your efforts to delve into it. This gentleman, and several others, are happier with shorter games and there is nothing wrong with that. At the end of the day, you should be playing the game that puts a fire in your belly, know what I mean?
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Lord0fWinter on January 25, 2015, 10:26:23 AM
I think the main issue for most people is not having others to play with/not being able to get people into the game. The game is intimidating at first glance.

I think most of his points are more of an opinion than fact.
-Yeah you can get screwed on dice rolls but the cards you play and when you play them are much more important to victory. Dice roll probability evens out over time (even though sometimes it doesn't seem that way).

-Spellbooks are definitely not generic in my experience. Just cause you can put the same cards in a book doesn't mean that every Mage will use them the same way/same strategies with said cards.

-Games usually only last 2+ hours when learning the rules, unless both players are turtling, which is what I assume they were doing. & if they both do that, of course the Priestess is going to win b/c she has the best economy game of the Mages in the core set.

What we need is a shorter, simpler version of the game that won't intimidate people. And we're getting that in Academy so I think we'll be okay.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: ACG on January 25, 2015, 12:59:10 PM
Yeah, random card draw is a LOT more luck-based than die rolls. Also more prone to confirmation bias; if you make a spectacularly bad roll, it will likely stick in your memory, whereas you might not see your failure to draw the card you need as similarly bad luck (since it is just the absence of a good event, rather than a failure to succeed). Since dice have numerical values, they do average out, whereas cards (with all sorts of non-numerical values) do not.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: silverclawgrizzly on January 25, 2015, 02:54:14 PM
It's still growing pretty steady in my area. We just added some more players to our local group. Academy is really going to help with making it simpler to present I agree. I wouldn't put too much stock in a Reddit post.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Wise fool on January 25, 2015, 04:08:00 PM
I don't think luck is a determining factor in Mage Wars.  When I first started playing I got my clock cleaned very consistently.  I'm sure if I started playing on Octagon, I'd experience the same thing on a whole new level.  It's not like we're playing Yahtzee here.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: silverclawgrizzly on January 25, 2015, 04:50:26 PM
I don't think luck is a determining factor in Mage Wars.  When I first started playing I got my clock cleaned very consistently.  I'm sure if I started playing on Octagon, I'd experience the same thing on a whole new level.  It's not like we're playing Yahtzee here.

It's not a gigantic factor but it can play a part. I will say I've been "dice screwed" less now that I have Akiro's Favor in all my books  ;D
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Lukard on January 25, 2015, 07:30:23 PM
I am with Lord0fWinter, Academy will help a lot. In my area there are many people who feel intimidated and would opt for less lengthy games.

(...)
What we need is a shorter, simpler version of the game that won't intimidate people. And we're getting that in Academy so I think we'll be okay.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: sdougla2 on January 25, 2015, 08:04:29 PM
My sense from that reddit thread is that the OP played against someone that was bad at the game using a strategy that he didn't find interesting until he gave up on the game rather than exploring more interesting strategies.

The claim that top decking into a win is okay but rolling poorly on dice is an unacceptable element in a game was really grating. One of the things I appreciate about Mage Wars is avoiding random card draws. The dice, while certainly a factor, do not have nearly as large an impact on the overall outcome of a game of Mage Wars as card draws do in MtG or Hearthstone. I can appreciate the argument that someone prefers random opportunities to random outcomes, but Mage Wars has low enough variance in its random outcomes that I don't see why they have such a problem with it.

The other thing I notice, is that most of the people that responded are not experienced players because they mostly agreed that the game should take 2+ hours. I've played hardcore attrition games that took less time than that.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: gerni on January 26, 2015, 06:31:10 AM
Well, there are strategies which certainly are more dependent on dice rolls than others and games can therefore be decided by rolls (imagine an "all in" style like e.g. Rushmaster, rolling blanks on two boulders). But that is part of the strategy and you have to be aware of the probability to fail with this kind of play.

But some points the reddit OP mentions i do share (and i played a lot of MW games). If you play for fun in the sense that you play thematic books, without putting too much thoughts into your books and try to optimize - briefly speaking without any competitive ambitions - MW is perfectly fine. Now, if you try build maximized books you'll find a huge number of cards every mage absolutely has to have. For some cards, there are no alternatives, which makes some mages intrinsically inferior compared to others (because the pay more for these cards or have less of them) which can be a source of frustration. Did you ever try to make a cool strategy on a lesser played mage work and then recognized that the other mage is just better in almost every aspect? Happens to me a lot.

It's leading to a small pool of mages being played and a small variety of cards being used and finally in a small variety of strategies. For example, I can safely say that over 90% of our games are finished without more than one or two creatures being killed, since focusing the mage is just more efficient. I think the game would profit - and that is a point the reddit OP also states - from more mage exclusive solutions to common threads/problems (e.g. getting rid of armor, dispelling/countering enchantments, gain/deny mobility).

Therefore, I can understand some points mentioned in the reddit post, but I'm optimistic - I think some points exist because the card pool is simply not big enough yet.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Tophermay on January 26, 2015, 09:10:03 AM
This game is soooooo meta game dependent even more than many other games I've played. It reminds of magic and dominion in that way. If you play with people who buy $500 decks in magic or only buy 1 -2 actions and all money in dominion it will alter how you play and ultimately how you feel about the game.

In mage wars every game has so many possibilities depending on the skill and strategy of the player. In my experience (45 games) people don't guard enough. This would cause more creature deaths. It also increases the value of spells that give elusive and knockdown. If no one ever guards then creatures , elusive, incapacitate, etc seem to be useless. Once My opponents see how much I guard they start putting elusive and kncokdown in their books and guard more.

Also if your groups doesn't use a lot of dissolves the. Equipment seems more powerful than it is. Etc.   For every strategy there is a counter . (Maybe teleport is an exception although nullify is probably your best)


The problem with all this is that even a hardcore gamer may give up on this game after a few plays without really getting to discover all this awesome play/counter play. I would have given up after about 5 plays if I didn't love the theme so much. I had a lot of the same problems and had so much difficulty learning the rules to this game.  The game seemed very samey and luck dependent as we each pursued the same strategy every game  now I know better but a lot of people are not going to give a game 5 plays of 2+ hours of chance to impress.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: sIKE on January 26, 2015, 09:35:46 AM
Quote
I can safely say that over 90% of our games are finished without more than one or two creatures being killed, since focusing the mage is just more efficient.

I know you know this, but it is Mage Wars! I have seen this comment above raised as an issue or  complaint about the game multiple times. I am never sure what/how players want AW to change things when the goal of 100% of the games is to kill the opposing Mage. Domination will bring us new conditions, that is one way to handle this, another could be to go over to the Alternate Play section of the forums and look at the many alt play styles some very creative players (ahem Sailor Vulcan being one) have come up with.

With a limited card pool compared to some games that have been around since the 90's there are cards in certain schools that are useful across all of the schools, this is one of the most attractive features of the game to me. I really do not find games where a largish part of the card pool is exclusive to one players avatar. Yes this means some Mages will be have better cards than others for certain game situations. The real effort is in the balance between the Mages and keeping them near each other. There have been threads and thread on this topic that I am not going to rehash here. None the less I think with each expansion AW has narrowed things between most mages. Come out on OCTGN and play there you will see almost all of the Mages played to win there. I am not saying that some are not weaker than the others (like my poor Priest) but even then, when well played, he can win and yes the dice then matter more but it sure beats rolling through a deck waiting to draw that one card that will win me game.

One of the nice things is with MW being a board game + card game and not a straight card game, you can look at the board, much like chess, and see that you are going loose and concede the game, discus was good and bad for both players then setup and start another game.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: V10lentray on January 26, 2015, 10:40:51 AM
while I love the game, I think the biggest hurdle for people is for them to break away from their know money pit, (Magic) and delve into something far more complex but although similar.

And finding a play group is difficult. I've ran demos and a bunch of different stores, yet getting people to stick with it is a challenge.

One guy I know who has the game refuses to play it because he played with a guy once who put a teleport on a mage wand, and bounced all around the arena on him and the game was miserable for him. I've tried to get him to play again with me and get a new feel for the game but the one guy totally ruined it for him.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: gerni on January 26, 2015, 02:31:38 PM
Quote
I know you know this, but it is Mage Wars! I have seen this comment above raised as an issue or  complaint about the game multiple times. I am never sure what/how players want AW to change things when the goal of 100% of the games is to kill the opposing Mage.

Well, i wouldn't have a problem with that but it renders things like Veteran or Wounded Prey completly useless since - AHA - you will not kill creatures anyways. You either ignore them, make your enemy pay for them or get a guard and/or defense.

Quote
Come out on OCTGN and play there you will see almost all of the Mages played to win there. I am not saying that some are not weaker than the others (like my poor Priest) but even then, when well played, he can win and yes the dice then matter more but it sure beats rolling through a deck waiting to draw that one card that will win me game.

I play on OCTGN so that's part of the experience i am talking about. I also like rolling dice more than having to depend on drawing a card (in the end it is the same - playing with probability, it is part of deckbuilding). But it is frustrating if you want to make some mages work and in the end they can only win if you roll better or the other player makes mistakes. As negative as this may sound, I enjoy playing the game a lot, but i think criticism (when constructive) should be offered and is a good thing.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: V10lentray on January 26, 2015, 02:39:41 PM
As much as I love mage wars, I have zero interest in playing on OCTGN.

I really wish I had a local group that was willing to play.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: sIKE on January 26, 2015, 03:07:34 PM
As much as I love mage wars, I have zero interest in playing on OCTGN.

I really wish I had a local group that was willing to play.
I understand, I love playing IRL, but even my buddy that likes to play has too much on his plate (5 kids) to play it regularly. I travel for a living, so the last thing the wife and kids want, is for me to tromp off to a game store and play games for hours one end. OCTGN is the only way I can manage to sneak in the occasional game and even then it is not as much as I would like.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: V10lentray on January 26, 2015, 03:28:01 PM
Maybe if it was easier to use I would be more inclined to try it. But I just found it difficult.

And If I wanted to play online I wouldn't have invested so much in 2 sets of everything, 4 core sets, every single card sleeved in UltraPro sleeves, 2 play matts, 4 sets of mini dice...etc.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: sIKE on January 26, 2015, 05:16:39 PM
and all of the promo's, different makers, and all of the spellbooks..im with you there fella! I like the war game planning and spellbook building greatly and at least with OCTGN that part doesn't change, though the players and the play styles do.

How long has it been since you tried playing on OCTGN out of curiosity? The module has had steady improvement over the last year is why I am asking.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: V10lentray on January 26, 2015, 11:48:11 PM
about 6-7 months ago.

Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: isel on January 27, 2015, 02:39:55 AM
For me magewars and  for many people around me have this problems:
-Duration of a game, normally 2 hours or maybe more, i had have games of 3 hours.
-the strategic of the game itīs very repetitive (battleforge and spawn point)
-Priest wiht the Guardian Angel, itīs very very strong, many of us thinks that this creature must be rewording, because many peolple use it to guard spawn point doing nearly indestructibles, and when you put two of them  you only must wait to have an army and your opponent its spending resources and you win. Maybe intercept creatures must have the Mage only trait, to avoid aberrations, an this angel heals when guard, i believe this must change to roll a die.
-lack of variety in several mages (i know that i said this before, sorry, but when any wizard have many types of creatures, druid have few plants creatures, and you can say, you have more nature creatures, true, but many people likes to play thematic mages, if you used an angel or demon in a plant mage, itīs not thematic) maybe designers can avoid this makin more creatures mage only. (i saw a necromancer with guardian angel, and that was very terrorific)
- a Spell to sustract traits would be very interesting
- Zone spells that give traits to attack as flame -2 or hidro+2 (a spell that summon a volcan in a zone, or rain)

I know that the game itīs younger, but lately there is a lack of pool, and for many people as me that only likes to play few mages this is a bit frustrating, see how the last mages are more powerfull (itīs a pain play new wrlock vs druid or any mage).

See you.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Boocheck on January 27, 2015, 06:02:11 AM
Ola Isel :)

My lognest game was also 3 hours, it was Priestess vs Priestess but it was also my first game ;) My current games are about 90-120 minutes. Sometimes shorter (aggro vs aggro) and sometimes, very short (30 minutes).

If your current meta in your area is about Battleforge and Spawnpoints, did you try Hydro attacks? I mostly destroy BF with two attack spells.

Guardian angel is a good creature but not indestructible. I can tell.

Did you check on Raining Cloud? Do you get info about terrain spells which we will probably see in a near future? :)

Mostly, its not about mages but about players. My ass is still get cursed by curse warlock :)

Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: isel on January 27, 2015, 08:40:52 AM
Ola Isel :)

My lognest game was also 3 hours, it was Priestess vs Priestess but it was also my first game ;) My current games are about 90-120 minutes. Sometimes shorter (aggro vs aggro) and sometimes, very short (30 minutes).

If your current meta in your area is about Battleforge and Spawnpoints, did you try Hydro attacks? I mostly destroy BF with two attack spells.

Guardian angel is a good creature but not indestructible. I can tell.

Did you check on Raining Cloud? Do you get info about terrain spells which we will probably see in a near future? :)

Mostly, its not about mages but about players. My ass is still get cursed by curse warlock :)

Raining cloud its a promo card, i havenīt sorry, and normally we dont play with promo cards to avoid ballista and several promo cards that many people think that are overpowered, i hope raincloud would be release soon.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Laddinfance on January 27, 2015, 08:41:58 AM
Raincloud is a promo that we're excited to have printed. We want it out there as soon as we can.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: sIKE on January 27, 2015, 10:45:02 AM
-Priest wiht the Guardian Angel, itīs very very strong, many of us thinks that this creature must be rewording, because many peolple use it to guard spawn point doing nearly indestructibles, and when you put two of them  you only must wait to have an army and your opponent its spending resources and you win. Maybe intercept creatures must have the Mage only trait, to avoid aberrations, an this angel heals when guard, i believe this must change to roll a die.

I love the Priest, however Pushing and having more creatures than the Priest will reduce the effectiveness of the Angel. Planning combos the Mages Quick cast and a Creatures activation are most important in this scenario....
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: ozmo on January 27, 2015, 10:58:27 AM
At the end of the day, you should be playing the game that puts a fire in your belly, know what I mean?

I didn't know there was a game called "The Burrito Stand on the Corner".

Huh. Learn something new everyday.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Laddinfance on January 27, 2015, 01:04:11 PM
At the end of the day, you should be playing the game that puts a fire in your belly, know what I mean?

I didn't know there was a game called "The Burrito Stand on the Corner".

Huh. Learn something new everyday.

I want to play "The Burrito Stand on the Corner" right now...
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: silverclawgrizzly on January 27, 2015, 01:28:42 PM
Be VERY careful with Burrito Stand on the Corner my friends! Last night at work around 1am a friend randomly showed up and gave me two of Taco Bells new crunchy wraps. Do NOT I repeat do NOT each anything that combines bad mexican with hot n spicy Fritos at 1am! Those things were good but oh boy they fought back hard and had me getting a +2 Charge bonus to the bathroom in no time.

As for the Priestess/Guardian Angel combo. My roommate uses this strategy a lot. He's VERY good with it too in that he can adapt it and play several variations of it with one book. However here's how I've gained success over it in the past using my Straywood Beast Master and my Anvil Throne Warlord.

-Tanglevine the stinking angels and beat the crap out of them. They're not likely to dodge very well when restrained. I can put more Tanglevines in my book than he can angels.
-Cervere and other Elusive attacks don't care about the existence of angels.
-Usually Priestess will Enchant themselves to high heaven so Purge Magic the mage. They don't have the spell points for two of the good Nature enchantments most likely.

-You can kill a spawnpoint with an Akiros hammer and all an angel can do is watch and weep. They can't Intercept the big 8 dice attack that only targets Corporeal Conjurations.
-Pop the guard then have archers kill the now flying angel. Flying creatures can't be guarded and you get Sniper Shot dirt cheap as a Warlord.
-Dwarf Panzerguardes are the equal to Guardian Angels for the most part.

Now I've seen the Priestess book beaten with absurd ease with a Force Master enough times to know:

-Mass sleep puts and end to that crap fast!
-Mind Control lets your opponent learn the joy of putting up with an angel always guarding.
-Sleep on a Thoughtspore also deals with angels quickly.
-Invisible stalkers don't care about guards.

Average game for my friends and I is just under an hour. Sometimes as quickly as 20 minutes if things go terribly wrong for one mage or the other. Like oh I dunno when an Minotaur one shot kills me Thorg.....

Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: V10lentray on January 27, 2015, 01:40:42 PM
-Tanglevine the stinking angels and beat the crap out of them. They're not likely to dodge very well when restrained. I can put more Tanglevines in my book than he can angels.

I keep at least one tangle vine in every book, and sometimes I even squeeze a Stranglevine in there.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Laddinfance on January 27, 2015, 01:41:22 PM
Tanglevine is easily my favorite anti-intercept play.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Cnoedel on January 27, 2015, 04:05:20 PM
I still love the game but the Post had some interesting points.

Dice VS Draw - I think the huge problem here is the lenght of a single game. If I have a bad starting hand in Magic, the game is over pretty quick and I may ask for a rematch. In MW, as far as I experienced, there are 4-6 /really/ important rolls per match and as perviously mentioned: negativ results tend to stick in mind easier as the expeted "good" roll. If there are two miserable rolls in a game, there will be a feeling of unfairness.

Considering the damage of a roll it seems odd that there is a same chance for critical hits as there is for normal hits, whereas crits are much more dangerous. (Here I am sure that the desingers of the game put really good thought into the games math, as I heard in one of the MWM-podcast Episode, but still, it feels odd)

Everything else has been mentioned and I do not want to be rendundat :D - I prefer dice, I too find the first 2 rounds relativly repetetiv, but its okay!
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: KissBlade on February 02, 2015, 06:43:37 PM
There's only two complaints I have about Mage Wars.

A) It's incredibly unfriendly to new players for a 1v1 game.  Games like Yomi, Dice masters, Netrunner, etc can all be taught and wrapped up pretty quickly.  Mage Wars can be incredibly grueling so as a result, for most players the return value isn't there.  Granted I had one friend who loved this game but still not enough to want to buy his own set.
B) Dispel, Dissolve, Teleport REALLY REALLY REALLY NEEDS MORE ALTERNATIVES!  It's kind of silly that if I want to make a good book, I basically need to keep proxying these cards or rotate them around.  It's also boring because of how nebulously useful they are and how essential they are.  To a lesser degree, this applies to Bear Strength, Force Push, etc.  Too often, I find that my spellbook is really only 60 points that I have customizable as the rest is basically things that never change book to book.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: jupiter999 on February 02, 2015, 08:04:56 PM
Quote
Dispel, Dissolve, Teleport

Many said they are very useful, which I agree as well.
But then every spellbook would have some degree of similarity if each equipped with them.
I believe the design should have more than just these spells~
Just a thought.  ;)

Happy MW~
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: sdougla2 on February 02, 2015, 10:30:56 PM
I agree that Mage Wars is not particularly friendly to new players.

However, I don't find my spellbooks being half staples that I put in everything. Maybe a quarter or so, but certainly not half. On the other hand, I agree that the card distribution in the core set is badly done.

I would like to see more counterplay options against Teleport, which would put it more on par with Force Push, but I still feel like Teleport doesn't matter as much as it did on initial release.

There already are alternatives to Dissolve. You can use Disarm, Explode, Steal Equipment, or Corrosive Orchid to deal with equipment and various acid attacks to deal with armor. Aside from Disarm, the rest are more expensive, and you should run at least 1 Dissolve anyway, but there are alternatives.

It would be nice to see a non-arcane method of destroying enchantments.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on February 02, 2015, 10:42:22 PM

I agree that Mage Wars is not particularly friendly to new players.

However, I don't find my spellbooks being half staples that I put in everything. Maybe a quarter or so, but certainly not half. On the other hand, I agree that the card distribution in the core set is badly done.

I would like to see more counterplay options against Teleport, which would put it more on par with Force Push, but I still feel like Teleport doesn't matter as much as it did on initial release.

There already are alternatives to Dissolve. You can use Disarm, Explode, Steal Equipment, or Corrosive Orchid to deal with equipment and various acid attacks to deal with armor. Aside from Disarm, the rest are more expensive, and you should run at least 1 Dissolve anyway, but there are alternatives.

It would be nice to see a non-arcane method of destroying enchantments.

There kind of is: combo arcane corruption and harsh forge monolith. Also, harsh forge plate makes them harder to stick in the first place.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: sdougla2 on February 02, 2015, 11:08:23 PM
Those are solutions to spamming enchantments, not to individual enchantments. Arcane Corruption is even more particular in that all of the enchantments need to be on the same target.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: KissBlade on February 03, 2015, 01:07:11 PM
I agree that Mage Wars is not particularly friendly to new players.

However, I don't find my spellbooks being half staples that I put in everything. Maybe a quarter or so, but certainly not half. On the other hand, I agree that the card distribution in the core set is badly done.

I would like to see more counterplay options against Teleport, which would put it more on par with Force Push, but I still feel like Teleport doesn't matter as much as it did on initial release.

There already are alternatives to Dissolve. You can use Disarm, Explode, Steal Equipment, or Corrosive Orchid to deal with equipment and various acid attacks to deal with armor. Aside from Disarm, the rest are more expensive, and you should run at least 1 Dissolve anyway, but there are alternatives.

It would be nice to see a non-arcane method of destroying enchantments.

Yeah 1/2 was an exaggeration but I also did count things like bear strength, dragonscale, regrowth belt, as those are "always good".  As for dissolve's alternatives, I'll agree there are alternatives but dissolve's cheap price point and flexibility is just too good compared to it's alternatives (though corrosive orchid is nifty).  I like disarm though and I think it's a nice step in the direction of diversifying choices.

Definitely double agree on needing more non-arcane methods of destroying enchantments and more counterplay to teleports so that I'm not running two tele's a book.  :)
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Obsidian Soul on February 03, 2015, 08:17:17 PM
Hm, in my area, Mage Wars is getting more popular because it is cheaper than Magic.  You can spend $100 and have two competitive books in Mage Wars or $300 and support six competitive books in Mage Wars.  You can spend $600 a year on Magic to support one competitive deck.  And draw luck is always more of a problem than dice luck.

The Priestess is a good book, it is my favorite due to resilience, but it is not unbeatable.  The male Beastmaster is quite good, Wizards can deal massive damage and Forcemasters can beat the stuffing out of her if she is not careful.  That being said, it is always fun to recover 30 life in two turns. 
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Ganpot on February 06, 2015, 03:43:58 AM
Mage Wars has three major problems that hinder its adoption rate:
1. Game Length - simply put, it's not possible for most people to play Mage Wars on a whim.  It's a full on event, like a D&D session.  When combined with the fact that Mage Wars is only officially meant for 1v1, most people end up forgoing Mage Wars sessions for either faster or more social board/card games.  Most of the people that I've seen on the forums are lucky to have one game of Mage Wars a week, and it can be safely assumed that those are the more hardcore players. 
2. Portability - I think this issue often gets overlooked, because it doesn't apply as much to the professional scene.  When I was a child, kids would constantly bring Pokemon/Digimon/Yu-gi-oh/MtG cards to school and have games during break or while waiting to be picked up by their parents.  I don't think that ever happens with Mage Wars, because it is much harder to transport.  You need the cards, board, dice, tokens, rulebook, and wooden markers.  This doesn't just effect children, either.  People in general are far less likely to carry something with them if it won't fit into a pocket.  A spellbook alone kind of pushes that boundary. 
3. Learning Curve - this game has brutally complex rules.  It is almost certainly the most difficult to learn card game I've ever seen (and one of the most difficult board games).  It took me a good 4 matches to really get a grip on all of the base rules (and I'm pretty experienced with games).  Even just knowing the basic rules isn't really enough, since there are so many special abilities and keywords that dramatically change the game.  This problem will only get worse as more content is released. 

Mage Wars Academy will hopefully fix the first two problems (even if it doesn't directly help Arena), but the third problem will remain. 

On a semi-related note, if there was one part of Mage Wars I could change (disregarding the problems mentioned above), it would be the dice rolls for damage and effects.  The entire benefit of eliminating card draw was to remove randomness and encourage strategic play.  Die rolls do the exact opposite of that.  Will that pack of wolves be able to murder my Iron Golem this turn?  Nobody knows.  Will I be able to prevent disaster by casting a Lightning Bolt at the Steelclaw Grizzly and stunning it?  Your guess is as good as mine. 

If I lose a game, I want to feel like it was completely my own fault.  The psychological effect of randomness is far more powerful than statistics would have you believe.  I don't care that die rolls should even out over a long period of time; I want to play a card and know that the same exact thing will happen every time.   
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Schwenkgott on February 06, 2015, 04:00:37 AM
1. Game Length - simply put, it's not possible for most people to play Mage Wars on a whim.  It's a full on event, like a D&D session. 

The problem is, that people don't like to prepare for a session by reading the rulebook. They want to have instant fun. If they would read the rulebook, the beginner rules would be clear, thinking about rules would be minimized in the game. Additionally, it always helps to use a time limit in the planning phase.
btw. a game of chess can take some time too.

3. Learning Curve - this game has brutally complex rules. 

I cannot agree with you. You can always approach the game in a logic way and you will find out, that that's exactly how the rules work. The new generation of players did grow up with easy games like pokemon and stuff like that. They dont know, how challenging a game can be for their brains. In my opinion, it's not the game's fault, it's player-sided.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Ganpot on February 06, 2015, 04:39:49 AM
The problem is, that people don't like to prepare for a session by reading the rulebook. They want to have instant fun. If they would read the rulebook, the beginner rules would be clear, thinking about rules would be minimized in the game. Additionally, it always helps to use a time limit in the planning phase.
btw. a game of chess can take some time too.
With as many rules as Mage Wars has, there is always going to be a lot of rule double (or triple) checking going on during the first few games, no matter how thoroughly the rules were explained ahead of time.  And I'm not sure adding a timer would really help new players.  It would probably just stress them out even more. 

I cannot agree with you. You can always approach the game in a logic way and you will find out, that that's exactly how the rules work. The new generation of players did grow up with easy games like pokemon and stuff like that. They dont know, how challenging a game can be for their brains. In my opinion, it's not the game's fault, it's player-sided.
Most of the rules are logical, but that doesn't mean rule interactions aren't complex.  Additionally, most games deliberately limit a player's available number of choices, which Mage Wars doesn't do (something I actually like about the game, but it is a double-edged sword).  Every new player I've seen has been completely overwhelmed by information in their first matches.  In my opinion, that's not because players are used to easy or simple games; children of the past decade have usually started playing various types of games from a very young age (largely due to the steady increase of mainstream gaming as a whole).  They are used to figuring out new games.  And I've also attempted to teach Mage Wars to older people who had no problems learning other complex games such as Battlestar Galactica or Arkham Horror.  But I have yet to find someone who truly understands what is going on by the end of their first Mage Wars session.  Everything I've seen points to Mage Wars being much harder to learn than games similar to it, such as MtG and Summoner Wars. 
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: sdougla2 on February 06, 2015, 05:03:16 PM
Having a card always do the same thing works better in random opportunity games like Race for the Galaxy or Magic. If you removed all randomness from attacks and defenses in Mage Wars, I would worry about it becoming too Chess like and deterministic. I often object to random outcomes in games, but the damage dice in MW are low enough variance that it doesn't bother me here, particularly with the level of control you have over everything else. Overall I think the random outcomes work well as implemented in MW.

As for playtime, that's mostly a problem for new players. I've played 3 games in 3 hours on several occasions. Playing a single game is hardly as big a deal as you're describing for experienced players. Now, finding people to play with may be a much bigger problem than finding the time to play, but that's a separate issue.

In terms of new players being overwhelmed with options, when I'm teaching the game, I go through their spell book and tell them what all of the cards do, but also what they are for, and give them a sample opening in order to cut down on how much time they have to spend figuring out what to do at the beginning of the game.
Title: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on February 06, 2015, 05:21:46 PM
The difference between a large learning curve and a small learning curve isnt so much difficulty as it is time commitment. All people learn better gradually and if they don't get information overload. For each player there is a max difficulty for mage wars and no minimum, while there is a minimum amount of time committed and no maximum. Given enough time spent practicing, any gamer will be able to play mage wars competently. The starting difficulty of mage wars tends to be unusually high, but the more you learn the easier it gets. A large learning curve can be broken down into smaller learning curves. If you don't know how to walk, you should be focused on the learning curve of how to balance your weight on two feet, not on the total learning curve for walking.
this is likely a crude representation of the relationship between time commitment, game difficulty and player level, but...

Player skill level= time committed / game difficulty

And the floor of the learning curve is just the mode of player skill level.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Intangible0 on February 06, 2015, 05:22:16 PM
For those talking about how they dislike the randomness of dice, I have a point to bring up looking at it from a design perspective.

You need to have some random element in most games. The only ones that do not are games like chess, checkers, etc. These games don't need a random element because for the most part the board is balanced and the elements are equal. Of course there's the margin of success to bring up for initiative but that's another discussion.

Games like Magic where the success is based so strongly on the random element (card draw) have serious issues with game balance. Mage Wars tries to be as balanced as possible, even in its random element. As mentioned, over a series of rolls you're more likely going to average out the variable. It's a lot better to hope you roll 4 damage on 3 dice then it is to draw out of your pool of 60 cards and pray that you pull 1 (of the 4) copy of the exact card you need.

Without a random element introduced you get a "dry," predictable game where the only unexpected outcomes are from the players. Also, if damage was dealt directly without dice rolls and players got to pick which cards they would get to play every round the games would either be over the moment we saw the first card played or games would drag on til the last card is played.

Finally, if you think that the random rolling of damage and the effect die are too much for you try calculating the likely chance you'll deal a certain amount of damage with X amount of dice. Now try to compare that to "60!" (or 60 factorial). This is the number that determines you getting the exact outcome you're looking for in a 60 card deck such as in magic.

That being said, I've certainly rolled horrible outcomes and my therapy for such disasters is to blame the creature or mage doing the attacked. They failed you, that's not your fault ;-)

As for the rest of MW issues. It seems that the designers are well aware of the game's weaknesses and are working toward fixing them. If this is the case then everyone should be applauding the designers, not doubting the game's future. It takes a lot of willpower to create something you love and to admit it isn't perfect, it's even harder to accept other people telling you how to fix it.

Chin up people.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Ganpot on February 15, 2015, 02:32:15 AM
Having a card always do the same thing works better in random opportunity games like Race for the Galaxy or Magic. If you removed all randomness from attacks and defenses in Mage Wars, I would worry about it becoming too Chess like and deterministic. I often object to random outcomes in games, but the damage dice in MW are low enough variance that it doesn't bother me here, particularly with the level of control you have over everything else. Overall I think the random outcomes work well as implemented in MW.
Just to be clear, I'm not arguing that Mage Wars should change the random nature of its combat.  It's far too late for an overhaul that large; that ship has long since sailed.  But I do believe that the game would have been better if it had lacked such randomness from the get-go.  I'm actually not that annoyed with damage being (slightly) randomized.  I can tolerate it, although I still dislike it.  I view it as far worse that secondary effects are random (Push, Stun, Burn, etc.).  Those things can have a far larger immediate impact on the game, and there aren't enough of them in most singular games to even out the distribution of successes and failures.  I think a small part of the reason people rely on Teleport so much is because no one wants to risk an entire game by betting that Surging Wave will actually push the target.  Even Jet Stream can fail miserably when you need it most. 

However, I also acknowledge that this particular issue is a matter of personal opinion.  There is no correct answer.  If I had to guess, card gamers are more likely to want a deterministic approach, whereas board gamers are more comfortable with systems involving luck.  I just don't think luck encourages a good competitive scene.  Furthermore, I think your fears regarding the game becoming too deterministic could just as easily have been applied to the decision to remove card draws and simply give players access to everything at all times.  Sure, as a result of that, players typically perform a standard variety of opening moves.  But the game still isn't anywhere near Chess-like.  If combat was less random, the only major thing I could see changing would be a more strategic use of cards (using Arc Lightning instead of Lightning Bolt to kill a dangerous creature with low health, etc.).  Players have so many options available to them that there will never be a single set of specific, optimal strategies.   

As for playtime, that's mostly a problem for new players. I've played 3 games in 3 hours on several occasions. Playing a single game is hardly as big a deal as you're describing for experienced players. Now, finding people to play with may be a much bigger problem than finding the time to play, but that's a separate issue.
True, play times can be 40-60 minutes.  But it's very dependent on which Mages are picked.  If you've got an female Warlock vs a male Beastmaster, then the game is probably going to be fairly short.  But god help you if you end up in an equally matched Priestess vs Priestess fight with no time limit. 

Without a random element introduced you get a "dry," predictable game where the only unexpected outcomes are from the players. Also, if damage was dealt directly without dice rolls and players got to pick which cards they would get to play every round the games would either be over the moment we saw the first card played or games would drag on til the last card is played.
Isn't the first part already largely true?  Two of the biggest parts of Mage Wars are constructing your deck and guessing what your opponent plans to do.  In both aspects, the players are doing all of the work, and all unexpected outcomes are already a result of their choices.  And if both players can objectively tell that a Deathfang is going to lose against a Timber Wolf without any outside interference, so what?  That kind of stuff already happens to a lesser extent.  But that doesn't matter, because that's not what the game is really about.  The game would always stay unpredictable because the core of the game is responding to your enemy's moves with counter-moves that you hope he/she won't predict or be prepared for.  The famous words of Helmuth von Moltke are very applicable here: "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy."  If you are trying to turtle as a Priestess and your enemy drops a Deathlock, whatever previous plan you had goes right out the window. 

Finally, if you think that the random rolling of damage and the effect die are too much for you try calculating the likely chance you'll deal a certain amount of damage with X amount of dice. Now try to compare that to "60!" (or 60 factorial). This is the number that determines you getting the exact outcome you're looking for in a 60 card deck such as in magic.
This is kind of beside the point, but you're slightly overestimating how much luck is present in MtG.  Games like that typically have you start off with 7 cards (as well as a potential re-draw), so the likelihood of drawing the card you want is already (very) roughly 15%.  Depending on how many turns the match lasts, you have a decent probability of drawing at least a third of your deck by the end.  Considering you can have up to 4 copies of the same card in a deck (and it's assumed that players will include multiple copies of extremely key cards), it actually ends up being fairly likely that you'll draw a specific card that you want.  What you're referring to seems to be the odds of drawing a card at exactly the time you want it, which is admittedly much lower (and players therefore need to be flexible).   Regardless, I'm not arguing that Mage Wars isn't an improvement over MtG in this regard.  I'm arguing that it could have been improved further. 
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: jtharrison on February 15, 2015, 02:40:25 PM
I live in South East Michigan and the biggest hurdle is finding other players to play the game with. Luckily for me, my son enjoys playing one in a while.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: KosmosAlive on February 16, 2015, 03:17:59 AM
Mage Wars popularity is bound to fluctuate from time to time based on many factors like related games, and conversation, etc. Even when Mage Wars decreases in popularity, . . .

. . . There will always be a new wave of interest. New learners keep filtering in. The stunning quality of Mage Wars gradually dawns on each of them, and our ability to share this greatness with others grows.

For every rare occurrence that one leaves us, 5 more arrive to take their place.

In the far future, Mage Wars may be more famous than Hearthstone, more numerous than Magic the Gathering, more central to culture, nomenclature and dialect than Dungeons and Dragons.

Here's to a brilliant future!

--IronLegionnaire :D
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: kailas on March 08, 2015, 04:35:10 PM
Sadly my gaming group follows cult of the new. And 3 good players lost for various personal reasons  :(
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Boocheck on March 09, 2015, 10:34:29 AM
It will be six years, when i met a game worthy to love. I was passionate player but my gaming community was steadily leaving the game i love. I run web site, write some articles but that was not enough. That game is no longer played and only thing that prevails are memories...

What was a problem? I was writing, talking and cheereing on this game instead of actually playing it somewhere. Instead of creating a community for that particular game, i was hoping, someone else will do it.

Right know, game of my heart are Mage Wars. I run web page and facebook page and i am cheering for this game with all of my hearth but also, i run league, organize tournaments and trying to find a great place, where i will be holding every second week a mage wars night. Constant pressure.

There is thousands of great games (not just board games) coming at us every month and it is necesarry from time to time to focus on a different game, because we are playing games for fun, right? :)  So, there is no loss in popularity, its just something little bit more awesome (at that moment) getting on first place in our charts of "top ten funny stuff i really like to do" and pushing MW to a second or third position.

I know, it could be hard to find a players in some areas (i live in a big city) but if you not live in a cabin in a woods or some deserted island, to be able play once in a few days shouldnt be impossible :)
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: ChimpZilla on March 11, 2015, 07:21:22 AM
Define popularity and your expectations of it. If you wanted adoption akin to Warmachine, Warhammer, MtG, Netrunner, et al., then Mage Wars was never "popular".

Me personally, I see a few things that speak volumes:

1. Lack of any substantial release since FiF (including spoilers).

2. Lack of forum(s) activity, both from good players/contributors and the few individuals I could care less for.
Could be intertwined with point 1.

3. AW releasing a revamped core set that has a lighter footprint and two expansions that introduce a new wincon and a stripped down version of the game.

4. Bare OCTGN presence (compare to Netrunner).

5. The disaster that was Origins last year.

6. My local experience which jibes with others. I'm down to 1-2 other friends who'll play when I can find the time. And I live in a major metropolitan area in the Northeast for ****'s sake. I can't even get my kids or the missus to play. It's depressing.

7. My increasing ambivalence to the game itself. I like it, and I'll still play, but I also play MtG (Legacy), Netrunner, Summoner Wars, Hearthstone, & Malifaux, and I find those games to be more competitively, strategically, and tactically satisfying. There are points where I can't get past the niggling design flaws, particularly involving resource management and board control mechanics, to really justify the time commitment.
<<<<<<<DEPLOYS FLAMESUIT>>>>>>>>>>>
This is completely jarring when juxtaposed to Summoner Wars, where I feel like it's roughly the same game, just more tactically challenging, mechanically efficient, and with harder choices that have an impact on game play. And I can get people to play that game. That's a huge factor that I think many of the superfans here casually gloss over. The reason I still invest is because of AW, who are legit trying, and whose customer experience is the twinkie-****ting-rainbow-belching unicorn variety.   

 

Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: iNano78 on March 11, 2015, 08:46:41 AM
Define popularity and your expectations of it. If you wanted adoption akin to Warmachine, Warhammer, MtG, Netrunner, et al., then Mage Wars was never "popular".

Me personally, I see a few things that speak volumes:

1. Lack of any substantial release since FiF (including spoilers).

2. Lack of forum(s) activity, both from good players/contributors and the few individuals I could care less for.
Could be intertwined with point 1.

3. AW releasing a revamped core set that has a lighter footprint and two expansions that introduce a new wincon and a stripped down version of the game.

4. Bare OCTGN presence (compare to Netrunner).

5. The disaster that was Origins last year.

6. My local experience which jibes with others. I'm down to 1-2 other friends who'll play when I can find the time. And I live in a major metropolitan area in the Northeast for ****'s sake. I can't even get my kids or the missus to play. It's depressing.

7. My increasing ambivalence to the game itself. I like it, and I'll still play, but I also play MtG (Legacy), Netrunner, Summoner Wars, Hearthstone, & Malifaux, and I find those games to be more competitively, strategically, and tactically satisfying. There are points where I can't get past the niggling design flaws, particularly involving resource management and board control mechanics, to really justify the time commitment.
<<<<<<<DEPLOYS FLAMESUIT>>>>>>>>>>>
This is completely jarring when juxtaposed to Summoner Wars, where I feel like it's roughly the same game, just more tactically challenging, mechanically efficient, and with harder choices that have an impact on game play. And I can get people to play that game. That's a huge factor that I think many of the superfans here casually gloss over. The reason I still invest is because of AW, who are legit trying, and whose customer experience is the twinkie-****ting-rainbow-belching unicorn variety.

You have some good points (mainly the first one regarding lack of new content released lately, and several months behind the original released schedule), but many of your points don't make sense to me.  The lack of OCTGN presense, for instance, is a symptom of lack of popularity, not a cause; ditto for forum activity.   Second, most of what you state in point 7 and after deploying your flamesuit (LOL) is simply false.  Mage Wars is more tactical (and arguably more strategic) than most of the similar games you list, with harder decisions that have bigger consequences (vs "draw a card and hope it helps me").  The design flaws you list are the main reasons I got out of MtG - specifically its flawed resource system (e.g. MtG's resource system depends on "luck of the draw", where you routinely get mana flooded or mana screwed through no fault of your own, leading to ~ 40% "interesting matches" that aren't decided by who got less screwed by their mana supply)... although the cost of a collectible game with stupid-ridiculous secondary market economy helped (who can still afford to play that game?!).  And the board control mechanics are among the features of Mage Wars that make it unique and interesting - along with access to any card in your entire "deck" on any given turn, the way enchantments work, etc.

I'm actually a little worried about Mage Wars: Academy, as I fear it will be too similar to MtG - which is bad both because it would compete directly with an established juggernaut in the market... and/or might get a cease & desist / lawsuit from WotC.  But I digress.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: kiwipaul on March 11, 2015, 09:48:13 AM
Following what people have said on this thread, I have the following comments,

1. Dice,  the dice are a lot less of a factor that games with a d6 or d8.  results can be changed or mitigated with veterans belts, akiros favors and other cards.  Also there should be some randomness in the game.

2.  There is definately no one best mage.   Mistakes, wrong strategies,  misguessing spells and being overwhelmed can happen to any mage, even a priestess with a guardian angel

3. Length,  this is not a short game, unless it is with a time limit and you go hell for leather from the start.  If you have time, true you can build up,  IF your opponent lets you.  Even if you do.  a turn of cast enchantment and battle forge on both sides  can take 20 seconds.  move on.  If you want a 5 minute game play love letter, not mage wars

4.  Arcane Wonders has missed the boat in Europe.   The euphoria and hype has definately left here.   Although the german market has some stands promoting at Essen and there are some game communities here, it never achieved critical mass and people have moved on.  Mage Wars is perceived as an American game with all efforts focused on America.  Our gaming group of 16 mage wars players died when our local game store went bust.  Present amount of players,  2.  Interested people, zero. 

5. Mage Wars is not going away.  It is no longer the new game but has carved a niche, (mainly in America).  What battlegrounds will do, we shall see but it is an improvement, not a new game.  Cannot make a second first impression.

6.  There are still players out there who will love mage wars who have not tried or seen it yet.   But the hype is over.  Now it is time for us to find the players.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: fas723 on March 11, 2015, 06:02:03 PM
I must second the last quote by kiwipaul:


4.  Arcane Wonders has missed the boat in Europe.   The euphoria and hype has definately left here.   Although the german market has some stands promoting at Essen and there are some game communities here, it never achieved critical mass and people have moved on.  Mage Wars is perceived as an American game with all efforts focused on America.  Our gaming group of 16 mage wars players died when our local game store went bust.  Present amount of players,  2.  Interested people, zero. 


This is a huge drawback! In my mind what went wrong was that instead of being present at the big fairs (mainly Essen) AW instead had their partners doing the ground work. I've been at Essen every year since Mage Wars was released and I must say there wasn't much of a hype even the first year. AW should have been there them self’s and really promoted the game, because I really think that it would have made a big difference.

Reading the forum I get the impression AW is traveling most of the US to do this promotion. It needs to be done in EU too.


There is one more thing I must add to this topic as well, and I think I speak for every none-German-speaking European gamer.
Why the h*ll does every game have to allocate time, money and efforts from publishers to be translated to German? I would say that if AW would have had used the time to develop the game further and made more expansions earlier this would have been way more productive. Sure, there is a big market in Germany, but come one. The rest of Europe can handle English/American games in English and German games in German (even if neither of the two are our native language). I would even argue this spoiled behavior is bad for the whole industry. This is one of the major reasons American publishers are pulling out from fairs like Essen.


Okay, down to earth again and some comments from me reflecting the game we all love so much.
What I have found to be the greatest hurdles for the game to really take off is:

1. Playing time vs. Spell selecting time
The time issue has been addressed before. But what I have experienced is that new people really like the game while it actually plays, but not so much of the overwhelming options there is during planning. The planning phase becomes too long to simply put it. Sure this is a beginner issue, but isn't that the target group?

2. Effect die
My gaming group doesn't like randomness too much, and dice in particular. However the MW dice are really well designed in my/our opinion. And since you almost always roll several of them this is not an issue. The Effect die however is, sorry for saying this, a poor design. When the attack dice are so well designed it feels like the effect die is a late add-on that wasn't given much thoughts.

3. The last damage importance
Since the creatures are equally powerful no matter how much health they have it becomes so important that they don't die until the next attack. The difference between the receiving the last damage or not is too game changing in my/our opinion. This also kills the argument of die rolls evening out over the course of the game. Who would be satisfied by a "bad" roll which leave one damage short, if the next attack is over killing?  You have no need for a good roll if you have to send a action to do one more damage. I would have liked to see a power decrease by health in creatures.

4. Too many conditions
Speaks for itself. Just look at Bleed vs Rot. Why isn't this the same condition technical vise?


My $0,02
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: jhaelen on March 12, 2015, 04:32:55 AM
Define popularity and your expectations of it. If you wanted adoption akin to Warmachine, Warhammer, MtG, Netrunner, et al., then Mage Wars was never "popular".
This. While Mage Wars received rage reviews it was never widely adopted, at least not here in Germany.

It's also harder to introduce new players to play Mage Wars 'the way it's meant ot be played', i.e. even if I pre-build the spellbooks for new players, they'll need to learn what every single card can do and what's the strategy behind the spellbook.

Deck-based games don't have that high a hurdle: While it's helpful to inform new players about the strategy behind a deck, since you cannot plan to have a particular set of cards in your starting hand, it will by force have to be more general. Cards can also be learned a few at a time, since you only have a few of them in your hand at any point in the game (tutoring effects may be an exception to this, which is why they aren't as well suited for beginners).

Playing Mage Wars in tutorial mode is all fine and dandy, but it's such a completely different gaming experience that it might as well be a different game - it doesn't really showcase the high points of Mage Wars.

And even if two experienced players are fans of Mage Wars, there's still the problem of the game length. If you also enjoy other games (which isn't unlikely), you simply get more games played in the same time. Fans like pointing out that games between two experienced players don't take all that long, and that's true to a certain degree. However, why is that true? It's because experienced players tend to avoid preparing for several turns  and prefer putting pressure on their opponent right away, in order to prevent the game from taking too long! It's in everybody's interest to have a game that is quickly over, so there's a kind of implicit agreement not to prolong the game needlessly by turtling.
Naturally, in tournament play, due to time restrictions, long buildup is a no-go, anyway.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Boocheck on March 12, 2015, 10:34:19 AM
Mage Wars Academy will probably be a great solution to everything you stated.

I wonder, why noone pointed out new episode of lets level up podcast, which is focused on mage wars Academy http://www.letslevelup.net/?p=868



Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on March 12, 2015, 11:48:09 AM

Define popularity and your expectations of it. If you wanted adoption akin to Warmachine, Warhammer, MtG, Netrunner, et al., then Mage Wars was never "popular".
This. While Mage Wars received rage reviews it was never widely adopted, at least not here in Germany.

It's also harder to introduce new players to play Mage Wars 'the way it's meant ot be played', i.e. even if I pre-build the spellbooks for new players, they'll need to learn what every single card can do and what's the strategy behind the spellbook.

Deck-based games don't have that high a hurdle: While it's helpful to inform new players about the strategy behind a deck, since you cannot plan to have a particular set of cards in your starting hand, it will by force have to be more general. Cards can also be learned a few at a time, since you only have a few of them in your hand at any point in the game (tutoring effects may be an exception to this, which is why they aren't as well suited for beginners).

Playing Mage Wars in tutorial mode is all fine and dandy, but it's such a completely different gaming experience that it might as well be a different game - it doesn't really showcase the high points of Mage Wars.

And even if two experienced players are fans of Mage Wars, there's still the problem of the game length. If you also enjoy other games (which isn't unlikely), you simply get more games played in the same time. Fans like pointing out that games between two experienced players don't take all that long, and that's true to a certain degree. However, why is that true? It's because experienced players tend to avoid preparing for several turns  and prefer putting pressure on their opponent right away, in order to prevent the game from taking too long! It's in everybody's interest to have a game that is quickly over, so there's a kind of implicit agreement not to prolong the game needlessly by turtling.
Naturally, in tournament play, due to time restrictions, long buildup is a no-go, anyway.


In my experience games between experienced players rarely go beyond 90 minutes even when one of them is turtling, and usually are a little over 60. Aside from that everything you just said sounds about right.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Laddinfance on March 12, 2015, 12:25:02 PM
Mage Wars Academy will probably be a great solution to everything you stated.

I wonder, why noone pointed out new episode of lets level up podcast, which is focused on mage wars Academy http://www.letslevelup.net/?p=868

It's been a busy week. I meant to have a post up about it, but I'll be doing that in a moment anyway. :)
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: sdougla2 on March 12, 2015, 02:35:38 PM
Experienced players can play control and attrition mirror matches in 90 minutes. Aggressive mirror matches tend to be over faster, but my sense is that people are overestimating how much longer a match will go if players turtle (assuming experienced players that play quickly). If only one player is playing attrition, the game can often be finished in an hour unless something is really dragging it out. You don't need to make an implicit agreement to be aggressive to speed up the game. That would be much more important for new players than experienced players.

Now, a typical game of Mage Wars is going to be longer than a typical game of MtG by quite a bit, but I've never understood the argument that you can get more other games played if you play something else. Sure, if you play MtG or Race for the Galaxy, you'll get more games in, but the real question is whether you would find that one game of Mage Wars or the 2-5 games of MtG you could play in the same time period more satisfying. If number of games played was the main criterion for which games I played, I would never play Terra Mystica, Mage Knight, or Through the Ages, and I would stick to Race for the Galaxy and other games that can be played in under 10 minutes.

I agree that Mage Wars would have benefited from a more minimalist design sensibility. There are quite a number of cards that are not good enough to really be considered in a competitive spellbook, or where there is another card that is usually a better alternative. There are a bunch of different keywords and special abilities, several of which are only used on a handful of cards. If MW had taken more of a minimalist approach to creating keywords and conditions and had focused on making a smaller set of cards that are more uniformly useful, the game would be much easier to teach to new players, and it would be cheaper due to having fewer cards. Arcane Wonders has focused on MW being a thematic game rather than using a minimalist design sensibility, and I think that hurt it's broader market appeal to some extent.

I don't even think MW really needed spellbook construction from a design perspective. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the putting together spellbooks, but if the spellbooks were all pre-built, that would be another way of lowering the barrier to entry, would make it much cheaper to get into the game, and would have potentially allowed more mages to be released faster. Those spellbooks would have to be better than the starting spellbooks in current MW products by a lot, and I would have wanted each of them to have several lines of play and strong opening options, but I think it would have solved a lot of problems that people have had with Mage Wars like the poor card distribution in the core set. Many people don't want to put the time into spellbook construction.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: iNano78 on March 12, 2015, 03:05:04 PM
Experienced players can play control and attrition mirror matches in 90 minutes. Aggressive mirror matches tend to be over faster, but my sense is that people are overestimating how much longer a match will go if players turtle (assuming experienced players that play quickly). If only one player is playing attrition, the game can often be finished in an hour unless something is really dragging it out. You don't need to make an implicit agreement to be aggressive to speed up the game. That would be much more important for new players than experienced players.

Now, a typical game of Mage Wars is going to be longer than a typical game of MtG by quite a bit, but I've never understood the argument that you can get more other games played if you play something else. Sure, if you play MtG or Race for the Galaxy, you'll get more games in, but the real question is whether you would find that one game of Mage Wars or the 2-5 games of MtG you could play in the same time period more satisfying. If number of games played was the main criterion for which games I played, I would never play Terra Mystica, Mage Knight, or Through the Ages, and I would stick to Race for the Galaxy and other games that can be played in under 10 minutes.

While I'm generally in agreement regarding quality vs quantity of games played in a given time period, there is an issue with regards to tournament play. It's fairly easy to run a 32 player MtG tournament on a weeknight... but rather difficult to squeeze a Mage Wars tournament in a single day (e.g. starting at 10am on a Saturday morning).

Quote
I agree that Mage Wars would have benefited from a more minimalist design sensibility. There are quite a number of cards that are not good enough to really be considered in a competitive spellbook, or where there is another card that is usually a better alternative. There are a bunch of different keywords and special abilities, several of which are only used on a handful of cards. If MW had taken more of a minimalist approach to creating keywords and conditions and had focused on making a smaller set of cards that are more uniformly useful, the game would be much easier to teach to new players, and it would be cheaper due to having fewer cards. Arcane Wonders has focused on MW being a thematic game rather than using a minimalist design sensibility, and I think that hurt it's broader market appeal to some extent.

I don't even think MW really needed spellbook construction from a design perspective. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the putting together spellbooks, but if the spellbooks were all pre-built, that would be another way of lowering the barrier to entry, would make it much cheaper to get into the game, and would have potentially allowed more mages to be released faster. Those spellbooks would have to be better than the starting spellbooks in current MW products by a lot, and I would have wanted each of them to have several lines of play and strong opening options, but I think it would have solved a lot of problems that people have had with Mage Wars like the poor card distribution in the core set. Many people don't want to put the time into spellbook construction.

The meatiness and spell book construction options add to the replayability. I fear if you were limited to streamlined starter decks, the game would quickly get stale. Unlike card games with random draw, a few "best" openings (and counters to those openings) would likely reveal themselves, and I'd fear that most competitive matches would play out the same way - at least until the luck of the dice factored in. But it's a moot point at this stage. We'll have to wait and see what Academy has to offer.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: sdougla2 on March 12, 2015, 03:34:44 PM
You wouldn't want streamlined starter spellbooks if you were going to rely on prebuilt spellbooks, you would want spellbooks that had several complete play styles incorporated with a variety of opening options.

For example, a Beastmaster with:

6 Thunderift Falcon
4 Timber Wolf
2 Steelclaw Grizzly
1 Cervere

1 Lair
1 Battle Forge
2 Mana Flowers
1 Ring of Beasts
1 Enchanter's Ring
1 Meditation Amulet

has several different opening types that lead to distinct play styles. I count 6 off the top of my head that look reasonable (Lair rush, Battle Forge rush, Mana Flowers -> big creatures, Lair + Meditation Amulet, Full economy, and Ring rush). Are you going to play all of that early economy? Not most of the time, but it gives you options. I worked a bit on a similar Straywood Beastmaster spellbook for a while. Maybe it would get stale faster without spellbook building, but I don't think it would happen nearly as fast as you think it would if you did a good job with the spellbooks.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: MikeMikeMike on March 14, 2015, 11:09:30 PM
Just a note of affirmation- Today, my local playgroup here in Vancouver, Canada just hosted its first mini-tournament, with a few additions from various other websites (boardgamegeek, etc), so the question of whether the magic-fired train that is Mage Wars is losing steam feels especially irrelevant to us.

I know little of other tabletop gaming experiences, given that I'm a relative newcomer to this scene, but this game has a strategic depth that feels profound, and the sort of nerve-wracking personal accountability (with nothing external to blame for wayward outcomes but dice, that will themselves average out) that is beyond compelling. The designers' decisions to ensure this game remained affordable ( ie, non-collectible), the game's rich thematic landscape, and the sheer uniqueness, playability and (relative) balance of nearly every mage is, simply, a wonderful accomplishment.

Thus concludes my paean of adoration for MW- thanks, Pope(s) + Brosman & Co, and please, keep on going! The Wizard is an overpowered scoundrel, though, and deserves no more arcane cards with even moderate utility in upcoming expansions.

Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: ChimpZilla on March 15, 2015, 06:31:35 PM
The lack of OCTGN presense, for instance, is a symptom of lack of popularity, not a cause; ditto for forum activity.   

I never said that. My seven points were in response to the OP of whether the game is bleeding popularity, not the cause. The forums were losing members prior to FiF.

Quote
Mage Wars is more tactical (and arguably more strategic) than most of the similar games you list, with harder decisions that have bigger consequences (vs "draw a card and hope it helps me").


Which is a harder decision with bigger consequences: Having to build magic vs. keeping assets in your hand; Or, picking whichever spells you want, turn after turn?

Quote
The design flaws you list are the main reasons I got out of MtG - specifically its flawed resource system (e.g. MtG's resource system depends on "luck of the draw", where you routinely get mana flooded or mana screwed through no fault of your own, leading to ~ 40% "interesting matches" that aren't decided by who got less screwed by their mana supply)... although the cost of a collectible game with stupid-ridiculous secondary market economy helped (who can still afford to play that game?!). 

I find this prevailing sentiment here ironic given it's from superfans of a game with considerable dice variance. Either way, this willfully ignores the deck archetypes that perform reliably in competitive play across different formats and the level of skill involved in deck building and balancing a mana curve. Or do you think it's pure chance that these decks have flourished? Are you implying that in the history of MtG, some of the most decorated (and Hall of Fame) players luck-sacked their way into success? It's cool if you dislike the game, vanilla vs. chocolate and all that, but that notion is a stretch. 


Quote
And the board control mechanics are among the features of Mage Wars that make it unique and interesting - along with access to any card in your entire "deck" on any given turn, the way enchantments work, etc.

There's nothing overly innovative or unique about board control in this game. Hindering, guard, et al., are derivative and easy to circumvent since you can dial up an answer on any given turn. And teleport. Screw teleport with a boat oar. Seriously.

And the board is too small at 4x3 to be a factor in positioning.  I won/lost games due more to sequencing of plays and whether I went for the face or not, rather than poor positioning. Enchantments are cool and have potential, but they ruined some of that by making spells like Nullify mandatory reveals.

Mage Wars is essentially an overbaked hybrid of Starcraft and Hearthstone IRL form. It's a fine game and product backed by a good company. It didn't reinvent gaming, fight world hunger, cure cancer, or sleep with everyone's mom last night. It's not any more or less strategic/tactical as any other good games out there as many MW Evangelists claim IMO.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Wildhorn on March 15, 2015, 08:11:58 PM
I think Mage Wars lost popularity when Sherrif of Nothingham took "all the time" of Arcane Wonders. When SoN got released, it gave me the feeling MW was less important to AW. We almost got no MW news during that time.

Also, the lack of previews of futur expansions really hurt. We need previews to make us salivate at the idea to hold an expansion in our hands. To create a desire for it.

The last thing that hurt MW alot is the pre-built spellbook in the core box to learn the game. These spellbook are meant to teach the game to new players, but it also make the first game to last 3 hours. It is a big turn off for many people I am sure. Yes with experience games get shorter, but I think these spellbook should have been made more agressive.

I really hope that MW:Academy will bring tons of players and allow games of 30-45 minutes (so I can play during lunch time at job).
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Boocheck on March 16, 2015, 01:02:44 AM
Dont worry :)

You will play during lunch time, dinner time, cofee breaks, smoking breaks...
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: V10lentray on March 16, 2015, 07:36:58 AM
There might not have been a lot to show off when Sherrif was being released because there was a lot going on on playtesting.

Do you want us to show you a card that is probably going to change 3-4 times before it is released. Then when it is released you would get mad because it's not as broken as we showed you previously. 

There is a lot going on with MW this year. You will get 3 sets of cards relesed this year, plus a but load of Promo cards.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Wildhorn on March 16, 2015, 07:40:28 AM
There might not have been a lot to show off when Sherrif was being released because there was a lot going on on playtesting.

Do you want us to show you a card that is probably going to change 3-4 times before it is released. Then when it is released you would get mad because it's not as broken as we showed you previously. 

There is a lot going on with MW this year. You will get 3 sets of cards relesed this year, plus a but load of Promo cards.

I don't believe that there is not at least couple cards that are in their final form for the next expansion when there is already 3 expansion planned.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: iNano78 on March 16, 2015, 07:55:51 AM
At risk of feeding the troll...

Mage Wars is more tactical (and arguably more strategic) than most of the similar games you list, with harder decisions that have bigger consequences (vs "draw a card and hope it helps me").


Which is a harder decision with bigger consequences: Having to build magic vs. keeping assets in your hand; Or, picking whichever spells you want, turn after turn?

The latter.

In the former, I might have a choice between one good play, one mediocre play, and waiting until next turn where I might have a better opportunity (or might just draw an unnecessary land card). In the latter, I have every option available to me simultaneously and have to choose between aggression, restraint, primary plan, back-up plan, etc.

Quote
Quote
The design flaws you list are the main reasons I got out of MtG - specifically its flawed resource system (e.g. MtG's resource system depends on "luck of the draw", where you routinely get mana flooded or mana screwed through no fault of your own, leading to ~ 40% "interesting matches" that aren't decided by who got less screwed by their mana supply)... although the cost of a collectible game with stupid-ridiculous secondary market economy helped (who can still afford to play that game?!). 

I find this prevailing sentiment here ironic given it's from superfans of a game with considerable dice variance. Either way, this willfully ignores the deck archetypes that perform reliably in competitive play across different formats and the level of skill involved in deck building and balancing a mana curve. Or do you think it's pure chance that these decks have flourished? Are you implying that in the history of MtG, some of the most decorated (and Hall of Fame) players luck-sacked their way into success? It's cool if you dislike the game, vanilla vs. chocolate and all that, but that notion is a stretch. 

Ah the dice argument. Rolling mitt-fulls of essentially 3-sided dice is pretty low variance. On the other hand, MW could be played without dice and it wouldn't change much. The expectation value per die is 1, with 0.5 critical and 0.5 regular. You could use expectations and never roll dice if you wanted. But the dice add a little uncertainty, which I personally like. A Bitterwood Fox has a slim but nonzero chance of damaging an Iron Golem, for instance, instead of "blocker's toughness exceeds attacker's power" style determination.

As for MTG, there is certainly skill involved. Over time, good players will have better results than bad players.  I love(d) MTG despite all its flaws - but i don't play it anymore for a lot of reasons. And with MW around, I don't miss MTG.

The point you may have missed is that you can build a 60-card MTG deck with the mathematically correct distribution of resource cards and spells (typically 24 lands in the absence of other accelerators), draw 7 and be forced to mulligan one or more times. Or say you draw 3 lands and 4 spells that cost 4+, decide to go with it (you're unlikely to do better), and then draw nothing but more expensive spells while your opponent beats you down and you're stuck at 3 lands. In the gaming world, that's a negative play experience (NPE) that tends to discourage people. And that (and various others, like being flooded in mana with no useful spells, or being unable to draw your 4-of answer that you need, or whatever) comes up a lot in MTG. A simple rule change, where you divide your deck into lands and nonlands and chose which to draw from whenever you draw a card, would solve the issue... but it would probably ruin the secondary market for dual lands and such, and WotC is already intimidated by their superfans and those looking to retire off proceeds from their "no reprint" collections... but I digress.

On topic, there's variance and then there's NPE "can't play the game because no resources" - and variance can be desirable, but NPE never is. MW has one; MTG has the other.


Quote
Quote
And the board control mechanics are among the features of Mage Wars that make it unique and interesting - along with access to any card in your entire "deck" on any given turn, the way enchantments work, etc.

There's nothing overly innovative or unique about board control in this game. Hindering, guard, et al., are derivative and easy to circumvent since you can dial up an answer on any given turn. And teleport. Screw teleport with a boat oar. Seriously.

<Insert butt-hurt puppy image here>

Quote
And the board is too small at 4x3 to be a factor in positioning.  I won/lost games due more to sequencing of plays and whether I went for the face or not, rather than poor positioning. Enchantments are cool and have potential, but they ruined some of that by making spells like Nullify mandatory reveals.

Mage Wars is essentially an overbaked hybrid of Starcraft and Hearthstone IRL form. It's a fine game and product backed by a good company. It didn't reinvent gaming, fight world hunger, cure cancer, or sleep with everyone's mom last night. It's not any more or less strategic/tactical as any other good games out there as many MW Evangelists claim IMO.

So... why are you here, posting on the Arcane Wonders MW forum? Are you trying to convince people not to play MW? To play something else? Are you encouraging the designers to print cards that prevent teleport, a better Nullify that isn't a forced reveal, etc? Do you just want to insult people because it makes you feel good?

Mage Wars isn't as popular as some other similar games. The OP wonders why that is. I think most of us on this forum would like to see MW gain in popularity because it's a very good game that has several improvements over its competition and lots of promise - that is, even if you don't like some cards and interactions, the core rules are a great framework for expansion and improvement as new cards and mages are developed.

So what can be done to increase the popularity of MW?
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Laddinfance on March 16, 2015, 08:22:33 AM
I don't believe that there is not at least couple cards that are in their final form for the next expansion when there is already 3 expansion planned.

I've worked on Mage Wars since the original core set. I started just playtesting. One thing I have realized about this process is that you never know what card might need reworking next. Something that you though was "done" may need revisiting again before you publish.

I'm proud of the work we've been able to do on the sets I've worked on, and I as such I want to show them off to you. As I became more involved with the company I was pushing to get previews out there for our fantastic players. It's exciting that I'll be able to start showing you the cards for Domination very soon.

I know the last year communication was spotty. In January I decided to really double down on Mage Wars so that all of our players can get the expansions they're excited for. It's a lot of work, and it was a crazy way to start my second year working for AW full time, but I'm confident in the work we're doing. You'll be pleasantly surprised when you see it, and I'm working hard to make sure that is sooner rather than later.

One last thing, everyone has their opinions about what makes a great game and what is or is not preferable. In any game people can generally find things they do not like and wish had been done differently. There is no reason for either side to be hypercritical of the other. Ever since I worked retail, I've always firmly believed that people should play the games they love. I hope as many people as possible love Mage Wars, after all you're the people I'm designing for.

I'll stop butting in on this conversation. I hope you're all having a fantastic Monday.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: jhaelen on March 17, 2015, 03:22:03 AM
Ah the dice argument. Rolling mitt-fulls of essentially 3-sided dice is pretty low variance. On the other hand, MW could be played without dice and it wouldn't change much.
Actually, I think it would change the game quite a bit. Mostly it will cause players to re-evaluate creatures and attack spells, causing more of them to never see play. Currently sub-par cards can still get lucky rolls, giving them at least a chance to be worthwhile.

However, you're ignoring the more important issue of the effect die. It's a single d12 roll and thus highly variable. Typically, spells with effect dice are chosen because of their effects, not because of their damage. It makes a major difference if you manage to stun your target or not.

There's a reason why Akiro's Favour was designed and is such a popular card. It's an attempt to fix a weakness in the game's design, and frankly I'd like to see more, similar spells allowing rerolls.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: iNano78 on March 17, 2015, 12:06:29 PM
Ah the dice argument. Rolling mitt-fulls of essentially 3-sided dice is pretty low variance. On the other hand, MW could be played without dice and it wouldn't change much.
Actually, I think it would change the game quite a bit. Mostly it will cause players to re-evaluate creatures and attack spells, causing more of them to never see play. Currently sub-par cards can still get lucky rolls, giving them at least a chance to be worthwhile.

Aside: If you choose to run a "sub-par card" based on its chance of lucky rolls (e.g. "Well, it rolled all crits that one time..."), then perhaps you should reconsider.

However, you're ignoring the more important issue of the effect die. It's a single d12 roll and thus highly variable. Typically, spells with effect dice are chosen because of their effects, not because of their damage. It makes a major difference if you manage to stun your target or not.

There's a reason why Akiro's Favour was designed and is such a popular card. It's an attempt to fix a weakness in the game's design, and frankly I'd like to see more, similar spells allowing rerolls.

You make rolling a d12 sound worse than it is.  You're generally not looking at 1/12 probabilities, and in most cases, a d4 or d6 would have worked, but they opted for a d12 for flexibility, especially for how it allows things like Tough -X and Damage Type +/- X.  Usually the probability of an effect die triggering is 1/3 (9+), 1/2 (7+) or 2/3 (5+).  Sure, you can have a run of "bad luck" where you never roll an effect all game... but you'd might as well have flipped a (weighted?) coin a few times, or drawn from a deck comprised of some "yes' and "no" cards (assuming you shuffle between draws; see next paragraph).  I'm sure you could point me to a few rare examples with 1/4 or maybe even 1/6 of triggering an effect, maybe worse if factoring in Tough -X and/or Damage Type -X, but most of the time it's closer to 1/2. 

As for Akiro's Favor, I agree it decreases variance but I still don't see a design flaw that it corrects.  There are a lot of other games with much higher variance than MW, using your choice of dice, cards, chit draws... whatever randomizer you want.  Some people have an aversion to dice, claiming that somehow there is more variance in dice than other randomizers.  They might have a point in some cases; e.g. if I keep drawing cards from a standard deck, I'm guaranteed to draw the Ace of Spades after no more than 52 draws; if I roll a d12, I'm NOT guaranteed to roll a natural 12 after 52 rolls... but as the number of rolls increases, the probability of not drawing a natural 12 becomes miniscule.  Personally, I'm fine with dice, but YMMV.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: jhaelen on March 18, 2015, 03:19:33 AM
There are a lot of other games with much higher variance than MW, using your choice of dice, cards, chit draws...
Yup, but are these games that compete with MW? Arguably, Summoner Wars also uses dice... Anyway, as you say, YMMV.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: exid on March 18, 2015, 07:51:53 AM
I read a lot of messages about too long 3 hours games, and normal 45-60 minutes games...

My normal MW games are 4-6 hours long and I like that!
(min: 2h30 max: gave up after 8h)
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: iNano78 on March 18, 2015, 08:05:15 AM
I read a lot of messages about too long 3 hours games, and normal 45-60 minutes games...

My normal MW games are 4-6 hours long and I like that!
(min: 2h30 max: gave up after 8h)

My normal MW games with my wife are 4-6 hours... because she's a rules lawyer who won't believe anything I tell her (regarding what a keyword means or how it gets applied in this situation, or that there has been errata to the first-printing card text, or that Tanglevine really does get destroyed when you teleport, or...).

Our MW games with our (new) regular MW group have all been 50-70 minutes.  No exceptions so far (after ~ 6 matches).  These are all IRL card games, not OCTGN.  *edit* Caveat: in each case, at least one player has played aggressively.  It's possible that a match might take 2+ hours if both players were to turtle early, but we haven't experienced that yet.

My conclusion: the game itself takes about an hour, but referencing and reading the rules, FAQ, errata and Codex can easily add several hours if both players don't already know (and agree on) all the ins and outs of every card.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Wildhorn on March 18, 2015, 09:30:08 AM
I read a lot of messages about too long 3 hours games, and normal 45-60 minutes games...

My normal MW games are 4-6 hours long and I like that!
(min: 2h30 max: gave up after 8h)

God damn!

My games last 60-90 minutes.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: V10lentray on March 18, 2015, 11:36:48 AM
I think I would start bashing me head against the wall at the 2 hour mark.  Must be a total case of anaysis Paralysis.

How do you not run out of cards and things to do after a while.

I think he mistakingly entered the wrong forum, and think he's in the Twilight Imperium III forumn.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: exid on March 18, 2015, 02:25:16 PM
I like long games (under 4h it doesn't worth starting to play !).
And I admit that we take time to think, have a beer, a smoke&talk break on the balcony,...
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: sIKE on March 22, 2015, 01:17:37 AM
Quote
And AW wouldn't be prioritizing a variant with objectives and a boardless version of the game if these complaints had no merit.
I find this interesting, in the times I have taught new players the game, I have come across two distinct groups one is the mini's wargamer gamers camp (long games don't bother them a bit) and the other group is the boardless deckbuilding style gamers camp. This is the group that (I am from neither believe it or not I am more of a Euro kind of guy and don't mind long games) seems to have the largest amount of having game time be an issue. Quantity of games is higher on the list. The latter group is a much larger group of players and therefore (and smartly I may add) they are working on something the meets the Quantity need of the group but provide as the thread here has named it dice RNG over draw variance. I hope that this encourages more players to get involved in the larger MW world but if it is a hit in and of itself I will still be tickled pink....
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: wtcannonjr on March 22, 2015, 08:28:43 AM
The last session I played with my friend Nick lasted 12 hours. We played 6 matches over the course of a Saturday and had a mixture of see saw battles and dominate wins. We use a randomizer deck of the 12 Mages to select match ups for each game. Even though we didn't play the same spellbooks each time we still got faster at playing. This game definitely plays faster with time as you learn the individual spells and the patterns of combinations that are effective in different situations.

I agree with sIKE. Those who view Mage Wars largely as a card game want faster play to meet individual and gaming groups' expectations while those who view MW as a non-euro board game find the game experience more often exceeds their expectations.

I am looking forward to the new expansions because I have gaming friends that fall into both groups and it gives me more options to offer the Mage War experience to more players in a format they find appealing.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Laddinfance on March 23, 2015, 08:49:27 AM
Everyone, keep in mind it is totally possible for someone to love a game, and be frustrated with aspects of it. I may not agree with ProjectMayhem, but I can totally understand his points. However, we need to keep personal attacks out of it. This is a reasonable discourse, lets keep it that way guys.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: silverclawgrizzly on March 23, 2015, 11:41:34 AM
We just had the joy of watching a new mage warrior make his first spell book in my kitchen....and the face palm of another wizard being born....lol. In the end though he went with another mage. It's picking up some steam around here.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Coshade on March 23, 2015, 05:30:36 PM
Chicago is really picking up in popularity. I am seeing new players out here all the time.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: wtcannonjr on March 23, 2015, 06:40:03 PM
Chicago is really picking up in popularity. I am seeing new players out here all the time.

Great news. How about some new videos? We miss your sessions.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Coshade on March 24, 2015, 03:41:34 PM
Chicago is really picking up in popularity. I am seeing new players out here all the time.

Great news. How about some new videos? We miss your sessions.

Aww thanks guys  :'(  Intangible and I are both ready to make some more videos. There were a few outside stuff that prevented us from making videos (had nothing to do with us) for a few months but we are hoping to bring out some more soon! I can't wait to show you guys my Beast slinger in action :P  I'm hoping to start releasing videos in the next month.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: exid on April 03, 2015, 02:19:39 AM
I thought yesterday about your "less than 2 hours games"...

we begun a Dwarf warlord vs Miss warlock shortly after 6pm, at 2am the bar closed.
I had to abandon an arena full of golems (I could have won in a few rounds), he had to abandon a spellbook full of demons (he would have won after a few rounds)... argl! far more frustrating than a good defeat!
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: sdougla2 on April 03, 2015, 03:16:49 AM
8 hours to a draw?!? That is one seriously long game of Mage Wars. My initial reaction is, well, clearly the Warlord and Warlock spent too much time dithering and not enough time kicking their opponent in the face.

To give you some idea of play times I experience, one of the most long term, attrition focused games I've ever seen was a game where I played a hardcore attrition Priestess against an attrition Earth Wizard, and I won after killing 3 Iron Golems, a Gorgon Archer, an Earth Elemental, and Malacoda. My opponent still had another Earth Elemental and another Gorgon Archer on the board, but by that point I didn't care. Once I actually started focusing his mage down, I won pretty much immediately. I think that game took about 2 hours. Other times I've played 3-4 games of MW in about 3 hours. Of course, I've played 146 games of Mage Wars, and my play has sped up considerably since I started playing, but still, I've never played a game of MW that was even close to 8 hours.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Boocheck on April 03, 2015, 04:29:42 AM
They must throw you something into your drink at the bar :) . 8 hours? My first 2v2 match was about 4 hours. But 8 hours beween 2 players?

I played my first game as if i was a pokemon trainer. My creatures against his creatures. Now i understand, that name of the game is not creature wars but mage wars and i focus on enemy mage more often :)

I would recomend to chack one of "arcane duels" episode. :)
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Wildhorn on April 03, 2015, 08:02:30 AM
I thought yesterday about your "less than 2 hours games"...

we begun a Dwarf warlord vs Miss warlock shortly after 6pm, at 2am the bar closed.
I had to abandon an arena full of golems (I could have won in a few rounds), he had to abandon a spellbook full of demons (he would have won after a few rounds)... argl! far more frustrating than a good defeat!

Did you spend 30 minutes every time to choose your 2 spells? Did you know that the goal is to kill the opponent mage? What made that game last so long?
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Biblofilter on April 03, 2015, 09:46:59 AM
Yesterday i played a really interesting game on OCTGN which lasted 4,5 and which we didn't finish and a second one where my opponent died in turn 3.

I enjoyed the first match and kind of regret the second game (but he said he only had half and hour or so)

We had players in our Group that wanted shorter matches so we started using tournament rules - 75 min/game + finish the round.

I had an effect on my choice of mage and spellbooks, because i sat down and tried to make a faster spellbook.
Tried making a spellbook without a spawnpoint or mana-increasers.

Me personal - i like long games, but not unnecessary long games.

Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Coshade on April 03, 2015, 05:31:29 PM
Yesterday i played a really interesting game on OCTGN which lasted 4,5 and which we didn't finish and a second one where my opponent died in turn 3.

I enjoyed the first match and kind of regret the second game (but he said he only had half and hour or so)

We had players in our Group that wanted shorter matches so we started using tournament rules - 75 min/game + finish the round.

I had an effect on my choice of mage and spellbooks, because i sat down and tried to make a faster spellbook.
Tried making a spellbook without a spawnpoint or mana-increasers.

Me personal - i like long games, but not unnecessary long games.

Personally I like playing Mage Wars without the tournament time limits. I remember some of my biggest problems with tourny rules during a tournament is new players asking the ref  for rules because they didn't trust what I told them. It was understandable but it took a lot of time (like 5 minutes) to get everything clear. I also think the distraction of a time limit takes up more brain power that could be used toward game play. That being said I don't think I've ever gone to time in a match (although spellbooks like the blasting banker tends to go toward time more).
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Intangible0 on April 04, 2015, 05:57:08 AM
Yesterday i played a really interesting game on OCTGN which lasted 4,5 and which we didn't finish and a second one where my opponent died in turn 3.

I enjoyed the first match and kind of regret the second game (but he said he only had half and hour or so)

We had players in our Group that wanted shorter matches so we started using tournament rules - 75 min/game + finish the round.

I had an effect on my choice of mage and spellbooks, because i sat down and tried to make a faster spellbook.
Tried making a spellbook without a spawnpoint or mana-increasers.

Me personal - i like long games, but not unnecessary long games.



For those who want quicker matches or like the idea of going to tournaments playing with the time limit is a great idea. Most players don't realize the stress and tactical errors that comes with a time limit. Practicing under these conditions could make you a reckless player but could also train you to be more decisive and gain those instincts needed to thwart your opponent no matter the situation.

I feel that most players are with you on longer games. They prefer to play a deck that performs exactly as it should and that may take some time. All the while games that take too long can really put people off. If you keep throwing some games around with the tournament rules you and your players will, without a doubt learn to make faster decisions. Then you won't have to always use the timer.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on April 04, 2015, 10:54:46 AM

Yesterday i played a really interesting game on OCTGN which lasted 4,5 and which we didn't finish and a second one where my opponent died in turn 3.

I enjoyed the first match and kind of regret the second game (but he said he only had half and hour or so)

We had players in our Group that wanted shorter matches so we started using tournament rules - 75 min/game + finish the round.

I had an effect on my choice of mage and spellbooks, because i sat down and tried to make a faster spellbook.
Tried making a spellbook without a spawnpoint or mana-increasers.

Me personal - i like long games, but not unnecessary long games.



For those who want quicker matches or like the idea of going to tournaments playing with the time limit is a great idea. Most players don't realize the stress and tactical errors that comes with a time limit. Practicing under these conditions could make you a reckless player but could also train you to be more decisive and gain those instincts needed to thwart your opponent no matter the situation.

I feel that most players are with you on longer games. They prefer to play a deck that performs exactly as it should and that may take some time. All the while games that take too long can really put people off. If you keep throwing some games around with the tournament rules you and your players will, without a doubt learn to make faster decisions. Then you won't have to always use the timer.

In my experience if a player is sufficiently familiar with their spellbook and sufficiently skilled, the vast majority of the time games won't go over 2 hours even with the most controlling books. When I have seen or played longer games than that the bulk of the extra time tends to be in the thinking and planning.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: kiwipaul on April 08, 2015, 07:59:50 AM
So back to the Original question.  Is Mage Wars losing popularity?

Seems in the US, NO (I hope)
In the rest of the world yes, ( a shame)

as post script, I have played a lot of Mage Wars and have never had a game go over 2 hours, most are around 1 to 90 minutes and those within the tornament settings, such at Organised Play were usually over within 30 minutes, nasty, brutal and short.

By the way, Organised Play, have they died a natural death?
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Laddinfance on April 08, 2015, 08:09:41 AM
By the way, Organised Play, have they died a natural death?

No, OP is not dead. The current kit has had several hang ups, but we're still working on it.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: exid on April 08, 2015, 08:11:08 AM
In my experience if a player is sufficiently familiar with their spellbook and sufficiently skilled, the vast majority of the time games won't go over 2 hours even with the most controlling books. When I have seen or played longer games than that the bulk of the extra time tends to be in the thinking and planning.

When you play with friends on saturday night, the extra time is chatting with them too.
That's for me an important part of the game (I hate time limite!).
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: kiwipaul on April 08, 2015, 08:25:04 AM
True, we enjoy longer games to try different strategies.  Time limits are used for competitions or organized play and have a completely different style.  Much more aggressive.  No spending 10 turns summoning Crystals and preparing it is do or die.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: fas723 on April 08, 2015, 09:49:00 AM
I ask the same question in here as I did in the Battleground topic:

Quote
Speaking of what Koz just have mentioned, what has been said in the other topic "Is MW losing popularity", and that both you Scott and Aaron have replied to the subject in here I would really like to hear what plan AW has to get the EU market going again. Please say you have nice plan here and that you are not just going to leave it as is. I have the same feeling out of Sweden as my other follow European buddies that MW really need you commitment over here to survive / turn the trend.

If this isn't the right topic I'm sorry, but please reply in new one then. Thanks!
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Boocheck on April 09, 2015, 04:31:28 AM
Hi,

i am a MW ambassador in Czech Republic and i must say that "time gap" between FiF and another expansion was trully a big one but with a proper care, my gaming comunity keep its numbers and in some ways, grow a little bit and expand to another city thanks to a guy who had a same passion as me.

Yeah, we loose some cities but i am prepared for reignition with Academy. Now, i would like to ask, what kind of "plan" or commitment you would like to see from the hands of arcane wonders.

You know that there is only 5 ppl with limited resources (time is resource too :) ).

This post was written in curious manner, not "snarkly" or "trolly" one :)
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: iNano78 on April 09, 2015, 06:54:09 AM
... Now, i would like to ask, what kind of "plan" or commitment you would like to see from the hands of arcane wonders.

I may be in the minority, but ideally going forward I'd like to see a new MW "Arena" expansion every 6 months. This could be 1 "large" 2-mage expansion (e.g. Forcemaster/Warlord, Druid/Necromancer, Paladin/Siren) and 1 "small" 2 alt-mage expansion (Conquest of Kumanjaro, Forged in Fire) per year -  in addition to anything else that gets released (Battlegrounds expansions featuring new ways to play or expanding on existing ways to play within the Arena framework; Academy expansions featuring a pair of mages; non-mage "spell tome" releases like the upcoming "promos" tome). But I imagine we'll only see the one 2-mage "Arena" release this year (Paladin/Siren) due to the debuts of both Battlegrounds and Academy. 

Depending on the popularity of Academy, I could also imagine only getting one 2-mage "Arena" expansion per year and one 2-mage Academy expansion per year, since that seems to be the way  Academy will be released - although they might want to get a couple Academy sets out ASAP for some variety because I fear just Priestess vs Warlock might get stale pretty quickly.  This, along with more Battlegrounds support and the occasional auxiliary expansion (like the promo tome), maybe alternating from year to year, might be enough for me. Ymmv.

*edit*

Example release schedule (based on the latter, conservative release schedule):
* Spring 2015 - Battlegrounds: Domination (Arena auxiliary release)
* Summer 2015 - Academy: Priestess vs Warlock (Academy main/core release)
* Fall 2015 - Arena: Paladin vs Siren (Arena large expansion release)
* Fall 2015 - Arena: "promo tome TBA" (Arena auxiliary release)
* Fall 2015: Academy: main/core release (e.g. Wizard vs Beastmaster or similar)
* Spring 2016: Arena: small expansion release TBA (e.g. alt-Wizard/alt-Forcemaster pack analogous to Forged in Fire?)
* Summer 2016: Battlegrounds expansion (adding to, or completely different from, "Domination")
* Fall 2016: Academy: main/core release (e.g. Forcemaster vs Warlord or similar)
* Spring 2017: Arena: large expansion release TBA (e.g. Elementalist vs whatever or similar)
* Summer 2017: Arena: auxiliary spell tome (like promos)
* Fall 2017: Academy: main/core release (e.g. Driud vs Necromancer or similar)
* Spring 2018: Arena: small expansion release TBA (e.g. alt-Necromancer vs alt-Paladin or similar)
* Summer 2018: Arena: Battlegrounds expansion (adding to, or completely different from, "Domination")
* Fall 2018: Academy: main/core release (e.g. Siren vs Paladin or similar)
... etc ...
(new editions and reprints of core sets and expansions, like this spring's 4th printing of "Arena" and reprint of Forcemaster vs Warlord, would occur occasionally as necessary)
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: fas723 on April 09, 2015, 09:50:49 AM
My question wasn't so much about expansions, but rather the general view of the European market from AW.

Even if I agree with your thoughts iNano my concerns with Europe is that "nothing" happens in Eu like it does in the States where AW participates in fairs, arrange tournaments, or just show its presents except for there product via retailers.

As ambassador in Sweden I would really like to hear the future plan AW has for EU since time is running short to turn the tide if you listen to what people in here has to say in the matter.

I ask the same question in here as I did in the Battleground topic:

Quote
Speaking of what Koz just have mentioned, what has been said in the other topic "Is MW losing popularity", and that both you Scott and Aaron have replied to the subject in here I would really like to hear what plan AW has to get the EU market going again. Please say you have nice plan here and that you are not just going to leave it as is. I have the same feeling out of Sweden as my other follow European buddies that MW really need you commitment over here to survive / turn the trend.

If this isn't the right topic I'm sorry, but please reply in new one then. Thanks!
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Lord0fWinter on April 09, 2015, 10:28:04 AM
My question wasn't so much about expansions, but rather the general view of the European market from AW.

Even if I agree with your thoughts iNano my concerns with Europe is that "nothing" happens in Eu like it does in the States where AW participates in fairs, arrange tournaments, or just show its presents except for there product via retailers.

As ambassador in Sweden I would really like to hear the future plan AW has for EU since time is running short to turn the tide if you listen to what people in here has to say in the matter.

Again though, this is going to be really hard for AW to do on their own since they have ~5 employees and have limited funds.

I'm sure they would LOVE to go to Essen but it probably isn't possible for them right now (unless I'm mistaken and they've been going). Therefore, they are going to end up relying on the Ambassadors in Europe to do most of the heavy lifting, which is understandably hard for you guys.

Now it would be great if they somehow got volunteers to run a booth at Essen or perhaps even hired somebody who lived somewhere in Europe to work solely for the market over there but I don't know if something like this is remotely possible for them.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Schwenkgott on April 09, 2015, 12:18:13 PM
I will be in Essen 8)
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Toxziq on April 09, 2015, 01:55:06 PM
My question wasn't so much about expansions, but rather the general view of the European market from AW.

Even if I agree with your thoughts iNano my concerns with Europe is that "nothing" happens in Eu like it does in the States where AW participates in fairs, arrange tournaments, or just show its presents except for there product via retailers.

As ambassador in Sweden I would really like to hear the future plan AW has for EU since time is running short to turn the tide if you listen to what people in here has to say in the matter.

I ask the same question in here as I did in the Battleground topic:

Quote
Speaking of what Koz just have mentioned, what has been said in the other topic "Is MW losing popularity", and that both you Scott and Aaron have replied to the subject in here I would really like to hear what plan AW has to get the EU market going again. Please say you have nice plan here and that you are not just going to leave it as is. I have the same feeling out of Sweden as my other follow European buddies that MW really need you commitment over here to survive / turn the trend.

If this isn't the right topic I'm sorry, but please reply in new one then. Thanks!

Hi everyone!  As VP of sales, marketing, distributor and partner relations I wanted to chime in here.

First, yes, we want to grow in the European market and no, we don't ever want to leave a market "as is".  We love our fans in Europe and I've had the pleasure of working with several of the ambassadors there who are all excellent.

Regarding fairs, shows, and events, we are a US based company and are small, we are only 5 people.  It is much more affordable to make it to local shows in the US like Origins and Gen Con than it is to get someone from our company to Essen or the UK Games Expo for example.  To give you a rough idea, for the cost of getting one person to and back from Essen, I can get an entire 20 x 20 booth and marketing at Origins.  As a fan of board gaming, there are many European small companies our size who I would love to see come to Gen Con, but simply can't do it, for very similar reasons.  I can never fault a small company for trying to spend it's money wisely this way and hope no one faults us in the same fashion.

In that light, it's why we focus so much on Ambassador relations.  Like many other competitive card games, our game thrives when supported by the community.  Last year we had several events hosted by European Ambassadors.  Jannis Grimm held gameplay events at Essen with our partner Pegasus, and this year we plan on having Chris Brett, another ambassador, at the UK Games Expo playing and teaching Mage Wars.  Just because none of us from the States make it there doesn't mean we're not trying to take advantage of opportunities in the region.

The biggest challenge I see us facing is local store organized play.  Many retailers we speak to tell us they have no one in their communities willing to step up to manage it.  This is where we need ambassador help.  If you want to see Mage Wars thrive, there is no better way than offering you FLGS some of your time to organize play groups, generate and build a community and build to organized play.

As a great example, here is a video that Jan Kriz, an ambassador of ours overseas, put together about events he's had an impact with:

https://youtu.be/AptRPtTyL9Y?t=5m30s

Do we need to release more product to keep the game from becoming stale?  Yes.  Bryan is keenly aware of the delay from a design and business standpoint.  He is a perfectionist and I don't think anyone of us wants a product that's not fun to play.  Paladin vs Siren has taken an eternity, to be as transparent as possible, and I for one think the company announced it way too soon in it's development cycle.  We're working to solve three main problems right now:

1.) Introduce more players to the game and community: We are confident new sets and the release of Academy later this year will accomplish this.

2.) Bring out more spells to keep the spellbook options fresh: We are planning on Battlegrounds, Core Spell Tome 3 and Paladin vs Siren, all this year, to accomplish this.  Battlegrounds Domination has already been announced and we are still planning the others this year.

3.) Bring out more Mages: As mentioned, Bryan and Aaron are working on the design of Paladin vs Siren, and we have the next set after PvS planned in mind already for 2016.

Regarding marketing, we have a modest budget and we use that for print and web advertising, in an effort to hit all markets.  We work to advertise in trade magazines that are seen world wide and web sites, like BGG, that have a global impact.

In addition, we have several language translations out, in motion, or coming. We have a few partners interested in beginning with Academy, since they see it as an opportune product to launch in their markets with.  Also, our European distributors all regularly acquire Mage Wars, in English, for sales to retailers in region.

While I understand the frustrations and I greatly appreciate the support form our overseas friends and fans, we look to our communities to help us grow and thrive in areas we don't have official Arcane Wonders staff located in.  Caracas, Venezuela, while yes, not in Europe, is a great example.  There is a local store there who doesn't have a local distributor.  We have worked to not only get them games, but get them set up with an Ambassador and OP and now they are regularly hosting Mage Wars events there, growing their local community. 

I will simply ask this, apart form the obvious of no new sets since Forged in Fire, what is stopping anyone from playing the game and introducing it to new players to help generate interest at the community level?

We have made the game readily available to our distributors.  We have marketed the game with retailers and fans in the region.  We have put the systems in place for volunteer supporters to promote organized play.  We've supported ambassadors at events in regions where and when we can, and as mentioned previously, we're working for 3 sets this year to help bolster the line up.

If anyone has retailers struggling to get the game moving in their community, please have them contact us.  We are more than happy to work with anyone, and in out of the box ways to make things a success.  Ask them what you can do to help locally.  Recommend Organized Play to be held at their store. 

Above all else, we hope everyone knows we want the game to grow and are doing our best to no only deliver a great experience, but also engage and make this a true community.  Games are nothing without players, and our players, unarguably, are the best I've ever met.  We love you, and want to see more success world wide, and more fun in your hands and on your table tops.

As most of you know, I'm a passionate and transparent guy.  Feel free to ask me anything, anytime.

That's my 2 cents... or as we say internally around here... "my 2 mana" :)
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on April 09, 2015, 03:37:54 PM

My question wasn't so much about expansions, but rather the general view of the European market from AW.

Even if I agree with your thoughts iNano my concerns with Europe is that "nothing" happens in Eu like it does in the States where AW participates in fairs, arrange tournaments, or just show its presents except for there product via retailers.

As ambassador in Sweden I would really like to hear the future plan AW has for EU since time is running short to turn the tide if you listen to what people in here has to say in the matter.

I ask the same question in here as I did in the Battleground topic:

Quote
Speaking of what Koz just have mentioned, what has been said in the other topic "Is MW losing popularity", and that both you Scott and Aaron have replied to the subject in here I would really like to hear what plan AW has to get the EU market going again. Please say you have nice plan here and that you are not just going to leave it as is. I have the same feeling out of Sweden as my other follow European buddies that MW really need you commitment over here to survive / turn the trend.

If this isn't the right topic I'm sorry, but please reply in new one then. Thanks!

Hi everyone!  As VP of sales, marketing, distributor and partner relations I wanted to chime in here.

First, yes, we want to grow in the European market and no, we don't ever want to leave a market "as is".  We love our fans in Europe and I've had the pleasure of working with several of the ambassadors there who are all excellent.

Regarding fairs, shows, and events, we are a US based company and are small, we are only 5 people.  It is much more affordable to make it to local shows in the US like Origins and Gen Con than it is to get someone from our company to Essen or the UK Games Expo for example.  To give you a rough idea, for the cost of getting one person to and back from Essen, I can get an entire 20 x 20 booth and marketing at Origins.  As a fan of board gaming, there are many European small companies our size who I would love to see come to Gen Con, but simply can't do it, for very similar reasons.  I can never fault a small company for trying to spend it's money wisely this way and hope no one faults us in the same fashion.

In that light, it's why we focus so much on Ambassador relations.  Like many other competitive card games, our game thrives when supported by the community.  Last year we had several events hosted by European Ambassadors.  Jannis Grimm held gameplay events at Essen with our partner Pegasus, and this year we plan on having Chris Brett, another ambassador, at the UK Games Expo playing and teaching Mage Wars.  Just because none of us from the States make it there doesn't mean we're not trying to take advantage of opportunities in the region.

The biggest challenge I see us facing is local store organized play.  Many retailers we speak to tell us they have no one in their communities willing to step up to manage it.  This is where we need ambassador help.  If you want to see Mage Wars thrive, there is no better way than offering you FLGS some of your time to organize play groups, generate and build a community and build to organized play.

As a great example, here is a video that Jan Kriz, an ambassador of ours overseas, put together about events he's had an impact with:

https://youtu.be/AptRPtTyL9Y?t=5m30s

Do we need to release more product to keep the game from becoming stale?  Yes.  Bryan is keenly aware of the delay from a design and business standpoint.  He is a perfectionist and I don't think anyone of us wants a product that's not fun to play.  Paladin vs Siren has taken an eternity, to be as transparent as possible, and I for one think the company announced it way too soon in it's development cycle.  We're working to solve three main problems right now:

1.) Introduce more players to the game and community: We are confident new sets and the release of Academy later this year will accomplish this.

2.) Bring out more spells to keep the spellbook options fresh: We are planning on Battlegrounds, Core Spell Tome 3 and Paladin vs Siren, all this year, to accomplish this.  Battlegrounds Domination has already been announced and we are still planning the others this year.

3.) Bring out more Mages: As mentioned, Bryan and Aaron are working on the design of Paladin vs Siren, and we have the next set after PvS planned in mind already for 2016.

Regarding marketing, we have a modest budget and we use that for print and web advertising, in an effort to hit all markets.  We work to advertise in trade magazines that are seen world wide and web sites, like BGG, that have a global impact.

In addition, we have several language translations out, in motion, or coming. We have a few partners interested in beginning with Academy, since they see it as an opportune product to launch in their markets with.  Also, our European distributors all regularly acquire Mage Wars, in English, for sales to retailers in region.

While I understand the frustrations and I greatly appreciate the support form our overseas friends and fans, we look to our communities to help us grow and thrive in areas we don't have official Arcane Wonders staff located in.  Caracas, Venezuela, while yes, not in Europe, is a great example.  There is a local store there who doesn't have a local distributor.  We have worked to not only get them games, but get them set up with an Ambassador and OP and now they are regularly hosting Mage Wars events there, growing their local community. 

I will simply ask this, apart form the obvious of no new sets since Forged in Fire, what is stopping anyone from playing the game and introducing it to new players to help generate interest at the community level?

We have made the game readily available to our distributors.  We have marketed the game with retailers and fans in the region.  We have put the systems in place for volunteer supporters to promote organized play.  We've supported ambassadors at events in regions where and when we can, and as mentioned previously, we're working for 3 sets this year to help bolster the line up.

If anyone has retailers struggling to get the game moving in their community, please have them contact us.  We are more than happy to work with anyone, and in out of the box ways to make things a success.  Ask them what you can do to help locally.  Recommend Organized Play to be held at their store. 

Above all else, we hope everyone knows we want the game to grow and are doing our best to no only deliver a great experience, but also engage and make this a true community.  Games are nothing without players, and our players, unarguably, are the best I've ever met.  We love you, and want to see more success world wide, and more fun in your hands and on your table tops.

As most of you know, I'm a passionate and transparent guy.  Feel free to ask me anything, anytime.

That's my 2 cents... or as we say internally around here... "my 2 mana" :)

2 mana...like a hidden enchantment, a ring or a seeking dispel?

Thank you got posting this, it was quite reassuring and helped put things more into perspective.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: sIKE on April 09, 2015, 04:25:10 PM
Quote
2 mana...like a hidden enchantment, a ring or a seeking dispel?

As in my two cents.....
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: steack on April 10, 2015, 11:41:31 AM
hello , i am a french player and i am desesperate !!!


In french  ,  mage wars in french  has stopped by their distributor :/

no promotion , no event , in 6 month , Asmodee has stopped the distribution ..... of the core set , we haven t no traduction of Extention :/


then the  french forum continu to grothw but it s very hard with no help

for the festival in paris , " paris est ludique " i will organise some parties of mage wars , i hope interested some new players ,

if more players in Eu will attempt the same operation ,   i am sure to find more player for this fabulous game !!!

( sorry for my english )
Title: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on April 10, 2015, 11:51:20 AM
hello , i am a french player and i am desesperate !!!


In french  ,  mage wars in french  has stopped by their distributor :/

no promotion , no event , in 6 month , Asmodee has stopped the distribution ..... of the core set , we haven t no traduction of Extention :/


then the  french forum continu to grothw but it s very hard with no help

for the festival in paris , " paris est ludique " i will organise some parties of mage wars , i hope interested some new players ,

if more players in Eu will attempt the same operation ,   i am sure to find more player for this fabulous game !!!

( sorry for my english )

Are you saying that the French mage wars forum continues to grow despite the lack of retailer support, or that it's stopped and will grow again if someone helps?

Also you don't need to apologize for your imperfect English any more than I have to apologize for not knowing French.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Toxziq on April 10, 2015, 01:38:01 PM
hello , i am a french player and i am desesperate !!!


In french  ,  mage wars in french  has stopped by their distributor :/

no promotion , no event , in 6 month , Asmodee has stopped the distribution ..... of the core set , we haven t no traduction of Extention :/


then the  french forum continu to grothw but it s very hard with no help

for the festival in paris , " paris est ludique " i will organise some parties of mage wars , i hope interested some new players ,

if more players in Eu will attempt the same operation ,   i am sure to find more player for this fabulous game !!!

( sorry for my english )

We're working with Asmodee to rectify this.  Their company, Marabuntu, announced late last year they wouldn't continue it, but that public news announcement was the first we had heard.  We've engaged Asmodee and are working with them to determine the best options for them, us, and our fans.  Being as transparent as possible, the biggest challenge has been lack of marketing in France and the lack of sales.  Both we want to change as we work with Asmodee to better the situation.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: steack on April 11, 2015, 09:08:39 AM
 ;D For the momment ,the french forum leave and we have the necessary for continu to game ^^  ,

we have traducted mentalist vs warlord and some description for other extentions ,  and we have multiplied parties on octgn .

i hope asmode retry the distribution of mage wars but the hardcore game is not their specialities .

if it s conserve the same promotion strategy  it will  very hard :/




Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: exid on April 11, 2015, 12:06:37 PM
+1 for steak from geneva!
(trying to understand the us cards with my bad english)
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: fas723 on April 11, 2015, 07:21:00 PM
Thank you Scott for replying to my question of your European view.
I can really understand that it is a lot more expensive to arrange something in Eu compared to more local stuff in the Us. My take on your reply is that AW has taken a corporate decision that you won't make an overall profit / gain (additional sales, increased marketing value, or expanded player pool) by making such trips / efforts / promotion. Correct? Becuaes if it would have it would have been a good investment, right?

I really hope you will revise this in the future when more funds are available. As I wrote in a post further up in this topic I'm not too imprest by the work done in this aspect by your partners over in Eu. AW would have done a much better job them self's with more passion. Hopefully you will have the opportunity to hire someone based in Eu to to this.

While I'm already writing I must also state my comment again regarding different translations. Too me I can't really see the gain doing this... This in my view could be money spent in a better way (like going to EU for example). The players you are targeting will for sure play Mage Wars with the original language. That is what all of us others are doing that is not French, German or Spanish (or English by the way) native speaking. To demand this, and take time and money from AW from your development of more expansions or simply be able promote the product more, is just to be spoiled. There are no Dutch, Sweds or Poles who are asking for this what I can see. I believe you won't translate into these languages as well, are you?

Again thanks for your reply and keep up the good work. Mage Wars deserves it. And I'm sorry if my comments sound a bit hard or not complete. English isn't my native language either...
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Toxziq on April 11, 2015, 09:56:03 PM
Thank you Scott for replying to my question of your European view.
I can really understand that it is a lot more expensive to arrange something in Eu compared to more local stuff in the Us. My take on your reply is that AW has taken a corporate decision that you won't make an overall profit / gain (additional sales, increased marketing value, or expanded player pool) by making such trips / efforts / promotion. Correct? Becuaes if it would have it would have been a good investment, right?

I really hope you will revise this in the future when more funds are available. As I wrote in a post further up in this topic I'm not too imprest by the work done in this aspect by your partners over in Eu. AW would have done a much better job them self's with more passion. Hopefully you will have the opportunity to hire someone based in Eu to to this.

While I'm already writing I must also state my comment again regarding different translations. Too me I can't really see the gain doing this... This in my view could be money spent in a better way (like going to EU for example). The players you are targeting will for sure play Mage Wars with the original language. That is what all of us others are doing that is not French, German or Spanish (or English by the way) native speaking. To demand this, and take time and money from AW from your development of more expansions or simply be able promote the product more, is just to be spoiled. There are no Dutch, Sweds or Poles who are asking for this what I can see. I believe you won't translate into these languages as well, are you?

Again thanks for your reply and keep up the good work. Mage Wars deserves it. And I'm sorry if my comments sound a bit hard or not complete. English isn't my native language either...

Foreign translations, in general, cost our time more than money.  That said, not even time vs a schedule, but time in just the amount of work on someone's shoulders here at the company.  Depending on the relationship, games can be either licensed to a partner to print in their language, with them providing us a royalty, or, we can print them, and sell them to the partner at a highly discounted rate for them to distribute, but with enough profit for us as well.  There are also many locations that perfer local language for games over English, and this helps build the market and playerbase in those areas.  At the moment, Dutch and Sweedish are not being discussed, but Polish is, to potentially be added.

Overall though, the most work that licensing a game puts on a company like ours is from an operations standpoint, and it doesn't impact the design team as nothing changes in the design of the game.

We get much more feedback than is seen online at our customer service and sales emails and I can tell you the languages we choose to partner to produce are in demand.  We wouldn't be making those decisions to partner with other publishers to bring them out if we didn't think they had the opportunity to improve the game's reach and player base while being a profitable decision.

I full agree with you about the passion for marketing the games.  We believe we could do more and do better.  It is something I've brought up to all our partners in all the regions we work with.  Since the partners are investing the majority stake (usually both in time and money), they prefer to maintain marketing control, with our input and guidance.  We provide assets and suggested messaging and tone, however, we look to the partners to know the best outlets to market in.  Marketing a game is a long run and not a short sprint, and making knee jerk reactions can be worse for the wear in most cases.  That said, every relationship is different and we try to evaluate as much, and as often, as we can.

I'm sorry if you took my reply as investing money in Europe is a bad investment.  That was not the intent.  It is simply that we have a limited budget and as a small company we need to spend it where we can maximize the impact and profits to grow, and as we grow, make decisions that impact a broader range.

Again, we will have Ambassadors helping us promote the game at UKGE and Essen this year.  If anyone has other large conventions they feel we could work with in Europe to hit as well, we'd love to hear from you where the players are, where the opportunities are, and what those conventions are.  We're always happy to explore opportunities when and where they may present themselves.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: exid on April 12, 2015, 12:40:12 AM
Language is one part of the problem.
After years, a lot of french players decided to by the orioginal cards, it's hard work to understand but we didn't want to wait and wait for a hypothetical translation...
How many more french players would start MW with a translation and good addvertising? I don't know (children? players who choosed spanish or german before english at school? players who prefered play than go to school?...). I heard the french core set didn't get sold well, it was perhaps to late.

I don't have time to go to organised events, so it's not very important for me.

What is, is that MW cards can be find in game shops, with well informed people there. And that is not the case yet.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: steack on April 12, 2015, 02:21:36 PM
Language is one part of the problem.
After years, a lot of french players decided to by the orioginal cards, it's hard work to understand but we didn't want to wait and wait for a hypothetical translation...
How many more french players would start MW with a translation and good addvertising? I don't know (children? players who choosed spanish or german before english at school? players who prefered play than go to school?...). I heard the french core set didn't get sold well, it was perhaps to late.

I don't have time to go to organised events, so it's not very important for me.

What is, is that MW cards can be find in game shops, with well informed people there. And that is not the case yet.


we has two problem with mage wars in france , no publicity and great problem for see the first french core set ( fret problem , dismiss of project manager .... , Asmodée has sent the box in august just before the school begin :/ and after 3 moths with no comunication , some shops has received a phone call for attempt to make promotion for this game , but all shop has make their ideas , ( too longer , too complete , etc ...) and the quality was not the same of us Core set ..... then normal , these shops has refuse to make demonstration for this game , and in bigining of junuary , we 's received a message , mage wars is stopped ans there are non extention in french , hard to interested french people who prefer a french card ( french people loves their tong ^^)

Mr Arcane Wonder why ask at your ambassador to translate your card ? your ave the mostly idea of the time , with us participation mage wars is not only your game , its us game , And if you have already the traslation for your distributor  you economise time and € ^^

i am sure its possible
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Toxziq on April 12, 2015, 07:08:02 PM
Language is one part of the problem.
After years, a lot of french players decided to by the orioginal cards, it's hard work to understand but we didn't want to wait and wait for a hypothetical translation...
How many more french players would start MW with a translation and good addvertising? I don't know (children? players who choosed spanish or german before english at school? players who prefered play than go to school?...). I heard the french core set didn't get sold well, it was perhaps to late.

I don't have time to go to organised events, so it's not very important for me.

What is, is that MW cards can be find in game shops, with well informed people there. And that is not the case yet.


we has two problem with mage wars in france , no publicity and great problem for see the first french core set ( fret problem , dismiss of project manager .... , Asmodée has sent the box in august just before the school begin :/ and after 3 moths with no comunication , some shops has received a phone call for attempt to make promotion for this game , but all shop has make their ideas , ( too longer , too complete , etc ...) and the quality was not the same of us Core set ..... then normal , these shops has refuse to make demonstration for this game , and in bigining of junuary , we 's received a message , mage wars is stopped ans there are non extention in french , hard to interested french people who prefer a french card ( french people loves their tong ^^)

Mr Arcane Wonder why ask at your ambassador to translate your card ? your ave the mostly idea of the time , with us participation mage wars is not only your game , its us game , And if you have already the traslation for your distributor  you economise time and € ^^

i am sure its possible

We do not have any other items translated in French other than the Core Set but are working with Asmodee about expansions.  It may not be Marabunta that does it, but we're trying to fix that issue in France. 
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: fas723 on April 15, 2015, 03:43:14 AM
Thanks again Scott for your replies and commitment.
I think by just looking at the amount of posts and views in this thread that this is a burning topic. I would really appreciate if AW could give some regular status update in the subject for us players to feel comfortable in.

I'm really glad to hear you have EU in mind and that you have active plans for the future to grow faster in this market. I could just wish for it to go faster since we all love MW so much!
Thank again!
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Sosteph on May 17, 2015, 11:17:03 AM
Hello

Have you some news for Mage wars in France?
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Toxziq on May 18, 2015, 01:27:51 PM
Hello

Have you some news for Mage wars in France?

I'm sorry, but the news at the moment is "there's no news".  It's moving slower than anyone would like to be direct.
Title: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Sailor Vulcan on May 05, 2016, 09:27:35 AM
Hello

Have you some news for Mage wars in France?

I'm sorry, but the news at the moment is "there's no news".  It's moving slower than anyone would like to be direct.

Is there still no news on this? It's been a whole year!

Also, both the Mage Wars community on OCTGN and this forum are practically ghost towns now! Mage Wars activity on OCTGN has slowed to a crawl. Where once upon a time you could find 6-8 Mage Wars players on OCTGN at a time, now you'd be lucky to find more than 2. The only times there are more are when people are watching a tournament game or playing other games besides Mage Wars.

 There seems to be only like 1, maybe 2 new threads posted on here each week. Sometimes not even that.

Does Arcane Wonders have a strategy for actually fixing this problem? If so what is it?

It feels like this game is dying.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: Coshade on May 05, 2016, 10:50:28 AM
Hello

Have you some news for Mage wars in France?

I'm sorry, but the news at the moment is "there's no news".  It's moving slower than anyone would like to be direct.

Is there still no news on this? It's been a whole year!

Also, both the Mage Wars community on OCTGN and this forum are practically ghost towns now! Mage Wars activity on OCTGN has slowed to a crawl. Where once upon a time you could find 6-8 Mage Wars players on OCTGN at a time, now you'd be lucky to find more than 2. The only times there are more are when people are watching a tournament game or playing other games besides Mage Wars.

 There seems to be only like 1, maybe 2 new threads posted on here each week. Sometimes not even that.

Does Arcane Wonders have a strategy for actually fixing this problem? If so what is it?

It feels like this game is dying.

Most people are finishing up school, have large workloads, or are very busy. Mage Wars is doing fine, no need to spread fear mongering.
Title: Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
Post by: RomeoXero on May 05, 2016, 02:54:42 PM
This actually happened a few months ago as well, right about the time borg dropped the new FM books he was making. I've seen the boards and the forums do this from time to time and it's really just a result of life. The folks who play this game also have jobs and homes and usually other people who rely on them for sustenance (children). We run a gamut here from 15 to 60 and there's a lot of different responsibilities for all those folks.
Activity here and on octgn entirely depends on us having the time to devote to it. I for one can only do this post because of how slow it is at work right now. We love this game but it is in fact just a game, and even if i can't play as much as i want to or post as many ideas as i used to, that doesn't mean we arent thinking about it. Keep heart guys is just a natural ebb and flow. In fact right after the last lull we got increased Arcane Duels activity and then the Mage Cast came out. As Coshade, were doing fine. It will pick up again soon