November 14, 2018, 04:00:35 PM

Author Topic: A Word of Encouragement  (Read 6084 times)

reddawn

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A Word of Encouragement
« on: August 01, 2013, 05:36:05 PM »
"Life doesn't matter, unless you're already dead."

-Old M:TG saying

This quote means knowing when you can afford to take a hit and when you can't.  That is the central idea here in learning Mage Wars, folks; for the math illiterate like myself, this idea often is often learned and mastered the old-fashioned way; making bad bets that seemed like good bets in-game, and dying.  A lot.

Unless you have a background in competitive gaming, this idea might initially seem far-fetched (after all, doesn't every point of damage matter?), but that's only because it's really more of a feeling than a thought process for players that know it.  Despite Padawan's and others strong and genuinely valuable efforts at elucidating what this experience means on paper in other topics, I think the learning process is more instinctual or emotive than that, and requires a lot of in-game experience to really know what it means and more importantly, how it feels and how to act upon those feelings.

This might sound discouraging and intangible to new players, but don't be stressed; it's just a natural part of learning the game.  Games are inherently an exercise of the mind and body (really :P) and each game you play might require different muscle and brain memories and functions.  Mage Wars is no different.  What's more important here is that you realize three things:

1. It is a skill to know how to apply ethereal concepts like "Damage Threshold," "Mobility," "The Art of Mage Wars," and so on; thus, it takes time and experience to learn.

2. Losing is a big part of that learning process, so try your best every game, but also look at the big picture.  You can't expect to be proficient at knowing the innate dos and don'ts of a game unless you play it and experience it, so don't sweat it if you consistently lose before you start to consistently win.

3. On the same note, actually having fun and remaining positive overall while you play is vitally important to remaining open and ingraining skills and experiences that you can draw upon in later games.  You can only improve when you have a genuine interest and desire to improve.

That doesn't mean you should stifle getting pissed at really unlucky die results (I regularly roll one complete wiff every game, never fails), but that does mean you should look beyond such exceptions and study the rules as you have fun kicking ass or inevitably, getting your ass kicked.

Hopefully this makes sense to someone out there.  A lot of the ideas on this forum are actually rather ubiquitous and fundamental gaming concepts, but they're nevertheless very complicated and difficult to express if you aren't familiar with the lingo or context in which they're used.  I can see where someone would get overwhelmed or disheartened reading some of the pinned topics (mine try to be more down-to-earth, emphasis on "try" ;) ) and wondering what the hell they mean. 

Just be reassured that the value of these posts is most often there; it just takes time and experience to fully understand them.

Thanks.
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Fentum

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Re: A Word of Encouragement
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2013, 05:46:04 PM »

Playing Mage Wars on line using OCTGN has allowed me to lose several times every day.

It has been a rewarding learning experience!

sIKE

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Re: A Word of Encouragement
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2013, 07:48:19 PM »
This needs to be pinned it is great advise for those new to the game and for those needing a refresher. The only other thing I would like to add, is don't let the dice get you down. Sometimes they roll your way and sometimes they don't.  Have fun and learn.....
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Charmyna

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Re: A Word of Encouragement
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2013, 12:29:28 AM »
Nice post! I agree that its important to learn in which situations its fine to take a hit and in which you need to avoid it.
There are many things that need to be considered for this decision making process: You do not only need to mind the status of the board in that moment, but need to anticipate your own and your opponents movements, take into account positioning effects (like teleport or creatures that force you to move out or into a zone), need to consider the remaining cards of your build and try to guess what the remaining cards of your opponent are. There is many other stuff to keep in mind so in the end you cant decide this purely by logic. You need to develop an intuitional feeling for what you can endure and what not.


Playing Mage Wars on line using OCTGN has allowed me to lose several times every day.

It has been a rewarding learning experience!

Thx for making me laugh early at the morning :).

Moonglow

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Re: A Word of Encouragement
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2013, 02:46:49 AM »
is many other stuff to keep in mind so in the end you cant decide this purely by logic. You need to develop an intuitional feeling for what you can endure and what not.

I don't really agree, gut feel, intuition etc is sometimes just code for lazy logic. In this game you can know how much damage you can take.  You don't have to guess. How much damage you might take is more an estimate, but it's easy enough to look around the possibilities, see the flow the opponent is in (attacking,  retreating, consolidating etc) and decide if youre safe, yiuneed to panic or can afford a risk.

reddawn

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Re: A Word of Encouragement
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2013, 03:45:57 AM »
My point wasn't to just say that lazy logic is acceptable or anything like that really, it's just to express the fact that gaming is a skill, and skills are much more an exercise in feeling than people often give them credit for.  You can only strategize in your mind so much, until you face the reality of the game and a strong opponent.

Have you ever played an instrument?  The feeling is pretty similar.  It's the difference between being able to read music and know what to just based on that, and knowing what to do that isn't actually indicated on the page. 

I'm not saying MW is as hard to play as an instrument, because it's not.  The main idea here is just that some of the concepts posters talk about in the strategy sections are complicated, and that they take time and more importantly experience to learn, so focus on playing and you'll be fine.
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Moonglow

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Re: A Word of Encouragement
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2013, 05:46:49 AM »
Fair call,  and nice analogy. I've been learning the guitar for a while and am definitely concious that if I'm thinking about it, then it's not working/flowing right.

The Dude

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Re: A Word of Encouragement
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2013, 04:39:19 PM »
Gaming may be a skill, but stunting is definitely a habit.

That being said, I do agree with what Reddawn is saying. An important note to think about is just like when you play an instrument, or when you play a sport, you only get better with studious practice. The same goes for gaming. You can read as much as I, or Reddawn, or God himself writes about Mage Wars, but until you actually grok and understand the game, you won't understand the concepts. Which is why I will periodically go back and reread strategy articles, they give me an opportunity to reassess what I currently know about the game, as well as adding to the knowledge I may have not understood, or missed, with a previous reading.

When I first started gaming, I bought a little game called "Race for the Galaxy", on a whim. Everything I had read or looked at about the game had said that it has an incredibly high learning curve, and that I would lose the first 10-20 games before I really understood what was going on. Well, I learned the mechanics of the game pretty quickly. It really wasn't that hard to learn all of the rules, and the symbols were pretty easy to grok once you had seen them a few times. But I kept losing. And losing. And losing. Why? Because I did not understand the dynamics of the game, which is to say, the underlying strategy that lies between the rules of the game. That didn't come from reading about the game. I could read about the strategies all I wanted to, but until I actually played them out, I did not understand how they worked.

Tactical Strategy is a very difficult concept to understand because you not only have to know what works, you also have to know when to use it. For example, when is the best time to play a Jinx? When you have tempo during the first quickcast phase of the action stage. When I first started playing the game, I could have probably told you that if I had about 30 minutes to think about it. And that is only a small example. Reddawn said it takes skill to game, and I think that is especially true in the case of Mage Wars. Unlike Race for the galaxy, there is not a set number of cards in a deck that you all share. There is a large pool of cards of which players can use almost any of them to do almost anything they want. It takes the perfect mix of understanding and experience to be great at this game. Believe me, all the best players I know started off by losing, and losing a lot. I thought I was the best at the game when I first started playing. And then I lost I think 20 times in a row? It's only through losing that we get better...

Apologies for the rant my friends.

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sIKE

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Re: A Word of Encouragement
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2013, 06:14:38 PM »
@Dude - Thanks for helping us strangers in a strange land (or arena) ;)
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ringkichard

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Re: A Word of Encouragement
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2013, 06:21:48 PM »
As an aside, you know when else is a great time to cast jinx? Your final quickcast when your opponent will be getting initiative next turn. Plan ahead!
I can take the fun out of anything. It's true; here, look at this spreadsheet.

sIKE

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Re: A Word of Encouragement
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2013, 06:28:48 PM »
As an aside, you know when else is a great time to cast jinx? Your final quickcast when your opponent will be getting initiative next turn. Plan ahead!

Quite honestly that is for practical purposes the greatest time to cast Jinx. You can really shakeup someone plan when timed properly!
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Fentum

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Re: A Word of Encouragement
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2013, 06:40:11 PM »
As an aside, you know when else is a great time to cast jinx? Your final quickcast when your opponent will be getting initiative next turn. Plan ahead!

Quite honestly that is for practical purposes the greatest time to cast Jinx. You can really shakeup someone plan when timed properly!

That is SO funny. I just had my latest loss on OCTGN. Key in that loss was my internal debate on just that exact point.

I thought I ought to Jinx the enemy straight away, but I had laid a few traps for his obvious moves. Therefore, I thought I would be super smart and held the Jinx to catch him at the end of the turn so that he would not be able to 'get away' at the start of his next turn...

...and he whacked me with an attack then an attack spell for the win.

DOH


sIKE

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Re: A Word of Encouragement
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2013, 07:24:23 PM »
Timing was a very important aspect to my statement......
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piousflea

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Re: A Word of Encouragement
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2013, 09:16:56 AM »
Like any other game, learning the concepts behind MW can help you to win, but only in-game experience can give you a "feel" for when any given concept is relevant.

You can think about mana efficiency, action efficiency, positional play, timing, and damage threshold all day long; it will just give you analysis paralysis until you've got enough experience to know when to use what concept.

DarthDadaD20

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Re: A Word of Encouragement
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2013, 09:52:55 AM »
"Life is just another resource, use it when you can and take it when you can" -DarthDadaD20  ;D

I do look at like as a resource, as much as I do mana or anything else thats a resource for that matter- Its that kind of thinking that advances your game.

I have seen MtG players loose game because they hang onto that life as if they didn't have 20 points to start with!

certainly a thing that needs to be learned.

Good thread.
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Within Shad0w.