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Author Topic: Druid vs Necro Spoilers  (Read 495951 times)

Wiz-Pig

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #630 on: November 09, 2013, 04:10:09 PM »
I think they are. Bleed was updated to not effect plant creatures. Perhaps we will get a patch on flying rooted interaction as we'll.

Moonglow

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #631 on: November 10, 2013, 01:32:45 AM »
I guess to me the game ethos started with, 'play it the way that seemed to make sense' cause usually it would be the correct ruling.  I feel that the game is getting further and further away (perhaps slowly) from this position/ruling.

it's in the rules" is far superior to "it's more realistic"

I agree. But why not strive for both?


DeckBuilder

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Re: Druid vs Necro Spoilers
« Reply #632 on: November 10, 2013, 06:54:48 AM »
Perhaps we will get a patch.

You are right, Wiz, about "patches". Everybody accepts patches with software when glitches are found, there is no shame and in fact it is considered good software support. Other long-lived card-based games release FAQs constantly, accepting some unforeseen interaction needs to be amended. Arcane Wonders should similarly accept playtesters are human (allegedly) and some things will be missed.

There is nothing game-imbalancing here (though I have a few untested concerns), just counter-intuitive. There are a growing number of areas where, if the game had been designed to this stage originally, the design could have been tighter, simpler and more elegant with less counter-intuitive rules. They have re-released Tanglevine with Vine subtype (2 copies), propagating that Hydro Immunity (solved by rule change), but this was a tacit admission of a lack of longterm planning. It's totally understandable for a small independent company.

We had Cripple (poison) counters just for a Basilisk then they realised they needed the more generic Stuck condition. Instead of creating generic Pull (towards) or Push (away) or Slide (any), we now have Snatch. But if they create a Lure effect (like a Harpy, Siren, Flower scent or Illusion), Snatch is far too physical a keyword so they will have to create a new one. There is Light damage (radiant in D&D) for celestial sources but no evil opposite (necrotic). The Living/Nonliving divide would benefit with "Outsider" subtype (extra-dimensional) as a Demon, Angel, Mythic (arcane) or Aberrant (mind) are all Living Outsiders, whilst Nonliving Outsiders have no Psychic Immunity (Elemental plane denizens like Earth Elemental, Whirling Spirit and Invisible Stalker). There are 6 unevenly supported major schools with little fleshed-out relationships (Dark vs. Holy, Arcane uses external power sources vs. Mind that uses internal, Nature opposes the equipment/structures artifice of War?) whilst interactions of the 4 traditional elements are limited to Geyser/Extinguish (another keyword created after Geyser) for which Hydro Immunity causes issues. A differentiation between Life +X (Sunfire Amulet, Priestess, Bloodreaper) and Innate Life +X (size effects) which bypass Finite Life is another slight inelegance. The interactions of multi-strike X, multi-target X, counterstrike and first strike (like Temple Guard). There was future proofing (Frost, Defrost, Mana Transfer), yet to be used. But other keywords puzzle me. Incorporeal has 3 keywords (Nonliving, Uncontainable, Burnproof) but Nonliving is always listed: why? Would it not be more elegant to say "Nonliving includes Psychic Immunity unless it is Outsider subtype" than to have same two keywords repeated? Skeleton Sentry is not a Soldier but Skeleton Minion is, yet there is little Soldier support. Prior artificial differentiations between Living Conjurations and Living Creatures (only Renewing Rain uses Living Objects - hurrah!). This sounds like a long list but actually it's only a relatively small number of revised cards and new downloadable rules so as to cheaply convert from 1st to 2nd edition. The issue of course is current stock. You know a game is about to be release a revision when it is popular but out-of-stock. I for one can't wait for these minor clean-ups (but then I'm OCD).

Meantime, it's a "we will create a new keyword and counters for that" approach, haphazard with no grand pattern envisioned first (like with D&D's cosmology or Magic's 5 colour pentagram relationships with allied/enemy colours). The game is being designed modular, not with a holistic vision, and this befits a small independent games company. But if they want to make the game tighter, more structured, without annoying inconsistencies, they should consider conversion packs to a tighter second edition sooner (including those 3 errata cards). The longer they leave it, the more painful it will be. Descent, Runebound, Rune Wars, Duel of Ages, Cosmic Encounter, they all improved with a more coherent second edition. My fave big game Twilight Imperium III is on its third edition. Every good game goes through this "if only we had more foresight" revisions. Most importantly, doing it now, the patches (as Wiz calls it) will be just a few cheap conversion booster packs and new rulebook to download, minimising the cost for the most loyal fan base.

I know many don't care about a rigorous Science of Magic approach, many are happy with a "horses for courses" approach of adding new keywords and new markers with each set. That generic terms would be more elegant but a specific term is more thematic. In a bespoke approach, Basilisk's Crippled would be different to poison Stuck, instead Petrified (like Turn to Stone, 7+ return to normal). I'm confused why they are taking this approach when all those extra counters cost them profit (and create an ever-growing pool to rummage around).

Then there's the LCG Dilemma (I do not count Mage Wars as a LCG but more a boardgame with expansions as Core Set is so strong on its own). LCGs need new cards to breath life into a settled meta but there are no set rotations like in Magic. So after while, the cost barrier to entry is ridiculous (for AGOT, it's like $1100 according to latest Full Tilt article on cardgame.db). An LCG by definition becomes a victim of its own success with a dwindling market penetration of repeat purchasers. Now here I applaud Arcane Wonders marketing strategy. It is far more important to get new converts (market penetration) and to go slow with new sets (repeat purchase), especially as expansions are like optional mages to add to your repertoire. The unbelievable value of Core Set and amazing Customer Service immediately creates empathy for this plucky independent. But slow releases (compared to other card based games) makes it ideal for Conversion Packs to a new edition. Before the accumulated mass of Conversion Packs reaches that critical mass when people just don't bother switching to the new edition and are lost (like the D&D 3.5 fans who moved to Pathfinder). The longer they leave this needed transition, I suspect the more harm they inadvertently do to the longterm success of the game. I say this because I would love it to become HUGE in the games market.

Meantime, they have to navigate a delicate balance...

There is this problem they face, as succinctly described by Moonglow.

I agree with you that where the rules are counter intuitive then the elegance and appeal of the game is weakened. It can survive a few such rules, but the trouble with a game like this with so many concepts, the more mini exceptions and counter intuitive rules to be kept track of, the quicker it spirals into a chore to play. 

But as Joe insightfully explains, you have to be pragmatic and make compromises.

Though I agree 100% with Deckbuilder I'm not sure they are realistic. Deck has compared MW to Magic the Gathering quite a bit. I think we have to remember that MW is a baby of a game. Magic has been going strong for 20 years. In the early days of Magic more things made sense than didn't. I think this is the pitfall for any game that tries to be realistic yet releases expansions. I say different because the only way I see that they could continue down the path we want is to just recycle traits and mechanics without making any effort for new creativity. This too has been done by many of game companies, both board game and video game. When this is done their fanbase explodes with hatred that it's just the same old same old. It's the easy way out. So, it's basically a no win situation to keep all MW fans happy. They have chosen to continue to explore new mages/magic/ mechanics etc. while playtesting the hell out of it to make sure that even if it isn't completely realistic it at least doesn't break the game. For me this is WAY better of a choice than the alternative. Do I wish every card or mechanic was ultra realistic and intuitive with every other card. Of course. It's clear they try their best to make most cards/mechanics intuitive while still breaking new ground. Once you make peace with that it makes swallowing the bad stuff a little easier.

I don't know what the solution is here. On one hand, we crave new ideas, not more of the same (remember the feedback to Skeletons as being "just Dark versions of Holy" until we saw other cards that made it more unique?). Yet sometimes this may cross the tastes of some of their audience, or maybe just makes the game too much of a "have to refer to the rules" chore because it has too many counter-intuitive elements now (to quote Moonglow's fear).

I think the Necromancer cards are great (except for Lumbering's unnecessary last minute extra clause). Sure, there may have been some wrongly costed cards (Brute?). But they have plenty of new clever mechanics to be innovative, certainly not "more of the same". I just wish he faced the Paladin to support undeveloped War school instead (hence create a third playable mage in the Warlord). But mainly because interacting new Plant creatures with most existing cards (with an artificial differentiation for Plant conjurations) was fraught with danger as anyone could immediately spot "that doesn't feel right". I expected conjurations with action markers (as this is the crucial game dynamic), especially as it solves ready marker action abuse. Whilst there is an element of a "forest maze" in Druid cards (which is what I expected), because tactics includes moving, the Uproot flexibility was contrived for balance and game dynamics. Maybe what they needed was plant conjurations and those Fey forest humanoids that tended them (Wood Elves, Satyrs, Dryads etc). Animals are like humanoids. Plants are nothing like animals. Transference is fine as long as you accept it as game mechanics. But I feel that's doing Mage Wars a disservice.

This post has rambled far beyond its initial scope. I voiced these issues (related to Plant creature inconsistencies as a trigger) because there are related major strategic decisions that have to be coordinated. What games genre as market position? Which games consumer segments to appeal to? How to minimise pain of transition to a tighter design? How to solve the LCG Dilemma? Yet achieve that critical mass to open new distribution channels. Profit to reinvest in more resources for better product. And all the time not devaluing the love (no other word) and goodwill that has been built with the fan base. Hopefully, I am totally wrong and Plant creatures are not a minor mis-step in the strategic development of the game. I hope so because I wish them every success.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2013, 09:38:55 AM by DeckBuilder »
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