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Author Topic: Bringing all mages on par!  (Read 271120 times)

webcatcher

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #150 on: March 01, 2014, 04:39:44 PM »
Quote
Option 1: a few very major changes to the game implemented in a single expansion.
Option 2: several minor changes to the game which requires two expansions to see results.

But you're still only considering new cards. An errata could go into effect as soon as they playtested it enough to see if they thought it was balanced. Now we're talking about a month vs a year.

Zuberi

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #151 on: March 01, 2014, 05:14:20 PM »
Truth. I honestly just don't like Errata, but it is an option. However, I think I've demonstrated, it's not the mages that are unbalanced. It is the card pool. Make sure you remember the root of the problem when you are considering possible errata. No changes should be made to the mages themselves.

We could release an errata to make all of the current versions of the cards that DeckBuilder mentioned into Novice spells. This wouldn't have a much greater effect than his alternate versions of the same name plan. I still fear the repercussions this may have on the game at large, but we could certainly test it to see how viable it is.

We could also try banning cards to reduce the in school options of the Wizard. I'm not sure if anyone would like that idea though.

I'm having trouble thinking of other possible errata or rules changes that could be implemented. It is certainly an avenue to consider though. Even though I don't particularly like it, I must admit it would be the quickest option and therefore might be the best.

sIKE

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #152 on: March 01, 2014, 05:26:59 PM »
Truth. I honestly just don't like Errata, but it is an option. However, I think I've demonstrated, it's not the mages that are unbalanced.
I disagree, I think I have beyond a reasonable doubt proved that the Wizard stats are far superior than any other non-Wizardy mage. You can add all of the cards you want, but unless you make them all School or Mage Only you are only helping the Wizard.

Sure the Holy school needs more cards, but the best of those will be used by the Wizard too, for only an out of school cost (*2) and more Dark will help the Necro's and Warlock's but once again the Wizard will only pay out of school cost (*2) where as the Dark and Light mages will pay *3 for the great opposing school spells.

Just saying more cards are needed is not a solution.
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DeckBuilder

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #153 on: March 01, 2014, 05:58:10 PM »
Don't bother, Webcatcher
I think the paradigm shift of a "new rule", defacing the Tablets of Stone (gasp!), is too much for some
That's why I've given up on this thread

It doesn't even need to be a new rule per se.
When Magic first started, it didn't have the 4 copies rule
4 copies was the "tournament rules" that then became standard

The same would apply with "Pro Rules" added to the Living FAQ
Though I personally feel they should grab opportunity for a rewrite rules as a download
So traits could to be adjusted to be more relevant to the game (like Rage or Mana Drain)

Magic has changed its rules so many times
Game of Thrones and Netrunner both had worse absolutely broken rules when they were CCGs

I recall how difficult it was getting a Living FAQ to be the norm here (still no version control)
But it happened, we got a Living FAQ, something which is normal in Customised Card Games
So maybe rules changes may happen too - but I won't hold my breath

Options for Wizard (in order proposed)

1. Errata Wizard Training (various options)
2. Novice spells + other essential copies in Utility Pack
3. All Arcane Level 1 trained
4. "Pro Rules" auto-includes (details still TBC, just concept)
5. Wait for expansions to improve other mages but not Wizard (maybe a new "Non-Wizards Only" criteria? :) )

EDIT: 6. Errata Wizard's Tower - this is surely a given but alone won't solve it

I really like the elegance of option 3 but the only options which
(a) Get changes FAST and
(b) Cover Dispel, Dissolve and Teleport
are sadly either Options 1, 2 or 4
And people seem undecided on whether Option 1 would really hurt and remove Wizard's concept as a generalist

"Ooh, it will hurt enchantments too much"
No it won't, they have 6 Dispels and 6 Seeking Dispels maximum
Builds will have to decide on 12 Persistent Enchantments or 12 Triggered Enchantments or both!
Jeez, every book we see has so many more enchantments, it's why Wizards play with Dispel Wands!
And the very nature of you being able to QC cast reveal attack with benefit means you are always up.
Yes, level 2+ enchantments become SP disadvantage, but you only bring them out later or to attract Dispels
Essence Drain, Vampirism, Ghoul Rot, Eagleclaw Wings, Force Hold, they are all great as 1 use forcing a Dispel
They become even better if opponent runs out of Dispels or for attracting them so as to protect Mongoose Agility!
I don't buy the argument that more Dispels and Seeking Dispels will be bad for the game
I think it will be good as we will then spend more on CREATURES which we avoid purely because of Obelisk/Orb!

"Ooh it will hurt equipment too much"
I should hope so too, turn 1 Forge (which should have range 1, not 10 out of 12 zones) is so dull
Mages carry so much equipment that it's a wonder they don't qualify for the Lightning +2 Bad Science penalty!


The design flaw is a lack of a Universal school (Neutral in Game of Thrones, No Faction in Netrunner)
Magic went down the let's give 2-3 colours out of 5 their own flavour spells with the same function
Destroying Enchantments: Green, White (Blue can bounce/counter)
Destroying Artifacts: Red, Green, White (Blue can bounce/counter)
Destroying Creatures: Black, Red, White (Blue can bounce/counter)
Mage Wars could go down the same path of similar function spells in different schools
But the problem is this would take a long time to implement
In the meantime, there are a lot of Disenchanted (pun intended) players like Aylin and my meta out there
Gamers are fickle, they have plenty of disposable and they rarely go back
All my ex-Mage Wars friends (hence me) are playing Serpent's Tongue (spells from spellbooks), their latest fad
The woods are burning, gentlemen, while we stick with the most conservative "rules are sacrosanct" approach?


Dammit, I've posted again on this thread after promising myself I will never bother again...
I don't need my blood pressure rising everytime I bang my head against the same wall of resistance in every thread
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 06:16:42 PM by DeckBuilder »
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Zuberi

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #154 on: March 01, 2014, 06:23:47 PM »
@sIKE
Let me summarize why that is incorrect again.

1) If there are equally viable options in other schools besides the one you make him weak in, he will be able to maintain his power level without sacrificing any spell points. Thus, the weak school only weakens him as long as that school has cards that have no viable alternative. This again indicates an imbalance in the schools of magic and the card pool, not the mage.

2) If you look at the current "overpowered" wizard builds such as Blasting Banker and Watergate, you will notice that they do not take more out of school spells than non-wizards do, which is what your argument seems to be implying they are capable of doing. Instead, the issue is that they take more in-school spells than their counterparts. This again implies an imbalance in the schools of magic and the card pool by Arcane being more self-reliant than any other school.

An errata to the Wizard is treating a symptom, not the disease. If other mages could rely on their schools of training as much as the Wizard does, then they would have spellbooks that are just as large and versatile as he does. In such an environment though, a weak school does not weaken the Wizard. Of course, at that time, the wizard wouldn't need to be weakened...

Hmm, thinking about it along those lines, it might not be a bad idea. It is still slapping a band aid on, rather than actually addressing the problem. However, it might serve to curtail the Wizard until the schools can be aligned.

This argument could convince me to jump on the Wizard Errata bandwagon...again. However I'm going to hesitate because:
1) I don't like errata. This is kind of me just being stubborn rather than an actual statement of it being bad.
2) We should be planning for this errata to be irrelevant. Do we really want to make a change to a Core Mage that shouldn't matter after a couple of expansions?

sIKE

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #155 on: March 01, 2014, 06:36:44 PM »
@Deckbuilder

Dissolve is not Arcane though a Wizard may be trained in Water which is what school it is in

@Zuberi
1) The problem with equally viable spells in other schools is two fold, now instead of one Dissolve/Dispel/Teleport (6 count), I have two different Dissolve/Dispel/Teleport (12 count) that Wizard can carry cheaply. This is treating the symptom, changing training on the Wizard solves the issue.

2) As I previously pointed out, though BB has 40 spell points as in-school, remember we are talking Arcane + Fire being in school, we also are talking about 32 spell points as being out of school, with none in an opposing school (56% in school and 44% out of school). Resulting in a wicked good book with a huge toolbox of spells across the spectrum to deal with whatever comes its way.

Any card additions to other schools can benefit the Wizard, with the best of them going in to the toolbox. No doubt, adding more in school cards will help lift these other mages, but not to tier 1. What we should be looking at is for tier 1 to come down to tier 2's level and not visa versa as the design of the Wizard prevents that from ever happening. Then raising all of the 3 and 4 tiers up to tier 2 1 also.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 06:38:55 PM by sIKE »
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Zuberi

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #156 on: March 01, 2014, 06:57:11 PM »
1) The Wizard would obviously want to continue carrying the in school options he has. He could carry out of school options as well, but to max out both would cost him 18 spellpoints. The current trend is to carry around 12 spellpoints worth, and I don't anyone wants to spend much more than 10% of their total budget. Most likely we'd be looking at Wizards (and another mage type now) carrying around 9 cards with such useful functionality. Which is a little more than currently. Everyone else would be carrying the same as currently. Overall though this results in a smaller increase in those spells within the overall meta than giving them to everyone at face value would.

That is not really the topic I was discussing though. I was saying that the Wizard should never HAVE to take spells from his weak school of magic. If you build a Beastmaster who never takes any fire spells, or a Warlock who never takes any holy spells, or you get the pattern, they SHOULD be equal to a Wizard who never takes spells from a weak school because they have no weak school. If such builds are not equally viable, it is because there are spells in their weak school that are either overpowered or unique with no viable alternative in other schools. This is a problem with the balance of the schools of magic and the card pool, clearly.

2) Depending on which version of BB you count, I come to around 60 spell points spent in school, not 40. I challenge you to build any other mage with half their spellpoints spent in school and see if they don't also end up with over 70 cards total. The problem is it won't be as well balanced and powerful. This is clearly because their in school training is not as versatile and powerful as Arcane, not because they have a weakness in another school.

If every card has a viable alternative, then any mage can get it for double cost. Nobody is truly hampered by their weak school. The weakness will serve for flavor instead of power balance. If every school is just as versatile and powerful as every other, then everyone should be able to spend just as many points in school. Thus, everyone will have the same amount of spell points spent in school AND the same amount spent out of school. They will have equally large, varied, and powerful spellbooks.

I'm not saying to make all schools the same mind you. I don't want mono-colored decks. However, I don't think that giving them something special that nobody else has is the way of making them different from each other. I think we should instead give them holes that they need to fill by dipping outside of their school. They might not have healing spells (War, Arcane, and Mind) for instance, but they have multiple choices for getting them (Nature, Dark, and Holy).

sIKE

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #157 on: March 01, 2014, 07:16:29 PM »
Oy vey! This will take for ever and not solve the issue. Sorry, more cards will make the other mages better, but net effect is it will just make the Wizard even that much better.
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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #158 on: March 01, 2014, 07:36:02 PM »
@Deckbuilder
Dissolve is not Arcane though a Wizard may be trained in Water which is what school it is in

I know, that is why I discounted Option 3 in my list (Arcane level 1 is Universal)
The argument for Option 1 (more opposed) is it would impact on the Wizard's ability to buy the essentials
Which is why I included it in the shortlist
Option 2 (Novice) and Option 4 ("Pro Rules" auto-inclusion) already covers the staples
Option 5 is obviously not Fast so has been discounted

Oy vey! This will take for ever and not solve the issue. Sorry, more cards will make the other mages better, but net effect is it will just make the Wizard even that much better.

I totally agree with you.
Some people are incredibly resistant to change, anything outside their comfort zone.
This sort of demagoguery, based on strict adherence to rules, is very damaging, even if well-intentioned.

Which is why I advise you to not bother with this thread anymore and just talk to Aaron direct.
Which is what he invited me to do and no doubt will be happy to have a OCTGN meta expert like you too.

In Netrunner, FFG actually pay strict attention to results on OCTGN
I wonder if Arcane Wonders bothers or if it's based on local metas?
Because I know my remnants of a local meta is very Nonliving
I wonder if other key decision makers are playing different local metas?
May explain why some wrote "LOL" at some of my comments, want Range Strategy even more stuffed etc

In the end, the biggest meta is OCTGN (certainly not BashCon timed tournament)
And that's where input from you, Charmyna, Lettucemode, jacksmack and the rest of the regulars is vital

So just go to Aaron direct because I'm just so tired of these pointless debates with The Unbending One
Time and time again, everywhere I turn, the same Wall of Resistance to Change
After a while, you just snap and I'm now past caring

It's Aaron and other decision makers we have to convince so why bother trying to convince others?
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 07:43:58 PM by DeckBuilder »
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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #159 on: March 01, 2014, 07:55:42 PM »
Up until today, I'd rather enjoyed this thread. There are many good ideas out there and many good arguments. Though today it seems that we've landed into a circle. We have two broad schools of thought on how to deal with the Wizard. For other mages, many of the options are easy, we want more demon options for the warlock, we need a quick ranged weapon for JBM, we want a fuller holy school more capable of aggression for the Priest, we want a fuller mind school with broader options for the Forcemaster, and there are more. However, on those mages bringing them up in value is very straightforward. The crux is how to stop the wizard. Right now the only way I can see to be sure they will have tougher choices in spellbook building would be to lower their total spellpoints. Obviously, I'm not advocating this right now.

What I am saying is, I have found this thread very beneficial. And honestly anyone who would like to speak about this to me is free to message me in the forums or email me.

Progress is tough work. Thank you all for your help so far.

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #160 on: March 01, 2014, 08:24:42 PM »
How about restricted school cards...like non arcane mage cards? Non mind mage cards

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #161 on: March 01, 2014, 08:26:20 PM »
Laddin, I believe you're right. We've debated the pros and cons of various wizard fixes pretty exhaustively. Some people think the game might be ruined if the wizard isn't fixed quickly, others think the game might be ruined if we do change the wizard quickly. At this point I think we're spinning our wheels. I believe the design team has all of the input they're going to get from the community (anything else will likely just repetition), so I'm going to bow out of this particular conversation unless the design team needs some additional input from us on the issue.

Zuberi

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #162 on: March 01, 2014, 08:44:01 PM »
If all the mages can spend the same amount of points in school and the same amount out of school on equally powerful and viable spells, and they are not sacrificing anything by not dipping into their weak school, then they should all have equally large, varied, and powerful spellbooks. What is wrong with that assessment? That is a situation that is entirely achievable through a balanced card pool without any changes to any mages.

However, I will concede that giving the Wizard a weak school immediately will weaken him right now. That is because we currently do not have a balanced card pool. My main problem with this plan is that we should be striving for a balanced card pool which would make this errata irrelevant. I don't like errata to begin with, much less one that won't matter once the actual problem is solved. I must admit it has benefits though.

1. It nerfs him immediately. No need to wait.
2. It does not nerf him once the actual problem is resolved, thus we don't have to compensate for him being inherently weaker than other mages.

There may be other benefits as well, but those are all I can think of right now. Those may definitely be worth the change. I don't like it, but I find no actual negative other than it *should* be made irrelevant with good product design in the future. Irrelevant is not really much of a flaw though for something that fixes a current flaw.

Lowered spell points is an idea I like much better but only if it is temporary. Lowered spell points can be made a house rule and a temporary tournament rule, however if it is an actual errata it will make the Wizard inherently weaker than the other mages once the card pool becomes as balanced as it should be made.

Sailor Vulcan

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #163 on: March 01, 2014, 09:51:24 PM »
You don't need to keep trying to explain yourself Zuberi. No one is addressing the specific supporting arguments you have made, only your main point. You have already shown that you are willing to change your mind when the evidence proves you wrong, at least when it comes to this game that we love.

I think a lot of people are understandably very upset because a lot of their friends stopped playing Mage Wars with them because of the current imbalances. That's not trivial, because many of us have invested a lot of time , energy and feeling into this game. I'm sure it's extremely frustrating and disheartening when most or all of the friends you play the game IRL with stop playing.

However, I think people are forgetting that Mage Wars is still very young. I'm sure Arcane Wonders will most likely learn from this experience and start making even better design decisions. And IF your solution is the optimal one and Arcane Wonder decides to use it, then everyone will be changing their tunes once the wizard is balanced again.

And I'll say the same thing to everyone else. IF your solution is the optimal one and Arcane Wonder decides to use it, then Zuberi and I will also be changing our minds once the wizard is balanced again, and the quality of the metagame has not deteriorated as a result of the changes.

A real, honest debate is a conflict between ideas, not people. Our job is to watch the ideas fight it out, not to fight it out ourselves on their behalf. People forget that when ideas seem threatening. But they are only ideas, and it is ultimately Arcane Wonders decision, not ours. There is no reason to attack Zuberi for the ideas he has presented if it is the ideas that you take issue with rather than Zuberi.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 09:56:02 PM by Imaginator »
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Zuberi

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Re: Bringing all mages on par!
« Reply #164 on: March 01, 2014, 10:21:24 PM »
Thank you for your support Imaginator. I really appreciate it. I like to think the best of people, so I'm not going to accuse anyone of actually attacking me, however using monikers like "the unbending one" which I have no doubt was directed at me, does confuse me a bit. I believe I have shown a willingness to bend and adapt. I've changed my position a few times in this thread.

Perhaps it is because of the cycle that I have been driving. A lot of people seem to be giving a very similar argument that I find flawed, but when I state why I find it flawed, they seem to simply repeat themselves rather than addressing my point. I then end up repeating myself. I'm sure we're suffering from miscommunication, but it has created a cycle with very little new being introduced.

Currently, my preferred plans are:
1) Tournament rule that lowers the Wizard's Spell Points without actually doing so with an errata. Casual players are welcome to mimic this. This rule will remain in effect until the card pool is balanced, which should be something they plan to do.

2) Wizard Errata to give them a weak school. I don't like it, but it is the quickest solution with the fewest repercussions other than the one stated above.

3) Balance the different Schools of Magic. I want Arcane Wonders to do this no matter what their other decisions are. This includes making every school as self-reliant as all the others so that every mage can depend on the same level of support from their training in their spellbooks. It also means keeping any school from having a monopoly on important cards or effects. In the end, everyone should be able to spend the same amount of points in school as any other mage, nobody should have to spend points in their weak school, and they should all result in an equally viable spellbook.