December 14, 2019, 05:06:27 AM

Author Topic: Is mage wars losing popularity?  (Read 58474 times)

Cnoedel

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #30 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!
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KissBlade

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #31 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.

jupiter999

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #32 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~

sdougla2

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #33 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.
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Sailor Vulcan

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #34 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.
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sdougla2

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #35 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.
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KissBlade

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #36 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.  :)

Obsidian Soul

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #37 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. 

Ganpot

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #38 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.   

Schwenkgott

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #39 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.
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Ganpot

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #40 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. 

sdougla2

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #41 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.
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Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #42 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.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 05:29:00 PM by Sailor Vulcan »
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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #43 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.
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Ganpot

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #44 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.