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Author Topic: Is mage wars losing popularity?  (Read 58327 times)

jtharrison

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #45 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.

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #46 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!

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kailas

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #47 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  :(

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #48 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 :)
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ChimpZilla

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #49 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.   

 

« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 07:26:28 AM by ProjectMayhem »

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #50 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.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 08:48:33 AM by iNano78 »
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kiwipaul

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #51 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.

fas723

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #52 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

jhaelen

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #53 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.

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #54 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



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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #55 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.
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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #56 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. :)

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #57 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.
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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #58 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.
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sdougla2

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #59 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.
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