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Author Topic: Is mage wars losing popularity?  (Read 58476 times)

MikeMikeMike

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #60 on: March 14, 2015, 11:09:30 PM »
Just a note of affirmation- Today, my local playgroup here in Vancouver, Canada just hosted its first mini-tournament, with a few additions from various other websites (boardgamegeek, etc), so the question of whether the magic-fired train that is Mage Wars is losing steam feels especially irrelevant to us.

I know little of other tabletop gaming experiences, given that I'm a relative newcomer to this scene, but this game has a strategic depth that feels profound, and the sort of nerve-wracking personal accountability (with nothing external to blame for wayward outcomes but dice, that will themselves average out) that is beyond compelling. The designers' decisions to ensure this game remained affordable ( ie, non-collectible), the game's rich thematic landscape, and the sheer uniqueness, playability and (relative) balance of nearly every mage is, simply, a wonderful accomplishment.

Thus concludes my paean of adoration for MW- thanks, Pope(s) + Brosman & Co, and please, keep on going! The Wizard is an overpowered scoundrel, though, and deserves no more arcane cards with even moderate utility in upcoming expansions.


ChimpZilla

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #61 on: March 15, 2015, 06:31:35 PM »
The lack of OCTGN presense, for instance, is a symptom of lack of popularity, not a cause; ditto for forum activity.   

I never said that. My seven points were in response to the OP of whether the game is bleeding popularity, not the cause. The forums were losing members prior to FiF.

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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").


Which is a harder decision with bigger consequences: Having to build magic vs. keeping assets in your hand; Or, picking whichever spells you want, turn after turn?

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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?!). 

I find this prevailing sentiment here ironic given it's from superfans of a game with considerable dice variance. Either way, this willfully ignores the deck archetypes that perform reliably in competitive play across different formats and the level of skill involved in deck building and balancing a mana curve. Or do you think it's pure chance that these decks have flourished? Are you implying that in the history of MtG, some of the most decorated (and Hall of Fame) players luck-sacked their way into success? It's cool if you dislike the game, vanilla vs. chocolate and all that, but that notion is a stretch. 


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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.

There's nothing overly innovative or unique about board control in this game. Hindering, guard, et al., are derivative and easy to circumvent since you can dial up an answer on any given turn. And teleport. Screw teleport with a boat oar. Seriously.

And the board is too small at 4x3 to be a factor in positioning.  I won/lost games due more to sequencing of plays and whether I went for the face or not, rather than poor positioning. Enchantments are cool and have potential, but they ruined some of that by making spells like Nullify mandatory reveals.

Mage Wars is essentially an overbaked hybrid of Starcraft and Hearthstone IRL form. It's a fine game and product backed by a good company. It didn't reinvent gaming, fight world hunger, cure cancer, or sleep with everyone's mom last night. It's not any more or less strategic/tactical as any other good games out there as many MW Evangelists claim IMO.

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #62 on: March 15, 2015, 08:11:58 PM »
I think Mage Wars lost popularity when Sherrif of Nothingham took "all the time" of Arcane Wonders. When SoN got released, it gave me the feeling MW was less important to AW. We almost got no MW news during that time.

Also, the lack of previews of futur expansions really hurt. We need previews to make us salivate at the idea to hold an expansion in our hands. To create a desire for it.

The last thing that hurt MW alot is the pre-built spellbook in the core box to learn the game. These spellbook are meant to teach the game to new players, but it also make the first game to last 3 hours. It is a big turn off for many people I am sure. Yes with experience games get shorter, but I think these spellbook should have been made more agressive.

I really hope that MW:Academy will bring tons of players and allow games of 30-45 minutes (so I can play during lunch time at job).

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #63 on: March 16, 2015, 01:02:44 AM »
Dont worry :)

You will play during lunch time, dinner time, cofee breaks, smoking breaks...
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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #64 on: March 16, 2015, 07:36:58 AM »
There might not have been a lot to show off when Sherrif was being released because there was a lot going on on playtesting.

Do you want us to show you a card that is probably going to change 3-4 times before it is released. Then when it is released you would get mad because it's not as broken as we showed you previously. 

There is a lot going on with MW this year. You will get 3 sets of cards relesed this year, plus a but load of Promo cards.
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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #65 on: March 16, 2015, 07:40:28 AM »
There might not have been a lot to show off when Sherrif was being released because there was a lot going on on playtesting.

Do you want us to show you a card that is probably going to change 3-4 times before it is released. Then when it is released you would get mad because it's not as broken as we showed you previously. 

There is a lot going on with MW this year. You will get 3 sets of cards relesed this year, plus a but load of Promo cards.

I don't believe that there is not at least couple cards that are in their final form for the next expansion when there is already 3 expansion planned.

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #66 on: March 16, 2015, 07:55:51 AM »
At risk of feeding the troll...

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").


Which is a harder decision with bigger consequences: Having to build magic vs. keeping assets in your hand; Or, picking whichever spells you want, turn after turn?

The latter.

In the former, I might have a choice between one good play, one mediocre play, and waiting until next turn where I might have a better opportunity (or might just draw an unnecessary land card). In the latter, I have every option available to me simultaneously and have to choose between aggression, restraint, primary plan, back-up plan, etc.

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Quote
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?!). 

I find this prevailing sentiment here ironic given it's from superfans of a game with considerable dice variance. Either way, this willfully ignores the deck archetypes that perform reliably in competitive play across different formats and the level of skill involved in deck building and balancing a mana curve. Or do you think it's pure chance that these decks have flourished? Are you implying that in the history of MtG, some of the most decorated (and Hall of Fame) players luck-sacked their way into success? It's cool if you dislike the game, vanilla vs. chocolate and all that, but that notion is a stretch. 

Ah the dice argument. Rolling mitt-fulls of essentially 3-sided dice is pretty low variance. On the other hand, MW could be played without dice and it wouldn't change much. The expectation value per die is 1, with 0.5 critical and 0.5 regular. You could use expectations and never roll dice if you wanted. But the dice add a little uncertainty, which I personally like. A Bitterwood Fox has a slim but nonzero chance of damaging an Iron Golem, for instance, instead of "blocker's toughness exceeds attacker's power" style determination.

As for MTG, there is certainly skill involved. Over time, good players will have better results than bad players.  I love(d) MTG despite all its flaws - but i don't play it anymore for a lot of reasons. And with MW around, I don't miss MTG.

The point you may have missed is that you can build a 60-card MTG deck with the mathematically correct distribution of resource cards and spells (typically 24 lands in the absence of other accelerators), draw 7 and be forced to mulligan one or more times. Or say you draw 3 lands and 4 spells that cost 4+, decide to go with it (you're unlikely to do better), and then draw nothing but more expensive spells while your opponent beats you down and you're stuck at 3 lands. In the gaming world, that's a negative play experience (NPE) that tends to discourage people. And that (and various others, like being flooded in mana with no useful spells, or being unable to draw your 4-of answer that you need, or whatever) comes up a lot in MTG. A simple rule change, where you divide your deck into lands and nonlands and chose which to draw from whenever you draw a card, would solve the issue... but it would probably ruin the secondary market for dual lands and such, and WotC is already intimidated by their superfans and those looking to retire off proceeds from their "no reprint" collections... but I digress.

On topic, there's variance and then there's NPE "can't play the game because no resources" - and variance can be desirable, but NPE never is. MW has one; MTG has the other.


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Quote
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.

There's nothing overly innovative or unique about board control in this game. Hindering, guard, et al., are derivative and easy to circumvent since you can dial up an answer on any given turn. And teleport. Screw teleport with a boat oar. Seriously.

<Insert butt-hurt puppy image here>

Quote
And the board is too small at 4x3 to be a factor in positioning.  I won/lost games due more to sequencing of plays and whether I went for the face or not, rather than poor positioning. Enchantments are cool and have potential, but they ruined some of that by making spells like Nullify mandatory reveals.

Mage Wars is essentially an overbaked hybrid of Starcraft and Hearthstone IRL form. It's a fine game and product backed by a good company. It didn't reinvent gaming, fight world hunger, cure cancer, or sleep with everyone's mom last night. It's not any more or less strategic/tactical as any other good games out there as many MW Evangelists claim IMO.

So... why are you here, posting on the Arcane Wonders MW forum? Are you trying to convince people not to play MW? To play something else? Are you encouraging the designers to print cards that prevent teleport, a better Nullify that isn't a forced reveal, etc? Do you just want to insult people because it makes you feel good?

Mage Wars isn't as popular as some other similar games. The OP wonders why that is. I think most of us on this forum would like to see MW gain in popularity because it's a very good game that has several improvements over its competition and lots of promise - that is, even if you don't like some cards and interactions, the core rules are a great framework for expansion and improvement as new cards and mages are developed.

So what can be done to increase the popularity of MW?
« Last Edit: March 16, 2015, 08:01:14 AM by iNano78 »
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Laddinfance

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #67 on: March 16, 2015, 08:22:33 AM »
I don't believe that there is not at least couple cards that are in their final form for the next expansion when there is already 3 expansion planned.

I've worked on Mage Wars since the original core set. I started just playtesting. One thing I have realized about this process is that you never know what card might need reworking next. Something that you though was "done" may need revisiting again before you publish.

I'm proud of the work we've been able to do on the sets I've worked on, and I as such I want to show them off to you. As I became more involved with the company I was pushing to get previews out there for our fantastic players. It's exciting that I'll be able to start showing you the cards for Domination very soon.

I know the last year communication was spotty. In January I decided to really double down on Mage Wars so that all of our players can get the expansions they're excited for. It's a lot of work, and it was a crazy way to start my second year working for AW full time, but I'm confident in the work we're doing. You'll be pleasantly surprised when you see it, and I'm working hard to make sure that is sooner rather than later.

One last thing, everyone has their opinions about what makes a great game and what is or is not preferable. In any game people can generally find things they do not like and wish had been done differently. There is no reason for either side to be hypercritical of the other. Ever since I worked retail, I've always firmly believed that people should play the games they love. I hope as many people as possible love Mage Wars, after all you're the people I'm designing for.

I'll stop butting in on this conversation. I hope you're all having a fantastic Monday.

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #68 on: March 17, 2015, 03:22:03 AM »
Ah the dice argument. Rolling mitt-fulls of essentially 3-sided dice is pretty low variance. On the other hand, MW could be played without dice and it wouldn't change much.
Actually, I think it would change the game quite a bit. Mostly it will cause players to re-evaluate creatures and attack spells, causing more of them to never see play. Currently sub-par cards can still get lucky rolls, giving them at least a chance to be worthwhile.

However, you're ignoring the more important issue of the effect die. It's a single d12 roll and thus highly variable. Typically, spells with effect dice are chosen because of their effects, not because of their damage. It makes a major difference if you manage to stun your target or not.

There's a reason why Akiro's Favour was designed and is such a popular card. It's an attempt to fix a weakness in the game's design, and frankly I'd like to see more, similar spells allowing rerolls.

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #69 on: March 17, 2015, 12:06:29 PM »
Ah the dice argument. Rolling mitt-fulls of essentially 3-sided dice is pretty low variance. On the other hand, MW could be played without dice and it wouldn't change much.
Actually, I think it would change the game quite a bit. Mostly it will cause players to re-evaluate creatures and attack spells, causing more of them to never see play. Currently sub-par cards can still get lucky rolls, giving them at least a chance to be worthwhile.

Aside: If you choose to run a "sub-par card" based on its chance of lucky rolls (e.g. "Well, it rolled all crits that one time..."), then perhaps you should reconsider.

However, you're ignoring the more important issue of the effect die. It's a single d12 roll and thus highly variable. Typically, spells with effect dice are chosen because of their effects, not because of their damage. It makes a major difference if you manage to stun your target or not.

There's a reason why Akiro's Favour was designed and is such a popular card. It's an attempt to fix a weakness in the game's design, and frankly I'd like to see more, similar spells allowing rerolls.

You make rolling a d12 sound worse than it is.  You're generally not looking at 1/12 probabilities, and in most cases, a d4 or d6 would have worked, but they opted for a d12 for flexibility, especially for how it allows things like Tough -X and Damage Type +/- X.  Usually the probability of an effect die triggering is 1/3 (9+), 1/2 (7+) or 2/3 (5+).  Sure, you can have a run of "bad luck" where you never roll an effect all game... but you'd might as well have flipped a (weighted?) coin a few times, or drawn from a deck comprised of some "yes' and "no" cards (assuming you shuffle between draws; see next paragraph).  I'm sure you could point me to a few rare examples with 1/4 or maybe even 1/6 of triggering an effect, maybe worse if factoring in Tough -X and/or Damage Type -X, but most of the time it's closer to 1/2. 

As for Akiro's Favor, I agree it decreases variance but I still don't see a design flaw that it corrects.  There are a lot of other games with much higher variance than MW, using your choice of dice, cards, chit draws... whatever randomizer you want.  Some people have an aversion to dice, claiming that somehow there is more variance in dice than other randomizers.  They might have a point in some cases; e.g. if I keep drawing cards from a standard deck, I'm guaranteed to draw the Ace of Spades after no more than 52 draws; if I roll a d12, I'm NOT guaranteed to roll a natural 12 after 52 rolls... but as the number of rolls increases, the probability of not drawing a natural 12 becomes miniscule.  Personally, I'm fine with dice, but YMMV.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 12:08:13 PM by iNano78 »
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jhaelen

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #70 on: March 18, 2015, 03:19:33 AM »
There are a lot of other games with much higher variance than MW, using your choice of dice, cards, chit draws...
Yup, but are these games that compete with MW? Arguably, Summoner Wars also uses dice... Anyway, as you say, YMMV.

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #71 on: March 18, 2015, 07:51:53 AM »
I read a lot of messages about too long 3 hours games, and normal 45-60 minutes games...

My normal MW games are 4-6 hours long and I like that!
(min: 2h30 max: gave up after 8h)

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #72 on: March 18, 2015, 08:05:15 AM »
I read a lot of messages about too long 3 hours games, and normal 45-60 minutes games...

My normal MW games are 4-6 hours long and I like that!
(min: 2h30 max: gave up after 8h)

My normal MW games with my wife are 4-6 hours... because she's a rules lawyer who won't believe anything I tell her (regarding what a keyword means or how it gets applied in this situation, or that there has been errata to the first-printing card text, or that Tanglevine really does get destroyed when you teleport, or...).

Our MW games with our (new) regular MW group have all been 50-70 minutes.  No exceptions so far (after ~ 6 matches).  These are all IRL card games, not OCTGN.  *edit* Caveat: in each case, at least one player has played aggressively.  It's possible that a match might take 2+ hours if both players were to turtle early, but we haven't experienced that yet.

My conclusion: the game itself takes about an hour, but referencing and reading the rules, FAQ, errata and Codex can easily add several hours if both players don't already know (and agree on) all the ins and outs of every card.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 09:35:58 AM by iNano78 »
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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #73 on: March 18, 2015, 09:30:08 AM »
I read a lot of messages about too long 3 hours games, and normal 45-60 minutes games...

My normal MW games are 4-6 hours long and I like that!
(min: 2h30 max: gave up after 8h)

God damn!

My games last 60-90 minutes.

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Re: Is mage wars losing popularity?
« Reply #74 on: March 18, 2015, 11:36:48 AM »
I think I would start bashing me head against the wall at the 2 hour mark.  Must be a total case of anaysis Paralysis.

How do you not run out of cards and things to do after a while.

I think he mistakingly entered the wrong forum, and think he's in the Twilight Imperium III forumn.
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