June 20, 2018, 02:25:13 AM

Author Topic: The current state of MW  (Read 1192 times)

farkas1

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Re: The current state of MW
« Reply #45 on: May 23, 2018, 11:16:51 AM »
Yea I agree with puddnhead it is really fun to have a counter to a creature in your opponents book.  Casting wall of earth to block of an alandell or adramelech warlock is highly thematic.  Once learned you will place counter measures in book or know how to properly position mage and creatures. . 


I do know frustrations with siren tho.  The biggest problem she does not have many good ways to deal alternate damage. Aquatic Animals or creatures without water attacks maybe needed in every competitive book.  Unfortunately it makes book building for the siren super tight in SBP. 
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farkas1

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Re: The current state of MW
« Reply #46 on: May 23, 2018, 11:22:30 AM »
THe other thing I think someone mentioned here on forums is make all plants not water immune but maybe have water resistance -2 or -3.  I think that may help a little.  Thematically trees and plants can be uprooted with enough water pressure and too much water can kill or damage plants.  Even allowing them to maybe have a chance like 1/12 chance to uproot and die from certain water spells.   :D
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Re: The current state of MW
« Reply #47 on: May 23, 2018, 01:45:56 PM »
I really like where this discussion is going! In tournaments we have altered rules, and we could come up with community "house rules." For Instance for the longest time ballista was warlord only and unique way before the official card of warmage only and unique was released from AW. So it seems like we got pretty close to accurate as a community. 

Here's what i would like to start doing to help. We can make a stickied topic on alternative play that helps tackle a lot of the discrepancies on the forum. I already know the German nationals wants as comprehensive of a list as possible for their tournament. I would love a list as well for casual play. Maybe there are more tournaments we dont hear about that would want to draw on a resource like that.

 I am not sure how we would determine good or bad ideas yet, but I'd like to start the conversation. A big thing is I would want to avoid nerfing/buffing based on current meta (such as druid on octgn right now).
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 01:49:56 PM by Coshade »
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Re: The current state of MW
« Reply #48 on: May 23, 2018, 11:48:35 PM »
Sharkbait's point is well taken. Okay so on to my analysis.


This game is so complicated that I suspect it's basically unapproachable to most new players. Some of us have the advantage of having been able to learn the game gradually over time as new sets came out. Newer players end up having to deal with everything all at once, unlike us older players. The amount of complexity in current mage wars is staggering relative to the number of cards, and there has been no rotation. Not to mention that for most of the game's history the meta was broken because wizard before his nerf. Mtg has a standard format with only a few sets being legal at a time. We might want to work out something like that? Problem is we don't have a large enough player base to support both a "standard style" meta and a "legacy" style meta.

One possible way to resolve this is to reboot the metagame. Go back to core set only and reintroduce already existing sets back into the competitive meta one at a time, but more quickly than the actual release schedule was originally.

Another thing I would point out is that domination as well as team play died out almost completely because our playerbase isn't big enough to support them on top of vanilla arena. And lately the amount of new innovative spellbook strategies on OCTGN has been going down a bit. The octgn meta is just starting to become stale as players stick to tried and tested tactics and are less likely to try to do something new and surprising.

I think if we really want to see this game thrive and not just survive, we need to find a way to drastically increase this game's playerbase. Since we can't expect arcane wonders to be able to do that since they are a VERY small company and have other games besides this one, we need to do this ourselves.

In other words, our community needs to play a more active role in marketing the game to new players. Arcane Wonders has already had Arcane Duels doing promotional video on their behalf. You remember how a lot of sets have had their cards spoiled on arcane duels? More of us should do videos like that.

I think it's also a safe bet at this point to assume that the mage wars official storyline is dead. We probably want to make our own "official" fan stories and lore to help promote the game. If we could get arcane wonders permission to write mage wars fanfic and publish it in physical books where new players might actually see it rather than just on these forums, that might help. Ideally we will want the storyline to coincide with the organized play scene, with new story material being associated with newly reintroduced sets. Hint hint, this is another reason we should reboot the metagame as I stated earlier.

Some of us might also want to consider getting over their aversion to Academy and giving it another chance. It's easier to get newer players to try academy first rather than putting them in Arena right off the bat. Academy may not have the tactical depth of arena but it sure has more tactical depth than most tcgs, despite having less strategic depth from having a smaller card pool.

Any other ideas for how we can increase the size of the playerbase more?

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« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 12:03:10 AM by Sailor Vulcan »
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Re: The current state of MW
« Reply #49 on: May 24, 2018, 12:06:34 AM »
I would suggest that it would be a mistake to reboot the game.  First off, it would be a real good way to alienate existing players, who are the people who are the only ambassadors for the game right now.  Second off, it is unnecessary because it is not that difficult of a game to teach.

When you are introducing the game, you only need to have a couple of straightforward books (the game is quite simple compared to MtG).  During the first game, you play open hand, and explain every card as you play it.  After the first game, the majority of the people that you teach are capable of playing the game without major trouble.  It is a system that seems to work.

Wise fool

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Re: The current state of MW
« Reply #50 on: May 24, 2018, 03:31:51 AM »
Quote
First off, it would be a real good way to alienate existing players

All twelve of them?

I don't think anybody has to worry about a reboot.  Academy/Arena was as close to a reboot as they were going to get, and it didn't 'save' the game. 

I think this game will go the way of Heroscape, with a loyal cult following that continues to play it, but no new product or support coming out in the future.  Which is a shame, because I think there's still room for expansion and growth, but if the game's not selling well....  I base the assumption that the game's not selling well on my own anecdotal evidence of seeing all gaming stores go from carrying the game to not even being able to order many of the expansions on request. 

I would've liked to see the Barbarian and the Illusionist.  I would have backed any Kickstarter they decided to come out with.  But it doesn't seem to be meant to be.

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Re: The current state of MW
« Reply #51 on: May 24, 2018, 06:57:26 AM »
Any other ideas for how we can increase the size of the playerbase more?


The strategy I use is to offer an entry level tournament event at a boardgamer's convention (WBC) each year. Generally, I reach about 10 to 30 new players each year using demos. Some of those decide to enter the tournament and a few of those actually go on to place in the Top 6 beating out some of the regulars who play each year. I imagine other ambassadors use similar approaches, but deliver their events/demos throughout the year rather than just annually. So, expanding the number of ambassadors who do this each year is one method to increase the size of the player base. See my offer below for new 'ambassadors' who might be interested in using this method.

The convention that I have targeted does not allow CCG or LCG style games so players have a "preference" and appreciation for games that use a board. This helps with new player expectations about length of a game. Card games tend to have faster playing times so it is a better fit with player expectations to introduce the game in a comparative length setting with other tournament events. At WBC, game rounds for tournaments run from 1 hour to 6 hours depending on the game.

The 4th edition Core Set already has a teaching style (Apprentice Mode) and Advanced Rules (Mage abilities and Spellbook Design) so I use both and combine them into one event. i.e. I do not use any of the expansions in the formal tournament to keep it easier to learn. This follows the learning path that I took with the game so it is easier to for me to teach. I do play Battleground: Domination matches in open gaming with some of the tournament players who have bought the expansions. This always draws a crowd of passing players to watch a "new game" being played.

Before the tournament I run Demo Events that feature Apprentice Mode for new players. The first two rounds of the tournament also use Apprentice Mode and feature just the standard books so all players are on a level playing field. I then add Advanced Rule demos before the final day of the tournament. The last 3 rounds feature advanced rules with custom spellbooks so players who own the game can bring their best designs to battle. For new players who don't own a copy, I provide them with a full standard mage Core Set spellbook to use for their matches.

I am happy to share my tournament planning and setup materials with anyone who wants to adapt and use them. Just send me a message on this forum or by email at wtcannonjr@gmail.com
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Borg

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Re: The current state of MW
« Reply #52 on: May 24, 2018, 09:22:12 AM »
Since Wise fool brought it up,
Wouldn't Kickstarter be the ideal way to release any future expansions and thus keep the game alive  ?

This way AW can get the funds to release an expansion up front.
All they would have to do is make the cards of the set public to create interest and let the players know what they are getting and set a price.
If so many other game designers do it this way, why can't AW do it too ?

If the new cards and new mages are already designed and all that is missing are the necessary funds then Kickstarter is your answer, yes ? :)
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 09:27:41 AM by Borg »
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Re: The current state of MW
« Reply #53 on: May 24, 2018, 10:08:27 AM »
Other ideas/opinions on keeping the game alive.

1. I think we need to go back to 1 format. Arena and Arena only. There is no player base for Arena + Academy + Domination. All the energy and resources have to go to 1 product : the best = Arena.

2. MW is actually a pretty simple game with simple base rules. Generate mana, choose 2 cards, play tnem and activate. Nothing difficult at all. What makes the game very hard for beginners though is that they don't know a single card at the outset. Every single card in their spellbook is completely knew to them and that is overwhelming. Since MW uses a lot of 1-offs in its books we're often looking at books that contain 30 to 40 different cards. That's just a gigantic hurdle to take for a non-devoted or casual player. That leads me to my third point.

3. I'd like to know if a MW format of 60 SBP's instead of 120 SBP's would improve the game.
This would make new entries easier imo - less new cards to digest at the outset.
Spellbooks would likely be much more focused on a certain strategy and less cookie cutter.
Games could be finished much faster, allowing you to play more games in the same time span and potentially opening the door to a real (Swiss) tournament format that can be played in 1 day without putting time restrictions on the games.
I have personally always felt that 120 SBP's were too much because nearly every book has counters to almost every possible threat. Make books focus more on their strategy by taking away all those bonus SBP's and hoser cards and you might be surprised how entertaining the format could be with all kinds of different strategies clashing with each other and not with a hoser card.
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Re: The current state of MW
« Reply #54 on: May 24, 2018, 11:16:06 AM »
3. I'd like to know if a MW format of 60 SBP's instead of 120 SBP's would improve the game.
This would make new entries easier imo - less new cards to digest at the outset.
Spellbooks would likely be much more focused on a certain strategy and less cookie cutter.
Games could be finished much faster, allowing you to play more games in the same time span and potentially opening the door to a real (Swiss) tournament format that can be played in 1 day without putting time restrictions on the games.
I have personally always felt that 120 SBP's were too much because nearly every book has counters to almost every possible threat. Make books focus more on their strategy by taking away all those bonus SBP's and hoser cards and you might be surprised how entertaining the format could be with all kinds of different strategies clashing with each other and not with a hoser card.
If we were to have a simpler format I think i would prefer pre-built spellbooks rahter than building them with 60 points. This way they could have very simple strategies, be thematic and also we could build them to play well vs eachother. For example the Arraxian crown warlock could have a book with 60 points worth of curses and only the wizard would have any enchantment removal. That could be balanced since nobody would run cards like force crush and against other mages the warlock would also lack good anwsers.

I think this could be good since:
The players don't need to worry about building books.
The books would be straightforward, thematic and easy to play.
Finally there would be no good or bad matchups.

The downside I can see is that it might be hard to build the books in a good way which would meet all the requirements.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 11:18:47 AM by Knabb master »
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Re: The current state of MW
« Reply #55 on: May 24, 2018, 01:25:14 PM »
3. I'd like to know if a MW format of 60 SBP's instead of 120 SBP's would improve the game.
This would make new entries easier imo - less new cards to digest at the outset.
Spellbooks would likely be much more focused on a certain strategy and less cookie cutter.
Games could be finished much faster, allowing you to play more games in the same time span and potentially opening the door to a real (Swiss) tournament format that can be played in 1 day without putting time restrictions on the games.
I have personally always felt that 120 SBP's were too much because nearly every book has counters to almost every possible threat. Make books focus more on their strategy by taking away all those bonus SBP's and hoser cards and you might be surprised how entertaining the format could be with all kinds of different strategies clashing with each other and not with a hoser card.
If we were to have a simpler format I think i would prefer pre-built spellbooks rahter than building them with 60 points. This way they could have very simple strategies, be thematic and also we could build them to play well vs eachother. For example the Arraxian crown warlock could have a book with 60 points worth of curses and only the wizard would have any enchantment removal. That could be balanced since nobody would run cards like force crush and against other mages the warlock would also lack good anwsers.

I think this could be good since:
The players don't need to worry about building books.
The books would be straightforward, thematic and easy to play.
Finally there would be no good or bad matchups.

The downside I can see is that it might be hard to build the books in a good way which would meet all the requirements.
1. Customization is a huge part of the appeal of this game. We need the ability to play custom spellbooks in organized play events

2. I have previously suggested a customizable version of apprentice mode. Problem with this is balance. If we want all arena cards to be legal in this, we would need to figure out how to make it not break the game. For instance, playing on 2x3 arena makes walls ridiculous. You would need to redesign the map with secret passages that only connect in certain directions, like that one custom map I built for standard arena previously. And I'm not sure yet if this would work.

Another possibility is to just play regular arena, but change to a 80 point spellbook with a 40 pt sidebook and play best 2/3. Problem with this is match length. It might take too long.

How about I work on some way to make a shorter, balanced version of Arena work with all the spells and mage abilities being legal, and see what people think of it? Obviously well want to make as few changes as possible so that it still feels mostly the same.

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Re: The current state of MW
« Reply #56 on: May 24, 2018, 05:51:28 PM »
I think a simple way to infuse a bit of new life into the game is to come out with a couple new mages that combine different types of magic.

You are always going to have some similarity between decks.  Counter cards are counter cards.  But if we have some new mages, then some of the amazing players I know are on here will begin to look at cards again and find new and exciting ways to pair things up.
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Re: The current state of MW
« Reply #57 on: May 25, 2018, 10:08:13 AM »
I thought about it a while ago,
A Mage who graduated from the academy (level 4), but has not quite got the knowledge of an arena mage (level 6).
Level 5 Mage he uses 40 spellbook points from academy and 20 points from Arena spells.
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fas723

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Re: The current state of MW
« Reply #58 on: May 25, 2018, 11:34:00 AM »
Main issues that prevents a bigger player base are:

- Play time / destructive spells (things that prolong the game in an unnessessary way like high armour/dispel/disolve). Must be half time compared to today still offer long term strategies.
- Complexity. Just get rid of all those traits, conditions and unique abilities that are to complex.

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Re: The current state of MW
« Reply #59 on: May 25, 2018, 12:42:37 PM »
Correcting myself. The problem with mage wars isn't that it's too long to play, or that it's too complex.

A typical game of mtg in type 2 format takes about ten min right?

And mtg uses sideboard, ergo they have best 2/3 matches in tournaments. Therefore their matches probably tend to last around 20-30 min or so.

A typical game of warhammer 40k takes about a couple hours I think, and that game probably has a much larger competitive scene than mage wars.

A single game of mage wars arena typically lasts 60-90 min, and we include all our cards in our main deck and don't use sideboards. The game length is much more like warhammer than magic.

One possible reason that Arena never made it big was AW tried to market the game to card game players. They should have marketed it almost exclusively to minis players. Specifically, minis players that got burnt out on expensive games like warhammer and want to try something cheaper for a while which scratches a similar itch until they can afford to get back into warhammer or whatever.

Arcane Wonders did not market Mage Wars Arena this way at ALL. Instead they went with the "Combines the best aspects of both minis and ccgs" line. Which, let's be honest here, just isn't true.

Mage Wars Arena IS a minis game in every way except for the fact that it uses cards instead of minis, which makes it cheaper and means you don't have to look up what your pieces do in the rulebook because it's written directly on them!

In theory, mage wars arena could have been made as a minis game right from the very start. In fact, if we really wanted to, we could turn it into a minis game right now. Just put all the card text in a giant rulebook and replace the cards with minis, terrain features and tokens. If you want to do this cheaply, use cardboard pieces with plastic stands like the kind you would find in candyland or something. Or use the kind of cheap plastic that's sometimes used for checkers or chess pieces.

Maybe if we did that, it would suddenly become a lot easier to get new players into the game. The demographic that this game would most appeal to is and has always been largely neglected by AW, I think. It's possible that might have doomed this game to obscurity from the very beginning.

At this point, if we're being honest with ourselves, the majority if not all of this game's promotion is now done by fans and not by AW. Same thing with playtesting. And IIRC a good chunk of card design is done by volunteers. The only thing that fans don't contribute to which Arcane wonders still does is the production and funding, if I'm understanding right.

And the really sad thing is, Mage Wars is a GREAT game and would probably be WAY more popular than games like warhammer 40k if it had been better marketed and had more money behind it in the first place.

A significant number of experts think we'll get artificial superintelligence within the next few decades or so. Maybe by then copyright law will be reformed, the public domain will be brought back and mage wars will enter it, and a combination of crowd funding and a freer and more open marketing/communication industry will make it possible for mage wars to not be obscure anymore. Assuming any of us live that long anyway, which we probably won't.

I wouldn't get your hopes up. The long and short of it is that this community's future and the future of the game that ties it together are at the mercy of a company that appears to be able to only barely support it with the funds and personnel available to them. The game isn't going to die, but it will never thrive outside of very limited areas where it was lucky enough to have already gotten a large following, like Charlotte NC and OCTGN. Just a small cult following spread out across the world so most of us will only be able to play online or in conventions like gen con and origins.

I'm not sure if there's actually anything we can do except to urge arcane wonders to start more heavily involving their ambassadors in their marketing and product design for this game. You know, since the ambassadors are the ones who actually still have the time to play the game, and probably have played it a lot more than any of their paid employees. At this point we probably understand this game better than AW does, we have a better idea of who this game would appeal to than AW does, and we probably have a clearer and more comprehensive idea of what this game's selling points are than AW does. Seriously.

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« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 12:55:08 PM by Sailor Vulcan »
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