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Author Topic: No Lash of Hellfire in Core Spell Tome ?  (Read 3962 times)

Borg

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No Lash of Hellfire in Core Spell Tome ?
« on: November 05, 2012, 01:23:43 PM »
I understand choices had to be made about which cards to put in the base game and which to leave out.
However, just putting in 1 copy of a key card like Lash of Hellfire is outrageous.
For casual play, fine, but if they want to organise tournaments then you would expect cards to be available in multiple copies without forcing you to buy another base game if you want a second copy of a card, right ?

OK, no harm done, I thought, they realised they made a mistake here, the core spell tome will provide extra copies of KEY cards.
Imagine my disbelief when checking out the CST-list and noticing there isn't even another Lash of Hellfire or Staff of Beasts ( to name just two ) in the tome.
May I ask what logic hides behind this ( baffling ) decision ?
How are we supposed to get a second or third copy of this card ?
How are you supposed to build a "competitive" spellbook if you can't get your hands on more than one copy of a card .. unless you want to pay an outrageous amount of money for it ( like buying an extra base game for 50 ) ?

This really turns me off.
How can a game be so good and the card distribution be so terrible at the same time ?

Koz

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Re: No Lash of Hellfire in Core Spell Tome ?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2012, 01:56:09 PM »
While I don't really agree with the level of your outrage, I do agree with the sentiment.  They apparently are going to be producing a second core spell tome that will have all of the cards from the base set that weren't in the first core spell tome.  They have not said when they are producing this product however, although I would have thought that they would have pushed it through ASAP due to the amount of clamoring that has been going on for it.

Hopefully they will let us know what the deal is on this soon.

SeanDeCoy

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Re: No Lash of Hellfire in Core Spell Tome ?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2012, 04:49:51 PM »
Hey guys,

Thanks for the feedback. We are working extremely hard to get that second Core Spell Tome out as soon as possible. I know I have several print production meetings schedule for me personally for this week, to ensure that we get that product out to you guys.

To answer Borg's question - it was incredibly difficult to decide which spells to include in the first Core Spell Tome. In fact, even from all of our plays and all of our playtesters' plays, it was difficult to decipher what a key card was from an average card. Some players have their entire strategy built on the Temple of Asyra, some have it built on Poison Gas Clouds or Blocks or Reverse Attacks or Fireballs.

A lot of the equipment (as well as legendary creatures) got the axe in the initial print run because they were either:

[ul]
  [li]Difficult to destroy (in the case of the Lash of Hellfire, you'd need a dissolve to get rid of it).[/li]
  [li]Difficult to summon (in the case of Legendary Creatures)[/li]
  [li]Strategies largely don't depend on having multiple copies (again, in the case of Legendary Creatures)[/li]
[/ul]

So, that's the basic breakdown of how we decided which cards went into the Core Spell Tome and which ones didn't. The idea being that a Beastmaster needs multiple Bitterwood Foxes in order to make his swarm strategy work, but theoretically, he only needs one Redclaw (even though I run 4 redclaw's in my spellbook). This of course doesn't count for the fact that theoretically even legendary creatures will die, and if you've spent a lot of time building your strategy around one, you'll likely have a backup. The same goes for equipment - since the only spell you can use to get rid of equipment is Dissolve, and there are only something like 5 dissolves in the Core Set, we figured that those would get divided between the Mages, and that while a Mage might have a favorite spell or equipment (like Lash of Hellfire), that likely, the type of player that uses one piece of equipment, will use more than one, causing his opponent to decide whether to use one of his valuable dissolves (or even the action), to get rid of it.

At the end of the day, we want to make all the cards readily available for all players at as good a rate as we possible can give. We may have made incorrect assumptions about the Core Spell Tome, and which cards to put into it - but we're definitely listening to the feedback and listening for future sets.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any further questions, I'm always available to help shed some light on our design decisions.

--Sean

PBKWMatt

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Re: No Lash of Hellfire in Core Spell Tome ?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 09:30:26 PM »
I am with the OP here.  

Now that I know what I know, I would recommend a second box set.  You can get it on Cool stuff Inc for 33.99.  Figure out a $100 order with a friend and shipping is free.  

Core Spell Tome mitigates some of the issues, but a second base set is the way to go.  

Ultimately, the money, when compared to a CCG, is way less.  

If you love the game, it is truly the way to go.

Nihilistiskism

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Re: No Lash of Hellfire in Core Spell Tome ?
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 02:25:24 PM »
3rd point (because an extra 2 cents never hurts):

Hellfire Lash is exclusive to one mage only. The Warlock. I know factually that if I had made the poor decision to produce X-only cards in the first place, I wouldn't re-release them with a set intended to grow the card base, overall.

Overall being the key word. The core spell tome expansion was meant to give extra copies of cards that are, well, core, but I believe to the general mage population. If they gave the Warlock an extra lash, they would have been hung if they didn't give an extra copy of all X-only cards, which would have been a blow to the expansion since the numbers would have been reduced for more universally applicable cards.

Mage only cards are a bad idea for exactly this reason, and for other reasons, but this is a good one.

-nihil
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PBKWMatt

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Re: No Lash of Hellfire in Core Spell Tome ?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 07:42:26 PM »
I suppose.  I enjoy the mage only cards as that is the only way to grow the individual mages in the long run.

Me personally, I would do more of the specific cards in the long run.

Funny, but the cards that the CST had 2 of were sort of good, but not what I would have done.

Block, Jinx, nullify...  all right.  

Force Push, Teleport... good

Shift enchantment... no thanks

How about a second Battle Fury!!!  

Quibbles and gripes I know, but I am not happy if I am not moaning.  More of the Hand of Bim Shalla, Battle Fury, Reverse Attack!

Nihilistiskism

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Re: No Lash of Hellfire in Core Spell Tome ?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2012, 01:37:20 AM »
Quote from: "ghbell" post=3011
I suppose.  I enjoy the mage only cards as that is the only way to grow the individual mages in the long run.


That you've considered. The caveat here is that there are other ways to do it...just different ways to do it.

When you utterly restrict a card to Mage "X" you are simultaneously denying that card to every other Mage in the game, which is contrary to the design structure upon which the game is built; that you get to "customize" your spellbook.

When you are designing a game, and want to "restrict" methods of play, there are two fundamental levels at which that goal can be accomplished:

1) Simply deny a resource as a universal one

OR

2) Create a penalties/benefits system wherein certain resources are either easier to acquire for certain archetypes (i.e. Mages) or provide a stronger effect-to-cost ratio for certain archetypes (i.e. Mages) or, reversed, are harder to acquire for certain archetypes (i.e. Mages) or provide a weaker effect-to-cost ratio for certain archetypes (i.e. Mages). This is all the same thing, hence being in a single bullet-point.

What is the overall effect of these different methods of resource denial?

If you choose Option 1 you are mandating that certain archetypes simply will not have certain resources. This can be problematic for overall design arcs for a few reasons:

1) Taking this route forces the hand of design should design ever wish to introduce a mechanic that already exists for one archetype into the other archetype. For example: By making Huggin a Wizard Only familiar design has effectively shot itself in the proverbial foot should design ever wish to implement an incantation-casting familiar for the Warlock. Structurally, this isn't technically an obstacle to the design team, but it is a self-imposed limitation, because should this ever occur the design team will have to design a brand-new card to work with the Warlock...whereas they could have simply allowed Huggin as a universal card in the first place, and never had to deal with the situation at all.

2) Taking this route neuters the creativity process that goes into building a spellbook for this game. Using the previous example, the Warlock does not have a familiar that can cast enchantments or incantations, and is thus limited by design to host a maximum number of spells cast per round that is less than the maximum number of spells per round that is by design allotted (or at least given account for) for the Wizard and Beastmaster. This structurally alters the flow of designing a spellbook. Is it a "problem?" No. But it is frustrating. It "forces" the hand of a player wanting to design a specific kind of Warlock deck, because certain resources are not available to that player. It essentially prohibits the creation of a "bounce" spellbook where you utilize your familiar to play Force Push and Teleport every round to put your Warlock where he needs to be in order to punch things to greatest effect and still save his quick action. The Wizard can build a "bounce" deck but the Warlock cannot. From a player perspective, I find that it is appropriate that it should, perhaps, be more difficult or costly to build a "bounce" deck centered around the Warlock, but it is slightly offensive to me that the designers say "that's not allowed. We don't like what you envision for the Warlock, so we aren't going to put it in the game for him."*

*I obviously am speaking non-literally and with flare toward colorful monologue. I highly doubt the designers collaborated to undermine any specific archetype, but the effect of design's actions is felt regardless of intent.

Now, on the alternative:

Well, basically, everything that is opposite what I just finished typing. You want to build a Warlock "bounce" deck? Well...you can try. It'll be damn hard to pull of managing your mana and filling your spellbook with stuff after paying for all those bounce cards and huggin, but it could work. You'll just have to build it and see.

See? Creativity NOT stifled or inhibited. Resources not denied outright are resources someone tries to use.

The immediate counter argument that presents is "uniqueness" and "identity." When every Mage can do everything, where are the unique attributes that alter the fundamentals of play and/or spellbook design?

Well, the fact that the Mages have different life totals, different Magic totals, different special abilities, and different schools of concentration rings something of a bell. The Mages are very unique to themselves, and that is the right direction, for as far as my opinion is concerned. Uniqueness should be broad and varied in the Mages, themselves, but there is no relevant need in the design process to say "X can't be used by Y."

Quote from: "ghbell" post=3011

...I am not happy if I am not moaning.  


DOUBLE ENTENDRE!!!!

Sorry...couldn't resist.  :whistle:


-nihil
Take a shower, don't talk like a junior high dropout, and stop being such a fatty.

Klaxas

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Re: No Lash of Hellfire in Core Spell Tome ?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2012, 03:41:40 PM »
i would just like to chime in here.  i understand your view nihil and i respect your opinion.

however i disagree with some aspects, let me explain.

you are quite correct that the mages are unique based on life total, channeling, schools abilities, and maybe eventually spellbook points.

you are also correct that having mage X only cards does somewhat limit creativity and freedom in spellbook design.

before i go into my explination i would like to say i started gameing as a role player and have branched out into miniature games and finally board games.  i still enjoy all types of games and have quite a variety of games really love to play.

what kind of game is mage wars?  this game is trying to be immersive. one of the core concepts is "what if magic were real?"  there is a strong role playing element to the background and that infuses itself in the rules.  i myself have asked questions of the designers for things i felt were not quite thematic although perfectly legal by the rules and the responce was wow your right, we will errata that and fix the wording on the rules.  i think this is a change from what most people are use too.  the game is centered around realism and balance, and everything else is secondary.

so why do i feel mage X cards are appropriate for this type of game?  they further define each mage and thier abilities.  almost like defining a character for a role playing game.  its not just about a list of abilities its about theme.  let me give some examples.

1) Drain Life.  the spell isnt just about damaging your opponent and healing yourself.  you are sucking out the life essence of your opponent, possibly a piece of thier soul.  to most people the very thought is abhorent.   no wizard, priestess or beastmaster would ever consider such an act.  however the warlock...  and might i add, anyone trained in the dark arts has made sacrifices, both personal and of unwilling victems that the though of draining someone is mearly a means to an end.  that is why drain life is dark mage only.

2) gate to voltari.  many have tried to study and tap into the plane of Voltari, but few have spent the countless years of study that the wizards of sortilage have gone through.  they understand Voltari like no other.  forming such a portal is the crowning achievement of thier order, allowing even greater opertunity for study.

those are just 2 examples.  its not about limiting your options, although it does that somewhat.  its about further defining a mage in ways that you couldnt do on just a stat card.

sorry i have to run.  i will wait for responces and try to comment more tomorrow have to run to work!
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Hedge

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Re: No Lash of Hellfire in Core Spell Tome ?
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2012, 05:05:55 PM »
Klaxas, While I see your point it doesn't make the Fact that I can't use them with other mages suck any less.


Hedge

Nihilistiskism

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Re: No Lash of Hellfire in Core Spell Tome ?
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2012, 11:46:39 PM »
Klaxas, I understand your position, but mine will remain unchanged:

I do not believe it is necessary to produce Mage "X" Only cards to embellish the theme of the game. The game is highly thematic without those kinds of intrusions. For as much "theme" as they offer, they dilute the cardpool for every other Mage in the game, and bottleneck distribution. Whatever the distribution method AW chooses for Mage Wars, if they do Mage X Only cards they are dedicating X percent of a distribution to a single mage, whereas they could, instead, dedicate 100% of every distribution to every Mage.

You love theme. That's awesome. I don't knock that. Love away. I don't think that's justification for removing options from the greater majority of Mages because I think your love of theme can be easily satisfied in other ways.

-nihil
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Klaxas

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Re: No Lash of Hellfire in Core Spell Tome ?
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2012, 05:03:11 PM »
the percentage of mage only cards is quite small compared with the total available card pool, and im sure it will remain so.

it seems to me that you are approaching this from purely a rules perspective.  while there is nothing wrong with that, the game was designed to be more than a set of rules.  arcane wonders is trying to mesh and blend the rules with the theme.  which i must add is not an easy thing to do.  by restricting some cards to certain mages they are not doing so based on a rules or even a balance issue, they are defining thier world.  in thier world, only a dark mage has the lack of compassion necessary to cast drain life.  if you take the rule out and just read it as a defining trait of thier world, is there anything wrong with that statement?  no.

when you look at a game like magic, the theme always takes a backseat to the rules.  the rules come first and then they tweek the theme to rationalise the rules they want in gameplay.  there is nothing wrong with that style and i have enjoyed magic for many years.  however mage wars is not magic.

i also do not think they are diluting the card pool.  you are assuming that if mage X cards didnt exist then the cards would just be available to everyone.  we do not know that is the case.  i think in many instances the card simply would not exist.  therefore the mage X cards enhance the card pool.

i really am not trying to change your mind here, just give you insight into what i believe is the reasoning behind the mage only cards.    like it or hate it, this is the rout they decided to go.  i believe they made the right decision, although some might not agree i think the majority of players will take it how it was intended.

so the question is, is this a deal breaker?  does this ruin the game for you to the point that it disgusts you every time the wizard plays a supression cloak?
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Nihilistiskism

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Re: No Lash of Hellfire in Core Spell Tome ?
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2012, 10:01:27 AM »
@Klaxas: The part where I said "I understand your position, but mine will remain unchanged" was me telling you that we aren't going to agree on this matter. There were two parts to that statement.

1) "I understand your position..." I'm not stupid, and understand what you have said. Repeating yourself indicates to me that you feel that I didn't read what you wrote the first time. Consider that theory debunked. I read it. I understood it.

2) "..., but mine will remain unchanged." After reading and understanding your position fully I am still in disagreement with your premises.


To humor you for absolutely no reason:

Yes. It does mildly disgust me when I see a "Mage X Only" card dropped in-game, because it reminds me that my choices in spellbook building are artificially neutered, and that design has ultimately, in my opinion, taken the lazy route in balancing the game. When a game has very, very few faults, the ones that do exist stick out as extremely sore thumbs.

I put my case, position, and part in this conversation to rest.

-nihil
Take a shower, don't talk like a junior high dropout, and stop being such a fatty.