December 03, 2021, 07:38:01 AM

Author Topic: NPE - Could it defeat the purpose of Academy?  (Read 11006 times)

Coshade

  • Arcane Duels Host
  • Administrator
  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 1935
  • Banana Stickers 6
    • View Profile
    • Arcane Duels!
Re: NPE - Could it defeat the purpose of Academy?
« Reply #30 on: November 15, 2015, 03:29:34 PM »
I really enjoyed this read, thanks for posting a counter argument to NPE. This is a great discussion to think about.
  • Favourite Mage: Malakai Priest

Kelanen

  • Playtester
  • Legendary Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 1187
  • Banana Stickers 1
    • View Profile
Re: NPE - Could it defeat the purpose of Academy?
« Reply #31 on: November 17, 2015, 03:51:13 PM »
I agree that what you term NPE should be avoided for starter sets like Academy (and I don't think that NPE exists in Academy). Then again if a single NPE counts as NPE for someone... I have no words... either read up on the cards beforehand, or accept you will be surprised.

I'd just like to offer an alternative viewpoint for players of non-starter sets though - what you call NPE, I call control, and honestly that's all I enjoy playing. Across any game, I would define the style of play I like playing is one that stops the opponent playing their game (how I win is the largely irrelevant part that comes at the end).

As the most easily relateable example - I've I've played MtG since 1993 until the last few years. My deck styles of choice - hand destruction, land destruction, counterspell, stasis, and various soft and hard locks.

In MW I like Mana Denial, Stun-lock, Jinx-lock, Taunt-lock... Tinkerbell and Banker archetypes... It's a game where control is hard, but it can be done.

I suspect this is a competitive vs casual player mindset. I've played half a dozen CCG's seriously, most to nationals standard, some to ProTour and money finishes (and know many players much better than me!). It's not just that I like playing what you would call NPE decks, I like playing against them too, and I don't see the difference between that and Ravager Affinity that just has me dead on turn 4/5... It's no different to uninteractive combo either, which whilst never really floating my boat, is just as valid to play or play against.

Now I concede that in a game with no random draws you have to be careful, because I essentially have my god draw every game. I have dozens of spreadsheets for my spellbooks mapping out my first ten turns against control, against aggro, building in options and decision forks - the reason I love MW so much is it's an optimisers dream game.

Just be aware that one mans NPE is another's fun. Keeping the balance is as ever the hard part, and product separation is one viable route. That's maybe the first vaguely credible argument I have heard for why Academy should exist...
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 03:55:49 PM by Kelanen »

jhaelen

  • Full Mage
  • ***
  • Posts: 126
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: NPE - Could it defeat the purpose of Academy?
« Reply #32 on: November 18, 2015, 02:36:06 AM »
As the most easily relateable example - I've I've played MtG since 1993 until the last few years. My deck styles of choice - hand destruction, land destruction, counterspell, stasis, and various soft and hard locks.

In MW I like Mana Denial, Stun-lock, Jinx-lock, Taunt-lock... Tinkerbell and Banker archetypes... It's a game where control is hard, but it can be done.
I get that you enjoy playing that (and apparently also playing against it), but what about your opponents? Do they enjoy playing against these kinds of decks?

I can definitely say that I don't. It's the kind of game I'd rather quit than endure the agony of playing it through until the predictable end. I guess my mindset is just not competitive enough for that, I'd much rather save the time to play a more enjoyable game against someone else.

iNano78

  • Ambassador
  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 1293
  • Banana Stickers 4
  • Playing at the Royal Canadian Legion in Ottawa
    • View Profile
    • Ottawa/Gatineau Mage Wars (FB group)
Re: NPE - Could it defeat the purpose of Academy?
« Reply #33 on: November 18, 2015, 08:16:29 AM »
As the most easily relateable example - I've I've played MtG since 1993 until the last few years. My deck styles of choice - hand destruction, land destruction, counterspell, stasis, and various soft and hard locks.

In MW I like Mana Denial, Stun-lock, Jinx-lock, Taunt-lock... Tinkerbell and Banker archetypes... It's a game where control is hard, but it can be done.
I get that you enjoy playing that (and apparently also playing against it), but what about your opponents? Do they enjoy playing against these kinds of decks?

I can definitely say that I don't. It's the kind of game I'd rather quit than endure the agony of playing it through until the predictable end. I guess my mindset is just not competitive enough for that, I'd much rather save the time to play a more enjoyable game against someone else.

And that's kind of my overall point.  I have played my share of control decks in MtG (although generally not land destruction aside from a couple Wastelands for dealing with some of the most broken lands), and have played against many, and while I'm not a huge fan of "hard locks" as per my original post, I get that you do whatever you need to within the rules in a competitive environment.

But the Academy set in general, and the recommended intro decks in particular, are about introducing the game - not competitive play.  Perhaps (or not) Academy will be played in competitive tournaments.  But that doesn't mean a primary strategy of the recommended starting deck should be something that turns a number of (casual?) gamers off.  If your goal is to get new players to enjoy their first Mage Wars experience so they want to dig deeper (e.g. ramp them up to more competitive matches that might involve all sorts of control strategies like positional board control and mana denial and counterspells/undo wars that are common in Arena/Domination), then you're shooting yourself in the foot by having a potentially NPE game strategy built in to the intro decks. 

On the other hand, I think having a few control spells in the Academy core set is fine.  For instance, more experienced (former MtG?) gamers can browse the other cards in the set that aren't in the intro decks and see that control decks could be crafted.  But I'm still strongly of the opinion that most of those cards should be avoided in the recommended intro spell book.  The Wizard needs to have at least one other viable strategy than mana drain (e.g. his staff, cloak, creatures, enchantments) and temporary creature removal (Exile).
  • Favourite Mage: Salenia Forcemaster

FrostByte

  • Playtester
  • New Mage
  • *
  • Posts: 36
  • Banana Stickers 0
    • View Profile
Re: NPE - Could it defeat the purpose of Academy?
« Reply #34 on: November 18, 2015, 02:05:18 PM »
Maybe I'm just beating the dead horse here when i reiterate that NPE's are purely subjective.  This acronym comes up in my gaming group occasionally and it's almost never for the same reason.  One guy in the gaming group just doesn't like losing.  He's a Min/Max player and will use what can be considered cheap(or cheese depending on the game) to ensure his victory.  However this same guy will consider the rare game where he loses to a better player to be an NPE.  Inversely a number of players don't like playing against the min/max player to avoid an NPE of their own because they no going in that they will probably not win.

Disclaimer: I have not tried out Academy.

However from everything I've read in this thread so far it sounds like a standard Mage Wars release.  The two mages in a single box are usually Hard counters to one another.  It was seen with spells that were in FvW as well as DvN. Whats the easiest way to hard counter a swarm deck other than mass clearing spells.  Resource denial.  Since this game removes the spatial element of area movement/control, It seems the only right that to avoid a creature is to deny its use, be it from getting summoned or stalling it for a turn.   

What I've also gathered from reading this thread is that everyone's experience with the game has been different.  A group of players have found that the while the wizard has been given mana denial it has not been enough to stop some of the dodgy creatures of the Beastmaster.  But on your end it has resulted in a restriction of the Beastmasters abilities.  What you are seeing as a possible NPE for new players is something that can't be helped because of just how subjective NPEs are.     

While Academy is the simpler of the two(Arena and Academy) its still a Mage Wars game.   That thus makes a strategic card game with a large card pool.   These kinds of games are always going to have a steep entry curve because deck building and learning the card pool are an element of both casual and competitive play.

I would also have to disagree with your view that Academy is introduction to Mage Wars Arena.  It is itself a standalone game.  There is no reason any player has to graduate to the larger version of the game.  The introductory books should hold a little bit of all elements open to that mage, for introductory purposes, while still having a focus one strategy that a player can see and plan accordingly. Until i get my hands on a copy of Academy I cannot completely confirm or deny the validity that the game has some unbalanced elements in the starter books, but judging from the myriad of reports that it can go either way it seems that they are.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 02:07:59 PM by FrostByte »
  • Favourite Mage: Salenia Forcemaster

iNano78

  • Ambassador
  • Legendary Mage
  • *****
  • Posts: 1293
  • Banana Stickers 4
  • Playing at the Royal Canadian Legion in Ottawa
    • View Profile
    • Ottawa/Gatineau Mage Wars (FB group)
Re: NPE - Could it defeat the purpose of Academy?
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2015, 05:21:59 AM »
Good point about Academy being its own game.

However, while it might be subjective in general, I'm of the opinion that NPE has little to do with winning and losing but rather game design. Most (but maybe not all?)  players can enjoy or at least appreciate a well designed game even when losing, and it's certainly possible to experience an NPE situation while winning. I think every game designer wants players to have fun during a first play of a game, and should be aware of situations that might make that first play "unfun."  And there's something about "not being able to do stuff" that is inherently unfun to some people, even if it's possible to enjoy playing with/against control strategies in a competitive environment (eg after becoming experienced with the game).

But yes, I can see value in viable control strategies in Academy for experienced Academy players to explore.
  • Favourite Mage: Salenia Forcemaster