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Author Topic: We need to encourage spellbook sharing more  (Read 3957 times)

Sailor Vulcan

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We need to encourage spellbook sharing more
« on: November 21, 2015, 04:00:51 PM »
It seems almost like whenever I get on octgn to play mage wars nowadays the strategies my opponents use are often at least a tad bit generic. It's obviously not just netdecking, or I would be seeing some of the more fun and interesting strategies being netdecked as well. Where are all the innovative spellbooks?

My suspicion is that not every decent player is also that good at spellbook building, and there are probably a lot of netdeckers out there playing this game. Not that there's anything wrong with netdecking, but I think more of us should be posting more of our competitive spellbooks so that when people netdeck the games are more interesting to watch and to play.

I mean, it's one thing if you're saving it for tournaments, but the global metagame is pretty much exclusively online and the real life tournament scene isn't quite the same since it's not really global. I wish there was an interface that allowed people to play in real life against an online opponent, like a remotely controlled robot or something, except that would not be portable enough.

You see, there are two ways for metagame shift to happen in Mage Wars: Using cards that already exist in innovative and unexpected ways, and using new cards from newly released sets.

Last year there was a long, long period of time in which we waited for the release of Forged in Fire, and during that time the global metagame stagnated. Then when Forged in Fire's release date was only about maybe a month or two away, suddenly the metagame drastically transformed, and this was BEFORE Forged in Fire's release. No one was using the FiF cards on OCTGN (although people were using promos), and the yet game was alive and changing again. I don't know what happened, exactly, but I suspect it was the fact that innovative spellbook builders came back to the game and started playing with their interesting spellbooks which no one had ever seen before.

So, if we want the metagame to be more interesting and dynamic during these long lulls between sets, we probably need to post some of our interesting spellbooks so that people can netdeck them.

What do you think?

I'll be posting some more of my less-used spellbooks soon.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2015, 04:05:59 PM by Sailor Vulcan »
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Laddinfance

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Re: We need to encourage spellbook sharing more
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2015, 09:12:55 AM »
I do think people should really go out there and try new things. There are definitely a lot of unexplored cards. Now, all of that said, I think the reason you had such an explosion right before FIF was FIF. Simply knowing the new cards that were in the pipeline tends to get people excited about those spellbooks, and so they go back and reexamine other cards as well.

Fly Molo

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Re: We need to encourage spellbook sharing more
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2015, 08:42:12 PM »
Does OCTGN support Battlegrounds?

sIKE

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Re: We need to encourage spellbook sharing more
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2015, 09:56:09 PM »
Does OCTGN support Battlegrounds?
Yes  8)
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riastradh

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Re: We need to encourage spellbook sharing more
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2015, 11:55:33 PM »
As a counterpoint, sharing spellbook card lists may not be the best contribution that can be made. The theory that a well tested spellbook encapsulates is the result of experience, thought, debugging, and a play style unique to the builder. Even with the book list, another player will probably not wield it as well so what benefit is gained?

What may be more productive is looking at things in a more granular fashion. Instead of trying to distill the essence of a spellbook into a forum post that doesn't always capture the finer points, I informally suggest a method used in certain competitive games in Asia to improve the overall body of experience without selling yourself out. Study sessions are gatherings where people share specific situations with varied criteria, state their approach, and open the floor to friendly discussion. This can yield a variety of opinions and theories from different perspectives. Think of it as discussing the best way to build individual tools instead of asking someone to explain their whole toolbox, which, in some corners of the world, is considered rude.

Although it is not a direct analog, this is already kicked about in the Strategy and Tactics channel, but might benefit from a more organized approach. For example, propose a specific situation along with any relevant details of the game state (either from a game you played/witnessed or pure speculation), explain how you might manage it, and then start asking how a warlord might crack this nut; or a wizard, or priestess, or beastmaster. Anyone is free to offer their perspective, though if they expect to be taken seriously they should back up that position with an explanation. Both sides of the conversation can benefit from learning how other classes of mages might respond while giving the mage of example some insight into how to best defend their position. Participating helps evolve the game of everyone involved by making more informed choices when building their own books instead of generic netdecking.

I want to point out that in the context of your suggestion for more open sharing of competitive spellbooks, even you are reluctant to share your best.
I'll be posting some more of my *less-used spellbooks* soon.
(emphasis mine)

bigfatchef

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Re: We need to encourage spellbook sharing more
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2015, 05:56:13 AM »
Complete Books can be helpful to get impressions, but if a book is working or not strongly depends on playstyle. I tried playing the watergate wizard and feeled unable to play as I felt. I have to say I didn't know the meta for it. Playing the undoing war just doesn't fit me I guess. Deep in me I want to make action, not stop it.

What I find the most interesting are discussions about f.e. The priest and what holy avenger works best. Or Ideas like feeding krahlator with bobcats. Also I am often not sure wich enchantment to pack in a book as buffs. So discussions like cheetah speed vs elusive are good support.

The best about sharing full books is you can import them very lazy into Octgn and try it out. This can give you experience ans that helps the most.

Sailor Vulcan

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Re: We need to encourage spellbook sharing more
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2015, 06:19:12 AM »

As a counterpoint, sharing spellbook card lists may not be the best contribution that can be made. The theory that a well tested spellbook encapsulates is the result of experience, thought, debugging, and a play style unique to the builder. Even with the book list, another player will probably not wield it as well so what benefit is gained?

What may be more productive is looking at things in a more granular fashion. Instead of trying to distill the essence of a spellbook into a forum post that doesn't always capture the finer points, I informally suggest a method used in certain competitive games in Asia to improve the overall body of experience without selling yourself out. Study sessions are gatherings where people share specific situations with varied criteria, state their approach, and open the floor to friendly discussion. This can yield a variety of opinions and theories from different perspectives. Think of it as discussing the best way to build individual tools instead of asking someone to explain their whole toolbox, which, in some corners of the world, is considered rude.

Although it is not a direct analog, this is already kicked about in the Strategy and Tactics channel, but might benefit from a more organized approach. For example, propose a specific situation along with any relevant details of the game state (either from a game you played/witnessed or pure speculation), explain how you might manage it, and then start asking how a warlord might crack this nut; or a wizard, or priestess, or beastmaster. Anyone is free to offer their perspective, though if they expect to be taken seriously they should back up that position with an explanation. Both sides of the conversation can benefit from learning how other classes of mages might respond while giving the mage of example some insight into how to best defend their position. Participating helps evolve the game of everyone involved by making more informed choices when building their own books instead of generic netdecking.

I want to point out that in the context of your suggestion for more open sharing of competitive spellbooks, even you are reluctant to share your best.
I'll be posting some more of my *less-used spellbooks* soon.
(emphasis mine)

Less used does not necessarily mean less good. I have at least several spell book designs that are at least pretty decent which I have not used in a while. I already posted a few of them on my octgn profile.

Also, I think you are assuming that someone who isn't as good at spellbook building automatically is less skilled at playing the game. That is probably not true.

The problem I am discussing has little or nothing to do with player skill, and everything to do with what strategies people are choosing to run. The octgn metagame has recently gotten rather stale, and there are plenty of actually interesting spellbooks out there which no one seems to be using. It seems like the majority of the strategies I have faced against recently have been rather generic and almost never surprising and it's hard for me to pay attention for 1-2 hours if my opponent's strategy isn't interesting. This is especially difficult when I'm facing opponents who think slowly or whose computers are slow. I start to zone out.

If the game is only interesting directly before and after an expansion is released, that makes for much less satisfactory experience.

Also, some people undoubtedly don't like spellbook designing and would prefer to just play. However those people have rather limited options, since there are very few competitive spellbooks available to netdeck on the forums. Not sure how many people have shared spellbooks on their octgn profiles, but I would hazard a guess that it's not many.
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Puddnhead

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Re: We need to encourage spellbook sharing more
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2015, 10:11:59 AM »
I am probably one of those terrible people that no one wants spying on them, but I am a huge fan of net decking. 

Let me explain:

I love thinking and talking about Mage Wars.  I also love talking with people to hear how they think and what excites them.  Additionally, I am acutely aware that I have a limited ability to play, construct and tweak my own books and dissect and synergize various card combinations--and this is only from MY perspective.

There are many many people who have poured a lot of energy and thought into this game and make some fantastic books with really cool ideas in them.  Each player brings a unique contribution of style, preferences and excitement to the game from Charmyna's patient attrition to Sharkbait's kill-it-with-fire or die there are so many books to try and learn from.  I would never have valued enchantment transfusion with out gdeikhaus's Guardian Angel book or Heal quite as well without Coshade's Divine Life Priest.  Sailor's Force Crush Forcemaster, Borg's use of Force Pull and Echpheron's use of damage over time and Cloak of Shadows upped my awareness of the uses for certain cards and the balance of spells in a book.  I have learned so much from reading about these strategies on the forum and seeing the feedback and results and finally getting to test them myself!

Using someone else's book is a window into how they think and what decisions they make as well as what they fear.  It also exposes me to a different playstyle and new ways of using (and combating) cards in the books that I build in the future.

Case in point: I learned a great deal about how to play the Adramelech Warlock from playing Ecpheron's book and then Sharkbait's book.  I used what lessons I'd learned to play her in the Mage Roars tournament to good effect.

In addition to these reasons there are some significantly more practical reasons for me.  I'm 35 I have a job and a family and other commitments during the week.  If I were still in college with fewer actual responsibilities I would spend most of my time playing and tweaking, but I don't have that luxury any more.  If I'm going to be competitive at all I need to learn a lot from my play sessions and make the most of all of the resources I have available to me.  If I've been thinking about using a particular card or mage in a book and haven't had time to do the construction I can do a quick sweep of the forums to see if anyone else has had a similar idea.  I can then port it in, do a preliminary dissection on its mechanics and give it a test run.

I think I've grown a lot as a player in the past several months and it's thanks to regular playing and feedback that I've gotten from Arcane Duels, Sharkey, the forums and the players on OCTGN.  Thanks everyone!

TL:DR I learn a lot more from seeing and piloting other people's constructions and I wouldn't have time to do so on my own.
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riastradh

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Re: We need to encourage spellbook sharing more
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2015, 10:17:25 AM »
I am not assuming anything. I am suggesting that (as bigfatchef stated) a book that works well in one meta with a given player won't necessarily be as useful to someone else. Additionally, building a body of knowledge over collecting someone else's spellbook would increase the variety of unique strategies in circulation rather than providing netdeckers a bigger pool to copy. Sharing books no doubt has it's place, but education is almost always the better way for long term results. No doubt some people would rather netdeck instead of building their own books, but you'll always have that and there is no vaccine.

riastradh

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Re: We need to encourage spellbook sharing more
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2015, 10:20:00 AM »
That is good perspective from the other side, thank you.  :)

I am probably one of those terrible people that no one wants spying on them, but I am a huge fan of net decking. 

Let me explain:

I love thinking and talking about Mage Wars.  I also love talking with people to hear how they think and what excites them.  Additionally, I am acutely aware that I have a limited ability to play, construct and tweak my own books and dissect and synergize various card combinations--and this is only from MY perspective.

There are many many people who have poured a lot of energy and thought into this game and make some fantastic books with really cool ideas in them.  Each player brings a unique contribution of style, preferences and excitement to the game from Charmyna's patient attrition to Sharkbait's kill-it-with-fire or die there are so many books to try and learn from.  I would never have valued enchantment transfusion with out gdeikhaus's Guardian Angel book or Heal quite as well without Coshade's Divine Life Priest.  Sailor's Force Crush Forcemaster, Borg's use of Force Pull and Echpheron's use of damage over time and Cloak of Shadows upped my awareness of the uses for certain cards and the balance of spells in a book.  I have learned so much from reading about these strategies on the forum and seeing the feedback and results and finally getting to test them myself!

Using someone else's book is a window into how they think and what decisions they make as well as what they fear.  It also exposes me to a different playstyle and new ways of using (and combating) cards in the books that I build in the future.

Case in point: I learned a great deal about how to play the Adramelech Warlock from playing Ecpheron's book and then Sharkbait's book.  I used what lessons I'd learned to play her in the Mage Roars tournament to good effect.

In addition to these reasons there are some significantly more practical reasons for me.  I'm 35 I have a job and a family and other commitments during the week.  If I were still in college with fewer actual responsibilities I would spend most of my time playing and tweaking, but I don't have that luxury any more.  If I'm going to be competitive at all I need to learn a lot from my play sessions and make the most of all of the resources I have available to me.  If I've been thinking about using a particular card or mage in a book and haven't had time to do the construction I can do a quick sweep of the forums to see if anyone else has had a similar idea.  I can then port it in, do a preliminary dissection on its mechanics and give it a test run.

I think I've grown a lot as a player in the past several months and it's thanks to regular playing and feedback that I've gotten from Arcane Duels, Sharkey, the forums and the players on OCTGN.  Thanks everyone!

TL:DR I learn a lot more from seeing and piloting other people's constructions and I wouldn't have time to do so on my own.

Sailor Vulcan

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Re: We need to encourage spellbook sharing more
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2015, 03:33:17 PM »

I am not assuming anything. I am suggesting that (as bigfatchef stated) a book that works well in one meta with a given player won't necessarily be as useful to someone else. Additionally, building a body of knowledge over collecting someone else's spellbook would increase the variety of unique strategies in circulation rather than providing netdeckers a bigger pool to copy. Sharing books no doubt has it's place, but education is almost always the better way for long term results. No doubt some people would rather netdeck instead of building their own books, but you'll always have that and there is no vaccine.

Knowledge about how to build better spellbooks isn't useful if someone isn't building spellbooks. Unless you mean something else by "education"? Again I say that the problem isn't that people don't know the game well enough, it's that the majority of the strategies in the global metagame recently (at least that I've seen) are rather generic and not unique or interesting. Teaching people how to build more effective spellbooks isn't going to solve that at all, since their spellbooks are often already at least fairly effective.

Here are some of the strategies that I keep seeing over and over again.

Battle Forge.

The exact same Druid vine swarm that every Druid player uses

Wizard tower spam

Super-Flexible spellbooks, including warlock with a demon for every occasion.



Some things I haven't seen much of in a long time:

Graveyard

Altar of the iron guard (outside of domination)

Talos summon or even attempted Talos summon

Falcon swarm

Johktari beastmaster

Lord of Fire

Earth Elemental

Good non-wizard tanks that someone other than myself made.

Thougthspores

2-3 creature few big

Etc etc.
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riastradh

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Re: We need to encourage spellbook sharing more
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2015, 04:43:02 PM »
So the solution is to circulate more spellbooks that will eventually also become rote. mmkay. Good luck with that - wish you the best.