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Council of Elrond • View topic - VC feedback from Worlds 2008?

VC feedback from Worlds 2008?

Where the Virtual Boyz plan their latest capers

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VC feedback from Worlds 2008?

Postby Jambo » Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:42 am

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Postby Ringbearer » Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:25 pm

"I used to roll the dice, feel the fear in my enemies eyes."
- Coldplay, Viva la Vida.

Gaming is life, the rest is just dice rolls.
- John Kovalic, Dork Tower
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Postby Thorsten the Traveller » Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:35 pm

Well there is, but I was considering the right way to bring it, per card/issue or in a new post altogether. Here just some small remarks:

black horse: good easy to play ally, so probably the 4 prowess and warrior ability make it too good.
half an eye open: dragon's breath from this thing is lethal, maybe we should add this to the parsimony etc. list
armory: really not good with discardable items (potion of prowess, healing herbs)
swag: rocks! :) maybe tap just any guy is too good (maybe should be in company)
tower raided: as I comented to Joe, it's no so much that this is overpowered, or maybe it is, but doubling your prowess just doesn't feel right. Give Dain some axe and he'll be 14 prowess vs. men. :?

dwar of waw: if both players have same hazard strat and use In Darkness and Will of Sauron, you have a feast, eh Nico? :wink:

btw Jamie, Scotland - Belgium, that's peanuts, so where were you? Is it the continental breakfast? because I assure you, the beer was good.
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Postby Frodo » Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:56 am

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Postby Frodo » Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:58 am

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Postby Thorsten the Traveller » Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:59 am

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Postby Thorsten the Traveller » Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:33 pm

about my earlier card remarks:
Tower raided: skip the vs. men bonus (are Sellswords so terrible?), and maybe reduce prowess of these attacks, in stead of increase character's prowess? it's a simple psychological measure.

Black Horse: the 4 prowess + warrior status makes it able to easily kill a cave drake, or in cvcc kill Faramir indeed. He's much bigger than the Hound, and the hound always dies because of strike assignement, so apart from giving easy (ally) MP, and + handsize, this guy is a very useful addition to a small company because he can fight. One per site per turn is ok because it takes on speed use of the horse, but that's another matter. This is about the horse as fighting ally keeping your chars untapped. I'd suggest at least remove warrior skill, so no swift strokes for the horse.

Armory: speed decks like to drop cards. This card gives a possible 3 mp's without much effort, since speeddecks don't mind filling the sideboard with 6 minors, they have nothing in there anyway, and it costs them nothing to get these out at the odd chance. Now, the discardable minors don't load you up on corruption, and indeed help you to stay untapped. Healing herbs can untap your wizard in org phase, just tap some guy that's there only for drawing cards (who you just chanced meeted last turn to play the herbs). And the potion gives +1 a full turn, so that compensates being tapped. Why exclude Cram, but not the other discardable item?

Dragon's breath: well you ruined two of my companies with it too, with Itangast and a winged fire drake :wink:. Poor Surion and Asternak only had 7 body. The Breath works on both big and small companies, since it tapps people out for free and gives -1 prowess even if they survive. I've played a few casual games now with True Fire Drakes and Breath from HaEo and it really rocks. It's only not overpowered (in tournament perspective) because of the whole HaEO functioning, but it's not less powerfull than Pits or even Long Dark, I'd say.

Swag: tap a guy in company and play on company doesn't seem bad to me. It's not that easy to play items from Swag, in the 3 games at Worlds I never played more than 1 or 2 each game (I'm also notorious for bad draws though), tapping a leader would seriously impede it's functioning.

Yes it's been long, but has playtesting been that extensive, for 50 cards? If you want it to have general appeal, it better be good.
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Postby Jambo » Tue Sep 30, 2008 3:52 pm

Re those cards:

Tower Raided:
Like Thorsten, I not a fan of the arbitrary prowess boost. I'd rather see some other mechanism like perhaps reducing prowess or strikes of applicable ctreature attacks (e.g. orcs and trolls) or just making the effects applicable to automatic attacks (since it is Tower Raiding after all). I don't like the fact it can make your opponent's entire hazard strategy moot if they happen to have choosen orcs, trolls, spiders, Nazgul or whatever else is on the list.

Armory:
I don't mind the card as it is, but I do think it should be minimum of 3 minor items placed with the card. Two is very easy. That way one has to visit at least two sites, or spend more than one turn at a site.

Black Horse:
I like this card under TRT. It gives hope to covert companies based in and around Khand, Harondor, etc. It also gives some hope to covert RWs. I can, however, understand reducing the prowess for balance reasons, maybe to 3 for example.

Dragon's Breath is a good card normally and I have been on the receiving end of it before in a non-virtual game. I'm unsure of how to deal with this, or if it really needs attention.

I do believe that some of the cards are too complicated or over elaborate. If you can keep the cards simple, it is definitely more likely to appeal to others. For instance, I'll never bother with a Morannon deck, nor a deck based around An Ultimely Whisper or the Riven Gate/Terror Heralds Doom combo. My favourite cards are the ones which are simple and open up really cool plays rather than those that force a player down a specific path. In Darkness Binds Them for one, and also some of the Unleashed cards.
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Postby Bandobras Took » Tue Sep 30, 2008 6:06 pm

Personally, I've always objected to overly complicated cards and overly restrictive cards.

As an example, when looking at an alternate ability for Adunaphel unleashed, the original idea of having another character wander around with her or corrupting an opponent's character became this long-winded keeping a character tapped text that was a dark enchantment and only kept them tapped against specific effects that had to be enumerated and required tapping during specific phases and clauses against movement.

Usually, the time I stop commenting on a card is the time I feel that it's gotten way too complicated. This seems to be a trend; most of the revisions leave me scratching my head wondering why.

As far as the community goes, I'm pretty much isolated except for GCCG. All the Middle Earth action in the USA takes place on the east coast, and I just plain can't afford to go. I'm interested in Middle Earth because I like the game; whether others are interested has always been something of a secondary consideration. Frodo has mentioned frustration and depression with the way things have gone.

What things specifically are creating frustration and depression?
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Postby marcos » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:02 pm

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Postby marcos » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:12 pm

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Postby Thorsten the Traveller » Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:52 pm

Last edited by Thorsten the Traveller on Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Vastor Peredhil » Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:12 am

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Postby Thorsten the Traveller » Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:16 am

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Postby Frodo » Fri Oct 03, 2008 6:50 am

Thanks for everyone's quick responses. I will mention the frustration examples in my long letter that I will post this weekend (it's very comprehensive), where I attempt to analyze the various weaknesses in the game right now and offer up some solutions.

Nico, your idea is very intriguing. I never thought of that... although given that GCCG is working much the same way, perhaps I should have. I have no problems with making the whole card. I used to believe giving people the card images was illegal, but now I'm not so sure anymore. For example, I think we can host the original MECCG cards on this site, and thus make them available for players' use. This is going to be one of my suggestions for another problem X: "lack of cards to give new players."

If anyone is intrigued by the full card design issue, I have some ideas of what steps we need to take to do this. For example, creating new super high-quality card templates, at least 900 DPI (we need these so that we can simply import new images when we have a new card, rather than individually magic wand-deleting the extra little edges all the time); scanning in card images at an even higher DPI (supposedly wigy had the original scans he used for gccg which were at a high quality, but he never got back to me on this matter. can someone ask him? surely somebody has scanned them.); individually photoshopping the card images to improve their color and contrast so that the new cards will look even *better* than the originals (not too hard; usually achieved by hitting the automatic contrast function). It will be a slow process, but when it's done, we'll have the whole game in a portable format, and images rich enough to even make advertising posters with!

I'm glad people spoke up about not liking complicated cards. Personally, I am on the lines of Thorsten and Nico. However, I do believe the game needs to appeal to both types of players, of course. One way we can have a solution that meets *both* players needs is to do something I began to suggest in an earlier post: spread out the strategy over more than one card. For example, Dwar Unleashed, though still possessing a lengthy text (of several short ability effects), was even longer beforehand, but we made a new card, Orc Mounts, that can now be used in conjunction with him. If we spread out sophisticated strategies over more than one card, but both cards are still useful alone, then the straightforward player will still like both cards, but will probably not mind (perhaps even applaud) the complex player who finds a way to do something “tricksy” by putting the two together. Does that make sense? Jamie and Ben, you agree? Now that I write this, I guess it's a matter of looking at a card and seeing whether you can make use of that card easily, without "forcing the player down a path", or mission i take it, which is what Jamie was saying.

Okay, here's my comments on the remaining virtual cards again. Thorsten you may be write about Breath but I'd rather play you online first and then think about some more. How about it??


Tower Raided
new Text:
"Against characters in this company, strikes from Nazgûl, Orcs, and Trolls lose prowess equal to the MP value of this card."

Btw, it says “strikes” so as to allow bonuses to work in CVCC. I removed Spiders, and added only Shelob. I also removed Men, and added Pukel-men. Now, I’m not sold on adding Pukel-men—we can leave them out if we want something keyable to dark areas that is still strong—however, if the Pukel-men are the same as the Silent Watcher (are they? I always thought they were) then I think it is *very* thematic to have them on the list considering it was only brute charisma power that enabled the hobbits to get passed them. But maybe I’m wrong about this plot point. (?)

Swag
New text:
Also playable as a permanent-event on a minion
company. Once during your organization phase, you may
tap a character in this company to place a non-unique minor or major
weapon/shield/helmet/armor item from your sideboard
with this card. If a character in this company plays a Man
faction successfully, an item may be immediately played from this card in lieu of
a free minor item.

Note that only a character in a company that tapped for swag can now play the item.

Black Horse:
New text for last sentence: “You may only play one Black Horse per site per turn.”
New abilities: 2/7 warrior

Oh! I hadn’t understood the issue that this card could be used as a fighter. Doh. Okay, I say we make it 3/6 and lose the warrior ability, or else we keep the warrior ability and give it a prowess of 2 only. Then, it’s kind of like a Noble Steed, except that it’s possible for it to get “wild and crazy” if you play a warrior card on it. Since keeping the warrior ability allows for more card interplay, I guess I’d suggest the second option. The only problem there is that when he’s doing his shadow-land thing he’s going to have harder time fighting off Elf-lords… heh… Opinions please!

Armory:
New text:
When Armory comes into play, you must place
between three and four non-hoard minor items
(except Cram) from your sideboard under
Armory. These minor items are playable at
tapped and untapped Free-holds [ ] and Borderholds
[ ] (no more than two minor items per
site per turn). If there are no items under Armory, you
gain 1 marshalling point.

Jambo, thanks for pointing out the one-turn issue where you can get an MP very quickly.

(Note: There are no additions to First of Order yet.)

Last point. I was thinking about the complexity of wording issue, then I started looking at First of the Order, and realized how much this card bothered me.

Current text:
Playable on Saruman during the organization phase.
Tap First of the Order to give +2 to a corruption check
for a character in Saruman’s company (except Saruman)
bearing a ring or Palantir. You may discard this card to
give hero Saruman +2 to a corruption check from a spell
or while bearing a ring or Palantir. You may discard this
card and a character in fallen Saruman’s company to
prevent fallen Saruman from being eliminated by a
corruption check. Cannot be duplicated.

Not it’s abilities! but the way it is worded seems to require a lot of brain power to get through. So I started simplifying the words in my head, then when I was done, I realized I had turned the “full English-speak” into a more mathematical way of phrasing thnings that felt very familiar… it was like a MAGIC the Gathering Card! (And many other cards, from countless new CGGS. Meccg seems unique in its affection for ponderous, fully-explained sentences.

My Magic Version:
Playable on Saruman during the organization phase.
Tap First of the Order: +2 to a corruption check
for a character in Saruman’s company (except Saruman)
bearing a ring or Palantir.
Discard: +2 to a corruption check for hero Saruman from a spell
or while bearing a ring or Palantir.
Discard (and a character in company): Prevent fallen Saruman from being eliminated by a corruption check.
Cannot be duplicated.

The beauty of a more math-like speak is that it takes a shorter amount of time to get the same amount of info into the brain. However, I fear that players might be so used to the verbose language of MECCG cards that the above example would possibly be even MORE confusing. With more familiarity, however, I think these sorts of templates are good ideas. Thoughts?

--Frodo
Last edited by Frodo on Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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