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John Constantine

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  1. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from player4511760 in Top 5 player cards you still want   
    I want Saruman hero.
     
    Speaking of which, I recently noticed that if Saruman were to ever portrayed again, Charles Dance seems to be a very good fit.
  2. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from Willange in Things That Could've Been Better   
    I don't know why I am doing this, but those thoughts have been floating around my head for quite awhile, and I think it is a good time that I gave them some release. Please note that I am not doing it out of any kind of malign purpose, I have invested a lot of my time, money, and thoughts into this game across the many years, and despite that I've moved on to Arkhame LCG, and despite all the flaws of the LotR LCG, I still love it and wish it best. That being said, I want to list for discussion some things I think were handled badly with this game's design, starting with...
     
    1. One Active Location
    The concept of only having one active location at a time regardless of the number of players is atrocious and leads to one of the game's biggest gameplay problems - location pollution in the staging area. Like a snowball, it keeps growing and there is little to be done about it, unless players have specifically prepared for it. Yes, there are ways to deal with this (Tracker), but when game forces players into a specific play pattern otherwise they're not gonna win - it's not a good design. Game should give options to play it, not eliminate them. Each player should have their own active location, and each location that has on travel or while active effects should affect only the player who has that location as active one.
     
    2. Doomed
    This is very similar to the next point, but since it is also printed on player cards, I made it a separate one. Doomed shouldn't threat all the players by default, period. I will go deeper into the problem with this in my next point, but while addressing player doomed effects, I will say that if a card taxes every player in the game with threat, its effect should scale for every player, otherwise the net cost increases with each additional player, while gains from playing it remain static. When every player pays 2 threat for 2 cards because of Deep Knowledge - it makes sense; when each players pays 1 threat for 1 resource discount that Grima gives only to his owner - it doesn't. And there is nothing to be done about it, because Doomed is a badly designed keyword, and only ways to go around it would be to either drop the keyword entirely and increase threat by text/invent a new similar but different keyword, or use very elaborate card effects that prevent other players from paying unnecessary threat. Doom should've been designed to only affect the player who draws the encounter card/plays the player card with it, and in rare cases when Doom should actually affect each player, it could've been resolved by having a text like "Each player triggers Doom 2", or simply having a keyword modifier "Doom All 2".
     
    3. Encounter Card Design
    Sharing the main sentiment with the previous point, this point is simple: there are just too many encounter cards that affect the entire party and not just the player who drew them. I even checked recent quests, and this problem haven't gone anywhere, it became worse if anything. For example, there is a treachery that makes each player either discard their hand or assign damage equal to the cards in hand among their characters. And thats just one card. It's a huge hit to everyone's health/hand in a multplayer game, and then each other player has to draw a card as well, which might turn out to be similar or the same card, hitting the entire party again. And they wonder why Test of Will so powerful. Because your treacheries are out of hand. Your cards are out of hand. The encounter deck already scales with each additional player by having each player draw an encounter card during the quest phase, you don't need to scale so many blasted inidivual encounter effects as well, making each encounter card draw grow stronger with the number of players. Arkhame Horror LCG took a very good note of this.
     
    4. Enemy Design
    Most enemies are too bulky and too powerful to be fun to play against. Seriously, why even have such things as defense and health for allies and most heroes, if they all are gonna die from just 1 hit from an average enemy in this game? You need a dedicated defender akin to Beregond to even stand a chance of surviving a single attack, most expensive (more than 1 turn worth of resources) allies can easily die from 1 attack, and when they don't from raw stats - shadow effects are there to make sure they do. Don't get me wrong, shadow effects is an awesome game mechanic, I'm not here to knock on it (I have absolutely nothing bad to say about it), but with enemies already so powerful right off the bat and most player entities being so helpless to survive even a single attack... it's just an overkill. And then there is defense. If you somehow managed to keep enough characters ready to the point when you are able to retaliate, most of the enemies have insanely high defense to the point a single attack dedicated character is not going to scratch them, so you can't even go through the long route of gradually killing an enemy across multiple turns most of the time, you must muster enough attack to take their gargantuan defense+health pools in one swing or you're stuck with them. Did I mention you need to dispatch characters to quest (during which enemies also hinder you via their threat) and defend before you get to this point? 
     
    5. Bad Starting Conditions
    Oh boy, how many games are technically lost due to bad opening encounter draws. And if opening encounter draws weren't bad enough, you only start out wth 3 resources, with which you can't buy jackshit, but with which you are somehow expected to efficianly quest, attack and defend right off the bat. Players should either have more starting resources, or there shouldn't be so much encounter cards ahead of the first quest phase, unless absolutely necessary. Depending on a mild starting encounter draw to have at least the chance to play the game is not a very good design.
     
    6. Insane difficulty on normal
    For a game that prints so much bad/mediocre but thematic cards, this game sure does kick you in the balls a lot for trying to play with them. Balancing the quests around the top, most overpowered player cards sure makes it not very fun to play for people who are not trying to minmax. Sure, there are some mildly difficult quests, but they are in minority (at least the ones I am acquainted with, do rememeber that I do not pose as some omnipotent being, this is all my subjective opinion), and you shouldn't be gated out of the larger quest mass just because you're not a min-maxing meta abuser type . And then there is nightmare. It feels like difficulty-wise most of the quest in their current state should've been nightmare.
  3. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from Freeman in Things That Could've Been Better   
    As I've mentioned multiple times, I've been playing a lot of Arkham Horror LCG. In general, I've been playing many different co-operative boardgames over many years.
    1. It's not just that I find the game too difficult in vacuum, it's more that I find that game expects me to play only the top tier stuff if I want a shot at winning, which is an aspect I don't enjoy. 
    2. Arkham Horror LCG introduced separate quests deck for bad guys and good guys, which is a very good way to handle this.
    3. My point is that the game shouldn't be about something in particular. It should let the player approach and beat it with many different combinations of tools it gives them, not giving them many different tools but only letting them win with one or two.
    I don't agree. An objectively bad game can be loved. Have you ever heard of a movie called "The Room"? It's an objectively bad movie, yet it is loved by many including yours truly. That being said, I never said LotR LCG is a bad game, I merely said that I think listed design choices are bad and are hurting the game.
    I'm not discussing design goals and if they failed or not. I'm discussing results purely, and they are not great and could've been better.
    I'm not saying new coop LCGs are attempts to lure in old players with new and improved mechanics. I'm saying that new LCGs are made with old experience in mind, and old experience shows that these design choices were not very good. Just like Arkham learned a lot of lessons from LotR LCG, especially which one not to repeat, Marvel Champions learned from Arkham that having doom not scale with the player count is not a very good design choice, which was translated into the new game. 
    Game design is a very broad term, which includes card design and scenario design. Basically everything that is gameplay related.
    I don't think the game should be "fixed" at this point, or if it even can be fixed. The reprocussions are running too deep. One of the reasons I think the game should be given a second edition, like GoT.
     
  4. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from Freeman in Things That Could've Been Better   
    I don't know why I am doing this, but those thoughts have been floating around my head for quite awhile, and I think it is a good time that I gave them some release. Please note that I am not doing it out of any kind of malign purpose, I have invested a lot of my time, money, and thoughts into this game across the many years, and despite that I've moved on to Arkhame LCG, and despite all the flaws of the LotR LCG, I still love it and wish it best. That being said, I want to list for discussion some things I think were handled badly with this game's design, starting with...
     
    1. One Active Location
    The concept of only having one active location at a time regardless of the number of players is atrocious and leads to one of the game's biggest gameplay problems - location pollution in the staging area. Like a snowball, it keeps growing and there is little to be done about it, unless players have specifically prepared for it. Yes, there are ways to deal with this (Tracker), but when game forces players into a specific play pattern otherwise they're not gonna win - it's not a good design. Game should give options to play it, not eliminate them. Each player should have their own active location, and each location that has on travel or while active effects should affect only the player who has that location as active one.
     
    2. Doomed
    This is very similar to the next point, but since it is also printed on player cards, I made it a separate one. Doomed shouldn't threat all the players by default, period. I will go deeper into the problem with this in my next point, but while addressing player doomed effects, I will say that if a card taxes every player in the game with threat, its effect should scale for every player, otherwise the net cost increases with each additional player, while gains from playing it remain static. When every player pays 2 threat for 2 cards because of Deep Knowledge - it makes sense; when each players pays 1 threat for 1 resource discount that Grima gives only to his owner - it doesn't. And there is nothing to be done about it, because Doomed is a badly designed keyword, and only ways to go around it would be to either drop the keyword entirely and increase threat by text/invent a new similar but different keyword, or use very elaborate card effects that prevent other players from paying unnecessary threat. Doom should've been designed to only affect the player who draws the encounter card/plays the player card with it, and in rare cases when Doom should actually affect each player, it could've been resolved by having a text like "Each player triggers Doom 2", or simply having a keyword modifier "Doom All 2".
     
    3. Encounter Card Design
    Sharing the main sentiment with the previous point, this point is simple: there are just too many encounter cards that affect the entire party and not just the player who drew them. I even checked recent quests, and this problem haven't gone anywhere, it became worse if anything. For example, there is a treachery that makes each player either discard their hand or assign damage equal to the cards in hand among their characters. And thats just one card. It's a huge hit to everyone's health/hand in a multplayer game, and then each other player has to draw a card as well, which might turn out to be similar or the same card, hitting the entire party again. And they wonder why Test of Will so powerful. Because your treacheries are out of hand. Your cards are out of hand. The encounter deck already scales with each additional player by having each player draw an encounter card during the quest phase, you don't need to scale so many blasted inidivual encounter effects as well, making each encounter card draw grow stronger with the number of players. Arkhame Horror LCG took a very good note of this.
     
    4. Enemy Design
    Most enemies are too bulky and too powerful to be fun to play against. Seriously, why even have such things as defense and health for allies and most heroes, if they all are gonna die from just 1 hit from an average enemy in this game? You need a dedicated defender akin to Beregond to even stand a chance of surviving a single attack, most expensive (more than 1 turn worth of resources) allies can easily die from 1 attack, and when they don't from raw stats - shadow effects are there to make sure they do. Don't get me wrong, shadow effects is an awesome game mechanic, I'm not here to knock on it (I have absolutely nothing bad to say about it), but with enemies already so powerful right off the bat and most player entities being so helpless to survive even a single attack... it's just an overkill. And then there is defense. If you somehow managed to keep enough characters ready to the point when you are able to retaliate, most of the enemies have insanely high defense to the point a single attack dedicated character is not going to scratch them, so you can't even go through the long route of gradually killing an enemy across multiple turns most of the time, you must muster enough attack to take their gargantuan defense+health pools in one swing or you're stuck with them. Did I mention you need to dispatch characters to quest (during which enemies also hinder you via their threat) and defend before you get to this point? 
     
    5. Bad Starting Conditions
    Oh boy, how many games are technically lost due to bad opening encounter draws. And if opening encounter draws weren't bad enough, you only start out wth 3 resources, with which you can't buy jackshit, but with which you are somehow expected to efficianly quest, attack and defend right off the bat. Players should either have more starting resources, or there shouldn't be so much encounter cards ahead of the first quest phase, unless absolutely necessary. Depending on a mild starting encounter draw to have at least the chance to play the game is not a very good design.
     
    6. Insane difficulty on normal
    For a game that prints so much bad/mediocre but thematic cards, this game sure does kick you in the balls a lot for trying to play with them. Balancing the quests around the top, most overpowered player cards sure makes it not very fun to play for people who are not trying to minmax. Sure, there are some mildly difficult quests, but they are in minority (at least the ones I am acquainted with, do rememeber that I do not pose as some omnipotent being, this is all my subjective opinion), and you shouldn't be gated out of the larger quest mass just because you're not a min-maxing meta abuser type . And then there is nightmare. It feels like difficulty-wise most of the quest in their current state should've been nightmare.
  5. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from Zura in Things That Could've Been Better   
    It is most definitely should, otherwise every game on earth would succeed because there is no bad design. There are bad designs. Some of them are subjective to player preference, some of them are more or less objective. Seeing how Arkham Horor LCG moved away from half of the encounter deck affecting each player, I think they understood that mathematical progression of encounter effects is not a healthy design and should be used very sparingly, if at all.
    Reveal N setup is OK in vacuum, it's not OK in situations it leaves you within the basic game of LotR LCG. And I wasn't cracking just at random setups, there are plenty of fixed setups that demand immediate answers than you can't give most of the time, and then you get also swamped during questing.
    My point was never that it wasn't *by design*, my point was that *this kind of design is bad, and causes bad game situations*. Scenario design is a part of the game design. I probably made it unclear when I was talking about cards that affect all players, but I didn't mean just treacheries. There are plenty of enemies and locations that screw over everyone. 
    Once again, card design is a department of game design. Nothing requires, but there many unplayably bad nontheless. There is often a problem that they are worthless outside of their narrow scope, which is fine, but they are not even good within their narrow scope, which is not.
     
    I'm glad it works out for you (not a sarcasm). The way I see it, though, being shoehorned into a particular deck/player number subtracts from fun, not adds to it.
  6. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from Zura in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game: The Magazine   
    I kinda don't. Rule conundrums are usually "either or", and can't be ignored, lest the game be stalled and/or abandoned. Sounds like a very unhealthy rule.
  7. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from player3351457 in English Article!   
    These?
  8. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from TwiceBorn in Where Should the Game Go Next?   
    The cool thing to do would be to release a campaign kit for existing cycles, with boons, banes, and a booklet desciribing transition rules between scenarios. Maybe also an online pdf that puts player cards on different levels so you'll have to purchase them with experience, like in Arkhame Horror.
  9. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from General_Grievous in Where Should the Game Go Next?   
    The cool thing to do would be to release a campaign kit for existing cycles, with boons, banes, and a booklet desciribing transition rules between scenarios. Maybe also an online pdf that puts player cards on different levels so you'll have to purchase them with experience, like in Arkhame Horror.
  10. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from stimpaksam in Under the Ash Mountains   
    Don't be. They should.
  11. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from Felswrath in Under the Ash Mountains   
    Probably good contract for solo Saruman.
  12. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from Gizlivadi in English Article!   
    I'm glad they went for 3/4/2 statline instead of 2/4/3.
  13. Like
    John Constantine reacted to player3351457 in The Burglar's Turn - New Contract   
    Spoiler for wrath and ruin:
    http://hallofbeorn.com/LotR/Details/The-Burglar's-Turn-WaR?Lang=EN
  14. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from Felswrath in The City of Ulfast   
    Oathbreakers contract can be something that makes you jump through a couple of hoops and then rewards you with a big token ally. (Which then gets immediately discarded by a wild treachery/shadow effect.)
  15. Sad
    John Constantine got a reaction from Gizlivadi in Possible Vengeance of Mordor Player cards spoiled?   
    Tfw second version of Gandalf hero and still no Saruman hero.
  16. Thanks
    John Constantine got a reaction from General_Grievous in The City of Ulfast   
    https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/9/11/the-city-of-ulfast/

       
       
       
       
       
     
     
     
    Non-unique spirit ally with 2 cost and 2 attack, while also having 2 health, 1 willpower, and a positive textbox. Boy is powercreep real.
  17. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from Shironeko in FFG AMA with Andrew Navarro   
    I'm actually sad it's not a second edition. This game is in dire need of second edition.
  18. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from jaywana in AMA with Andrew Navaro   
    Any chance for Saruman hero in LotR LCG?
  19. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from Zura in Most Powerful Cards in Each Sphere   
    Spirit.
    Hero: Pippin. 
    Player Card: Renewed Friendship.
     
    Tactics.
    Hero: Dori.
    Player Card: Keeping Count.
     
    Lore.
    Hero: Bombur.
    Player Card: Gandalf's Search.
     
    Leadership.
    Hero: Send for Aid.
    Player Card: Keen-eyed Took.
     
    Neutral.
    Hero: Saruman.
    Player Card: The End Comes.
  20. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from GILLIES291 in Creative artwork cards   
  21. Haha
    John Constantine got a reaction from Wandalf the Gizzard in The Temple of Doom   
    Why? You already snatched the original post. No point in having the images in non-original one :'D
    Also, look - it's dat elven butt from the First Player token!
  22. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from GILLIES291 in Concerning Hobbits   
    https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/6/18/concerning-hobbits/
     

     
                
             
       
  23. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from Amicus Draconis in Different cards with the new reprint?   
    Sentinel is also not an ability, it's a keyword :'D
  24. Like
    John Constantine got a reaction from Rajam in If there were only 5 heroes left...   
    Gimme 5 Sarumans, 1 of each sphere and 1 neutral.
  25. Haha
    John Constantine got a reaction from GILLIES291 in If there were only 5 heroes left...   
    Gimme 5 Sarumans, 1 of each sphere and 1 neutral.
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