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any2cards

Can you have fun if you are not winning?

28 posts in this topic

I am a professional poker player.  If you know anything about this profession, then you know there is a term called "tilt".  This forum puts me on massive tilt.

 

I own Descent 1e and all of its expansions and Descent 2e and all of its expansions.  We play the game frequently.  I am generally the Overlord, but have played heroes as well.  In my group, whether we win or we lose, we can all have fun and enjoy the game.

 

If the threads in this forum are any indication, we are very, very much in the minority.

 

/BEGIN RANT - BEGIN TILT - BEGIN TL;DR

 

This forum, and many of its posts, never cease to amaze me.  If the heroes or the Overlord come up with some interesting strategy, some mechanic fully legal within the rules, etc. to overcome a desperate situation, and allow them to march towards victory, the other side instantly claims something is broken or unbalanced.

 

It could be the rules, a monster's abilities, a hero's skills, etc.  I am willing to bet that somewhere around 50% of all threads within this forum have this exact discussion on-going.

 

Today, I read a new thread about a particularly skilled OL named Kunzite who found a way to use an OL deck and available monster open groups to take advantage of the skills, weapons, and abilities of the heroes she was competing against by making solid use of Infector. Everything within the rules ... just good gaming.  As a result, some of the posters instantly point to something being "broken".  I mean, after all, their Treasure Hunter had allowed them to get 10-12 of the best weapons/armor/others available, and they still lost.

 

Of course there was no mention of the fact that Treasure Hunter was broken, by allowing them to get all of these goodies.  Oh no, it was that **** Infector class ... how, after all, could we have lost?  Note that Kunzite didn't complain when the heroes got all of these goodies ... she simply adjusted her style and strategies to take advantage of how her heroes were playing.  In other words, just good gaming.  And this is just one small example of what happens within this forum every **** day.

 

Why is it that when one side or the other is losing or loses (either by a small or large margin), that side typically claims that something is "wrong" with the game or that there is a balance issue, or that something is broken?

 

If you don't like what is happening, adjust your strategies, choose different heroes and/or classes, or different OL decks - i.e. change things up.  Perhaps in future quests/encounters of the same campaign you willing give up in encounter 1 to simply get more gold, or you forgo the gold and go for the win (for a relic or more gold or more XP or ?).  Perhaps in the next campaign, you choose a different mix heroes or skills or ?

 

It just seems to me that most of the posters within this forum can't have fun gaming unless they win, or unless they are all on the same side (such as a co-operative effort).

 

Grow up.  If you don't like what's happening, learn new strategies, play better, etc.  Much like in poker, talk with people who seem to have more success, learn from them, and apply what you learn.  It is possible to learn and have fun, even when you are losing.

 

It actually is funny how two forums within the same site can be so different.  I also play and participate in the Star Wars X-Wing forum.  In that forum, people share strategies and tips as to how to perform better in the game.  If they do mention things they think are wrong or unbalanced with the game, it is usually in the context of how to counter act them, and not as a complaint for losing.  Wish this forum was more like that.

 

/END RANT - END TILT - END TL;DR

mm26, Kunzite, Aredhel and 3 others like this

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I agree, but the fun stops for either side, if you do not stand a chance for the remainder of the campagne, which can become quite long and/or boring.

 

My Shadowrune campaign was me winning all the time (I think heroes got one or two victories). Even I found that boring from time to time. The Labyrinth of Ruin is a steady to and fro in who wins. I have a hard time keeping up with the heroes in my strategies as they have really good equipment due to the thief and the lair of the Wyrm adventures we've played.

 

So usually playing is fun but always winning or losing can become a pain...

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I agree, but the fun stops for either side, if you do not stand a chance for the remainder of the campagne, which can become quite long and/or boring.

 

I don't think this is ever a true statement.  I have been on both sides (OL and Heroes) where one side or the other loses the majority and/or all of the quests until the finale, and then the losing side wins the finale and wins the whole **** campaign.  Granted, it is rare, but it has happened.

 

And even if it doesn't, utilize the time of the remainder of the campaign to try new strategies with what you have (different combinations of cards, etc. as the OL or different actions/turns as the heroes).

 

If I am getting my *&^ handed to me, I try all kinds of new things ... things I have never ever attempted, even things that at first blush make no sense.  Often, they don't work out at all, but at least I am learning and gathering information, in an attempt to improve.  And every once in a while, I surprise if not down right shock myself or the heroes with some strategy that actually does end up making a big impact. Now I have a new tool to use in future campaigns.

 

All I am saying is that in a game where you can actually LOSE EVERY single ACT I quest, the Interlude, and every ACT 2 quest, and still have a chance to win by taking the finale, you should never be giving up.

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Wow. Not sure if I should be honored or horrified that I am the prime example here. Um, thank you?

 

And yes, my players get surprised by the amount of adaptability I can have (and using the re spec quest to change my entire deck before I failed in a giant pile of dumb). And I am normally that person that can have fun win or lose. That is why I am the overlord. We went through all of LoR and a rumor with me winning only 3 games only to come in the end and sweep the final. I have fun no matter. Most of my heroes do as well.

 

There are two things to be said here: How can I help you and Everything sucks because I lost. I feel ya, any2cards.There is allot of ninny smacking around here where a good deal of people don't put on their "big boy pants" and deal. There are allot of new players that come in and say "hey wait! this doesn't seem right or I am just a really bad player!" and then there are the "wait! *points to board game geeks* there is a way to fix that!" So, let's not throw out the baby with the bath water! Please?

 

I am one to have fun almost no matter what. I have a theory on why I roll so well (and it's a no for cursing the dice or loading them). And my "good game play" is very much instinctual. I go with "what feels right" in any strategy game. That's why I am not good with Magic deck building(don't mean I don't have fun trying!).  And with that, I have fun.

 

I think we need a thread about how to help the experience to be more fun, win or lose. That is if people are upset they spent 60+ bucks on the base set and whatever exorbitant amount on the following and still lacking the fun factor.

 

So, yes. Let's put the smack down for a moment. Players that have fun no matter what, what do you do that makes the game more fun for you and your group? I want to know! And I think it would do the rest of our hearts to hear it!

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So, yes. Let's put the smack down for a moment. Players that have fun no matter what, what do you do that makes the game more fun for you and your group? I want to know! And I think it would do the rest of our hearts to hear it!

 

I also would be interested in hearing some thoughts concerning this.

 

I play with a group of people that can't get together very often, but when we do, 99.9% of the time everyone has fun - winning or losing doesn't factor in.  Usually what we do is actually have a weekend of gaming - what we call a game "day".  Folks come over to my house on a Friday night, and remain there through Sunday night.  We game until we can no longer see, get a few hours of sleep until someone wakes up and figures if they are up everyone else has to be, and proceeds to wake us up in the most objectionable manner possible.   :D   We then continue gaming.  This goes on all weekend.  Since we often play multiple games, everyone has a chance for "winning".  It is a lot of fun.

 

Last weekend, I did something I had never done before.  We were in the middle of a campaign (I was the Overlord), and had just completed the first Act 2 quest, which I had won (I had won the majority of things to that point).  One of the heroes made the statement (in good nature as we always rib each other mercilessly) "... you are so effing lucky".  Then the others all chimed in as to how I couldn't win if I wasn't lucky, etc. (I hear the same thing when I play poker - and yet I am always winning - I guess I am permanently lucky).

 

After laughing, I made them the following proposition.  They could all change sides.  I would play their 4 heroes all by myself, and all of them could play Overlord by committee.  They agreed.  It was the funniest thing ever watching them all debate what cards to play, how to play, how to keep track of everything, etc.  We spent the rest of the campaign laughing at each other, making fun of how each of us played, etc.  It was a lot of fun !

Aredhel and Coldmoonrising like this

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Here's what I got out of this thread:

 

TL;DR

People's opinions are all wrong.

 

Ouch.  That hurt.  :D  Give me a second to dig the dagger out of my back !

 

Okay.  Doing better now.  I will give you TL;DR - still, I do think there are some valid points in the thread.  It is frustrating for me as a gamer to turn to a thread looking for innovative ideas, strategies, etc., only to find a bunch of complaining and whining going on about how this thing or the other thing is unfair, unbalanced, etc.  Perhaps it is just me - but I don't think so.

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I've chalked a lot of my group's "whining" (that makes it sound so negative) up to the fact that the heroes were all first time players, and didn't have all the ins and outs of the rules down, so they were often surprised (and usually unhappy) when I interpreted things in a way unfavorable to them. Also, I know two of the four heroes to be very competitive people by nature- to the degree that one of them said he would have not enjoyed the campaign overall if he lost.

 

The other two seemed more interested in having a good time, but all it takes is one or two voices to turn the heroes into a mob.

 

I find Descent to be the most enjoyable when the game is close, regardless of who is winning. However, even if it's one-sided, it's true that this game can turn around in a turn or two (as evidenced by this most recent campaign.) To that end, I decided to be a Basic 2, Punisher OL- not because it's the best deck, but because I thought it would be fun to play- it was.

 

Regarding "what I do to make it fun," I try to know as much about the game as I can going in, and to communicate rules to the heroes. Even if they haven't educated themselves on everything, I find that being clear about rules (for new cards I pick up, for example) cuts down on at the table arguing, and that's a big plus. I'm fine having rule discussions before or after play sessions- but during the middle of a quest, it can really break the rhythm and negatively impact the mood of the whole group. Also, I try to compromise with the heroes (within reason!) House ruling a "hero strategy session" where the OL is not present before each quest does not bother me. Allowing the heroes to communicate silently by passing notes during a quest does.

Edited by Zaltyre
Kunzite likes this

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Unfortunately, I think a lot of this comes down to personalities - some people care a lot more about winning than others, and that will color any game experience. Games for me are a social thing. I have a regular group of six people that I game with every week. We all know what we are doing, so I'd better be willing to have fun while only winning one game out of six, or it would be a miserable time. Of course it's fun to win, but the only thing that bothers me about not winning is if I feel I personally didn't play well, and then I'm just upset with myself (I can get a little frustrated if I feel I played well but lost due to luck, but some reflection usually shows that I didn't play as well as I thought, or that I had put myself in a position where bad luck could hurt me).

I am the OL in our Descent group. We're playing the Labyrinth of Ruin campaign (with an Act I and an Act II Trollfens rumor quest thrown into the mix) . I won the first three Act I quests, the party won the next three (including the interlude). I have won the first two Act II quests. In each case I had fun playing - in several of them I could look back at mistakes I made and give myself a little mental kick over them.

I have to say, if I played in a group where the people regularly were upset about losing or whining about unbalanced this or that, I'd probably stop playing. I don't need that in my life.

Edited by mjfilla
Kunzite, Schmiegel and any2cards like this

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Of course it's fun to win, but the only thing that bothers me about not winning is if I feel I personally didn't play well, and then I'm just upset with myself

 

This ^^

 

As I mentioned above, I am a professional poker player, and have been one for a very long time.  So, as you can imagine, I am very competitive at everything I do/play.

 

When I first started out, I had to learn to take the emotion out of the game, and deal with the brutally bad beats that could and did occur.  I simply had to learn to make the best decisions each time (usually the most positive EV play), and that over time, always making the correct/best decisions would lead to making money, and thus "winning".

 

These days, the only time I get upset is if I make poor decisions; that is all on me.  All other things, including dice rolls, etc. are beyond my control - as long as I make the best decisions possible, and play to the best of my abilities, I can get my ass kicked and still have fun.

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I remember playing first edition road to legend and the heroes came across my master demon. They had to spend 5 surges just to make the attack roll count. One of the heroes was all bent out of shape, whined and then left the game night early. The rest of us kept playing.

 

I sent out an email basically saying man up or don’t come back. Up to that point the game had been pretty even as far as losing and winning for either side, so his reaction was uncalled for.

 

While I agree people whining about brokenness or OP etc. come across poorly, certain classes are flat out stronger than others. By stronger I mean they affect the game much more than other classes. The treasure hunter is a prime example. I’ve played against one and with one as a fellow hero. Yes there are things an overlord can do such as formulate their entire deck to stop the sole hero who has an advantage. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong to say that hero has an advantage. Calling it broken may be overboard but there’s something off about having to change the entire deck to counter ONE out of 4 heroes.

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As the 'voice of complaint' versus Kunzite in that rather sordid finale, I simply pose a counterpoint to her statement of 'High Risk, High Reward' in regard to the Infector class. While it is true that if she doesn't draw the cards, the deck doesn't function well. However, she has many ways of generating card advantage that minimizes the risk and maximizes the reward: plot decks, Unholy Ritual and other card-drawing mechanics like a hero passing a Dark Charm test (which she often used Bribery to do it twice).

Note, I never once said the class was broken or unfair, all I said was that Kunzite punished us as heroes for doing well with treasure by turning us against each other with Dark Charm and Dark Host. It was an incredible strategy, and one I would assume would have happened multiple times during the campaign if Kunzite started that last campaign with the Infector deck.

I simply raised the concern that the Infector class is a catch-all for the OL: If the heroes are doing well with gear, Infection tokens are effective in circumventing superior armor and using heroes to attack each other. If they don't have good gear, throw big bad monsters at them instead for a more conventional beatdown. Granted, the former example is a little more difficult to pull off, but after seeing it happen so easily I'm not about to discredit it as merely an outlier or an isolated incident.

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I have some really great hero players. Bread being one of them. The other two tend to be pretty competitive, and one feels like he failed when I by-pass his strategy with one that works well, which it what happened and what ended up in a sore ending to our last game. The same thought of "if I lost, I must have done something wrong."

 

Maybe taking any2cards' suggestion by setting aside emotions of that level is best. But I also don't want buried feeling get the best of us in the long run.

 

While I feel like that is a legit feeling and one can learn from it. But when you let it pour over into the game making it unpleasant for everyone, maybe it's time to find another game to play or learn how to swallow that pride. I do it every time I lose. I try really hard to celebrate with my heroes for their win and then go into my hole in my mind and think about how I can undo what they just did if it happens again.

 

PERSONALLY, I wish we could all come together and talk about it. Learn from my mistakes and then learn from yours, you know? Then no one has to go into their hole and think alone, or morn the loss alone or even celebrate alone.

 

It comes down to playing a game. Maybe the next time we play I will ask everyone to bring a beer for themselves so we are all a little out of it. Just one (because we are all light weights >D!). But I hate putting that on the boys. I play better when I am relaxed x.x

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I have to say, if I played in a group where the people regularly were upset about losing or whining about unbalanced this or that, I'd probably stop playing. I don't need that in my life.

 

^^ This. Is. Truth.

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PERSONALLY, I wish we could all come together and talk about it. Learn from my mistakes and then learn from yours, you know? Then no one has to go into their hole and think alone, or morn the loss alone or even celebrate alone.

 

 

 

I'm usually the one taking the heroes home by car and we often discuss the quest there and then. It actually is quite nice to talk about strategies and 'ifs' and 'whens'. So far I have not felt tempted to drop one of them in the middle of nowhere.

 

What is especially nice, is that I usually had some time to cool down. As I've mentioned in another thread, one of my mates can be pretty bossy and annoying, bending rules until they collapse under torsional strain. And that sometimes ruins the fun for me.

 

For HIM you'd have to change the threads topic:

 

Can you have fun if you are not whining?

 

Winning or losing does not mean a big deal to me although I enjoy it most if quests stand upon the edge of a knife right till the end.

Edited by Ser Folly

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 I would argue Kobolds are broken, fixing one broken tactic with another seems ugly to me. Similar to using goblin archers, firing from impossible ranges for token generation, i really dont like it.

 

Edit: Take no prisoners sort of gaming style is great and all, however stretching it the point of exploiting the systems in place goes too far for me. They may be part of the rules, but i feel its against the spirit.

 

I am assuming you made this post in atleast somewhat reply by my quote above found here: http://community.fantasyflightgames.com/index.php?/topic/107680-player-dissatisfaction-about-losing-shadow-rune-finale/page-2#entry1110893

 

You said i did not mention that i thought the treasure hunter was broken, when infact we have had conversations numerous times about the treasure hunter being a bit too much. I also said "fixing one broken tactic with another seems ugly to me" which implies that kobolds are broken aswell as the treasure hunter. 

 

Also its a very well known fact that the conversion kit was hastily slapped together and thus has resulted in some really crappy unusable monsters /heroes aswell as some over-powered monsters and heroes. That is why in the re release the monsters are not coming out identical to the conversion kit, but are getting rebalanced. I bet kobolds will get a big nerf come their time to get re-released.

 

I also mentioned shooting from say.. 14 spaces away with goblins to gain infector tokens because you are missing constantly.  Sure its in the rules, but that just seems a bit too much to me.

 

The people i play with might talk about what they think is overpowered / underpowered in passing, but we do not get bogged down with what we think is totally overpowered and what is not.

 

We also do talk about counters, all the time !

Edited by BentoSan

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BentoSan ...

 

I apologize if my comments came across too aggressively, dismissive, or otherwise harsh.  It was not my intent at all.  The whole point of this thread after all was to open others up to discussing strategies and counters that can be used for and/or against Heroes and/or Overlords.

 

Many times when comments are put into writing (texts, e-mails, etc.), many nuances, tongue-in-cheeks, sarcasm, etc. is lost in translation.  For example, I was laughing when I mentioned Treasure Hunters.  While I don't particularly like facing them, I honestly don't think they are broken.

 

I think what happens at times is that a new expansion comes about with abilities, skills, classes, etc. that may temporarily upset the apple cart, but by the next expansion, we as players have adjusted, or that next expansion provides counters that address the previous set.  Perhaps in the ideal world, it would be great if you could simply get everything (the entire life span of a product) all at once, to see what the completed game would play like.

 

Thanks for the spirited discussion.  I like it when I can find passionate players.  I recently moved from Las Vegas to just outside of Boston and am now faced with finding a new group of players to game with.  Just when I was getting used to how my current heroes played ...  :D

Edited by any2cards

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I think the internet, in general, sees a lot more complaints about things than people really have IRL. Not just here for Descent, but everywhere, for everything. A lot of that is just random other people chiming in with off-the-cuff remarks on a situation one person shared, but also a significant portion is the fact that tone of voice doesn't translate onto the net very well. Comments that were intended to be tongue-in-cheek end up being interpreted literally and conversations take a downward spiral pretty quickly.

My point is, I think a reasonably large number of Descent players do legitimately enjoy playing the game, win or lose, hero or OL. The ones who actually don't enjoy playing probably stop pretty quickly, and once they stop playing, they likely also stop coming here to discuss the game. =P

Judging how people actually play Descent by how they talk about it online can be misleading.

Edit: Also, for every one situation that devolves into a bitter rules dispute in a given group, I'm sure there are hours of honest fun had by all. They only mention the problem part online because that's the only thing they need help with. =)

Edited by Steve-O

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Me and my group always have fun as well, though we all agree that the most fun is when we have those really close games.
It's less fun (but still fun) when one of the sides gets steamrolled, we just feel that those really close games doesnt happen very often and we all agree that the game is far from balanced as a result of that.

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TL;DR

People's opinions are all wrong.

I think you missed that he wished that when people shared their opinions, that they'd do it without whining / hyperbole. It's not that their opinions are wrong, it's that they are sharing them in a way that isn't productive.

 

 

I think the internet, in general, sees a lot more complaints about things than people really have IRL. Not just here for Descent, but everywhere, for everything. A lot of that is just random other people chiming in with off-the-cuff remarks on a situation one person shared, but also a significant portion is the fact that tone of voice doesn't translate onto the net very well. Comments that were intended to be tongue-in-cheek end up being interpreted literally and conversations take a downward spiral pretty quickly.

Don't forget that a large part of that is that if people are happy with something, there's very little reason for most of them to take the effort to say something about it; when people are unhappy with something, they think their complaints will cause things to change. Unfortunately for the latter case, most people apply the "the squeaky wheel gets the grease" method instead of being constructive about it.

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So, we need more grease on this form. So, what kind of constructive advice can we give people to improve playing fun-ness?

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1. Walk in expecting to lose. If you win, bonus!

2. Track stats. How much damage did you do since last time?

3. Attack an ally.

4. Covet new and better items!

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