Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
BD Flory

Impact of FFG's Release Model (No holds barred!)

Recommended Posts

A wonderful and interesting concept that.

 

Having 2 sets of cycles instead of just one. ( or even more )

 

A long cycle and a short cycle for instance.

 

Long cycle cards can remain in circulation for the legal environment for lets say 4 years.

Short cycle cards for 2 years.

 

Sort of a advance version of what we used to have called Eternity bug, which was legal for more than 1 core set.

 

This would be extremely interesting and beautiful. There are tactics, abilities and traits that remain through several generations of rokugani that are lost then relearned through the millennia.

 

It would go in sync as well through a lot of story line arcs that have yet to come.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact that we could watch these personalities (or "Shiba Samurai-Ko", "Akodo Sensei", "Wasp Master Bowman", "Daidoji Defender", "Master of Void", "Mirumoto Bushi A", "Peasant Samurai", "Vengeful Ronin" and "White Pajama Ninja", "Tatooed Man" "Angry Lion" and "Lion Cavalry" and so forth) grow from humble cards into more and more vital personalities was also a great thing about L5R. They were personalities that had been with us from the start and stayed with us as they became more and more important. 

 

Nothing about not knowing their name at the beginning stops you from learning their name as time goes on (and they become unique).

 

I think a "name your favorite non-unique" tournament series would be a cool story thing, and very manageable for FFG. There should be plenty to choose from in fairly short order.

 

The idea that someone can't get attached to a character, or indeed that a character can't have personality or be memorable just because you don't know their name strikes me as a little silly, especially in a game where people rave about the art as much as they do in L5R, to say nothing of flavor text and strongly themed abilities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Long cycle cards can remain in circulation for the legal environment for lets say 4 years.

Short cycle cards for 2 years.

 

Sort of a advance version of what we used to have called Eternity bug, which was legal for more than 1 core set.

 

 

Core sets and deluxe boxes are already legal forever.

 

I definitely wouldn't want two different rates of rotation on top of that, or at all, really. "Never," and "once there are XX newer packs out," is perfectly sufficient.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems a lot less silly than the idea that people might have trouble telling the difference between uniques and non-uniques if we give non-uniques names. 

 

To you. Guess we'll see how FFG feels in 2017!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So much talk about generic names.... 

 

...when in fact it's something L5R always had. We simply called them "Followers".

 

Not "Personalities".

 

This whole "they're generic, they don't matter much for the story, they're just random dudes of their clan" is exactly what Followers are. Please don't muddle the waters by mixing them with Personalities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So much talk about generic names.... 

 

...when in fact it's something L5R always had. We simply called them "Followers".

 

Not "Personalities".

 

This whole "they're generic, they don't matter much for the story, they're just random dudes of their clan" is exactly what Followers are. Please don't muddle the waters by mixing them with Personalities.

Fine, we won't.

So much for all those sleepless nights plotting how to sneak my way into the L5R LCG design team...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So much talk about generic names.... 

 

...when in fact it's something L5R always had. We simply called them "Followers".

 

Not "Personalities".

 

This whole "they're generic, they don't matter much for the story, they're just random dudes of their clan" is exactly what Followers are. Please don't muddle the waters by mixing them with Personalities.

 

Obviously, the discussion is predicated the possibility things changing. Groups of followers always made more sense to me than personalities marching off to battle with a single Ninja under their command anyway (or whatever individual follower); a diplomatic staff rather than a diplomatic attache; a gunso and his warriors rather than just a wandering sergeant without portfolio (or whatever rank a gunso was). Followers work better for me thematically as groups (which was noted upthread), nonunique personalities as unimportant characters, and unique personalities as named, important people.

 

Since all of these threads are based on speculation anyway, "that's not the way it used to be," doesn't mean much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I would not mind seeing FFG move towards the model shown by Doomtown regarding personality uniqueness. Specifically, each Personality, while not unique for deck construction, is unique in play. Make them your leaders and commanders, your courtiers and your duelists. Don't make them the rank and file.

 

Keep each individual Personality named, and make them distinct in play and in the story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I would not mind seeing FFG move towards the model shown by Doomtown regarding personality uniqueness. Specifically, each Personality, while not unique for deck construction, is unique in play. Make them your leaders and commanders, your courtiers and your duelists. Don't make them the rank and file.

 

Keep each individual Personality named, and make them distinct in play and in the story.

 

I think standardizing deck limits is a pretty safe bet. It's that way across all of FFG's games. L5R's actually pretty close to unique in that regard, and IMO it creates some weird issues with consistency and deckbuilding when significant chunks of the card pool -- sometimes the most powerful cards -- are 1x per deck. L5R already compromised somewhat on this mechanic with Singular, IIRC, and I'd be shocked if FFG didn't go the rest of the way, lose Singular, and make Unique work like Singular used to.

 

We'll see about the number of copies in play thing. It'd mean very different things in terms of making those cards useful, as their effects would probably need to be individually stronger in a game where you can't have 3x in play. Cost reducers from AGoT, for example, are much less useful when you can only have 1x in play, so their ability could probably be increased from reduce cost by 1, to reduce cost by 2 (3 seems like too much). There'd probably also need to be some other balancing mechanic so that your extra 2x copies aren't dead cards, like eliminating the dead card pile (can't remember if uniqueness applied in L5R from dead pile?) and/or allowing duplicate copies as "extra lives" for unique cards in play, as in AGoT.

 

It feels very limiting to me, though, and constricting to game flow, to have every character be 1x in play. My feeling for why it works in Doomtown is that the sheer number of characters on the board tends to be reduced vs. L5R, and single characters can impose large board presence because of the movement and location rules in a way that doesn't really have an analogue in L5R. Although even in Doomtown, when the card pool was at its smallest, it could still be a pinch when there were only a couple, or even one dude on a given value (unless that dude was Steven Wiles).

 

This is definitely an area where if FFG decides they need a fix, I think it's likely be one that conforms to the standards set in their other games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

L5R abandoned singular. It wasn't a very good mechanic, as it doesn't solve the problem. Nothing worse than flipping a card you can't bring into play due to a restriction like singular. Counting house was the only card I can think of over the last few years that was singular (even though it didnt have the keyword)

 

Power uniques were powered down a lot since ivory and much less unqiues were made than back in the earlier days of l5r. This was a culprit in the degeneration of the story, less cool characters around the place.

 

L5r is a game that i could see working well with an all unique personality base. Kind of a pain to design though, makes more work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see L5R at is best as a high power game. So you go for unique chars with unique and strong abilities. Not the watered down Version of Ivory with bland or blank no Name personalities. Bring back the power uniques but this time with the loyal keyword so that you are sure they don´t get used by other clans like some of the better Spider personalities got. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 24 game by Press Pass utilized the mechanic of every character being unique, and there weren't any issues. If you drew a second copy (deck limit was 2x since decks were only 24 cards plus a "directive" that was revealed at all times), you could discard it to heal a wounded character in play. Also, and I figure this is comparable to L5R, the 24 setting is second only to Thrones in terms of its lethality. Rarely was a duplicate character card unusable for more than a couple turns. Either way, I imagine FFG might use a Duplicate mechanic a la Thrones in the case that most characters end up being 1-in-play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Use shadowfist's bidding mechanic, but with honor, geisha, or sake!

 

It's been so long since I played Fist that I don't remember it, but I never say no to a good bidding mechanic!

 

 

I only ever saw bidding twice in Shadowfist. Too bad there was never any cards that actually force a bid to take place. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see L5R at is best as a high power game. So you go for unique chars with unique and strong abilities. Not the watered down Version of Ivory with bland or blank no Name personalities. Bring back the power uniques but this time with the loyal keyword so that you are sure they don´t get used by other clans like some of the better Spider personalities got. 

 

Doesn't work either.

 

There are many non uniques that see play in other clans as they are synergistic.

Its a matter of preference and making things work.

 

To counter this issue some may propose making even ordinary personalities loyal like scorpion kensai in one arc.

This didn't work either as many just looked at the whole playing field and got what they could use.

 

There is no good way to balance it but the current setup where balance shifts alot was nice. You would try to compensate your weaknesses or work on your strengths.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see no reason why there can't be named characters. Netrunner does it just fine. Having a character die in your metaplot might be an issue, depending on the speed that the cycles leave the competitive scene compared to the rate at which time passes in the metaplot. 

 

Also, they've had the players affect the output of cards two different ways in Netrunner. There's no reason that a similar system couldn't work in L5R. In the first case, players voted on one of two IDs that were released, and in the second method tournament winners get to design cards. The idea of having the player base affect the game through feedback is not foreign to them.

 

I don't play any of the other LCGs (yet) so I can't comment on what might be in store for L5R other than what I can see in Netrunner. 

 

Anyway, the release schedule isn't something for us to really start worrying about until we know if the basic game is any good! Though I'm sure it will be. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see no reason why there can't be named characters. Netrunner does it just fine. Having a character die in your metaplot might be an issue, depending on the speed that the cycles leave the competitive scene compared to the rate at which time passes in the metaplot. 

Not to mention having named characters doesn't pose any real problem for the game itself, mechanically or otherwise. About the strongest argument for making generic names like "Scorpion Samurai" instead of traditional Rokugani names is to do with pronunciation. And that is a pretty weak argument considering people mostly love L5R for it's oriental theme.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is some intuition cost to having named non-Unique characters. It's easy to forget once you've been in the game a while, or have swam in its conventions for so long that you've learned to breath them, that what we take for granted as "obvious" is not necessarily clear to new players. In this particular case, I have fielded multiple questions (such as on BGG) from newer players or casually exploring players (the latter category will likely be much more significant for an LCG than a CCG) on the subject of names of non-Unique characters.

 

The issue usually being something along the lines of "if this card is Mirumoto Bob, I don't understand why there can be three of the same guy in play. Am I reading the rules correctly?" So there is an intuition among at least some substantial chunk of new players that a character with a specific name is a specific, unique person (maybe this wouldn't be the case in a game that had no such concept as Unique, but L5R does and basically every game does at this point, so I don't think that's avoidable). Non-unique, named characters occupy a sort of in-between space, where they are both a specific person and also a representation of a more generic type of samurai.

 

Whether that means that there should be a strict "name = unique" policy is a bigger question, but folks who think that there is no downside at all to the system AEG was using are quite mistaken.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part of that is largely dependent on the story aspect. Nameless characters do not a story make and having a tons of them just feels like empty cardboard space. Having non-unique characters allows for greater immersion while also being a compromise to the "name=unique" thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing I see as a problem with non-unique named characters that *NEVER* cycle out of the environment is the continuing story line meshing.  One of the things that makes L5R what it is, is that a perceived slight against the wrong person can be a death sentence for a character.  How many Crab die each day standing on the wall?  Poison is considered a perfectly natural means of advancement, even if a dishonorable one.  The land of Rokugan is a very deadly place to live.  Characters that live forever will ALWAYS feel out of place in such a setting.

 

OTOH, I absolutely agree with those that say "Mirumoto Bushi #1", or any other doctored up generic title, is a terrible name for a personality card in L5R the card game.  But it does solve the Akodo Bob (the Sensei) sticking around forever training Lion Samurai to the end of the universe problem in an LCG release format.  Of course you could simply say that Akodo Bob has a son Akodo Bob, who took his fathers place, and does exactly the same thing(slightly reminiscent of Highlander(1986)).  But then you basically need to exclude that guy from story time to avoid confusion.  Which defeats the point of having named such a character, since no amount of player investment can over come the development exclusion.  Also (potentially) frustrates the player base over the long haul as they invest time and effort into the character only to never have that effort go anywhere.

 

It is not so cut and dry as either side is portraying it.

 

For my part, I don't like the idea of a bunch of generic personalities, but I absolutely recognize the value of it from a total design perspective as relates to L5R as an LCG.

 

Having cards that never cycle out also creates design constraints not to mention hamstrings the Meta environment over the lifetime of the game.  I think what we will see is likely something akin to how AGoTs was treated.  Just about the time stuff started cycling around FFG hit the reset button on the game.  What I would hope for (short of that) is a reconstituted "soul of..." mechanic where every so often stuff in the "never cycles out" sets gets a face lift so to speak, but doesn't really change and doesn't invalidate the older card, other than to limit putting both in a single deck.  Sort of creating the illusion of the passage of time.

 

I'll tell you though, I think FFG is going to have its hands full, and I do not envy them the task they have before them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure how much the dead characters thing has every mattered. I'm not sure I know anyone who has been thrown by it. L5R does have that element of ongoing story to it and there are restrictions because of story prizes, but it's not like any other game worries about the notion of playing with cards representing characters who are now dead.

 

Part of that is largely dependent on the story aspect. Nameless characters do not a story make and having a tons of them just feels like empty cardboard space. Having non-unique characters allows for greater immersion while also being a compromise to the "name=unique" thing.

No, nameless characters do not make story. Literally. The question remains whether, or how much, that matters for this discussion.

 

In the CCG format, every Clan got something like 25 new Personalities a year (virtually all of them with names), and most of them never appeared in a story. For story purposes, they were mostly 'empty cardboard' anyway. And would we really want them to all matter anyway? Some, including I, would argue that the story didn't spend enough time on repeated appearances and character development.

 

Here is what the potential gains are from naming every single character, in my view:

- more flavorful to have Hida Joe in your deck/in play than "Hida Berserker"

- an outgrowth of that, extra storytelling potential, as the story of a tournament win is always filled in with specific character names, instead of background folks

- opportunity through tournament prizes for players to latch on to a named, but previously irrelevant, character, and insert them into the story

 

One thing I don't point in favor of the naming would be the simple emotional attachment that some folks have identified. It's true that player will get attached to Doji McSteve more than they get attached to Doji Elegant Duelist. But it's not like we're talking about entirely eliminating named characters. If you have 12 named characters, you have 12 options for a favorite. If you have 6 named characters and 6 mooks, you have (effectively) 6 options for a favorite. You'll still pick a favorite, it just won't be one of the randoms.

 

The whole running out of names thing is definitely a red herring. You can come up with tons and tons of "generic" card names just by mixing up various professions, families, locations, and adjectives.

 

The above-listed advantages are also probably reduced in the new format (or, at least, in the land of what I think the maximum scope of story impact of tournaments could be under FFG). I do not think it is in the realm of possibilities for there to be a bunch of tournaments that let you pick a Personality to do random thing X. I believe that these sorts of tournaments will exist, but I believe they will be much less common (e.g., Kotei/Regionals will not offer such prizes). So the story addition benefits will be lessened, I think.

 

I'm also sure how much of a positive the last two benefits are anyway. As I noted above, I think there's a strong argument that you have a better story when it focuses on a smaller number of characters. Maybe if you have a thing for Yoritomo Jill you can get excited about how you got to elevate her to story-land (and, as I mention above, if there is no Yoritomo Jill, then you'd probably like some character who does exist and would get just as much of a kick out of naming her instead). But chances are that will be a one-shot appearance that has no long-term significance. For every Toku there are dozens of stories you don't remember populated by characters you can't name. It's not that there isn't any value in one-shot stories. But assuming that FFG isn't generating weekly fictions, any sort of story space will be at a premium. And if I have to choose between undeveloped characters and developed characters, I would rather the story space go to ones getting character development.

 

So if I'm FFG, this largely comes down to the on-board experience. How do I value the flavor of having every character have a name? Do I value focusing attention to the named characters my story/branding efforts are going to focus around? Do I think that intuition favors or opposes everyone having names? Do I place value on L5R 'tradition' and, if so, how much? Do I think that there is some value in distinctiveness with L5R having unusual naming conventions? Given that every other FFG LCG, even Netrunner and its in-house IP, do the named/Unique and descriptive/non-Unique, my presumption would be that FFG in general prefers that path. If they were going to diverge from that, my guess would be that it would need to be some sort of L5R-specific reason for doing so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...