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Gunslinger83

The one card that needs errata to balance this game....thoughts?

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Horn of Gondor gets a lot better the more players you have, and I think it's just about perfect thematically now. It makes me wish we could get a Leadership version of it that gained resources when an enemy was defeated.

I've wanted a tactics or leadership attachment that generates resource when you kill enemies for a long time now and although we got Sword of Numenor it isn't what I wanted and I hope that we do get a different version of some sort eventually.

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Sword of Numenor is your friend !

 

The errata is bad because it killed number of decks. Before errata, i have seen it sometimes without abuses and now, it's just an image in a binder.

The only players who play it didn't know the errata. When i explain the errata, player is disappointed and put the image in a binder.

 

So bad errata ! A limitation like three time per turn could have been better.

Edited by 13nrv

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We just play with the old Horn of Gondor rules and it works perfectly fine as long as you don't do something silly. It doesn't get into all that many decks we make these days and when it does it just performs decently. So, I recommend just ignoring the ruling.

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I'll admit that it requires a little themeblindness to have SOG in my Sam deck, however I think limiting it to only gondor takes away one of its most thematic uses. When Aragorn arrives in Minas Tirith he gets the resources of gondor and becomes "one of them".

This is precisely why we have "In Service of the Steward". In fact, this card is a living illustration of what this game is missing as far as a defined "Gondor" trait. This would normally be a heavy sought after card if it was actually required to give heroes a Gondor synergy as well as play SOG. No other trait splasher (Elf-Friend, Nor am I a Stranger, etc.) is 0 cost while having an ability that represents the best of it's trait synergy. 

​Honestly, this thread has influenced my view on SOG. I get the arguments of how it might be necessary in solo play against the hardest scenarios, how it's less effective with more players, that there are more good resource generating options every cycle to atleast decrease the absolute dependence on it, and how a card like this might be necessary in a Core box deck for new players. I still think that they could have toned down it's OP'ness a "little" bit.... a good suggestion being coming into play exhausted....but I get the "pro" arguments.

​I've come to realize that I could probably live with it's power as long as nobody who uses it ever complains about the game being too easy. (seriously, every time somebody complains about the game being too easy, I go and look at their decks and see SOG with all the same power cards! :))

I think now the part that really offends me the most is the "attached character gains Gondor trait" part. Even just deleting this line from the card altogether would be a vast improvement....as it would still give away Gondor's best resource generator to all archetypes but it wouldn't give away the Gondor synergy for free (i.e. Gondorian Shield, Wealth of Gondor, etc). Dain in a dwarf deck or Elrohir in a ninja deck would cease being the epitome of the Gondor archetype.

I mean, what was the thought process behind it? 

​"Man, this card is not game breaking OP'ed enough, lets allow it to give away the Gondor synergy for free to give it a boost"? Honestly, as experimental as this game design was, they probably had no clue what it was going to look like in reaching maturity, and should probably be forgiven this. That's sort of how "first of their type" designs work.... lot's of inevitable design mistakes and learning points.

Actually, I have a theory that the designers secretly agree with most of what I've been saying. I think that somewhere around the HoN deluxe, when Caleb and Matt were taking over and trying to develop a Gondor synergy, somebody took a second look at the core cards and thought "oh.......crap". I think they realized how the design of SOG cramped their Gondor (and resource generation) design space, but decided to roll with it anyway since it was already so integral to the game at that point... and they have been fighting it ever since. 

​In COTR's 100th episode, the designers were asked if there were any cards they regretted, and it was pretty obvious from the answer that there was. Of course, they didn't talk about it as is only professional, but what they "didn't" say really said it all.

I have no doubt what card is at the top of their list, and I have full confidence that when the LOTR LCG 2.0 reboot hits, any SOG equivalent will be a lot more toned down and balanced from the outset. However, if my theory is correct, that also means that it is highly unlikely that they will ever errata it at this point in the game.... even if they secretly agree with me. They will continue to try to boost the Gondor trait, continue to find other creative means of resource generation to help "soften the blow" of SOG on the meta.

 

To me, it's very obvious that Leadership Denethor was designed "specifically" to be the target of SOG... and thus tie it back in to Gondor decks in the meta. By releasing an extremely powerful Gondor hero that is the perfect target for SOG, they practically ensure that people show up to groups with Denethor decks that tie up SOG. It's actually probably the most brilliant move that they could have made to correct the meta without outright errata.

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I think SoG is clearly OP because it pays for itself immediately so there is absolutely no trade off or investment (other than 3 copies of a unique in your deck). I knew it was broken day one. I just didn't care because the game was coop and the card was unique so I thought, hey maybe coop games will just work with lots of broken unique cards. Today I am more willing to say that the card is unhealthy for the game, and I agree with most of what has already been said in terms of criticism and proposed solutions. My favorite solution, by far, is to simply offer alternatives (since a nerf this late seems super unlikely). I especially like the idea of a new Steward of Gondor card. One of my favorite aspects of the game is competing versions of unique characters. If attachments can be included that would be great. I don't even think the new SoG would have to be better. It would just have to be worth playing and people would play it just because they are bored with the current version. I know I would. Then we can start getting alternative versions of the rings of power. Righy?

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​I've come to realize that I could probably live with it's power as long as nobody who uses it ever complains about the game being too easy. (seriously, every time somebody complains about the game being too easy, I go and look at their decks and see SOG with all the same power cards! :))

and likely the same people who complain about Outlands merely existing

 

​In COTR's 100th episode, the designers were asked if there were any cards they regretted, and it was pretty obvious from the answer that there was. Of course, they didn't talk about it as is only professional, but what they "didn't" say really said it all.

I have no doubt what card is at the top of their list, and I have full confidence that when the LOTR LCG 2.0 reboot hits, any SOG equivalent will be a lot more toned down and balanced from the outset. However, if my theory is correct, that also means that it is highly unlikely that they will ever errata it at this point in the game.... even if they secretly agree with me. They will continue to try to boost the Gondor trait, continue to find other creative means of resource generation to help "soften the blow" of SOG on the meta.

i don't know if they would change Steward of Gondor actually.

it is a powerful card, much moreso than many other cards don't get me wrong, but it's balanced unto itself. it's unique and exhausts to use, so it has a finite value of extra resources.

Horn of Gondor, on the other hand, does not exhaust to use nor does it have any upper limit for use, and used to have no restriction on what triggered it, leading to really broken, draw-your-entire-deck and generate unlimited resources combos. and sure, let's reduce our threat to 0 while we're at it.

they nerfed many cards that were part of these combos until they finally realised that Horn of Gondor should have been nerfed too (with all the previous cards nerfed as well)

Steward of Gondor is a very strong card, but it's far from broken imo.

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I think SoG is clearly OP because it pays for itself immediately so there is absolutely no trade off or investment (other than 3 copies of a unique in your deck). I knew it was broken day one. I just didn't care because the game was coop and the card was unique so I thought, hey maybe coop games will just work with lots of broken unique cards. Today I am more willing to say that the card is unhealthy for the game, and I agree with most of what has already been said in terms of criticism and proposed solutions. My favorite solution, by far, is to simply offer alternatives (since a nerf this late seems super unlikely). I especially like the idea of a new Steward of Gondor card. One of my favorite aspects of the game is competing versions of unique characters. If attachments can be included that would be great. I don't even think the new SoG would have to be better. It would just have to be worth playing and people would play it just because they are bored with the current version. I know I would. Then we can start getting alternative versions of the rings of power. Righy?

Didn't realise how much I wanted alternative versions of the rings of power till now....

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I've heard a couple people mention a competitor for SOG.

​Would it go something like:

2 cost Spirit attachment
attached character gains the Gondor trait
​Setup Action: Include a 4th hero.

​That might just be powerful enough to compete with the current iteration. Although as far as pure resource acceleration, a 4th hero takes several rounds to catch up with SOG's acceleration.... maybe made up for by having another statline on the table.


​I will say though, I have noticed that they do seem to have plateaued the difficulty curve in this game a bit... to my relief. I don't think that Lost Realm is much more difficult than Voice of Isengard... and Grey Havens feels a little "less" difficult than Lost Realm.


​I just played into Ithilien the other day again and found out that it still curb stomps my current decks that are otherwise successful against the majority of the last two cycles.... so the biggest difficulty jump seems to have been Heirs of Numenor, and since then the card pool has been outpacing the difficulty curve to catch back up.... atleast in my opinion.

So maybe they hopefully aren't playtesting new scenarios on the assumption that SOG is in every deck. Atleast if anybody complains about ease, they just only have to stop playing SOG. That's the inverse of what us thematic players get told all the time about difficult cycles right?

Edited by Gunslinger83

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Would you have to have a starting threat equal to the combined threat of all 4 heroes or only 3 of them?

 

If you don't have to take the additional threat that would be an absolutely INSANE card.....

10 out of 10 times I would take an additional free fourth hero rather than 2 resources per turn.... that fourth hero generates a resource on their own to begin with, provides another character with a strong statline to quest/attack/defend with (and more than one action per turn with readying), another sphere match for playing cards and most importantly a fourth hero ability.

Hell even WITH a starting threat of all four heroes threat combined it would still be bananas in the right lineup.

Way too abusable and powerful in my opinion.

I definitely agree with pretty much everything you said about difficulty though. I feel like they have fixed difficulty big time since HoN and AtS. The only exception to this is Carn Dum but I rant about that quest all the time so I will not this time round!!

 

I felt that the Grey Havens was a little easier than The Lost Realm as well and am quite happy about that. 

The first quest in The Lost Realm can actually be really difficult if you get unlucky reveals such as multiple side quests appearing early on shutting down healing, taking your entire hand from you, stopping you from placing more than 3 progress a turn etc all at once. Threat in staging can be pretty nasty quite early as well especially with no engagement checks etc. Also TONS of threat gain. Then the third quest is pretty punishing as well.


 

Edited by PsychoRocka

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Lol... I was actually being tongue in cheek sarcastic (about how OP SOG was) when I brought up the idea of playing a 4th hero, but now that you guys ran with it, I've kind of been playing with the idea a bit.

​Now that I think about it, it's not actually that far outside of what the game can do anyway now with sword-thane or the new ally Prince Imrahil. Maybe even the extra increase in threat might make it an extremely powerful (again to compete with leadership SOG) card that is balanced by having a starting threat of 37 or 38. Would bring a new approach to valor and cards like "favor of the Valar". 

​It would be the ultimate shot that you could fire at leadership SOG without just outright nerfing the damned thing.

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My houserule on the card would be as follows:

 

  • Change the card name to "Riches of Westernesse"
  • Remove the giving of the "Gondor" trait. 
  • Change the resource generation to 1 for non-Gondor / non-Dunedain characters; 2 resources generated if attached to a Gondor or Dunedain character.

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After reading through the thread I think my favorite idea is to remove the Gondor trait and give it 1 resource generation OR require Gondor trait and have 2.  I think what FeloniusBard recommends is a good middle ground between those two options.
 

 

My houserule on the card would be as follows:

 

  • Change the card name to "Riches of Westernesse"
  • Remove the giving of the "Gondor" trait. 
  • Change the resource generation to 1 for non-Gondor / non-Dunedain characters; 2 resources generated if attached to a Gondor or Dunedain character.

 

 

Do you guys really think it is too late for this card to be changed?

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I think it's far too late for this card to be changed.  It's a core set staple, and as a unique attachment that exhausts will not be part of any "broken" loops.

 

Agreed.

 

Another issue with the proposed errata is that it would severely nerf a multitude of decks that are currently viable into uselessness.  The most obvious effect of this, would be decks that are currently strong now and unaffected by the errata would only become more ubiquitous because they would have less competition from other viable decks.  Basically, everyone would just play Boromir if they wanted to get a high win rate...instead of being able to use a variety of decks.

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I think it's far too late for this card to be changed.  It's a core set staple, and as a unique attachment that exhausts will not be part of any "broken" loops.

 

Agreed.

 

Another issue with the proposed errata is that it would severely nerf a multitude of decks that are currently viable into uselessness.  The most obvious effect of this, would be decks that are currently strong now and unaffected by the errata would only become more ubiquitous because they would have less competition from other viable decks.  Basically, everyone would just play Boromir if they wanted to get a high win rate...instead of being able to use a variety of decks.

 

 

I don't see anything wrong with that. If a deck is so reliant on the card that it will be useless if an errata hits, then for one, the card was too powerful to begin with and finally, that's the very definition of a crutch. We saw Horn of Gondor get nerfed and that was a total surprise (but I feel a thematic win). Very late in the game's life too. I suspect SoG is next on the chopping block.

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I think it's far too late for this card to be changed.  It's a core set staple, and as a unique attachment that exhausts will not be part of any "broken" loops.

 

Agreed.

 

Another issue with the proposed errata is that it would severely nerf a multitude of decks that are currently viable into uselessness.  The most obvious effect of this, would be decks that are currently strong now and unaffected by the errata would only become more ubiquitous because they would have less competition from other viable decks.  Basically, everyone would just play Boromir if they wanted to get a high win rate...instead of being able to use a variety of decks.

 

I don't see anything wrong with that. If a deck is so reliant on the card that it will be useless if an errata hits, then for one, the card was too powerful to begin with and finally, that's the very definition of a crutch. We saw Horn of Gondor get nerfed and that was a total surprise (but I feel a thematic win). Very late in the game's life too. I suspect SoG is next on the chopping block.

Agreed, the fact that SOG becomes necessary for a variety of decks to be viable means that a variety of decks aren't using more interesting and niche forms of resource acceleration. This actually gets at the problem of just how much interesting practical design space is blotted out by one OP card that becomes the crutch.

Sadly, I don't think we will get errata for SOG at this point. They would probably argue that it's too fundamental to the core set decks for new players.

My hope is that they learn from this and avoid this problem from the start in LOTR 2.0.

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I think it's far too late for this card to be changed.  It's a core set staple, and as a unique attachment that exhausts will not be part of any "broken" loops.

 

Agreed.

 

Another issue with the proposed errata is that it would severely nerf a multitude of decks that are currently viable into uselessness.  The most obvious effect of this, would be decks that are currently strong now and unaffected by the errata would only become more ubiquitous because they would have less competition from other viable decks.  Basically, everyone would just play Boromir if they wanted to get a high win rate...instead of being able to use a variety of decks.

 

 

I don't see anything wrong with that. If a deck is so reliant on the card that it will be useless if an errata hits, then for one, the card was too powerful to begin with and finally, that's the very definition of a crutch. We saw Horn of Gondor get nerfed and that was a total surprise (but I feel a thematic win). Very late in the game's life too. I suspect SoG is next on the chopping block.

Many, many decks are reliant on a particular card -- usually heroes, but not always.  Nor does a deck becoming unviable after errata show that "the card was too powerful to begin with" -- that was certainly not the case with Master of Lore.  Errata has costs, and affecting the power level of every deck that currently uses a card is certainly a cost to be considered.

 

Let's consider the relevant definition of a crutch -- "a thing used for support or reassurance".  In which of these decks do you suppose the current "Steward of Gondor" is a crutch?

 

1) In a super-Boromir deck where it's used to drive Gondorian Fire and Blood of Numenor?

2) In a Sam-Pippin-Merry leadership deck where it is nice to have, but Resourceful is the card mulliganed for?

3) In a beginner's core set deck where it is used to play those hideously overpriced and weak core allies?

 

Is it a crutch for super-Boromir?  It's critical to generate insane offense/defense, but the deck is perfectly viable without it.  Threat is Boromir's currency, and Elrohir probably needs SoG more than Boromir does.

 

Is it a crutch for the standard Hobbit deck?  Not at all -- it comes in handy because it's a powerful card, but it isn't essential to the design.

 

Is it a crutch for the beginner's deck?  Absolutely, and it's worth mulliganing for.  Even *with* Steward of Gondor, the deck's power is marginal, without it Leadership has only Sneak Gandalf to bolster it compared to other spheres.

 

To my mind, this doesn't prove that SoG is "too powerful" and needs errata -- it shows that the core set *needs* powerful, general-purpose cards so that beginners can construct a *viable* deck.  It's no accident, I think, that nearly all the staple cards (useful to every deck of a sphere) are found in the core -- new players *need* crutches, and need them badly.  Advocating breaking those crutches because you are bored with them and no longer need them strikes me as exactly the wrong approach, especially in the cause of a non-existent need for "game balance".

 

With that said, I confess that a modified SoG that rewards Gondor instead of granting it is a more *interesting* card than the current model.  If the core set were redesigned from scratch, the revised Steward of Gondor would be fine as long as they also improved all the cruddy leadership cards that are coasters in the full card pool at the same time.  

 

At least the revised Steward of Gondor is still a useful card, unlike the errata-ed Horn of Gondor.  The new version may be "more thematic", but there's no shortage of thematic coasters.  The fate of Horn of Gondor and Master of Lore -- both "fixed" to resolve a "problem" generated chiefly by *other* cards -- is a graphic reminder that errata is not be lightly wished on any card.

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