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Kleeg005

the rant meta

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Begin rant.

 

I just spent an hour standing around at my FLGS on their regularly scheduled X-Wing night, waiting for an opponent.  There were eight guys there playing SWDestiny.  Of which five were effectively former X-Wing players (they may play again when Wave 10 drops - maybe).  There were two guys playing Blood Bowl, both avowedly former X-Wing players. 

 

I chatted with the Blood Bowl guys; they were trying to recruit me.  The more garrulous of the pair said the reason he stopped playing was power creep.  Plain and simple, he got bored with seeing only five ships in any given competitive game.  He'd been in since Wave 2, and said he felt "dirty" playing the newer ships, the netlists, against newer players.  But in tournaments he knew he couldn't do anything else or he would be on the receiving end of that same boring beat-down.

 

We discussed the last time any noobs came into the store, maybe two months ago, and how they were accidentally paired with a couple of Munchkins, and how they've never been seen again.  Now, part of that issue is on the shoulders of the other players and the store owner, admittedly, allowing a poor pairing like that.  But.  A huge part of it is this Mega-Damage Meta.  It's toxic.  Apparently, both to established players and to noobs.  Now that store, sadly, may be past the point of no return.  They may never have another game of X-Wing, the way things look right now.  Once upon a time, the Blood-Bowler said, they'd have 22 players on a Thursday game night.  Now, just me.  Yes, the store could start a league, run list-restricted tournaments, etc.  But their player base seems to be gone.  And I guess I'm in the market for a new FLGS, which is a pity as the owner there is genuinely pleasant.

 

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest, guys.  And if anyone has some location suggestions for the Everett, WA area, please let me know.

 

End rant.

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Back-in-my-mdd8xj.jpg

"...the only ships we had were TIE Fighters and X-Wings, and we liked it fine!"

 

 

X-Wing is as fun as the people you're playing with, full stop.

 

If you find yourself having less fun as time progresses, you either have expectations from "the way things used to be" and are feeling disappointed that the realities have changed, or you're just experiencing burnout from years of 100pt dog fighting. There are 101 ways to have fun playing X-Wing; I wish you luck in finding a few of them again, both for yourself and your local players.

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I certainly can see how power creep really could kill a game like X-Wing where so much of the stuff you probably want to play is old and thus well behind the curve.

 

Newbie walks in with an awesome squadron of X-Wing and Y-Wings because they LOVED Rogue One only to get trounced by someone using ships they'd never seen or even heard of before.  Who wins there?  No one.

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I have said it before, and I will say it again. Currently I think the meta is the best it has been. It is pretty awesome right now. Sure, there are some pretty powerful builds out there, but nothing that can't be countered. Nothing is really that dominant right now. Some ships are weaker than other, no doubt. But right now things are evenly matched per faction, the best they have been since about wave 3. That said, FFG should really try and give ships niche rolls, instead of just increasing power.

Scum fighters like Star Vipers, Kihraxz and the Misthunter could use a slight boost. But nothing outrageous.

The Rebels need a few tweaks, but they are getting better. Yes, the X-Wing (both of them) is weak currently, not to mention the HWK-290, E-Wing and B-Wing.

The Empire needs a swarm improvement of the TIE, and the poor poor Punisher.

But overall, the meta is doing really good. It is just that unusual ships are dominating instead of the mainstream ones. Which I personally don't mind. 

Edited by Jadotch

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Tue game is starting to suck.

Power creep is ridiculous. Scum are too powerful and nkt enjoyable to play against. Zuckus ruins games, Dengaroo and boskaroo are both not fun and way too powerful.

And none of them are recognizable sw ships.

They should have stuck with the original factions, we don't need scum and we don't need so many expansions. I haven't been playing in forever, but there are so many playable options with just s handful of ships and upgrade cards. There are too many now and they are released too quickly.

I'd like to play a few times with a list, make tweeks, experiment over months before moving onto a different list. It seems like most of you are excited to just spend money on whatever is released, before netlistjng the new hotness and driving the game further into the dirt.

It was fun while it lasted but greed sunk the game. It's a bloated, contorted phantasm of its former self.

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From an insider's perspective, the meta honestly isn't the worst thing. And that's not to say that I like Dengaroo and Palp Defenders--far from it. Rather, there are enough ships out there that lists get more and more varied, even when they are all freakishly powerful.

 

At Regionals a couple years ago, I played . . . ten games? Of those, the most exciting were a brobots list and a pair of Firesprays. EVERY OTHER LIST I FACED fell into the archetype of fat turret + support.

 

At Regionals this year, I of course came prepared to face Defenders and Dengaroo, as well as Thug Life, and I hit none of them. In fact, they were incredibly sparse -- I don't even remember any making it to Top 8, though I could be wrong. Point is, even though the meta lists are stronger than before, there's enough variety that people can tweak and customize, running lists that, while powerful, are not clones of each other.

 

 

From the eyes of an outsider, though? Yeah. X-Wing sucks.

 

Sorry, but I don't know how to introduce this game to people anymore. I've got friends who are genuinely interested, but just can't manage to get their heads around the squad building -- both the options available to them, and the combos their opponents will bring. Me and a buddy will play and I get to fly something like four X-Wings just for the hell of it, which is fun; but I know if I try to bring them into the competitive scene, they'll be in for a rude awakening. Even just bringing them to game night at the FLGS is a bit much--they'll still get roflstomped by even semi-competitive lists. Last night, that very thing happened at the store: an eight-TIE swarm went up against twin Shadowcasters. The 'Casters are hardly top-tier (yes I know they were at Worlds, no I don't think that makes the list itself Tier 1), but they still killed the swarm without losing a ship.

 

Honestly, I'm ready for 2.0. A couple of years ago, I'd have thought I'd never say that; but it's time. The game is exploding exponentially in terms of both power and complexity, and both of those are turn-offs for newbies. Hell, I don't even need the rules of the game to change -- I think we've got a great rulebook. But it needs to reset, and the expansions have to slow down. The meta is in a constant state of flux at this point, and each new wave just brings more power creep, intentional or not. Let things rest.

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Back-in-my-mdd8xj.jpg

"...the only ships we had were TIE Fighters and X-Wings, and we liked it fine!"

 

 

X-Wing is as fun as the people you're playing with, full stop.

 

If you find yourself having less fun as time progresses, you either have expectations from "the way things used to be" and are feeling disappointed that the realities have changed, or you're just experiencing burnout from years of 100pt dog fighting. There are 101 ways to have fun playing X-Wing; I wish you luck in finding a few of them again, both for yourself and your local players.

I completely agree with X-wing being as fun as the people you play against. Played one game tonight, not bothering with a clock. My op flew 3 PS 9 x-wings and I had 2 x PS9 and 1 PS7 scum. We laughed about bad dice, groused about 4 evades when one was needed and ended with MAD. Mutual Assured Destruction. We'll be using a different squad next week and have fun regardless of who wins. If you go to just win and not have fun you're missing out on the best part of the game. Play with stuff you haven't used. Fly something you wouldn't dare take to a tourney. Be creative! Fly 6 named Ties!

If you're not having fun it's your own fault. Either for not trying or playing with someone that only wants to win.

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Power creep is ridiculous. Scum are too powerful and nkt enjoyable to play against. Zuckus ruins games, Dengaroo and boskaroo are both not fun and way too powerful.

Because rolling 3/3 hits against Soontir only to have him roll 4/4 blanks then go 'meh, evade, AT, Palp, no damage' or having a 1 hp Corran run away and return as a 4 hp Corran was so fun, right ?

The game has always had its no fun lists.

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each wave brings its own new meta .... and each wave the meta gets stronger with newer harder combos e.g adding red dice and taking your greens away. Thats the result of a wave based system

Edited by shotbyscott

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I'm in the same boat. The last few months I've only been able to find games against hardcore tournament lists. I wrote out the lists I've faced and it was back-to-back Defenders and Mindlink (and 100% played either Mindlink or Push The Limit, literally every single one).

It's not fun, I don't want to play those games any more because I've had my fill of it. I'm trapped in a Groundhog Day where I'm full of enthusiasm and ideas to play, then get roughly dismissed and leave early. I don't know why I even show up at all.

The game has gone wrong. 2016 featured so much aggressive power curve incline it's not funny it's just incredibly frustrating and harmful. I spend the week trying to regain some enthusiasm to turn up again, only to leave wishing I'd never bothered. I'm not surprised people are leaving because I don't know how much longer I can keep doing it either.

:-(

Edited by Stay On The Leader

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Huh. I guess living in the outer rim has its silver lining after all. This is never a problem for this other side of the world

 

No FFG OP support here means everyone is free to do their crazy shenanigans. Things like two punishers + vader or rage corran with no other upgrades lists do exist. We still play competitive lists, but none of the "boring" lists unless it's an actual tournament. Even then everyone would still try to come up with their own variation of the popular meta lists. It's just exciting to go down to my FLGS and see the funny and interesting shenanigans that other people have fun with.

 

 

To the OP - Get your casual, non-xwing friends to play! lend them your ships, define your own destiny! I do this from time to time and they always come up with exciting ideas and fly styles, interesting enough to distract you from your potential FLGS loss. try HOTAC as well!

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I guess some people just want to play more thematic lists and well they don't get what they expect. Maybe a campaign could help like Armada, but I don't know how they will add objectives without shoving in them.

The problem is that FFG really doesn't think through their releases at all.  They have no intention of releasing a balanced game, that's beginning to show through in Armada as well.  I'm not sure if its intentional or through ignorance, but looking back, it almost feels as though they have a distinct moneymaking scheme: Never release a balanced product when you can charge for balance later.

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As far as the Everett area goes have you checked out Around the Table on Thursdays? I'm in Seattle myself. Usually don't get that far North without a special event since Card Kingdom is also on Thursday. I have been trying to meet people more often on Tuesdays at Zulu's in Bothell though.

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We've recently added five new players at our club. It's not hard, just make sure the people teaching them the game are sensible. I always start with the two /ln vs one T-65 no actions, no rocks scenario from the base box. Turn three I introduce actions, turn five I throw six rocks on the table. It works pretty well.

Once they are hooked we just play fun experimental lists with them until they start to get up to speed. We have a couple of players who are all about fun theme lists anyway so it's not tough to find people to play against them. Just embrace the fact that there is way more to the game than the six rock deathmatch and everything becomes fun again.

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We've recently added five new players at our club. It's not hard, just make sure the people teaching them the game are sensible. I always start with the two /ln vs one T-65 no actions, no rocks scenario from the base box. Turn three I introduce actions, turn five I throw six rocks on the table. It works pretty well.

Once they are hooked we just play fun experimental lists with them until they start to get up to speed. We have a couple of players who are all about fun theme lists anyway so it's not tough to find people to play against them. Just embrace the fact that there is way more to the game than the six rock deathmatch and everything becomes fun again.

 

Yeah, there must be places where that's possible.  

Around me it's all become extremely serious, with many players travelling around Europe and the world to various Regionals, Nationals, Opens, Worlds etc.  It's very difficult to get a game that's not somebody practicing for some event or other - the local player base has either switched up to the strongest lists as well to compete or dropped out of the game in frustration.

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I'm sorry to hear that your gaming group for x-wing is on the wane. I'm not sure I would agree that it is representative though as last night my FLGS had 6 or 7 tables going at once. I guess the problem is that the sample sizes tend to be pretty small and it can definitely be the case that if a few people drop out then there can be a bit of a snowball effect as people find it harder to get a game and lose their inclination to play as well.

 

I think the meta is in a decent place right now (obviously not perfect but reasonably varied). I have only been playing the game since about wave 8 so I don't say this with any amount of authority - but is a new player who arrives at the store with 4 x-wings any worse off than he was in the day of a pre nerf whisper?

 

I agree that there is a bit of a barrier to entry in terms of putting together a list that will let you give a more experience opponent at least a decent game - but this partly comes down to the store regulars helping new players - which is something that my local store does extremely well.

 

The only thing I would say is that, in terms of attacting new players, it would probably be better if the ships they recognise and love from the films are higher up the competetive curve. There are times when I think that if someone wandered in from the street and looked at some of the games being played they wouldn't feasibly be able to tell that we are playing a star wars game.

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Tue game is starting to suck.

Power creep is ridiculous. Scum are too powerful and nkt enjoyable to play against. Zuckus ruins games, Dengaroo and boskaroo are both not fun and way too powerful.

And none of them are recognizable sw ships.

...

It was fun while it lasted but greed sunk the game. It's a bloated, contorted phantasm of its former self.

 

I must say I agree with you on several things. I also agree that we didn't need the Scum Faction (even though I play some Scum too but mostly because Boba Fett). But the most important is that I don't think the power creep is the major problém. I think it's the BLOAT!

 

Every wave we got new abilities, new - potentially game changing - upgrades and new powerful pilot abilities. I often like the new stuff but in certain amounts, I think it's just stepping sideways. Did we really needed "mobile arc"? Did we needed Tractor beam? Do we need abilities which mess with the deployment?

 

And I also agree with you on seeing way too much ships on the tables, which were never seen in any of the movies. Especially on the Scum side.

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I see parallels for competitive playing to Tuckman's group model, structured in 5 phases:

 

1. Forming: you get hooked with X-Wings and TIE Fighters shooting at each other. It's new, it's awesome, it's Star Wars!

2. Storming: you try out all kinds of wild combinations. You fly your favorite ships and make thematic or fun combinations, whatever you like!

3. Norming: you start to get a feeling for "good" and "bad" in the game. Fel's wrath is not your number 1 choice anymore, and Gemmer Sojan won't win you the game. You learn to play the game "right". There's a meta and you have to adjust to it - or try to stay ahead of it. In either case you're being influenced by the meta.

4. Performing: You know your lists and the opponents lists. In fact a cursory glance is enough to predict the winner because that TIE swarm will never punch through these Commonwealth Defenders anyway; Poe can't survive the Dengaroo. The game becomes a chore.

5. Adjourning: it's boring, it's lame, it's always the same. Why are you still playing this?!

 

FFG essentially tries to get back to the Storming-phase with every new wave, but their timing was IMO a bit off last year

 

With that being said:

I only mostly see that happening for competitive playing*. There's no reason not to play fun lists.

Maybe you have to explain to someone that you won't play against top-tier lists because it will limit your options and thus your fun, but that's ok.

Maybe you start playing HotAC.

Maybe you start playing missions.

Maybe you start playing in a fun league with certain restrictions, requirements or outright bans.

 

All of those are ok. And so is competitive gaming!

But it's important to know yourself and your funtype, and to understand that the end of competitive play is not the end of X-Wing.

 

Edit: *of course it also happens for non-competitive play, but at a slower rate. Sometimes so slowly that other reasons - life - cause you to quit before you'd actually gone through all phases

Edited by GreenDragoon

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