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WonderWAAAGH

What does Destiny need?

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Or: How would you fill in the gaps in design space?

We're only 160 some-odd cards in and there are a handful of half-baked interactions, combos, and synergies that I expect we'll see fleshed out in the coming months or years. Some of these stand out in my mind better than others, so I thought I'd share some of the things I'd like to see addressed sooner rather than later. Bear in mind that this is not so much an attempt at custom card creation or design as it is mulling over the missing pieces for the combos that aren't quite there yet.

1) Melee hero characters outside of blue. Qui-Gon Jinn (henceforth referred to as QGJ) is one of the stronger melee characters that the heroes have on their side, but like many or most of the hero characters he suffers from difficulty in multi-colored pairings and disjointed point costs. The same can be said for Luke, who has an arguably weaker ability if not stronger dice. Card advantage is generally at a premium in card games, but in a game where you draw back up to your maximum hand size every turn Luke's ability is disproportionately weaker than the character he's intended to mirror, Darth Vader. In some cases (Mind Probe, mill) it can even be a hindrance. There are two particular combos that I'd like to see be made viable: QGJ and Resistance HQ, and Luke and Launch Bay. Both cases pose certain barriers in deck construction, not least among them is a lack of synergy between the characters and their damage types with the red characters we currently have available. That's why I'd really like to see a red melee character, somewhere in the neighborhood of the non-uniques or Bala-Tik with regard to power level and cost. What else can we do to shore up Luke's lackluster ability?

2) Better support for... supports. It speaks to the overall design of Destiny that some people can make semi-viable decks with the expensive supports and vehicles, but those decks tend to be bursty and unreliable at best. The meta, such as it is, seems to favor more consistent and aggressive deck archetypes, probably owing to the limitation of a guaranteed two resources per turn. Not only that, but the additional activation required for supports with dice further pushes them away from being viable in competitive play. I think FFG thought that the massive resource cost for their damage output would be a sufficient balancing factor, but they sorely estimated just how dominant aggressive decks would become. All that having been said, the best supports that we have right now tend to have two things in common: they're cheap ( <= 2 monies) and action efficient. Those are the two areas that we need to focus on in order to make the more expensive supports fully playable, but that's tricky to do without going into actual card design. I was thinking something along the lines of a zero cost event that lets you discard an attached upgrade to reduce the cost of a support, much like you can already do with other upgrades. Action economy can be solved by introducing a "pilot" keyword that lets you activate a friendly support when you activate the pilot character, something that would be easy to do with a non-unique Resistance Pilot (or something to that effect).

So what do you guys think? What are the cards, combos, and interactions that you want to play with but can't yet, because the pieces just aren't all there?

Edited by WonderWAAAGH

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I like and agree with the 'pilot' keyword idea. Add a 1 cost (or free?) upgrade card which grants it (a la personal escort) and a non-unique character on each side with it inbuilt (would've been a nice one for Poe Dameron too... cest la vie).

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I like the support idea of making them cheaper by sacking another card. Supports by nature have a HUGE opportunity cost in yes you may get a good add but it requires a dice buy and a seperate roll to get it in the pool. Supports should roll on purchase at very least to make them worth buying. 5 energy for an atst is almost impossible if you are playing a savy opponent and they roll well. If not rolled on purchase maybe attach them to a character and roll them with everything else. A good amount of them are vehicles so who is piloting the **** thing? So have characters with a 3 upgrade, 1 support ceiling and have them work identical to upgrades in how you buy them.

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To me this set feels very constrained. 174 cards and split them between hero and villain with some generics and you have maybe 30 cards available to each faction within each colour. I think as we add more cards the number of viable decks will increase faster than the drop out of older decks that don't work as well.

 

I don't think the non-blue melee is a complete vision of the problem. I think too that you just don't have a range of two cost or 1 cost melee cards to compete with the DH-17 and Holdout  Blasters. So right now we need "daggers", "hidden weapons", and such that gives enable melee decks. I guess conversely some more 3-4 cost guns that maybe deal 2-3 damage to 2-3 targets, acting as something in between a regular gun and a thermal detonator.

 

I think more force powers will also add variety and thus allow a more narrowly defined selection of cards. Maybe after 2-3 sets Awakenings won't be needed to take the variety of icons blue dice throw at you.

 

Add in a few more battlefields and we may also see a few variations that are interesting. I am pretty sure with SOR we'll see a battlefield for the Death Star that will make the Emperor and Vader look not just interesting to play but somewhat viable. 

 

Resource generation, just one more red, yellow and blue resource generation card will allow decks to put higher value cards in play. It has always been the low cost damage cards that get a lot of play time in the initial stages of the game.eJango/eVeers shouldn't be too big a surprise.

 

Creatures that are characters, upgrades or supports. As Characters you could play a Rancor, Upgrades a Bantha mount and Support would be a Jawa on a Bantha Mount.

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I like and agree with the 'pilot' keyword idea. Add a 1 cost (or free?) upgrade card which grants it (a la personal escort) and a non-unique character on each side with it inbuilt (would've been a nice one for Poe Dameron too... cest la vie).

Would have been nice for any of the pilots to have it, but that [space] ship has sailed. I think that's kind of what they were aiming for with Poe's ability in the first place, but you're not exactly cheating a vehicle into play if you still have to pay its resource cost, which is half the problem. "Pilot Training" could be a nice 1-2 resource upgrade that requires you to spot a red character. Done.

I'm actually quite tickled by the prospect of throwing just such an upgrade on Veers. Use an early Promotion to help draw into / pay for the Pilot Training, and then every time you activate him you actually have an opportunity to use his otherwise meaningless ability. See, these are the kinds of interactions I'm talking about. Veers was meant to be played alongside supports, but instead he's only used because his dice are more efficient than stormtroopers.

Edited by WonderWAAAGH

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Vehicle supports need a red or generic "Ace in the Hole" type card. I.e., discard the support to allow you a one time roll into your pool.

Poe already kind of lets us do that that, and I could easily see such an event cost upwards of two resources. Think about it, you'd almost be guaranteed 3+ damage from any one vehicle die. That's quite swingy. If we're going to tread old territory I'd rather just have an It Binds All Things analogue for supports, but I think FFG is more creative than that.

Edited by WonderWAAAGH

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Here are a couple of other areas where I see potential for growth and expansion:

3) An Ackbar-like ability for resources. Disrupt is seriously in need of help, especially considering the number of red and yellow dice that only have that going for them (I'm looking at you, Outpost). I can't think of any occasion off the top of my head where I wouldn't rather have had any other die face showing. Maybe a yellow villain character with something to the effect of "whenever you resolve a die showing disrupt, if your opponent has no resources or can't remove that number of resource tokens then they must choose and deal one unblockable damage to one of their characters." This might have the added benefit of making My Kind of Scum playable, a card that I've been wanting to use for quite some time.

4) Some kind of Awakening equivalent for die faces with attached resource costs. There would have to be additional balancing factors, since those kinds of dice tend to be the most potent - look at Grievous, lightsabers, Han, etc. In general, die faces with resource costs tend to be a serious consideration when I put together a team, i.e. I like to avoid those characters and upgrades, if possible. I think this would indirectly help increase the overall curve of the game, since money spent on damage is money that could have been spent on more upgrades or supports. Having to choose between those dice and the cheaper upgrades is what's keeping the curve artificially low, though I'm not sure my ideas wouldn't help reinforce the aggressive meta anyways. Still, I'd like a reason to actually play with Hired Guns.

Edited by WonderWAAAGH

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Event: The Death Star (Cost 6) - Turn the battlefield over, claiming it has no effect. Just seems so, anti-hyperloop, in a nice thematic way. :D

 

One of the reasons costs of support are usually on the high side is they can't be hurt. What if they had a damage stat and could be removed by taking damage? The dice of BB-8 if he had 4 health my look different to the dice he has now.

Battlefields that give the claimant a dice in their pool for the next turn.

 

In Warcraft/Heathstone the had decks of cards that were "raid like" in that you had one evil overlord playing the 2-3 players who were co-operating. This game could very well lend itself to an expansion that overlays a co-op game and has the players trying to steal the plans to the death star. Perhaps you could have 1 location per player that had to be overcome. With events that has a "generic effect" and a wild effect if the location is in play. Perhaps a blend of "Death Star Panic" where adversaries have to be overcome as they advance on a set of objectives.

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Event: The Death Star (Cost 6) - Turn the battlefield over, claiming it has no effect. Just seems so, anti-hyperloop, in a nice thematic way. :D

 

One of the reasons costs of support are usually on the high side is they can't be hurt. What if they had a damage stat and could be removed by taking damage? The dice of BB-8 if he had 4 health my look different to the dice he has now.

Battlefields that give the claimant a dice in their pool for the next turn.

 

In Warcraft/Heathstone the had decks of cards that were "raid like" in that you had one evil overlord playing the 2-3 players who were co-operating. This game could very well lend itself to an expansion that overlays a co-op game and has the players trying to steal the plans to the death star. Perhaps you could have 1 location per player that had to be overcome. With events that has a "generic effect" and a wild effect if the location is in play. Perhaps a blend of "Death Star Panic" where adversaries have to be overcome as they advance on a set of objectives.

There is no real removal for supports you are right but this is set one. I think we will see some serious support removal soon. Thats why I wish they worked like upgrades, at least killing the character would eliminate it.

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If supports worked like Upgrades, they would....be upgrades. The whole point of supports being separate is that they are distinctly different from Upgrades, and have their own advantages/disadvantages. The current issue is they aren't really balanced as is - the game simply doesn't have the resource generation to justify the huge cost of most supports, and just giving them big numbers isn't really a fix.

 

Definitely agree with the need to diversify damage types between colours. Blue should primarily be the 'melee colour', but there still needs to be some variety and options for deck building.

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How bout multi-colored characters? Mind blown.

Finn kind of fills that role. A character being fully in 2 colours would break the balancing too much I think. Splashes are fine, but full access to 2 colours seems wrong.

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Luke´s ability is fantastic. Vader´s is the worse. Drawing a card means you get more options, whereas denying the opponent one does not. Lukes problem is Holocron. It accelerates Vader´s Upgrade aquisition alot faster than the Hero variant - The Force is Strong. The reason that one is failing atm is the lack of deck manipulation in Hero blue. Beacause the dearth of the fetch and dig cards. The irony is that there is deck manipulation in blue, Pulling the Strings which digs for 3, but it´s in Villain. That looks like an oversight from FFG. Had it been in Hero you could´ve dug for TFiS or the couple card and then even got that back with Return of the Jedi. The extra hassle would be balanced by the massive cost reduction and lowering of variance that you are exposed to on Holocron.

 

On Support, people need to put together resource engines to ramp into beefy support. Hero Red-Yellow has a great engine in Scavenge, Promotion, Logistics, Smuggling and Rearm. Supply line from Spirit of the Rebelion will add at least one more. 

 

Agressive deck are easier to see. Pick stuff that cost less than 3 and die sides with high numbers. Then buy one thing per turn and start ditching cards until those sides are turned up. That´s sums up much of the meta. It´ll develop as time goes on. 

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How bout multi-colored characters? Mind blown.

Finn kind of fills that role. A character being fully in 2 colours would break the balancing too much I think. Splashes are fine, but full access to 2 colours seems wrong.
I was thinking along the lines of a 2 color character but then that blocks out the third color. Nothing really changes except you can keep cards playable that require you to spot a specific color character. I was watching a Vader/Raider team and taking Vader out hoses the team anyway but when Vader went down so did a sustantial bit of his deck. Something like this would eliminate that problem and keep your deck playable. Like go 2 blue/yellow characters and every blue and yellow card is playable start to finish.

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Luke´s ability is fantastic. Vader´s is the worse. Drawing a card means you get more options, whereas denying the opponent one does not. Lukes problem is Holocron. It accelerates Vader´s Upgrade aquisition alot faster than the Hero variant - The Force is Strong. The reason that one is failing atm is the lack of deck manipulation in Hero blue. Beacause the dearth of the fetch and dig cards. The irony is that there is deck manipulation in blue, Pulling the Strings which digs for 3, but it´s in Villain. That looks like an oversight from FFG. Had it been in Hero you could´ve dug for TFiS or the couple card and then even got that back with Return of the Jedi. The extra hassle would be balanced by the massive cost reduction and lowering of variance that you are exposed to on Holocron.

On Support, people need to put together resource engines to ramp into beefy support. Hero Red-Yellow has a great engine in Scavenge, Promotion, Logistics, Smuggling and Rearm. Supply line from Spirit of the Rebelion will add at least one more.

Agressive deck are easier to see. Pick stuff that cost less than 3 and die sides with high numbers. Then buy one thing per turn and start ditching cards until those sides are turned up. That´s sums up much of the meta. It´ll develop as time goes on.

Per the designer, this game is not going to have fetch cards that cause you to shuffle your deck. He doesn't want anyone to have to stop and shuffle anything during a game as that bogs the game down. So we are only gonna see cards like Pulling the Strings or Scavenge or Award Ceremony. I can see how The Force is Strong can be useful, but considering the meta, it is too situational to waste 1 resource on at this time. Edited by rowdyoctopus

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How bout multi-colored characters? Mind blown.

Finn kind of fills that role. A character being fully in 2 colours would break the balancing too much I think. Splashes are fine, but full access to 2 colours seems wrong.
I was thinking along the lines of a 2 color character but then that blocks out the third color. Nothing really changes except you can keep cards playable that require you to spot a specific color character. I was watching a Vader/Raider team and taking Vader out hoses the team anyway but when Vader went down so did a sustantial bit of his deck. Something like this would eliminate that problem and keep your deck playable. Like go 2 blue/yellow characters and every blue and yellow card is playable start to finish.

 

That is assuming that having a substantial portion of your deck become unplayable after a character dies is a problem, and not a design decision. Cards that require a certain color character are usually a little stronger than those that don't, and by adding them to a deck with other colors, you run the risk that you may be unable to play them. To grant this type of flexibility with a two color character would mean the relative power level for their cost of the hybrid character would have to be lower than a single color character (a hybrid tax, if you will).

Edited by Crabhand

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Luke´s ability is fantastic. Vader´s is the worse. Drawing a card means you get more options, whereas denying the opponent one does not. Lukes problem is Holocron. It accelerates Vader´s Upgrade aquisition alot faster than the Hero variant - The Force is Strong. The reason that one is failing atm is the lack of deck manipulation in Hero blue. Beacause the dearth of the fetch and dig cards. The irony is that there is deck manipulation in blue, Pulling the Strings which digs for 3, but it´s in Villain. That looks like an oversight from FFG. Had it been in Hero you could´ve dug for TFiS or the couple card and then even got that back with Return of the Jedi. The extra hassle would be balanced by the massive cost reduction and lowering of variance that you are exposed to on Holocron.

 

On Support, people need to put together resource engines to ramp into beefy support. Hero Red-Yellow has a great engine in Scavenge, Promotion, Logistics, Smuggling and Rearm. Supply line from Spirit of the Rebelion will add at least one more. 

 

Agressive deck are easier to see. Pick stuff that cost less than 3 and die sides with high numbers. Then buy one thing per turn and start ditching cards until those sides are turned up. That´s sums up much of the meta. It´ll develop as time goes on.

I think it depends on how you use them. The general paradigm at the moment seems to be play upgrades -> activate characters -> resolve dice. If you're using Luke reactively (and let's be honest, you shouldn't - you're bringing him for those damage faces), then I suppose you could hoard your resources instead for events that disrupt your opponent's plays, which heroes seem to do quite well. Personally, I think you're still better off playing your characters aggressively. There will be too many scenarios where you draw into cards that you just can't use that turn, because resource generation is too constrained at present. If you're just going to end up playing them on the next turn, why not wait to draw them? That's why I feel like Luke is objectively worse than Vader. There's still something to be said for on-activation abilities, though, which brings me to my next point:

5) Leadership. I want to use it, but there are few circumstances where it would be worth exhausting a unique character just to ready another one. Luke and Vader present the best case scenarios, but squeezing in anyone but Ackbar is impossible, and I've already voiced my opinions on that combo elsewhere. Again, I hope that FFG prints someone akin to Bala-Tik in red, but with melee damage instead of ranged.

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I have been trying to think of a melee option hero character and I just can't come up with any outside jedi. Imperials have a few good choices available, most notable in red the imperial guard would be awesome or those robots Grievous had. For the rebellion though I can't think of a one outside the rule breaker Finn and Jedi after Jedi or at very least force sensitive lightsaber wielders. They DO NOT need a scum faction in this so maybe some neutral characters could work. Gamorrean Guards could work, Bounty Hunters, hell maybe even some outlying smugglers (though they seem to want to keep to screen characters and smugglers aren't in any of the movies that I can remember).*

*aside from Han and Lando of course but you get the idea.

Edited by LordFajubi

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Something to fill in those leftovers points from squad building.

 

Whether it's an extra sum to the initiative roll or supports that can be put on the opening round by a small squad point cost, I don't care. Just...something.

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