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slowreflex

Cycling Out / Cycle Rotation (i.e. MTG: Standard)

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For those not aware, FFG cycles out the tournament legality of each cycle/expansion in its LCG's.  Their current strategy is to try to maintain legality of expansion cards for 3-4 years.  Here's the FFG article about rotation.  I think for most of their LCGs that is around 1500 legal cards at max.  In Netrunner, the Core Set and Deluxe Boxes are always legal, it's just the small expansion packs that cycle out.  Obviously this means balance it's most critical on the Core and Deluxe boxes.  Personally, I'd like rotation to be 18-24 months as I think 3-4 years is too long and too many cards to balance (I know others will disagree).  I just like to keep the game fresher and minimize the number of errata / ad-hoc penalized cards in play.  Anyway, I wanted to increase awareness for this for those not familiar with LCG rotations and I think it's probably something that can still change as the game hasn't even come out yet. :)

What's your views on optimum rotation schedules? 

 

 

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Since I also play magic and only eternal formats... Sooo rotation what?

But in all seriousness I think to have card which don't rotate makes some sense. Actually I think it is really clever to have those because it keeps the entry point identical for all players.

Rotation is a touchy topic. Magic tried 18 month and it was just poorly received. So they changed back to 24 and that is probably the minimum that most people can put up with.

I see the merits of a more aggressive rotation, but I think that would be something you would ideally do with alternate formats (for example Cycle Constructed).

3-4 years is quite causal and I think that is best for an LCG which is designed to be a more casual for of a CCG.

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6 minutes ago, Yandia said:

Since I also play magic and only eternal formats... Sooo rotation what?

But in all seriousness I think to have card which don't rotate makes some sense. Actually I think it is really clever to have those because it keeps the entry point identical for all players.

Rotation is a touchy topic. Magic tried 18 month and it was just poorly received. So they changed back to 24 and that is probably the minimum that most people can put up with.

I see the merits of a more aggressive rotation, but I think that would be something you would ideally do with alternate formats (for example Cycle Constructed).

3-4 years is quite causal and I think that is best for an LCG which is designed to be a more casual for of a CCG.

I only play Modern MTG.  I mentally can't deal with the change in card template, so only play cards with the newer template. :)

What I'm curious about is the implication of it being a LCG on rotation as opposed to a CCG as you elude to in your last sentence.  I was actually thinking differently that you on that point.  Firstly, I don't personally feel that casual and LCG are directly correlated.  I play both types and don't feel that correlation.  However, I also think shorter rotations in a LCG are more palatable because the financial impact isn't as great.

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I would say the longer rotations are good for the LCG format, since the cycles are overall smaller than CCG expansions, so having a slower rotation is only reasonable because of the size of the card pools we are dealing with.

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There is one thing I wonder about the rotation of L5R card game sets and that is how does it keep up with the story? With Netrunner and AGOT there are sets that are evergreen, and will always be legaly, but the small expansions are what rotate out.

Question is, does L5R have this as well, and if it does do we just have the characters in evergreen sets forever legal? Just for arguments sake, if the game lasts a good 5-10 years, the story would have advanced but all the original characters are still legal? how does this work and feel?

This isn't a problem for AGOT as much, because even though charcters die, the whole setting is set in a fixed story. L5R is a bit more unpredictable, IF ffg do indeed take a lot of story contribution.

After giving this some thought, I think (and hope a little!) that maybe we won't have evergreen sets in L5R, and I actually think mechanically and thematically that would be a good thing.

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24 minutes ago, Moto Subodei said:

There is one thing I wonder about the rotation of L5R card game sets and that is how does it keep up with the story? With Netrunner and AGOT there are sets that are evergreen, and will always be legaly, but the small expansions are what rotate out.

Question is, does L5R have this as well, and if it does do we just have the characters in evergreen sets forever legal? Just for arguments sake, if the game lasts a good 5-10 years, the story would have advanced but all the original characters are still legal? how does this work and feel?

This isn't a problem for AGOT as much, because even though charcters die, the whole setting is set in a fixed story. L5R is a bit more unpredictable, IF ffg do indeed take a lot of story contribution.

After giving this some thought, I think (and hope a little!) that maybe we won't have evergreen sets in L5R, and I actually think mechanically and thematically that would be a good thing.

Really good point that I hadn't considered.  While I think that could be done with the Deluxe and Expansions cycling out,` it's a bit unconventional for the Core Sets, but you could have different versions of Core Sets I suppose.  I really like the idea that all cards have the potential to cycle out.  Or maybe they just have unique characters cycle out or something?  Don't know.

Edited by slowreflex

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54 minutes ago, Moto Subodei said:

There is one thing I wonder about the rotation of L5R card game sets and that is how does it keep up with the story? With Netrunner and AGOT there are sets that are evergreen, and will always be legaly, but the small expansions are what rotate out.

Question is, does L5R have this as well, and if it does do we just have the characters in evergreen sets forever legal? Just for arguments sake, if the game lasts a good 5-10 years, the story would have advanced but all the original characters are still legal? how does this work and feel?

This isn't a problem for AGOT as much, because even though charcters die, the whole setting is set in a fixed story. L5R is a bit more unpredictable, IF ffg do indeed take a lot of story contribution.

After giving this some thought, I think (and hope a little!) that maybe we won't have evergreen sets in L5R, and I actually think mechanically and thematically that would be a good thing.

I tought that they said in the AMA that core and deluxes are evergreen? I had the same thoughts as you. Maybe the single out specific cards for story results or ignore them as if they were ninja, like if Shoju dies in the story but it is still playable.

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Just now, Wintersong said:

I tought that they said in the AMA that core and deluxes are evergreen? I had the same thoughts as you. Maybe the single out specific cards for story results or ignore them as if they were ninja, like if Shoju dies in the story but it is still playable.

Ah right I didn't notice that. Not sure I'm a fan of that approach, but totally understand why they would do it.

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3 hours ago, MrMenthe said:

ANR (ex)player here and I also think that the rotation comes way too late.

But maybe I'm wrong and that would have done nothing to prevent the ki D of cards we saw last cycle :-/

Yep. If you will dig through AMA you'll notice that questions about faster rotation come from A:NR players. Becasue they just know how this too long rotation is stupid idea.

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FFG currently has a standard rotation policy for all of our LCGs. That said, we are constantly monitoring and evaluating such policies and looking for opportunities to improve them and better serve our communities, and we will continue to seek to adopt the approach that best serves the needs of this game.

Keeping the competitive environment open and fresh for players is also a high priority, and I'm always an advocate for doing what needs to be done to keep players engaged with the tournament environment. You mentioned several of the tools at our disposal (rotation, restricted list, MWL), and coming up with new creative ideas that work better for this game may also be explored. Generally, my sense is that banning is a last resort, and we should strive to avoid it. -NF

From the AMA...

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Since I avoid tournaments like the taint, my legal list is whatever my local group decides to play!  :-D

Seriously, though, I was personallyhoping for no rotation, and everything always being legal, but I can see how that could get problematic eventually.  What they'regoing with is probably a good rotation length.

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6 minutes ago, JJ48 said:

Since I avoid tournaments like the taint, my legal list is whatever my local group decides to play!  :-D

Not to sidetrack, but why do you avoid tournaments?  Personally, I like the forced interactions they bring.  I'm not very good at approaching people and asking for games, so like being told who to play where.  I'm also a bit competitive, but my casual side is much stronger and that's why I never win any. :)

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I think that FFG has done very well balancing their other LCGs to this point so I'm not worried a out that yet. We use play with the designers of AGOT and I assume they will be the designers for L5R. According to them the entire reason for the rotation schedule was to allow a good sized card pool so there would be variety in decks and factions and also so that the barrier to entry is so huge it turns off new players. The shorter the rotation the smaller the card pool and then you end up with MTG standard which is currently awful.

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5 minutes ago, SlackerHacker said:

I think that FFG has done very well balancing their other LCGs to this point so I'm not worried a out that yet. We use play with the designers of AGOT and I assume they will be the designers for L5R. According to them the entire reason for the rotation schedule was to allow a good sized card pool so there would be variety in decks and factions and also so that the barrier to entry is so huge it turns off new players. The shorter the rotation the smaller the card pool and then you end up with MTG standard which is currently awful.

Welp they failed at least ANR in that regard.

Last time I checked the meta was still awful and the price of entry is more often than not way too much.

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1 minute ago, MrMenthe said:

Welp they failed at least ANR in that regard.

Last time I checked the meta was still awful and the price of entry is more often than not way too much.

I guess that's the one LCG I have the least experience with. I played it some in the early days. I haven't heard about balance issue from local players. That said, Android is fairly high on the complexity scale as far as mechanics go (IMO) so I could see that happening.

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1 minute ago, SlackerHacker said:

I guess that's the one LCG I have the least experience with. I played it some in the early days. I haven't heard about balance issue from local players. That said, Android is fairly high on the complexity scale as far as mechanics go (IMO) so I could see that happening.

Last year World top 16 :

  • 16 NBN (9 CTM ; 4 SYNC ; 3 NEH)
  • 14 Anarch (10 Whizzards ; 2 MaxX ; 2 Valencia), 2 Shaper

That wasn't a fun environment to play in.

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1 hour ago, slowreflex said:

Not to sidetrack, but why do you avoid tournaments?  Personally, I like the forced interactions they bring.  I'm not very good at approaching people and asking for games, so like being told who to play where.  I'm also a bit competitive, but my casual side is much stronger and that's why I never win any. :)

Several reasons, really.  For one, having a bit of social anxiety, large groups of strangers who already know each other aren't really my preferred setting for meeting new people.  Granted, it probably didn't help that the two Koteis I went to were after the sale was announced, so people were less likely to be discussing L5R and the clans, and more likely to just be discussing what bar to go to after the event.

Second, tournament games just aren't that much fun.  Locally, I tend to play decks with tricky mechanics that took a little time to set up.  In tournaments, I'd face a Dragon who had four Rings on the board before I was able to even get a personality out, and was just waiting for my personality so he could force me to attack and earn the Ring of Earth.  I could also build a deck that moved that quickly, of course, but such decks aren't really fun to play for me.  Why pay money to play three games with a deck I don't like, when I could use a fun deck for free locally?

Lastly was just sheer disappointment with the prize support.  I know this is highly location-dependant, and I'm highly unlikely to win, anyway, but what is the appeal when you don't care about the prizes?

I realize much of this is subjective, and I hope FFG runs the tournaments well for those who enjoy them.  For me, though, they're just not my cup of tea.

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53 minutes ago, JJ48 said:

Why pay money to play three games with a deck I don't like, when I could use a fun deck for free locally?

Lastly was just sheer disappointment with the prize support.  I know this is highly location-dependant, and I'm highly unlikely to win, anyway, but what is the appeal when you don't care about the prizes?

I just play my casual decks anyway, but I know what you mean.

Prize support I could care less about personally.  When I do win stuff, it just gets piled up in a corner.  Even things like promos I have no interest in because they are a different card template and I need my cards to all be the same template. :)

As you so though, it's all subjective.  People have different ways to get fun out of the game.  As long as it's not negatively impacting others (in a cruel way), it's all good.

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2 hours ago, MrMenthe said:

Last year World top 16 :

  • 16 NBN (9 CTM ; 4 SYNC ; 3 NEH)
  • 14 Anarch (10 Whizzards ; 2 MaxX ; 2 Valencia), 2 Shaper

That wasn't a fun environment to play in.

FFG doesn't really seem interested in fixing any of the meta problems with Netrunner either. The new MWL is barely a bandaid for a game hemorrhaging players waiting for rotation to start.

The partial conspiracy theory is that FFG purposefully designs unbalanced LCGs so that they get people to jump onto the next LCG train every couple of years or so and soak them for a cycle or two of packs.

However, from FFG's internal data they know that a majority of their core set LCG sales are to people who never buy a second core or extra packs so FFG's focus is on delivering a solid core set "board game" experience. I think they do this to the detriment of the competitive space, but that's just my opinion.

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9 hours ago, slowreflex said:

I only play Modern MTG.  I mentally can't deal with the change in card template, so only play cards with the newer template. :)

What I'm curious about is the implication of it being a LCG on rotation as opposed to a CCG as you elude to in your last sentence.  I was actually thinking differently that you on that point.  Firstly, I don't personally feel that casual and LCG are directly correlated.  I play both types and don't feel that correlation.  However, I also think shorter rotations in a LCG are more palatable because the financial impact isn't as great.

I think the keeping up aspect of "my deck just rotated out" is the most un-casual aspect of deck rotation. 

Having a deck that you like and can always play is a nice thing. However just as I write this I realize that the Core sets usually stay always legal which is in essence the casual way to go... Hmm not that I think about it I wouldn't mind a more aggressive rotation, since enough stuff stays permanently legal.

And I play Paper Pauper and Commander. Two fan created formats, which I assume is also always a ways to go. 

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6 minutes ago, Yandia said:

I think the keeping up aspect of "my deck just rotated out" is the most un-casual aspect of deck rotation. 

Why don't leave it in hands of local TO/FLGS? Make OFFICIAL two tournament formats, restricted (bans, faster rotation etc) and Open. And your local community will choose. Is it really a problem for FFG?

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9 hours ago, Drudenfusz said:

I would say the longer rotations are good for the LCG format, since the cycles are overall smaller than CCG expansions, so having a slower rotation is only reasonable because of the size of the card pools we are dealing with.

While the card pool is smaller than the CCG counterparts, I still feel that after a certain amount of time, the environment just gets too stale. I think I would like the cycles to be done sooner than ANR does their just for that aspect. 

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Of all the LCG releases its exciting to think that the new L5R has been designed from the start with the rotation model in mind as well as story progression.

Might be interesting if organized play influences rotation directly down the line, ie a cycle that is designed predominately as a Shadowlands incursion could be rotated in or out depending on the story line and the results. (I'm only starting to get the jist of past history, so hope that makes sense)

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