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Blail Blerg

Is the game actually worse since the Great Nerfing?

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Back in Wave7 and early wave8 I was saying taht Xwing was going into a new golden age.  TLTs had finally come out and large bases got the minimalest of "did you even try" nerfs.  The days of mass 2 ship turret or turret + ace had finally ended.  (Though it was soon replaced with 4 TLTs, Torp-masters, Dengaroo and Palp Aces)

The view of wave10 pre-nerfing is complicated.  It was in some ways good:  Much better than the 5 list diversty of wave5.  But relatively stratified and very much in the shadow of the Torp-masters.  All in all, still relatively decent.  

Now. World's results and early regionals were absolutely abysmal.  Yes the two finalists were kinda cool, but the variety over the top 16 and top32 was trash.  I'm seeing a lot of return to very dreaded days of 2 ship turret.  3 ship Torp-masters/Fenn have finally been around long enough to be a pain in the sss.  No Imperials in the top lists.  

We have had a few weeks since then.  Are you seeing things go back to decent or still no?  I think Imperials have some decent lists, but theyre not Tier1 capable in an obvious manner compared to the Scum and Rebel lists.  Those scum and rebel lists are hugely turret and large ship based, which I think are one the worst overabundances to plague this game.  

I was all for the Great Nerfing.  Even Palp and x7.  But it seems now, the game is worse off, not better off as I hoped the nerfing would make. 

I guess I was wrong. 

--

 

If I was go to forward from here.  I'd change attanni so that only unstressed ships get assigned focuses.  This way, if you get your list stressed, you'll need a turn to seriously wipe it off.  And heavy stress use will heavily counter attanni's value, but leave the torpscouts and Fenn relatively unscathed.  I also did say that Attanni would be the enxt boogeyman after the great nerfing.  

I'd consider reverting Palpatine's nerf, however, the only 2 reasons Imp Aces aren't viable is because of their inability to meaningfully plink damage over a game with attanni , latts razzi type of value.  Which would be mitigated by an Attanni nerf.  Auto damage like Sabine, I mostly haven't played yet, but I feel like having a strong counter for aces does bring a healthy tinge to the meta.  Having this meta revolve around PS6-7-8 isn't a bad thing.  Its the issue of the PS9+s being totally useless.  
I don't really see Intensity helping out any Imperial lists in a Tier1 meaningful way.  

I'm also slightly expecting TLT to be nerfed, although I really hope not, because I think taht will completely exacerbate the high HP attack dice creep large turret ships that will send the game spiraling back to serious Wave5 dominance.  So..I really hope it doesn't happen. 

If TLT doesn't get nerfed, it will keep large ships and Kwings and 1agi ships in check.

All in all, Wave 10.5 has been an unexpected dark age.  The faltering of a beautifully balanced civilization. 

 

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The nerf was late. Dengaroo had already stopped seeing play and Palp Defenders weren't winning anything major because Parattani just had even more action efficiency. People now knew that Attanni Mindlink was very powerful so even with the Manaroo nerf it'd be fine. So people gravitated towards what they knew was competitive since World's was so close and created this ugly meta of Fangs, Jumpmasters, and a sprinkle of Shadowcasters. Store Champ season is here and soon we'll see some experimenting that will hopefully get us out of this mess. By that time, Mindlink will probably be small ship only.

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I agree, though maybe not quite as pessimistically as you.

I don't think Palpatine was too powerful before the nerf (good, maybe edging towards overpowered but not on the scale of things nowadays) but I think he was possibly changed in order to bring some variety to Imperial lists. While he was around Imperial lists were basically Palpatine plus 70-ish points of aces. If that's the case, the same problem definitely applies to Mindlink which dominates Scum list building to a ridiculous degree. Would reversing the Palpatine nerf actually be a bad thing at this point? I don't think so. In light of the poor Imperial showing at recent tournaments I also think the x7 nerf went a bit far and maybe having either stress or bumping shut it down would have been better.

It seems that the knock-on effect of the nerfing has been to promote one Scum archetype to the top, almost unopposed, and remove options completely for the Empire. I'm not sure a nerf to some of the Scum options will be enough to bring Imperials back into the game at the top levels. Yes, I'm aware the Worlds final didn't actually have a Mindlink list in it but I think the overall trend at the top of big tournaments is pretty clear.

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Personally, my interest in the game has really dwindled since this time last year. The design space is feeling very claustrophobic, the new wave seems uninspired, and the meta keeps coming back to turrets and big ships, stuck in a loop predetermined by the mechanics of the game. I'm even thinking of culling my collection down, to only a few key pieces, so I can still play a game if the fancy takes me. I'm actually yearning for an X-Wing 2.0 in the near future, hopefully taking the best innovations from armada and runewars.

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No, it's definitely MUCH better, though there's still work to be done.

Back end of 2017 I was sick to the back teeth of competitive X-Wing, of ~70% of all my games being against two precise lists (Commonwealth Defenders, Paratanni).  I walked away from regionals and open seasons, didn't play a single one.  (btw, worth saying it wasn't because I was losing - I was playing both Defenders and Attani and actually barely losing a game, but it was sooooo dull to face the same thing time and time and time again).

I played a tournament last weekend, my first of the year, and had a good day.  I've gone from not intending to play any proper events this year to signing up for multiple store champs and nationals.

If I were king of the world I would still make 3-5 more nerfs, but what we've got now is VASTLY better than what we had before the FAQ.

Edited by SOTL

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The long development cycle gives the impression that the new releases are totally disconnected from the current status of the game, often pouring gasoline where there was already a fire.
The only realtime interaction of the designer team with the game is thru through the use of FAQ and Errata. But it is isn't easy to balance a game where the main balancing factor (squad point costs) is untouchable.

The Jumpmaster was already broken enough by the time that the Protectorate and the Lancer joined its ranks. All of them being ships that do what other ships do for much lower squad point cost.
In a way, designing this game must be like playing a game of Armada, where you need to issue your commands several rounds before they are used, so a misprediction leads to a catastrophic snowball of screw ups. They probably saw how Scum had not won anything by Wave 7, and they steered the other way a bit too much.

For me, the game started going down with Wave 8 and the Jumpmaster, and has not recovered since. So many ships were pushed out of the competition during that wave, that the environment totally polarized between the broken ships, and ships that can deal with the broken ships. All ground between became no man's land.

What you call The Great Nerfing affected mostly the Palpaces and Defenders squads in the Empire. They used to be broken enough to deal with the other broken ships. Now, not anymore.
It didn't nerf the Scum broken ships, only particular upgrades that comboed with them. Since they are still broken ships, it's not hard to find other combos that still work better with them than with any other, more balanced ships. So those ships will survive nerf after nerf, as long as every nerfing affects only upgrades, and not the ships themselves.

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3 hours ago, Blail Blerg said:

If I was go to forward from here.  I'd change attanni so that only unstressed ships get assigned focuses.  This way, if you get your list stressed, you'll need a turn to seriously wipe it off.  And heavy stress use will heavily counter attanni's value, but leave the torpscouts and Fenn relatively unscathed.  I also did say that Attanni would be the enxt boogeyman after the great nerfing.  

I'd consider reverting Palpatine's nerf, however, the only 2 reasons Imp Aces aren't viable is because of their inability to meaningfully plink damage over a game with attanni , latts razzi type of value.  Which would be mitigated by an Attanni nerf.  Auto damage like Sabine, I mostly haven't played yet, but I feel like having a strong counter for aces does bring a healthy tinge to the meta.  Having this meta revolve around PS6-7-8 isn't a bad thing.  Its the issue of the PS9+s being totally useless.  
I don't really see Intensity helping out any Imperial lists in a Tier1 meaningful way.  

I'm also slightly expecting TLT to be nerfed, although I really hope not, because I think taht will completely exacerbate the high HP attack dice creep large turret ships that will send the game spiraling back to serious Wave5 dominance.  So..I really hope it doesn't happen.

I know your concern, I really do.

First off, I have a real issue with Attani Mindlink too, it's way to good for it's cost. But, I know you are on a good track trying to allow stress to stop it, but the issue around here is, there is enough reasons to fly stress mechanics and most guys see them as a less-than-fun play experience. If your proposal went as you see it, it might give more rise to stress mechanics, and there is already enough. But clearly, if they got the nerf bat out to knock an already struggling Imperial faction to the floor, why put it away now?

Yeah, I also agree that they nerfed Palp a year too late, if he needed any nerfing at all. That was really bad planning and execution on FFGs part. And just as embarrassing is the nerfing of the long-awaited Defender fix. If I were on the design team, I wouldn't want anyone to bring either of these two up.

I too hope Store Championships bring new life to the meta.......but it will not. Not until the current meta isn't so d*** better than anything in the Imperial wheelhouse. 

Scum is the New Empire. Rebels are still the Rebels.

The Imperials are just a side faction relegated to stealing sandwiches from blind men on the outer rim.  They will win one or two small SCs here and there.....h***, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

 

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2 hours ago, banjobenito said:

Personally, my interest in the game has really dwindled since this time last year. The design space is feeling very claustrophobic, the new wave seems uninspired, and the meta keeps coming back to turrets and big ships, stuck in a loop predetermined by the mechanics of the game. I'm even thinking of culling my collection down, to only a few key pieces, so I can still play a game if the fancy takes me. I'm actually yearning for an X-Wing 2.0 in the near future, hopefully taking the best innovations from armada and runewars.

I think there's a lot more options out there than it looks like at first glance.  I'm on a 4 for 4 winning streak at events locally, and I've been winning with Swarm Leader Jess Pava plus Rebel TIEs, or TIE/sfs with either a Omega Leader or Pure Sabacc as their wingman.  No turrets or large base ships in either list. :)

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There's a wider discussion piece I think.

The top lists of Worlds lacked diversity, no arguments there.  But the initial winners from Store Championships are looking incredibly diverse - Han/Luke, 8 generic TIEs without Howlrunner, etc.  400 players experienced the Worlds metagame but thousands upon thousands will play in the Store Champs, so if they're diverse then FFG don't really need to give a toss about what happened at Worlds, or is going to happen at Euros.  The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

 

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It's just the stupidity of the Scum faction and all it's power creep that's hurting the game for me. Any time I get to play an Imperial vs Rebel, Rebel vs Rebel, or Imperial vs Imperial match-up, I have a great time. 

I'm still of the opinion that the biggest mistake FFG made with X-wing was adding the third faction instead of just divvying it up in to the original two factions, Armada style. 

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21 minutes ago, Jarval said:

I think there's a lot more options out there than it looks like at first glance.  I'm on a 4 for 4 winning streak at events locally, and I've been winning with Swarm Leader Jess Pava plus Rebel TIEs, or TIE/sfs with either a Omega Leader or Pure Sabacc as their wingman.  No turrets or large base ships in either list. :)

Hi Jarval, that's good news, glad the /sfs are still rocking it for you! My concern for the game is a bit deeper than meta diversity, but I'm happy to hear the good word on the backdraft/quickdraw team...

Having been straying to other systems recently, a simple fact has struck me with X-wing. Because the average list contains around 3 units, game balance is extremely sensitive. In most other games, unit imbalance can be somewhat mitigated by deployment, weight of force, terrain, etc. Not so with X-wing. The scarcity of tools with which to combat your opponent translates to a hard paper-rocks-scissors dynamic (less room to build in counters, less redundancy, etc). So game imbalance is amplified, and hard counters are rendered granite-hard. That, combined with FFG's stubborn refusal to recost unbalanced ships, has left me feeling rather disenchanted with the system, despite its many many virtues. 

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6 minutes ago, Stay On The Leader said:

For fluff reasons it's the wrong change, for gameplay reasons it's the right one.

They almost certainly won't make it either way, because then it would be published in a box with a ship that can't use it, and I can't see them going that way.

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7 minutes ago, Stay On The Leader said:

For fluff reasons it's the wrong change, for gameplay reasons it's the right one.

Honestly I'd rather just see mindlink thrown out as the first "banned from OP events" than a "small ship only" restriction at that point.

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Just now, ScummyRebel said:

Honestly I'd rather just see mindlink thrown out as the first "banned from OP events" than a "small ship only" restriction at that point.

That would be lame; there are a lot of Scum lists using Mindlink that are fine.  And Small Ship Only doesn't make it any more palatable on Fenn.

It's problematic on only a very small number of ships: Jumpmasters, Fenn, Ketsu, and Assaj.

Fix it on those, and you've probably fixed it full stop.

Two simple changes do that:

Add 'you cannot be assigned more than one focus token', and add 'You must treat your [turn] maneouvres as white.'.

In one fell swoop it makes it way worse for those few ships, because they no longer have the green turns that make their dials insane and give them so much benefit from K4 in several cases.  It also makes it more difficult for Jumps and Fenn to defense stack, and in particular, makes it much more possible to kill Fenn if you can get a range 2 block on him.

And it does nothing to the utility of Mindlink for Scyks, StarVipers, G1As, Zs, Bossk, etc etc etc.

 

It wouldn't fix Jumps though, those would still need fixing separately; take Mindlink away from them and they'll just move on to Crack Shot or Trick Shot or Adaptability, or etc etc etc etc.  They're still wildly undercosted.

 

I'm kind of inclined to say that it should never have been possible for a large base ship to get a green turn anyway.  I'd've preferred to see the Lancer get a green 2 bank rather than the green turn, and the JM at the very least needed its hard turns on the bad side to be red to balance it getting an insanely good dial on the right.

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World's top 16 is a great way to see what the absolute best ships are currently.  But that's all it will show you.  The best players are the best players because they play the best ships in the best possible way.  But the homogeneity of those lists does not mean that other lists are incapable of winning games or winning events.

Attani lists are too strong but they are not quite as oppressive as Palp Defenders or Torp Scouts were.  I would suggest the following errata to attani.

Quote

Each time you are assigned a focus or stress token, each other friendly, unstressed ship with Attanni Mindlink must also be assigned the same type of token if it does not already have one.

If I were king, Contracted Scouts would lose the EPT and the Salvaged Astromech slot would be moved to the Punishing One title.

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Just now, gamblertuba said:

World's top 16 is a great way to see what the absolute best ships are currently.  But that's all it will show you.  The best players are the best players because they play the best ships in the best possible way.  But the homogeneity of those lists does not mean that other lists are incapable of winning games or winning events.

Attani lists are too strong but they are not quite as oppressive as Palp Defenders or Torp Scouts were.  I would suggest the following errata to attani.

If I were king, Contracted Scouts would lose the EPT and the Salvaged Astromech slot would be moved to the Punishing One title.

That's bad for the reasons noted in my post above - making Mindlink much less palatable for the ships it's not broken with, whilst not changing it much for the ones it IS OP with.  Jumps, Fenn, Ketsu and Assaj almost never have reasons to become stressed themselves, so it'll mostly be irrelevant.  Whereas, say, Scyks really like to do that long K turn, G1As have a tonne of red, etc.

 

Your Scout errata is good though, but I'd add to that 'and they all cost at least one point more, preferably two'.

It's notable that Manaroo would still cost only a point more than the ORS under your proposed scheme, for higher PS, EPT and barrel roll on top of the far better dial and actually having a pilot ability.

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11 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

That would be lame; there are a lot of Scum lists using Mindlink that are fine.  And Small Ship Only doesn't make it any more palatable on Fenn.

It's problematic on only a very small number of ships: Jumpmasters, Fenn, Ketsu, and Assaj.

Fix it on those, and you've probably fixed it full stop.

Two simple changes do that:

Add 'you cannot be assigned more than one focus token', and add 'You must treat your [turn] maneouvres as white.'.

In one fell swoop it makes it way worse for those few ships, because they no longer have the green turns that make their dials insane and give them so much benefit from K4 in several cases.  It also makes it more difficult for Jumps and Fenn to defense stack, and in particular, makes it much more possible to kill Fenn if you can get a range 2 block on him.

And it does nothing to the utility of Mindlink for Scyks, StarVipers, G1As, Zs, Bossk, etc etc etc.

 

It wouldn't fix Jumps though, those would still need fixing separately; take Mindlink away from them and they'll just move on to Crack Shot or Trick Shot or Adaptability, or etc etc etc etc.  They're still wildly undercosted.

 

I'm kind of inclined to say that it should never have been possible for a large base ship to get a green turn anyway.  I'd've preferred to see the Lancer get a green 2 bank rather than the green turn, and the JM at the very least needed its hard turns on the bad side to be red to balance it getting an insanely good dial on the right.

You sir are a thinker....much deeper into the structure of MindLink and the current Scum over-meta.

I like your ideas.

To add some of my mind-less dribble, let's replace the Jumpmaster dial with the Lambda's. There. Jumps are fixed.

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1 minute ago, clanofwolves said:

To add some of my mind-less dribble, let's replace the Jumpmaster dial with the Lambda's. There. Jumps are fixed.

That might be a teensy bit overkill XD

The difficulty with the dial is that it's very difficult to errata them - card changes are soluble by printing errata out and sleeving them with the card, putting stickers on, etc etc, but nerfing dials is much more difficult and would, I would guess, require them to offer replacements I suspect.  SO I doubt that the dial will change, much as it would probably have needed to.

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36 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

That might be a teensy bit overkill XD

The difficulty with the dial is that it's very difficult to errata them - card changes are soluble by printing errata out and sleeving them with the card, putting stickers on, etc etc, but nerfing dials is much more difficult and would, I would guess, require them to offer replacements I suspect.  SO I doubt that the dial will change, much as it would probably have needed to.

There are so many more dials that need to be replaced over this one.

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