TylerTT

LCG format could use a change

98 posts in this topic

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Trading and drafting are much cheaper ways to onboard people than "buy the entire card pool

Trading and drafting are vastly inferior ways to onboard people. This is not an opinion, this is a mathematical and economic fact. They're only necessary, or at all beneficial, in an environment where variable rarity and blind distribution deprive customers of fair value for their purchases. That simply doesn't apply to LCGs

 

Collections built by trading and drafting are necessarily incomplete and unpredictable, and incidentally unfair to those new players you're so concerned with: veteran players will have great advantages in understanding card evaluation and valuation which they'll bring to the bargaining table. 

 

And it's all unnecessary because the cards are available at retail, and your model guarantees reduced retail sales! It's bad for the game, it's bad for players, it's bad for deckbuilding, it's bad for design.

Your idea is objectively terrible.

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Drafting in LCGs never caught on because everyone already has the cards. The draft packs were a failure outside of FFG HQ. 

With the model I propose players who don't want a full play set of everything can just play a few draft events. Or buy one pack and trade.

To buy a current pack and split it by faction requires players to know eachother in advance of the purchase, players can't just buy the pack and hope to find someone to pay them a few bucks for the cards they don't want from it. 

In this model a group of players can all buy one pack then they all still have cards the they want more of and they have and cards they don't need, that creates an enviroment where trading can happen.

The current model means a trickle of cards instead of big intresting product releases that bring new players in and less frequent players back into it. 

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Posted (edited)

New players love draft events

because everyone has to deal with the same limited card pool, there is no advantage to having large collections.

because you get to play a few games matched with other players, without that collection disadvantage.

because you take home actual product you can use to grow your collection.

how many people do you think play magic or Pokémon actually collect whole play sets.

There are a few who do it. Percentage wise that's a very very very small percent.

LCG's are currently targeting the smallest percent of the market.

the smallest number of players own everything because everything costs a whole lot more and owning everything means you only use a tiny percentage of it.

They would be gaining a much larger player base and guess what! They would still have people who want to own everything! They would still sell three packs to people who want three packs.

Edited by TylerTT

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10 minutes ago, TylerTT said:

Drafting in LCGs never caught on because everyone already has the cards. The draft packs were a failure outside of FFG HQ. 

Then I guess not enough people missed it. If you just like to draft, you can always build a cube. I fail to see the issue.

Drafting and trading aren't features of a collectible model, they're secondary market solutions to make the cost of collectible card games less prohibitive.

LCGs address that problem by cutting out rarity and draft chaff with non-random buys.

You're complaining because behaviors created as a response to artificial scarcity are no longer necessary. People who still want to trade or split packs or buy and sell singles can still do so. People who want to draft can still do so.

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10 minutes ago, TylerTT said:

LCG's are currently targeting the smallest percent of the market.

the smallest number of players want to own everything because everything costs a whole lot more and owning everything means you use a tiny percentage of it.

LCGs don't require you to own everything. Because it's non-random distribution, you can look to see which pack a card you want comes in, and buy that pack. You get as many copies as you will ever need, and you can do whatever you like with the other cards.

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Some People like drafting!

Some people like trading!

some people don't! That's cool too.

people are not going to draft or trade with the packs as they are! Because they have a long history of not doing that!

none of this should be all that difficult to understand!

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1 hour ago, TylerTT said:

none of this should be all that difficult to understand!

It's very easy to understand. You can both draft and trade with FFG's releases, to varying degrees depending on the specific release and style of drafting and trading.

If people don't draft and trade, the logical conclusion is not that FFG should alter their marketing model to promote drafting and trading.

It's that most people don't actually like drafting and trading enough to do it even though they could. There's no reason FFG should alter their distribution to make drafting and trading the most rational way to purchase cards, as their customer base seems to have indicated disinterest.

The failure of a secondary market or alternate modes of consumption is generally an indicator that the primary market is serving the needs of its customers.

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people love drafting.

people love it so much that they tried to make drafting work in both net runner and AGOT. people clearly want drafting even though they have all the cards already. but it did not work because the current product format did not mesh well with it, drafting is a thing people like and want to do regardless.

 

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So catch me up. 

How does this new model encourage drafting?

Are we talking releasing lack of 60 cards as 1-ofs?

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Posted (edited)

18 minutes ago, Radix2309 said:

How does this new model encourage drafting?

Are we talking releasing lack of 60 cards as 1-ofs?

Yeah. 

A new pack every 3 months. 1 copy each of 60 new cards.

Players can buy 0-3 packs

what this means is players now have the option to not own full playsets of every card. This option creates demand that encourages drafting and trading cards.

players that buy 0-2 packs can play in draft events to get more cards or trade with other players to get playsets of specific cards they want. 

A draft format would be something like this. 

Each player buys a pack. Shuffles it and splits it into four "boosters" 

players could agree to buy different packs to make the card pool larger.

the current product format has a history of discouraging draft play and trading. Meaning if you want to play a specific deck you will likely end up owning everything in the game.

Edited by TylerTT

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22 hours ago, BD Flory said:

LCGs don't require you to own everything. Because it's non-random distribution, you can look to see which pack a card you want comes in, and buy that pack. You get as many copies as you will ever need, and you can do whatever you like with the other cards.

The problem with this is that when you buy that pack, you pay $15 for those three cards.  "do whatever you like with the other cards" usually means "drop them in a corner to gather dust".

This does get to be a real problem as the game grows.  I've seen it as I've tried to introduce new players to LOTR.  A good friend of mine designed a deck that he wanted to play, and the price tag was something like $250 because of the spread of packs that it covered.  He decided to pass on the game.

20 hours ago, BD Flory said:

The failure of a secondary market or alternate modes of consumption is generally an indicator that the primary market is serving the needs of its customers.

Not necessarily.  It's just as likely a sign that there is no point or profit in the secondary market.  The LCG model puts an upper bound on the value of any specific card, so it's just not worth the hassle of trying to sell anything.

Arkham's encounter sets are a good example of this.  There are a good number of people who would like extra encounter sets to keep the scenarios prebuilt.  There should, theoretically, be an abundance of excess encounter sets out there as multiplayer groups need multiple player sets, but only one encounter set.  Yet there seems to be no market for it.  I found one retailer for these, and they're in Germany.  So there's supply, and there's demand, why is there no market for this?  Because the hassle of setting up and selling sets of 2 or 4 cards at a time just isn't worth what you could reasonably charge for them.

In effect, the LCG model kills the secondary market while also failing to provide for the needs of at least a part of the primary market.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a big fan of the CCG style either.  But the LCG model isn't perfect, and could be adapted to fix its problems, if they wanted to.  Which is the real problem here - FFG doesn't want to fix the problems.  Both the CCG and LCG model exist to do the same thing - make you buy stuff you don't want to get the stuff you do.  FFG isn't going to change that.

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17 hours ago, TylerTT said:

Yeah. 

A new pack every 3 months. 1 copy each of 60 new cards.

Players can buy 0-3 packs

what this means is players now have the option to not own full playsets of every card. This option creates demand that encourages drafting and trading cards.

players that buy 0-2 packs can play in draft events to get more cards or trade with other players to get playsets of specific cards they want. 

A draft format would be something like this. 

Each player buys a pack. Shuffles it and splits it into four "boosters" 

players could agree to buy different packs to make the card pool larger.

the current product format has a history of discouraging draft play and trading. Meaning if you want to play a specific deck you will likely end up owning everything in the game.

How is that any different from taking 3 of the packs we have now and making a draft pool?

This distribution model doesn't make drafting anymore desirable.

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not all players will own all the cards. some will only want to buy 0-2 copies of each pack.

by drafting they can collect play sets of specific cards.

its that material motivation that will help push drafting into a viable format.

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"That material motivation" is because your terrible card distribution has made it more difficult than it has to be when they could simply acquire cards at retail price. 

Your whole idea rests on two premises:

  1. Drafting is a fun way to play
  2. Drafting is a viable way to collect cards.
  • Therefore, LCGs would be better with drafting/trading.

The only problem is that in an LCG, Premise #2 is false. You haven't acknowledged this, and you haven't provided a viable reason why it should be true. All of your insistence rests on #1 and you assume that #2 just goes hand in hand.

The only reason trading and drafting is a viable way to collect cards is because CCGs are terrible, predatory business models that make people use sub-optimal workarounds to get the product they want, forcing them to make sacrifices and give up some cards and some lines of play because you simply can't have everything without spending vast sums of money. And, the only way your idea becomes viable is by also screwing up the product packaging, pricing, and timing, to make it bad, so that bad methods of collecting will be viable. 

I'm fine with drafting as a fun way to play, a card selection and deckbuilding challenge, but there are cubes for that. It is not worth making the rest of the game worse just to incorporate an unnecessary and undesirable collecting method.
 

 

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Most people who play expandable games don't own the full card set for a reason. They don't want to buy the full card set. and when a game pressures them to own everything OR ELSE a small percentage caves and buys everything but another percentage just gives up.

The product model I'm asking for is almost the core set model. so i'm going to try a new player draft event using core sets. the more vitriol i get the more motivated i am to do it.

the world is full of people who feel differently, people not on these forums because they already got tired of the LCG model as it is.

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Monthly packs and deluxe boxes are not marketed toward the same players as core sets. FFG has said previously that most of their core set sales are to people who never buy any expansions. That's why the core sets use a different model. Also, while it is in FFG's interest that you buy every pack, there's no "OR ELSE" attached.

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Posted (edited)

15 hours ago, TylerTT said:

Most people who play expandable games don't own the full card set for a reason. They don't want to buy the full card set. and when a game pressures them to own everything OR ELSE a small percentage caves and buys everything but another percentage just gives up.

The problem is your ideas don't do a single thing to address the metagame forces that create that solution.

People buy product because if they don't they get their clock cleaned by people who own cards they don't, or because other product contains answers to the strongest decks. Yes, it is somewhat tough to buy in after the card pool is mature.

What is not at all a solution is to make it harder to buy product, to make that product worth less, in order to satisfy a perverse desire for broken methods of card collection.

It's not lost that your revised card count in quarterly packs mimics the core set. Do you know what people do? They buy multiple copies of the core set. That's all that people will do with your 60x1 packs, but you've made it harder to swing by making the purchases $45 every 3 months rather than $15 every month. 

Trading and drafting won't be able to close the gap. You can do what you want with your core set purchases but I can think of a dozen reasons right now that it will be a bad idea long term and you and your friends will come to regret it--no few of them all the different reasons they'll have to patch holes in their collections in order to compete, costing them more money than if they'd simply bought product for themselves.

Thankfully your 60x1 idea is a pie-in-the-sky fantasy and anything resulting from it is completely imaginary.

I don't at all deny that people get priced out of LCGs, or are discouraged from buying in by the need to accumulate everything. 

Hell, I bought into AGOT 1st Ed when it had 7 pack cycles out, 6 Deluxes, and its core set. I could never afford to just buy everything. So all I did was buy the Core Set, but new releases, then make targeted purchases from the back catalog. Over the next three years I did come to own most of the old cards but never everything. 

They are taking steps to rectify this. In Netrunner, the first two cycles will be gone in less than four months, and I wouldn't necessarily recommend people invest heavily in cycle 3 and 4, since they'll go in about a year and a half. That's really only a Core Set, two and a half current cycles, and the deluxe series--really not bad compared to having an extra $360 worth of product to stress over.

FFG also just debuted an alternate "Cache Refresh" format: One Core Set, the Terminal Directive expansion, One Deluxe of your choice, and the two most recent pack cycles. That's an extremely modest card pool and it is quite friendly to new players just starting off.

Edited by Grimwalker
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On 6/13/2017 at 5:24 PM, TylerTT said:

not all players will own all the cards. some will only want to buy 0-2 copies of each pack.

by drafting they can collect play sets of specific cards.

its that material motivation that will help push drafting into a viable format.

Yes but for them to draft, you would need multiple players who don't have all the packs. Then they would also need to not want the same cards. You could do the same thing right now by buying a set of 3 packs, then drafting those cards away. 

People don't draft from preconstructed packs because they don't produce the same experience as random distribution.

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There is no way each player is not going to want three copies of, say, Gregor Clegane, The Hand's Judgment, or Nightmares. In Netrunner...Temujin Contract, IPO, Global Food Initiative, Jackson Howard.

It's a terrible idea.

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I hate drafting.

Drafting is a trick so that more experienced players can get less experienced players to supply them cards. Sorta. It doesn't let you "collect what you want." Talking about MtG here you have to be the one that opens the pack with the "good card" in order to pick it. You're not going to get passed a Liliana, Last Hope in a draft. Draft just gets me to buy three packs and gamble that I'll be able to pull something decent that might give me a shot to win. 

Draft is a crap format. All the bad things of the randomness of limited compounded with a competition for the least bad stuff in there along with no gurantee you're going to get one of the things you might be looking for in another deck. It was created to help stores churn retail product to feed the secondary market. 

Why the heck would I want to draft when $15 a month gets me all the new options just for not going out to lunch (and eating healthier as a result) a few extra times a month? 

 

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9 hours ago, Frimmel said:

I hate drafting.

Drafting is a trick so that more experienced players can get less experienced players to supply them cards. Sorta. It doesn't let you "collect what you want." Talking about MtG here you have to be the one thatDraft is a crap format....created to help stores churn retail product to feed the secondary market. 

Why the heck would I want to draft when $15 a month gets me all the new options just for not going out to lunch (and eating healthier as a result) a few extra times a month? 

This is really what it comes down to. This is a solution in search of a problem and in order to justify itself it makes the game collecting worse and deckbuilding harder in order to artificially create said problem.

I get that drafting has an element of fun to it. But there are workarounds for that which don't mess up the structure.

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31 minutes ago, Grimwalker said:

This is really what it comes down to. This is a solution in search of a problem and in order to justify itself it makes the game collecting worse and deckbuilding harder in order to artificially create said problem.

I get that drafting has an element of fun to it. But there are workarounds for that which don't mess up the structure.

Exactly. A LCG is a limited pool in a manner of speaking. All the decks are available entirely through purchase of retail product.

One of the problems MtG has at the moment is that packs are for two different games. One game is the limited environment and one is the constructed environment. You're now at a spot with MtG where the rare you pull isn't always worth the price of the pack. You can't play the lowest level tournaments with only sealed product unless you've bought a lot of sealed product or don't mind losing all of your games quite badly. 

And still compared to a modern or even standard format MtG deck from the ground up diving into the deep end with an established LCG is cheap with regards to modern and comparable in standard. 

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This is my two cents.. When L5R was a CCG they came out with direct to player sets The Shadow's Embrace, Forgotten Legacy, and Death at Koten. Each ran the player around $100-$150, BUT! This is my theory and this is where things get... costly, but, good.

I think instead of $15 per month over 6 months, I think what they should do instead is drop Three Boxes per year. Have 150 cards per box, much like Magic, and Old L5R, and you cycle them out at the same rate. So In two years those boxes will rotate out. I think the biggest complaint about the LCG format is the stagnation of the meta over years and years. Fast Advance is still THE deck in Netrunner. Runners change like my socks but still, Corp never changes no matter what fancy cards come out. So imagine "Netrunner: Genesis" and having ALL 160 cards in that set for $100 flat. Then 6 months later "Netrunner: Spin Cycle", and you drop the "Deluxe Box" idea as a whole because with 240 cards coming out every year and spacing them out accordingly you don't need to drop a deluxe box. Then next year you drop Netrunner: Lunar, and Netrunner: SanSan. Then the year after that, Netrunner: Mumbad, and Netrunner: Flashpoint, and then next year Genesis and Spin Cycle drop off immediately. Then as those sets rotate out. This allows less playtesting and less intensive playtesting as people have to keep upwards of 1,000 cards in mind. They can really go nutso with some of the card design. I would give it a shot.

If it doesn't work then simply black line those sets and start over. Big investment big rewards, and with the risk reaps the rewards. Dawn of War 3 tried something new, it was awful but they as a company and Dawn of War 3 as a game isn't dead. So I say it's worth a risk.

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The problem with that model is that if you sell 120x3 cards for $90 you will sell fewer units than if you chop it into six pieces for $15. Like I said early on in the thread, price points are a thing that exists, economically speaking.

 

it's why I called his proposal for $15 60x1 packs quarterly a terrible idea: you're basically asking for people to spend $45 every three months rather than $15 every month, because even that is going to make some people not participate. He has a fantasy where the stopgap measure of trading and drafting will make up the difference for people who only want to spend $15 or $30 when these packs drop, but it's a delusion.

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