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Shadowlands Speculation

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My expectations for Shadowlands at release will be similar to what they were when Old5R first came out.  They will be a hodgepodge collection of neutral charcters with big stats but also big drawbacks.  I would expect Shadowlands to have little to zero political influence within the empire so most of their personalities could have (-) as their political stat but they would likely have higher than normal military stats.  

Maybe we get an Oni no Akuma that looks like this:

0 fate

military

- political

0 glory

Shadowlands, Oni

When Oni no Akuma enters play break the province he entered play from and lose 3 honor. Lose 1 additional honor for each fate token on him when he enters play.

With both fate and honor to mess with, it leaves at lot of room within the design space for Shadowlands to be included and balanced.  

As far as what Shadowlands becomes, eventually I think it will become a clan/faction at some point.  I just hope it's not too early in the game.  I'd much rather see Shadowlands be a temptation for all the clans to drive the plot devices in the game when corrupt decks win.  Clans would start tossing accusations around, fueling the fires of the clan wars.  It needs to be a slow build where the new players get to see if they embrace the Shadowlands or not and you have clear lines drawn.

With the way deck building is working you could see it being portrayed that two clans are  potentially being corrupted or that one clan found out about another clans corruption while supporting them.......I really like the ways this can go if Shadowlands remains just a neutral temptation for awhile.  At least that's how I see it.

 

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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On 6/13/2017 at 1:37 PM, Kuni Katsuyoshi said:

The number of times the Crab have recieved aid has been fairly small, and only at times of great significance.  Given what the product page says this is probably one of those times.

Actually they constantly receive aid, just not nearly what they request or ask for. Clans send them small amounts of support Jade,Koku,Rice sometimes troops so they can point to it and say see we do our part. no it is usually no where what they ask for, or what they need but they do receive support at times other than, the onis are coming over the walls.

 

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I actually like shadowlands as really strong fate to stats cards but with built in penalties either honor lose(usual) or card lose,province break. they are a strong force, but you corrupt your clan to use them. of course this only works if FFG looks at how many shadowlands cards are in a winners deck maybe winner and second and incorporate it into the story. not really a fan of any shadowlands hordes SHs they all broke the basic game principals somehow. Maybe they come back later with actions that either bolster their honor, or reverse a printed lose. mechanic stays the same for honor dishonor, but they get actions that allow them to counter the secondary costs of their corrupted onis and such. 0 cost reaction that basically changes a lose 4 honor into a gain 4 honor. The have really strong personalities, now they have a choice play some of the cards that help them not lose by dishonor, or try and rush you with big onis and conflict actions

 

Just a rough idea though

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What about "whenever you would lose honor, your opponent gains that much instead; when you would gain honor, your opponent loses that much instead.  Your opponent can consider themselves either more or less honorable for the purpose of playing cards with restrictions." That last bit might be too much, but otherwise Scorpion could have an auto lose matchup.  Also, means the way you interact with the dial is to give your opponent double the difference as honor gain.

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On ‎6‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 8:23 PM, BD Flory said:

That wasn't really my point. It's that, in every draw step and every duel, a Shadowlands player would have no incentive to do anything except bid 5.

 

No, it has a major incentive, because if its drawing 5 every turn the opponent is also drawing 5 with no consequence. The whole drawback for Lion and Crane so far has been their need to sacrifice card draw for honor, remove the incentive for them to bid low and they would be FAR stronger then they are designed to be.

Letting Lion draw five every turn with you is an easy way to get dumped on. Same with crane.

Honor is tied to less cards, because the risk of your opponent taking that honor is too high. Remove that aspect and high honor clans are the same, just with far more cards in hand.

 

No, it would never be as simple as "Draw 5 for days".

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As for a shadowlands faction... I already assume I wont be touching a shadowland faction for at least 2 years.

If shadowlands does show up I want it to be as a Raid deck like the Siege Clan Wars or Dark Naga boxes, three players vs one, that way the shadowlands deck can be as powerful as possible.

 

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1 minute ago, AtoMaki said:

If the Phoenix Clan write-up is any measure, then we will be touching it within 2 months :D.

Yeah... I guess... but the phoenix do shadowlands so poorly. They just scream louder then normal and chuck a few more fireballs around.  At least Crab led Oni armies.

I would rather have Phoenix unleash the evil then BE the evil. Feels better that way. But we will have to see.

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4 minutes ago, TheItsyBitsySpider said:

Yeah... I guess... but the phoenix do shadowlands so poorly. They just scream louder then normal and chuck a few more fireballs around.  At least Crab led Oni armies.

I would rather have Phoenix unleash the evil then BE the evil. Feels better that way. But we will have to see.

Considering the phoenix track record of poor descision making, you'll probably get your wish.:P

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Hard to say, but shadowland characters most propably Are always dishonored and you can not change that... or They don't have personal honor.

But I Also think that first there will be separate characters and They get own faction only if the story demands it.

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On 2017-6-13 at 5:59 PM, blackheartz said:

 

It is never a good idea in  card games to have strategies/decks that basically play a different game than the rest of the field cause then you will need to print the relevant hate cards or bad things will happen. Take a look at Dredge and Storm in Magic.

You mean mechanics like Scorpion ninjutsu, Mantis naval battle stuff, Lion harpoonin', and Unicorn region hijinx? All of those had specific rules, sometimes creating their own special sub-phases, that applied exclusively to these deck types and arguably were a problem for the game. On the other hand, Shadowlands had cards from the beginning an stronghold since the third expansion, and it simply included an immunity to dishonor. They were never overpowered, except in matches against pure dishonor decks; which frankly I see moore as a design flaw on the dishonor implementation, than the concept of Shadowlands immunity itself. Other than that, it was a fun deck that was able to bring big scary monsters like Moto Tsume and Ogre Outlaw to the board,  that were too honor-expensive to bring for the other clans, but was effectively kept in check by its own crippling weakneses. Of course there have been a few moments in the story of the game (goblin decks!) when it has been overpowered (but much less than most other factions) , and not for a fundamental flaw in the concept,

I bet a competent designer (I don't claim to be one) could easily desing around that.  Frankly, it seems to me there are still too many people repeating as by rote the preachings of armchair designers long departed. I bet it is the same people that claiming that Toturi is badly designed because is a "copy" of Hotaru... when they were most likely designed at the same time!

Edited by Mon no Oni

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3 hours ago, Mon no Oni said:

You mean mechanics like Scorpion ninjutsu, Mantis naval battle stuff, Lion harpoonin', and Unicorn region hijinx? All of those had specific rules, sometimes creating their own special sub-phases, that applied exclusively to these deck types and arguably were a problem for the game. On the other hand, Shadowlands had cards from the beginning an stronghold since the third expansion, and it simply included an immunity to dishonor. They were never overpowered, except in matches against pure dishonor decks; which frankly I see moore as a design flaw on the dishonor implementation, than the concept of Shadowlands immunity itself. Other than that, it was a fun deck that was able to bring big scary monsters like Moto Tsume and Ogre Outlaw to the board,  that were too honor-expensive to bring for the other clans, but was effectively kept in check by its own crippling weakneses. Of course there have been a few moments in the story of the game (goblin decks!) when it has been overpowered (but much less than most other factions) , and not for a fundamental flaw in the concept,

I bet a competent designer (I don't claim to be one) could easily desing around that.  Frankly, it seems to me there are still too many people repeating as by rote the preachings of armchair designers long departed. I bet it is the same people that claiming that Toturi is badly designed because is a "copy" of Hotaru... when they were most likely designed at the same time!

I was very specific on what I meant that is why I gave Dredge as an example. I do not understand why you attack me with random accusations and actually put words in my mouth. The armchair designer comments should be pointed to all those random people who ask for mechanics like these.

Mechanics like Dredge cannot be balanced not matter what the designers(they themselves have called dredge and storm the two worst, in terms of balance, mechanics they ever printed )do except from banning the cards that enable it, which they did in modern mtg, and printing very powerful hate cards for people to have in their sideboards, which actually does not even work hench the bannings. Now in a game that has no sideboards, printing cards that ignore one of win/loss conditions in the game (honor loss), while at the same time abusing said mechanic to gain card advantage and on top of it having above average power cards is a bad design idea and that is not an armchair opinion. It is a fact. 

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I didn't meant to attack you particularly blackheartz (nor anybody else, actually), and I apologize if I sounded like I was; I was merely answering what is, to me, the unwarranted assumption that somehow Shadowlands wreaks havoc with the basic design of L5R and it's impossible to do right. For somebody who, like me, has been playing almost since the beginning this is a relatively new developement, and an excuse from armchain designers, for the reasons I gave, and it's annoying to see how relative newcomers to the game  take that oft repeated excuse as an article of faith, when it was never an issue for most of the life of the game.

Also, the very idea that concepts (faction concepts as related to gameplay in this instance) that are out of the box and are either able to ignore one aspect to the game, or bring a completely new one are bad for the game, any game, is simply inane. They can be done right, and they can be done wrong. I think it is more people being vested that for, let's say, philosophical reasons that you shouldn't be able to play the adversary ("we just need  good ole samurai drama, tea ceremonies, se`ppuku, oh the angst, yadda yadda yadda") and then trying to justify mechanicaly these philosophical misgivings, that any actual game mechanics reality.

Once that's out of the way, regarding the Shadowlands vs dishonor issue, I again make my point: It's more an issue of how the dishonor victory was designed that a fundamental flaw in the concept of the Shadowlands. Let's face it: for quite a long time AEG was making it up as they went (and they did incredibly well for a long stretch of time; but basically on the strength of the worldbuilding). A competent designer with the benefit of the hindsight should be able to work around that; even more easily if we consider that they have rebuilt the game from scratch, and probably they'll have given some thought at how to deal with the main villain of the IP and they won't need to improvise on the go.

I can imagine several options myself, but unlike others I'm perfectly aware I´'m NOT a designer, and I don't even know either the full card pool nor even the full ruleset, so I'm not going to even try.

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On 6/16/2017 at 7:59 PM, Mon no Oni said:

I can imagine several options myself, but unlike others I'm perfectly aware I´'m NOT a designer, and I don't even know either the full card pool nor even the full ruleset, so I'm not going to even try.

But might you humor us with one example?

Edited by Ide Yoshiya

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I dunno why this honor mechanics thingie should be such a big deal with the Shadowlands. Just rename it to Corruption for them, replace the Glory symbol with an oni's hand showing the devil's horns, and call it a day. I would fully trust the players to abstract for every related effect. 

Edited by AtoMaki

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I think of there were to be an actual stronghold, Something like may not lose to dishonor could be balanced by not being able to win with honor and not being able to participate in political conflicts...something along.those lines.  But still I would rather Shadowlands not be an official faction for quite some time.

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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True story, at the Atlanta Kotei one year I had a friend who hasn't played in a while and asked me for a deck to play. I built him Jagged Maw Military because DVD dishonor was the deck du jour at the time. His most notable games:

Final Swiss Round vs DVD - Auto win

Top 8 vs DVD - Auto win

Top 4 vs DVD - Auto win

He didn't actually have to really play a game at all from final Swiss to finals, where he lost to Mantis.

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I know most of the people are discussing what rules what have to change for shadowlands but I started on thinking what theme they would have.  What if Shadowlands creatures didn't lose fate but were all extremely expensive to the extent that you could only afford 1 maybe 2 guys a turn.  In my mind it leads to a game where the shadowlands isn't a threat early on, but if you don't deal with them early or win quickly they build and become and unstoppable threat.

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I don't want Shadowlands to **** too much with the game rules, because it's rarely a good idea, but here is one I COULD potentially like if it had good numbers slapped on it:

 

Shadowlands don't cost Fate to play (?!) and enter with a flat, card-text declared number of Fate tokens on them. So you can put a Pathetic Goblin into play paying 0 Fate for exactly one turn. However, these cards still would have a number in their cost slot on the card template. Give them a rule that makes them unable to be put into play normally, but:
When you play this card, you can't pay it's Fate cost. Instead, your opponent get's that many more Fate to spend this turn.

So when you play a Screaming Goblin-kun who costs 2 Fate and enters game with 2 Fate on it, you pay 0 Fate and your opponent gets +2 Fate this turn to spend.

Yup, if you ally with goddamn Shadowlands, be prepared for mortals to unlock their power of destiny. 

Edited by WHW

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I think people are overthinking things.

  • Shadowlands does not need to mess with and should not mess with the core mechanics of the game.
  • Shadowlands should not be immune to dishonor nor be prevented from winning by honor.
  • Shadowlands should not be focused on big Oni Mil smash, Goblin Mil swarm nor Zombie Mil horde.  Political characters such as Bog Hags, Pekkle no Oni and possibly Ryokaku no Oni should exist and have almost equal focus.
  • A special general effects should not exist, but negative Forced Reactions should make using Shadowlands cards costly. Things like "Forced Reaction: When this character comes into play, dishonor and discard a character you control." should be expected or desired.

 

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In general I agree with @Ultimatecalibur.  However, I honestly don't think it should even be a "faction" as much as a flavor of splash.  Neutral cards you can run (maybe cost influence).  If you choose to use Oni to win your military might as Crane, it should come at some cost to honor, if not losing a body or destroying a province.  However, it should also be a powerful card as well to justify the cost.  Or you could scope Maho as "As an additional cost of this spell: Dishonor a character, and Remove one fate from a character or discard the character if it has no fate remaining.  Action: Dishonor and discard a character with base cost 3 or less".  

However, I think in general, there will be no implementation of a Shadowlands faction that won't be either game changing, nonsensical, or just awful to play.

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