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[Blog] A Fork In The Road

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Posted (edited)

The really sad part is the same argument is becoming very true over red dice.

 

Are the gila monster and gunboat going to become the norm throwing out 5+possible aoe (harpoons/plasma) or 6 dice (clusters) in an attack? There is the argument that they can only do it on alternate rounds, but that doesn't account for EM/multiple ordnance and the fact it appears looking at the pilot values we have "triple jumps lite" by stepping down to generics incoming and it will be here to stay, for 2 separate factions.......

Edited by Ralgon

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Posted (edited)

It would certainly help if FFG would put their big boy pants on, and just fix the obvious problems in the game. Instead we get this tweaking around the edges via minor changes and targeted upgrade cards (autothrusters), which cause more problems than they solve.

I don't understand why they're so adverse to just changing card values/ rules to rebalance the game. The Errata/FAQ already makes huge changes to the game anyway, so why impose such arbitary limits? Stupid stuff like this is why I moved away from GW games, and now FFG is making the same mistakes. It'd be funny if it wasn't so frustrating. 

I share your frustration with the current state of the game.

Edited by CRCL

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2 hours ago, CRCL said:

It would certainly help if FFG would put their big boy pants on, and just fix the obvious problems in the game. Instead we get this tweaking around the edges via minor changes and targeted upgrade cards (autothrusters), which cause more problems than they solve.

I don't understand why they're so adverse to just changing card values/ rules to rebalance the game. The Errata/FAQ already makes huge changes to the game anyway, so why impose such arbitary limits? Stupid stuff like this is why I moved away from GW games, and now FFG is making the same mistakes. It'd be funny if it wasn't so frustrating. 

I share your frustration with the current state of the game.

Hilariously, GW now does do FAQs that can change point values or add / remove traits. So.. apparently they've learned and FFG has not.

No. I think it's time the FFG puts on its trousers, and just does a 2.0 of the game. Revamping it from the ground up. It needs it, badly.
 

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, Ralgon said:

The really sad part is the same argument is becoming very true over red dice.

 

Are the gila monster and gunboat going to become the norm throwing out 5+possible aoe (harpoons/plasma) or 6 dice (clusters) in an attack? There is the argument that they can only do it on alternate rounds, but that doesn't account for EM/multiple ordnance and the fact it appears looking at the pilot values we have "triple jumps lite" by stepping down to generics incoming and it will be here to stay, for 2 separate factions.......

Actually there's been a TON of pullback on red dice since Wave 11.  Fenn & Torpedoes have largely been replaced by TLTs, Autoblasters and Bombs.

The average red dice per ship in the Gencon Top-16 is only 3.1.  The trends of Wave 11 are reducing offensive firepower & abilities, consolidating instead around defensive abilities and slow but reliable damage sources.

Edited by Stay On The Leader
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9 minutes ago, Stay On The Leader said:

Actually there's been a TON of pullback on red dice since Wave 11.  Fenn & Torpedoes have largely been replaced by TLTs, Autoblasters and Bombs.

The average red dice per ship in the Gencon Top-16 is only 3.1.  The trends of Wave 11 are reducing offensive firepower & abilities, consolidating instead around defensive abilities and slow but reliable damage sources.

that's good information to have. now let's see the average ship hull and shield for the same population. 

i am willing to bet that that number is closer to 6 - and oddly enough, it's because of the threat of red dice - and bombs. i can't quite put it into words, but while red dice may have "pulled back" damage output doesn't seem to have slowed. 

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Miniature game design is unfortunately a tricky business and it so for two key reasons.  First, from the release of the core set there is no plan for the end game.  The "expansion" concept is driven by the idea that whatever we release we will release more.  There is never any thought given to where we will end up, two or three years down the line, there is just the next wave.  This principle is driven by the second reason, selling the latest release.  As such, designers are pushed into a head space where they must ensure whatever the next wave is, it will sell, it will be comparatively better then the last.  This all results in a never ending rise in power levels, lovingly dubbed by gamers as "power creep".

Now of course a solution like FAQ is one way to go but really what it is is a bait and switch.  We give you a unit that does X, Y and has Z stats, then once you buy it, we nerf it for "balance" triggering its own negative press about whether the nerf was enough, too much, rendered the unit useless or created a whole new problem.

This is of course all driven by the fact that players are really ******* clever.  They know there game and they will always find "what is best, most powerful, most competitive" and re-create the meta in any environment.  In the end is balance achievable in a game that has dynamic properties and special powers? The answer is no.  How do I know, because no one has ever successfully maintained a miniatures or any collectible game for that matter that didn't ultimately suffer from creep.

Int he world of collectible card games this is why "blocks" where invented, where modern sets become the only sets allowed to use in competitive play, allowing the company to effectively disregard their past creations.  Miniature gaming however doesn't have that option even if it actually does to an extent do it via "competitive metas", aka, you can't "phase out" X-Wings, but you can render them useless to the point where no one will use them.  This however rubs the community the wrong way because a miniature is not a card, its a model, we love our models, we don't want our plastic to be rendered useless, as this game is part toy and part game, where cards are just cards.  It doesn't matter if the Goblin King is banned, its just one card, but ban an X-Wing and you break our Star Wars hearts.

As a community of course we blame FFG for "breaking our game", but the truth is that its not so much them as it is circumstance.  Sure they could do a better job of designing balance, but the concept of balance is actually a very debatable concept, its not like the community would ever unanimously agree on what is or isn't balanced.

So what's the solution.  The answer is that there isn't one, at least not one we could all agree on while simultaneously making a viable business model that ensures that you will always be motivated to buy the latest and greatest.  I know this both from observation and personal experience.  I mean I don't own a Tie-Punisher.  Why?  Because it sucks, or at least it did when I was actively playing (no idea this way).  But making a unit that is balanced or less-powerful then what I already have in my collection will prompt me to a decesion.  Do I really need it?  Will I use it.  If the answer is no, unless your a completitionist (I know you are out there, but it ain't me), I'm not buying and if I'm not buying, neither are X amount of people that think alike.  If however the Punisher is powerful and the new meta, I MUST have it. and certainly would have bought it.

Yeah I'm not as huge of a fan anymore, in 2015 & 2016 when I wrote up my top 10 games list, X-Wing was firmly in the number one spot, when I updated the list in 2017 it dropped to the number 8 spot.  As I prepare my list for the second part of this year I have to admit that its unlikely X-Wing will even make the cut.  My miniatures are collecting dust, I find the current meta boring as **** and more then 80% my collection has been rendered useless for competitive play.  Hence I recognize that while power creep is unavoidable to a point and balance impossible to achieve, at least for the time the game was at the top of my list and now its not on it at all.  Something definitely has gone terribly wrong and I'm a sad panda with shelf of soon to be X-Wing toys going on sale on Ebay.  

Is there any hope for recovery?  I mean is there something FFG can do at this point to get me back in the pilot seat?  That's a question I would love to get an answer to.

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Posted (edited)

14 minutes ago, Rinzler in a Tie said:

that's good information to have. now let's see the average ship hull and shield for the same population. 

i am willing to bet that that number is closer to 6 - and oddly enough, it's because of the threat of red dice - and bombs. i can't quite put it into words, but while red dice may have "pulled back" damage output doesn't seem to have slowed. 

Average combined Hull & Shield was 8.3.  I've not applied any additional value for Regen on Corran or Miranda, nor for C3PO or Lowhhrick's evade.  

At Worlds it was 7.2, because you had so many Protectorates.  There was 14 ships with 10+ health, compared to 6 at Worlds.

(for complete transparency: I didn't count the 4 hull of the Phantom shuttle as it's docked on the Ghost most of the time)

Edited by Stay On The Leader
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29 minutes ago, Stay On The Leader said:

Actually there's been a TON of pullback on red dice since Wave 11.  Fenn & Torpedoes have largely been replaced by TLTs, Autoblasters and Bombs.

The average red dice per ship in the Gencon Top-16 is only 3.1.  The trends of Wave 11 are reducing offensive firepower & abilities, consolidating instead around defensive abilities and slow but reliable damage sources.

but how are you counting bomblet generator in that equation? Given it's meta matchups right now there is the potential for it to be throwing anywhere between  2-8 reds......... and the turrets are a symptom of either the synergies or counters for that.....

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6 minutes ago, Ralgon said:

but how are you counting bomblet generator in that equation? Given it's meta matchups right now there is the potential for it to be throwing anywhere between  2-8 reds......... and the turrets are a symptom of either the synergies or counters for that.....

Not attempting to.  But I'd say that Bomblet Generator isn't really part of 'red dice creep' in the same way that we've discussed it in the past (torps, Fenn etc).

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Staying on the forest road... at what point does it stop being admirable loyalty and turns into downright madness? Failing to realize the game has changed... whatever you loved about it slowly disappearing. Its no longer the same person you  fell in love with... but yet it is... in a different way. Can you love them? Can you be blamed for not?

 

I will, till the last day. Star Wars has a special place in my heart. Even if its stupid. And sometimes it is. And aggravating, and wrong... but it is Star Wars.

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Noticed something, must be a mistake....

"Despair turns to anger, then anger turns to resignation."

->

"Despair turns to anger, anger leads to suffering, suffering leads to the dark side" ;-D 

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2 hours ago, KryatDragon said:

Hilariously, GW now does do FAQs that can change point values or add / remove traits. So.. apparently they've learned and FFG has not.

No. I think it's time the FFG puts on its trousers, and just does a 2.0 of the game. Revamping it from the ground up. It needs it, badly.
 

I couldn't agree more.

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Posted (edited)

Quote

“We have deemed all these words necessary in order to explain that we have been traveling more slowly than was predicted, concision is not a definitive virtue.   On occasion one loses out by talking too much, it is true, but how much has also been gained by saying more than was strictly necessary.” 
 José Saramago, The Stone Raft

Quote

“The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.” 
 George Burns

@FTS Gecko

Both are great quotes.

Edited by Stay On The Leader
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Is xwing different than it was when I started? Yes.

Will it continue to evolve it's entire lifetime? Almost certainly.

Can you have fun? Depends on your idea of fun. I can still have fun flying at local tournament events as long as I'm not doing only meta wing every week. I play a little of it all, and I have a great time doing it.

Will I keep buying xwing? As long as I'm having fun.

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14 minutes ago, FTS Gecko said:

I quite like this one as well:

So, to sum up your blog post:  Turrets suck.

No!  If anything that's the opposite of the blog's point.

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