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Playing Favorites? Unlikely

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Although I personally do not believe this is the case, I've been hearing lots of of talk of Alex Davey playing favorites with scum based on his stated love of that crew of bounty hunters shown in ESB as a kid. I just wanted to feel out the community and see if we think this was intentional or not, based on my observation of several people who clearly think it is. 

Do I think the designers messed up pretty bad almost pushing the imperials off the table? YES. 

Was it done in a malicious way? Of course not.

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Eh, I understand that scum are a few ships behind and new core sets and the R1/last Jedi waves push them a little further back. That being said they do seem to get a hold of some of the Moreno powerful items.

but I feel this is because of how the theme and cards work as of the more recent sets.

rebels have been receiving bombing and synergistic ships.

scum have been getting gimmicky ships, ordnance and tricky ships.

imperials have been getting high point small health ships with decent maneuverability and board control.

 

as such since synergy is hard to judge in terms of individual power and board control isn't all that valuable these days it appears that scum are getting the best stuff.

 

i mean they are getting the best stuff (most of the time almost undeniably) but (giving the designers the maximum benefit of the doubt) it appears that the gimmicks thats scum have are being undercosted and judged incorrectly.

not saying it's not a problem, just putting some of my thought out there...

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Malicious? No. Intentional? Yes. 

No stat is more worthless than agility, but Imperials pay for it

No faction has fewer upgrade slots per ship

No faction is hurt more by turrets and bombs

this was all known back at triple Ks... and then we got Nym and the Resistance Bomber... They’re doubling down on a meta designed to make TIEs impotent.  I cannot imagine how that can’t be intentional 

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1 hour ago, Lobokai said:

Malicious? No. Intentional? Yes. 

No stat is more worthless than agility, but Imperials pay for it

No faction has fewer upgrade slots per ship

No faction is hurt more by turrets and bombs

this was all known back at triple Ks... and then we got Nym and the Resistance Bomber... They’re doubling down on a meta designed to make TIEs impotent.  I cannot imagine how that can’t be intentional 

It's stuff like Nym and JM5K that really makes me believe Davy is SUPER SUPER SUPER into Scum, and he's willing to DESTROY faction balance in order to show it. JM5K and Nym just have everything. No down sides. They're just 100% amazing with no weaknesses. They are simply BETTER than every other ship in the game, period. They have better dials, better stats, better upgrade bars (and Scum has more/better upgrades), better pilot abilities, better PS, EPTs- they just have it all. It just makes me mad! How is it not COMPLETELY OBVIOUS that these ships are better than all the others? I'll tell you how.

It's either incompetence or intentional. Davy is either bad at his job, or he's hosing balance on purpose. It's probably a bit of both.

11 hours ago, kris40k said:

Hanlon's Razor applies here.

EXACTLY.

 

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1 hour ago, Favoritism Flight Games said:

It's either incompetence or intentional. Davy is either bad at his job, or he's hosing balance on purpose. It's probably a bit of both.

Do we know it's Davy the designer behind the Scurrg? Whose name comes first  in the credits for that expansion? I think it's Max Brooke. But I might be mistaken.
In fact, I think many of the most recent ships list "Max Brooke, with Alex Davy and Frank Brooks" in the credits, while in the past it usually was more like "Alex Davy, Frank Brooks" or vice versa, without the "with" particle.

It feels like Davy and Brooks have moved onto something else, while Brooke has remained more or less as single full time developer.
I actually wonder if expansions' final forms nowadays are mostly determined by the playtesters, with the developer just throwing the initial proposal on the table.

That is the only way I can rationalize that so disparate ship power levels can come out from the same developer.
 

EDIT: I actually remember Jay Little, the original game designer, defending himself of accusations that the TIE Advanced was so poor compared with the X-wing in the same wave 1, and he blamed, mostly, the playtesting, saying that those were the numbers they had to work with and those were the only results they could defend with hard evidence.

Edited by Azrapse

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The scum faction is easily the most powerful, in terms of number of top-tier lists, pilots and upgrades. I believe it's a cinscious decision on the part of the developers though. We as Star Wars fans wuld get worked up if the Rebels/Empire were better than thei adversary, but having an anonymous scum faction be on top is a tactful way of introducing powerful ships to the game. Their mistake at the moment is in giving the Imperials nothing whatsoever to cope with Scum shenanigans, not the shenanigans themselves.

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2 hours ago, Favoritism Flight Games said:

It's stuff like Nym and JM5K that really makes me believe Davy is SUPER SUPER SUPER into Scum, and he's willing to DESTROY faction balance in order to show it. JM5K and Nym just have everything. No down sides. They're just 100% amazing with no weaknesses. They are simply BETTER than every other ship in the game, period.

I think claiming that Nym is 'simply BETTER than Miranda*, period' is ill informed at best, malicious at worst. 

You're so fixated on the idea of scum favouritism that you seem to be completely missing the fact Rebels have equally powerful tricks (as shown also by tournament results), some of which have survived largely untouched since the core set (Biggs and to a lesser extent R2-D2).

 

*Better than every other ship in the game means also better than Miranda since she's in the game too.

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4 hours ago, Lobokai said:

No stat is more worthless than agility, but Imperials pay for it

Oh how the tides have turned!

It‘s not long ago that the opposite was true.

Do you expect the Devs to constantly adjust all prices based on the style of play that‘s the most recent fad?

If not then that‘s just ignorance of the past

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4 minutes ago, GreenDragoon said:

Oh how the tides have turned!

It‘s not long ago that the opposite was true.

Do you expect the Devs to constantly adjust all prices based on the style of play that‘s the most recent fad?

If not then that‘s just ignorance of the past

I think you're confusing Agility with defensive over-modification. 

The TIE Advanced vs the X-Wing trades 1 red dice for 1 green dice and gets MUCH worse as a result.

Edited by Stay On The Leader

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Just now, Stay On The Leader said:

Mmm, no, it's always been true.  I think you're confusing Agility with defensive over-modification. 

The TIE Advanced vs the X-Wing trades 1 red dice for 1 green dice and gets MUCH worse as a result.

Unless he has double mods, then he‘s invulnerable.

Defensive overmodification goes hand in hand with high agility, one is no problem without the other. 

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You can lay it all out really simply: who are the guys designing X-Wing?  What smash hit games did they design before they came to FFG?  It's the biggest miniatures game in the world so you'd assume it's in really good hands, right?

But no, the background of these guys that I've been able to piece together (as I understand it, I can't profess to having written their autobiography) is typically that they were local journalists who happened to like games and weren't being made very much money, so when a games company offered to pay them only slightly more money to make games they jumped at the chance.  At least, I'm not aware of FFG poaching big name designers from existing systems... maybe I missed it?

So it's being designed by enthusiastic amateurs, which is a good fit for a company that puts IP-generating profit at the forefront of its business plan, rather than fantastic game design.  Then as well as being designed by enthusiastic amateurs it's also being playtested by enthusiastic amateurs, then corporate sticks their oar into the mix, then the product goes out the door.

Given those starting factors it would be an incredible fluke if the resulting game was actually well-designed and well-balanced.  It never really had a chance. 

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9 minutes ago, GreenDragoon said:

Unless he has double mods, then he‘s invulnerable.

Defensive overmodification goes hand in hand with high agility, one is no problem without the other. 

Well, first of all double mods definitely doesn't make you invulnerable.  When Soontir had Stealth Device and Focus/Evade and Palpatine and Autothrusters he was invulnerable.  Vader with Focus & Evade will bleed out a couple of points of damage.

Secondly it CAN go hand in hand with high agility, Imperials pay for high agility whether it does or not though.

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2 minutes ago, Deadfool said:

By what measure?

By according to some website sometime.: https://icv2.com/articles/markets/view/36971/top-5-non-collectible-miniature-games-fall-2016.  X-Wing topped the charts over Warhammer two years running.

TBH I think it's just the biggest in North America, I imagine Europe skews to Warhammer.

The point is: it's big.

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12 minutes ago, Stay On The Leader said:

Well, first of all double mods definitely doesn't make you invulnerable.  When Soontir had Stealth Device and Focus/Evade and Palpatine and Autothrusters he was invulnerable.  Vader with Focus & Evade will bleed out a couple of points of damage.

Secondly it CAN go hand in hand with high agility, Imperials pay for high agility whether it does or not though.

As invulnerable as Xwing is the biggest game - a little hyperbole is alright :P

Agility probably has to be priced that high as long as multiple mods are possible - especially with autothrusters and Palp available. they simply can‘t adjust costs every time, and once the meta shifts in favor of high agility/palpcarriers then the cost is appropriate.

In any case - calling it the worst stat should be intentional hyperbole, too. Otherwise it‘s ignorant of the past.

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15 hours ago, kris40k said:

Hanlon's Razor applies here.

Shots fired.. 

A skew exist, so what's not in question is that Scum has seen expansions and builds that are mathematically and "side-board" better than the other two factions (noting that the Scurrg was a real injection for Rebels, too).
I would argue,  though, for the developers to deliberately skew the game in the name of favoritism is a bit extreme. I think these guys, despite their flaws and colorful backgrounds, gave it a real college try (until wave 8). It's definitely been a rough road these last few months but i can't actually accuse them of saying, "Let's make Scum the best because we want to" - @kris40k, you pretty much nailed it. 

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It's important to remember that design work on expansions has been finished for a while before we see them. That means most expansions are a reaction to the metagame 2-3 waves before their announcement. The Jumpmaster, Lancer, and Protectorate are reactions to scum's poor initial showing in the wave 6-7 metagame. A lot of recent imperial ships were designed at the height of the Defender and Palp Aces. The Scurrg was designed when the Punisher utterly flopped and the K-wing was mostly a tot platform. Viewed from that mindset, a lot of recent expansions make much more sense.

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24 minutes ago, Squark said:

It's important to remember that design work on expansions has been finished for a while before we see them. That means most expansions are a reaction to the metagame 2-3 waves before their announcement. The Jumpmaster, Lancer, and Protectorate are reactions to scum's poor initial showing in the wave 6-7 metagame. A lot of recent imperial ships were designed at the height of the Defender and Palp Aces. The Scurrg was designed when the Punisher utterly flopped and the K-wing was mostly a tot platform. Viewed from that mindset, a lot of recent expansions make much more sense.

This. 

The problem is not that ffg is playing favorites, the problem is their response time is incredibly slow. If they had a way to develop content with a shorter time span (not more releases per year just more relevant releases based on where the meta is at) without introducing more OP stuff, that would be essential. As it stands, a lot of scary combinations do emerge so I am guessing we can't realistically give them less time in a product development test cycle. 

Moving back to the thread as a whole...

Agility is not the "worst" stat, it only is in the context of bombs because it doesn't provide any assistance. When I first joined the game, everyone on the internet was flying either high agility token stack Imperial or they were flying triple Jumpmaster. Eventually a bomber Hunter will emerge as a new hotness and when that happens, if it does not also kill high agility aces, those high agility aces will emerge again.

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51 minutes ago, ScummyRebel said:

This. 

The problem is not that ffg is playing favorites, the problem is their response time is incredibly slow. If they had a way to develop content with a shorter time span (not more releases per year just more relevant releases based on where the meta is at) without introducing more OP stuff, that would be essential. As it stands, a lot of scary combinations do emerge so I am guessing we can't realistically give them less time in a product development test cycle. 

Moving back to the thread as a whole...

Agility is not the "worst" stat, it only is in the context of bombs because it doesn't provide any assistance. When I first joined the game, everyone on the internet was flying either high agility token stack Imperial or they were flying triple Jumpmaster. Eventually a bomber Hunter will emerge as a new hotness and when that happens, if it does not also kill high agility aces, those high agility aces will emerge again.

This is how I feel about the issue as well. FFG's long reaction time coupled with a certain degree of over compensation is the root of the issues IMO. High agility aces were dominating so two years later we have a ton of anti-ace tech. Now bombs are dominating so I'm pretty sure in two years we'll have a ton of anti-bomb tech. 

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3 hours ago, Stay On The Leader said:

You can lay it all out really simply: who are the guys designing X-Wing?  What smash hit games did they design before they came to FFG?  It's the biggest miniatures game in the world so you'd assume it's in really good hands, right?

But no, the background of these guys that I've been able to piece together (as I understand it, I can't profess to having written their autobiography) is typically that they were local journalists who happened to like games and weren't being made very much money, so when a games company offered to pay them only slightly more money to make games they jumped at the chance.  At least, I'm not aware of FFG poaching big name designers from existing systems... maybe I missed it?

So it's being designed by enthusiastic amateurs, which is a good fit for a company that puts IP-generating profit at the forefront of its business plan, rather than fantastic game design.  Then as well as being designed by enthusiastic amateurs it's also being playtested by enthusiastic amateurs, then corporate sticks their oar into the mix, then the product goes out the door.

Given those starting factors it would be an incredible fluke if the resulting game was actually well-designed and well-balanced.  It never really had a chance. 

Miniatures designers tend to be really lazy and write loose rules that require heavy interpretation.  I'm glad they didnt bring someone who designed 40k because that whole design ethic is terrible.

In fact X-Wing is where it is because of how different it is from the trash that is normal minis games design-wise.

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