SirCormac

PS Race - Is it time to nerf VI?

120 posts in this topic

I know this is a 'nerf' post, but it really is a simple question, but one that had been on my mind recently (and my hunch is that the developers are at least watching closely this issue). We've had PS races in X-Wing before, but I don't think we've ever had it quite this bad. And we've had times where certain cards dominated (such as PTL) only to see them fade in popularity, even when people were crying for them to be nerfed, but it turns out that the shifting meta solved the problem. So while this could happen with VI, I do believe that the VI problem we are currently undergoing is different than the PTL era that dominated a few years ago.

1. PTL is necessary to make some ships function: Soontir Fel, Carnor Jax, Jake Farrell, Norra Wexley, etc. pretty much all need PTL to actual function as ships. VI, on the other hand, is not necessary for some ships to function, but I will grant you that other ships do need it to function. Who are they you might ask? PS 7 ships really, really need VI to function, 90% of the time (Jake Farrell and Backdraft are two good examples of this). But for ships like QD and Vader, VI is really just a 'luxury' that they can benefit from because they don't need any particular EPT to function.

2. PTL has counters, VI doesn't: Stresshogs, Stressbugs, Rebel Captive, Tactician, Asajj, etc. are all ways you can make PTL users cringe. Sootnir Fel never likes to see a Stresshog on the other side of the table, and its no surprise a stresshog was in the winning list of worlds when PTL Fel's were everywhere. VI, on the other hand, doesn't really have a counter (except, maybe, Kylo crew). You pretty much gain the benefit and there is nothing your opponent can do about it except try to out-PS you, or at least tie.

3. This leads us to our third point: the current PS craze constrains list-building. Yes, PS 5 Lowrrick is fine, and PS 7 Dash is doing well, but many, many PS 7s aren't cutting it because they can't compete. Most PS 7's were designed to take VI and tie the PS 9s, but those PS 9s are PS 11 so the PS 7s are back to square one. Further, some PS 9s are really in the same boat, such as Fenn, Fel, and Kylo. To function properly, these aces need either PTL or Attanni, and VI doesn't really work on them (except maybe Kylo with FCS and TT). But if you take a Fenn or Fel to a tournament, however good you may fly, you will eventually come up against a PS 10 Nym, PS 11 Poe, PS 11 QD, or PS 11 Vader, and you are going to be out of luck.

So, these are some problems I see, but how did we get here? Hasn't VI been in the game since wave 2? Well, I think there are some reasons for that:

First, let's look at the main offenders: Nym, Poe, Vader, QD. Besides Vader (who was wave 1, but more on that in a bit), the 'oldest' ace here is Poe from wave 7. VI Poe did win a worlds, but he quickly faded from the meta as Defenders and Torp Scouts showed up, and hasn't really been useful until recently with Comm Relay and Intensity. But now with Adv. Optics, Poe can return to VI and get up to 11, so actually, he's the newest kid to join the party, really. Vader, while being wave 1, was in a crummy platform, and it really took a fix and awesome missiles to finally put him back on the table. QD and Nym have been good since they came out, basically (QD needed LWF, and Missiles really help him too, of course). So all of these factors have given us pilots that live at 10 and 11 when we never really saw that in the game before. We've seen races to get to 9, but I'm much more ok with that because that gives PS 8s and 7s a fighting chance to get up to the privileged 9.

So what's the solution? My suggestion is to cap the PS at 9, excluding rare edge cases (like Roark Garnet, for example). This could be done in the rules, and wouldn't need to change a card. How would this change the game?

1. PS 7s and 8s become much more appealing, especially ones designed with VI in mind

2. PS 9s that don't already have their EPT accounted for are more free to explore other options. Maybe Juke on Vader? Maybe Intensity? Maybe Trick shot on QD? Maybe Score to Settle? Regardless, as of now, these choices, however interesting they may be, are simply off the table because you really have to put VI on them to make them work. That's bad for the game.

3. PS 9s that do already have their EPT accounted for instantly become more viable. Fenn, Fel, Whisper, Kylo, all become not just more playable, but realistically competitive. This would allow, for example, the Imperials to have Missile carriers in QD and Vader as one arch-type, but could also go for a more arc-dodging arch-type in Fel, Jax, etc. It would open up more options.

In conclusion, I think VI was a card from another era of the game when most ships that could take it didn't particularly want it, so the designers created an amazing card that didn't really have anything amazing to take it yet (kind of like Deadeye), which now is rearing it's ugly head. An alternative to my plan would be to make VI only equipable if your PS is 7 or lower, but that would still allow Adaptability to be put on Vader and QD, which I think would be the auto-include and would limit listbuilding again. I love playing QD, and my main list has him in it, but I don't like the fact that I need to chase PS when there are other interesting EPTs out there that I can't really take. Anyways, just my two cents. What do you guys think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poe Dameron pays 2 points to go from the PS 8 version to the PS 9 version.
Veteran Instincts costs 1 point to increase PS by 2. Adaptability pays 0 to increase PS by 1.

The cost to increase the ship's PS should match the benefit ships get from it. A ship without any kind of repositioning and/or bad dial doesn't get much out of it, while an arc dodger gets a lot.

Paying just 1 point to increase PS by 2 for all ships at all starting PS feels wrong. It gives some ships the chance to reposition with perfect information, that goes against the "guess your opponent's dial" core mechanic of the game.

Perhaps it should be rotated out, or debuffed with something like this:

Veteran Instincts
Increase your pilot skill by two.
You must increase the squad point cost of this card by half your printed pilot skill (rounded down).

So PS 1 pays 1 point for VI.
PS 2 and 3 pay 2 points.
PS 4 and 5 pay 3 points.
PS 6 and 7 pay 4 points.
PS 8 and 9 pay 5 points.

At 5 points, no card is autoinclude.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They undercosted it assuming the loss of the ept would be a bigger drawback than it is, i think people overlook that.

So make it unique.  Make it a harder choice instead of an easier one. Make base PS and PS9  important again, instead of just spreading it over umpteen extra pilot abilities so they have infinitely more combinations of pilots that can break the game @ max PS.


 

Edited by Ralgon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking about starting a topic like this recently. I'm personally not a huge fan of the "cap it at 9" fix. I like the idea of going to 10 and 11. The scaling cost is a cool idea or generally a cost increase. Right now it's just too low a cost with too high a value to increase PS especially when it can be done for an entire squad. This PS race to the top for alpha strikes has gotten crazy. The efficiency of an alpha strike is so high right now and with VI being 1 pt that there's no difficult decision to either go higher in PS or have the efficient alpha strike, you can just have both.

Edited by RStan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Embir82 said:

No, it does not need to be fixed. It is perfectly fine as it is. If you want to win with lower PS get good or start fielding playable lists.

Possibly the least helpful post ever.  Translation: "Either be orders of magnitude better than your opponent or play one of a handful of overpowered, broken lists."

I think the issue here is probably Nym.  Bombers like Nym should not be able to move after Soontir.  Especially a bomber with advanced sensors.  Giving the Scrugg pilots EPT's was the biggest screw-up since the Jumpmaster.

If you do want to limit PS, I like the idea of limiting VI to a Max of PS9.  Leave adaptability alone so that Vader or Wedge can reach PS10 if they want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, gamblertuba said:

Possibly the least helpful post ever.  Translation: "Either be orders of magnitude better than your opponent or play one of a handful of overpowered, broken lists."

 Here is example of PS "problem"

Store Next Turn

In the final played lists where highest PS was 3.

And to winning with lower PS you dont have to be orders of magnitute better then your enemy - it is sufficient to read your opponent well, knowing how to block with lower PS ships and be willing to learn properly play the game, instead of crying on the forum. Also, having solid list helps a lot.
 

DarkArk, Stoneface, Kilrex and 2 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Embir82 said:

 Here is example of PS "problem"

Store Next Turn

In the final played lists where highest PS was 3.

And to winning with lower PS you dont have to be orders of magnitute better then your enemy - it is sufficient to read your opponent well, knowing how to block with lower PS ships and be willing to learn properly play the game, instead of crying on the forum. Also, having solid list helps a lot.
 

This is a terrible example given that there is exactly one well optimised ps10+ list in the lists that have been recorded. A tourney where only one ship used vi in a problematic way will of course not show it to be problematic...

JJ48 and Hannes Solo like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

This is a terrible example given that there is exactly one well optimised ps10+ list in the lists that have been recorded. A tourney where only one ship used vi in a problematic way will of course not show it to be problematic...

i know it's not the best resource out there, but the last 2 months of meta wing agree with him though....... it's updating again now and may change, but there was only 1 PS race list in the top 5.

 

Edit: updated now, narrowed my search till lists after the great faqening took effect (6/11).  3 ps lists in the top 10, all in the bottom half of it. Sheatheapedes and gunboats are likely to sink them further if they have takeup.

 

Edited by Ralgon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

This is a terrible example given that there is exactly one well optimised ps10+ list in the lists that have been recorded. A tourney where only one ship used vi in a problematic way will of course not show it to be problematic...

No, this is perfect example.
It shows in tournament meta good players pick low PS ships because those are good choices when it comes to competitive play.
Also you have to be pretty bad player or being ignorant on purpose if you think four Wookie Defenders or three Scurrghs wouldn't be competitive in high PS meta.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can’t cap ps at 9 without changing how initiative bids work, unless you want to see a different race to the bottom....

Maybe limiting the copies of VI in a list or maybe generic only could resolve some of the issues. I would still leave adaptability for uniques because otherwise Nym is deader than dead, and RAC is worse off than he already is.

wurms, Stoneface and Sekac like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Veteran Instincts should be 'During the combat phase, increase your pilot skill value by 2'

As I mention in every monthly iteration of this thread, Whisper isn't hurt that badly, as ACD can still trigger early. The card is still usable in each set it comes in, and still useful for its point cost (especially in alpha-strike lists), but no longer mandatory on certain builds, which eases the pressure on the PS race, allowing Vader and co to take real epts. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh god.. this AGAIN?!  can't we just link this to one of the other dozens of threads about the exact same thing?

We've see all the arguments "Cap at 9" etc.. But it was designed this way from the beginning.  Use your EPT to try to bid for top PS, or use it for a more useful skill.  Sorry you can't use a 9 PS with an EPT and still guarantee you have the highest PS.  That is why it is designed like this.  Capping PS just mean the "war" changes to the initiative bid.  

Embir82, DarkArk, SabineKey and 4 others like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, ScummyRebel said:

Can’t cap ps at 9 without changing how initiative bids work, unless you want to see a different race to the bottom....

Maybe limiting the copies of VI in a list or maybe generic only could resolve some of the issues. I would still leave adaptability for uniques because otherwise Nym is deader than dead, and RAC is worse off than he already is.

Actually I do not care about bidding wars. Hardcapping PS at 9 would open up squad building space a lot. The problem I have with the ps war is that it thins out the pool of possibilities. Of course we would have a bidding war if PS9 is max, but that would controll itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not this again...

Sigh, let's get over this again - you want to essentially rewrite the rules of the game by making sure there's a hard cap on PS9. Ideas like this keep showing up every 3-4 months or so since I remember and they obviously get ignored. Why? Because any developer will ask himself the following questions before doing any changes to a card:

  1. Does the offending card make certain ships dominant in a way that makes their cost efficiency way above that of their potential competition?
  2. Could reducing the strength of that card make certain ships too powerful by making them hard or impossible to counter?
  3. Could reducing the strength of that card produce unwanted side effects that would negatively impact the game?

Unless the answers are Yes, No and No, devs won't start messing up what's printed on the cards just because someone on the forums asks for it.

In this particular case:

  1. No - ships with PS10 and PS11 have their own place in the meta. They always have and they never dominated it because of their PS. Yes, we did have PS10 Poe win Worlds at some point, but he was teamed with 3 PS2s. We also had Dengar win World's twice - and he was PS9 both times. Even looking at regional results there's no flood of ships over PS9 winning left and right. PS11 imperial alpha is an estabilished archetype but hardly a dominant one.
  2. Yes - ships such as Whisper, Soontir and Kylo Ren are all countered by PS10 and above. They were balanced with that counter in mind. In fact, back before the nerf PS11 Han was the only reason why Whisper didn't utterly dominate the meta.  Counters such as this make certain ships challenging to fly in certain matchups but that's a part of the game not a problem to be removed.
  3. Yes - unfortunately X-wing is a game where initiative is binary - either all your ships at certain PS move before the opponent or after him - there's nothing in between. In absence of possibility of meeting PS10 counters, players who rely on PS9 aces will be encouraged to fly with massive bids - something like 47 points Kylo with 42 points Whisper flying with 11 point bid. And if that becomes popular you can bet someone will try to save a point somewhere to fly with a 12 point bid instead. Does that sound like an improvement to you?

In the end of the day being able to fly after your opponent is important to some ships, yes. If they can't do it, they have it uphill and have to fly differently that usual. It doesn't mean the game is broken and requires fixing.

 

Edited by Lightrock

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Herr Style said:

How about VI only available if you dont equip any bombs, or secondary weapons? 

Who would actually want it then? Even among the generics most are there for missile spam. Seems like ripping up the card over a handful of problem children.

 

7 minutes ago, Hannes Solo said:

Actually I do not care about bidding wars. Hardcapping PS at 9 would open up squad building space a lot. The problem I have with the ps war is that it thins out the pool of possibilities. Of course we would have a bidding war if PS9 is max, but that would controll itself.

Maybe, maybe not. I suppose it will depend on how efficient the new ps9s and their friends become. I don’t want to get back to the whisper plus echo list era.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now