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MajorJuggler

New article: "Cracking the Metagame"

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8 hours ago, ficklegreendice said:

Oppressive things wave 5 have largely all been turrets, Palp aces and x7s being largely the only exceptions 

Ffg is far too generous to turrets, not giving enough drawback to their infinite coverage and leading to monstrously efficient and far easier to play ships 

Every action independent modifier should be confined to firing arcs. As is, they don't matter enough 

Exactly this. 

 

Along with perhaps a 4 upgrade limit (titles that ONLY add slots or reduce costs don't count for this limit) 

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21 minutes ago, Vontoothskie said:

"oppressive" was the keyword I think you missed. palp aces is fun to play against and is easy to shut down if you can nail the lambda, even if its powerful. discounting turrets on  dengar list is absurd, and any jumpmaster list relies on the turrets if they're outmaneuvered.  the turret bs factor is that even if your opponent flies badly, they can still win simply because where they are doesnt matter as long as they dont bump.

fairship rebels, however, was strait awful

Lol. I think I agreed with your original point, but when Palp Aces was dominant it was one of the most anti-fun archetypes in the game. It was very much oppressive. Remember, it was B-Wings and X-Wings trying to take these buggers down. Oh ****, my B-Wing rolled three hits! That’s cool! Oh Soontir rolled five blanks! He gonna die—oh wait, no, Palp evade Autothrusters, zero damage. It was every bit as oppressive as Fairship. Both are based around not playing the game; they plink, and then run away and win on points. It’s mind boggling to me that we’re at that is a fun, wholesome list. 

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I'm watching Portland, Round 3 on YouTube and ... how is it that people still don't know to take the Palp Shuttle off the board first?  Seriously, why do people choose to swim upstream over razor-edged salmon ladders?

The game is still in question (from my perspective ... ), but the four Gunboat player could have simply dominated it.

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7 hours ago, thatdave said:

There were a lot of Wookies on the top tables of Hyperspace with Tom's standard 3 Wookie build, his round 4 opponent had a Wookie (Lowhhrick I believe), my round 4 opponent's 4 KDefenders w/ Commandos and I had a trio of Wookies w/ Tacticians and Courier Droids as well as Ezra Sheathipede w/ R3A2/Snap Shot/Hera crew. 

So that's 11 Auzituks out of 13 ships on the top 2 tables in the Hyperspace Qualifier.  

In one battle, Tom was playing Sozin and I was on the next table over, playing against 4 wookiees and I had a Lothal rebel with wookiees. Counting each wookiee commandos card as 2 wookiees, we had 19 wookiees between our 2 tables! :lol:

It was quite a furball!

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1 minute ago, Sekac said:

In one battle, Tom was playing Sozin and I was on the next table over, playing against 4 wookiees and I had a Lothal rebel with wookiees. Counting each wookiee commandos card as 2 wookiees, we had 19 wookiees between our 2 tables! :lol:

It was quite a furball!

 

I see what you did there. :ph34r:

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7 hours ago, Jeff Wilder said:

I'm watching Portland, Round 3 on YouTube and ... how is it that people still don't know to take the Palp Shuttle off the board first?  Seriously, why do people choose to swim upstream over razor-edged salmon ladders?

The game is still in question (from my perspective ... ), but the four Gunboat player could have simply dominated it.

Can you provide a link to the game mate?

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7 hours ago, Vontoothskie said:

"palp aces is fun to play against

While fun.is subjective, for me at least, playing against palp aces (especially before Dengar dropped) has been the most frustrating time in my X-wing 'career' (it was the only time I thought about quitting the game). Back then and considering the options Scum had the whole 'you're done moving? Here, let me boost and barrel roll with full board knowledge then let me do it again with my other ace' felt frustrating to no end.

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13 hours ago, LordBlades said:

While fun.is subjective, for me at least, playing against palp aces (especially before Dengar dropped) has been the most frustrating time in my X-wing 'career' (it was the only time I thought about quitting the game). Back then and considering the options Scum had the whole 'you're done moving? Here, let me boost and barrel roll with full board knowledge then let me do it again with my other ace' felt frustrating to no end.

Well the last series of Extra Credits videos left a sour taste in my mouth, there is one that doesn't exactly relate to X-wing but that is Bartel Taxonomy on MMO games. Basically Mr. Bartel made a MMO game (well more of a MUD) and it became popular. He wanted to make it better so he asked the players what they wanted and he found out asking the community as a whole was like asking a schizophrenia patient who are they talking too. There was so much contradicting statements the he figured out that different players wanted completely different things and they also interact and play upon each other, so they played the game differently and expected a different game as their ideal game.

I believe competitive X-wing greatly suffers form this. There are players that believe X-wing should be played a certain way (cough*Kessel*cough*Run*cough) and certain play styles should be rewarded (win more often). So I don't know if there are exactly 4 but I can possibly think of maybe 3 categories of what people believe the X-wing meta should be.

  1. First lets start with the group that seems to be the loudest (at least on forums and subreddit). Those that think X-wing should be Chess with Dice. These are the players that believe positioning should be the key to victory and no matter what you play if you play it better than your opponent then you should win. They are not completely against the idea of randomness, after all many of most maneuverable ships have only dice for defense, but they see it as something you should not depend on.
  2. Next lets go to sort of the other end, Mathwingers. Well they aren't exactly the opposite of the first group but this is the group that loves to build the perfect list. They calculate the jousting values, play the odds and solve each wave as soon as it comes out. They are not against the gameplay part of it, no one wants a game that is won and lost on the list building, but these players like to keep switching lists to see what is the next best thing. However as the demand grows for better and better the developers have a harder time putting in meaningful additions without just making things more powerful. Remember the lackluster wave 7 which was often jokingly referred to the TLT release (as nothing else from that wave ever mattered). Yeah that was a failure but the next wave and the demand for more became a disaster. 
  3. The last group as you have heard before is well it is called Star Wars: X-wing miniatures, so it should be the X-wing that is on top. Well maybe not exactly the X-wing but they want the iconic names and ships to be the top of the meta. They want the championship list to contain names like Wedge, Luke, Soontir Fel, Boba Fett. They like to see masses of nameless TIE Fighters swarm a fleeing Han. They are not exactly against the obscure ships of the Scum, but as long as they have the iconic Firespray leading the charge then they are okay with them. They want a game that feels like Star Wars, not just to them but to even a casual onlooker who may not even be a die hard Star Wars fan to take a look and recognize the game as a Star Wars Game.
  4. The 4th category used to be what we all know as the Assault Gunboat group but these are the people that want to explore Star Wars with New and interesting ships. They are always guessing on the next wave, asking for this ship to be placed in the game. Taking a look at the card art, movies, TV Shows and the other games and seeing what has not been put in X-wing yet. Some might say well Assault Gunboat is Star Wars it was in the X-Wing/TIE-Fighter PC game series so it wasn't that obscure. But to be honest in the public eye it was rather obscure. Not everyone knows it exists in the Star Wars universe as it is in a old PC game from the 90s (not everyone played PC games) and is in none of the movies. Sure now that the gunboat is out not all have simply moved on to looking for the next ship but many have started to see what else could be put into X-wing.

Well those are the 3 4 categories of player meta ideologies that I can come up with. There might be one or two more, but from the complaints on the forum this is what I can find.

Edited by Marinealver
added the 4th category

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29 minutes ago, LordBlades said:

While fun.is subjective, for me at least, playing against palp aces (especially before Dengar dropped) has been the most frustrating time in my X-wing 'career' (it was the only time I thought about quitting the game). Back then and considering the options Scum had the whole 'you're done moving? Here, let me boost and barrel roll with full board knowledge then let me do it again with my other ace' felt frustrating to no end.

Yeah much as I like palp aces, I don't think it was a fun time for everyone. 

Atm, I'd prefer them back, because we have SO many options to kill small ships and aces, bomb, auto damage, turrets, slpash, massive amounts of harpoons. 

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While i appreciate some of the nerfs, i dont agree on how it was done. Palpatine absolutely needed a nerf, but i would rather have the range restricted to 1-2 range band. It would require a lot more from the player to get the most out of the archetype.

The inconsistency of how similar mechanics work is what bothers me. Spending or not spending TL on ordnance is the most clear example. Range bonus against ordnance could also be a good fix.

Not to mention two different types of turrets...

My turret fix suggestions:

*All changed to the mobile arc.

*Reduced attack power out of arc.

*Crew required to reach full potential.

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29 minutes ago, Fippo said:

While i appreciate some of the nerfs, i dont agree on how it was done. Palpatine absolutely needed a nerf, but i would rather have the range restricted to 1-2 range band. It would require a lot more from the player to get the most out of the archetype.

The inconsistency of how similar mechanics work is what bothers me. Spending or not spending TL on ordnance is the most clear example. Range bonus against ordnance could also be a good fix.

Not to mention two different types of turrets...

My turret fix suggestions:

*All changed to the mobile arc.

*Reduced attack power out of arc.

*Crew required to reach full potential.

Some of these things are just not going to happen. Heck we still have yet to have a point adjustment in X-wing.  Your suggestions are akin to changing the dials.

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25 minutes ago, Captain Lackwit said:

I remember when actions meant something. All this free dice modification is what's really killing the game. It's killing it because it isn't optional, and it's free.

Night beast getting a focus action on greens instead of a focus token.  I remember that.

 I also remember Horton rerolling blanks at range 2-3.  

Oh and poor x7 defenders went from getting evade tokens to taking evade actions.  Hmm.

 

Free mods have always been here.  They seem to have multiplied to the point of entire lists getting them, but occasionally these are rolled back as well.  There’s an ebb and flow to it.  Right now we are getting flowed all over tho.

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Just now, GrimmyV said:

Night beast getting a focus action on greens instead of a focus token.  I remember that.

 I also remember Horton rerolling blanks at range 2-3.  

Oh and poor x7 defenders went from getting evade tokens to taking evade actions.  Hmm.

 

Free mods have always been here.  They seem to have multiplied to the point of entire lists getting them, but occasionally these are rolled back as well.  There’s an ebb and flow to it.  Right now we are getting flowed all over tho.

Fine, fine. You know what I mean though.

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1 hour ago, Fippo said:

While i appreciate some of the nerfs, i dont agree on how it was done. Palpatine absolutely needed a nerf, but i would rather have the range restricted to 1-2 range band. It would require a lot more from the player to get the most out of the archetype

I think that is a great point. A zone of influence (aka range) is a thematic way to limit abilities and it rewards good flying. 

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TLT is a huge aspect of the Ghost/Fenn list, mostly because the 6-point sink is doubled in value by the docked shuttle. I think that either the price or the effect is fine, bot not both. not anymore. Either:

ump the TLT up to 10 points or so. Punishing One gives a 3-die turret, and it's 12 points and is just worse on everythhing except Dengar.
OR:
Keep the price at 6, but reduce the range to 1-2 in accordance with the previous turret theme.

Either of these dramatically reduced fat turrets from the game. Miranda, Ny and Kanan were thngs not because they were amazing, but because they were nearly impossible to kill, fortressing to win the game. Boosting the cost of TLT or decreasing its board control can go a long way towards fixing it.

I'm of the opinion that FFG should release their own X-wing companion app with inbuilt squad builder, allowing them to adjust point costs and institute errata on the fly. It'd be quite a bit of work, but I think the long-term benefits are worth it.

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18 hours ago, AlexW said:

Only two lists made up solely of ships with less than 180 degrees of arc coverage.

 

but one of those lists has a ship with about 160 degrees of arc   /s

Edited by comawhite

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9 hours ago, Marinealver said:

Expecting FFG to understand the meta is like expecting Blizzard developers to be the best players at Starcraft. They know how to make and sell a game, they don't know how to play and win it.

 

There is a distinction between being a good player, and being a good designer. There is a correlation, but the skillsets are not the same. A player needs to be able to make good tactical decisions. A designer needs to be able to see the bigger picture all at once. It is much harder to be a good designer than it is to be a good player.

 

8 hours ago, Marinealver said:

Well the last series of Extra Credits videos left a sour taste in my mouth, there is one that doesn't exactly relate to X-wing but that is Bartel Taxonomy on MMO games. Basically Mr. Bartel made a MMO game (well more of a MUD) and it became popular. He wanted to make it better so he asked the players what they wanted and he found out asking the community as a whole was like asking a schizophrenia patient who are they talking too. There was so much contradicting statements the he figured out that different players wanted completely different things and they also interact and play upon each other, so they played the game differently and expected a different game as their ideal game.

 

This is why players and playtesters usually make poor designers, especially en masse in some sort of weird democratic process. You actually need someone with a specific vision to push the game in a particular direction. That said, if a bunch of people who play your game have a strong opinion on something, then they are almost certainly onto something... public feedback is VERY important. Ultimately as a designer you can never please everyone anyway, because everyone has a different opinion about "the way things should be done". With a strong IP like Star Wars, those opinions become very strong.

 

8 hours ago, Marinealver said:

I believe competitive X-wing greatly suffers form this. There are players that believe X-wing should be played a certain way (cough*Kessel*cough*Run*cough) and certain play styles should be rewarded (win more often). So I don't know if there are exactly 4 but I can possibly think of maybe 3 categories of what people believe the X-wing meta should be.

  1. First lets start with the group that seems to be the loudest (at least on forums and subreddit). Those that think X-wing should be Chess with Dice. These are the players that believe positioning should be the key to victory and no matter what you play if you play it better than your opponent then you should win. They are not completely against the idea of randomness, after all many of most maneuverable ships have only dice for defense, but they see it as something you should not depend on.
  2. Next lets go to sort of the other end, Mathwingers. Well they aren't exactly the opposite of the first group but this is the group that loves to build the perfect list. They calculate the jousting values, play the odds and solve each wave as soon as it comes out. They are not against the gameplay part of it, no one wants a game that is won and lost on the list building, but these players like to keep switching lists to see what is the next best thing. However as the demand grows for better and better the developers have a harder time putting in meaningful additions without just making things more powerful. Remember the lackluster wave 7 which was often jokingly referred to the TLT release (as nothing else from that wave ever mattered). Yeah that was a failure but the next wave and the demand for more became a disaster. 
  3. The last group as you have heard before is well it is called Star Wars: X-wing miniatures, so it should be the X-wing that is on top. Well maybe not exactly the X-wing but they want the iconic names and ships to be the top of the meta. They want the championship list to contain names like Wedge, Luke, Soontir Fel, Boba Fett. They like to see masses of nameless TIE Fighters swarm a fleeing Han. They are not exactly against the obscure ships of the Scum, but as long as they have the iconic Firespray leading the charge then they are okay with them. They want a game that feels like Star Wars, not just to them but to even a casual onlooker who may not even be a die hard Star Wars fan to take a look and recognize the game as a Star Wars Game.

Well those are the 3 categories of player meta ideologies that I can come up with. There might be one or two more, but from the complaints on the forum this is what I can find.

 

Of your three categories, none of them are actually mutually exclusive! As both a player and a designer I cleanly fit all three descriptions. :) 

Edited by MajorJuggler

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3 hours ago, MajorJuggler said:

 

There is a distinction between being a good player, and being a good designer. There is a correlation, but the skillsets are not the same. A player needs to be able to make good tactical decisions. A designer needs to be able to see the bigger picture all at once. It is much harder to be a good designer than it is to be a good player.

 

 

This is why players and playtesters usually make poor designers, especially en masse in some sort of weird democratic process. You actually need someone with a specific vision to push the game in a particular direction. That said, if a bunch of people who play your game have a strong opinion on something, then they are almost certainly onto something... public feedback is VERY important. Ultimately as a designer you can never please everyone anyway, because everyone has a different opinion about "the way things should be done". With a strong IP like Star Wars, those opinions become very strong.

 

 

Of your three categories, none of them are actually mutually exclusive! As both a player and a designer I cleanly fit all three descriptions. :) 

 

1 hour ago, Blail Blerg said:

Yeah. Actually, I'm all three of them all. 

And generally disgusted at the state of the game at its most powerful levels

Well of course. Many players exhibit some of the characteristics of all the categories, but with most myers-briggs type tests people check the blocks in all the major categories it is just that there is one category that get the most checked blocks.

I said it was likely I left out a category because it didn't came to me earlier but here it is.

  1. Game and Posistioning
  2. Math and List Building
  3. Iconic Star Wars Ships
  4. The 4th category used to be what we all know as the Assault Gunboat group but these are the people that want to explore Star Wars with New and interesting ships. They are always guessing on the next wave, asking for this ship to be placed in the game. Taking a look at the card art, movies, TV Shows and the other games and seeing what has not been put in X-wing yet. Some might say well Assault Gunboat is Star Wars it was in the X-Wing/TIE-Fighter PC game series so it wasn't that obscure. But to be honest in the public eye it was rather obscure. Not everyone knows it exists in the Star Wars universe as it is in a old PC game from the 90s (not everyone played PC games) and is in none of the movies. Sure now that the gunboat is out not all have simply moved on to looking for the next ship but many have started to see what else could be put into X-wing.

Now I don't think Bartells is a perfect representation of the meta but if I were to place it out. I would say.

  1. Chess w/ Dice = Killers
  2. Mathwing = Achivers
  3. Star Wars = Socalisers
  4. New Stuff = Explorers

Now again this isn't an exact fit as in Bartell's MMO you have the Killers > Achievers and in the X-wing meta it is sort of the other way around. and as has been stated they are not mutually exclusive but I think they do create a spectrum of sorts. As I said there are different and even conflicting viewpoints on how the meta should look, and this is about balancing the meta. Now we can all agree that even on a character scale (the Bartells Taxonomy) the metagame is no where near balance (might be too heavy on the Explorers).  But again we have to remember that our idea of what the game should look like is exactly that, our opinion. There will be some that agree and consent and many that don't and dissent. Yes if there is a general consensus that something is wrong then something is wrong, but that general consensus usually doesn't know the solution(s) to that problem.

Edited by Marinealver

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