Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
BigKahuna

Writing an article: Some questions for the community

Recommended Posts

I'm working on a blog article and I had a couple of sort of general questions for the community, if some would be so kind as indulge me.

Question 1
For me personally one comment I always have about CCG's in general is that unlike most games which are balanced mechanically with all components in mind (because you get all of them in a box) collectable games, in particularly random booster collectables where you can't control your content means that when you play (your collection/builds vs. someone else) there is a natural and inherent potential for imbalance.  Another words... your collection defines what is possible in your decks and the same for your opponent, hence there could and probably will be a considerable difference between the two that can lead to balance issues in your matches.  

As a reviewer I find it difficult to talk about game balance when it comes to games like Destiny because for one, I don't have the entire collection and probably never will and two, even if I did, my opponents might not which begs the question, are our matches balanced and is the game balanced if we don't have equal opportunity to build decks.  I'm curious what the communities take on that topic is.

Question 2
Destiny in particular is unique as a collectable because in addition to cards your collecting dice to an extent, so while you might get a hero for example like IG-88 which is a legendary, if you want to run the two dice version of that hero you would need to get lucky a second time or potentially buy it from a 3rd party source.  I'm a bit split on the concept of judging a games quality based on the business model of the game.  Another words, this is a collectable game, we know that going into it that like any collection it will most likely always be incomplete to a point.  Should the fact that you are buying a game that you know will always be incomplete unless you make a fairly heavy investment affect the score of a games review?  I'm in particular curious if you guys think that reviews should give negative score to things that are advertised as being part of the game.  For example say Twilight Imperium is a 6 hour game... it says that on the box.. as a reviewer do you think saying "the game is too long" is an appropriate negative to a games score, given that the game intends to be that long (just as alternative example to Destiny).

thanks in advance for any replies!

 

Edited by BigKahuna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll take a stab:

Q1 (and somewhat Q2 as well):  Destiny is a game that is shaped by the Legendary/super rare cards, but not controlled by it.  There's a prevalence currently of budget decks that don't include a lot of expensive, hard to get cards, and at least as far as the current release, player skill is far more telling than the cards you have in your deck.  So while on a smaller scale, card access is a thing to be concerned with, it doesn't take much before that drops away and you're left with player skill being the controlling factor.  Granted, player skill includes building a deck, so it's not totally out of the conversation.

The flip side of that is: Of course in a game like this, you're always going to have lopsided matches, whether due to inexperience, or limited card access.  On a very basic level, a player with only 1 die character choices will tend to struggle against a player able to build 2 dice character decks.  But with the supply issues a thing of the past, and a healthy and affordable secondary market built up, buying the second copy of a character you want isn't cost prohibitive like it was in the early stages of the game.  So I think, yes, in terms of an individual match, you can get imbalanced games, but overall, that's not all that different from any game where one player is more experienced than another.  That tends to even out over time as play time increases.

Q2:  I think in terms of negative remarks in a review, so long as you state the reason for the downgraded score it's fine.  If you have a review that would rate a game an 8, but mark it down to a 7 because of some aspect (long play time, collectible format, hokey art, etc.) then your audience gets a better understanding of the game as a whole.  In the case of SWD, if the collectible aspect brings your review score down, it is far more informative than just rating it a 7 with no explanation.

But I think that goes for any review.  Just giving a game a number really doesn't help much:  Explaining why you rated a game at a certain level is very helpful, and the more reviews you do, the better your audience will be able to pull useful information from your works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The game is only as balanced as the quality of the decisions each player makes.  Much like other games. There is just more opportunity to get decisions right or wrong when they can involve building the collection and the deck as well as the decisions made during the game play.

 

Last point, please no more "another words", it's "in other words" as in you've said something in one way and now will say the same thing in an other way.  Yes I know I'm pretty much the last person that should be being a grammar nazi but if this research is to write articles tidy use of language will help get your message across without pulling people's attention out of the content and onto the language.

Edited by joshstix

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Q1: While could be a problem, it is also somewhat false from a competitive level. A lot of us(competitive players anyways) will play on Table Top Simulator with a Mod that lets us play with virtual cards, and in that scenario we actually have access to every card and so does our opponents. So in that regard there is no disparity, this gives us ample chance to test and evaluate cards before we commit to trading/purchasing them in real life, which immensely helps make the game more affordable. And Destiny decks are comparatively cheaper imo than other CCG game decks(like say Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh or Pokémon). I don't know how much you've looked into the competitive results of tournaments and such, but the game's field is pretty diverse at the moment. While there is an argument to be made that certain cards disrupt game balance by making the game non-interactive(Looking at you Running Interference <_<) I think that largely the competitive scene is accessible enough that access alone isn't an issue by CCG standards.

Q2: I think that's fair, but from my point of view it's again a non-issue. Destiny's ratios and return value for boxes/sealed product is well above other games imo. with a box guaranteeing you 6 Legends on average, at least 1/2 of each color. Also all the starters are pretty good and come with relevant stuff. If this is your first card game it might seem harsh, but this is pretty nice as far as CCGs go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/29/2018 at 4:51 AM, BigKahuna said:

I'm working on a blog article and I had a couple of sort of general questions for the community, if some would be so kind as indulge me.

Question 1
For me personally one comment I always have about CCG's in general is that unlike most games which are balanced mechanically with all components in mind (because you get all of them in a box) collectable games, in particularly random booster collectables where you can't control your content means that when you play (your collection/builds vs. someone else) there is a natural and inherent potential for imbalance. 

 

 

you can buy singles online via third party markets. don't waste your time with boosters outside of draft/sealed games and as tournament prizes, unless you're into what's basically gambling. The statement about box components applies to games such as Warhammer or X-wing miniatures etc. which sells starter sets of figures that do not amount to a full army in "normal" game sizes. You have to buy stand-alone expansions to augment your collection

generally, you worry less about building all the decks/armies and focus on the one you want to play. Balance will have to be inferred by which decks most commonly see play, generally the wider variety of commonly used decks indicates a better balanced game.

and as Atomisk points out, TTS is a thing

On 3/29/2018 at 4:51 AM, BigKahuna said:

 

Destiny in particular is unique as a collectable because in addition to cards your collecting dice to an extent, so while you might get a hero for example like IG-88 which is a legendary, if you want to run the two dice version of that hero you would need to get lucky a second time or potentially buy it from a 3rd party source.  I'm a bit split on the concept of judging a games quality based on the business model of the game.  Another words, this is a collectable game, we know that going into it that like any collection it will most likely always be incomplete to a point.  Should the fact that you are buying a game that you know will always be incomplete unless you make a fairly heavy investment affect the score of a games review?  I'm in particular curious if you guys think that reviews should give negative score to things that are advertised as being part of the game.  For example say Twilight Imperium is a 6 hour game... it says that on the box.. as a reviewer do you think saying "the game is too long" is an appropriate negative to a games score, given that the game intends to be that long (just as alternative example to Destiny).

 

 

 

buying from a third party source is like buying components for any non-CCG, such as most miniatures games, only caveat being that prices can get stupid depending on which cards you want

really, the only point of criticism here would be the stupid prices of some cards forming a rather hard barrier to entry

as a counterpoint, though, I've never found the need to invest two-hundred-goddamn-dollars in two ancients and two forcespeeds. They're unquestionably great cards, but I have never felt that their inclusion makes or breaks a deck/game and I've found myself getting by on cheap substitutes or cutting them entirely for more dice mitigation

what really helps is the fact that dice-removal events are pretty cheap, topping out at $5ish I believe for stuff like vandalize, and can be incredibly powerful.

so what you want to do, instead of evaluating the RNG of the model that becomes invalid once you start buying singles, is to look at the most expensive cards in the game and make sure they aren't utterly dominating. That would make the game a "pay-to-win" scenario and less of an actual game.

From personal experience, expensive cards can be really good but not game breaking, or they can just be rare but not terribly great. ****, Luke Skywalker - Jedi Knight used to be some $30+ dollars and has always been regarded as being competitively weak.

 

Imo, the big three expensive, problem cards to keep an eye on are 1.) Ancient Lightsaber 2.) Force Speed 3.) Yoda 4.) Maul's Saber

 

 

Edited by ficklegreendice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I own 98 to 99% of all the cards.  I'm far from the best and always bring something different from week to week. People who cannot afford such things tend to buy singles to round out 2 to 3 builds. We are at ffg's win and they have made it to get elite versions will make them a pretty penny. It's  a great game that's  just getting started. The next set will be the first without influence from Lukas. We'll  see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I dislike reviews that complain about the model of the game, i.e. being a CCG. Acknowledgement is fine - state the fact, explain what that means, then move on. Marking it down or complaining about it is stupid because it misses the point of a meaningful review. If, for example, you hate the CCG model and I'm fine with it, why would I want to waste my time reading your review that is clearly not going to give me the information I want? 

Now, it's different if you want to specifically target your article to a particular group - e.g. if you want to target it towards casual players who won't go all in on a CCG, then absolutely have a look at the collectible nature of the game and how it works with a smaller investment. But make it obvious from the start who you are aiming for.

As for the questions, to me: It's a CCG. Anyone who's ever played a CCG knows what that entails. The game is no more imbalanced than any other with that model, it's just something that you have to accept or not play a CCG.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CCG and balance aren't really connected. Some cards are inherently better than others and will see more play. Some cards are so powerful they need to just be banned. Balance implies there are two or more sides that compete against each other. You build your deck as you want. It is possible to play a mirror match. Balance isn't a factor in that case. What you might mean is the power curve the cards fall on and is that well distributed or maybe you are trying to talk about the pay to win aspect of a CCG?

Which leads to your second point, the money behind the game. Keep in mind CCG is collectable and part of the game itself is collecting not just playing. Buying a box game or even an LCG does not have a collectable aspect to it. Collecting is its own meta game and completely different that self contained games. Not really something to compare, unless you like comparing apples to steak. Some people like apples, others want meat, some like both. Now you can compare Destiny to other CCGs. after all apples and oranges are fruit and are used much the same way. A game like magic needs 60 cards per deck and 4 copies of each card and often the best cards are the rarest. Destiny is still pay to win but not nearly as bad.

Another Words :P your questions are rather silly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A CCG is at its essence a CCG. By itself it is neither a good thing or a bad thing, complaining about it would be like saying I hate worker placement games and therefore all worker placement games are terrible.

If you are going to review games your journalistic integrity depends on being able to separate the aspects of game quality and the aspects of something that is just inherent to the game. There is a range of aspects that will make a worker placement game as being good to play or terrible to play, you need to figure those out and then score your games based on those criteria.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...