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1977Valarian

Destiny will never die. Instead, it is just another game FF produces each year to get their core to increase annual spending.

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It will NEVER die. Destiny will never die. Instead, it is just another game FF produces each year to get their core to increase annual spending. It was possibly reigned in on purpose to avoid cannibalizing their other SW products too much. While I may use some harsh criticism, I hope you’ll find that the overall evaluation is not...nor is that the intended point. The intention is to both stop the “Destiny is Dead/Dying” talk and give context to where it is and where it will go due to some various issues that cannot be controlled, and maybe for reasons FF doesn’t want solved. 

I remember the people selling their Armada, X-wing collections, etc. before SOTR and at the same time of the the second not so limited dumping of Awakenings on the market to get in on this amazing design...going full tilt. Hype is understandable for a great design, but unsustainable even if they didn’t make their mistakes on purpose, or from being understaffed. It is a game that will always have a loyal fan base, but after some more settling that base will level off in numbers for good. Any people being lost will be replaced like with x-wing. It will soon reach in a few sets, or maybe has reached, equilibrium. 

——— 

Some cities will continue to show a strong player bases because of many factors: there are enough friends or friendly people driving it, the stores support it well, the tournament and TOS are high quality, their is a college large enough nearby, the city is huge but getting to store and tournaments is easy due to good infrastructure, etc. Other locations are likely in decline because of the opposite reasons and a dramatic drop in prices. However, decline doesn’t mean death. No, this did not become the next mtg nor will it, but for many it will always be better. There is just no reason from a smart financial decision to crack open boxes ever again unless something changes. However, I doubt it will  Han e for good reason I will go into later. 

 It is extremely difficult to buy new product when the VAST majority of your collection is near worthless monetarily. While this allows new players to scoop up collections other people spent 2,300-2,500 (20+ boxes) on for $400-500, that helps demonstrate more people overall are dropping than getting in. The hype is over. The game is an amazing design, but the value of cards dropped too much to make it sustainable in TODAY’s MARKETPLACE with the competition of so many other great games from FF and other companies.  So many games, too little time. 

I speculate this is because of three main drivers:

First, there is something about Destiny that seperates it from MTG, etc. You can’t sell and trade cards with dice as easily as with other games due to the dice’s bulky  nature. With MTG and cards of smaller value ($2-20) there is no reason to send them in a padded envelope and spend $2.77 when you can spend between 82 and 91 cents. With Do NOT MaCHINE used properly on an envelope, costs are reduced. These small costs matter a lot because a $3 rare becomes a $5.77 vs. 3.71 card/die. That is a huge market that gets exponential modified over many sets of buy, sell, and trading. You can put up to three top loaders (9 cards) into an envelope, add worthless lands to make sure less than three cards per loader don’t wiggle out in shipping, tape the top loaders to a folded sheet of paper to also keep them centered, and finally make sure to pay for the extra cents for the no machinable label/ stamps and make sure they get placed in the correct bin by the postal clerk. I prefer the printed out label. I have done this 800-1200 times without a single mishap. I still send card(s) of greater value in an padded envelope so the customer feels better upon receiving them and because I can add tracking. If someone were to say they didn’t receive their cards (as that is my risk tolerance on shipping and with people in the MTG&CCG world), I have some degree of protection. So buying, selling, and trading cards is more expensive in Destiny which will always limit its success to some degree.  There just are economical limitations due to its wonderful design. 

Second, they overprinted the first three sets causing prices to dramatically drop. You just can’t let Darth Vader’s sell for $14-16. That isn’t worth 6 packs. You need enough legendaries to not only hold there value, but to really have the chance to appreciate. There aren’t enough in Destiny for a modern CCG in the new envroment of modern gaming. They making no reason to buy boxes anymore accept for the rush of some people gambling.  I enjoyed that rush, which helped my wife to get on board, for the fit’s two sets until I realized what they were doing, most likely on purpose. EAW was a real let down, but as many have noted that was in part due to some issues with SOTR. They were making a lot of crap on purpose like they do with X-wing etc. For those playing X-wing, you know all too well about the games they play. Why should we expect a bird to change its colors? 

Worse, was they couldn’t get the iconic characters right. Poor Krennic and Jyn, etc. Your legendary cards have to be designed to hold a certain modicum of value. It does’t need to be 3x6=$18 for every leg. card, but on average they should be around $13-15...ON AVERAGE. There is a deep economic engine (not referring to resources but $) that so many Destiny players don’t understand. Most who play this game don’t have deep pockets and in the age of soooooo many quality games out there, there are far too many other games demanding our attention. The HS and college students helping to drive this game long-term have to make sure they can afford some reasonable return on their investment to be able to buy new product and you just can’t with this game. Many of the old casual players will just stop buying and enter into playing with a close system of stuff. 

It is a failed proposition. Just take Darth Maul’s LS. This was obviously a bit too powerful on day one and as more blue combo character come out it was only going to be more so. However, I believe they might have let it come out overpowered to help the perceived value of the set look higher than the reality, with the knowledge of nerfing it later. This is just smart business if you don’t do it often or get caught. They maybe knew ahead of time what a weak set like EAW could do to the bottom line even though the cards were designed by then. Or maybe, the power action concept wasn’t realized yet. Everyone evaluating and making their list post release had it in their small tier one with Yoda and Obi’s LS.  So why not get it right so it doesn’t drop from $26 on eBay to $18 and a bit further before settling. Sure it could go back up like the bowcaster did.  It would have been higher if collectors were adding a couple to their collections, but the smart money was on balancing the force. You had tournament pros running Facebook sites incorrectly guessing what would happen to its value when the change dropped (so,e of it was just plain nothing to see here fanboy/fangirl stuff), because they doesn’t understand economics and how price sensitive cards are to the smallest change. The wise player buys a few extra card they perceive as going to hold value to trade down the road. But this game doesn’t have the ability to buy and hold because so much becomes worthless, and the rest but a few all loss value like a falling knife. You can’t buy and hold boxes because FF is making sure this game is not a true CCG. 

Furthermore, and the third argument, is they keep messing up character costs and getting too many of the upgrades wrong. However, maybe they aren’t really messing them up. I think FF is smart, albeit greedy (which is kind of the point for profits and running a business right) in that they expect the casual player won’t notice, maybe even care, while ENOUGH competitive players will be able to afford just the cards they need. Right now there are a low number of staples making it financial feasible to stay with an archetype of play. I own 2-8 of everything (yep have 8 ancient LS—4 for me & 4 for the wife—because I build decks in Zen bins ready to go because I am busy and lucky to squeeze in game with the wife at the moment) but find no matter how many decks I make the same small percentage of the card pool gets used. FF will always have enough 30-50 year old gamers with enough expendable money to throw at product.—no matter what.  This why I need so many Cautions, Force illusions etc. in addition to the staple rares/legendaries. The staples continue because there is just so much crap still. However, we are seeing less electroshocks etc. which has helped with other cards being more effienct due to the theme of the deck and intended purpose/flexibility. And it doesn’t seem that they do a great job of making is easy to have the cost of card rise in the future because the don’t add character types etc. well, like magic so ENOUGH other cards can suddenly bring others into relevance. I wish they would starting adding more secondary stuff on the cards like battle commander, fleet command, handheld weapon, thermal weapon, command event, etc. 

————-

Summary 

People will post to other games having a lot of crap as well, but the economics of this game limiting buying a selling makes it more important for more cards to hold more of of intended overall value across a set. Each set should attempt to have a certain number of cards worth a certain base amount after the first couple of month after a release. They are ‘t Going to be perfect as some sets will be above and below the curve depending of what they are attempting to accomplish. EAW May be a go example of a set that needed to be lower due to the introduction of indirect damage, but it could have attempted to be offset with some better cards intended for older cards—no, we didn’t need more ancient LS, but we did need more Holdout blasters (in other words $10 staples cards) etc. Again, I suspect FF has a good reason for this and I will cover that toward the finish after I complete a better picture of the overall issues.  

I don’t put certain cards in some decks because the rest are used up even though I own 6-12 of most good uncommons and up to 8 good rare/leg. Having two Yoda’s does mean I can make it relatively fast to have one die in each deck and just grab the other die for his elite version. I have to sleeve all my cards the same to make this fast as possible. The rest just sits there staring at me in their nice storage containers teasing me like junk. There is zero reason for me, and many, many other to ever crack packs again. I can only say thanks goodness FF had the right idea with rivals and the draft.

Draft really saves Destiny by making sure a constraint flow of crack packing occurs. Many people will already have stuff so it will go up for sale or trade. This is also causing some people to resist the temptation to buy as many boxes or boxes at all knowing that they prefer the draft format and the economics of doing so has made it apparent that doing so is not in their best interest any longer. This should help Destiny cards hold more of their value which is good for the overall heath of the game. For people like me who don’t play draft, I’ll just wait a year and scoop up somebody’s collection with only the newer stuff for 20-25 cents on the dollar and sell off the junk as a whole. I’ll get some ultrapro premium binders, cases etc. as long as there are people like me scooping up product for some money, that will help the game as well. There wil, a,ways be people getting in and dropping out, just that the number will be less as the hype has worn down and the game beginning its trajectory toward equilibrium—which is still a few sets off I suspect. I think there is still a lot of hope remaining that some peoples’s local scenes will pick up. However, FF business model had always maintained that tournaments and store play represent only about 35% of its model? If that is indeed true, looking at the vanishing of store play means little as casual players will buy their $86 boxes online since they have no reason to be loyal to a place they don’t frequent. 

Side Note: Was there a reason to mess up R2-D2 and BB-8? I sometimes question how well the designers understand Star Wars. Sure they are fans of some sort, but they don’t seem to be serious enough fans for the task. They had a choice to make C3-PO or R2-D2 a staple and why went with the annoying C3-PO when they were developed in the same phase.  R2 is much more clutch than C3 by a factor of 100:1. Frustrating. Sorry, but this happens so much with characters in the game. Mother Talzin who? 

Too many characters are over-costed and relegated to the junk heap. I think MAYBE if they came up with unofficial adjustable points reference sheets online for casual players so characters like IG-88, Jyn , Luminara etc. etc. etc. are more playable the problem gets fixed. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to help their business model at all so it is a pipe dream. I had to put it out there for the dreamers among the casual players. Heck, they could even sell prom boxes with upgraded dice and character cards for the more important characters and we would bite. $15 to get several icons fixed. They don’t need to be tier one, just much more relevant. This is not a great long term solution, but could have been used one time or two to help keep some players.  Furthermore, with the internet so prevalent this seems obvious, but FF is not that type of company. Opps, there I went again. obsolescence is the key to their business model. They are counting on a core group to never give up.  This is why x-wing survives despite the failed fixes to A-wings and b-wing etc. While this game is different due to the buying and selling factor in order to afford the future stuff, the importance of insolence can’t be underestimated in the CCG business model. 

People like to point to regionals and other tournaments etc. as proof of the growing strength of the game, but the reality is we have so much more product out there over a longer interval and the increase should be far greater if they would have done a better job—I mean better for the players not there business model which seems to be working great. Also, more casual players are feeling comfortable after finally playing enough games that they are attempting to try their metal again st the best with deck list they get off the Internet. However, the “pros” and experienced players playing a lot will sometimes point out the competition at many of the events can be weak due to these “weakend warriors” not exactly understanding it isn’t just the deck but understanding the deck under so many circumstances. They don’t run on auto-pilot. 

We know from reports that FF is a very, very cheap demanding company tight with raises despite high expectations when it comes to hiring and retaining employees so it should come as no surprised these few very hard working individuals failed to do a better job with some of the points on the character and the upgrades if, IF, FF isn’t in fact throwing the game so to speak in terms of quality (making more useful cards). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize JYn was overcosted on the onset or IG-88 shield should not be a pay side at the very, very least (he needs a lot more than that). Who can afford that double shield? It is stuff like that that makes me go ....hmmmm, I see what you MAY be up to. IG-88 is a good example of the fan issue I spoke to earlier at the designer level. Why no IG-88a instead of making just IG-88.  Do they not have time to play their own game x-wing? No, they likely don’t because we know FF is a slave driver. That is on FF, not the poorly paid, yelled at, and overworked employees who are treated like dogs. If is like a well known law firm there because they know their are people lining up thinking they are going to be playing games for a living there.  Those employees did their best, are doing their best likely, but maybe weren’t given enough resources: more play testers, more employees working out the kinks and costs, and maybe staffing a group to make temporary point costs for casual games/or considered an alternative way of playing. Or maybe, these results are EXACTLY what FF wants. I vote that FF is smart than many might give them credit for. They have been pushing enough bad product, with just enough good, for a very long time now. Conspiracy no...good for profits yes! 

Finally, I strongly suspect FF was never wanting Destiny to ever be a MTG. They looked at there business model and it would be somewhat problematic if too many people played Destiny because too many players of their other games would just spend less on there other STAR wars games thus cannibalizing sales and making it a possible wash or worse. They are attempting to get the core STAR WARS fans to spend more per quarter, and per fiscal year. They need to nudge up spending, not replace it. This also diversifies their games and allows certain ones to possibly fail or underperform protecting themselves. 

Cheers 

Edited by 1977Valarian

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Posted (edited)

Oh I don't think it will last like Yugioh, Pokemon, or Magic has. One of the problem with Starwars Games is they always seem to hit hard with much excitement and then die a slow death. Destiny suffers from over simplified game play, lack of mass adoption, and the limited Starwars universe as compared to more fantasy type universes. Starwars is not in a good place right now for either new fans or older fans. Finally the golden age of CCG's has waned. I think if destiny makes it 5-7 years that will be a success.

I have already become bored with the game, probably do to lack of a large player's community. I never felt this way about Yugioh and I loved playing Magic for nearly 15 years.

Edited by DJRAZZ

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I think you're over thinking this and coming at it from the wrong angle.

The reason I play this game is because it's FUN, fast, and it doesn't take 3 hours like Armada. Repeat to yourself: it's supposed to be FUN, I'm having FUN when I play this game with my son and my friends. Divide the total cost you've put into it by the number of hours you've had FUN playing it and you'll probably be well below the cost of a redbox movie rental. MTG had this issue awhile back, you should listen to the Black Lotus episode of Planet Money, the game designers wanted people to use the cards not hoard them for sale on the secondary market, the same applies here.

 

In summary, lighten up.

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You make a valid point. I have had a lot of fun with the game. Since I particularly like deck building, that time has to be included as well. From a personal standpoint I don’t even really plan on selling so there are never really any sink cost so to speak. I was thinking of others who’s situations might be different. I did after-all sell a unlimited black lotus for $17 along with a hoard of other cards upon enter college to buy a set of golf clubs—to only get back in 5 years later. When money is tight people have to make decisions. I am certain that despite people seeing a drop in attendance here and there, there are also plenty of people like yourself quietly enjoy ha es at home with family and friends. 

As too the others person’s comments about me giving FF too much credit with their overall strategy, I find myself doing that with a lot of people and companies. I like to assume companies and people are smart—perhaps more than the deserve, but it keep my view of others “light”so to speak and more positive than I might otherwise. -Cheers 

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Posted (edited)

I don't think FFG is as malicious as you suggest.  Many a designer has said they don't pay much, yet only a few have moved on, suggesting most are content.  FFG does a horrible job of play testing games.  Almost all their games need errata, from poor play testing.  This game needed to be an LCG.  Wasn't FFG on record saying how evil the business model of CCG's were as part of advertising for their LCG model.  Perhaps this is an experiment to see if the LCG model is flawed thus causing all LCG games to die off over time till they are canceled.  This could be them sticking their toes back in the CCG market to see if it is more profitable.  FFG wants to make money, they are a company.  They want games to succeed and make profits.  This whole game is an experiment to see if they can topple or match the card game profits other companies make.   I'd love to see some insider data on how much a board game costs to make/test/market vs a card game.  I'd guess card games have a higher test cost yet are way cheaper to produce.   At the end of the day SW:D is just number on a spread sheet to FFG.  When the number drop below a certain threshold it will be canceled.  If Disney takes the license away it will be canceled.  Will that be 2 years or 10 years from now all just depends.

I do agree they missed the mark on theme.  Vader kills what 20-30 rebel troopers going into Episode 4.  This this game he would lose to what five.  Palpatine was the only character that matched his on screen power level.  I agree all these side characters being to strong is bad for the theme.  Also bad for the theme is non-combat characters fighting.  Granted you could assume it's not a literal small fight, but across the galaxy.  This is what killed the Star Wars LCG for me.  Why can Chewy kill an entire Star Destroyer in one swing.  Vehicles would win the day in an actual skirmish between to squads.  

The games limited resource of 2 per turn maybe it's down fall.  You can spend 0%, 50%, 100%, or more in 50% increments of you mana for the turn.  This doesn't allow for much balancing.  This card is either free or 1 cost or 2 cost or it's a card you build your whole deck around and you can only afford 4 at most in the deck.  If we got 10 resources / turn,  it would all for better fine tuning needed for competitive play.

Edited by JoshisJoshingyou

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On ‎4‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 6:07 AM, DJRAZZ said:

Oh I don't think it will last like Yugioh, Pokemon, or Magic has. One of the problem with Starwars Games is they always seem to hit hard with much excitement and then die a slow death. Destiny suffers from over simplified game play, lack of mass adoption, and the limited Starwars universe as compared to more fantasy type universes. Starwars is not in a good place right now for either new fans or older fans. Finally the golden age of CCG's has waned. I think if destiny makes it 5-7 years that will be a success.

I have already become bored with the game, probably do to lack of a large player's community. I never felt this way about Yugioh and I loved playing Magic for nearly 15 years.

While the golden age of CCG has waned, Destiny could have been a success, but there are three things that killed a lot of interest in the game:

1) Very little community interaction. The announcements of different formats should have been communicated at the start of the game and draft starters should have been available at launch. While the designer of Destiny talked a lot about the game at first (which was great), there was nothing afterwards that indicated interest from the side of FFG. Furthermore a release schedule wasn't communicated.

 

2) Events: While the initial event was really cool, there was nothing interesting afterwards.The margin of Destiny is higher than the one for LCGs, but the support was basically the same. The "quests" in the kits were uninteresting. Special events like the ones they make with L5R or that are anounced for AGoT would have kept the game fresh, but instead we got Kit/Store/Regional/National/Championship and Draft only got implemented recently.

3) Commercials. While there was an add when the game got released, there were no attempts to get the game to people that aren't in the FFG bauble.

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3 hours ago, Ignithas said:

 

3) Commercials. While there was an add when the game got released, there were no attempts to get the game to people that aren't in the FFG bauble.

FFG does advertise the game on the back cover of nearly all Star Wars comics published by Marvel. They have been for several months.

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On 4/19/2018 at 9:57 PM, mhd said:

I think you're over thinking this and coming at it from the wrong angle.

The reason I play this game is because it's FUN, fast, and it doesn't take 3 hours like Armada. Repeat to yourself: it's supposed to be FUN, I'm having FUN when I play this game with my son and my friends. Divide the total cost you've put into it by the number of hours you've had FUN playing it and you'll probably be well below the cost of a redbox movie rental. MTG had this issue awhile back, you should listen to the Black Lotus episode of Planet Money, the game designers wanted people to use the cards not hoard them for sale on the secondary market, the same applies here.

 

In summary, lighten up.

The planet money episode is really good.  Great podcast along with freakanomics 

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On 5/2/2018 at 9:54 AM, Ignithas said:

While the golden age of CCG has waned, Destiny could have been a success, but there are three things that killed a lot of interest in the game:

1) Very little community interaction. The announcements of different formats should have been communicated at the start of the game and draft starters should have been available at launch. While the designer of Destiny talked a lot about the game at first (which was great), there was nothing afterwards that indicated interest from the side of FFG. Furthermore a release schedule wasn't communicated.

 

2) Events: While the initial event was really cool, there was nothing interesting afterwards.The margin of Destiny is higher than the one for LCGs, but the support was basically the same. The "quests" in the kits were uninteresting. Special events like the ones they make with L5R or that are anounced for AGoT would have kept the game fresh, but instead we got Kit/Store/Regional/National/Championship and Draft only got implemented recently.

3) Commercials. While there was an add when the game got released, there were no attempts to get the game to people that aren't in the FFG bauble.

Not the mention that the fundamental lack of depth and complexity of the game just gets old after a while. I loved the game at first and I am still collecting but it is becoming chore.

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On 4/22/2018 at 1:52 PM, JoshisJoshingyou said:

I don't think FFG is as malicious as you suggest.  Many a designer has said they don't pay much, yet only a few have moved on, suggesting most are content. 

Kevin Wilson, James Hata, Jonathan Ying, Sam Bailey, Lukas Litzsinger, Paul Winchester just to name "a few".

And last but not least, today Nikki Valens announced on her twitter account (link) that she left the company.

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On ‎5‎/‎15‎/‎2018 at 5:10 PM, Julia said:

Kevin Wilson, James Hata, Jonathan Ying, Sam Bailey, Lukas Litzsinger, Paul Winchester just to name "a few".

And last but not least, today Nikki Valens announced on her twitter account (link) that she left the company.

And Eric Lang.  Although he might have been freelance, and CMON paid him to be exclusive to them.

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Hey, Jyn has Cassia Andor. Clap, clap, clap. No just a couple of cards with the “operative” keyword and we are running. Won’t he,p trilogies, but I have hope standard format will have some hope over time. This will keep the singles market going a bit. I do think we are about to see some major mechanics changes coming. They have shown their hand a bit. Good news so far. Will it be too late? No, just late enough people still have money for Legions and their next game. 

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