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Dear Design Team, let's talk about roles...

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14 minutes ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Nope.  Scorpion had Seeker of Void pegged for their choice since gen con of last year which is why they took Seeker of Air to keep the Void choice open for worlds.

There was a Dragon player that gave up hatamoto to play scorpion so he could prevent them from getting a keeper roll as he was worried about Backhanded Compliment dishonor decks making the environment no fun..... And I still agree that the environment would have been worse if that was the Sorpion deck we had to face.  

I think the role system is fine, but,it suffers from there not being all the clan packs out yet to open up all the support of roles.  When there are more options then the role selection isn't as impactful.

Opening all the role choices I think is too much and ultimately gets us to the same point where the metagame gets solved and some clans are on top and other clans are on the bottom.  Opening up all the roles does not create any sort of parity, which I feel is more I.portent than expanding the options

See the thing is, opening up the roles aren't supposed to create parity. Opening the roles meant FFG Design Team being responsible in designing cards that will create parity, rather than just creating cards and letting people choose a role for their clan (or the possibility of not even their clan) and have them be responsible for creating balance, especially when said person have absolutely no statistical data to back it up.

Edited by Shosuro Teri

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Crab went ahead of Scorpion in total wins with their last Kotei win, if I'm recalling the results correctly. They're the faction that picked last, and they've been one of the two most successful clans since then. Obviously that won't happen for everyone, but it is a demonstration that picking late doesn't necessarily equal poor tournament performance afterward.

Ishi Tonu has the right of it with the two Scorpion picks. We went into GenCon aiming to take Seeker of Air so we'd still be competitive at Worlds (we picked first at GenCon and passed on Seeker of Void), then could hopefully take Seeker of Void for the next twelve months. It worked out well, and Scorpion have done pretty well on the tournament front since then.

The stuff about Brad surrendering his Dragon Hatamoto title and playing Scorpion in order to pick a non-Keeper Role because he personally felt strongly that Backhanded Compliment would be detrimental to the environment as a whole is all correct. Brad fell in the quarter-finals though, and didn't get to make the selection.

Of course, there's an argument that going Seeker of Void ended up being worse for the environment as a whole because the economy supercharged the dominant Scorpion decks, but at least the pick was made for the right reasons and with a clear conscience.

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40 minutes ago, Hinomura said:

Of course, there's an argument that going Seeker of Void ended up being worse for the environment as a whole because the economy supercharged the dominant Scorpion decks, but at least the pick was made for the right reasons and with a clear conscience.

I don't think so.  That BC deck was downright oppressive. I'd much rather play against seeker scorpion than keeper scorpion.  Scorpion keeper decks are effectively 37 cards since you can cycle a card touself when you don't need to pressure dishonor with BC.  There were also fewer reasons to stray from on particular build.  Of course this was pre resrites list testing.  I haven't done any recent testing with scorpion keeper decks.

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1 hour ago, Shosuro Teri said:

See the thing is, opening up the roles aren't supposed to create parity. Opening the roles meant FFG Design Team being responsible in designing cards that will create parity, rather than just creating cards and letting people choose a role for their clan (or the possibility of not even their clan) and have them be responsible for creating balance, especially when said person have absolutely no statistical data to back it up.

Or that FFG isn't foolish enough to think that they can create a perfect game. 

As someone who likes to push the boundaries of deck creativity I would love to have all the roles unlocked. However I believe role locking is a good design move because it prevents the meta from getting completely solved as each new set comes out.  As the roles change so does the meta game and thus we are not left with only the restricted list and new cards to "fix" things.  

Role locking gives players the opportunity to influence the meta game to some extent and gives us another layer of oversight.  For example, if the community felt strongly enough that they didn't want to see Crab win an Earth role then they could start a coup to make sure whichever clan picks before them at worlds takes seeker it earth and locks them out of the option of running any "earth matters" type cards.  It just takes the community to come together to do it...... Instead of complaining about changing the rules so the games is how some people want it.

 

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47 minutes ago, Ishi Tonu said:

 

As someone who likes to push the boundaries of deck creativity I would love to have all the roles unlocked. However I believe role locking is a good design move because it prevents the meta from getting completely solved as each new set comes out.  As the roles change so does the meta game and thus we are not left with only the restricted list and new cards to "fix" things.  

 

Except the Roles change every 12 months and it rarely takes more than 2 to determine the core of the best decks for each Clan using those Roles.

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1 minute ago, Evilgm said:

Except the Roles change every 12 months and it rarely takes more than 2 to determine the core of the best decks for each Clan using those Roles.

I never said I wasn't in favor of the roles rotating more often, or being preset at certain tournaments.  I just don't think #freetherole does anything other than make the time between new card releases more unbearable.

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1 hour ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Or that FFG isn't foolish enough to think that they can create a perfect game. 

As someone who likes to push the boundaries of deck creativity I would love to have all the roles unlocked. However I believe role locking is a good design move because it prevents the meta from getting completely solved as each new set comes out.  As the roles change so does the meta game and thus we are not left with only the restricted list and new cards to "fix" things.  

Role locking gives players the opportunity to influence the meta game to some extent and gives us another layer of oversight.  For example, if the community felt strongly enough that they didn't want to see Crab win an Earth role then they could start a coup to make sure whichever clan picks before them at worlds takes seeker it earth and locks them out of the option of running any "earth matters" type cards.  It just takes the community to come together to do it...... Instead of complaining about changing the rules so the games is how some people want it.

 

How the heck does having 1 role locked for a year make the meta less solved? If anything it makes it easier to solve the nest deck because you only have 1 option. I play Dragon deck and always splash Crab because Pathfinder is awesome. If I could play Keeper I might try and innovate. More options for roles means more possibilities for deckbuilding and less chance of it being solved since there are more options to try out 

On 7/13/2018 at 10:41 AM, Danwarr said:

The problem being solved by a larger card pool isn't really a solution because it does nothing to ease the frustration of players in the current environment. If people become frustrated enough they leave and it doesn't matter how "balanced" the Roles are at that point because there has already been an exodus.

The Role locked cards are actually great and encourage difficult deck construction choices, but Role lock clans ignore one of the fundamental reasons people play CCGs which is individual deck construction.

There is a definite feeling among FFG LCG players that GoT is the best of the remaining LCGs because of how open it is with deck construction in addition to play being slightly more streamlined for play. I think one L5R podcaster said that playing GoT was simply more "fun". That's not to say that L5R isn't good, on the contrary it is very good. But so much of the game relies on piloting skills because there is almost no room to experiment with deck construction due to role lock. This really hurts the game for new players because they feel railroaded into certain decks in addition to L5R having a steep learning curve. So not only can they not feel like they can build a deck for the clan they want to play that is "fun", they have to play a game where there is sometimes there very little to point towards correcting and being a better player to eventually win games. They end up getting frustrated and just playing something else.

FFG should strongly consider #FreeTheRoles, especially as a tie in to the last Elemental Cycle pack "Elements Unbound". The move would really revitalize the game for players whose clans are struggling in addition to really unlocking players' ability to brew and mess around with deck construction.

1. Arkham horror is the best LCG left :P

2. I think L5R is more fun to play, But GOT is much more fun to build. The Banners mean there are so many ways to build decks. Tyrell with Stark is so different from Tyrell with Lannisters. It gave so much more diversity out of the box.

I think it is also a larger issue, in that we are limited in strongholds. At world's it will be 1 year and have only 4 more strongholds than last year. 

meanwhile in the other games, each faction got at least 1 new identity in the first cycle. Then some in the 2nd cycle plus the deluxe. Strongholds would allow different deck builds and priorities. 

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1 hour ago, Radix2309 said:

How the heck does having 1 role locked for a year make the meta less solved? If anything it makes it easier to solve the nest deck because you only have 1 option. I play Dragon deck and always splash Crab because Pathfinder is awesome. If I could play Keeper I might try and innovate. More options for roles means more possibilities for deckbuilding and less chance of it being solved since there are more options to try out 

Let's say the roles were unlocked.  This now means the meta game is completely solved for the entire existing card pool.....not just how the current card pool interacts with the chosen roles.  Innovation runs out and the speed at which we are getting new cards seems to put us in a rotation of new meta game for worlds then solved for most of the next year until next worlds.

If all the roles are unlocked,  what's left until the next set?  Nothing.  Each new set that comes out gets solved and then we wait til the next set.  At least with rotating roles we have the potential to see more dynamic shifts in the meta game as people re-explore the existing cards within a new meta game.

I'm all for faster role rotations like twice a year or better yet, have a list of roles that changes for each kotei.  But unlocking all the roles is not as good for the game as people think.  

 

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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2 hours ago, Ishi Tonu said:

If all the roles are unlocked,  what's left until the next set?  Nothing.  Each new set that comes out gets solved and then we wait til the next set.  At least with rotating roles we have the potential to see more dynamic shifts in the meta game as people re-explore the existing cards within a new meta game.

I'm all for faster role rotations like twice a year or better yet, have a list of roles that changes for each kotei.  But unlocking all the roles is not as good for the game as people think.  

Like I said before, if FFG wanted to make an argument for dynamic shifts in meta, they would forego with the whole "x packs in x weeks". Meta balancing is not for players to decide, since they are participants in it, and hence presents a conflict of interest. And if the player base comes up with results showing that a certain clan shouldn't get a role because it is bad for the meta, the RL is there to help with whatever card poses the most problem. The situation you're describing creates unnecessary friction between different player bases. Should we deny the use of a certain card to a certain clan when FFG clearly went ahead and printed the thing with playtester outputs in mind? Sure, they could be wrong (see RL), doesn't mean a player base with no playtesting data to back it up should be in charge of deciding something like that. In all card games, banning something is left to the "powers that be" because they have no vested interest if a clan gets something or not. Can you say the same for the player base?

You make an argument that FFG can't make a perfect game. Can the players make one? I'm merely arguing for design responsibility, rather than being lazy and let the player base determine what cards people should and should not play.

Edited by Shosuro Teri
Changed decide with results.

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On 7/14/2018 at 11:55 PM, Radix2309 said:

How the heck does having 1 role locked for a year make the meta less solved? If anything it makes it easier to solve the nest deck because you only have 1 option. I play Dragon deck and always splash Crab because Pathfinder is awesome. If I could play Keeper I might try and innovate. More options for roles means more possibilities for deckbuilding and less chance of it being solved since there are more options to try out 

1. Arkham horror is the best LCG left :P

2. I think L5R is more fun to play, But GOT is much more fun to build. The Banners mean there are so many ways to build decks. Tyrell with Stark is so different from Tyrell with Lannisters. It gave so much more diversity out of the box.

I think it is also a larger issue, in that we are limited in strongholds. At world's it will be 1 year and have only 4 more strongholds than last year. 

meanwhile in the other games, each faction got at least 1 new identity in the first cycle. Then some in the 2nd cycle plus the deluxe. Strongholds would allow different deck builds and priorities. 

1. I would personally argue that LotR LCG is the best remaining both from a deck construction and play perspective, but I'm biased in owning every piece of content that game has put out. I was simply stating it more from the competitive LCG side, which has lost 2 games in 2 years now.

2. That was the point made on the Focus, Focus, Strike podcast.

Even with different Strongholds, the Role lock still limits what types of cards can be put in that deck, so you basically end up with relatively similar decks. Role unlock would ultimately be better for deck diversity on the whole. GoT has it, why not L5R?

Edited by Danwarr

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7 hours ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Let's say the roles were unlocked.  This now means the meta game is completely solved for the entire existing card pool.....not just how the current card pool interacts with the chosen roles.  Innovation runs out and the speed at which we are getting new cards seems to put us in a rotation of new meta game for worlds then solved for most of the next year until next worlds.

If all the roles are unlocked,  what's left until the next set?  Nothing.  Each new set that comes out gets solved and then we wait til the next set.  At least with rotating roles we have the potential to see more dynamic shifts in the meta game as people re-explore the existing cards within a new meta game.

I'm all for faster role rotations like twice a year or better yet, have a list of roles that changes for each kotei.  But unlocking all the roles is not as good for the game as people think.  

 

The meta is barely solved right now. Opening up the Roles would make solving it even more difficult. Right now a lot of people think a Fire role is the best if only for FoF, but if everyone got to test maybe it turns out that wouldn't be the case. Sabotage is a good enough card that some people will consider the Earth role. Crane probably never wants to give up Air because of Soul Beyond Reproach. Scorpion might even want Keeper of Air for Backhanded Compliment. There are a ton of archetypes that could be explored if players had more self-determination with regards to Role selection.

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5 hours ago, Shosuro Teri said:

Like I said before, if FFG wanted to make an argument for dynamic shifts in meta, they would forego with the whole "x packs in x weeks". Meta balancing is not for players to decide, since they are participants in it, and hence presents a conflict of interest. And if the player base comes up with results showing that a certain clan shouldn't get a role because it is bad for the meta, the RL is there to help with whatever card poses the most problem. The situation you're describing creates unnecessary friction between different player bases. Should we deny the use of a certain card to a certain clan when FFG clearly went ahead and printed the thing with playtester outputs in mind? Sure, they could be wrong (see RL), doesn't mean a player base with no playtesting data to back it up should be in charge of deciding something like that. In all card games, banning something is left to the "powers that be" because they have no vested interest if a clan gets something or not. Can you say the same for the player base?

You make an argument that FFG can't make a perfect game. Can the players make one? I'm merely arguing for design responsibility, rather than being lazy and let the player base determine what cards people should and should not play.

Sorry I'm not following you on how the 6×6 release model is an example of how this game does not have dynamic shifts in the meta.  That's exactly what happen after the 6x6 release.  

It's not  lazy to look at the design models of every game that went before it and take a different approach.  Brad has said that they made the role selection process a part of design and I think they were correct to do so.  Its an up front admission that designers acknowledge they are not perfect.  By leaving the game open to changes that are not entirely in FFG's control we could potentially see things self correct without FFG having to throw new cards and or expand the restricted list.

I just watched MTG go through 5-6 arcs of standard where they had to ban cards and that has had a pretty negative impact on the game.  On which is taking them several sets to undo.  Follwing this approach with L5R would just kill the game if after every set we saw the meta game get solved and FFG have to fill the restricted list up to the point were it creates a game that is perpetually vanilla.

 

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4 hours ago, Danwarr said:

The meta is barely solved right now. Opening up the Roles would make solving it even more difficult. Right now a lot of people think a Fire role is the best if only for FoF, but if everyone got to test maybe it turns out that wouldn't be the case. Sabotage is a good enough card that some people will consider the Earth role. Crane probably never wants to give up Air because of Soul Beyond Reproach. Scorpion might even want Keeper of Air for Backhanded Compliment. There are a ton of archetypes that could be explored if players had more self-determination with regards to Role selection.

And we'll get a chance to explore them as the roles rotate, instead of exploring them all now and Then being left with a general feeling of "now what?"

The meta had largely been solved awhile ago.  The restricted list changed a few things.  Now the latest cycle will change things again and then role selection will change them again, and so on and so on.

If this is the rate at which we can expect to receive new cards, increased role rotations or specific roles for specific events is the answer, not unlocking all the roles.

 

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13 hours ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Let's say the roles were unlocked.  This now means the meta game is completely solved for the entire existing card pool.....not just how the current card pool interacts with the chosen roles.  Innovation runs out and the speed at which we are getting new cards seems to put us in a rotation of new meta game for worlds then solved for most of the next year until next worlds.

If all the roles are unlocked,  what's left until the next set?  Nothing.  Each new set that comes out gets solved and then we wait til the next set.  At least with rotating roles we have the potential to see more dynamic shifts in the meta game as people re-explore the existing cards within a new meta game.

I'm all for faster role rotations like twice a year or better yet, have a list of roles that changes for each kotei.  But unlocking all the roles is not as good for the game as people think.  

 

You do realize we get new cards at least every 6 months right? How does changing the role once every 12 months cause the game to change? The cardpool releases cause way more change.

Do you know what the locked role has done for my deckbuilding? I always build the same deck. I don't have options to use different role locked cards and build a new deck.

Ok so we have all the roles and the card pool is solved. Isn't the cardpool solved with a locked role right now anyways? How does adding more options make a cardpool even easier to solve?

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1 hour ago, AradonTemplar said:

You have to re-solve it each time roles shift, that's how. Shifting roles provide a challenge to the meta just like expansions and clan packs do. It's a way to create a shift in the metagame without releasing new content.

Once a year.

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I believe role-locking to a clan is a failed experiment.  It took a game with a lot of restrictions in deck-building and added even more restrictions on top of them.  In the end, it really didn't change anything that exists in current games.  If anything, it took away the deck building aspect of the game since you are locked into definitive, best options based on your role.  So you get a year of the same deck until the role changes.  The game is going to get stale at this rate.

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Another problem is that it reduces the impact of new cards. There are so many cards in the Elemental Cycle that make me think "This could really make deck X work!" But every pack review is "Only Y can play this, it's binder fodder." Because deck X is not legal. So the meta is stagnant, instead of Phoenix/Crane Air decks suddenly becoming a thing.

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I think if it was just conflict cards with the locked role it would be fine. But thwre are dynasty cards like the Dragon one that are completely unusable, And if we are seeker again at world's it might never be legal.

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Unicorn have 1 progressive conflict action in the entire game and it requires you to be water role. This game is such a crap show with locked roles. I've been arguing about this since before the first worlds and even to Brad Andres face. And yet nothing other than a restricted list which he claimed wasn't gonna happen "anytime soon" because "i like that these cards cause big swings in game state". When he asked me "what would I do to fix the game?" I should've taken the question more seriously because clearly it was a job interview as the original design team was purged like 2 weeks later.

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7 hours ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Sorry I'm not following you on how the 6×6 release model is an example of how this game does not have dynamic shifts in the meta.  That's exactly what happen after the 6x6 release.  

Release of new cards help make the meta dynamic and produces shifts depending on how interesting and viable released cards are. If you dump all cards in 1 go, it would produce 1 meta shift, and then stagnate until new roles are chosen. If you follow the typical lcg release schedule (which they promised was going to happen after the first 6in6), you have 6 meta shifts instead of 1, happening 1 each month before the change in roles.

7 hours ago, Ishi Tonu said:

It's not  lazy to look at the design models of every game that went before it and take a different approach.  Brad has said that they made the role selection process a part of design and I think they were correct to do so.  Its an up front admission that designers acknowledge they are not perfect.  By leaving the game open to changes that are not entirely in FFG's control we could potentially see things self correct without FFG having to throw new cards and or expand the restricted list.

Like I said, conflict of interests. If you can't see logic behind that argument, then I guess we should get benched players from NBA teams to officiate their own matches. They're already there, paid and all. Why hire referees in the first place, let the players police their own game. Obviously there's nothing wrong in that.

I didn't say adding something new to a card game to make it your own is lazy. I understand putting personal touches in your own product. But let's face it, the option to choose a role is a tournament prize added without much thought in it. If they planned for it since the conception of the game, they would have been able to foresee the problem with choosing roles not knowing the cards that are going to be released after the choice have been made. Somebody brought the problem up and then FFG had to deliberate and decide to preview the cards in question. This would have never happened if the option to choose was considered from the beginning. They would have stated that fact at their page when the game was released.

What I said was lazy though is designing cards willy-nilly and letting players police their game themselves. Let the players look at problematic cards and let them decide whether they think that card is bad for the metagame as a whole (without playtest data btw) and let them ban these cards for other clans, atleast for a year. Atleast.

Edited by Shosuro Teri

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1 hour ago, Shosuro Teri said:

Release of new cards help make the meta dynamic and produces shifts depending on how interesting and viable released cards are. If you dump all cards in 1 go, it would produce 1 meta shift, and then stagnate until new roles are chosen. If you follow the typical lcg release schedule (which they promised was going to happen after the first 6in6), you have 6 meta shifts instead of 1, happening 1 each month before the change in roles.

Like I said, conflict of interests. If you can't see logic behind that argument, then I guess we should get benched players from NBA teams to officiate their own matches. They're already there, paid and all. Why hire referees in the first place, let the players police their own game. Obviously there's nothing wrong in that.

I didn't say adding something new to a card game to make it your own is lazy. I understand putting personal touches in your own product. But let's face it, the option to choose a role is a tournament prize added without much thought in it. If they planned for it since the conception of the game, they would have been able to foresee the problem with choosing roles not knowing the cards that are going to be released after the choice have been made. Somebody brought the problem up and then FFG had to deliberate and decide to preview the cards in question. This would have never happened if the option to choose was considered from the beginning. They would have stated that fact at their page when the game was released.

What I said was lazy though is designing cards willy-nilly and letting players police their game themselves. Let the players look at problematic cards and let them decide whether they think that card is bad for the metagame as a whole (without playtest data btw) and let them ban these cards for other clans, atleast for a year. Atleast.

Let me know when you're ready to have a rational discussion.

I have no desire to unravel each logical fallacy in that post first.

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7 hours ago, C2K said:

I believe role-locking to a clan is a failed experiment.  It took a game with a lot of restrictions in deck-building and added even more restrictions on top of them.  In the end, it really didn't change anything that exists in current games.  If anything, it took away the deck building aspect of the game since you are locked into definitive, best options based on your role.  So you get a year of the same deck until the role changes.  The game is going to get stale at this rate.

The game is already stale and expect it to get staler with more scorpions coming in the next clan pack. Excellent foresight FFG!

 

3 hours ago, Ishi Tonu said:

Let me know when you're ready to have a rational discussion.

I have no desire to unravel each logical fallacy in that post first.

Let us know when you're going to present an argument that isn't siding with the developers because your playgroup in some backwater town that never goes to a kotei or tournament miraculously has fun.

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