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

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2 minutes ago, Ishi Tonu said:

I swear I'm either having dejavu or this was that same thing that was purposed by someone the last time this topic came up.

I've championed this for a while, and mentioned it on several occasions :)

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I’m just speculating, but I have always assumed the FFG policy of not having their employees look at message boards etc. is meant to do two things:

One, to prevent staff from being overly influenced by a small but vocal group in a limited corner of the internet.

Two, to avoid creating the expectation among players that they can talk to staff about anything they have an opinion on at their leisure, and more importantly, so that players do not feel entitled to such access to the staff.

If those are indeed the goals of the policy, I would say it’s probably effective and moreover, in this age of almost instant digital communication, probably very prudent.

It does leave us a bit in the dark from time to time, though.

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An argument in favor of The Lock.

Why run Support of the Unicorn when you can CHOOSE Keeper of Fire and get access to; Djinn, Feast or Famine AND Talisman of the Sun?

If the Lock is removed Support of Roles become obsolete

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41 minutes ago, Foxtrot Four said:

An argument in favor of The Lock.

Why run Support of the Unicorn when you can CHOOSE Keeper of Fire and get access to; Djinn, Feast or Famine AND Talisman of the Sun?

If the Lock is removed Support of Roles become obsolete

I'd argue that the Support Roles are already fairly irrelevant due to the cards being both Role and Element locked in addition to Seeker fate and province flexibility being insane. Support Roles are only going to be "better" than a Keeper Role when a Keeper clan's splash happens to line up with a Support Role.

A good example of the Support Roles being not great is the Phoenix splash in Scorpion currently. Scorpion is Seeker of Void, so they get access to Shameful Display and Pilgrimage as well as Consumed by Five Fires and now Jurojin's Curse. Even though Support of the Phoenix would give them more influence to maybe run Display of Power, it would also mean losing Pilgrimage, Consumed by Five Fires, AND Jurojin's Curse which would make the splash almost irrelevant at what it is trying to accomplish.

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5 hours ago, Hinomura said:

I've championed this for a while, and mentioned it on several occasions :)

I believe this has definitely been mentioned on various platforms a few times as plenty of people were speculating what FFG was going to do with 3 unclaimed Roles. Initially, FFG said they had a plan for these Roles, but there has literally been no news about them since Worlds.

It would definitely be an interesting choice, but at that point you're almost halfway to a having unlocked Roles anyway so why not just let people choose what they want so they can build the decks they want without feeling like they are wasting someone else's time.

I know most of the Phoenix clan on the L5R Discord is extremely divided because of Role lock, with Dishonor players wanting a Keeper Role to maintain access to backhanded compliment, while Conquest players are hoping to get Seeker of Void to shore up their Province row as well as gain access to Seeker fate. The fact that members of a clan who would like to pursue a specific play-style and archetype can simply be marginalized by player choice outside of most of their control is definitely a bit absurd.

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27 minutes ago, Danwarr said:

The fact that members of a clan who would like to pursue a specific play-style and archetype can simply be marginalized by player choice outside of most of their control is definitely a bit absurd.

Louder for the people in the back please

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1 hour ago, Danwarr said:

I'd argue that the Support Roles are already fairly irrelevant due to the cards being both Role and Element locked in addition to Seeker fate and province flexibility being insane. Support Roles are only going to be "better" than a Keeper Role when a Keeper clan's splash happens to line up with a Support Role.

A good example of the Support Roles being not great is the Phoenix splash in Scorpion currently. Scorpion is Seeker of Void, so they get access to Shameful Display and Pilgrimage as well as Consumed by Five Fires and now Jurojin's Curse. Even though Support of the Phoenix would give them more influence to maybe run Display of Power, it would also mean losing Pilgrimage, Consumed by Five Fires, AND Jurojin's Curse which would make the splash almost irrelevant at what it is trying to accomplish.

My main point is, lets say Scorpion get saddled with Seeker of Water. No good deck out of Scorpion needs both Pathfinder Blade and Fight On, so some scorpion players opt to reach for Support of the Phoenix, 3x Display, 3x Clarity. Simple; Effective.

BUT without locks no one would EVER choose Support. Unless there was a clan with 3x Let Go, 3x Mirumotos Fury, 2x Reprieve, and 2x Meek Informant. 

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4 minutes ago, Foxtrot Four said:

My main point is, lets say Scorpion get saddled with Seeker of Water. No good deck out of Scorpion needs both Pathfinder Blade and Fight On, so some scorpion players opt to reach for Support of the Phoenix, 3x Display, 3x Clarity. Simple; Effective.

BUT without locks no one would EVER choose Support. Unless there was a clan with 3x Let Go, 3x Mirumotos Fury, 2x Reprieve, and 2x Meek Informant. 

I just think most competitive decks wont end up picking Support anyway simply due to the value a Seeker or even a Keeper role with the right element provides. I know some Scorpion decks tried Support of the Phoenix at a couple Kotei's, but losing the Province flexibility on top of the fate gain from a Seeker role is just not worth the extra 8 influence.

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I am firmly in the “free the roles”  camp but since I only play casually with one friend in the end it doesn’t actually affect me much.

That being said:

I think some of the opposition (partly sub conscious?) to the way the roles are being handled now is partly that it creates a set of cards that you COULD play if only you had the proper role, but that you can’t play in tournaments because you can’t use the role you want (and realistically most people do not have the agency or means to determine which role their clan will get.) This is in contrast to in-clan cards which you could never play out of clan anyway (outside of splash) anyway so there’s less complaints about having your card pool limited by faction (e.g. Phoenix can’t run Way of the Crane.)  On a related note I think with in-clan cards outside of your role it feels like that they have been completely denied to you because you can’t use them due to a role choice that you can’t make.

I remember when they first announced the role lock plan, one of the things I was disappointed about was that I was hoping the roles would have lead to more archetypes within a clan, and that potential was in effect done away with. That is to say, we might have had a situation where not only does your stronghold determine the themes and feel of your deck but we might also have had a chance for different roles to define different decks. Especially with the recent sets I think it would be interesting if for example there were different flavors of the same clan in a tournament setting where their main difference was the role that defined their deck. Of course whether such a situation would actually occur if the roles were unlocked is another question altogether.

I think a lot of people have made the point that roles only matter if you’re playing competitively but the fact of the matter is when many people play at their local shops game nights or wherever generally they’re going to match their deck construction to whatever the dominant format is. So in the end competitive role limitations will also affect what sort of decks many players get to play on their casual game nights. A lot of people don’t really like taking apart and putting together decks all of the time; they’d rather just have one that they can play at a moments notice.

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The only reason why the "support of" roles don't see more play is because there is a grand total of 1 legal "support of" role.  Neither Phoenix not Scorpion are a widely used splash.  This could change a bit, but we likely aren't you going to see the "support of" roles until the more frequently splashed clans get their clan pack.

 

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13 minutes ago, Ishi Tonu said:

The only reason why the "support of" roles don't see more play is because there is a grand total of 1 legal "support of" role.  Neither Phoenix not Scorpion are a widely used splash.  This could change a bit, but we likely aren't you going to see the "support of" roles until the more frequently splashed clans get their clan pack.

 

The support roles would be played more, but without strong cards that are bound to support roles, I don't think that they will be competitive.

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6 hours ago, Ignithas said:

The support roles would be played more, but without strong cards that are bound to support roles, I don't think that they will be competitive.

There are plenty of non-roll locked cards that people would play more of if they could. And then they would have the extra influence left over to run more out of clan staples. 

Edited by Ishi Tonu

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9 hours ago, Danwarr said:

I know most of the Phoenix clan on the L5R Discord is extremely divided because of Role lock.

No, we’re divided because we’re Phoenix. Role lock it’s just the excuse this time. 

About @Hinomura‘s proposition, it’s good until Mantis shows up as another faction, and there’s only two free roles to choose. Bring up another faction (Shadowlands, Imperial), and everybody has just one same role to choose, apart from their official one. 

In fact, when FFG said they had plans for the free roles, my first thought was that they were saving them for new factions. 

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The system still works with eight clans, as long you keep the rule that no more than four of either Keeper or Seeker can be  selected. This ensures that there is always an option to use either Keeper or Seeker locked cards.

I don't think any hypothetical  discussions involving factions beyond an eighth are particular useful, as there's nothing currently that indicates this would ever happen, and if it did, both the card pool and the game could have changed considerably.

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Yup, one of my other arguments was how much the card pool would benefit from all the Clan packs being out at the same time (obviously this is extremely unlikely to happen due to  design and logistics) - not only would every Clan have access to approximately the same number of cards, there would be another six viable Roles for each Clan to use.

 

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8 minutes ago, Hordeoverseer said:

Forget the roles, could we get 6 in 6 weeks? The 6 being the other 6 Clan packs we're missing.

Well at this point it's just 5 with the Scorpion pack set to release in October just before Worlds.

It seems as though the Clan pack release schedule was predetermined based on novel release schedule as well, so I can't imagine FFG just dumping all of those at one time unfortunately.

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13 hours ago, Danwarr said:

The fact that members of a clan who would like to pursue a specific play-style and archetype can simply be marginalized by player choice outside of most of their control is definitely a bit absurd.

Back in my day, we used to offer up Bounties and Bribes to get a desired Storyline prize picked.

We would pool up our rares and such and would make callouts like "The Top Phoenix player that chooses X as a prize will get this Bounty"

This generation needs to level up their Diplomacy skill IMO :P

Communities discussing what Roles to pic, and then making sure their Top Dog picks said role, seems more like a Feature not a Bug (at least looking at it from the Old School perspective of an entire clan deciding which Storyline Prizes to pick).

Edited by El_Ganso

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I am firmly in the Pro-locked roles camp. It helps retain a little bit of the player involvement from the CCG days without pulling the game into a really weird angle. Players now have a choice in a selective story decision (that may or may NOT develop in a timely manner.....) and a direction on how their clan will play out in the next year. I also think 1 year rotation is the sweet spot. 6 months I feel would be too quick of a turn around but anything beyond a year would be too long. Having it at GC each year kind of gives it a nice annual event that carries serious weight. 

I also like how when the roles change, you will go back to cards that you may initially have brushed off and now they might be game changers under your new role. I think what they really need to do (and was mentioned somewhere a few times in the past 6 pages of this thread) is to put out some new strongholds. I think the variety of deck flavors can really be brought out there. But we do need to give the game time. Star Wars LCG took a bit to really get a strong variety.

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I do support getting out new Strongholds faster. Back in Conquest there was an entire set of new Warlords out by the end of the first cycle and every cycle added another for each faction. I am not necessarily expecting that speed for L5R, but it was a (negative) surprise that we are almost at the end of the second cycle and more than half of the clans still only have one Stronghold.

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1 hour ago, El_Ganso said:

Back in my day, we used to offer up Bounties and Bribes to get a desired Storyline prize picked.

We would pool up our rares and such and would make callouts like "The Top Phoenix player that chooses X as a prize will get this Bounty"

This generation needs to level up their Diplomacy skill IMO :P

Communities discussing what Roles to pic, and then making sure their Top Dog picks said role, seems more like a Feature not a Bug (at least looking at it from the Old School perspective of an entire clan deciding which Storyline Prizes to pick).

Given that the Role choice is chosen by the top of Clan at Worlds, a tournament held in Roseville, Minnesota during November which can make it difficult to impossible for any international players to attend, the "Top Dog" isn't actually making the choice. Just the person who happens to go to a special tournament at the right time of the year. Giving that person such a commanding level of control for a clan's deck construction for the whole year is just very strange. At least the second Role post GenCon is based on votes by Hatamotos at Kotei level events.

While fans of the old game might be ok with bounties and bribes, that sort of thing is also alienating to new players. L5R already has a bit of population problem, especially in the US with groups being extremely separated. Add in the restrictive deck construction requirements to a system were Old5R players are seemingly comfortable with just putting up even more money just to be able to play the deck you want and that's a definitive recipe to remaining niche.

1 hour ago, XCoconutMonkey06X said:

I am firmly in the Pro-locked roles camp. It helps retain a little bit of the player involvement from the CCG days without pulling the game into a really weird angle. Players now have a choice in a selective story decision (that may or may NOT develop in a timely manner.....) and a direction on how their clan will play out in the next year. I also think 1 year rotation is the sweet spot. 6 months I feel would be too quick of a turn around but anything beyond a year would be too long. Having it at GC each year kind of gives it a nice annual event that carries serious weight.

Given that FFG LCGs appear to have a 6 year lifespan, just based on ANR, GoT 1.0, and CoC, to what benefit is it to lock people out of segments of the card pool for 1/6th of the game's life? Having to wait until November of next year for a clan to MAYBE get a useful Role to be able to use strong in Clan cards seems asinine. For example, the is almost no guarantee that Unicorn is ever going to be able to use Unleash the Djinn ever under the current system. Doesn't that strike you as a bit ridiculous?

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@Danwarr  You have to take into consideration L5R as a whole. The game was built on the previous premise that the community would have somewhat of a say in how the game progresses. No other CCG or LCG has that. Roles is a way to implement that interaction without it pulling the game way out of whack. As for the "segments of the card pool" you reference being locked out of, that equates to what, less than a handful of cards per clan? I don't think 2-3 cards on the shelf until an applicable role is selected breaks the game. They can be incentive for the hatamotos to choose said role when the time rolls around. There has to be benefits and consequences for being able to impact the game's direction. You get access to some cards and lose access to others. A chunk of the draw of L5R was that you could impact the game. By removing the role locks, there really is no direct impact and boon for achieving hatamoto status. And you can't compare this to other LCGs because it wasn't designed to be like those other LCGs. FFG wanted to keep what made L5R special as best they could and I think they were able to do that, mostly. 

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2 hours ago, El_Ganso said:

Back in my day, we used to offer up Bounties and Bribes to get a desired Storyline prize picked.

We would pool up our rares and such and would make callouts like "The Top Phoenix player that chooses X as a prize will get this Bounty"

This generation needs to level up their Diplomacy skill IMO :P

Communities discussing what Roles to pic, and then making sure their Top Dog picks said role, seems more like a Feature not a Bug (at least looking at it from the Old School perspective of an entire clan deciding which Storyline Prizes to pick).

Did any of those choices directly control how every player could build their decks?

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Oh hey, there's a OP article talking about roles, and Elemental Roles. In short, they're changing how often you have access to a role. The picks are staggered and are in effect for eight months. New roles are selected three times per year—at the Winter Court World Championship in November, after the first phase of Elemental Championships ends in March, and after the second phase of Elemental Championships ends in July. The new roles go into effect at the start of January, May, and September. 

Something is Coming

Elemental Championships

Edited by PMAvers

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