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Commander Kaine

Points adjustments over Errata? Not a great idea...

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9 minutes ago, SabineKey said:

There was a panel at the Nova Open last year where it was mentioned. I'm having a hard time relocating it, so maybe you will have better luck. 

Your Jumpmaster argument is actually grounds for why I think errata should be a method of last resort. It's inelegant, it angers people, and it can only do so much. And you are absolutely right about it being unlikely for FFG to roll back an errata nerf, hence why the new method of looking to points first is preferable.

You ask why use 3 tools when 1 will do, but how do you know the other tools won't work? Why use a tool that is cumbersome and can anger people when there is another one that could work for less upset? By your reasoning, dropping nukes should be the first thing tried to resolve a problem. So, instead of going to an extreme method, doesn't make more sense to try out more simplier methods first that have a chance of working?

While you claim you want it right the first time, that's actually going to further slow down the process. With the current system, there is room for small tweaks to see if it was enough. 

I am interested to hear if these wants are based on actual experience. Have you taken direct part in balancing a game?

I never stated that using hard errata is the only solution. I'm not sure why are you arguing that I do. Obviously, when more precise solutions are enough, there is no need to get hammer. I've said it as such in the OP and since. 

But take the example of the TIE advanced. 

Most people agree that it is overcosted when compared to the T65, but any point reduction would allow Imps to field one additional ship.  In my opinion, that is too much. 

The simpler solution is an errata. 

 

My goal is not to upset people. The JM5K nerf was upsetting on multiple fronts, the reasons being:

-Along with the previous nerfs, it went a bit overboard. 

-It damaged the identity of the ship, as represented in the lore, as well as many of the roles it played in the game. 

 

In this case, the simpler solution was to adjust costs. 

 

I'm not arguing for either solution, I'm arguing for both, using them when it is necessary. There are situations when an errata is preferable, and there are situations when the point adjustment is preferable. Using a subpar method that doesn't answer the problem (errata in the case of the JM5K, or point adjustments in the case of the X7) will result in unsatisfactory results. 

 

You gotta apply logic and reasoning to each case, to find the core of the problem, and address that. If the problem is too much or too little efficiency, address it with point cost adjustments. That's how you know. 

Luke is a problematic ability. Cost increase won't help solving that issue. Luke "we could buy our own ship for that" Skywalker is unfair, even at 30 points, which is extremely expensive. 

What he needs, is a reasonable cost, and a way to counter him. Give him the same timing window, but make it an action, and price slightly above agile gunner. Done. 

Compare him with 0-0-0, who is a fair card, but is a bit cheap for the effect. Or the Bombers, who are way too efficient. A cost reduction seems like a reasonable action there. 

 

I also don't get how this method is necessarily slower than others. 

 

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16 minutes ago, Commander Kaine said:

I never stated that using hard errata is the only solution. I'm not sure why are you arguing that I do. Obviously, when more precise solutions are enough, there is no need to get hammer. I've said it as such in the OP and since. 

But take the example of the TIE advanced. 

Most people agree that it is overcosted when compared to the T65, but any point reduction would allow Imps to field one additional ship.  In my opinion, that is too much. 

The simpler solution is an errata. 

 

My goal is not to upset people. The JM5K nerf was upsetting on multiple fronts, the reasons being:

-Along with the previous nerfs, it went a bit overboard. 

-It damaged the identity of the ship, as represented in the lore, as well as many of the roles it played in the game. 

 

In this case, the simpler solution was to adjust costs. 

 

I'm not arguing for either solution, I'm arguing for both, using them when it is necessary. There are situations when an errata is preferable, and there are situations when the point adjustment is preferable. Using a subpar method that doesn't answer the problem (errata in the case of the JM5K, or point adjustments in the case of the X7) will result in unsatisfactory results. 

 

You gotta apply logic and reasoning to each case, to find the core of the problem, and address that. If the problem is too much or too little efficiency, address it with point cost adjustments. That's how you know. 

Luke is a problematic ability. Cost increase won't help solving that issue. Luke "we could buy our own ship for that" Skywalker is unfair, even at 30 points, which is extremely expensive. 

What he needs, is a reasonable cost, and a way to counter him. Give him the same timing window, but make it an action, and price slightly above agile gunner. Done. 

Compare him with 0-0-0, who is a fair card, but is a bit cheap for the effect. Or the Bombers, who are way too efficient. A cost reduction seems like a reasonable action there. 

 

I also don't get how this method is necessarily slower than others. 

 

Again, what are you basing these "this is preferable in this case" on? Do you have experience balancing a game?

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1 minute ago, SabineKey said:

Again, what are you basing these "this is preferable in this case" on? Do you have experience balancing a game?

Am I not allowed to have opinions otherwise? Be careful what you say, because you might not have the right to tell me what you think about it, before handing in your resume, citing at least 2 years of game design related employment. 

What do you define as "experience"? I don't have experience in balancing a commercially available game. I have been designing games for over 6 years now, but only for the entertainment of me and my friends/family. I don't get how this is relevant, since the overwhelming majority of the forums don't have any experience designing games, and it is perfectly fine for everyone to express their opinions, and I have been observing you interacting with them, without questioning their authority on the matter. And it's not like I say the most outlandish things. 

If you want, you can engage my points with your own ideas, addressing the arguments I made. If it's dumb, you can easily refute it. Because me admitting that I don't have professional experience does not make your point, really. It doesn't achieve anything at all. 

 

Or... in the flip version. Imagine that I say: I do, I have designed tabletop miniature games for 15 years. 

Will that make me right, in your mind? Will you stop thinking that I am wrong? Is that all it takes? 

 

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15 minutes ago, Commander Kaine said:

Am I not allowed to have opinions otherwise? Be careful what you say, because you might not have the right to tell me what you think about it, before handing in your resume, citing at least 2 years of game design related employment. 

What do you define as "experience"? I don't have experience in balancing a commercially available game. I have been designing games for over 6 years now, but only for the entertainment of me and my friends/family. I don't get how this is relevant, since the overwhelming majority of the forums don't have any experience designing games, and it is perfectly fine for everyone to express their opinions, and I have been observing you interacting with them, without questioning their authority on the matter. And it's not like I say the most outlandish things. 

If you want, you can engage my points with your own ideas, addressing the arguments I made. If it's dumb, you can easily refute it. Because me admitting that I don't have professional experience does not make your point, really. It doesn't achieve anything at all. 

 

Or... in the flip version. Imagine that I say: I do, I have designed tabletop miniature games for 15 years. 

Will that make me right, in your mind? Will you stop thinking that I am wrong? Is that all it takes? 

 

For someone who doesn't like assumptions being made about them, you are quick to do it to others.

I am in no way suggesting you are not entitled to your opinion. However, how much weight to give that opinion is a question I wanted an answer to. If you had experience in the field, then I would put more weight on it. It's like getting tips on furniture building. It's easier to trust in the advice of the carpenter than the bus driver. Having experience would have made your opinions carry more weight with me as you could have extra information along the lines of "we tried that, it didn't work" that even in a different style of game could be worthwhile. 

As your points of what is and isn't clearly better handled by errata is opinion based, I think debating them would be fruitless for either party. I think you are too quick to reach for the hammer when using a screwdriver is far less disruptive and can still get the job done (and yes, I think this is true for your examples, especially the TIE Advanced). To be clear, I'm not saying the point adjustment method is guaranteed to work, but not attempting it first even in corner cases seems excessive and wasteful.

I will apologize for being so fixated on one aspect of your case that I got carried away in my arguments against it, missing the areas where we actually agree. While we seem to disagree on the frequency and speed of use of erratas, it looks like we can both agree that it is in using both methods that balance is better maintained. 

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4 hours ago, Commander Kaine said:

TIE Advanced (generics) are overpriced, but having 5 of them might be too much. 

Point adjustments can often result in enabling combos, or just the sheer number of upgrades/ships that quickly get out of hand. 

With an errata, you could make them slightly better, without allowing the Empire to field too many ships of a certain type. 

This can be used in conjunction with a points increase, if the named pilots get out of hand. 

 

That is an interesting example because it contradicts your argument.

Your argument was that errata is necessary for:

7 hours ago, Commander Kaine said:

Errata should be used for toxic effects that promote unhealthy gameplay, and lack counterplay options. 

But your example fits actually the other case of balancing problem you mentioned, which is:

7 hours ago, Commander Kaine said:

Points adjustments should be used for otherwise healthy effects, that are either lacklustre or too powerful. 

That means errata can also be used for „otherwise healthy effects“ if point adjustments would bring unwanted consequences.

Your argument is now:

1) There are two different problems for balancing:

a) toxic effects promote unhealthy gameplay and toxic effects lack counterplay options

 b) healthy effects that are just a bit too strong or too weak

 2) point 1.a should be solved by errata, point 1.b should be solved by point adjustment or errata in some cases.

 

After seeing this change in your argument, my next question is: why do you think the opposite does not happen? Ie that point adjustment results in the desired effect as opposed to errata?

I argue that we already have an example: GunnerLuke! The developers said explicitly that they wanted to overprice him to remove him from competitive play, but also want his ability to be „OP“, so very good.

 

If you accept this example then our conclusion has to be that both errata and point adjustments are valid methods to balance the game and should be used together, depending on the situation. Agreed?

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4 minutes ago, GreenDragoon said:

 

 

After seeing this change in your argument, my next question 

If you accept this example then our conclusion has to be that both errata and point adjustments are valid methods to balance the game and should be used together, depending on the situation. Agreed?

Please tell me you are doing this on purpose...

Go back to the op, and read it again. And then read my posts as well. 

This is literally what I've been saying the whole time.

 

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3 minutes ago, Commander Kaine said:

Please tell me you are doing this on purpose...

Go back to the op, and read it again. And then read my posts as well. 

This is literally what I've been saying the whole time.

 

Oh I know. Just wanted to make sure we‘re on the same page here. As I pointed out, your way there is a bit bumpy and faulty.

Now the next main question is:

Are there downsides to one or the other balancing method, which would minimize their optimal usage?

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8 hours ago, Commander Kaine said:

, in some cases, raising or decreasing costs is the right way to go, especially when a card does everything the card needs to do, but it is still a sub-par option compared to others.  

Yes.

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5 minutes ago, GreenDragoon said:

Oh I know. Just wanted to make sure we‘re on the same page here. As I pointed out, your way there is a bit bumpy and faulty.

Now the next main question is:

Are there downsides to one or the other balancing method, which would minimize their optimal usage?

Situational. You can't make a general statement like that. Case by case. 

One method should not be preferred over the other. Both have downsides and benefits.

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5 minutes ago, Commander Kaine said:

Situational. You can't make a general statement like that. Case by case. 

One method should not be preferred over the other. Both have downsides and benefits.

Then let‘s try to find and discuss the pros and cons of them.

I‘ll start, but it is an incomplete list and I ask you to add more. Then, after bringing them together, we can discuss them and probably discard some.

Points adjustment:

Pro: reversible; simple (don‘t have to relearn any effects).

Con: Can be limited in their ability to fix a problem; so far unknown.

 

Errata:

Pro: thoroughly fixes a problem (at least can... JM5K needed some tries); sometimes the only solution.

Cons: more complex; (so far) irreversible; caused outrage in the past.

 

One clarification we should maybe also discuss: I guess we count changes in upgrade slots as errata. I think we should rather look at them as „adjustment of unprinted attributes“, which also covers points. So far we do not know whether FFG will treat them as one (errata, allegedly rarer) or the other (points, allegedly 4 times per year). But changing slots as means of balancing would make a lot of sense and is less complex, irreversible and outrage-prone than changes to the printed attributes of a card.

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I don't think it's been mentioned as to why FFG has included these new systems to rely less on errata. Every change they make to the game that results in printed values being different has to be approved by LFL. This means arguing a case to non-gamers and a much more involved workflow.

The changes to points and upgrades no longer being printed was done to solve this situation just as much as it is to keep older ships relevant as new things come out. This was mentioned in the original press release for second edition, I think.

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3 minutes ago, GreenDragoon said:

Then let‘s try to find and discuss the pros and cons of them.

I‘ll start, but it is an incomplete list and I ask you to add more. Then, after bringing them together, we can discuss them and probably discard some.

Points adjustment:

Pro: reversible; simple (don‘t have to relearn any effects).

Con: Can be limited in their ability to fix a problem; so far unknown.

 

Errata:

Pro: thoroughly fixes a problem (at least can... JM5K needed some tries); sometimes the only solution.

Cons: more complex; (so far) irreversible; caused outrage in the past.

 

One clarification we should maybe also discuss: I guess we count changes in upgrade slots as errata. I think we should rather look at them as „adjustment of unprinted attributes“, which also covers points. So far we do not know whether FFG will treat them as one (errata, allegedly rarer) or the other (points, allegedly 4 times per year). But changing slots as means of balancing would make a lot of sense and is less complex, irreversible and outrage-prone than changes to the printed attributes of a card.

Errata can work around special cases, to enable certain things for a group of ships, while denying them from others. Point adjustments are across the board, applying to every ship that can take the upgrade. (obv, for upgrades only). Not sure if this is a pro or a con for either side.

Point adjustments can make certain lists illegal, while errata does not necessarily do that (in the case of upgrade slots, it might)

Errata is more cumbersome to play with, and messes with our nice cards.

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Point adjustments are preferable imo. If you really want an effect to be out of the game and replaced by another (which erratas essentially are), you can still raise the point to a value that makes it useless competitivly and make another card.

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16 minutes ago, Ignithas said:

Point adjustments are preferable imo. If you really want an effect to be out of the game and replaced by another (which erratas essentially are), you can still raise the point to a value that makes it useless competitivly and make another card.

tenor.gif

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3 minutes ago, Giledhil said:

1200px-DoNotFeedTroll.svg.png

Don't feed the Kaine !

Because if you do, you might have an actual discussion. The horror.

Much better to engage in the thread with petty gifs and images without reading anything.

 

Case in point:

2 minutes ago, SOTL said:

Oh this guy again.  I wonder how he's going to save X-Wing tomorrow?

9kw7o28.jpg

Good. I can feel your anger... Take your reaction memes. I am defenseless.

Strike me down with all your hatred, and your journey towards the troll side will be complete.

 

690711hq5xp01.jpg

 

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8 minutes ago, Giledhil said:

Would be strange if I didn't, since I made them. 

Another one: you are not obligated to participate, yet you do. Strange, that. Especially given your previous comment. 

Also, I think this one is more reasonable than most, but if you don't like it we can go back a bit, so I whine about the whining about whining. (And you missed that... some of my finest work ?

 

Anyway... your point being? Mods are bad, Soontirs ability is kinda meh, the advanced feels wrong and overpriced, wedge should be bullseye only,and I already accepted I was wrong about 5 xwings. I am not even alone thinking these... 

Oh, I remembered another consistent thing: people who disagree, but have no interest in the discussion just troll them to smithereens instead of leaving them for everyone to forget about. 

 

I'm getting mixed signals is what I'm saying. This is how Padme must have felt like. All those semi aggressive talks about democracy and sand, paired with the weird attention... 

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I still don't think the assertion that points can't fix everything has really been proven. The x7 situation is an interesting one to highlight this problem. Yes, the x7 upgrade was yet another one that pushed 2-attack ships out of the meta. However, that had been happening for a while anyway. The real problem there was a mechanical one to do with power creep over time. A suitable fix for that would have been, IMO, to monitor that power creep and price upgrades and abilities accordingly. Unfortunately, by the time the x7 came out that ship had long since sailed so it was much simpler to errata the card itself than change dozens of points values. That doesn't mean errata was the best answer, just the simplest at that time.

The Advanced being too expensive is currently an assertion that seems to be true, though we'll have more info once 2nd edition is being more widely played. Let's assume for these purposes you are correct and the Advanced is too expensive. There's no proof running 5 of them would be overpowered. If you really think they are it's easy enough to prove - play a bunch of 2nd edition games with 5 naked Advanceds and report back. I suspect that would be a good list because generic swarms seem fairly good, but I'm not convinced it's going to be a meta terror.

I suspect it'll be the case that sometimes an errata is the best approach, but the vast majority of the time adjusting points will be fine. If 2nd edition succeeds in reducing the hyper-defense and hyper-attack of 1st edition we should have far fewer problems with entire classes of ship being obsolete because they have the wrong number of red dice so points should be a sufficient method of adjustment where needed. Therefore I think the core premise of your post, that points adjustments are not a great idea compared to errata is wrong. Points adjustments should be favoured due to the ease of their adjustment and lower impact on the cards (changing text has the capacity to annoy people who are unaware of the change) and errata should be a last resort. My opinion might change if FFG end up repeating the same mistakes of 1st edition.

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58 minutes ago, Commander Kaine said:

Because if you do, you might have an actual discussion. The horror.

Much better to engage in the thread with petty gifs and images without reading anything.

 

Case in point:

Good. I can feel your anger... Take your reaction memes. I am defenseless.

Strike me down with all your hatred, and your journey towards the troll side will be complete.

 

690711hq5xp01.jpg

 

Its not a meme, it's a picture.

And in the spirit of it saying a thousand words that one picture is greater than the sum of every post you've ever made here.

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1 hour ago, Commander Kaine said:

Errata can work around special cases, to enable certain things for a group of ships, while denying them from others. Point adjustments are across the board, applying to every ship that can take the upgrade. (obv, for upgrades only). Not sure if this is a pro or a con for either side.

I need some clarification.

The way erratas do work as you describe is if the text becomes more specific. An example is the x7, where the bonus was specified to non-overlaps instead of general.

But erratas also are across the board. These two points are not really related, or are they?

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We will just have to wait and see how the game will shape up in 2.0. With the high pace FFG say they will release this, I am "curious" to see how many talents, mods, crew etc we get, that seemed untested, crazy or badly costed from the beginning. Its a huge tak designing so much material in such a short time, and the community will probably have to be patient before we have a balanced game. The tools for it to be balanced more easily is there now, but how fast we get there, only time will tell. No matter what, we are bund to get some cards people will gravitate towards more than others. Some will have broder use and Pay off, where hopefully a skilled player can get more mileage out of the wierder cards. 

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