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Card games, player skill, and balance- Will the developers keep their promise?

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23 minutes ago, svelok said:

Not sure where B-Wings fit into this - like the BBBB list at PAX - but otherwise, looks about complete. That and 4x Juke Sigmas are about the only other generics that show up anywhere near the top of any major tournaments so far, at a glance, outside these categories. (I see you, Juke/Vader/Collision Whisper, tucked in with all those generic TIE Fighters.)

Mostly thinking in terms of Hyperspace at this point. More "tanky" generic lists that Selfless Dmg Mitigation Rebels can field might be its own category. BBBB gets it done via the 2 named pilots good abilities with the generics strictly offensive filler/blockers.  

I think for the moment its best just to think of Generics as filler unless there is a Swarm Support or Low Init Ordinance type deal that just makes them work. 

Edited by Boom Owl

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I put 2 x Red Vets, Nien, and Lulo down into an extended format tournament this weekend.  Literally cracked the resistance pack and my RZ2 blister open on Friday night and put it on the table the next day on Saturday with zero reps in.

I went 2-2 with pretty decent MOV of 1019.  I lost the first match to Zuvio dropping cluster mines on my face and a Boba that refused to die.  It was decided by 10 MOV.  Second match was against Luke & Kulbee And a Magva + Saw crew.  Lost by 40 MOV.  Kulbee god rolled triple natties at least 2 times and just refused to die.  Saw crew f'd me up.

But other matches were pretty much a blood bath.   Went against double defenders and a nora/wedge/benthic 2 tubes list.  Lost one ship between those two matches.

I never bought 2 of the renegades packs at the end of 1.0 so I flew triple X and 2 a's for a janky 5 ship list.  This is just one ship less with some higher init stuff in the way of Nien and Lulo.  But it was really the Reds that carried their weight.  They just offered up the joust and while the other two went for flanks to draw attention.  Most matches they were down shields but once that happens you peel that guy out for a few rounds and get him into a better vector and protect  the MOV.  That extra shield really helps weather a heavy alpha or proton torp that T-65's can't.  You are hoping to just eat the shields and bank the focus for the return fire.  Then kill whatever it is that is in front of you.  You don't give up half MOV in the torp exchange while a T65 likely is.

L'ulo is what makes the list tick though.  So it's not a true generic squad.  He is a terror if he gets behind the other squad and really lets the Reds put in some work.

 

But TL:DR - yes generic T70's can turtle MOV.

Edited by viedit

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1 hour ago, viedit said:

I've found one slight glitch in the matrix....T70 generics aren't terrible.  At 3s/4h for a total of 7 health backed by 2 agility and an EPT the Red Vets are "decent".  You aren't going splat if you eat a proton torp to the face.  You aren't getting oneshot off the board if you get caught in arc of an Ooopsilon that makes the jump from hyperspace on turn 1.  The dial is open enough and backed by a boost that you can get them out of their own way.  They are very good at tanking MOV and bring enough red dice with them that stuff really doesn't want to joust you.

There is nothing fancy going on here, just a lot of health and punch on a pretty versatile chassis.

 

You could probably make the argument that the T-70 generics are a point or two, too cheap compared to the T-65 generics. I wouldn't want them touched though, at all. The T-65 is kind of backed into a corner as you drop it a point and 5 suddenly becomes a thing again. Overall, I would like FFG to just continue to make small incremental changes until there is a happy medium. Maybe in a year or two we get some semblance of balance.

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The pricing of the T70's is further boosted by the year end EVERY SHIP HAS TO GO!  closeout pricing on Rz2 A's.  Holy crap are they cheap.  You can wrap some dirt cheap i5 pocket aces around that beef.

Edited by viedit

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13 hours ago, Cloaker said:

Some Disney marketing exec would probably laugh the design team out if the room if they were told that their licensed Golden Goose had a winning list at the big tournament of a bunch of literal no names. 

I think you grossly overestimate how much influence Disney marketing has on the game in general, and even more so on OP in particular.  This is more confusing when you later say Hyperspace doesn't really suffer these problems as much.  So did Hyperspace fall through the cracks of Disney's nanomanagement?

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I agree with a lot of this discussion. I have often thought that arc dodging does take some skill, but beyond a point, is it really that difficult if you move last and can reposition once or twice? Obviously this breaks down with things like the quadjumper where you want to move first with perfect board knowledge, but in principle, I agree that higher initiative should go up, and generics should go down. The chance to move last,TL last, shoot first, Init. destroy stuff, etc. is huge. It's interesting because I4 Generics were supposed to be this cool thing, but it really is I5 or bust. 

Would it be too drastic to increase most I5s by 2 points, and decrease most generics by 1 or 2? That way there is a 3-4 increase in the price gap between them?

*   *  *  *

To switch topics to pilot abilities:

There are a lot of cool abilities, but you almost only see the ones that have greater action efficiency, even if they cost more. The ability to get multiple actions or modifications will always trump some other type of ability, even if it is really cool. For example, you never see Dalan Oberos even though it is an awesome ability, because Guri gets focus tokens. You will never see another Attack Shuttle because Sabine can do up to 3 actions. Why take the Chewie falcon when Han can get rerolls, and Lando pretty much has PTL? Why take another other interceptor when Soontir often will get a free focus? Boba's ability for rerolls his heads and shoulders above any other pilot ability.

In the land of 2.0 and less action economy, abilites that provide multiple mods/actions are even more valuable than they were in 1.0.

P.S. Bring back "zero as a thing" for Garven! ;)

P.P.S. Just saying 2.0, really though, is awesome and a lot healthier than 1.0! I have definitely enjoyed the change and I am excited about the new design spaces they have opened up. And fortunately they more easily have the ability to address the topics we are discussing :)

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27 minutes ago, JJ48 said:

I think you grossly overestimate how much influence Disney marketing has on the game in general, and even more so on OP in particular.  This is more confusing when you later say Hyperspace doesn't really suffer these problems as much.  So did Hyperspace fall through the cracks of Disney's nanomanagement?

I think we also have to be wary of thinking FFG is making decisions in a vacuum. They likely aren't micro-managing this but Lucasfilm is going to be up in your business about what you're putting in the game. Lucasfilm/Disney is very protective of this IP. Of all their IP.

Do you really think that it was just FFG that caused the first Falcon model released for 2nd Ed. to be from the most recent film? Look at what's in Hyperspace. It is either Star Wars, one of the recent four films, or Rebels. When Separtists and Republic come around it will be stuff that was in the "good" prequel movie.

I'm really shocked that The Ghost didn't make it to hyperspace considering Fang Fighters and Mining Guild TIEs but then this is the first time that all of the Scum faction has been from stuff we've seen on screen and the Ghost hasn't had a 2nd Edition release. 

This stuff isn't just a way to make money on plastic spaceships. It is marketing for the films. Poe and Rey have to be "good" because they're the stars of the films. A licensed product can not be the source of "Poe is terrible." 

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5 minutes ago, Frimmel said:

I think we also have to be wary of thinking FFG is making decisions in a vacuum. They likely aren't micro-managing this but Lucasfilm is going to be up in your business about what you're putting in the game. Lucasfilm/Disney is very protective of this IP. Of all their IP.

I'm not saying they're making decisions in a vacuum, but there's a huge difference between "Focus on newer, non EU stuff, and try to make big names good," and, "Let us personally approve all points lists and make sure we get to decide what the meta will be."

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One thing I'm not sure on is how much of "I5-Wing" is a result of moving last.

How much of it is just because of ordnance? How much is just because the good pilot abilities are on the high initiative pilots, and the price to upgrade to those pilots is too low?

My gut tells me it's a lot more of the third thing than it is the first two, and that those are merely contributing factors to a primary issue of Good Words Too Cheap. Boba or non-Super Luke at I1 would still be good, because their effects are good. (Super Luke or Duchess not as much, though.)

If the I5/6 pilots taken for Good Words were more expensive, would the I5/6 pilots taken mainly for ordnance or repositioning fall off naturally, since there's less of a race to the top?

Zealous Recruit vs Skull Squadron vs Fenn Rau, at current prices, are interesting choices if the initiatives you expect to face are more of a pyramid and less of a giant clump at I5/6.

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7 minutes ago, JJ48 said:

I'm not saying they're making decisions in a vacuum, but there's a huge difference between "Focus on newer, non EU stuff, and try to make big names good," and, "Let us personally approve all points lists and make sure we get to decide what the meta will be."

Disney pushed hard to make sure that Redline was top of the meta.

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Don't worry, something will always be broken in the game and there isn't really a reason any of us play because it's not a real game. 

Except that I don't think I've played many 2.0 games where I felt like I lost regardless of my decision making, except the time I played 4 Lambdas (which was a super fun game anyway).

 

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Point cost adjustments and upgrade revisions won't solve the problem.

Has anyone suggested something like 40K's Force Org Chart?  In 40K, you can only have a set range of various types of units, and HAVE to run a certain number of basic troops (at least in the editions I used to play).  In X-Wing, why not require at least one ship in the I1-I3 range (for example)?  Just ban Ace Wing altogether.  Or, ban it in a modified format.  You'd still have the opportunity to use any given ship in your collection, but you would have to make more choices than just I6/I5/I5 WAAC alpha-strike.

Edited by Firebird TMK

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1 hour ago, svelok said:

One thing I'm not sure on is how much of "I5-Wing" is a result of moving last.

How much of it is just because of ordnance? How much is just because the good pilot abilities are on the high initiative pilots, and the price to upgrade to those pilots is too low?

My gut tells me it's a lot more of the third thing than it is the first two, and that those are merely contributing factors to a primary issue of Good Words Too Cheap. Boba or non-Super Luke at I1 would still be good, because their effects are good. (Super Luke or Duchess not as much, though.)

If the I5/6 pilots taken for Good Words were more expensive, would the I5/6 pilots taken mainly for ordnance or repositioning fall off naturally, since there's less of a race to the top?

Zealous Recruit vs Skull Squadron vs Fenn Rau, at current prices, are interesting choices if the initiatives you expect to face are more of a pyramid and less of a giant clump at I5/6.

 Even if there isn’t a race to the top, people wanting to arc-dodge or use torps will still want the highest initiative they can afford, because in those cases, having a higher number is super important, and the only way to ensure you have a higher number is to have the highest you can get.

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Just because moving last plus PS killing are both large advantages to high initiative doesn't mean high initiative is that much better. You could even add an action that is ridiculously better on high init (like Target Lock) and a ship upgrade type generally only found on high init pilots (EPT) and then balance it with points later.

Will high initiative come down in balance? Kind of unlikely. Is the game bad because generics aren't as powerful? No. As I stated, every game I've played besides the meme list I felt like my decisions played the deciding factor in whether or not I won or lost.

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There is literally thousands of threads where people share opinions about point cost changes and what not. The problem I see is that all this is just theory, speculation and what ifs...

If a dedicated player, or better yet group of players, wants to throw some weight on suggestions and/or opinions on point costs, the best credible way to do so is implement some local changes, and play-test them. Find evidence, draw conclusions, post results. Otherwise, what makes you think your ideas/suggestions are in a better position that the ones from FFG? They are the actual game designers, that while not perfect, I assume at least do some play-testing of adjustments. Players do none, just post theories on forums. Not trying to start a war here, this is what I see on the forums.

I would love to see player theories backed by play-testing. I understand the are practical limits to this such as time, but this is really the best way to make a point. I also understand the stance of why should be play-testing, is that why we are paying FFG to do? At the same time play-testing can be fun, so why not? All in all, a community can build the game together with FFG. At the end we all win.

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On 1/21/2019 at 7:08 PM, OoALEJOoO said:

There is literally thousands of threads where people share opinions about point cost changes and what not. The problem I see is that all this is just theory, speculation and what ifs...

Some of us have MathWing spreadsheets that keep getting more accurate as they get refined over time with more data from game results. When I throw out point costs, I have tangible calculations behind what I say.

  • Personally, I balance everything relative to the generic T-65 X-wing
  • Vultures droids should cost 23 points
  • Kylo Ren is significantly overcosted relative to the X-wing & other force users
  • Most I5 pilots are undercosted. I6 pilots are actually costed fairly. (but not Wedge)
  • I can tell you exactly how undercosted Lulo & Tali are. Lulo should be ~44 / Tali should be ~41

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1 hour ago, Dengar5 said:
  • I can tell you exactly how undercosted Lulo & Tali are. Lulo should be ~44 / Tali should be ~41

As someone who is not getting Resistance, and only lightly played Rebels due to the Rebel A-wing being in a bad spot, I’m curious what your math says about the Rebel A-wings.

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X-wing 2.0 completely failed to address most of the core issues of 1.0 because it was rushed.

initiative is still king, deck building determines the outcome of games, the core system of red dice vs green dice still heavily favors high red dice numbers, and counts on shooting first.  the design space is overburdened with bloat that makes it hard to balance. it all leads to the same issues as 1.0.  elite ships are just better all around with virtually no drawbacks.

I wouldnt expect a change anytime soon because those imbalances encourage power-gamers and thats FFGs chosen market

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6 hours ago, millertime059 said:

As someone who is not getting Resistance, and only lightly played Rebels due to the Rebel A-wing being in a bad spot, I’m curious what your math says about the Rebel A-wings.

Remember that I'm using the generic T-65 X-wing as reference. Many named pilots are significantly more efficient than the T-65 generic so these pilots would NOT take over the meta at these costs. Named A-wings for Rebels are not in a good spot.

  • Jake Ferrel -- 37.4 predicted cost (40 actual cost)
  • Arvel Crynyd -- 33.2 predicted cost (36 actual cost)
  • Green Squad -- 30.2 predicted cost (34 actual cost)
  • Phoenix Squad -- 29.3 predicted cost (30 actual cost)

With the distorted I5 meta, I don't give much value to I4 pilots, and I give even less to I3. It would be interesting to see what happens with 29 point Phoenix Squad A-wings.

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