Jump to content
terryfuller

Does FFG Have the Talent?

Recommended Posts

Hey-O, Everyone!

 

Looking back over the L.C.G. catalog, I wonder if F.F.G. has the design talent to release a new card game that has the in-game depth of Android Netrunner.

 

To provide my view, it seems like L5R's design is a little too short-sighted and AGOT is a little too wide. 

 

Do you think that F.F G. can make a truly great L.C.G. that has the design and in-game decision-making space to succeed for years like Android Netrunner did?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LotR, Arkham Horror and AGoT are all trucking along.  LotR is probably late in its life, but new content is still coming out.  Arkham Horror is very popular, with no signs of slowing.  AGoT is also not showing signs of slowing.  L5R isn't for me, but it's popular and is selling well.

Kind of sounds like you just want Netrunner back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No competitive LCG has really lasted long enough to tell. Netrunner had it's issues, but they seemed to be getting there. 

I have not been impressed with how they have balanced L5R or GoT, as well as mechanics. There are plenty of templating issues. I think they just have too many factions compared to Netrunner having 3-4 for each side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Netrunner was originally design by Richard Garfield of Magic The Gathering fame.  FFG refined Netrunner and then released it as an LCG, but many of the core concepts and even card designs were lifted directly from that original Richard Garfield design.    Richard also designed Keyforge which is put out my FFG.  So do they have talent?  Well they have Richard Garfield right now partnering with them on a product.  Just he's not working on LCGs.  Past games in FFG's LCG catalogue boasted Eric Lang of CMON fame on their design team.  He no longer works with FFG and I believe is now full time at CMON.  Those are giants in the industry.  So it's a bit unfair to hold everyone to that standard.

That all said AH:TCG was created by the current LCG developers and it is one of the best card games they've ever put out.  It's just not competitive, which might be what the OP is looking to talk about.

My view of L5R is it was a very ambitiously designed game and has some really fantastic concepts.  I think they underestimated how much the game's length and complexity would turn off the vast majority of the game's audience.  When you see attendance at the Gen Con tournament for it's release versus now there was definitely a giant crowd willing to give the game a try but didn't stick around.   It didn't help that the organized play structure was confusing and that the single core experience for that game was pitifully bad.  You couldn't even make a tournament legal deck with a single core, which should have been a red flag.  You should be putting your best foot forward.  I can't speak to how well it sells.  There is still a very sizable community online.  Tournaments are usually reasonably attended, but it does feel like people grumble often about small local scenes.  That's a long way to say that I think it was a well designed game.  If the game failed then it was in the execution.

Competitive LCGs seem like a real challenge for a card game design team.  It might be unreasonable to expect any design to be infinitely expandable without a hard periodic reset to clear out the toxicity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/17/2019 at 3:22 PM, phillos said:

Netrunner was originally design by Richard Garfield of Magic The Gathering fame.  FFG refined Netrunner and then released it as an LCG, but many of the core concepts and even card designs were lifted directly from that original Richard Garfield design.    Richard also designed Keyforge which is put out my FFG.  So do they have talent?  Well they have Richard Garfield right now partnering with them on a product.  Just he's not working on LCGs.  Past games in FFG's LCG catalogue boasted Eric Lang of CMON fame on their design team.  He no longer works with FFG and I believe is now full time at CMON.  Those are giants in the industry.  So it's a bit unfair to hold everyone to that standard.

That all said AH:TCG was created by the current LCG developers and it is one of the best card games they've ever put out.  It's just not competitive, which might be what the OP is looking to talk about.

My view of L5R is it was a very ambitiously designed game and has some really fantastic concepts.  I think they underestimated how much the game's length and complexity would turn off the vast majority of the game's audience.  When you see attendance at the Gen Con tournament for it's release versus now there was definitely a giant crowd willing to give the game a try but didn't stick around.   It didn't help that the organized play structure was confusing and that the single core experience for that game was pitifully bad.  You couldn't even make a tournament legal deck with a single core, which should have been a red flag.  You should be putting your best foot forward.  I can't speak to how well it sells.  There is still a very sizable community online.  Tournaments are usually reasonably attended, but it does feel like people grumble often about small local scenes.  That's a long way to say that I think it was a well designed game.  If the game failed then it was in the execution.

Competitive LCGs seem like a real challenge for a card game design team.  It might be unreasonable to expect any design to be infinitely expandable without a hard periodic reset to clear out the toxicity.

I agree. The game is just too long, and too complex. A long game can work if the gameplay is simple and the strategy is more in long-term planning. But there are way too many decisions to make each round. There are 2 challenges each player, with 5 different rings to take, plus Conflict Cards.

A complex game can also work if it doesn't drag, because that can be taxing. 

Netrunner was good because while it had a bunch of hidden info, the choices were all relatively straightforward. The largest choice was choosing which server to attack, and that isn't hard to grok at all. But L5R you can attack in 2 challenges with 3 characters, you opponent has 4 to defent, and they also get counterattacks.

Another major problem was 6 and 6. Long periods without product ruins collectible games. I think the triple core idea is just vastly outdated and needs to change in some way. Perhaps have a core set like they do now that can make basic decks and has full neutrals. Then release a wave of faction packs that complete that faction, along with adding some new cards at launch. Maybe release something like the SW Destiny 2 Player Kit or the AGOT Starter decks. 2 prebuilt decks that can be played together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To say FFG can't release a game with the depth of netrunner is pretty absurd though.  AGoT has a lot of depth and currently has a strong metagame and a great community.  40K Conquest was a really strong LCG that was only getting better, but it was cut down by the loss of the Warhammer license, which is similar to what happened with Netrunner.  L5R is plagued by downtime between release windows and oppressive OP rules.  The game mechanics itself are not bad, though a hand limit (akin to GoT Reserve) would probably make the game better.  And then you consider the co-op LCGs which are mechanically sound. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I agree L5R needed a max hand size.  Games with an infinite hand size are always problematic.  I remember when the game was announced the two things I noticed immediate was no hand size max and then no forced conclusions (so game length was open ended).  Coming off of Netrunner and Conquest where a conclusion was forced by a predictable game variable and where card draw was constrained by core game mechanics those aspects of the design stuck out as red flags.  I think the game still struggles with those design decisions.  Notice how AGOT and Arkham Horror managed both those concerns in their design. 

Edited by phillos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

L5R kind of has a forced conclusion with the lose 5 honour on running out of a deck, but that can theoretically be worked around with certain cards.

AGOT handled max hand size amazingly. They build it in as a mechanic. You could sacrifice hand size for other benefits with your plots. It had whole decks built around increasing your hand size, or choking out your opponent's hand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am starting to feel the lack of an LCG.  There is a small group of us (3) that do Netrunner.  If there were people doing AGOT nearby I would be tempted to get into that.  I might even consider L5R.  I just hope some new LCG gets launched sometime soon...but I am not optimistic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, TheDolph said:

I am starting to feel the lack of an LCG.  There is a small group of us (3) that do Netrunner.  If there were people doing AGOT nearby I would be tempted to get into that.  I might even consider L5R.  I just hope some new LCG gets launched sometime soon...but I am not optimistic.

We moved onto AGOT from netrunner - it took a few games to get our heads around its differences but I highly recommended it; the intro decks were gold to help people get involved and are worth the low investment to try it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 5/13/2019 at 4:30 PM, phillos said:

I agree L5R needed a max hand size.  Games with an infinite hand size are always problematic. 

No if there's limit for action per turn or card draw per turn just like eg in Age of Sigmar Champions. You have two actions per turn, but for every action passed you draw one card the end of turn. Simple and effective.

Edited by kempy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've not played Champions.  I guess if that draw throttling is effective then good for that game.  Though my experience has been cap-less hands always lead to some sort of unintended abuse.  I'm sure FFG wasn't anticipating the bid 5 meta in L5R, Netrunner CI combo kill decks or the LOTR "draw your entire deck" builds because they thought they throttled draw sufficiently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I don't understand is where to notion of Netrunner as the holy grail comes from. People were so frustrated about the card design and the later mechanics while Netrunner was running.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree there were some supremely broken cards and combos in Netrunner.  Maybe worse than some of the current games.  At the same time there was a real resistance from the design team to police the card pool until later in life, which was very frustrating.

Though it actually managed to endure as a competitive LCG.  I think that's why it is remembered well.  It died while it was still a healthy game.  Also even at it's lowest point it feels like Netrunner had a larger active player base than many of the current games FFG puts out and I think that counts for alot when it comes to people's opinion of a game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did not play competitively and did not try to build the broken decks.  My fondness for it was that it did not play like anything else at the time.  It was the  card game that got me back into card games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...