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terryfuller

Does FFG Have the Talent?

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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