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Posted (edited)

I guess my opinions on balance are either very much off or I just don't see the current card designs as problematic. Or maybe I'm operating in a different gaming environment.

Milan Christopher is certainly a great card for seekers who want resources, but he does not in himself cause a problem. Seekers are more often than not going to run into problems that have nothing to do with resources or could get a boost if they opt for different allies. It comes down to deck playstyle for me. Milan Christopher's upside is that he is never going to be a bad card that does nothing.

But maybe I want to run a very skill heavy seeker that needs very few resources. I would prefer Charles Ross because Charles lets you pay for other people's items. That is not nothing. Seekers often have less use for resources than other factions, and if you can help a guardian get out a weapon, how is that not better than a +1 to a test you are already going to pass and a resource you don't really need?

There are very few cases where I feel like these cards actually ARE problematic, and even fewer that I feel need nerfed with errata (probably none). I hear Drawing Thin may make some waves, but honestly, I don't feel like this game is a game where there is one-card-to-rule-them-all, and I find it hard to believe I ever will. 

Key of Ys is amazing (if you draw it, if you can afford it, if you can play it, if you don't mind giving up your accessory slot, if you can keep it in play or have a way to soak sanity loss) and if you choose to spend your time and experience collecting it and digging for it from your deck, why shouldn't it be rewarding? And if you feel uncomfortable with the results making things too easy, you can play hard or nightmare and do your best to alter the chaos bag to meet your desired difficulty. 

This whole thing is a bit shruggy-shoulders to me. I appreciate balanced cards, but outliers are the exception, not the rule currently, and if they do make the game boring, I opt for a different kind of play. 

You guys are all fantastic and intelligent people, and I love these discussions in general as well as the threads of endless speculation. I just sometimes wonder if there is a bit too much anxiety over that speculation, and while the Devil may be in the details, we're missing the forest for the trees. (And mixing our metaphors, because we all know that in actuality the Devil is in the trees, and we often miss the forest for the details :P )

Edited by Soakman

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1 hour ago, Allonym said:

I think the Taboo is more of a release valve to avoid needing to course-correct with future card releases, either by creating other options of equally high power or by compensating for them - essentially, they won't need to overcost all of Seeker to compensate for Milan in the same way as how Leadership was overcosted in LOTR to compensate for Steward of Gondor. If that creates certain imbalances, they can address that with the Taboos down the line I guess. I certainly would much rather see new and interesting designs rather than cards to compensate for the dominance of Milan and Key of Ys, say.

This is pretty much my point.  I don't see how they don't take the Taboos as a new baseline for future design.  The entire idea that these are a purely optional thing that will have no other impact just doesn't seem like it can hold up.  Milan gets dragged out as an example a lot, but others have a much bigger impact.  Shroud values can't be set assuming Higher Education, because it makes it impossible for anyone not a Seeker.

1 hour ago, phillos said:

The point is that it was created for players like you Buhllin who appreciate an attempt to perfectly balance the player card pool.  Use it if you think it will make your experience with the game more enjoyable.  For anyone who finds the idea of it punishing or a chore to use then they are free to ignore it.  I think it's exactly the right solution for the more relaxed nature of the cooperative LCGs.

But this was always the case no matter how strongly they phrased the errata.  Nobody was going to show up at your door and ensure you were exhausting Milan.  And while I can appreciate the salve to the conscience of those who might feel set-upon by errata, doing it the way they did leaves a big gray area.  It's all well and good to say that nothing in the future will be designed based on these, but I'm not sure that's the case, or at the very least it would be nice to know for sure.  Is the baseline to assume Seekers have tons of money so playing with the limited Milan is a handicap?  Or do they not, so playing without the Taboos becomes a new easy mode?

I don't think anyone seems to know for sure, and everyone's making their declarations based more on whether they like the idea of it being optional or not.

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Posted (edited)

Buhallin ultimately I think it doesn't matter.  I would argue that removing or nerfing cards doesn't make other cards any less or more viable in this format.  All this does is shuts doors.  It doesn't open new ones.  I think that's where my disconnect lies.  This isn't a competitive card game where you are forced into an "arms race".  The trick is to judge cards on their own merit rather than always comparing them to the known quantities.  If you look at Shotgun and say "well it can be great, but Flamethrower and Lightning Gun are just superior so this goes in the binder" then you need a list like this one.  By the way none of those weapons are effected by this list, and if you think Machete is a problem I'd argue Lightning Gun is just as limiting to the design space in that regard.

I think I'd be more hung ho about it if:

1.) There wasn't so much card errata.  Errata on cards is always annoying, and if (like in a competitive LCG) this was mandatory I'd just choose to not run the errata-ed cards to avoid the headache.  I feel if this was not optional then they wouldn't have been so aggressive with the card errata for this reason.  In L5R I never bothered slotting Pit Trap to test it for this exact reason.

2.) I actually thought these cards were all that problematic.  I was never crying for this level of change so I don't see any value in adopting it.  I was still enjoying building decks and playing scenarios with the current rules as written. 

I'm of the same mindset as Soakman in this regards.  Yeah Milan was a strong option, but Charles Ross was also a great asset.  In someone like Roland I might rather have an Art Student.  For Daisy I might rather have Lab Assistant and Research Librarian.  My problem with Milan was always that if he came out early he was fantastic, but if he came out late he was terrible.  Also he needs something to spend that money on and if you aren't taking Higher Ed then you are talking about searching for a two card combo to get something like Hyper Awareness out early as well.  Yeah it can work, but it never felt broken to me.  Higher Ed was the problem piece.  It is easier just to ignore it and not adopt all these other tweaks that I feel just hinder my deck design.  With the tweak I find Milan kinda pointless.  Unless you get him out super early in the scenario he's just an expensive Magnifying Lens.  So did that add to my enjoyment of the game or did it just take something away?

Edited by phillos

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1 hour ago, phillos said:

With the tweak I find Milan kinda pointless.  Unless you get him out super early in the scenario he's just an expensive Magnifying Lens.  So did that add to my enjoyment of the game or did it just take something away?

If that's how you feel, these optional rules aren't for you. Which is pretty explicitly fine. But here's a counterpoint: In my analysis, Milan as he is following the Taboo change is viable but not overbearing, an up-front cost that will repay itself relatively quickly if played early but will slow down your initial tempo. My group has long since had a gentleperson's agreement not to use Milan, or Higher Education, or Machete. So using the Taboo rules explicitly adds something to our game - it adds back these cards to our pool, gives us more things to choose between. We've gained an investigator and several cards. If the Taboo list adds no value to your gameplay, I don't begrudge you that, but realise that it demonstrably adds tangible improvements to others'.

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There wasn't as big a flap about the equally optional "Ultimatums," if I recall correctly.

As far as I'm concerned, "Taboos" are a single super-baroque Ultimatum, and I don't expect to play with them.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Carthoris said:

There wasn't as big a flap about the equally optional "Ultimatums," if I recall correctly.

As far as I'm concerned, "Taboos" are a single super-baroque Ultimatum, and I don't expect to play with them.

I also think it's a bit amusing how a week or two ago, the hot concern was the multi-class cards, and now that we have an answer, it seems like that conversation is immediately dead. I don't hear anyone really arguing about the way that played out or how the new FAQ R.A.W. now have changed or will change the design space. That conversation dried up as soon as we had official word, I guess.

The driving force behind the concerns here (and in regard to the multiclass cards) is an anticipation of what will come in the future regarding official design. I really don't think there is going to be a pre-taboo and post-taboo design pattern... But regardless, the only thing that is going to satisfy this anticipatory thought-process is evidence of the future card design, and even then, without Matt chiming in, we'll never be sure what went on behind the curtain anyway.  If we're going to speculate, I'd rather speculate about whether or not Sixth Sense suggests the arrival of Jacqueline Fine and the Hand Camera Darrel or Minnie Klein. 🤔

Edited by Soakman

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27 minutes ago, Carthoris said:

There wasn't as big a flap about the equally optional "Ultimatums," if I recall correctly.

As far as I'm concerned, "Taboos" are a single super-baroque Ultimatum, and I don't expect to play with them.

Ultimatums weren't designed to fix balance problems with the game.  If there was a broad consensus that the game was too easy and the best way to fix that was adding a second autofail, then it would be in the same vein.

And that's really the core of my concern.  If the "Taboos won't affect anything going forward" view is accurate, then they're basically saying "Yes, we know these are a problem but we're not going to do anything about it.  Here are a few things you can change to make yourselves feel better about it."

 

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Posted (edited)
48 minutes ago, Buhallin said:

Ultimatums weren't designed to fix balance problems with the game.  If there was a broad consensus that the game was too easy and the best way to fix that was adding a second autofail, then it would be in the same vein.

And that's really the core of my concern.  If the "Taboos won't affect anything going forward" view is accurate, then they're basically saying "Yes, we know these are a problem but we're not going to do anything about it.  Here are a few things you can change to make yourselves feel better about it."

 

I don't see it that way. This game has some people who are actively taking challenges that the game does not require already, albeit not FFG 'official'. Things like an all mystics playthrough, completely random deck builds from an investigators pool, etc.

I will freely admit that I enjoy the game on easy/standard just fine. Taboos are just additional ways to tweak the difficulty instead of simply altering the chaos bag for more a higher fail rate on tests. I've heard that complaint multiple times about the difficulty modes (that they don't actually make the gameplay more difficult [ie tactics remain largely the same], they just make you fail tests more). Playing with taboos is one way to give yourself additional challenges without having to rely entirely on the chaos bag. A way to force yourself to remove cards that are seeing a lot of play in a lot of decks simply due to their ease of use.

I don't think it's an acknowledgment that these cards are imbalancing the game.

Edited by Soakman

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2 hours ago, phillos said:

Buhallin ultimately I think it doesn't matter.  I would argue that removing or nerfing cards doesn't make other cards any less or more viable in this format.  All this does is shuts doors.  It doesn't open new ones.  I think that's where my disconnect lies.  This isn't a competitive card game where you are forced into an "arms race".  The trick is to judge cards on their own merit rather than always comparing them to the known quantities.  If you look at Shotgun and say "well it can be great, but Flamethrower and Lightning Gun are just superior so this goes in the binder" then you need a list like this one.  By the way none of those weapons are effected by this list, and if you think Machete is a problem I'd argue Lightning Gun is just as limiting to the design space in that regard.

I think this misses how most people play LCGs.  Just because there's no player across from you doesn't mean there isn't an arms race.  There is still something to beat, and people want to beat it as best they can.  Literally EVERY player does this, even you.  I don't know for sure, but I'd be willing to bet that you run multiple copies of a unique card in your deck?  Why?  To make it better.  Simple as that.  Specific cards are no different.  Now sure, maybe you're the epitome of the "experience" player, or lean super-heavy into the RPG side and never play allies when you're in another dimension.  That's cool.  But it misses the way the vast majority of people play, and ignores what the GAME needs.

Shotgun vs. Lightning Gun is actually a great example of this done right.  Sure, most people prefer the Lightning Gun.  But the Shotgun has a higher damage cap, costs less experience, and is arguably better for some investigators.  Choosing one over the other also affects other deck designs - Shotgun needs a higher skill to make it work, whereas Lightning Gun brings its own big mods.  If we expand the pool, the BAR brings flexibility at the cost of being less efficient overall.  These are interesting design choices.

There is no such choice in Higher Education (which I'm going to start using for Milan).  Let's compare it to the upgraded Hyperawareness - for one more XP you don't have to draw it, don't have to spend an action to play it, get twice the resource efficiency, and get a better selection of stats.  The only downside is the lack of agility icons if you commit it.  In no way are those two comparable.  Fixing Higher Education doesn't shut doors - it opens them.  There's an actual choice now, because the XP cost is higher.  And as someone mentioned, higher enough that it may take you two scenarios to save for it.  Is it worth it?  Is it better to upgrade Hyperawareness and get the coverage for half the XP?  Maybe maybe not, but at least there's a choice there now.

3 hours ago, phillos said:

The trick is to judge cards on their own merit rather than always comparing them to the known quantities. 

I'm sorry, but this is simply wrong.  Every card you choose to include in your deck carries an opportunity cost.  NO card decision is in isolation.  For everything you want a card to do, you have to consider whether something else does it better.

That may not mean the same thing for everyone.  "Better" may mean "Does this fit the theme of my investigator better?"  And that's fine.  But at the end of the game, the Agenda doesn't care how well you respect your theme, and you aren't going to win or lose based on that.  The game has a lot of flavor, but it also has strongly defined success conditions and that's what a vast majority of people play towards.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Soakman said:

I don't think it's an acknowledgment that these cards are imbalancing the game.

I honestly don't see how this can be supported.  Sure, we can argue about whether Milan or Rex really needed the fix and how necessary this is.  But there are inclusions in the list (like Ace in the Hole and Quick Thinking) that clearly and obviously exist solely to fix things like Rita's infinite actions.  Ace in the Hole was nobody's idea of a problem card outside of that degenerative combo.  It being on the list seems like a pretty explicit admission that it was a problem for the game.

Edit: One other thought here is that the dramatic nature of the changes points pretty strongly to an admission of imbalance.  I can look at Switchblade or Scrapper and say "Yeah, maybe a little too good, nice tweak".  But Streetwise and Higher Ed effectively went up a level and became Exceptional.  Milan and Rex had their benefits cut to a third (give or take) of what they previously provided.  There is nothing subtle about these changes, and it's impossible for a card to be balanced at both 3 and 8 XP.

Edited by Buhallin

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, Buhallin said:

I honestly don't see how this can be supported.  Sure, we can argue about whether Milan or Rex really needed the fix and how necessary this is.  But there are inclusions in the list (like Ace in the Hole and Quick Thinking) that clearly and obviously exist solely to fix things like Rita's infinite actions.  Ace in the Hole was nobody's idea of a problem card outside of that degenerative combo.  It being on the list seems like a pretty explicit admission that it was a problem for the game.

Edit: One other thought here is that the dramatic nature of the changes points pretty strongly to an admission of imbalance.  I can look at Switchblade or Scrapper and say "Yeah, maybe a little too good, nice tweak".  But Streetwise and Higher Ed effectively went up a level and became Exceptional.  Milan and Rex had their benefits cut to a third (give or take) of what they previously provided.  There is nothing subtle about these changes, and it's impossible for a card to be balanced at both 3 and 8 XP.

I will admit that I have never tried using things like Rita's infinite action combo; but I don't believe that something cannot be balanced at both 3 and 8 xp if the xp version is intended to provide a play experience that feels more challenging. 

I do understand where you're coming from. I think I'm just coming from a place where the player extracts fun from card choice and deck construction over simply min-maxing for optimal efficiency.  90% of the time, the cards in question really do not do anything close to breaking the game the way an infinite string of actions would.  That particular combo also requires a number of very specific and implausible conditions to even be able to perform.  An oversight due to an extreme pile of very specific conditions does not make a card imbalanced in my book. It's a very specific edge case that is not likely to occur. But as I said, I am more shruggy-shoulders about taboos in general. You absolutely can be worried if you want to be worried. But worried or not, the design will change for the worse or not; it's not something that we can predict.

Edited by Soakman

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16 minutes ago, Buhallin said:

..a bunch of stuff that I agree with and want to add to...

" This list is designed to craft a healthy balance between investigator power and scenario difficulty, and to enforce shifts in deckbuilding environments over time. "

A healthy balance between investigator power and scenario difficulty is pretty explicit.  I don't know how else you would interpret the developers thoughts on it.

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7 minutes ago, Soakman said:

I will admit that I have never tried using things like Rita's infinite action combo; but I don't believe that something cannot be balanced at both 3 and 8 xp if the xp version is intended to provide a play experience that feels more challenging. 

This is moving the goal posts on the challenge level though.  I think a lot of people seem to be looking at this like Ultimatums, because both are optional - here's something that you can choose if you want to make your experience voluntarily harder.  But that's not how it's presented.

8 minutes ago, Soakman said:

I do understand where you're coming from. I think I'm just coming from a place where the player extracts fun from card choice and deck construction over simply min-maxing for optimal efficiency. 

Don't undervalue the fun people get in min-maxing something like this.  I find it's actually MORE common in cooperative games - there's nobody's feelings to hurt on the other side of the table, so you can really cut loose and feel awesome about what you manage to accomplish.

11 minutes ago, Soakman said:

90% of the time, the cards in question really do not do anything close to breaking the game the way an infinite string of actions would.  That particular combo also requires a number of very specific and implausible conditions to even be able to perform.  An oversight due to an extreme pile of very specific conditions does not make a card imbalanced in my book. It's a very specific edge case that is not likely to occur.

Maybe.  Yet the developers decided to fix it.  That says something, I think, and it's an important something.

Of course, Jobu found the quote that says that something a lot more explicitly, so... :D

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3 hours ago, Buhallin said:

Don't undervalue the fun people get in min-maxing something like this.  I find it's actually MORE common in cooperative games - there's nobody's feelings to hurt on the other side of the table, so you can really cut loose and feel awesome about what you manage to accomplish.

Not directly addressing the issue of the Taboos, but just this section as a game design/development/play issue:

There is always "somebody's" feelings to hurt on the other side of the table. I saw way too much envy in supposedly "cooperative" RPG organized play - enough that I continually question my sanity for sticking with it even after I realized just how bad it was for everything from individual games to local venue communities to the system as a whole. No matter how much you do to save everyone else, someone will begrudge you for "not letting them" be the superstar with their cosmetic damage attacks that never hit anyway and wasted spells.

Never underestimate what people will define as "fun", up to and including griefing someone else's definition of the word rather than playing and succeeding at the game. After that, try and avoid undervaluing their definitions so as to get the most cooperation and agreement possible.

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Soakman said:

I don't think it's an acknowledgment that these cards are imbalancing the game.

I think some of the changes were an acknowledgement that cards were imbalancing the game. From FFG's State of the LCG article on June 8th, Matt was asked "What are the biggest challenges facing the game?"

His answer was: "There are currently a few cards that are dominating on the player side, things like Higher Education (Blood on the Altar, 187), Rex Murphy (The Dunwich Legacy, 2), and Key of Ys (Dim Carcosa, 315). Figuring out a means to manage the metagame is high on my list of priorities."

I don't think it's too much of a leap to conclude that Taboos are his answer to this problem. That he's been thinking about it for at least almost a year means that a lot of thought has probably gone into the creation of the list, the cards that are on it and the changes that are made.

With that said, if cards such as Quick Thinking and Ace in the Hole are being changed to avoid a game-breaking combo, I'm slightly surprised that they aren't being given proper errata rather than a place on the list. I guess it won't matter to most people most of the time so it's fine either way?

Edited by Assussanni

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Posted (edited)

@Buhallin - I don't even know how to address your reply.  I kinda said everything worth saying on the subject and you seem to be talking a different language about how this game should be played, how Matt should design cards and how you should approach deck building in a casual coop (where absolutely nothing is at stack except your own enjoyment).  This list was clearly created for you.  It was created for the min-max-er you described (I go out of my way not to play with those sorts of people).  I'd glad you have the tool.  Have fun playing with it.  I sincerely doubt my group will do anything with it.  I'm glad they explicitly made it optional because I'm confident if we felt we "needed" to use this to enjoy the game then our enjoyment of the game would just diminish.  Maybe if it was implemented in a different way, but certainly not as it is currently. 

15 hours ago, Allonym said:

If that's how you feel, these optional rules aren't for you. Which is pretty explicitly fine. But here's a counterpoint: In my analysis, Milan as he is following the Taboo change is viable but not overbearing, an up-front cost that will repay itself relatively quickly if played early but will slow down your initial tempo. My group has long since had a gentleperson's agreement not to use Milan, or Higher Education, or Machete. So using the Taboo rules explicitly adds something to our game - it adds back these cards to our pool, gives us more things to choose between. We've gained an investigator and several cards. If the Taboo list adds no value to your gameplay, I don't begrudge you that, but realise that it demonstrably adds tangible improvements to others'.

Exactly my point throughout the thread.  This list is not for everyone, but I'm happy for the people who find value in it.  I just felt the "against" had a smaller voice in the thread so I was emphasizing that in my posts.  Clearly the "for" are making their voice heard.  I just wanted to make it clear that it wasn't the new normal.  In polls I've seen in other places the split is about 50/50 and true casuals for this game don't even hang out here, on discord, at BGG so it's not capturing the sizeable population who play this and don't even know there is a FAQ out there for the game.  Those numbers would probably dramatically shift if they released this as some sort of POD product rather than a FAQ entry.

Edited by phillos

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4 hours ago, Assussanni said:

I think some of the changes were an acknowledgement that cards were imbalancing the game. From FFG's State of the LCG article on June 8th, Matt was asked "What are the biggest challenges facing the game?"

His answer was: "There are currently a few cards that are dominating on the player side, things like Higher Education (Blood on the Altar, 187), Rex Murphy (The Dunwich Legacy, 2), and Key of Ys (Dim Carcosa, 315). Figuring out a means to manage the metagame is high on my list of priorities."

I don't think it's too much of a leap to conclude that Taboos are his answer to this problem. That he's been thinking about it for at least almost a year means that a lot of thought has probably gone into the creation of the list, the cards that are on it and the changes that are made.

With that said, if cards such as Quick Thinking and Ace in the Hole are being changed to avoid a game-breaking combo, I'm slightly surprised that they aren't being given proper errata rather than a place on the list. I guess it won't matter to most people most of the time so it's fine either way?

I definitely acknowledge that there was thought about the lists and also a purpose to them. But (in my eyes) cards that are dominating are not necessarily cards that are imbalanced. Everyone recognizes that the main priorities of the game are getting clues and dealing with monsters. Cards that do these things are nearly always going to be played more frequently in decks than cards with more flexibility that do oddball things, I would think. Machete is a great card, Rex, Higher Ed, and key of Ys all let you do one or multiple of the core priorities of the game more reliably (sometimes better than other cards) but they are 2 cards in your deck at max. You may never even draw them, or you might be forced to play around them, etc.  

I'm very happy that the metagame is on Matt's priorities. I trust him to make the hard calls. 

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1 minute ago, player1994465 said:

Does this mean when your playing solo Also i just wanted to know. Because i am just using the starting cards

 

Pretty much all the discussion about the new FAQ is about a set of optional rules called the Taboos. These are basically a set of changes to the balance of the game, which are explicitly optional and address some concerns that some players have with the game.

They can be used, or not used, regardless of whether you're playing solo or four player.

However, if you're just starting out, and especially if you only have the core set, I would completely ignore them. It'll just add extra complexity to the game. Likewise, the discussion in the thread is mainly on the basis of the entire pool of cards from the core set to the Circle Undone, and is on the basis of different approaches to the game after playing a lot of different campaigns.

Down the line, if you have several expansions and you've played a lot of games and you start to think "Hey, Dr Milan Christopher seems like he's too good, it's hard to justify taking anything else" or you wonder why people don't seem to suggest starting with Machete, then take a look at the Taboo rules.

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It's very much an "experts only" sort of thing. It's probably great for groups of mixed skill level (certainly less hassle than giving everyone a separate chaos bag), too. If you've just got the core set, there's no real need for it; it's strictly for people who are really into deckbuilding.

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9 minutes ago, Allonym said:

Pretty much all the discussion about the new FAQ is about a set of optional rules called the Taboos. These are basically a set of changes to the balance of the game, which are explicitly optional and address some concerns that some players have with the game.

They can be used, or not used, regardless of whether you're playing solo or four player.

However, if you're just starting out, and especially if you only have the core set, I would completely ignore them. It'll just add extra complexity to the game. Likewise, the discussion in the thread is mainly on the basis of the entire pool of cards from the core set to the Circle Undone, and is on the basis of different approaches to the game after playing a lot of different campaigns.

Down the line, if you have several expansions and you've played a lot of games and you start to think "Hey, Dr Milan Christopher seems like he's too good, it's hard to justify taking anything else" or you wonder why people don't seem to suggest starting with Machete, then take a look at the Taboo rules.

Thank you Allonym

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5 hours ago, phillos said:

@Buhallin - I don't even know how to address your reply.  I kinda said everything worth saying on the subject and you seem to be talking a different language about how this game should be played, how Matt should design cards and how you should approach deck building in a casual coop (where absolutely nothing is at stack except your own enjoyment).  This list was clearly created for you.  It was created for the min-max-er you described (I go out of my way not to play with those sorts of people).  I'd glad you have the tool.  Have fun playing with it.  I sincerely doubt my group will do anything with it.  I'm glad they explicitly made it optional because I'm confident if we felt we "needed" to use this to enjoy the game then our enjoyment of the game would just diminish.  Maybe if it was implemented in a different way, but certainly not as it is currently. 

Well gee, if you've already said everything worth saying, I guess we're done here :P

I have to admit I'm really kind of losing the thread on your point here.  For someone who insists they don't care about the power level of cards at all you really seem to feel that using the Taboos would ruin your entire experience.  As near as I can figure you seem to just have a massive hate on for the entire concept of errata, which is in complete isolation from the actual cards involved.  If you don't even deckbuild to the point of comparing any possible card to another then what does it matter if Higher Ed costs 8 instead of 3, or Rex only gets one extra clue a turn?  Why does that diminish your enjoyment?

I'm also not sure how I'm talking a different language here, because what I presented is pretty fundamental to any effort to build a deck in a customizable game.  You have a limited number of card slots.  You have tasks you need the deck to accomplish.  You have ways the deck can interact with itself.  You have a good card but it's expensive, do you add ways to gain more resources or find a similar card to fill that role?  Do you take one copy, or two, to increase your chances of drawing it?  It's not about min-maxing, or at least doesn't have to be, but if you expect anything to run well this is a pretty core process.

How exactly do you build a deck?  Do you do it entirely for theme (which I covered)?  Do you care about capability at all?  Do you just take the first card you happen to come across that catches your interest?  Let the cat loose on your collection for half an hour and just take the 30 cards that end up on top of the pile when he's done?

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Posted (edited)

I think deck-building and what a player prioritizes (in terms of actual game strategy, not theme) still varies quite a bit.

I personally build for flexibility and not consistency, which I know is not how MANY players build. I am the guy that has like 2 copies of 8 or so cards and then 14 singles because I just want more options. I want to be able to change my strategy to fit the situation, and that's something you lose when you pack a deck full of 2 of every card.

That being said, those 14 or so singles often have similar core functions but can reward play for different circumstances, and more often that not, if those situations do not arise, you can still commit them.

My priorities are also usually based around the team composition, so if we have 3 investigators that can adequately get clues, (even if I'm a seeker) I may not worry about that and pick up cards that may be less reliable than a clue-getting card on a seeker would be, but may help deal with other areas (Charles Ross for instance). I also am not really a big fan of Higher Education because of my playstyle. I don't like to lock myself into one strategy, and I like being able to play and commit cards without locking myself out of boosts. I know that Higher Education is great! Especially if you build good card draw, and use laboratory assistants etc, and that can be fun too, but I think the card pool is big enough (and balanced enough) to accommodate different playstyles without automatically making one deck feel inferior due to balancing problems.

But this desire for flexibilty often has me playing as a Rogue, Seeker, or Mystic. I feel that Guardian and Seeker are where most of the 'OP' cards seem to end up simply because they have very defined roles and straight-forward goals in mind when building those types of decks. It's hard to see other options when there is an obvious one right in front of you, but it doesn't mean the other options are inherently worse.

EDIT: The biggest 'issue' with higer ed for me, is that is permanent, which makes card choice less meaningful because you CAN include it in every seeker deck with no real reason not to. Even then, though, I still would not in someone like Minh, opting instead for something more interesting. 

Edited by Soakman

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16 minutes ago, Soakman said:

I think deck-building and what a player prioritizes (in terms of actual game strategy, not theme) still varies quite a bit.

Interesting and informative, but I think this still fits into the structure I suggested.

There are any number of things that a deck can try and do, and mix and match them.  But the fundamental approach to how you meet those needs is the same - you look at the possible cards you can take for each slot, you evaluate how they accomplish what you want them to do, consider the context of how well they can do that in relation to the rest of your deck, etc.  Like I said, that can even just be prioritizing theme - we're going to the jungle so Beat Cops don't make sense so I'm not going to take them, etc.

Where I'm confused is that phillos doesn't seem to approach it the same way, to the point that I'm "talking a different language".  I'm very curious what the alternative is.

21 minutes ago, Soakman said:

EDIT: The biggest 'issue' with higer ed for me, is that is permanent, which makes card choice less meaningful because you CAN include it in every seeker deck with no real reason not to. Even then, though, I still would not in someone like Minh, opting instead for something more interesting. 

I agree with this.  I think they dramatically undervalued the benefit of Permanent cards, especially as stat boosters.  The cost increases seem to bear this out, with the only unchanged ones being a lot more situational.

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Do you feel the same for other permanents?   Such as:  Stick to the Plan, but also Relic Hunter and Charisma?   None of these made it on to the Limited list.  

I dunno,  I just can't quite agree on Higher Ed and Streetwise getting their massive XP cost increase.   In particular I feel that both Relic Hunter and Charisma are far more powerful cards that Streetwise,  and about as powerful as Higher Education.   It's super rare that a character deck I build doesnt pick up at least 1 of either Relic Hunter or Charisma eventually, and more often than not I consider it a priority when spending XP for the first couple of scenarios.  

Sure, the Permanent talents are permanent (duh..)  and they can give good bonuses.   But they still cost resources to use and you still have to spend them every time you want to use your card. 

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