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DISCUSSION: What is the single biggest issue and what single change made do you think would help L5R as a whole?

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Hi,

 IMHO: biggest problem for causal players is that game is too long, and a little too complex without good reasons. As long I like a game some decision are probably not best for a game. Military and Political stats I think is not necessary. Old L5R Force / Chi was better. Force for conflicts – Chi for specific situations. One type of conflict – reduction of dubious situation.  Also, provinces – like 4 + 1 SH – I think 4 without SH would be simpler without losing spirit of game. Also, I think that in Old L5R there was easier distinguish for spell, attachment, action (event). Now we have events, spell events (but you don’t need Shugenja top cast them), spell attachment like cloud etc. IMHO – to complicated without reason. System spell / attachment / event was good. But please do not add battle terrains 😊

But one or two things can be easily change reduce province just to 4 – reduce game complication without losing complexity and REMOVE Imperial Favor mechanics from game completely or change it. This like new extra layer of abstraction without good reason for it. Honestly Favor is easy to remove without sacrifice for game.

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34 minutes ago, Avatar111 said:

The fact that they do not organize all the stories in released order, in nice pdf format, and that you have to open 5 tabs and try to organize them by dates yourself is just so dumb!

Right about that! It should be in one tab, in order, with a small description.

No reason not to whatsoever.

But coming from the l5r rpg side, my expectations are low! There are spoilers for the published adventures (in neat bullet point easy to read format) mixed up with character creation options in the same pdf location. We don't even have tabs :D

 

You realize they have a separate section of the website that does collect the web fictions, they're sorted by release cycle and listed with dates.

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/legend-of-the-five-rings-fiction/ 

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15 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

You realize they have a separate section of the website that does collect the web fictions, they're sorted by release cycle and listed with dates.

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/legend-of-the-five-rings-fiction/ 

Exactly the one I was speaking about with the nonsense sorting that is not welcoming for new players.

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1 hour ago, Avatar111 said:

another question, everybody talks about Role locking. But I don't see anywhere that it mentions roles being locked. Is it a thing you need to find on a community made website too ?

When people say role locking what they are normally referring to is the fact that some cards (about 50 from the entire pool) have rules text on saying "___ role only", where ___ can be any of the 5 elements, or Keeper or Seeker.  There are 10 core roles: 'Keeper of' and 'Seeker of' for each of the 5 elements.  Thus those cards are 'locked' to either 2 or 5 of the basic roles.

At home or with your friends you can use any role with any Clan.  If you want to participate in any of the organised play events, your deck needs to use one of the two roles that is currently attached to that Clan, as specified on the FFG website Evilgm previously quoted.

There are (4, but soon more) other roles that came out in clan packs: 'Support of the clan'.  These give more influence for deckbuilding but don't count as Keeper, Seeker or any element, so stop you from accessing the various role-locked cards.

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29 minutes ago, Schmoozies said:

Its gets lost since most people don't seem to realize that every fiction is actually linked to that section of the website and not the LCG section

So they do exactly what I thought they should do but I was to unobservant to notice, nice. Being wrong does have its upsides.

 

Edit: now that I look at it it could still do with a little organising.

Edited by Jamadman
Added edit

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33 minutes ago, Jamadman said:

Edit: now that I look at it it could still do with a little organising.

indeed.
the way it is organised is very confusing for a new players. basically, you need to open all tabs and sort them by published dates... 😕

just had this happened to me when my friends asked me where to start for the fiction, and I realized its just, organized in a way for veterans, not noobs (which was the original subject of discussion, the game not being noob friendly)

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On 8/8/2019 at 1:56 PM, Tonbo Karasu said:

When people say role locking what they are normally referring to is the fact that some cards (about 50 from the entire pool) have rules text on saying "___ role only", where ___ can be any of the 5 elements, or Keeper or Seeker.  There are 10 core roles: 'Keeper of' and 'Seeker of' for each of the 5 elements.  Thus those cards are 'locked' to either 2 or 5 of the basic roles.

At home or with your friends you can use any role with any Clan.  If you want to participate in any of the organised play events, your deck needs to use one of the two roles that is currently attached to that Clan, as specified on the FFG website Evilgm previously quoted.

There are (4, but soon more) other roles that came out in clan packs: 'Support of the clan'.  These give more influence for deckbuilding but don't count as Keeper, Seeker or any element, so stop you from accessing the various role-locked cards.

Actually discussion of role locking is almost always about clans being locked into roles.

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1 hour ago, HamHamJ2 said:

Actually discussion of role locking is almost always about clans being locked into roles.

Yes in so much as clans are on two official roles for organized events and that those 2 roles dictate which role locked cards they have access to.

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Roles

Restricting cards to certain roles was brilliant from a game design point of view. It lets them create subdivisions of the cardpool for unique builds. It can help reduce the chance of combos by separating them.

But Role Locking is just dumb. What does it actually add to the game? It gives maybe a few hundred players control over what decks can be played. Sure you can play it casually, but I can't go to a store championship or anything with official support with it.

Role Locking restricts the cardpool and prevents innovative deckbuilding.

Complexity

There are popular complex games. There are popular long games. There are very few popular complex long games. It is draining to play even a single game.

Let's just look at the Conflict Phase. My opponent and I each have 3 characters out. That isn't an unusual board state.

I have to decide between Military and Political. I can use any of my characters, and my opponent can defend with any number of theirs. And often there is disparity of how much strength we will have in each. I also need to pick a Ring.

I also have to think ahead. My opponent will counter attack with either type as well. And then my second challenge. And their's. And that is just picking challenges with completely open information.

Now lets add the Conflict Deck. Things can flip on a dime. And we go back and forth. I have to pay close attention because they do one thing, and now I have to respond. Back and Forth. We can have a complex series of card plays over this province and I win victorious... Now my opponent counterattacks and we do it again. And we have to do it for 2 more provinces each and a stronghold.

Even the Dynasty Phase is back and forth where speed is rewarded.

I think this game was just made with far too many fiddly bits. Conflicts should have been pure military, with Political done in duels and other indirect means.

Distribution

This is probably the bit that is the biggest barrier to entering an LCG, buying into it.

While it is true that over time it is cheaper to buy every product than say Magic. But it is much easier to get into Magic. You can pick up an intro deck for like $15 and play in 10-20 minutes.

But for L5R you have to buy 3 core sets, adding up to over $100. And that is just to get into the game. Learning to play can take hours. Being able to win can take dozens of matches with how skill intensive it is.

And you can't even make a deck with a single core set. That is the worst failing.

Now let's look at the packs. Each faction gets 2-3 cards, and some neutrals. There is little change, and you have to get almost everything to assemble a good deck. You could have to buy 10 different packs for 1 card each, to assemble a deck. The rest just sits there.

 

But how to fix that? I would make it so you only need 1 Core Set. Full playset of neutrals. A few Clan cards as 3-ofs, with the rest being 2 and 1-ofs. In the core, each Clan has about 26 cards. You could have 2 cards at 3x (6). Add 3 cards at 2x (6+6=12). And then fill out 14 more single cards, these being splashy uniques and the like. That gives you 19 unique cards. About 2/3 of how many were in base core.

The next step after buying a core is buying the Clan pack for your favorite Clan. You get the rest of the 1 and 2-ofs from the Core. 3 cards at 1x, and 14 at 2x, for a total of 31 old cards. That leaves ~49 cards to fill out the rest. Add a second Stronghold, a Clan Province, and maybe a few limit 1 per deck cards. And then 15 new cards at 3x. Now you have a full playset of 34 Clan cards for the price of a Core Set and Clan Pack ($60 or so). You also have the neutrals.

Now the Dynasty packs. Focus them a bit more to 3 or 4 factions. Put the Faction Logo on the bottom so it is easy to see what is in it. Each faction gets 3-7 cards depending on the pack. Plus a few neutrals. This gives room to introduce a theme for a faction, and other packs can expand on that theme. Meanwhile you are exposed to a few interesting complete themes from another faction. You might want to try that one out.

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4 hours ago, Hannibal_pjv said:

I rally like role locking! One of Th best features. It gives more diversity when you have to follow certain restrictions when building the deck!

How does locking the Role you can use create more diversity?

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2 hours ago, Radix2309 said:

How does locking the Role you can use create more diversity?

The argument is it forces clans to switch off their ideal role selection for at least short periods.  The classic example is Meta Crab would likely not be giving up Keeper of Water anytime soon if they weren't forced to by virtue of losing the role.

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People has a tendency of making that one ultimate build and stick on it. Role locking forses them to change that setup because it is possible that role that allows that specific build is not available at that moment. To casual player it is real pain, because he ”have to” change his deck after every two times he play the deck :)

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But good card design can nudge people to change up their current decks.  

And role locking flies in the face of diversity.  In the competitive scene, decks will always fluctuate to the optimal build, and because of that, you wind up with two obvious decks for most clans.  

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Even if it is true that people stick to a single build (something I disagree with). That doesnt mean everyone will be sticking to the same deck. You might have 30 with deck A while another 20 play Deck B and 15 more play Deck C.

And there are always brewers trying something new. And if those decks do well, a bunch of people want to try out the new hotness.

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There are three key issues with Legend of the Five Rings.

First is the simple fact that the theme of the game is very niche.  Most people I have introduced "meh" the game before I tell them a single thing about it, just the simple fact that is based on a Fantasy Samurai setting is a big turn off.  That's not something that can be fixed, it simply is what is it is and some people like that theme, most people simply do not.  At least that is my experience.

The second thing is that we live in an era of simplicity when it comes to board and card games.  Complex games, weather they are complex because of the rules or simply have complex strategies witters the game down to a niche product.  Again there is not much to do about, the fan base of this game enjoys a complex strategic experience and so the game should and does cater to that, but it does put it on the outs with your average gamer.

Finally its a competitive Dueling card game.  This in its own right complicates its space and this I can attest to.  There are 8 people in my gaming group, when we get together for a game night its always at least 3-5 of us.  There just is very little room for a 2 player dueling game.  More than that, for all of us to collect and build our own decks is a huge expense for everyone, meanwhile there are tons of great card games made for 3-5 players that require no collecting of any kind.  Hence it makes it hard to justify.

Legend of the Rings is a unique and interesting game.  Personally I bought two core sets, built a couple of decks and me an a buddy of mine get together a few times a year when a rare opportunity comes up where there is just two of us and we play it.  We both enjoy it but I just don't see myself diving into collecting the game, we just don't get enough play out of.  I think since launch I have played the game maybe 5 times so even just justifying the two core sets is iffy.   It spends most of its time on the shelf collecting dust.

A couple of things I can see helping to get me more involved might be.

1.  Sell the sets in a single box.  I would be far more willing to spend 50 bucks on a 2 player set with all the cards, then I am trying to track down 6 unique expansion packs x 2.

2.  Sell pre-made clan decks.  Im far more likely to buy a pre-made deck then I am random cards.  This really helped get Game of Thrones to the table.

3. Make a good online version of the game.  Being able to play a game online can help a game a lot.

4. It would have helped a lot if buying a core set gave you everything you need for a 2 player game.  The fact that I had to buy 2 core sets to make a full deck was a big turn off.

As a whole I have far more interest in games like Marvel Champions where its a core set made for 4 players with all the cards you need to play a full game right out of the gate.  Games like Lord  of the Rings LCG I own almost everything because you can play it solo.  Destiny we like as well because the randomness of the CCG means we have no expectation to collect everything.  Both me and my friend made a couple of decks and pick up occasional cards and its simple and fast enough to work as a filler so we can play on game nights when we wait for people to arrive.  Even Game of Thrones is a more attractive game because its designed and tested for multiplayer and it actually plays better with 3-4, comes with pre-constructed faction decks.  

I guess what I'm saying is that Legend of the Rings doesn't really fill any common niche and the competition in the 2 player dueling collectible card games genre is pretty stiff too.  I can understand why the population of the game is relatively small.

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Frankly: I like the mechanics and the play style of the new L5R FFG and the idea of the Living Card Game... I don't like the marketing or how to buy the game. Let me be frank- I am willing to buy into and play the game for two clans, maybe three. But the cost is largely wasted on cards I'm never going to use. I can't go into it with enough friends to justify the costs. I can't get into the game brand new for less then a hundred dollars. The game is dead in the local community after several years of AEG's mismanagement and I don't see any sign of it coming back with the card spread such as it is.

 

But I had a recent discussion with a friend and here are the things that would allow me to get back into the game:

Noticing that the site was selling the Crane Championship deck on the page:

I would totally purchase a BEST OF CLAN runner up for the clans I want to play. I have friends who would do the same. With a fully playable IN-CLAN deck, I would be willing to purchase future installments of the LCG or even seek past installments for cards I may want to add into my deck. Frankly, the cost of the core set is just NOT worth it this far into the game cycles. Nor do I think, with seven factions and deck sizes as they are, that it ever was really worth it.

Now I'm an old school player- started during the Spirit Wars, really enjoyed Gold through Diamond, and sort of started to lose a lot of steam shortly after that. When the Blood Rain came it caused a lot of people I knew to quit the game as several key personalities just fell to corruption of the shadowlands and it felt like the game just kept ramping up the power levels. Up until that point, there had been a strong and loyal local base of players- some of whom would love to play again but they haven't seen a cost effective way to get back into the game. I think FFG underestimated the Clan Loyalty aspect of the game.

Edited by redcapjack

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