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Supertoe

Let's talk about the encounter customizability

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Posted (edited)

This is quite frankly unprecedented. Here's the things we know about the encounters we will face:
 

1. Every encounter deck consists of first a villain and cards pertaining to them.

2. A modular encounter set. There are five sets in the core, and four in the green goblin pack, and they can be interchanged freely. This is huge. If you wanna give Rhino pumpkin bombs, now you can. It's freaking awesome.

3. Built-in difficulty scaling. Every scenario includes the "basic" encounter set. Add the "advanced" one for a harder game. No more buying nightmare packs in LoTR or reducing skill check chances like in Arkham, this is natural scaling.

4. 5-CARD NEMESIS DECKS UNIQUE TO EACH HERO DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW COOL THAT IS

5. 1 Obligation card unique to each hero.

This is really, really freaking cool. No co-op has ever had this level of customization in the scenarios you play. This totally makes up for the extremely lackluster hero deckbuilding/gameplay.

Edited by Supertoe

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Personally, I’m not overexcited about the modular sets. Having played Legendary, where you get to change the minions you include in the villain deck, it adds some variance, but isn’t really all that. I’d rather have a static villain deck and more of them than one I can revisit with AIM agents in replacement of Hyrda agents.

Deck customization for me is only interesting to me in the player deck.

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Interesting thing not noted here is that the rules rank the modular sets with a difficulty ranking.  So it doesn't seem to just be swap one "Theme" with another.  There seem to be some gameplay elements built into the encounters.

Ranking per the rules:

  1. Standard
  2. Bomb Scare
  3. Under Attack
  4. Legions of Hydra
  5. The Doomsday Chair

It'll be interesting to see how the sets that come in future Scenario packs slot in to the difficulty rating.  We know there are 4 new modulars in Green Goblin.  Will they be 1-4, 2-5, some double ups on 2 & 3, or go beyond 5?

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35 minutes ago, Aahzmandius_Karrde said:

Interesting thing not noted here is that the rules rank the modular sets with a difficulty ranking.  So it doesn't seem to just be swap one "Theme" with another.  There seem to be some gameplay elements built into the encounters.

Ranking per the rules:

  1. Standard
  2. Bomb Scare
  3. Under Attack
  4. Legions of Hydra
  5. The Doomsday Chair

It'll be interesting to see how the sets that come in future Scenario packs slot in to the difficulty rating.  We know there are 4 new modulars in Green Goblin.  Will they be 1-4, 2-5, some double ups on 2 & 3, or go beyond 5?

The Standard encounter set doesn't have a ranking. Bomb Scare is difficult 1, and Masters of Evil is difficulty 2. I'm expecting the Goblin encounters to be ranked 2-5 but wouldn't be opposed to some duplication. 2 2s and 2 3s for example.

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Yeah, only the modular encounter sets have a difficulty rating. The Standard and Expert sets are unrated (the Standard set is always included, and the Expert set comes in when you play on Expert). So the ratings are:

  1. Bomb Scare
  2. Masters of Evil
  3. Under Attack
  4. Legions of Hydra
  5. The Doomsday Chair

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10 hours ago, Supertoe said:

This totally makes up for the extremely lackluster hero deckbuilding/gameplay.

This is an interesting take. What makes the deckbuilding lackluster? Sure, it's more streamlined than Arkham for instance (with each Investigator having their own, potentially very bespoke, deckbuilding rules). But it's still not dumbed down or simplistic in any way. In fact, you could argue that the 'pair any aspect with any hero' element to be innovative and exciting. It creates tons of combos, flexibility and cool party building opportunities. 

The gameplay is certainly streamlined compared to Arkham, mainly due to the loss of a spatial/board element. But that's not a bad thing per se.

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41 minutes ago, jonboyjon1990 said:

This is an interesting take. What makes the deckbuilding lackluster? Sure, it's more streamlined than Arkham for instance (with each Investigator having their own, potentially very bespoke, deckbuilding rules). But it's still not dumbed down or simplistic in any way. In fact, you could argue that the 'pair any aspect with any hero' element to be innovative and exciting. It creates tons of combos, flexibility and cool party building opportunities. 

Even compared to lord of the rings it's dumbed down a little, which is fine given all that is in the game, but still, only being allowed to choose one aspect, and only build ~25 card decks since the other 15 cards are hero cards is a little meh for me. Once the cardpool is bigger, that deck size could be problematic. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Supertoe said:

Once the cardpool is bigger, that deck size could be problematic. 

 

I think the word you're looking for is challenging.  Not every game has to be like others.  It's fine if this style isn't your bag.  I listened to tons of people complain about the ways Keyforge wasn't like Magic and that it "broke" the system and wouldn't work, yet here we are 1+ million decks in less than a year.  This aspect of deckbuilding is going to work for me exactly for the reasons that Keyforge worked for me.  It lets me make a deck quickly and have some options without getting too deep into the "Meta" and lets me start playing faster.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Aahzmandius_Karrde said:

I think the word you're looking for is challenging.  Not every game has to be like others.  It's fine if this style isn't your bag.  I listened to tons of people complain about the ways Keyforge wasn't like Magic and that it "broke" the system and wouldn't work, yet here we are 1+ million decks in less than a year.  This aspect of deckbuilding is going to work for me exactly for the reasons that Keyforge worked for me.  It lets me make a deck quickly and have some options without getting too deep into the "Meta" and lets me start playing faster.

Again, I'm nitpicking a bit. This game still lets you actually build your own decks as an option, but also lets you play them out of the box, similar to Ashes. So it's pretty awesome. But I still feel like we will see some challenges as the cardpool grows bigger.

It's just like how in keyforge you can't really just "buy a deck and be competitive", you have to drop hundreds of dollars on decks if you wanna have any chance in tourneys, one of the reasons why I never bought in. There are going to be some cards in marvel that are op and some that are useless. Which of course is the same in any game. But it's going to be harder given the 25-card limit.

Edited by Supertoe

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10 minutes ago, Supertoe said:

Again, I'm nitpicking a bit. This game still lets you actually build your own decks as an option, but also lets you play them out of the box, similar to Ashes. So it's pretty awesome. But I still feel like we will see some challenges as the cardpool grows bigger.

It's just like how in keyforge you can't really just "buy a deck and be competitive", you have to drop hundreds of dollars on decks if you wanna have any chance in tourneys, one of the reasons why I never bought in. There are going to be some cards in marvel that are op and some that are useless. Which of course is the same in any game. But it's going to be harder given the 25-card limit.

It's actually a 25-35 card limit, if we're nitpicking.  And based on how fast one can cycle through a deck (and trigger extra encounter cards), it might actually be worth aiming for the upper limit rather than lower, depending on the hero and/or scenario.

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Yeah I much prefer the move towards 30ish card decks with Star Wars Destiny , Arkham, and Warhammer Underworlds - enforces you to make tough choices when deckbuilding, and you see your best cards more often. I imagine hero (15) + aspect (25) makes for a much better experience. 

With a larger deck, players/the community could settle on the best Aggression, Protection, Justice, Leadership decks and then add whatever hero. I much prefer having to make tough and specific choices based on the hero I'm playing. 

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2 hours ago, jonboyjon1990 said:

Yeah I much prefer the move towards 30ish card decks with Star Wars Destiny , Arkham, and Warhammer Underworlds - enforces you to make tough choices when deckbuilding, and you see your best cards more often. I imagine hero (15) + aspect (25) makes for a much better experience. 

With a larger deck, players/the community could settle on the best Aggression, Protection, Justice, Leadership decks and then add whatever hero. I much prefer having to make tough and specific choices based on the hero I'm playing. 

I completely disagree. I’m play Destiny a lot and my biggest gripe is the small deck size. Makes your deck too consistent and also squeezes out those meta choices that are crucial to enforcing a healthy tournament scene. With a 30 card deck, you can’t field aggro while also feeling like you’ve adequately toolboxed some against mill or vehicles. Decklists become so samey because you’re never forced to look at tier 2 cards and make a choice of what to include.

Not as big a deal in coop games, but it’s a trend that I hope slows down. Deckbuilding is a part of the fun for some players and FFG is constantly trying to dumb it down to make a game more inclusive. 

Also, for the argument that there’s countless hero/aspect combinations, that’s correct. But, we all have friends that will only ever want to play their favorite character. Personally, I’ll play Spider-Man or Cap way more than any others. So for those sticking to one character, the slow release schedule and general lack of content for each aspect is going to make it a poor deckbuilding experience for those. 

Can’t please everyone. FFG chose a path of easy deckbuilding for a lower barrier of entry. But, let’s not pretend that any strength of this game is going to be deckbuilding diversity.

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Posted (edited)

30 card decks is a little much with 3 limit (although there appears to only be 2x of every non-unique in the core so that sucks), but the unique 1 per deck should help since most if not all allies are unique.

I didn't know that about the uniques that makes this a little better. I was envisioning a scenario where you only add 3x of 8-10 cards into a deck, which is understandably bad.

 

 

I am a little concerned that we won't see cards for two aspects until next summer though.

Edited by Supertoe

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8 minutes ago, gokubb said:

Can’t please everyone. FFG chose a path of easy deckbuilding for a lower barrier of entry. But, let’s not pretend that any strength of this game is going to be deckbuilding diversity.

I don't know that I understand what you're getting at.

Your entire argument presupposes that choosing a hero isn't part of deckbuilding.

There will be mechanical differences between Iron Man and Captain America (16-22 cards). Choosing the right pairing of heroes with Aspects to tackle the hardest scenarios is part of the optimization problem. It's part of deckbuilding.

It's like pretending that almost all deck construction games don't have archetypes that you build around a ten-to-twenty core card idea to begin with. FFG has just defined the core archetype as "Iron Man" or "Ms. Marvel".

If you don't want to play certain heroes, that's great. That's absolutely your choice and I support it. But let's call it what it is - you're opting out of a certain amount of deckbuilding. Just because you're not participating in it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. If my wife plays Aggression Captain Marvel, and I want to play with her, hero selection becomes part of my deckbuilding choice. It's definitely a key axis of how I decide what 40-50 cards are going in to my deck.

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, CitizenKeen said:

I don't know that I understand what you're getting at.

Your entire argument presupposes that choosing a hero isn't part of deckbuilding.

There will be mechanical differences between Iron Man and Captain America (16-22 cards). Choosing the right pairing of heroes with Aspects to tackle the hardest scenarios is part of the optimization problem. It's part of deckbuilding.

It's like pretending that almost all deck construction games don't have archetypes that you build around a ten-to-twenty core card idea to begin with. FFG has just defined the core archetype as "Iron Man" or "Ms. Marvel".

If you don't want to play certain heroes, that's great. That's absolutely your choice and I support it. But let's call it what it is - you're opting out of a certain amount of deckbuilding. Just because you're not participating in it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. If my wife plays Aggression Captain Marvel, and I want to play with her, hero selection becomes part of my deckbuilding choice. It's definitely a key axis of how I decide what 40-50 cards are going in to my deck.

I think what gokkub means is that, in addition to the 10-20 archetype of "Iron Man", there is also the 10-20 card archetype of "Aggression". It's silly to think that choosing a hero is a significant part of deckbuilding. It's no different than choosing heroes in LOTR, it's important but only a small part of deckbuilding.

 

You are required to put in the 15 hero-specific cards. That's not deckbuilding. You pick a hero/character/investigator/warlord and then build a deck around them. The actual deckbuilding is only 25-35.

 

Hero selection is not and has never been a signficant part of deckbuilding in LCGs. If we use the closest example of Conquest, which had 8 warlord-specific cards, the vernacular was "I'm going to build a Sicarius deck, I choose 42 cards to go with him" or what have you.

Edited by Supertoe

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5 hours ago, Supertoe said:

Again, I'm nitpicking a bit. This game still lets you actually build your own decks as an option, but also lets you play them out of the box, similar to Ashes. So it's pretty awesome. But I still feel like we will see some challenges as the cardpool grows bigger.

It's just like how in keyforge you can't really just "buy a deck and be competitive", you have to drop hundreds of dollars on decks if you wanna have any chance in tourneys, one of the reasons why I never bought in. There are going to be some cards in marvel that are op and some that are useless. Which of course is the same in any game. But it's going to be harder given the 25-card limit.

Given that many/most tourneys I’ve seen listed for KeyForge are blind, you absolutely cannot drop hundreds of dollars on decks.

Now, if you’re searching for decks of a particular makeup, or with specific cards, that’s a bit more of a fools errand, since almost all the decks are, at this point, fairly equal and about how you play them, not what they have per se. <gets off soap box>. 

I like that there’s a good chunk of cards that are very thematic to any given hero in their deck, as it allows for more interesting styles of hero, like Tony Stark having to build his suit up to get a larger hand size. 

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1 minute ago, Derrault said:

Given that many/most tourneys I’ve seen listed for KeyForge are blind, you absolutely cannot drop hundreds of dollars on decks.

That's very true.

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12 minutes ago, Supertoe said:

Hero selection is not and has never been a signficant part of deckbuilding in LCGs. If we use the closest example of Conquest, which had 8 warlord-specific cards, the vernacular was "I'm going to build a Sicarius deck, I choose 42 cards to go with him" or what have you.

I would disagree on this, as in the LORT LCG picking your heroes is a huge part of deck building

Also in Netrunner (too soon...), I would frequently come up with a certain combination of cards I wanted to use before picking an Identity most suitable for it

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1 hour ago, Supertoe said:

30 card decks is a little much with 3 limit (although there appears to only be 2x of every non-unique in the core so that sucks), but the unique 1 per deck should help since most if not all allies are unique.

What makes you think there’s only 2x of every non-unique in the Core Set? The only Aspect cards you get 2x of is the Power of cards. You get a playset of the other non-uniques.

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50 minutes ago, Supertoe said:

Hero selection is not and has never been a signficant part of deckbuilding in LCGs. If we use the closest example of Conquest, which had 8 warlord-specific cards, the vernacular was "I'm going to build a Sicarius deck, I choose 42 cards to go with him" or what have you.

This really isn't true.  Heroes are critical in LOTR, even in the same class Arkham investigators will require completely different deck philosophies, etc.  If you randomly swap 3 cards in your LOTR deck it's pretty minor.  Change your three heroes - even in the same spheres - and the entire structure of the deck will be out of sync.  Same thing in Arkham - you can't take a deck built for Zoey and drop it into Roland and expect it to work nearly as well.

Smaller deck sizes do force hard choices, but if Destiny can't get any variation in a 30-card deck that's because Destiny's balance and card design sucks.  The high reliability in Destiny also comes from other places than the deck size - the generous mulligan rule, the full redraw, etc.  But heck, even in Destiny the character choices matter a lot.  If you take a Trooper deck and change the characters to Ewoks, what happens?

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10 minutes ago, iJiminy said:

What makes you think there’s only 2x of every non-unique in the Core Set? The only Aspect cards you get 2x of is the Power of cards. You get a playset of the other non-uniques.

You get a playset (or more, in the case of neutrals) of everything (since a playset is "however many copies you can put in a single deck"), because the "Power of" are limited to 2 per deck and the uniques to 1 per deck.

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