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cnemmick

[IACP] Season 2 Content Finalized and Testing League #1 Starting Soon

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I'll try to succinctly respond to one of the points in this discussion.  

Quote

When Elite Jet Troopers were released as part of Jabba's Realm, they had the best native attack outcome compared to any other non-Unique Imperial Trooper unit released prior to that.

Why didn't you raise the cost on Jet Troopers then, instead of making the prices of E.Stormtroopers ridiculously low?  This is one of my gripes with what I've seen so far.  You said it yourself.  There are times when lowering the cost will still not make them playable.  

Another thing I noticed, and I've noticed in game for a long time.  Focus is out of hand.  What was supposed to be something used sporadically is now a staple of all attacks.  I wonder how the meta would have changed if the IACP had doubled (or more) the cost of Gideon, considering who much he affects the outcome of the battle?

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4 hours ago, Wintermute0 said:

His attack pool and surge abilities do not enable him to do at least 1 DMG vs. a black die (or even vs. a white die when a DODGE is not rolled).

This is just cherry-picking the worst possible attack outcome and using it to make his attack look worse then it is. If you look at Gaarkhan's actual expected attack results, they match up pretty closely with, say, an elite Gammorean Guard. That's not un-salvageably awful, that's just fine. Every figure in the game can totally wiff an attack roll, it's just how the dice system in IA works. You can't count that as a weakness.

The difference is that the IACP rework of Gaarkhan is not to be an Elite Gamorrean Guard.

Elite Gamorrean Guard figures are used as secondary attackers, blockers and objective holders. The current FFG Regular Gaarkhan seemed to be a Rebel Unique designed to be a primary in-your-opponent's-face threat: He has a static defensive buff, abilities to get into melee from 8 spaces away, and a Command card that re-activates him. Our design choice for Gaarkhan was to have him fill that role for which he was previously designed. If Gaarkhan is supposed to be a primary threat in the 7 or 8-cost range, his primary attack should only miss when the opponent sinks a lot of resources into the defense and/or rolls DODGE.

(This isn't to say that changing the initial design direction of a card should never be considered. We did change the initial design of Finn Signis in an attempt to give the Core Set Rebel Heroes a heavier solo hitter/flanker -- an option that is consistent with his campaign class abilities.)

One more thing about Regular Gaarkhan's current design: I don't think Gaarkhan's surge to self-Focus is helpful to a 4 or 5-cost Gaarkhan, and it is surely not good when he costs 7 in the new IACP card. Surging to self-Focus stopped being added to Skirmish figures after the Return to Hoth expansion was released. I believe the designers finally figured out that in a game where defeating figures to collect VP is the primary method of winning, players did not want to spend surges to Focus for a future attack (that may not come). Instead, players spend surges to apply as much DMG as they can within that current attack. The only figures you see being played today with a surge to Focus are support figures (Imperial Officer, Gideon).

I presume you do not think Gaarkhan's attack stats are a problem when his cost is reduced to 5 or 4. I guess you're looking at him as sort of a Greedo figure -- one you get into your opponent's face and force your opponent to waste resources to defeat... giving up just 4/5 VP. I don't disagree that it would be a good use of Gaarkhan, but I do prefer that Gaarkhan should fit the role of a 7-cost Rebel Unique figure.

4 hours ago, Wintermute0 said:

Counterpoint: I think you could make a reasonable argument that Jyn doesn't need any changes. She sees a reasonable amount of play as is. She was in the 2nd place list at Gencon this year and in the winning list last year. She already is viable in the Han Smuggler box.

I personally think she's a bit weak, but if you just gave here like 2 more hp, she'd be a solid figure. She doesn't need a big redesign.

With Jyn, our redesign was focused on buffing her ability to do what players want to do with her: Get in, Stun a figure that doesn't want to get Stunned, and get out. We felt like if she could do it better natively, it would give players the option to not put a Focus on her and instead on another secondary attacker. We also wanted to empower players to use Jyn outside of the Smuggler's Box by giving her the Sidewinder ability to pair up with her Hair Trigger.  However, like you said, Regular Jyn is still a fairly viable figure that works well in the Han Smuggler box.

We're going to add a question to our Playtest Survey to see if players would prefer Regular Jyn reduced to cost 4 (which is more appropriate to her stats, comparing to newer Deployments). I think even at cost 4, her defense is too much of a liability for her to see more regular play outside of Smuggler Boxes, and I personally would like to see Jyn be used in other list archetypes.

Edited by cnemmick

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3 hours ago, Bitterman said:

Yeah. And the results are from, what, 50 people?

Granted, that's 49 people more than are playing with any of my house rules 😉 so fair play to you, and if you and they are getting fun from the IACP then I'm not about to tell anyone they're having Wrong Fun. But let's not pretend it says anything statistically significant about the wider player base (what's left of it).

We had 53 folks participate in the Season 1 Approval Voting survey and 34 participate in the Season 2 Announcement Feedback survey.

I'm not for sure how to measure the current IA Skirmish player base, or what percentage of it is participating in IACP.

What I do know is that the number of page views of the IACP Changes Document website page so far this month is 375 and it was 391 last month (we introduced Season 2 in late July). We could probably guess on the low side that actual unique viewers would be around 125-150. So we can guess that roughly 50-75 folks who are downloading our materials are not directly participating in the feedback process.

@Bitterman can you tell how many folks have downloaded your Kensai Tools in the past 3 months? That might also give us a rough idea of how many people are still participating in IA overall.

4 hours ago, Wintermute0 said:

I agree with this. I think the feedback the IACP is getting probably skews pretty positively, because the people who don't really care for it just won't engage with it.

On the slack forums we've discussed trying to identify selection bias in our surveys. Ultimately we don't completely rely on just the content of our surveys; we also go out and keep reading feedback out on the web. That's why we're always checking these Forums, the IA Reddits, BoardGameGeek.com, the IA Skirmish Command Post Facebook group, several different Discord communities that have Skirmish players in them, etc.

I don't know how else to engage members of the Skirmish community who don't like IACP and won't reach out to us to tell us why. If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.

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5 hours ago, Rikalonius said:

Why didn't you raise the cost on Jet Troopers then, instead of making the prices of E.Stormtroopers ridiculously low?  This is one of my gripes with what I've seen so far.  You said it yourself.  There are times when lowering the cost will still not make them playable.

Because we don't think the Elite Jet Trooper's cost is a problem. We think the problem is that Elite Stormtrooper needs improvement to become playable and competative. (I disagree that the Elite Stormtrooper should be the standard by which all other deployments should be built by; we'll have to agree to disagree on that.)

Changing cards is a process. We do our best to get feedback from everyone who'll share about how cards should be changed. We offer what we feel is the best option from those opinions and our own. Then we try to let feedback guide any other changes that need to be made to a card as the Season progresses. (The feedback we're getting for Boba Fett is great, in both quality and quantity.)

5 hours ago, Rikalonius said:

Another thing I noticed, and I've noticed in game for a long time.  Focus is out of hand.  What was supposed to be something used sporadically is now a staple of all attacks.  I wonder how the meta would have changed if the IACP had doubled (or more) the cost of Gideon, considering who much he affects the outcome of the battle?

The Steering Committee has asked if we should change how Focus works, and a strong majority of players continue to tell us not to do so. We'll continue to ask that question and see if minds change. But I personally don't disagree with you; Focus is the original sin that makes balancing Deployment cards difficult. 

Since Focus is so built into the game (especially when it comes to Rebel Deployment card design) it would be too punishing to Rebels if Gideon's cost is doubled. We've gotten feedback from players that ask us not to limit what is available but make more equally-good options available.  If Merc Hunters still dominate high-level IACP play after we've taken a swing at improving other list archetypes and other support figures, we will look at making Gideon's abilities Rebel-only.

Edited by cnemmick

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5 minutes ago, cnemmick said:

Because we don't think the Elite Jet Trooper's cost is a problem. We think the problem is that Elite Stormtrooper needs improvement to become playable and competative. (I disagree that the Elite Stormtrooper should be the standard by which all other deployments should be built by; we'll have to agree to disagree on that.)

make more equally-good options available.  If Merc Hunters still dominate high-level IACP play after we've taken a swing at improving other list archetypes and other support figures, we will look at making Gideon's abilities Rebel-only.

I appreciate your reasoned reply.  Can I ask why Elite ST can't serve as the baseline?  What would you recommend?  And yes, it is a matter of disagreement, if E. Jet Troopers put out more damage, they should cost more.  As has been said before, by lowering E. Storm Troopers, you effectively push R. Stormtroopers off the table completely.  I will admit, however,  I never really like the Elite and Regular variants of things in Skirmish.  It is fine for Campaign, which is what it was designed for.  

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16 minutes ago, Rikalonius said:

Can I ask why Elite ST can't serve as the baseline?

I think we've been over this before, but for me personally, I think Elite Stormtroopers stopped being a valid baseline when 1) FFG changed Victory Points being scored as per-figure instead of per-deployment and 2) FFG started increasing the damage curves on deployments starting with Jabba's Realm. My personal design goals lean towards the direction FFG was going, not where it was before Jabba's Realm. That's why I feel improving the Core Set is so important.

Edited by cnemmick

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I'll just chime in to say that nothing is absolute.

If we find that jets and weequays are dominating season 2, we'll certainly consider making changes to them like the suggested cost increase.  At the moment though, that doesn't appear to be the case.

I think limiting Gideon/3p0/Hera to Rebel is not the best approach as that nerfs mercs significantly but leaves Rebels with the same focus problem.  Whenever I see this suggested, I always wonder why people think that focus is a huge problem if merc has it but not for rebels. If we really want to talk about meaningful nerfs to the current meta, I'm curious what people think about this:

Gideon - Instead of focus, give a ? token.
3p0 - Instead of focus, give a damage or surge token.  Remove Distracting static buff and instead: Start of round (or activation?) give an evade token to an adjacent.
Jabba - Instead of focus, give a ? token.

The other large meta concern would be if Vader is too good. But that's a completely different discussion.

Edited by DTDanix

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21 minutes ago, DTDanix said:

I think limiting Gideon/3p0/Hera to Rebel is not the best approach as that nerfs mercs significantly but leaves Rebels with the same focus problem.  Whenever I see this suggested, I always wonder why people think that focus is a huge problem if merc has it but not for rebels. If we really want to talk about meaningful nerfs to the current meta, I'm curious what people think about this:

Gideon - Instead of focus, give a ? token.
3p0 - Instead of focus, give a damage or surge token.  Remove Distracting static buff and instead: Start of round (or activation?) give an evade token to an adjacent.
Jabba - Instead of focus, give a ? token.

I think this is a great idea.

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9 hours ago, cnemmick said:

@Bitterman can you tell how many folks have downloaded your Kensai Tools in the past 3 months? That might also give us a rough idea of how many people are still participating in IA overall.

I don't know how to get that info from Dropbox, unfortunately. I'm not sure it would be super-helpful anyway; updates tend to be intermittent and in groups depending on my enthusiasm, so downloads in a given period might not mean much; no spying/metrics in the app so no way to know the purpose for which people are using it (my guess is that most people use it for the card designing - personally I think the list builder is the best feature but most people seem to prefer online tools like Tabletop Admiral for that); and I wouldn't for a moment presume that that many people actually use it regularly.

Finger in the air, based on nothing more than guesswork based on the number of forum responses and emails I've had about it, I'd be pretty pleased to learn as many as 100 people were using it, probably less, possibly much less. Pretty sure FFG sold waaaaaaaaaay more than 100 copies of IA 😆 and there have been more skirmish players than that at Worlds most years, AFAIK?

In any case the number of people downloading the Tools Suite is probably close to a subset of the number of people looking at or commenting on this forum (I created a thread about it on Board Game Geek as well, but it got virtually no responses). That might be a better indication, if you can find it out... and we can see from how quiet this place is, an indication of how many people are still active in the game now.

9 hours ago, cnemmick said:

I don't know how else to engage members of the Skirmish community who don't like IACP and won't reach out to us to tell us why. If you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.

Honestly, you probably can't. That's not a criticism, just how things are. Number one problem will of course be simple ignorance - I'm not sure that anyone in my FLGS's (fairly small, previously enthusiastic, but now comatose) IA skirmish community even knows about it; they've never mentioned it. It's probably going to be difficult for you to engage with someone who doesn't know you exist. 🤔 The best example of something like this really taking off that I'm previously aware of, when GW tacitly let the NAF/BBRC support Blood Bowl for a while, the awareness was spread by GW themselves. If you can convince FFG to give the IACP a plug, you might have the start of something.

Still, I mean, that's OK. You are actively inviting feedback and may not be able to do any more than that. I think the point is that the survey results you've had, shouldn't be considered to be representative of anyone other than the people who completed the survey and maybe the people they play with. Again, that's more than I've got, I've only got my own opinion and can't assume anything about what anyone else thinks, at all. But any suggestion that the IACP survey might give any insight into what "folks" want should be treated... uh... very carefully, that's all.

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In my experience: I know most of the players, that participate regularly in tournaments in Germany in person. When we made the RIAST rules I invited all of them to our homepage. The participation on the homepage was max 25% of our community. Still we have hundreds of views, because the same guys read that stuff again and again. Those who participated, were all in for changes and even wanted more changes. But when I talked to some, that didn't participate in our discussions, I always received the same answers. "Just do your thing, I don't care." or "That is too much change, do less."

And that's at least 75% of our community.

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On 8/22/2019 at 12:44 PM, Wintermute0 said:
Quote

His attack pool and surge abilities do not enable him to do at least 1 DMG vs. a black die (or even vs. a white die when a DODGE is not rolled).

This is just cherry-picking the worst possible attack outcome and using it to make his attack look worse then it is. If you look at Gaarkhan's actual expected attack results, they match up pretty closely with, say, an elite Gammorean Guard. That's not un-salvageably awful, that's just fine. Every figure in the game can totally wiff an attack roll, it's just how the dice system in IA works. You can't count that as a weakness.

A Gammorean Guard has a re roll unlike the old Gaarkhan which makes his attack roll more likely to hit.  also the Gammoreans have reach and a more balanced attack pool.  This makes them have a more balanced attack roll regardless, and then they have a cleave 2 with reach is better damage output than Gaarkhan could do. the only difference is that Gaarkhan get +2 health and a block against melee attacks as well as ranged attacks.

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On 8/23/2019 at 2:32 AM, DTDanix said:

I'll just chime in to say that nothing is absolute.

If we find that jets and weequays are dominating season 2, we'll certainly consider making changes to them like the suggested cost increase.  At the moment though, that doesn't appear to be the case.

I think limiting Gideon/3p0/Hera to Rebel is not the best approach as that nerfs mercs significantly but leaves Rebels with the same focus problem.  Whenever I see this suggested, I always wonder why people think that focus is a huge problem if merc has it but not for rebels. If we really want to talk about meaningful nerfs to the current meta, I'm curious what people think about this:

Gideon - Instead of focus, give a ? token.
3p0 - Instead of focus, give a damage or surge token.  Remove Distracting static buff and instead: Start of round (or activation?) give an evade token to an adjacent.
Jabba - Instead of focus, give a ? token.

The other large meta concern would be if Vader is too good. But that's a completely different discussion.

I think making Gideon Rebel Only makes sense. It isn't super thematic to have him run around with Scum. Then use your 3PO change and leave Jabba as is. That way, both Rebel and Scum has access to focus, but not to double focus. I think it's the double focus that makes Weequays and Rangers so darn powerful.

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3 hours ago, aermet69 said:

I think making Gideon Rebel Only makes sense. It isn't super thematic to have him run around with Scum. Then use your 3PO change and leave Jabba as is. That way, both Rebel and Scum has access to focus, but not to double focus. I think it's the double focus that makes Weequays and Rangers so darn powerful.

Do we really need to keep Gideon so good that he continues to be a requirement in every single list?  This doesn't solve the problem of just sitting back and stacking buffs which is so annoying in the game currently.  Merc should still be able to bring him as a movement/buff option. 

Making focus much harder to get (command cards or abilities that require you to be attacking) should be overall better for the game.

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I wouldn't be opposed to nerfing Gideon as well. Without any focus boost, I might be concerned about stuff like Vader etc. But then again, I can't remember when I last fired a shot at Vader in a game so maybe that doesn't matter much.

In any case, if the IACP is going to go through with such changes as proposed by Dan, I suggest you do it asap since it has much more impact on the factions than anything else. Then do it, and let us build from there.

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I would suggest that all those changes to 3P0 might be too much; I doubt he would then be worth 2 points for a 3-move figure that doesn't attack.

Perhaps change Distracting to 'Once per activation, during your activation, choose an adjacent figure: that figure gains an evade token.

Otherwise, I like the idea! : )

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13 hours ago, IndyPendant said:

I would suggest that all those changes to 3P0 might be too much; I doubt he would then be worth 2 points for a 3-move figure that doesn't attack.

Perhaps change Distracting to 'Once per activation, during your activation, choose an adjacent figure: that figure gains an evade token.

Otherwise, I like the idea! : )

Granting evade is certainly a more thematic use of him than granting focus.  As I've said before.  At what point did C3PO ever make anyone more focused. 

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Hmm, looks like I may not have been clear.  (A problem I've been having this entire thread, I see! ; )

I like the idea of taking away Focus from C-3P0 and Gideon.  I am all for making gaining Focus harder to achieve!  Gideon is probably fine as a 3-point figure with the single change to his "On My Mark" ability of replacing "Gain a Focus" with "Gain a ? Token".

And C-3P0 is certainly undercosted for what he currently brings to the table.  However, since he cannot attack and can only move 3, Inform and Distracting are just about everything he brings to the table.  Inform should also be worth the action it costs; I'm not sure the choice of a damage or surge token is worth that either.  I suspect changing C-3P0's Inform ability so that "Gain a Focus" is replaced with "Gain a Damage or Surge Token" and changing Distracting so that "While...you are adjacent...apply +1 Evade" is replaced with "At the start of the round/your activation, an adjacent figure gains one Evade Token" is taking too much away, making C-3P0 far too limited a choice in comparison to other available figures.

My suggestion: change Inform so that "Gain a Focus" is replaced with "Gain a ? Token", and change Distracting to something along the lines of "Once during your activation as a free action, an adjacent friendly figure may gain an Evade token".

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15 minutes ago, IndyPendant said:

Hmm, looks like I may not have been clear.  (A problem I've been having this entire thread, I see! ; )

I like the idea of taking away Focus from C-3P0 and Gideon.  I am all for making gaining Focus harder to achieve!  Gideon is probably fine as a 3-point figure with the single change to his "On My Mark" ability of replacing "Gain a Focus" with "Gain a ? Token".

And C-3P0 is certainly undercosted for what he currently brings to the table.  However, since he cannot attack and can only move 3, Inform and Distracting are just about everything he brings to the table.  Inform should also be worth the action it costs; I'm not sure the choice of a damage or surge token is worth that either.  I suspect changing C-3P0's Inform ability so that "Gain a Focus" is replaced with "Gain a Damage or Surge Token" and changing Distracting so that "While...you are adjacent...apply +1 Evade" is replaced with "At the start of the round/your activation, an adjacent figure gains one Evade Token" is taking too much away, making C-3P0 far too limited a choice in comparison to other available figures.

My suggestion: change Inform so that "Gain a Focus" is replaced with "Gain a ? Token", and change Distracting to something along the lines of "Once during your activation as a free action, an adjacent friendly figure may gain an Evade token".

I think it is more interesting if Inform only gives out damage or surge tokens.

For distracting, maybe just "Limit once per round." on the current ability would be sufficient.

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On 8/26/2019 at 7:20 AM, Rikalonius said:

Granting evade is certainly a more thematic use of him than granting focus.  As I've said before.  At what point did C3PO ever make anyone more focused. 

He's constantly telling our heros the odds of success and (spoiler) they ALWAYS succeed.  :)

If that's not a focus I don't know what is.

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I have been observing this project from a far. Honestly, it feels very overwhelming, so many changes, it feels like a new game. the only drawback i have with it, is upgrading all my cards and remembering all the new additions.  i would take it on board and update my set if there was a way to buy a professional  printouts of the cards for the IACP project.  Also updating all the digital apps that i have used for so long would help with me adapting the skirmish.

Edited by Spidey NZ

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