Jump to content
Amanal

This game is great but getting new players is hard...

Recommended Posts

I find it ironic that people refer to LCG games that have had enormous success for nearly a decade to be somehow "problematic" and then comparing it to Destiny which is effectively in its infancy and already experiencing major issues.

I mean what LCG in the FFG lineup has been anything but a runaway hit?  Lord of the Rings?  Released in 2011, 8 years later expansions are still being made and if you don't pre-order you have no chance of getting in on it, exactly as it was on release day.

Game of Thrones?  Its on its second edition and its still running, originally launched like in 2003, second edition around 2015 and they are still running.

I can't think of any LCG's that weren't successful and considered by far and large great games worth collecting.  

Destiny on the other hand has been out for exactly 3 years and its already washing out.

I mean you can blame how FFG ran the game, but if you just compare their success in the CCG market to their LCG market, I would venture to guess Destiny is their first, last and likely only CCG they will ever make.  Especially when you consider that it has the weight of the Star Wars franchise behind it, the game should be competing with Magic The Gathering, not struggling to make ends meet.

I mean don't get me wrong, I think its a great game, but it's price point is ridiculous, in particular when you consider value vs. dollar.   I mean good competitive deck for 200 dollars and this is the sales pitch that is being offered as a "cheap entry point?"  200 bucks is about 190 bucks too much for a deck of 30 cards.

Destiny so far, in 30 years of playing CCG and LCG's has been the single most expensive game I have ever played or even heard of by a wide margin and I'm including miniature games.  Grant it, for me a single deck is not even close to enough to justify playing the game so I bought into the first three sets.  It cost me around 600 dollars to get about 1/3 of the collection for the first 3 sets. 

Its completely absurd to try to sell anyone on Destiny as anything but "A hyper expensive game" and regardless of the discussion on this forum, by far and wide this is how the game is regarded by people who play games and its the only reason whether you agree with it or not that this game is dying out.

Simply put, its waaaaay to expensive for what you get out of it. I mean grant it, I put about 1,000 dollars into my Lord of the Rings collection, but I have the whole collection, it carries the value, you get a metric ton for that money.  For 1,000 dollars with Destiny you might get 5 competitive decks.. .maybe but as far as getting the whole collection you haven't even scratched the surface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BigKahuna said:

I find it ironic that people refer to LCG games that have had enormous success for nearly a decade to be somehow "problematic" and then comparing it to Destiny which is effectively in its infancy and already experiencing major issues.

I mean what LCG in the FFG lineup has been anything but a runaway hit?  Lord of the Rings?  Released in 2011, 8 years later expansions are still being made and if you don't pre-order you have no chance of getting in on it, exactly as it was on release day.

Game of Thrones?  Its on its second edition and its still running, originally launched like in 2003, second edition around 2015 and they are still running.

I can't think of any LCG's that weren't successful and considered by far and large great games worth collecting.  

You're giving the LCGs too much credit. The Star Wars LCG was a failure. L5R's player-base has been disappearing in waves. Their Warhammer attempts were OK at best, as was their original Cthulhu game.

While LotR, Arkham and GoT are all successful games, their only 'runaway hit' LCG was Netrunner. Of their successful ones, two are co-op. One could also argue that GoT has never lived up to the popularity of the franchise. For those that liked the SW game, it's inarguable that it clearly did not live up to the popularity of the franchise. 

They've released more mediocre to bad games as LCGs than they have good. Netrunner is in my top five card games of all time. And, GoT is probably my favorite multi-player card game (though, joust is imbalanced and does not have any competitive appeal to me). The co-op games are fantastic. But, the rest, I've played them all and they all have flaws beyond just the LCG release format. L5R is a bookkeeping nightmare, Warhammer Conquest was so win-more it wasn't fun, SW just missed the mark in so many ways. I give them two good competitive and two good coop games among the nine LCGs they've released.

There is no arguing that an LCG format is cheaper to get into. But, when you buy into one of the games you don't end up liking you get zero in return. I had to sell off WH: Conquest and L5R for pennies on the dollar. With collectible format, your cards carry a value that gives more back when you leave the game. Granted, people still have to play the game for that to make sense, but cost in vs cost out is much closer between the two formats. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, gokubb said:

You're giving the LCGs too much credit. The Star Wars LCG was a failure. L5R's player-base has been disappearing in waves. Their Warhammer attempts were OK at best, as was their original Cthulhu game.

While LotR, Arkham and GoT are all successful games, their only 'runaway hit' LCG was Netrunner. Of their successful ones, two are co-op. One could also argue that GoT has never lived up to the popularity of the franchise. For those that liked the SW game, it's inarguable that it clearly did not live up to the popularity of the franchise. 

They've released more mediocre to bad games as LCGs than they have good. Netrunner is in my top five card games of all time. And, GoT is probably my favorite multi-player card game (though, joust is imbalanced and does not have any competitive appeal to me). The co-op games are fantastic. But, the rest, I've played them all and they all have flaws beyond just the LCG release format. L5R is a bookkeeping nightmare, Warhammer Conquest was so win-more it wasn't fun, SW just missed the mark in so many ways. I give them two good competitive and two good coop games among the nine LCGs they've released.

There is no arguing that an LCG format is cheaper to get into. But, when you buy into one of the games you don't end up liking you get zero in return. I had to sell off WH: Conquest and L5R for pennies on the dollar. With collectible format, your cards carry a value that gives more back when you leave the game. Granted, people still have to play the game for that to make sense, but cost in vs cost out is much closer between the two formats. 

Well your kind of comparing apples to oranges.

Star Wars LCG was a failure, but it had nothing to do with it being an LCG and everything to do with it being a crappy game design.  Any game will fail, if its a crappy game.

Which is kind of the point.  Destiny is not a crappy game.  Its a pretty fantastic and innovative design, it has deep deck building strategy, great interaction, a randomizing effect to give the game some uncertainty, a great franchise.  There is nothing about the design of the game that can explain why its not a smashing success.  I mean personally I have never met anyone who I introduced the game to who didn't instantly love it and want to have it.  Yet of all the people I have introduced the game to not a single one of them ever bought into any part of it, not even the 2 player starter box.  Why?  Because its a CCG.  Its just that simple.

Everyone knows that CCG's are money pits from ****, this is a long and well established and accepted fact about this business model.  Ask any former CCG player why they stopped playing CCG and I guarantee you that 90% of them will state cost as the deciding factor.

With LCG's, even relatively poor games do really well.  I mean you mentioned Star Wars LCG as a failure and I don't disagree with you, it was a **** game,  yet it had a 5 year run.  Destiny is going to be really lucky to last 5 years, yet,  it may very well be one of the best card games designed this decade.

Destiny doesn't have a design problem, it has a business model problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by BigKahuna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, BigKahuna said:

Destiny doesn't have a design problem, it has a business model problem.

This is where I disagree. Destiny at its core is a very fun system, but one where design problems show up each and every set. The choices made when designing the system to build around a two-resource cost curve, to have thirty card decks w/ selective mulligan and hand refill each turn. These are design choices that are getting exceedingly difficult for the designers to work around. How many trash cards do we have because this two cost isn't as efficient as that one? If they had built around a five resource curve, you suddenly can have 20% variance in power levels, rather than 50%. It is a design flaw we see in all the power cards and again in all the cards that those obsolete. 

To me, CCGs are great when most rares retain their pack value. The model fails miserably when most rares are worth $1 or less shortly after release. Balance is where Destiny fails at the CCG model.

LCGs will always draw players that don't want to chase the collectible model and invest that heavily in a game. CCGs will always draw players that like trading, secondary markets and draft/limited formats. They appeal to two different types of collectors. If Destiny went LCG, some players would follow, some would join because it is now easier to. But, they'd lose a lot of players that prefer the other model as well. Destiny's real problem is that it is not up to the balance or quality needed for it to be collectible. There is not enough tournament worthy deck diversity and the balance among cards creates a market where everything but the top 1% of cards is worthless. You are right in that the way Destiny is currently designed an LCG would be better. But, I'm in the camp that would prefer it to be a CCG, just one where the problems I've outlined are addressed and resolved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Well you can't eliminate "trash cards" in any collectable game.  All but 1% of Magic the gathering cards are also trash, its true about every collectable card game (or collectable game in general).  The vast majority of the collection is generally useless for a competitive environment by design.  This doesn't happen because of design issues in the game, this happens because that is how you sell your next set in a CCG.

The principle is simple.  You create a set of 250 cards, 230 of which are basically trash or very circumstantial and then you add 20 must have cards forcing everyone to chase them either through random boosters or in the inflated 2nd market which FFG makes money on by supplying the retail market cards that populate the 2nd market.

Everything about a CCG is by design setup to ensure the only way you can compete is to spend money.   

Any design decisions made, where made on behest of the business model.  They don't have to make all but 1% of the cards trash, they do this on purpose to ensure people have to buy more cards then they will ever use or need.

This is why LCG's are better for the consumer.  There is no 2nd market because their is no use for one.  You buy an expansion one time and you never need to buy it again.  You have a fixed cost, you have a complete collection and you are ready to compete regardless of any shifts in the meta and your only obligation is that everytime a new expansion comes out, you have to buy it.  Its a very simple maintenance process compared to CCG's that offer the choice of random boosters or chasing the secondary market hoping you don't get ripped off too badly.

So I don't disagree with you, its obvious that some of the design choices weren't ideal, but they made them to support the CCG business model.  As an LCG they would not have to compromise the game this way.

There is another level to this discussion as well which is the core concept of the game.  At its most basic overview, Destiny is a simple, fun card game.  The intention of the game is that players build 30 card decks from their collection and compete.  But this is not how it works in Destiny.

Because you have to collect dice and you are not guaranteed hero's and pairing of dice which is often necessary not just to make a competitive but to make a functional deck, the result is that even as a collectable card game the business model is way worse in Destiny then it is in other CCG's.

If this was an LCG, an expansion pack would release and it would have a new hero with two dice and perhaps a couple of pieces of equipment, with 2 dice for each.  In other words you would get what you need to play the game fully.  With the CCG model, even if you get a hero you really want, you still don't have what you need as you will need to get another copy of that same hero.  If he is rare or legendary, your chances are slim to none to get it randomly so you are forced to go to the 2nd market.  

Its a really crappy setup that I have experienced first hand.  I have purchased 5 booster boxes from 3 different expansions and I still quite literally cannot make a hero deck in any color.  I have no matches.  So despite that expense I'm still forced to go to the secondary market and the cards I want can cost in excess of 30 bucks, half as much as an entire booster box.  

Even as far as CCG's go, Destiny is a particularly bad example of predatory business strategy.  I would never in a million years allow one of my kids to get involved in a game like this, just because its such a rip-off.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As someone who to quit a while back, and decided to visit the board on a whim, I can confirm that my issues were:

Cost.  The game is stupidly expensive *for what it is*. It plays like a fun, casual game. It does not collect like a fun, casual game. Ultimately, this is mainly an issue with the dice; as much as they are cool and get people into the game, they make the cost prohibitive. Releasing the game as an LCG model isn't going to fix this. 

Very linear game design. Ultimately, way too many cards basically do the same thing. There are so, so many cards that are just variations on 'reroll/remove a dice' or the like, with more every set. Occasionally, you'd get some that actually managed to do something in an innovative way, but it was rare. And most sets only have a handful of non dice cards that did something really cool. 

Following on from this, the various die faces kind of restrict design as well. Most dice cards basically do the same thing; cards will generally have roughly the same number/values for their cost, which leads to very obvious picks (whatever has got the best values for the lowest cost). It was very rare for dice cards to have actually interesting spreads of values; or they'd be overcosted/unreliable and people would just play cheaper beaters anyway. It was rare for characters with 'cool' abilities to be good unless they were broken or abusive. 

Lack of themes/keywords/fun deck concepts. Seriously, the simple fact that it took them like numerous sets to add subtypes is just ridiculous, considering they ****ing love subtypes in other games. But the lack of fun, alternate strategies just compounds the above. There's been times when I've considered attending casual events and started thinking about deck building, before realising that whatever decks I'd build would probably just be damage dealers and maybe a support character, with the deck being x number of weapons/x number of dice removal and then a few cards left over for an actual theme.  I knew I'd play basically the same game each time; throw upgrades on characters, then re roll dice until I get a payout my opponent can't stop. Which wouldn't be that big an issue if it wasn't for point #1 above.

And hey, I'd be lying if some of the cards don't look interesting, and I've thought about just buying singles to build decks. Hah, no. Interesting pretty much seemed to equal Legendary, and therefore outside of what I'm looking at for a casual buy in.

I don't know if some of this has changed - but at this stage it's just too late. There's too many reasons for me *not* to be interested. (It doesn't help that the Transformers CCG now exists, which despite having some flaws is basically everything Destiny needs to be). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loved this game but also bowed out after the 3rd set primarily due to cost.  I played many LCGs (Netrunner being my favorite!) and I would be instantly back in if they changed to that model, just not sure how they would make that work. 

Netrunner was the only card game I played competitively and one of the primary reasons is I felt everyone was on equal ground.  Sure you still had to spend $15 a month per pack but you had access to the whole card pool and could make numerous decks.  Destiny I spend $90 for one box (that's 4 months of LCG packs) and I can't even make one competitive deck.   I understand that's part of the distribution model but like it adds up quick.  Especially when you need two copies of any of the characters or upgrades to make most decks feel complete. 

Only times I play now is draft or casually with other like minded friends who use all the cards released.  Fun game but not one I can afford to keep up with unfortunately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Abyss said:

As someone who to quit a while back, and decided to visit the board on a whim, I can confirm that my issues were:

Cost.  The game is stupidly expensive *for what it is*. It plays like a fun, casual game. It does not collect like a fun, casual game. Ultimately, this is mainly an issue with the dice; as much as they are cool and get people into the game, they make the cost prohibitive. Releasing the game as an LCG model isn't going to fix this. 

Very linear game design. Ultimately, way too many cards basically do the same thing. There are so, so many cards that are just variations on 'reroll/remove a dice' or the like, with more every set. Occasionally, you'd get some that actually managed to do something in an innovative way, but it was rare. And most sets only have a handful of non dice cards that did something really cool. 

Following on from this, the various die faces kind of restrict design as well. Most dice cards basically do the same thing; cards will generally have roughly the same number/values for their cost, which leads to very obvious picks (whatever has got the best values for the lowest cost). It was very rare for dice cards to have actually interesting spreads of values; or they'd be overcosted/unreliable and people would just play cheaper beaters anyway. It was rare for characters with 'cool' abilities to be good unless they were broken or abusive. 

Lack of themes/keywords/fun deck concepts. Seriously, the simple fact that it took them like numerous sets to add subtypes is just ridiculous, considering they ****ing love subtypes in other games. But the lack of fun, alternate strategies just compounds the above. There's been times when I've considered attending casual events and started thinking about deck building, before realising that whatever decks I'd build would probably just be damage dealers and maybe a support character, with the deck being x number of weapons/x number of dice removal and then a few cards left over for an actual theme.  I knew I'd play basically the same game each time; throw upgrades on characters, then re roll dice until I get a payout my opponent can't stop. Which wouldn't be that big an issue if it wasn't for point #1 above.

And hey, I'd be lying if some of the cards don't look interesting, and I've thought about just buying singles to build decks. Hah, no. Interesting pretty much seemed to equal Legendary, and therefore outside of what I'm looking at for a casual buy in.

I don't know if some of this has changed - but at this stage it's just too late. There's too many reasons for me *not* to be interested. (It doesn't help that the Transformers CCG now exists, which despite having some flaws is basically everything Destiny needs to be). 

How expensive is Transformers vs Destiny?  I considered it until I realized it was another CCG...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Markspinner said:

How expensive is Transformers vs Destiny?  I considered it until I realized it was another CCG...

I picked up the first set to give it a try. The first set was very limiting in play mechanics and looked like it was going to be comparable in cost.

I didn’t like it. Felt like a dumbed down Destiny without dice. There were some interesting mechanics, but they weren’t fleshed out enough to keep me coming back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Markspinner said:

How expensive is Transformers vs Destiny?  I considered it until I realized it was another CCG...

For each set, I've usually played in about two sealed events, mostly with snake drafting. There's also usually a 'starter set' type deal with each set, though these are often skip-able if you don't care about the characters. Plus:

Wave 1 - Two boxes, had to buy a fair amount of singles and a few trades. Have the vast majority of the set, I think only missing one rare character and the two super rares. Distribution was notably less even in the first set though. 

Wave 2 - Two boxes. Opened one, then drafted the other box with a friend. Felt like I overpurchased a little, after one draft and trading I had pretty much the whole set with some left over excluding the super rares. I think I was missing a playset for a handful of cards, and in the draft I was picking crap I didn't need.

Wave 3 - One and a half boxes each  for three players, then we all drafted. Came out really well,  I think two of us ended up missing one (non super rare) character, and we got a lot of 2/3 playsets.  It was enough that the second limited event we did managed to fill most of the gaps.

As you can probably tell, Super Rares are the usual 'chase' card, and the main thing that drives up costs if you want everything - currently there's four per set, and they come out at slightly better odds than one per two boxes. Fortunately, most of them aren't 'power cards' - there's only been one that was 'meta', with a few 'fairly good' and some that are quite bad. So unless you are a collector you can generally treat them as getting lucky rather than something you need. 

From memory, you'd need 4-5 good boxes of Destiny, or heavy trading/single buying, to get that kind of collection coverage and boxes seem to be roughly around the same price excluding specials. 

(And I will now stop shilling another game on FFGs forums, my apologies if this pisses anyone off).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...