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elecash

Constructive Criticism: How to make the game better

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This is an open letter to the game designers and the community to make the game better. Star Wars Destiny is a great game, with an elegant design and easy to learn and play. I've been playing and enjoying this game since its release in Awakenings and I'm still a very active, playing at local stores and Prime Championships.

At our local store we have hot discussions about how to make the game better and how to have a more diverse game. So here's a list of problems that we have detected in the game design and some suggestions to make it better to make this game live forever.

Note: I think that this suggestions would be better in a post rotation meta.


MULTICOLOR TEAMS PENALTIES

Problem: To build three-color teams is too easy and there's no penalty if you compare with two-color or monocolor teams. This make easier for three-color teams to win than monocolor teams. Why would you create a team with one or two colors if you can put three characters and have access to the best cards of each color?

It's easy to confirm this when you see in tops and finals that all teams are three-color or Reylo (which gives you access to all the best blue cards in the game).

Suggestion: Add penalty points to multicolor teams.

30 Points for monocolor decks
29 Points for two-color decks
27 Points for three-color decks

This will limit three-color decks and will give some advantage to decks with one or two colors that have less cards to pick.


TECH CARDS

Problem: Current meta abuses of the same cards over and over. Multicolor decks just pick the best cost-effect cards which results in a less diverse meta. You can predict accurately which cards a deck has just by seeing the colors of the team, no matter which characters are in that team.

For example Multicolor villain decks will always play Hidden Motive, Desperate Measures, Probe and Forsaken. Probably two copies of each in a 30 cards deck.

Suggestion: To create more subtype tech cards like Automated Defense, Droid Mods and Reassemble. Some changes to cards too good that would make the game more interesting:
- Hidden Motive (spot Jedi or Sith)
- Desperate Measures (spot Scoundrel)
- Probe (spot Leader or Trooper)
- Forsaken (spot Advisor or Sith)
- Riot Shield (play only on a Trooper)
- Armor Plating (play only on a Bounty Hunter)

This will force players to play other cards in the set that are never played and be more creative with the deck building.


ENCOURAGE ARCHETYPES

Problem: The addition of subtypes created a lot of new archetypes that are amazing but not being used because players just prefer to play highly cost-effect cards like Fist and Megablasters that can win a game in just a couple of rounds.

Suggestion: Encourage archetypes by releasing more cards that required subtypes and less generic cards. A set of at least 8-10 cards for each subtype would be probably very good:
- Leader
- Trooper
- Scoundrel
- Scavenger
- Jedi
- Sith
- Apprentice
- Pilot
- Wookie
- Witch
- Advisor

This will create a set of around 100 tech cards for each archetype that you can mix by having in your teams characters like 4-LOM (Droid and Bounty Hunter) and Palpatine (Sith and Leader). In my opinion Ewoks, Droids and Bounty Hunters already have a good set of cards, although a couple more would not hurt.

The other 60 cards could be neutral cards, upgrades, supports, downgrades, plots and battlefields.


PROMOTE COMMUNITY TESTING

Problem: Testing a CCG is hard and sometimes it feels like Star Wars Destiny has not been tested properly. Nerfs like C3PO and Snoke were too obvious and other cards interactions resulted in infinite loops like Kes and LAAT, released in the same set. BTW, can we add Kes and LAAT to the restricted list and remove the nerf to the LAAT?

Also it's interesting how a card like Desperate Measures has been released before Covert Missions that seems to be encouraging the use of supports and plots like the Destroy the Death Star. Who's going to play a deck with Destroy the Death Star plot if you know that your opponent will destroy your Vehicles by 0 resources? In current meta and spoilers I think that nobody will.

Suggestion: Contact with some big communities to test under an NDA. They will probably test it for free and will provide valuable feedback very happy.

I hope the design team like this suggestions and consider this letter as an honest and constructive feedback.

Best,

Raul

Edited by elecash

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On 11/6/2019 at 3:16 AM, elecash said:

MULTICOLOR TEAMS PENALTIES

Problem: To build three-color teams is too easy and there's no penalty if you compare with two-color or monocolor teams. This make easier for three-color teams to win than monocolor teams. Why would you create a team with one or two colors if you can put three characters and have access to the best cards of each color?

I would say this isn't because of the cost of the cheaper characters specifically. This is certainly a short term fix that would be fine.

However, the problem is more that the dice on the 8-12 point characters are just far better than they should be. Their dice are just lacking on blue sides, if say for example R2 and Chopper had the 2 melee side changed to a +2 melee you would see a significant loss of function, and your opponents removal would have far more reach. Characters in the 14-16 point range should be getting more reliable dice.

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For me the problems are as followed:

.) There are times where entering is really discouraged. At the moment starters are largely meaningless and 3 from the 5 Standard legal sets rotate out within the next 4-9 months, reducing their value by aproximatly 3/4.

.) Some cards are too powerful. This is especially infurieting if they are hard counters (desperate measures) or legendary- which leads us to the next problem. Low cost characters also seem stronger than they should be.

.) Prices for the game are ridicoulus. Buying boxes is too expensive because there are too many legendaries and different themes, that most likely will be irrelevant when the next set hits. Buying singles is also unsatisfactory, because legendary staples cost 20-70 €. This also makes swapping very difficult. The only way around it is having a big pool of players that lend cards to each other.

.) The return for the money spent is pretty low. The game is intentionally power crept, so chances are high that you need to spend a lot with each set. The things you buy will lose almost all its value within 2 years and the goodies you get at tournaments don't really compensate for it (especially if you have to travel to them).

Edited by Ignithas

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Do you think the game could survive a hard reset and go to an LCG model where every 4 months you can buy a box set that has 1 of each legendary and 2 of each other card for say $100.00us? Right now I would be willing because it may invigorate the game with new players. 

9 hours ago, Ignithas said:

The game is intentionally power crept, so chances are high that you need to spend a lot with each set...

I would like to defend the developers here a bit as this has happened largely because the early stuff was not well designed, and players wanted some changes. So some of the changes made have been to address those problems that we complained about. At first we wanted a faster game, now we want a slower game, but that has passed into the game design with better dice and more health. That said there are some staple characters that have been seeing use from earlier sets so there does seem to be some improvements there.

Of course R2-D2, C3-PO and Chopper are the exception to the rule, I think for <10 points their dice are too good, so I in some respects I agree too. 

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5 hours ago, Amanal said:

Do you think the game could survive a hard reset and go to an LCG model where every 4 months you can buy a box set that has 1 of each legendary and 2 of each other card for say $100.00us? Right now I would be willing because it may invigorate the game with new players. 

I would like to defend the developers here a bit as this has happened largely because the early stuff was not well designed, and players wanted some changes. So some of the changes made have been to address those problems that we complained about. At first we wanted a faster game, now we want a slower game, but that has passed into the game design with better dice and more health. That said there are some staple characters that have been seeing use from earlier sets so there does seem to be some improvements there.

Of course R2-D2, C3-PO and Chopper are the exception to the rule, I think for <10 points their dice are too good, so I in some respects I agree too. 

I don't think that this LCG model would work, especially if you still need 2 legendaries. I think that the easiest fix would be either removing the legendary rarity and/or reducing the amount of rares/legendaries in a set. But maybe the playerbase is too small to effectivly reducing the amount of money players have to spend.

From a gameplay perspective the design of destiny is very good currently. There will always be cards that are pushed and it makes sense to design new sets with interesting cards/combos that will certainly see competitive play. For my taste new strategies are a little bit too pushed, but it is probably better than comparable games, especially because a lot of the pieces are rares or only need one dice. The bigger problem are staple cards on legendary like Vader's Fist, Niman Mastery, Megablaster Troopers etc. You need them even in older decks, but the prices on the second market are ridicoulus.

 

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Multicolor teams are broken as stats can show:

https://irebeldestiny.com/2019/11/25/expanded-2019-20-star-wars-destiny-prime-results-week-8-update/

Three-color teams Prime winners: 31/42 (73,80%)

Three-color teams Prime finalists: 55/92 (59,78%)

As more and more expansions are released, more and more broken are the multicolor teams in comparison with monocolor teams, which makes the game less thematic (and less fun IMO).

 

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23 hours ago, elecash said:

Multicolor teams are broken as stats can show:

https://irebeldestiny.com/2019/11/25/expanded-2019-20-star-wars-destiny-prime-results-week-8-update/

Three-color teams Prime winners: 31/42 (73,80%)

Three-color teams Prime finalists: 55/92 (59,78%)

As more and more expansions are released, more and more broken are the multicolor teams in comparison with monocolor teams, which makes the game less thematic (and less fun IMO).

 

I don't really think it makes the game less thematic. I mean, Star Wars is built around a Rebel leader (Leia), a Smuggler (Han) and a Jedi (Luke). Seems multi-color is as thematic as it gets.

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15 hours ago, gokubb said:

I don't really think it makes the game less thematic. I mean, Star Wars is built around a Rebel leader (Leia), a Smuggler (Han) and a Jedi (Luke). Seems multi-color is as thematic as it gets.

That's a nice team that I would like to be able to build and I can't, but I've been able to build a lot of broken non-thematic multicolor teams like eSnoke/Ciena/RebelTraitor, e4LOM/Grievous3/Sentinel, eGrievous3/Aphra/Sentinel or PloKoon/Hoth/Chirpa/Ewok.

Meanwhile nice thematic monocolor teams like eZuckuss/e4LOM, eHan4/eChewie3, Clone combinations Rex/Cody/Clones or any themed non-reylo blue decks are just in the oblivion because you can't compete against multicolor.

Multicolor breaks theme decks because multicolor has a response against any problem due to access to the best cards in the game.

Even if there are broken themed decks like Chopper Droids, I don't see why multicolor should have any advantage against monocolor.

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A LCG model would be amazing and rarities would be irrelevant since it's an LCG. First thing to do as an LCG is remove all the chaff cards. Many cards in each set aren't even played with, so those can go. This first move would help keep the cost way down.

Second thing I would do is release complete, playable decks in Duel Packs. Each pack would come with a playset of each card and contain two complete decks. These decks would be thematic pairings like Obi Wan Vs. Darth Vader, Rey Vs Kylo, etc. These decks are playable out of the box and a perfect entry point for new players. But once someone is done playing with the prebuilt decks, they can go crazy and make their own decks.

As far as the core mechanics of the game, there are many things that need to be improved. As for rainbow teams, perhaps every non-neutral card should spot the matching color. As a result, you gamble building mixed colored decks by utilizing too many colored cards. If that doesn't work, the simplest solution is to require additional colors to cost points when team-building. Or create a set of plots that give major bonuses to mono or dual color teams.

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