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DarkHorse

The Roles Have Been Freed

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As just announced by Tyler at Winter Court when the clans were about to pick the new roles, the roles are now freed.

If you don't know what this means, it means that you can pick whichever of the 10 elemental roles you like to use and build your deck accordingly.

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I have always thought that soft cycling was a nice way to keep the card pool more fluid though I don't like how ultimately the role selection was implemented.  Now that roles are freed I hope it does do work toward introducing multiple competitive deck builds for each clan.   As a deck builder I am sort of excited by that.

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I actually hope its gonna be a mix. Like this season roles are freed, then next half of the yr after the next big tourney Roles are implemented again.

I think this gives variety on what we do on tourneys for the whole year.

 

 

Edited by Yogo Rye X

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I love that it is because of players' choice, this feels very much like the good ol' days. My only concern is that the clans each know what the "best" role for them is, and that's all we'll see. So, unless there's a hot new mix of really cool role-locked cards coming out soon, this might actually reduce deck variety. 

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Even if what you say is true, now I can go against the grain and prove that my deck is better (or not!). But having the choice is great! There were events I did not attend this season because I could not play the deck I wanted and that clearly sucked for me. So if even 1 player gets the chance to play what he wants then that is a plus in my book.

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Especially this Worlds showed that people have off the wall deck/stronghold/role choices even on the highest level of competition. People that argue that a small amount of elite players dictate the whole meta are not taking the real results we got from major events into account. The changes to the role system gives the players even more choices to go against the grain.

I am happy that I can go to our weekly meetup with my KoE Phoenix/Dragon and Dragon/Phoenix monk deck.

Edited by Ignithas

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I can only hope those that oppose this change can look past it to the positive  benefits freed roles have on the new player community if nothing else. I still think it will bring about some variation, which will be good for the game but, I really feel that telling players that they can’t play the cards they just purchased is an immediate negative play experience so... thank you to all who helped implement it. 

To Freedom!

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57 minutes ago, Strange1 said:

I can only hope those that oppose this change can look past it to the positive  benefits freed roles have on the new player community if nothing else. I still think it will bring about some variation, which will be good for the game but, I really feel that telling players that they can’t play the cards they just purchased is an immediate negative play experience so... thank you to all who helped implement it. 

To Freedom!

They just need to look at the Role cards again and re-evaluate how pushed some of the effects (I'm looking at your Fight On and Forebearer's Echoes) in light of now instead of a few clans having access to them at any time for limited periods, everyone can have them at any time.

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Although the game has been out for over 2 years now, it's still in it's infancy.  Freeing the roles is probably a good move and in retrospect probably should have been this way from the beginning.  Role locking never bothered me and I actually think it's a good concept.  Now that we have an idea of how card rotations will work, I suppose that it's not really necessary to lock the roles to facilitate card rotation in absence of new cards.  If new card releases stagnate...…..it could be a problem, but maybe this is a signal that the recent delays are behind us. 

Hopefully this will have the desired effect of encouraging more people to build a wider variety of decks, which I'm guessing will motivate people to play more casual L5R, and in turn, grow the competitive scene when people want to bring their wacky decks to events. 

Now they just need to bring back the Utz! Banzai! chant.

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It’s not really always have access to them. I mean you aren’t getting soul beyond reproach and fight on together. The balance portion wasn’t really about people not having access part of the year. That would be unintelligent at best as it creates even more lopsided power skewing for a meta. It really was as incentive prize for winning. In part that makes sense but it is a rich keep getting richer scenario and bad for new players so...

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Im not sur eit will lead to more variety. You had some variety with locked roles that cycled. Now theya re free, people will determine the one or two most powerful and stick with them permanently until a new feast or famine or whatever comes that merits the role being switched. I think this change will lead to less variety in the competitive scene, and you might see the same role.dominating a clan for a year or so instead of 4 months. For casual play it might not have that effect, but then again, in casual play you always had free roles. This change affects the competitive scene only really, and to the opposote effect of variety imo. Again, I really hope time proves me wrong

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I would dare say most of those groups do so out of a competituve feeling and many will emulate the best choice. And so stick to the same one or two roles. The only difference is those roles wont change very 4 months, they will stay until an op card make sit worthy to migrate. And so, less variety than before.

The previous sytem might seem restrictive (I didnt find it restrictive at all but thats personal opinion) but it made you cycle playstyles regularly and so ensured some variety, or at list a rotation. The new one seems at first glances to open the gates wide open, but I fear in practice what it will do is facilitate the picking of o e role and make clans stagnate withe the most optimal choice now that theya rent forced to switch it

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1 hour ago, RafaelNN said:

I would dare say most of those groups do so out of a competituve feeling and many will emulate the best choice. And so stick to the same one or two roles. The only difference is those roles wont change very 4 months, they will stay until an op card make sit worthy to migrate. And so, less variety than before.

The previous sytem might seem restrictive (I didnt find it restrictive at all but thats personal opinion) but it made you cycle playstyles regularly and so ensured some variety, or at list a rotation. The new one seems at first glances to open the gates wide open, but I fear in practice what it will do is facilitate the picking of o e role and make clans stagnate withe the most optimal choice now that theya rent forced to switch it

I would partially agree with this, however you have to take into account that the L5R playerbase is somewhat of a different breed when it comes to "competitive" play.  There may be some newer to L5R that don't have the same loyalty as others do to a particular clan, family, style of deck, etc.  In Old5R there bulk of the playerbase was perfectly fine showing up with their deck, knowing full well they had no real shot at winning, but they didn't care as long as they were representing their clan or playing a meme deck for story purposes.  While doing this is not likely to sway FFG in their story decisions the way it did AEG, I would not be shocked if players do it anyways...…….because we're nerds and we do nerdy things.

Opening up the roles could bring this back and in return it could bolster the number of players attending events.  While this may not really impact the overall metagame in any significant way, it does make deck selection somewhat more difficult for even the players at the top, since they now have to account for more weird random jank that falls outside of what is considered to be the top tier of decks. 

I don't see there being any possible way for there to be less variety of decks, however, the top players (in particular the ones that aren't clan loyal) will still drive the top decks of the metagame, and we are still likely to see less variance at the top.  I know plenty of players that have been waiting and hoping for a particular role to come open so they can try certain cards and strategies, and while not all of them will be successful, as long as there is a steady stream of cards, it's more likely that we see an equally steady stream of decks that are outside the expected metagame.

 

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15 hours ago, RafaelNN said:

Im not sur eit will lead to more variety. You had some variety with locked roles that cycled. Now theya re free, people will determine the one or two most powerful and stick with them permanently until a new feast or famine or whatever comes that merits the role being switched. I think this change will lead to less variety in the competitive scene, and you might see the same role.dominating a clan for a year or so instead of 4 months. For casual play it might not have that effect, but then again, in casual play you always had free roles. This change affects the competitive scene only really, and to the opposote effect of variety imo. Again, I really hope time proves me wrong

Most groups play with the official roles, even if they are playing "fun decks". Furthermore the clans most likely have their prefered role 8 months, not 4. Your example also applies a stagnand meta and sacrifices variety within a tournament for maybe a higher variety within a year.

10 hours ago, RafaelNN said:

I would dare say most of those groups do so out of a competituve feeling and many will emulate the best choice. And so stick to the same one or two roles. The only difference is those roles wont change very 4 months, they will stay until an op card make sit worthy to migrate. And so, less variety than before.

The previous sytem might seem restrictive (I didnt find it restrictive at all but thats personal opinion) but it made you cycle playstyles regularly and so ensured some variety, or at list a rotation. The new one seems at first glances to open the gates wide open, but I fear in practice what it will do is facilitate the picking of o e role and make clans stagnate withe the most optimal choice now that theya rent forced to switch it

It is hard to speak hypothetically, but I know that our playgroup won't stay on the same one or two roles. Especially if you try to build off the wall you often come to a point where a different role would give you usefull tools. So if you tell me that you didn't find it restrictive, then you probably didn't brew enough.

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17 hours ago, RafaelNN said:

 

The previous sytem might seem restrictive (I didnt find it restrictive at all but thats personal opinion) but it made you cycle playstyles regularly and so ensured some variety, or at list a rotation.

The idea that changing roles constantly created new decks and playing styles is a fallacy that has been disproven repeatedly by tournament results. It rarely created new decks, it only ever temporarily weakened good decks until the Roles cycled back around again 4 months later. New cards created new decks, and the Roles were more likely stop people being able to play those new cards as enable them. Role Locking wasn't an amazing tool that constantly allowed the tournament environment to rotate and change- just ask anyone who has played against Crab since the start of the game how different that matchup feels. 

I have played the same deck since before the first Gencon event- Bid 1 Scorpion Dishonour. The most impactful changes to my deck were not due to Roles changing, but due to the Restricted List. Not once was I put in a situation where I felt I had to change my playstyle because of the available Roles.  The top Clans had access to the Roles they wanted for their best decks. Scorpion were never stuck suffering with a poor Role and forced to build entirely new decks. Nor were Crane. Or Dragon. Or Crab. In fact that only Clan to really suffer from poor Role choices were Lion, who went into Worlds with no Keeper Role in the Clan perhaps best able to take advantage of those Role locked cards. 

Role locking didn't balance the environment in even the slightest way. And in reality since the top players in a Clan were picking the Roles that best suited how they wanted to play, which was generally the same way they got into a position to be involved in that decision, the only people who were seeing their deck building opportunities lost were those that wanted to try something new. 

 

There was some merit to Role Locking when the card pool was so small that variety was otherwise impossible. But now there are enough good cards in each element that decks can be built to fully take advantage of most of them- Air, Earth and Water each have cards that most Clans will happily build around. And now there's a chance for people to do that, instead of every Scorpion deck using whichever Air/Keeper Role is currently available but otherwise playing a weaker or stronger version of the same deck. And if in the unlikely scenario that everyone just ends up playing the same deck, we are in absolutely no different a position than we would have been had Role Locking remained.

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1 hour ago, Evilgm said:

There was some merit to Role Locking when the card pool was so small that variety was otherwise impossible. But now there are enough good cards in each element that decks can be built to fully take advantage of most of them- Air, Earth and Water each have cards that most Clans will happily build around. And now there's a chance for people to do that, instead of every Scorpion deck using whichever Air/Keeper Role is currently available but otherwise playing a weaker or stronger version of the same deck. And if in the unlikely scenario that everyone just ends up playing the same deck, we are in absolutely no different a position than we would have been had Role Locking remained.

I can at least agree with this part. 

However, pointing to Crab and Scorpion as the examples of how roles did not impact play are poor examples.  But even in your own example, I find it difficult to believe that you would not have at least tried Backhanded Compliment if you had access to a Keeper role early in the game.

That people had to change their decks from time to time does actually result in variety.  While the role locking might have allowed someone to play Seeker of Void and then get forced out of it when they lost the role, only to pick it right back up when they got the role back is still "variety" even if it's forced.

New cards should always have a bigger impact than the selection of roles, but, that depends on the frequency and quality of new cards.  What if the first non-core stronghold to be released was the Dragon's Kitsuki stronghold?  Would we have seen a whole bunch of new decks from Dragon?  Probably not.  Fire role and attachments on the best value characters would still have been the best deck at that time.  What we get, and when we get it should always make the biggest difference, but, when there are not a lot of new cards, some sort of forced rotation is needed to promote variety, even if the changes are very slight.

 

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