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The Roles Have Been Freed

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10 hours ago, Kaito Kikaze said:

While I can appreciate the desire to remove peer pressure from the equation as much as possible, it's important to also keep in mind that the *whole point* of the role choice at worlds is for the top of clan players to represent their peers. While they did in fact earn their right to make that choice, it doesn't mean they are (or should be, in my opinion) consequence-free for making a choice that goes against what their clan wants. 

So kind of like politicians...dealing with the Brexit issue here in the UK, right? :)

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As an aside, the Clan Arena events at Worlds make interesting reading. They were run in two formats - 'regular' rules/legality, and 'Elements Unbound', allowing Open Roles. Both formats allowed use of the Crab Clan pack.

Here's the turnout for each event. Regular first, then Elements Unbound.

Weds: 45/17

Thurs: 67/14

Fri: 67/20

Sat: 100/32

It's easy to get caught up in the internet bubble and assume that because the #FreeTheRoles movement was very vocal online, it represented the overall desires of the players, but I definitely don't think it was as clear cut as some folks think.

Again though, open Roles (and an overhauled Restricted List) will ultimately be good for the game overall. This I absolutely believe.

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I think it's simply a data interpretation issue. Odds are if I was playing in an Elements Unbound event I would have played the same deck that was currently legal, because it had the best Role for the deck. And that is true for a lot of Clans- it wasn't hard to always have access to one of the best Roles for you Clan. And if there's Regular and Elements Unbound events running at the same time, it makes sense for me to play in the one where I can better predict the format, as it gives me a better chance of winning. And even going forward, most of the competitive players in the game will continue to play what is considered the Clan's most competitive Role. However, now that 25% of the players that wanted to play something new and different can do so in official events, regardless of what the top tier players think. For me that was the entire point of the freeing the Roles.

 

I'm also not super convinced there's a large proportion of the game's competitive US playerbase that isn't active online, simply because I don't think the game has that many players.

Edited by Evilgm

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12 minutes ago, Evilgm said:

I think it's simply a data interpretation issue. Odds are if I was playing in an Elements Unbound event I would have played the same deck that was currently legal, because it had the best Role for the deck. And that is true for a lot of Clans- it wasn't hard to always have access to one of the best Roles for you Clan. And if there's Regular and Elements Unbound events running at the same time, it makes sense for me to play in the one where I can better predict the format, as it gives me a better chance of winning. And even going forward, most of the competitive players in the game will continue to play what is considered the Clan's most competitive Role. However, now that 25% of the players that wanted to play something new and different can do so in official events, regardless of what the top tier players think. For me that was the entire point of the freeing the Roles.

 

I'm also not super convinced there's a large proportion of the game's competitive US playerbase that isn't active online, simply because I don't think the game has that many players.

There is also the question of deck availability.  Not all players travel with their entire collection or multiple decks for events so I would not be surprised if the majority were just playing the same deck they were using for the main event, or in the case of Crab players modifying the deck they had with the new toys.

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I think you both make valid points, although as mentioned, the card pool for the side events was different from the main event, albeit only mildly. I think the fact that many players chose not to bring an unlocked Role deck with them is still relevant, but I agree that the data is hardly conclusive or demonstrative either way.

I just feel that it often seems like the Free Roles movement was presented as the 'will of the people' and that in reality there were plenty of people either in favour of the existing system or apathetic to the entire thing.

Honestly, it's just a perception thing that niggles me. Jon has long since convinced me that free Roles are a beneficial thing :)

Edited by Hinomura

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11 hours ago, HamHamJ2 said:

The unbound event also started an hour after the main one.

They were five rounds, not six, and the ticket awards reflected that by giving away more for winning records.

Not sure the start time has any real impact on the attendance of each. If anything, the later starting event should have an advantage, as players can enjoy more of a live-in :)

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On 11/20/2019 at 9:58 AM, Hinomura said:

They were five rounds, not six, and the ticket awards reflected that by giving away more for winning records.

Not sure the start time has any real impact on the attendance of each. If anything, the later starting event should have an advantage, as players can enjoy more of a live-in :)

On the contrary, people played to maximize koku. For instance, as an average player, I dropped from an Arena to play the RPG which gave me far more tickets than I could have won playing three more rounds.

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I dont see why they shouldmt have been freed.

If everyone in a clan is playing the same role, that is a designer problem. Making people play objectively worse decks doesnt solve it. Just use errata and the restricted list to balance, like they always do for other issues not caused by roles.

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41 minutes ago, Radix2309 said:

I dont see why they shouldmt have been freed.

If everyone in a clan is playing the same role, that is a designer problem. Making people play objectively worse decks doesnt solve it. Just use errata and the restricted list to balance, like they always do for other issues not caused by roles.

This is a fine answer when they get around to it, but until then we have situations like Crab will likely never be playing anything but KoW, or Scorpion with one of the air roles competitively for the foreseeable future.  Once they fix the pushed role cards to be more in line with always available it will be fine, but for now there is just too much imbalance in the power of some role cards and how well they play into some clans play styles 

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On 11/22/2019 at 3:13 PM, Schmoozies said:

This is a fine answer when they get around to it, but until then we have situations like Crab will likely never be playing anything but KoW, or Scorpion with one of the air roles competitively for the foreseeable future.  Once they fix the pushed role cards to be more in line with always available it will be fine, but for now there is just too much imbalance in the power of some role cards and how well they play into some clans play styles 

So the alternative is to force Crab to play worse for 4 months of the year? That doesnt increase diversity. They will just flock to the 2nd most powerful role. And they will suffer in their ability to win compared to the more flexible clans.

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2 minutes ago, Radix2309 said:

So the alternative is to force Crab to play worse for 4 months of the year? That doesnt increase diversity. They will just flock to the 2nd most powerful role. And they will suffer in their ability to win compared to the more flexible clans.

No I would have waited till you had the errata ready to go and skip the dog and pony show that they pulled at Worlds. 

As I've said too many of the role locked cards are very pushed effects due to the initial intention that they were not meant to be always available to clans and so were designed to be over powered to push for clans to select those roles.  Ignoring that the play testing on the cards was done with the assumption that they would rotate in and out of availability for clans is not just something you can wave your hand and ignore as their power level was set based on that assumption. 

The real issue is they succeeded far better with some of them (such as Fight On and most of the Air cards) then others.  Yes it sucks if you are a clan "defined" by one of those roles to be out of it for a few months, but now we've swung to the opposite direction and the only way to get those clans off those roles will be to either heavily nerf/RL the offending cards or else push out even more aggressive cards for other roles.  Luckily we have a bit of a temporary lull in major events before the next RRG update and RL are due to drop so hopefully they can address the issue before hand, but now we are living in a world where Fight On very well may have its days numbered, and where will Crab be when that happens? 

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1 hour ago, Schmoozies said:

 

As I've said too many of the role locked cards are very pushed effects due to the initial intention that they were not meant to be always available to clans and so were designed to be over powered to push for clans to select those roles. 

What are you basing this statement on?

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So it's just an assumption you're stating as fact? Because there are lots of powerful cards that aren't elementally locked, ones more powerful than Fight On or Mark of Shame, and you're basically ignoring them to create a theory that apparently has no basis beyond your own opinion. 

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12 minutes ago, Evilgm said:

So it's just an assumption you're stating as fact? Because there are lots of powerful cards that aren't elementally locked, ones more powerful than Fight On or Mark of Shame, and you're basically ignoring them to create a theory that apparently has no basis beyond your own opinion. 

Except many of the similar powered cards that aren't element locked have other costs on them (usually influence that makes them harder to splash in outside clans) or higher base cost to play.  I get that you oare the other side of hte coin and felt that the roles should have been "freed" a while ago, but you're narrative does not automatically negate the legitimate concerns of others.

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1 hour ago, Schmoozies said:

Except many of the similar powered cards that aren't element locked have other costs on them (usually influence that makes them harder to splash in outside clans) or higher base cost to play.  I get that you oare the other side of hte coin and felt that the roles should have been "freed" a while ago, but you're narrative does not automatically negate the legitimate concerns of others.

Fight On seems pretty similar to The Mountain Does Not Fall to me. It just has 1 extra influence, which I think is a fair trade off for the role restriction. 

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1 hour ago, Schmoozies said:

Except many of the similar powered cards that aren't element locked have other costs on them (usually influence that makes them harder to splash in outside clans) or higher base cost to play.  I get that you oare the other side of hte coin and felt that the roles should have been "freed" a while ago, but you're narrative does not automatically negate the legitimate concerns of others.

Except my narrative didn't involve declarations about how cards were playtested and balanced, because I wasn't involved in playtest, and thus can't say such things with the certainly you seem to have. 

What I can say with certainty is that the two major events that happened at the weekend (Australian GC and Polish GC) saw 4 different Crab Roles, 4 different Crane Roles, 6 different Dragon Roles, 7 different Lion Roles, 4 different Phoenix Roles, 4 different Scorpion Roles and 4 different Unicorn Roles, so perhaps the draw of the supposedly "so powerful they need to be dealt with" cards isn't as big as you think it is.

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4 minutes ago, Evilgm said:

Except my narrative didn't involve declarations about how cards were playtested and balanced, because I wasn't involved in playtest, and thus can't say such things with the certainly you seem to have. 

What I can say with certainty is that the two major events that happened at the weekend (Australian GC and Polish GC) saw 4 different Crab Roles, 4 different Crane Roles, 6 different Dragon Roles, 7 different Lion Roles, 4 different Phoenix Roles, 4 different Scorpion Roles and 4 different Unicorn Roles, so perhaps the draw of the supposedly "so powerful they need to be dealt with" cards isn't as big as you think it is.

Except that we've had Tyler state in multiple interviews on various podcasts that they do put pushed effects on the Elemental locked cards. 

As to the results of the Australian and Policsh GC's yes we saw some alternate decks, but how well did those decks actually do.  Both events were on the small side so not an ideal sample size to draw from but a deeper dive reveals some trends.

Poland had 5 Crab, 4 on KoW and 1 on KoE (who ended up last place overall) 4 Crane who did have at least 4 different roles, although 2 were on an air role and one was still void,  2 Dragon that were experimenting (and not surprising given the current state of the Clan), 3 Lion all on different roles (but its Lion and its not like they've been tearing up the results up to this point), 2 Phoenix were both Seeker of Void, 5 Scorpion who were all on one of the Air Roles and 2 Unicorn both on Keeper of Earth.  So for the Top 3 Clans at minimum half of the clans were playing what's considered the optimum role for their clan, and those who weren't trended towards the bottom of the brackets.  Top 8 was KoA Scorpion, KoV Crane, KoW Crab, SoV Lion, SoA Scorpion, SoA Lion, KoE Unicorn and KoA Scorpion (so 4 Air Roles, 2 Void, 1 Water and 1 Earth) and we see 3 Air Scorpion, 1 Water Crab, 1 Void Crane and Unicorn and Lion experimenting.

For Australia we had 3 Crab 2 on a Water role and one on KoA, 3 Crane 2 on an Air role and 1 on SoV, 8 Dragon 3 on Seeker of Void and the other 5 experimenting (including one Support role), 5 Lion all on different roles but again not surprising since Lion has no real optimum role, 4 Phoenix all on different roles (although the top 2 were SoV and SoA which are considered 2 of their stronger roles), 5 Scorpion of which 3 were on Air and the other two were Earth (likely for EBS shenanigans) and 4 Unicorn 2 on Fire roles and 2 experimenting.  Top 8 were SoV Phoenix, SoW Lion (and an out of left field Weapon deck at that) KoA Scorpion, KoE Scorpion, SoV Dragon, KoW Dragon, SoV Dragon, SoA Phoenix. (so 3 void, 2 Water, 2 Air and 1 Earth) and that the top 8 was half Scorpion/Phoenix 3 Dragon (not surprising since they were 1/4 of the field and all were eliminated in the first round of the finals) and our Lion Cinderella story that probably won as much on surprise as anything else.

So what we can see is that for those clans with "solved" roles half were on the some form of the "optimal" element, and generally those who were experimenting did not perform as well as those who were playing optimized.  Lion who don't have a solved deck (due mainly to the fact that the last year and a half has seen them seriously suffering and they have a new box that most players are experimenting with) and Dragon (who are now where Lion were a year ago) are the clan that saw the most experimentation and even then for Dragon the optimized deck (I'd wager money that the successful ones were either variants of Test or Daisho Dueling).  Crane that performed well were on their "optimal" air or void roles.  Winning Phoenix were running optimized,   

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I think Lion's best role might be support of the Crane, and I'm totally not joking.

I played FGG swarm and switch with it a few times and it seems very strong being able to threaten province breaks as your swarm grows and you can fight through counters with counters of your own and then just switch to honor if you can't punch through.

Feels very much like old school l5r

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2 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

Except that we've had Tyler state in multiple interviews on various podcasts that they do put pushed effects on the Elemental locked cards. 

Yeah, I can see how Icon of Favour is really blowing up the scene, and Dragon have definitely been going all in on Niten Student. Or perhaps it's just a coincidence that just as in cards without Role Restrictions, some cards with Role Restrictions are bad, and some are too good. Certainly Supernatural Storm and Voice of Honour and Let Go and Censure and Shinjo Ambusher have all been kept in check by their Role Restrictions.

 

2 hours ago, Schmoozies said:

As to the results of the Australian and Policsh GC's yes we saw some alternate decks, but how well did those decks actually do.  

 

But this was the whole point of freeing the Roles... The top players had their best Role more often than not. But now everyone gets to play the one they want. A Role doesn't no longer has to be competitive for someone to build a deck out of it, and people aiming to be competitive very little has actually changed.

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It's a good idea on paper to combat the long term fatigue that LCGs can settle into eventually.  LCGs need deck building to be broken up with large shake ups beyond just incremental additions to see a definite effect in competitive play.  Instead of faster rotation they added a soft rotation onto the experience.  One that the players have agency in forming.  Though in practice what happened is people only saw what they lost rather than what they gained.  I dubbed this the "Thanos Effect" :)  It didn't help that element and role locked cards were also affiliated with clans which made they harder to include, and they allowed these cards to be more powerful because of that exclusivity which I think we can all agree is a mistake.    It was an experiment with mixed results.

What I'd like to see is L5R make it to rotation.  Once we get to rotation (especially if the core set shifts periodically) I think we'll be in the dynamic environment they were targeting even without the role selection.  Though few LCGs make it that far.  At the current rate though we might hit rotation sometime next year I think.  It's when set 5 starts releasing they cycle correct?

Edited by phillos

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1 hour ago, phillos said:

It's a good idea on paper to combat the long term fatigue that LCGs can settle into eventually.  LCGs need deck building to be broken up with large shake ups beyond just incremental additions to see a definite effect in competitive play.  Instead of faster rotation they added a soft rotation onto the experience.  One that the players have agency in forming.  Though in practice what happened is people only saw what they lost rather than what they gained.  I dubbed this the "Thanos Effect" :)  It didn't help that element and role locked cards were also affiliated with clans which made they harder to include, and they allowed these cards to be more powerful because of that exclusivity which I think we can all agree is a mistake.    It was an experiment with mixed results.

What I'd like to see is L5R make it to rotation.  Once we get to rotation (especially if the core set shifts periodically) I think we'll be in the dynamic environment they were targeting even without the role selection.  Though few LCGs make it that far.  At the current rate though we might hit rotation sometime next year I think.  It's when set 5 starts releasing they cycle correct?

Yes first cycle rotation will be when Pack 1 of Cycle 5 drops at which point Cycle 1 and 2 rotate out.  Clan Packs are set to rotate when a new pack for specific clans drop (so for example when Phoenix pack 2 drops Phoenix pack 1 will rotate out).  I think a lot of the my issues with power level issues will be solved by rotation as most of the main offenders are in that cycle and core.  And if core 2.0 rumors prove true when they salvage the staples from the first 2 cycles that are good for the environment and slot them in to replace some of the problem cards in core that will likely be a better environment.

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