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ScottGilbert25

Play Testing Villians and Hero Packs

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Reading a number of posts about how easy Wrecking Crew is and also that Thor stinks. I was thinking about how much play testing they are doing and how.  Also, maybe with the game design it is hard to balance.  Does anyone know how they play test this game or been a part of it?  

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I think anyone who is part of playtesting is not allowed to reveal that. Regardless, I get the sense that the product line is very pressurised (as are all FFG line's). They have a massive IP, with tons of potential content, products and characters and...they have like 2 guys working on it. Yes, they'll have some support from wider parts of the business, but it's a pretty tall order, and I imagine they actually have a pretty small window for development and testing for any given hero/pack before it gets locked in. This has also been shown by the higher than usual number of typos and the RRG changes. 

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1 hour ago, Ascarel said:

My take is that no matter how much something is effectively playtested, any distance between what the designers intended and what the player wants to do with said thing will be called out as "lacking in playtesting" anyway.

This is a good way to put it.

 

I have yet to experience Wrecking Crew, but I‘ve seen a lot of people state that most of the villains as a whole are too easy. These are likely the same people who the LotR LCG’s Nightmare encounters are designed for, though, and not necessarily indicative of the majority of the game’s audience.

Thor being underpowered seems to be an issue of people’s expectations. He’s not great as a Solo hero against half of the scenarios because he lacks a bit in the thwarting department overall. But he’s excellent against minion-heavy scenarios and in a group.

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@ScottGilbert25
"Reading a number of posts about how easy Wrecking Crew is and also that Thor stinks. I was thinking about how much play testing they are doing and how.  Also, maybe with the game design it is hard to balance.  Does anyone know how they play test this game or been a part of it?"

Watch the pack reveals (in particular the Hulk one), and they seem pretty emphatic that they spent a lot of time iterating for any given hero.

As for playtesting...well, in card games, presumably it's all about repetition and tweaking. 

I'd take the complaints about Thor with a grain of salt. Even with minimal board presence he can do 14 damage with his 4 base 4 card hand size: Jarnborjn and Mjolnir in play -> Melee (3) + Mean Swing exhausting Jarnbjorn (3) + Hammer Throw (8). If you happen to have battlefury in play, and that hammer throw went through a minion you could ready/replay Mjolnir and do 3 more for 16-17 total.

Wrecking Crew is a bit of an inverse from the other villains in that it scales to be much more difficult with more players. If you have 4, you're going to cycle those smaller split up encounter decks ~1-2 turns, so the acceleration tokens will add up (and their schemes are likely to go off more frequently).

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My thinking was that the designer's are looking at difficulty not just with the villain packs but the Heroes too. I assume that when they are designing a hero they play against all the villains available and some we don't know about. Most likely they come up with what most people have said here and other forums.  I guess what i am trying to say is that it has to be hard for them to balance this game looking at the past, present and future products.  Seeing posts about this hero sucks and this is too easy is annoying when there are so many variables to account for. 

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My issue is in a lot of the negative comments regarding Thor Ive read, is people are saying blanket comments like "he is bad hero" based on their experiences on solo. And maybe he is a bad hero in solo, but then they should be saying "He is a bad hero in solo", but that isn't what they are saying. When they say a general all encompassing statement like "he is a bad hero", I take issue, because it is untrue and will give people the wrong impression.

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Here's hoping that people's experience with Thor will give them an idea of what to expect with Hulk as he is likely to be very similar (great in multiplayer, weak in solo, best with aggression).

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1 hour ago, vilainn6 said:

I think Hulk could be good solo if he really hit hard. Hulk Smash pratically one shot most vilain in solo.

This is also the case with Thor (and She-Hulk) they can hit really hard out of the gate in case you just want to race to the finish. 

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Posted (edited)

I think some are just going to inevitably going to be harder to translate a personal play style into consistency at all aspects of the game.

Edited by Ildirin

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Speaking from previous playtesting experience (original L5R), balance is much more like 'is X card/deck too weak/powerful or have a negative play experience' than ' everything needs to be approximately equal.'  Perhaps Thor is a bit under the curve but his hero cards and deck are still functional, and he seems more than capable of having huge turns here and there.  Also, I doubt that the playtesting guidelines require that all heroes are optimized for solo play since this is primarily a multiplayer game.  Haven't played him yet but expect to do a bunch of solo once I get pandemic preparations complete.

Wrecking Crew being easy/beatable is very accurate to the source material.  ;)

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I think their target player count is 2-3 moderately skilled players even though most of the comments on the forum seem to come from advanced solo players (or 2-handed expert solo players)

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On 3/18/2020 at 2:05 PM, Derrault said:

Wrecking Crew is a bit of an inverse from the other villains in that it scales to be much more difficult with more players. If you have 4, you're going to cycle those smaller split up encounter decks ~1-2 turns, so the acceleration tokens will add up (and their schemes are likely to go off more frequently).

I think this is playing against the Wrecking Crew all wrong, unless I'm missing something.  We push the active villain around a lot by choosing who to thwart (and more importantly), based on what we can handle most easily.  Even in 3-4 players games I don't think we've ever gotten more than 2 acceleration tokens.

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52 minutes ago, Buhallin said:

I think this is playing against the Wrecking Crew all wrong, unless I'm missing something.  We push the active villain around a lot by choosing who to thwart (and more importantly), based on what we can handle most easily.  Even in 3-4 players games I don't think we've ever gotten more than 2 acceleration tokens.

I meant the maximum number of round draws before the deck runs out; I wouldn’t advise letting it happen, if you had a choice 🙂

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