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We desperately need a new multiplayer PvP LCG!

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Evazorek said:

 

I think card games, especially ones which wish to have a competitive enviroment need to be designed inherently for a 1v1 game situation. However, after playing star wars and also my experience with AGoT and TCG's like wow and magic, multiplayer formats are a great way to mix it up and add some fresh play ideas to a game.

I have been told that star wars is going to get a 4 player mode where 3 players are rebels trying to take down a much more powerful empire player, similar to the wow raid decks.

 

In my experience casual play of CCG/LCG's is primarily multiplayer. It's certainly not exclusively multiplayer, obviously, but if you have a group of 3 or more people they are generally going to want to play all together. So if a game is unable to accomodate that, it simply isn't going to be played.

I certainly hope that's true, that may make Star Wars a viable game for me. Of course I'm really hoping they do something like that with Netrunner, 1 megacorp versus 2-3 runners. That would open up all sorts of interesting gameplay, as well as making it much likely that I'll even get a chance to play the game in the first place.

Ken

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KEM said:

In my experience casual play of CCG/LCG's is primarily multiplayer. It's certainly not exclusively multiplayer, obviously, but if you have a group of 3 or more people they are generally going to want to play all together. So if a game is unable to accomodate that, it simply isn't going to be played.

I certainly hope that's true, that may make Star Wars a viable game for me. Of course I'm really hoping they do something like that with Netrunner, 1 megacorp versus 2-3 runners. That would open up all sorts of interesting gameplay, as well as making it much likely that I'll even get a chance to play the game in the first place.

This hasn't been my experience at all with LCG's.  If there are more people, then we have multiple games going.  Multiplayer is (to me) more of a boardgame thing.  This is a dual, a game where you are clashing head to head with other players.  In that type of game having multiple people tends to destroy the strategy as the game quickly becomes more about ganging up on people and the meta-game of who will or won't attach each other.  Competitive players hate this.  Casual players may not, but they'd still be better off playing a game that was designed for multiplayer - typically one where players are less able to directly attach each other so you have some chance to implement a strategy.

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dboeren said:

KEM said:

 

In my experience casual play of CCG/LCG's is primarily multiplayer. It's certainly not exclusively multiplayer, obviously, but if you have a group of 3 or more people they are generally going to want to play all together. So if a game is unable to accomodate that, it simply isn't going to be played.

I certainly hope that's true, that may make Star Wars a viable game for me. Of course I'm really hoping they do something like that with Netrunner, 1 megacorp versus 2-3 runners. That would open up all sorts of interesting gameplay, as well as making it much likely that I'll even get a chance to play the game in the first place.

 

This hasn't been my experience at all with LCG's.  If there are more people, then we have multiple games going.  Multiplayer is (to me) more of a boardgame thing.  This is a dual, a game where you are clashing head to head with other players.  In that type of game having multiple people tends to destroy the strategy as the game quickly becomes more about ganging up on people and the meta-game of who will or won't attach each other.  Competitive players hate this.  Casual players may not, but they'd still be better off playing a game that was designed for multiplayer - typically one where players are less able to directly attach each other so you have some chance to implement a strategy.

I don't doubt that's the case at the moment as the majority of LCG's at the moment are restricted to two-player. The only LCG's I personally have played are AGOT and LotR. I've played Cthulhu in the past, although I should point out that was with a multi-player variant. Plus I'm also thinking of all the magic players I see at my FLGS's game night, who are primarily playing multiplayer. So that's my experience, your milage will of course vary.

But I think you're confusing a few things about the type of multiplayer we're talking about and it's potential impact on the current play enviornment.

Despite the title of this thread, the type multiplayer the Evazorak and I are talking about is a 'raid-style' multiplayer, not the 'PvP' multiplayer that you are describing. I think it's been pretty well established that a 'PvP' multiplayer couldn't even work in a game like Netrunner, and there is no reason to believe it would work in Star Wars for most of the same reasons. 'Raid-style' multiplayer on the other hand would fit in perfectly since it is based on a lot of the same basic principles as the 'traditional' two-player game.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that 'raid-style' multiplayer would be additiive to the game, it would not in any way, shape or form alter or change the traditional two-player format. So you're play group could continue to play the game the way you've always played it. But now other groups can come together and play the game in this new format, or your group could decide to take a break and give this raid-thing a try.

I've experienced this myself in the WoT TCG community which had/has a vibrant and very competitive tournament scene. Running concurrantly with that there was/is a very active Raid community. One does not have to limit or restrict the other. While the players may overlap, the formats never do. There are no Raid Tournaments, for example.

I hope that clarifys things.

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Yeah, a raid style game is a different story, and avoids most of the negative points of pvp multiplayer.  Of course, there are also other ways of getting around it such as rules that limit who you can attack like they did in V:TES.

What it does do is create an asymmetry though.  Will it be viewed as more fun to play the juggernaut side versus being one of several "normal" players?  Some of the fan-proposed Netrunner multiplayer variants effectively ask the Runners to take fewer turns:

Corp, Player1, Corp, Player2, Corp, Player3, …  Frankly it doesn't sound like the Runners would have fun with that as they're only doing 1/3rd as much stuff as a normal game.

Or do you avoid that by making it a player vs. environment raid which is effectively what Lord of the Rings is?

 

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dboeren said:

Yeah, a raid style game is a different story, and avoids most of the negative points of pvp multiplayer.  Of course, there are also other ways of getting around it such as rules that limit who you can attack like they did in V:TES.

What it does do is create an asymmetry though.  Will it be viewed as more fun to play the juggernaut side versus being one of several "normal" players?  Some of the fan-proposed Netrunner multiplayer variants effectively ask the Runners to take fewer turns:

Corp, Player1, Corp, Player2, Corp, Player3, …  Frankly it doesn't sound like the Runners would have fun with that as they're only doing 1/3rd as much stuff as a normal game.

Or do you avoid that by making it a player vs. environment raid which is effectively what Lord of the Rings is?

 

Personally I never dug that whole V:TES 'ring'-thing, but I've never had a problem with the politics and the push-pull of a full-on, well designed multiplayer game.

As far as asymmetry goes, when idly thinking about a net-raid system my first thought was to have the runners effectively take their turn simultaneously from a shared pool of clicks. That preserves the symmetry and keeps everyone actively involved. Alternating back and forth between the Corp and the Runners seems to give the Corp way too many turns and makes it feel less like a co-operative raid and more like trying to play 2-3 games simultaneously.

A PvE-style raid deck may be possible, some of the later WoW Raid decks and Dungeon decks are set up to run that way. I can't help but feel though that it would just be better with a live Corp player, though.

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Toqtamish said:

We already know that Star Wars is getting raid style rules in The Balance of the Force expansion.  2-3 LS against 1 DS. 

Thanks for the info, I'll have to keep an eye out for that.

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KEM said:

Personally I never dug that whole V:TES 'ring'-thing, but I've never had a problem with the politics and the push-pull of a full-on, well designed multiplayer game.

Yeah, I'm just not a politics sort of guy :)  I feel like if I want to play a game of LCG-X then I want to play LCG-X, not play a negotiation game with a little bit of LCG-X going on in the background.  Also, I like the best player to usually win and too often in multiplayer games that allow unlimited attacking of other players that doesn't happen as people will gang up on the perceived threat of the strong players.

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dboeren said:

KEM said:

 

Personally I never dug that whole V:TES 'ring'-thing, but I've never had a problem with the politics and the push-pull of a full-on, well designed multiplayer game.

 

Yeah, I'm just not a politics sort of guy :)  I feel like if I want to play a game of LCG-X then I want to play LCG-X, not play a negotiation game with a little bit of LCG-X going on in the background.  Also, I like the best player to usually win and too often in multiplayer games that allow unlimited attacking of other players that doesn't happen as people will gang up on the perceived threat of the strong players.

dboeren said:

… as people will gang up on the perceived threat of the strong players

yes but for me this is the most fun part about a multiplayer game. I really like the human component of negotiating with your opponents who is currently the biggest threat. Also it was always quiet a challanging task to beat your opponents when they clearly played against you. This is the only part I miss about my magic time.

 

But don´t get me wrong I really like the competitiveness of a great two player lcg. But I more of these games would have both. Cleary that can´t be made in Netrunner or SWTCG.

 

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This is what was brilliant about the Babylon 5 CCG. You didn't attack each other directly, but supported Conflicts which may or may not target another player and any player could support them, but the amount of damage that could be done to any player was limited. Blocking victory is much easier.

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dboeren said:

KEM said:

 

Personally I never dug that whole V:TES 'ring'-thing, but I've never had a problem with the politics and the push-pull of a full-on, well designed multiplayer game.

 

Yeah, I'm just not a politics sort of guy :)  I feel like if I want to play a game of LCG-X then I want to play LCG-X, not play a negotiation game with a little bit of LCG-X going on in the background.  Also, I like the best player to usually win and too often in multiplayer games that allow unlimited attacking of other players that doesn't happen as people will gang up on the perceived threat of the strong players.

The thing is that negotiation is something that was always a part of the game, it's just brought out more when you have multiple opponents rather than just one. Multiplayer cannot just be 'tacked on', it can only bring out elements that are inside the game already. That's why you couldn't really have a 'PvP'-style multiplayer in a game like Netrunner or Star Wars, that element just isn't in the game as it stands. 'Raid'-style multiplayer however is perfectly compatible with both games, you could reasonably argue that they are currently two-player raids as it stands.

It kind of reminds of the videogame Stanglehold that came out a while back. They tried to put in a PvP multiplay in a game with bullet-time and it just did not work. It was released before 'Horde-mode' co-op multiplayer became popular, which is a shame because that would have been a much more appropriate type of multiplayer for this game.

As for the best player winning, if you can't deal with multiple threats at the same time you are not the 'best player' in multiplayer. As such it is completely inaccurate to suggest that the best player doesn't win in multiplayer. It's just that the skills and tactics of two-player don't always translate into multiplayer. 

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I never played the Babylon 5 CCG.  I was a fan of the show though, so I wouldn't mind trying the game sometime just to see what it was like.

If the skills of the 2p game don't carry over to the multiplayer game, then I think it's reasonable to consider them significantly different games - so it should be possible to like one and not the other.

As a bit of background explanation, I haven't played any multiplayer CCGs/LCGs - I'm mainly drawing on my experience with multiplayer tabletop minis games.  You can be the best player and still lose almost every game if both your opponents form a truce and only attack you until you're eliminated.  Or if one player simply hides until both opponents are weakened from fighting each other.  etc…  That's the sort of experience I generally seek to avoid.

 

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dboeren said:

I never played the Babylon 5 CCG.  I was a fan of the show though, so I wouldn't mind trying the game sometime just to see what it was like.

If the skills of the 2p game don't carry over to the multiplayer game, then I think it's reasonable to consider them significantly different games - so it should be possible to like one and not the other.

As a bit of background explanation, I haven't played any multiplayer CCGs/LCGs - I'm mainly drawing on my experience with multiplayer tabletop minis games.  You can be the best player and still lose almost every game if both your opponents form a truce and only attack you until you're eliminated.  Or if one player simply hides until both opponents are weakened from fighting each other.  etc…  That's the sort of experience I generally seek to avoid.

 

You like what you like, dude. I'm not saying you're wrong for not liking multiplayer, I'm saying you particular bias against multiplayer isn't a credible enough reason for a game not to accomodate it.

Also, I said the skills and tactics of two-player don't always translate into multi-player, not that there's a significant difference between the two, certainly not to the degree that they are two different games. The strategies may differ a bit, but not the basics of the game.

Also I have played both multiplayer and two-player CCG/LCGs and they both have their strengths and weaknesses depending on the game. From the sound of your gaming experiences I think you need to find better opponents (ie. ones that will play the game rather playing the people) or find games that aren't focused on elimination. Actually my general experience is that games that don't focus on elimination tend to be better for multiplayer, but that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. :)

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I wouldn't say I dislike all multiplayer, just that there are potential issues in multiplayer games, but they can also be avoided in the design.  One of the reasons I've been interested in V:TES is because they include limits on who can attack who which specifically prevents gang-up scenarios.  Boardgames usually handle it by focusing on other things besides directly attacking people - more like a race to build something or whatever and interaction is more limited to things like blocking, trading, or competition for resources.

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dboeren said:

I wouldn't say I dislike all multiplayer, just that there are potential issues in multiplayer games, but they can also be avoided in the design.  One of the reasons I've been interested in V:TES is because they include limits on who can attack who which specifically prevents gang-up scenarios.  Boardgames usually handle it by focusing on other things besides directly attacking people - more like a race to build something or whatever and interaction is more limited to things like blocking, trading, or competition for resources.

While I agree that multiplayer tends to work best when the game is not based on elimination, I'm beginning to suspect that game design is not the real issue here. In all my years of playing multiplayer in games like Magic and WoT TCG I've never seen 'gang-up scenarios' as a significant issue. I'd say the only times I have seen anything like a 'gang-up scenario' is generally the result of someone 'playing the player' rather than just playing the game. If you are 'playing the player', 'gang-up scenarios' make some sense as you're taking out the player who is the biggest threat. If you're just playing the game, ganging-up is less likely as you are more concerned with what's on the playfield than anything else. So if you're a big threat on the board, yeah people are going to gang up on you. If you can't stand up to that then you have no business suggesting that you're the 'best player' on the board.

It sounds to me like you and your playgroup are more focused on tournament-style, finding out who's the best player. What you have to understand is that for many gamers the purpose of gaming isn't to find out who's the best. The reason we game is simply for the joy we find in the activity itself. This isn't to say that we aren't playing to win, of course. Since the goal of pretty much every game out there is to win, if you're not trying to achieve that goal you really aren't playing the game are you. :) 

Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the way you all play. I just think you should understand that there are plenty of hardcore gamers out there who don't play anything like the way you all play, and these gamers would be very well served by having multiplayer as an option. 

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I feel like there's some major miscommunication going on here, so let me try this again.

I do not hate multiplayer games.  I play many multiplayer board games for instance.  All I've said is that if they come out with a multiplayer game I hope it does not allow for unlimited attacking of other players.  It's an easy to avoid flaw, and many multiplayer games do not have it.  Attacking of other players is fine, so long as there are limits which prevent the pathological cases.  For instance, V:TES has the predator/prey mechanic.  Game of Thrones has the roles which include limits on who you can attack.

I do not have a tournament obsessed LCG group.  I've never witnessed this problem in a card game, nor claimed that I have, in part because I do not play any which have this easy-to-avoid characteristic.  What I did say is that I've observed the problem in the past in tabletop wargames (which of course are based on attacking each other), where this is a widely acknowledged problem that virtually everyone agrees exists.  It does not happen often here, because again this is a well known problem and most experienced players just don't ever play everyone-for-themselves games (2-on-2 team games sometimes happen).  Yes, these type of games are often focused on player elimination by nature, sometimes scenario objectives are proposed as possible fixes, which tends to work somewhat, but not always well enough.  A card game which was not centered on elimination would almost certainly not contain the aforementioned flaw of allowing unlimited attacking of other players.

Again, I'm not saying that this problem is happening here.  I'm saying it's a theoretical problem which is easy to avoid and which I hope would not feature in any hypothetical new multiplayer LCG which may come out.

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Dune would be perfect, unfortunately, from what I've heard, Brian Herbert overvalues the license. Supposedly FFG wanted to acquire the rights to the amazing Avalon Hill board game, and Herbert asked for waaaayyyy too much, so they created Rex instead. I'm sure he'd be just as unreasonable for an LCG license.

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Simulations turns is something that helps make multiplayer games signficantly more balanced, especially if it is action based rather than round based. IE, commit one monster/character to an attack or play a card, then the next person does so, then the third one, ect., rahter than do all your attacks, then the next person, ect. This prevents people confidently ganging up on someone, even for a turn. Much easier to react and betray. Not stuck getting beaten down because you acted and then everyone else goes. GoT is an example of round based simultaneous turns while the Babylon 5 CCG was an example of action based simultaneous turns.

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It seems my prayers may have been answered. I am seeing rumors around the internet, strictly rumors at this point, That FFG is play testing a new LCG based on the World of Darkness with different factions such as Vampires, Werewolves, Mages and Hunters. So far it’s just random discussions from players who have been playing in these playtest games, and they are being posted in fairly odd locations (as in random forums and not something legitimate like BGG or the FFG forums), so I don’t know how legitimate they really are, could just be a cruel joke, but they are pretty interesting discussions nonetheless.

There is a thread on the V:TES forums on BGG quoting the discussions if you’re interested.

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Well...you have your wish. There is now going to be the new multiplayer Warhammer Invasion rules as well as the multiplayer Star Wars rules. Two new multiplayer LCG sets. Awesome.

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