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 Too Expensive To Do So Little 
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A lot of the very expensive heroes (eg Mechamasume Candy) seem to cost a lot to do very little.

The basic design principles are that a unit's cost factors in the reliability of its actions, the effect of its actions and the likelihood of using those actions. Units trade the balance between those 3 factors and arrive at their costs being comparable as a result.

For example: Glass Cannon units trade likelihood of use for more damage (they are easy to kill but hit hard)
Tank units tend to do the reverse, they will stick around to ping you repeatedly.
Accurate units tend to trade damage for reliability.
Inaccurate units tend trade reliability for more damage.

Over time all for general types of unit should do the same sort of damage and have same effect on the game. Units then have a higher or lower cost than a base line because they might for example be more reliable and do more damage than the baseline for the game.

So, coming back to the expensive Heroes (and Knights as well). We are seeing units that are costing 10 points or more that are just not worth investing the points in to obtain. Simply because they are offering unreliable powers for average damage and often average likelihood of use when compared to other units of similar, or worse lower, cost.

Too many units have 1 Flip on their attacks and then have costs or 4 or more Esper on the attack just to do average or even low damage. In part this could be mitigated by conditions or effects, but even that isn't always the case. With squads this is less of a problem thanks to Coordinated Attack, but this actually exasperates the problem for high cost single model units.

The design reluctance to promote reliability through hand control (Draw and Pay or Refocus or Discard and Draw in Clean Up) means that units that are themselves unreliable without presenting a large reward for that unreliability become undesirable to play. (Oh and the change to Armor this packet made mediocre damage even more of a problem.)

So this brings up Masamunemecha.
She costs 13 points.
She has a (melee) 1 Flip for a 1P 2O 1R Damage 6 Charge 4 attack with a 1R press for 3 damage.

Just above her in the PDF is DS Marikan.
Costs 14 points.
Has a 2nd Activation Token ability that lets her make a melee attack.
Has a melee 1 Flip for a 2R 1O Damage 7 with the possibility of plus 4 to that.

They have the same health, Marikan is more fragile because she has less Armor, but simply activating her second and getting damage on her target makes her melee attack better. It's better because it can be made with 2 or 3 cards, vs the 3-5 cards it will take to trigger MMCandy's attack with the same draw and flip to build that from, that's without considering the pros and cons of needing 3 colours vs 2.

They have comparable LoS attacks (I'd argue Wicked Weave > Nothingness Pulse, especially based on my experience in playing Marikan To QK) and given how easy it is to remove AoEs, and thus how hard it is to use MMCandy's one I rate Marikan higher as well. Finally their is their second activation token abilities, Marikan's means she can use Wicked Weave then her follow to become engaged and then a second activation for 11Damage off 2R 1O, which is starting to make earning VP likely. In comparison MMCandy has a trait that counters all the other Void units that want your opponent to have more cards in hand.

So that's a breakdown of 2 similar units at similar costing.

The thing is their cost just isn't warranted when you then turn around and compare them to Amelial (Herald), who costs 8 points, has a comparable melee attack, but with 3 Flip, and comparable health with the same sort of defence as DS Marikan. Because of the opportunity cost of spending 5 or 6 more points to get Marikan or MMCandy you would basically never take them!

This isn't just a problem with the Void units (see Marikan QK vs Zineda QK as another comparison I've done from last week's packet), but a consistent problem across the game at this time.

I think the following should go some way to addressing this;
No unit over 10 point cost should have less than 2 Esper Draw.
No unit should have less than 2 Flip on a stat they have an attack for that does more than 2 damage.

Yet even with those 2 base guides tweaking is still required.

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June 24th, 2017, 10:36 am
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I think that's all pretty fair.

I've stated elsewhere that points costs are just out of whack right now. So order of operations is going to go like this:

1) Finalize large, game-effecting rules/themes. Lock in core rules and faction themes/tokens.

2) Focus on a select group of units and balance the hell out of them to get a good baseline of what the power level of units at different points costs is. (This will be announced and you will know which jnits these are)

3) Select "waves" of units on which to focus testing, balancing them and finalizing points costs. (The order of which waves we are locking in will generally be determined by delivery wave, though not necessarily). Lock in wave after wave until all units are tested and balanced.

Somewhere in there a general rules clarity cleanup is necessary.

At the moment I am trying to get all the cards out because I have received plenty of feedback from people with older models who want to test but can't due to what we have out. And yes, I threw Void Break in there because it's not that much extra work and will go a lot faster if it is updated at the same time as all the other cards. It's also a good thing for balance if you guys can see everything at once and know where we're going in the future.

At the moment we are close to finalizing step one and will pick a group of units to balance around soon.

As for the armor change, surely you can see how that came from community feedback? And this is testing, try it, let us know, removing it is an option.

Hope that explains some things. You have given some amazing feedback and I wanted to let you know we plan on addressing this. :)


...also Dave thought I put a defensive action on the Paragons and I thought he did. Whoops. Next week. :D

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June 24th, 2017, 2:45 pm
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After 2 weeks with little or no interaction the rules were feeling locked down, except for the necessary fine tuning of wording. So you will forgive me for thinking we had moved towards tweaking units.

Now we have a rules change that breaks 2 stated design goals (randomness and attack is more powerful than defence), compounded by the addition of 90 units (in 2 weeks) that still do not include all the currently available (as in purchasable from stores or second hand) models, but do include models that will not be available for use until next year.

This leads to an obvious delay of Wave 1, but no acknowledgement of that delay...

Yes I'm feeling frustrated.

I feel like we just took 2 steps back.

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June 25th, 2017, 12:29 am
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I'm with OC on this one. The rules felt pretty tight apart from needing fine tuning and clarifications for a few things like how engagement works for squads. A change like the armour change that was made is a significant change that completely throws the little that remained of the hand management dynamic of the game completely out of whack, because it's unlikely that anyone is going to hold onto cards they could use to keep their units alive in the hopes of pulling off a decent attack. I haven't written a report up yet, but I played a game today with this and the ability to pay armour from the hand completely screwed my opponent over, because the instinctive reaction was to protect his units... leaving him with almost no ability to get actions off when needed, because he'd run out of cards early on keeping himself alive. It completely changes the feel of the game again, and as mentioned by OC, it goes against the stated goals of attack being more powerful and increased randomness, as well as extending the amount of time that is needed for the test.

Now we've got so many units added in such a short time that it's basically impossible for us to test them all. Meanwhile, many of the units that were already out still need significant work, and should be higher priority since they're actually meant to be released early on, or they're existing units that just need updated rules. I know I harp on about them a lot but for an example, the Pit Crew are still, much as I hate the term, a trash tier unit. They're literally list filler, due to cost, lack of usefulness on their primary support ability due to it's extremely limited effect and restrictive conditions to trigger it, and the need pay for an upgrade for them to be of any use. But instead of units that have problems like this getting worked on, we get a flood of poorly proofed new units (FYI, Hasami is missing a cost on her Anti-Social Circle ability, DS Jacob doesn't have block on his armour boost defensive ability, and DS Marikan To has Killmarks and no way to trigger it).

If there was any hope of meeting the stated delivery goal for wave 1, rules would have had to have been locked down barring minor cleanup by now, and we'd need to be bedding down wave 1 unit rules. Neither of which are happening, or if they are, they certainly don't seem to be, and I foresee a lot of errata very early on. At this point it really does need to be confirmed one way or another if you're delaying, and for the sake of the quality of the final product, I really hope you are. But either way, you need to tell the backers, so that they have the information and don't get angry when expected dates pass with no word.

OC is right, it feels like one step forward, two steps back. I had been praising the major rules updates of 2.1 and the increased communication, as had the friend of mine who's been doing most of the playtesting with me, because we really felt like you'd turned a corner with the development of the game. But communication seems to have dropped off sharply the last week or so, and we're seeing more issues creeping in with the rules updates again. Which has us, in my opinion understandably, rather frustrated.


June 25th, 2017, 12:20 pm
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Understandable.

I can't comment on delivery dates.

But next week the rest of the cards will be done (like it or not, finishing them all was a major directive of the update). But I will also release a list of units and start focused testing so we aren't just shotgun testing 100+ units.

Communication had to drop off a bit as I just didn't have time with updating everything. But I'll be over that hump soon.

And if the armor change isn't working I have no issue reversing it. But with all of the blowback we got over having more reliable defenses I think it was worth a try.

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June 25th, 2017, 1:55 pm
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I'm all for testing things, even if the goal of the test is to rule something out. I am firmly on the opinion that free defenses should be random and paid defenses static. (Though I am open to flipping the dynamic - giving all attacks have a base floor and some variable damage via flips and making inherent defenses static.)

I believe free defenses need to be random, because I don't want to go back to 1e where a number of units were essentially invulnerable to all but the strongest attacks. Because if the base is static and defenses are more reliable, then damage numbers have to creep upwards to compensate if the goal is for deadly combat. Of course this then puts fragile units in an even worse position.

And from the people I know who are testing, the recent change to armor sounds like it's going to give massive tempo to the player who is aggressive first.


June 25th, 2017, 2:54 pm
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ND_Justin wrote:
(like it or not, finishing them all was a major directive of the update).


It might have been a major directive of the 2.0 launch, but I fail to understand how prioritising the Void Break rules due to release next year justified creating issues with the updating of existing models, and that is what has happened.

ND_Justin wrote:
And if the armor change isn't working I have no issue reversing it. But with all of the blowback we got over having more reliable defenses I think it was worth a try.


Great because it's not working.

Simple solution (made in one form or another back at the start of 2.1 testing):
Make Armor printed in the traits fixed.
Make Cover work on a Flip.
Make Armor defences cheap. 1 Esper to Flip 2 for a bonus.
Give SSP a minimum of 2 Armor (for non Darkspace units) and lower Sebastian QKs boost to 1.

Now you have reliable defences. But you don't really want reliable defences, your goal is to create unreliable defences while letting people have the illusion they are reliable.

First game I played with the current rules they became degenerate and slowed the game, second game I played they had no impact at all. That's unreliable not reliable. Yes that's 2 games, but there is a lot of defence getting used across 2 50 point games, and looking at Tinkergoth's report my experience matches other player's.

------
Back to the original point...

I'm finding that 2 Color powers are very difficult to activate.

There is about a 21% chance (from a full deck) that the first card you draw will have both colours and 28.5% chance it will have either (but not both) and a 35% chance it will have 1 of the colours only.

Now I know the math is favourable for 2B2G in 2 cards over 4B or 4G in 2 cards, but once you need more than 2 cards I believe it's not so favourable. For example it's a 2B2G power and you have 1B and and still need 1B and 2G, the 3 2G cards that also have 1B cannot contribute the 1B, which means instead of the usual 14 potential cards for the 1B you only have 11. In comparison if you have 1B and need 4B you have 14 and 13 cards left after each successful draw to complete the 4B.

Now I admit this is getting a bit to complicated for me to quickly figure out, so if someone with a better grasp of the probabilities and a greater willingness to figure it out and show the math that shows my gut intuition is wrong that would be great.

But anecdotal experience matches my gut on the math, multi-colour powers are harder to activate through small flips than mono-colour powers because of the 9 overlapping cards.

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June 28th, 2017, 1:14 am
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