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    posted a message on Legends of Runeterra - discussion, analysis and first impressions


    Quote from FortyDust >>

    I just read up on the way cards are acquired in Runeterra, and I can say with some confidence that the game is utterly doomed.

    By limiting the number of cards you can create with a weekly cap, they are essentially saying the people who have been playing the longest and logging in every day are automatically going to have the biggest collections.

    That may seem great at first -- keeps things from being all "pay to win" as the kids like to say these days.

    However, think down the road a bit. This model is going to be a huge turn-off for new players. No one is going to want to pick up a new game if there is literally no way to catch up with veterans. People complain about it enough in Hearthstone, saying it's a crime that you have to pay money to be able to compete. Well, in Runeterra, you literally cannot compete at all until you've put in your time!

    Maybe I'm mistaken about how all of this works, or maybe I missed a piece of the puzzle. But as I understand the system now, it's terrible and the game will never have whales, meaning it will never make any money.

    If publishers would stop all the pretense of "free to play" and just admit that games actually cost money -- that they need to have a cost in order to survive -- we could move to a model where people just pay one set price and get all the cards. We need to set aside this collectible model as a relic of gaming history. It kind of made sense for physical cards, but it will never make sense for digital ones.

    I think the new player experience argument is a very strong one, but the problem you're talking about is way too far down the road to think that it's a death knell of the game. And I think you're ignoring the other side of the problem - the F2P slog most of these games feature, and the sense of sunk cost that comes with leaving your old digital card game(s).

    Getting a full collection is generally impossible for F2P players in HS, MTGA, etc., because each game includes over 1000 cards (not counting duplicates) and new sets are released regularly. Fun meme decks and meta decks alike tend to require expensive, build-around cards, so F2P players tend to spend a lot of time getting to that one deck. At the point that you've built one or two good decks, you're hugely invested. That investment of time (and money for non-F2P) is a powerful way games like HS hold on to their player base in spite of good alternatives - no one wants to switch and have to do it all over again.

    This is the problem their system claims to solve. Even after accounting for duplicate cards, Runeterra will have fewer than 1000 cards, so it's far more approachable from the start, and this "better F2P" model is Riot's way of telling players it's safe to switch - you won't have to grind to be competitive, people won't be buying meta decks and beating you at the bottom of the ladder, etc.

    I don't know how Runeterra will solve the new player experience after a couple of expansions, but that seems solveable. Maybe Runeterra will limit the number of cards in standard more strictly than other games, or relax the constraints on buying wildcards as they add more cards to make it easier to catch up. Either way, their biggest problem on day one is going to be convincing the millions of HS and MTGA players to switch.

    Before signing off, I also want to quickly address the point you bring up about the absurdity of F2P. The devs have said that there will be cosmetic content for sale (e.g. customizing card backs and your pet, maybe those emote stickers), and there is a gate-limited way to buy wildcards on a weekly basis. I think that's actually a pretty good strategy for monetizing - by making the only game-relevant content for sale wildcards, I think they'll actually be able to convince traditionally F2P players to spend a little bit to get exactly the cards they're after (rather than a bunch of random packs), and selling cosmetics works well for a lot of games without compromising the content of the game.

    Posted in: Other Games
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    posted a message on Regarding Warrior

    Soul of the Forest gets countered by WArpath though, making it irrelevant in the larger context

    Warpath only counters Soul of the Forest in specific instances on specific turns: turn 6 if your opponents minions all have one health, turn 8 if they have two health or less, and turn 10 if they have three health or less. This is important because a) by the time you're very likely to clear the board, you're already dead, and b) even if you manage to clear most of the board, Druid will reload and you'll be back in the same bind.

    Brawl is only a symmetric effect if you care about your own board, which Ctrl Warrior doesn't. If it's just about clearing the board it's a 5-mana nether minus one target as I said before and the added RNG makes it so there is no way to effectively build a board to counter it

    My point about the symmetry is that playing it often loses you tempo, so there are downsides. It's also relevant if you're trying to clear the whole board, because you have to play 2 cards to achieve that effect. This is why Twisting Nether costs more - it always kills everything for one card.

    Playing Brawl can buy you a turn, but typically you'll still be getting hit in the face for 3 to 5 damage on your next turn because you don't clear everything. And the counter is having an immediate board reload, because Brawl means that the Warrior almost always has no board presence after playing it, and has limited access to AoE effects (because no new AoE has been printed). This is why Soul of the Forest is so useful here.

    Mad Genius is indeed not as strong as the Death Knights, obviously, but we no longer have those, meaning without competition he still beats everyone else who doesn't have a hero card because that's just how good hero cards are and the fact that one of his  hero powers allows him to gather ressources indefinitely doesn't help

    This is really probably healthy for the meta. The hero cards that still exist are much weaker than the old ones, and decks that might like to play control styles (e.g. Mage and Priest) and would lose out to the last remaining heroes have seen different archetypes pushed in this set (Tempo Mage, Minion/Hand Mage, Inner Fire Silence Priest, Midrange Deathrattle Priest). We don't need to see every classic control class have a successful control archetype in every meta game. 

    Posted in: Standard Format
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    posted a message on Regarding Warrior

    This aggressive push for nerfing Warrior only three days into an expansion is extremely premature, particularly since Bomb Warrior isn't overpowered yet. Even if it weren't, though, I think a lot of the ore arguments are pretty flawed as well.

    Regarding Brawl, the power level seems entirely appropriate. Unlike lots of other AoE, it's a symmetric effect, so the only way you'll clear the enemy board is by risking your own board. It also means you're spending two cards just for the chance to achieve the same board clearing effect of Twisting Nether, so there's an efficiency issue. As a single target removal (e.g. clear something like Mountain Giant), you spend two cards for an affect that might work out like Assassinate - a card no one runs because of how pricey it is. On the topic of countering Brawl, Token Druid has lots of board building effects right now, and Soul of the Forest is basically a hard counter for Brawl in today's (very early) meta. This is exactly what you want to see - aggro decks beat control decks and keep the number of control players in check when the meta stabilizes. With no new AoE printed in Rise of Shadows, aggro decks with lots of reload will wear out control deck AoE.

    Dr. Boom, Mad Genius is nowhere near the power level of the most popular deathknight cards. "7 mana gain 7 armor" will not protect you against most aggro decks, whereas the deathknights had much more powerful immediate value when you played them. Yes, his hero power is notably better than most other hero powers, and yes, Warrior is one of the few classes with a hero card still in the standard rotation, but comparing Dr. Boom, Mad Genius to the deathknights is flat out wrong.

    Blastmaster Boom is a very powerful card, and the comparisons to the reign of terror that was Dr. Boom are unsurprising. However, the biggest issue with Dr. Boom was that he was a neutral card, showing up everyone and ruining deck diversity. That obviously won't be an issue here, as he is a class card that is only playable in a deck that wants to use bomb cards. Toady, that's most of what you see on ladder, but other Warrior archetypes may not want to use those bomb cards. 

    Posted in: Standard Format
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    posted a message on New expansion but same old archetype?

    Magic: The Gathering is over 25 years old. White still focuses on life gain and weenie minions with buffs, Blue still gets mill tools and cheap card draw and counter spells, Black still has the most efficient minion removal and discard tools along with zombies, etc., etc., etc. 

    Hearthstone has set up 9 classes with specific styles of play, so the idea that we're seeing new cards printed to support those styles is not remotely surprising. The interesting parts is how do these new pieces come, which pieces are better and which are worse, etc., and which of these old archetypes is strongest today.

    Posted in: General Discussion
  • 0

    posted a message on New Warrior Legendary - The Boom Reaver

    I was already convinced that Dimensional Ripper is going to be very strong. I don't think The Boom Reaver is a must-run card in that deck the way Dimensional Ripper and The Boomship are - that is, if you're on a budget, I think the archetype can work without this even if it is weaker. Regardless, the battlecry is good and it's a good target for Dimensional Ripper, especially because after playing Dr. Boom, Mad Genius, The Boom Reaver will have rush. All around good card to have in that deck.

    Posted in: News
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    posted a message on Anyone thinking about getting back into HS after rotation?

    I stopped playing shortly after Rastakhan's Rumble came out because I felt the game was stale and boring, and felt kind of cheated by the cost to enjoyment I got out of buying into the expansion. Despite not playing in months, I've been following the spoiler season for Rise of Shadows. A lot of the cards look interesting, and a lot of the worst offenders for ruining fun will be rotating out.

    I'm hoping to see something similar to the release of Un'Goro, which was some of the most fun I've ever had playing Hearthstone. I'm not a F2P player, but I'm not someone who wants to throw good money after bad. What do you all think about getting back into the game?

    Posted in: General Discussion
  • 17

    posted a message on New Card Reveal - Hench-Clan Hag

    Hench-Clan Hag is 5/5 in stats for 4 mana, which is clearly above the power curve, and the amalgams having every type means most of your race/tribe synergies will work well with this (particularly pirate, murloc, and beast synergies, as those are perennial aggro types). This card could easy be meta defining for token/aggro decks.

    Posted in: News
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    posted a message on New Hunter Card - Shimmerfly

    Shimmerfly is probably better than Webspinner on average because a random Hunter spell (by definition a pool of only class cards) is better than a random beast (the pool for which includes crummy neutral cards). Webspinner saw plenty of play as a 1 drop that could help with deathrattle and beast synergies, so that might imply that Shimmerfly is also playable. But in a meta with Springpaw and without pre-nerf Undertaker, the case for playing it is a lot less compelling. There are several Hunter cards left to be revealed - if they provide enough of a deathrattle package, I think that will determine the final value of Shimmerfly.

    Posted in: News
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    posted a message on New Warrior Card - Dimensional Ripper

    Dimensional Ripper seems pretty great for the cost. Gather Your Party cost 6 for a single recruit effect. This summons 2x copies (so you still get the one in your deck later) for only 5 mana per minion. It's very expensive, but Control Warrior has always been a very strong archetype and can last until turn 10 to play it.

    Moreover, there are lots of good target available today in Hearthstone, like Grommash Hellscream, Ysera, Oondasta, and Akali, the Rhino, but there are some great new ones too. Play this with Big Bad Archmage or Archmage Vargoth for a completely insane tempo swing, or play it with Batterhead to obliterate your opponent's board. It's expensive, but I wouldn't count it out yet.

    Posted in: News
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    posted a message on New Druid Legendary - Lucentbark

    Lucentbark is a pretty cool card, but as a "one of" in your deck, it's not clear to me that the payoff is good enough to make Heal Druid a thing. Without seeing the last Druid cards, it looks like Rise of Shadows is giving you Crystal Stag, Lifeweaver, and Lucentbark as your payoff cards for using mana to heal. As activators, you're getting Dreamway Guardians and Crystal Power. The payoffs seem to lend themselves mostly to protecting small minions and maintaining board control, and the 1/2 lifesteal Dryads fit nicely into a token healing deck, but spell generation and an 8 mana taunt don't fit nearly as nicely into any token deck. It just seems a little like this theme is all over the place in terms of what it wants to support.

    Posted in: News
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