Done with Card Hunter for now -- Here's some feedback

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by Sir Valimont, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. Sir Valimont

    Sir Valimont Orc Soldier

    There's a lot to like and it's a fun game. In the end though, there are some design choices that make it unplayable long-term for me. I believe these problems will apply to a large segment of card players so hopefully this feedback will be useful.

    In a nutshell:

    PvP in any one match is heavily dependent on luck. Yes, there's skill over time and over many games (just like other luck-based games such as poker), but in any one sitting it's about luck.

    Since PvP matches take 20 minutes to complete (and often more) it is only logical that to avoid being subject to 20 minutes of extreme annoyance and boredom, a player with some bad initial draws will want to resign.

    But ... you're not allowed to resign early. In an attempt to prevent match-throwing, the ability to jettison a match is taken away from players. So the only remedy for the pain of RNG-based longform matches is taken away.

    I cannot iterate strongly enough how very misguided, and very wrong, and very bad this choice is. Historically the largest mistakes of game design always seem to come from a similar intention: prevent player abuse, and thus remove a player freedom. Sooner or later designers will hopefully realize that limiting freedom in your game only makes your game worse -- and it doesn't prevent abuse. Card Hunter is a game that desperately needs the ability to resign a PvP match early, without punishment. More to the point, one needs to realize there's nothing wrong with resigning early. It's a good thing when someone avoids being bored for 20 minutes playing your game. You should want people to avoid not enjoying your game and only spend time enjoying it. It may well be difficult to create a ranking system not susceptible to match tanking, but that is a separate problem, and a no-resign policy creates much, much worse collateral damage.

    In spite of all the issues with PvP, card players like me might stick around and enjoy a PvE option ... but there isn't a PvE option either. PvP drop rates are so much better than PvE that a PvE player is stuck between playing the mode he doesn't enjoy (PvP) and playing a mode he feels doesn't prosper his account (PvE). I can easily see many players enjoying PvE Card Hunter if this weren't the case, but as it is I can't imagine anyone playing PvE very long. Inevitably one will play a few PvP matches, recognize the discrepancy in drop rates, and be turned off to PvE.

    I think areas of focus for improvement to the game are lessening RNG effects and improving the PvE offering, however you want to approach those things. For now, the game remains one which has a lot of potential and which I might enjoy, but find too frustrating given the various points above to stay committed to. So it won't enter my longer-term portfolio of card games. Considering that I tend to play a broad selection of games I think this represents a significant market portion you are missing out on and which you may be able to start converting with a few fixes. But who knows. It's hard to detect why you're not getting more players because the ones you're not getting are not here to comment about it. Well, except me perhaps, because I'm leaving some comments before I head out. XD

    Cheers, thanks everyone for the chats. Good luck and see you around.

    - Sir V
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2015
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  2. BlackVoidDeath

    BlackVoidDeath Guild Leader

    Wait WHAT? you are leaving us? :(
     
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  3. Sir Veza

    Sir Veza Farming Deity

    Yep. I guess that's an indisputable fact. Take care, Sir V.
     
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  4. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    Now, now, let's not bury this gentleman's helpful feedback in snark.
     
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  5. j3st3ri

    j3st3ri Thaumaturge

    Shouldn't this be in the "Feedback and Suggestions" section...
     
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  6. Sir Valimont

    Sir Valimont Orc Soldier

    I didn't mean my message to be so dramatic! I will still pop by from time to time, I just thought it would be helpful to give an assessment from a PvE-type player's point of view. I really think it's a great game (with a great community by the way) and believe that honest feedback is the most useful kind.
     
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  7. Sir Valimont

    Sir Valimont Orc Soldier

    I can easily see many players enjoying PvE Card Hunter if this weren't the case, but as it is I can't imagine anyone playing PvE very long. Inevitably one will play a few PvP matches, realize the discrepancy in drop rates, and be turned off to PvE.

    It's not an indisputable fact per se, but you being a long-time veteran PvE player does little to disprove the point. I am clearly stating that the reason PvE doesn't attract me is the discrepancy in drop rates with PvP. That discrepancy did not exist when you started playing, and only came into being long after you had a near-complete collection and were dedicated to the game.

    I think the takeaway here is that an experienced, thoughtful card-game player gets the educated impression (3 weeks of daily playing and thoroughly testing both PvE and PvP content) that this doesn't shake out for PvE. That's an impression -- you can't prove it or disprove it, it just is a reality. You are welcome to take the stance that you think my view is not representative, and that would be an easy out. Players who aren't here aren't able to agree with what I'm saying. And after all I don't think most new players give games 3 weeks before they decide whether to stay, let alone leave long commentary about their impressions.

    Online games are always evolving, as are their communities. It is a very common problem that newer players encounter a different game experience from veteran players. There's usually more content in the game, and much of that content tends to be more desirable in some sense than the old content. After all, new content has to appeal to veteran players who have already been through the old content. For card games the most common problem is power creep, but just as frequently you'll find new content that enables new players to advance more rapidly relative to how rapidly veteran players could advance when they started. Again, it's very common -- I could name 5 or 6 online card games offhand that are experiencing this exact conflict in their communities right now.

    I think it's always useful to get new impressions. The goal should be to expand the community just as much as it's important to be loyal to old heads. Still, as I said in my OP, one of the toughest things to assess is what the issues are that are keeping players away from your game since there's no one to speak about those things (the players aren't here in the first place) and the problem is easy to dismiss on lack of evidence. I'm not suggesting this game is a bust. I'm merely letting you know that as a person intimately familiar with the industry -- to the extent that I know most every online card game inside and out at this point -- there are certain takeaways that I think will prevent a segment of the card player population from adopting this particular game.
     
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  8. Drakkan

    Drakkan Ogre

    Well .. aside other things .. PVP is much more dependent on skill than on luck.. you just need time (and maybe a proper deck) to realize that..
    Sure there is always luck.. so you can even say - Basketball is also dependent on luck..

    And also, that's is off topic - but I must say - poker (texas holdem) is not luck-based game .. but one also needs time and skill to understand that ..
     
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  9. BlackVoidDeath

    BlackVoidDeath Guild Leader

    i would say that the only thing (that i can think of on the spot) which is luck based in CH is the dice rolls so - but when you roll a 1 on a parry you think: nope thats not luck - the opponent is just hacking/cheating :mad: - but 999 times out of 1000 its actually just you being unlucky :p
    Edit: more like 99999 times out of 100000 because i think the community that has formed here is nice and dont hack/use cheats :)
     
  10. I'm inferring that it was primarily those parts in bold with which Sir Veza was taking issue. It's not that your points are invalid by any means, but the way you've chosen to word them implies that they will apply to everyone (or at least everyone with a sufficient level of card-game experience).

    Sure it does: if the point is that everyone will feel as you describe, then a single counterexample will suffice to disprove it. I can offer a second counterexample, given that I play PvE because I enjoy it. (I don't currently enjoy PvP—mostly because I like to play a bit more deliberately and don't care for the time pressure.) I'd never claim that a buff to the PvE drops wouldn't encourage me to play slightly more often, but at the same time: if I no longer enjoy PvE a year from now and decide to walk away, which is certainly possible, I have to anticipate that it will have far less to do with the drop rates than with simply getting bored replaying the same maps.

    Either way, the buff to PvP drops didn't affect me much at all, and it would have affected me even less if I'd come to the game later and never realized that the rewards used to be more similar.

    I certainly don't wish to argue with you. I think your points are solid with respect to some subset of players—maybe even a substantial one—and hope that they will be useful to Blue Manchu's decisions going forward. Best wishes.
     
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  11. Sir Valimont

    Sir Valimont Orc Soldier

    This is the full quote, not taken out of context by removing the later sentences!:

    It's not an indisputable fact per se, but you being a long-time veteran PvE player does little to disprove the point. I am clearly stating that the reason PvE doesn't attract me is the discrepancy in drop rates with PvP. That discrepancy did not exist when you started playing, and only came into being long after you had a near-complete collection and were dedicated to the game.

    Sir Veza is not a counterexample to my point. My point is about new players, and he is not a new player. Just to be clear!
     
  12. Sir Valimont

    Sir Valimont Orc Soldier

    Any one hand of Texas Hold 'Em is 99% luck. When you're dealt pocket aces, that's not your skill making you win most of the time. As I mentioned, poker is a game where any one hand or any one set of hands is almost entirely about luck, but skill is extremely important over time to differentiate you from your opponents. That's exactly how Card Hunter PvP plays out in my experience -- any one match tends to go to whomever is luckiest, and rare indeed is the match where it's closely matched but a skillful play wins the day. Those few exceptional matches do add up over time and skill does of course reign supreme ... but the anatomy of the game is more like poker, where every individual contest is more luck-oriented than anything else. That's not a criticism so much as it's an observation necessary to understand how playing the game over short periods of time feels to players. It's easy to get frustrated when your luck's bad, and even more so when you can't resign to cut the time short.
     
  13. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    This is a valid point, but there's two things against where you go with it.

    1) In the same way that the players who leave silently aren't here to voice there opinion, there is also no way to know that their reason for leaving mirrors your issues with the game. Therefore while you can validly express your opinion and as such it is valuable feedback, there's no real reason to validate your appropriation of the votes of people not here for that specific opinion (which maybe I'm misreading you and you're not attempting).

    2) Similarly as those who don't like the game often leave silently without expressing their opinion, those people who do like a game as it stands rarely say anything. So if you're going to claim to be speaking up for a lot of silent players who have left, then it would only be proper for you to give the same weight to anyone who speaks in favor of the game as representing additional players who choose not to say anything as they like the game as it stands.
     
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  14. neoncat

    neoncat Feline Outline

    The good Sir very nearly summarized the reasons for my own departure, though I doubt that he's explored CardHuntria quite as fully as he thinks.

    There is a point at which one becomes capable of nearly-perfect decisions and, even more, can assess the opponent's closeness to perfect strategy. At that point, when all the other trappings of game have been torn apart and understood, when every free variable has been min-maxed, all that remains are the creaky foundations of non-deterministic mechanics which laugh at your attempts to persuade them further.

    I amused myself for quite some time by inventing my own games within CardHuntria, but the devs have made it fairly clear that the way I enjoyed playing Card Hunter was neither supported nor much liked, and I expect that now it would get me banned pretty quickly. *shrug* Time to seek fairer fields where the sunshine and daffodils remain young.
     
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  15. Sir Veza

    Sir Veza Farming Deity

    I understand. I hate seeing CH becoming more channelized - I liked it better with the weird stuff and looser attitude. (It's almost like the game is growing up and starting to take itself too seriously.) Thanks for the great utilities and posts, neon, and good luck with the fairer fields!
     
  16. Drakkan

    Drakkan Ogre

    One hand is luck .. but you must think in (far) broader aspect - play poker for two months and see if it's luck .. the end result counts.

    Its the same with CH -> ok sometimes you lose parry and a game with it .. so what.. you play another .. play PVP for 2 months and skill will differentiate some players..
    Why do you think for example Black Sabbath is constantly over 1700 rating.. and constantly playing .. with different decks .. (and being over 1700 nets you much less points that you would lose when you lose a game)..

    The only luck-based-game is one that gives you no options .. in CH, you first have option when building deck.. then in play .. you can chose what to do... who you wish to attack.. you can bluff in CH .. and win games because of it .. for example - if you're playing melee vs wizards .. you can send your character that got 3 move cards up front.. they tend to spend control cards pushing him back.. then you send your other guys..
    If you like some other aspects - you can assess your opponent.. try to understand his way of thinking .. is he sending a character with no attacks first.. and react based on your assessment.. etc etc .. there are so many options that I dont really play PVP so much as I tend to concentrate too much..
    You dont have to do it.. or be able to do it/understand it.. but the options are there nevertheless ..

    No luck based game attracts me .. but I assure you, as a senior player and mid-age person ;), after playing for 9 months, this one is not luck based..

    As I mentioned, same thing is with most sports .. how many games are decided by 1 ball in football, 1 shoot in basketball, 1 out/block in volleyball etc..
    You cannot say those are luck based games .. having 50% in shooting for 3 points is great.. it's similar like CH block .. sometimes you block, sometimes not..
    But at the end (of sports league), best teams are in top ..

    Similar is with Magic the Gathering ..

    If you dont like that, sure its ok .. there is always Chess..
     
  17. Bandreus

    Bandreus Thaumaturge

    While I agree all feedback is useful, I also find one player's opinions (albeit vocally expressed) don't make for a solid piece of truth.

    At the end of the day, the devs have all the data they need in order to assess what's going right and what's going wrong. Feedback is very useful, but people also need to realize offering feedback does not equate to dictating an agenda for the devs to follow. The devs do have the bigger picture (i.e. data, lots of) in order to assess the vast majority of matters, plus they might have reasons for doing stuff the way they do, regardless of how individual players might feel about it.

    That being said, it's always sad seeing members of the community go.

    I do hope both @Sir Valimont and @neoncat come back to have some good fun with us real soon.
     
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  18. Britannicus

    Britannicus Kobold

    I haven't jumped into PvP, but I have played through the entire PvE campaign ~ 1.5 times. Personally, the inability to mulligan cards in the opening hand (during hard missions, I frequently concede for bad starts) and the limited opportunity to cycle through cards which have no situational value both have the potential to be very frustrating. More ways to discard and draw mid turn would help greatly, I think. Also, the ability to trash (remove from play) cards would be welcomed as well for some nice risk v. reward.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  19. Sir Veza

    Sir Veza Farming Deity

    Leadership, cycling traits, cycling blocks, and various card-draw cards can help a lot with this under the current system. You will still get bad draws, but they will be fewer.
     
  20. Drakkan

    Drakkan Ogre

    You will also get much better decks with time and good items .. my SP decks rarely have a bad card at all ..
     
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