L&L Defense, CH Defense, or Something Else?

Discussion in 'Card Hunter General Chat' started by slowreflex, Sep 1, 2015.


What is the best defense system?

  1. The current CH one (lots of RNG)

    5 vote(s)
  2. The current L&L one (no RNG)

    3 vote(s)
  3. Something Else

    1 vote(s)
  1. slowreflex

    slowreflex Goblin Champion

    I couldn't find a thread about this, but L&L (Loot and Legends) explained there defense system over a few dev blogs here, here, and here. Effectively, they removed rolling from armor and blocks, made armor degrade and blocks more specific. I haven't actually played L&L, but it sounds like the only RNG is in your card draw. Do you think CH should adopt a similar system? Do you think there is an even better way than what CH or L&L are doing?
  2. DunDunDun

    DunDunDun Thaumaturge

    Your poll doesn't match the question you're asking.
    For example, I'd vote '2' (as being more fun), but your actual question is 'should it be changed', to which I'd say 'no'.

    As far as 'better', that's impossible to quantify, and rather, the distinction in how games play is what makes them interesting in contrast to one another.
  3. Xayrn

    Xayrn Hydra

    Maybe someday when L&L is on Android and has multiplayer I'll make the switch, but that day isn't here yet.
  4. slowreflex

    slowreflex Goblin Champion

    The poll IS the question I'm asking. The rest of my post is just for context. I'm not asking if it should be changed. I'm asking which one people think is best.

    Go on, take a leap. You can't sit on that fence forever. ;)
  5. slowreflex

    slowreflex Goblin Champion

    My personal view on this is that the CH system is better. If you'd asked me during my first week though, I would have said RNG is evil.

    I mentioned it in another thread awhile ago, but I believe uncertainty helps address the issue of "who jumps first". Let's evaluate the two system with an example:

    I'm three space away from my opponent. We both have 2hp, a visible armor card that prevents 2 dmg, a walk card, and a 3 dmg card (which is not visible). Lets assume for this theoretical example, that's what every turn is going to be like for the rest of the game.

    In the CH system, that armor card would have a 50/50 chance of working (as an example). This means if I move in first, the following could happen:

    1) Opponent attacks, my armor fails, I die.
    2) Opponent attacks, my armor works, I attack, my opponents armor fails, I win
    3) Opponent attacks, my armor works, I attack, my opponents armor works, on to next turn where my opponent gets the first decision (an advantage, but not necessarily the win).

    In the L&L system, that armor card is guaranteed to block 2dmg. So the following could happen if I move in first:

    1) Opponent attacks, my armor works, I go to one life. I hit back, he goes to 1 life. He passes. End turn. He attacks. I die.

    Yes, those are extreme examples, but you can see the difference I'm talking about. You need uncertainty or another mechanism like strikeback (both damage each other at same time) to help address the "who jumps first" mentality. I don't think L&L has seen much of this yet, because it is just PvE.

    Sure, sometimes RNG makes me want to rage and cry like a 2yr old, but it's one of those things that people blame losses for but never credit wins for. It also gives that chance that allows anyone to beat anyone. However, over enough matches, the better players will still rise to the top. That's the thing about RNG, on mass, it becomes irrelevant. Match by match, it is relevant.

    All that being said, it does feel like there is probably a way to make CH a bit better in this regard. I've not landed on anything that I thought it amazing though. Here are some of the things I've thought through:

    No RNG in card draw
    Make cards unknown at end of each round (I like this and it could help especially if some RNG is removed)
    Make armor static, but blocks RNG (or vice versa)
    Remove armor but attacks get RNG (like 1d6 +2 dmg)

    Overall though, I don't really have a major issue with the current system.
  6. DunDunDun

    DunDunDun Thaumaturge

    Apples are different from Oranges.
    Someone may even say "Hey, I like oranges better!"
    That doesn't necessarily mean "Hey, I never want apples."

    So as far as games go, no, there ISN'T better, and it's not a matter of being on a fence- it's about appreciating variety in fruits. Er, in game mechanics, even. :)

    Sometimes randomized games are nice to play, they add a dynamic more stable games don't have.

    Though, inherently, as I noted initially, I prefer less randomized games.

    That doesn't mean I feel CH should necessarily change in any way~

    Besides, your poll still says 'best', rather than 'which defense system do you favor', so I won't be voting even if it isn't related to asking for changes :)
    timeracers likes this.
  7. slowreflex

    slowreflex Goblin Champion

    Should say "preferred", but unfortunately I can't change a poll title once its been set.

    What do you think about games that let you choose how much RNG you want? Do you want to use cards with RNG with more potential and more loss or stick with those that don't have RNG?
    DunDunDun likes this.
  8. Sir Veza

    Sir Veza Farming Deity

    In RPGs (which this sorta-kinda is), I like the current die rolls.
    I also like to-hit rolls and saving throws, but that might be a bit much to include from the card game perspective.
    The damage rolls (of a sort) that came in with lasers are pretty cool, but the 33% chance of a malfunction seems a bit steep. Maybe I just had a run of bad luck with frequency and effects, but they kicked me pretty hard in testing.
    DunDunDun likes this.
  9. Bandreus

    Bandreus Thaumaturge

    I'd rather just side with @DunDunDun here: both systems have their own merits and downsides, so I don't think you can really state which one is superior to the other. Furthermore, I wouldn't dare speculate about which one approach would work best in the context of CH vs L&L specifically, as I didn't try the latter yet.

    The Dropforge guys seem to be leaning on the side of less randomness making for a better experience. I mean, given how the game is mobile-only, removing the additional complexity stemming off die-rolls for armor and blocks does help a lot with streamlining the experience. I think that point is way more important than any other consideration about whether or not having more/less randomness would be better/worse.

    In that regard I would agree that, on a mobile platform, the approach they went with for L&L probably makes a lot more sense.
    DunDunDun likes this.
  10. DunDunDun

    DunDunDun Thaumaturge

    Great posts, all three of you :)

    And fair point, slowreflex- there's nothing to preclude adding more un-random things to the game.
    Right now the game runs a nice gamut, between very reliable things (Reliable Mail, etc) to very unreliable things (radiation).
    I feel it's keeping to a good approach of catering to both elements fairly well, allowing good variety in playstyle and build options.

    Moving forward, there's certainly nothing preventing adding less random cards alongside more random cards, same as the game already has been.
    In fact, if Rogues get added, perhaps we'll see some increased emphasis on positioning over randomization, since I imagine they'll have a fair bit of armor penetration, and, being based on backstabs, avoidance of blocks.

    In any case, I think promoting both sides [I love EttSC randomized effects a lot!] reliably will help encourage Jon to keep adding to both categories as the game moves forward.
    There's certainly no reason to change any fundamental elements of the system- but likewise, no real reason to prevent adding new cards with more LoL-styled un-random elements, either.

    Certainly a lot of reason to look forward to new content, though, no matter your preferences :D
  11. Wildarm

    Wildarm Ogre

    I've played CH and L&L quite a bit. I would say I like the L&L approach to armor. It provides a different feel when you know the armor will almost always help you. The mage armors in particular usually save you a few HP and provide an effect when they activate or break. Think guaranteed icy block as an armor, or a one shot sparkling cloth, or one shot barbed armor.

    Now L&L is a much smaller sandbox than CH and has much lower damage attacks which really makes armor shine. The teams are static as 1/1/1 so you know if you equip physical/magic only defense items or blocks, they will always be useful in the match. In CH you need to depend on the meta to match you up with a favorable opponent. There are some generic armors in L&L and they are OK but magic or physical specific armors are the truly powerful ones.

    One other thing that makes L&L armor better - You can keep 3 cards in your hand at the end of each round. Since armor almost always degrades you don't get crazy armor stacking problems that can happen in CH
    Xayrn, Maniafig, DunDunDun and 3 others like this.
  12. Vakaz

    Vakaz Guild Leader

    Personally I think rolls are fun for blocks, but not so much for armor. Block rolls result in tense moments where you don't know whether an entire attack is going to work or not, but the stakes of an armor roll failing vs not failing usually don't feel as meaningful because their damage mitigation happens over a bunch of attacks.

    This is one of the first "simplifications" I've heard about in L+L that sounds like a good change... if only it was on android :rolleyes:
  13. Xayrn

    Xayrn Hydra

    I don't see how this has anything to do with the platform; die rolls don't take any extra input from the user. Limiting party composition, for example, is a change done in the name of complexity reduction, but I think the lack of die rolls is just an overall better design choice.
  14. Bandreus

    Bandreus Thaumaturge

    The fact a system doesn't require anymore input from the user doesn't say much about how much complexity it brings to the table. Or are you trying to tell me that your approach to the game wouldn't be significantly different if, say, you knew Defender's Block or Barbed Platemail and all other armors and blocks always triggered?

    If no die roll is involved, you can more easily plan your next moves, as you do know exactly what the outcome of any given action will be, as long as they do happen in the order you envisioned them. When rolls are involved though, you need to take any possible outcome into account. So, even though the roll is not influenced by any player-initiated input, the additional unpredictability being added to the game does make the decision making process (and hence the game itself) very much more complex.

    Also, from one of the originally referenced articles:

    Emphasis's mine ofc.

    It's obvious a lot of the design process is informed by the platform and audience the game is intended for. Which is design 101, quite frankly, so I wouldn't expect the Dropforge guys to do otherwise.

    Anyway, maybe you misread my post (or, more likely, I didn't pick the clearest or most effective of wordings). I wasn't really trying to imply that the removal of die rolls would only be justifiable in light of of their target platform/audience. As a matter of fact, I'm not expressing a definitive opinion on whether or not I like these specific changes before I've had a chance to actually play the game.

    I was rather saying that, even leaving considerations about what the "absolute best" system would be like (if such a thing could ever exist), the removal of dice rolls is at the very least helping with reducing complexity. Which is likely a bonus, when doing that is part of your strategy for targeting your core audience.
    DunDunDun likes this.
  15. Xayrn

    Xayrn Hydra

    Okay, so then why is keeping 'complexity' down better for something specifically on a mobile platform, if not because it limits input? The most I was able to gather from your response was that the target audience is perhaps dumber?

    These are both false. In fact, in the non-emphasized portion of that quoted paragraph, the uncertainty of Magic: The Gathering is mentioned. Magic's uncertainty doesn't come from all of your cards having a 50% chance to not work; it comes from not knowing what your opponent is capable of because their hand is hidden. The uncertainty in L&L is similar; your attacks may not succeed because you don't know if your opponent is carrying a block or an unrevealed armor that may negate them.
  16. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    I don't think casual = dumb ... I know for my part, the games I play on my mobile device are things I pick up and put down quickly without giving them much thought, whereas CH is something I spend a lot of (mental) energy on in longer sessions.
    Bandreus and Xayrn like this.
  17. Bandreus

    Bandreus Thaumaturge

    I didn't say mobile platform = dumber players. Nor did I say no rolls = no uncertainty whatsoever.

    I didn't even have any particularly interesting point I was trying to bring across, so I really don't get all the pendantry.

    At least I tried further explaining myself, though evidently with little success. Peace.
    Sir Veza and Flaxative like this.
  18. Xayrn

    Xayrn Hydra

    You were saying the difference was in the target audience, so apparently the mobile audience prefers less complexity; the rest was my inference. Flaxative did a good job of explaining the difference to me. Evidently, I don't play many mobile games.
    This is actually exactly how I interpreted what you said. *shrug*
    I actually go out of my way to avoid being pedantic when not talking about card mechanics. Annoying and argumentative are other matters. ;)
    Sir Veza likes this.
  19. slowreflex

    slowreflex Goblin Champion

    Yes, I agree. If you'd read a bit further in what you quoted me, I had the below as a solution:

    "Make cards unknown at end of each round (I like this and it could help especially if some RNG is removed)"
  20. DunDunDun

    DunDunDun Thaumaturge

    By nature, more reliability in outcomes makes for a less complex system. Doesn't mean a less tactical or strategic system, just one that has less inherent variance.
    Given that mobile platforming- especially a PvE-only game- is usually based around quick gaming sessions, @Bandreus' point about target audience made perfect sense.

    They remove randomization and other excessive complexities to make the game easier to process and play smoothly and quickly.
    You know, the same reasons you're promoting their system- so you're both basically on the same page :)

    Like Flax and Bandy implied, Card Hunter works well with the more randomized elements. Whether it's ideal or not, 'best' or not, well, see my previous posts for that :p

    In any case, I find Card Hunter, with its randomization, fun.

    Would I still find it fun with a L&L approach? Pretty sure, yeah.
    It'd definitely let me be more relaxed in how I played PvE.

    And I can certainly see it making PvP feel more tactical.

    On the flip side, do I think overhauling the entire system is worth it? No.
    It may add more straightforward and tactical play, but it wouldn't measurably affect the game's level of fun [other than for people frustrated about randomization of course] enough to warrant that.

    Do I feel that add more cards with 'reliable' elements to be worth it? Sure.
    If we can make the game have less-randomized options via the addition of new cards, that makes for a more vibrant game over all. Variety [in build options] is the spice of dungeoneering, right?

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