Posting of Deck builds. Harmful or helpful to the metagame?

Discussion in 'Deck Building' started by SuperBadShockSkag, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. Hi all, i wanted to bring something up which has been bugging me for some time.
    I once read a post which stated posting of deckbuilds is better for the game, for the life of me i don't understand why. Can someone care to explain.

    My other point is i believe it's actually harmful. Look at all the 3DC and FS builds plauging the game.
    Now of course these builds are not unique and most players came up with versions on their own before anyone else posted a build. But for example, the posting of Scared little Girls build which completely dominated the scene. Now instead of a few players using experimental wizard control builds now everyone simply copied SLG's perfectly tuned monster and proceeded to storm the rankings, same with the firestorm build that was posted.
    I also don't understand the logic of sharing with everyone something that you worked your butt off to perfect. Like SLG's use of trembling staff perfectly fitting into the cycle heavy deck. Most players would have simply ignored that item previously.
    Anyways sorry for the wall of text , what do you all think.
  2. Sir Veza

    Sir Veza Farming Deity

    Helpful, probably. The more people who run these builds, the better the odds of developing (and posting) a counter.
  3. neoncat

    neoncat Feline Outline

    Hidden information doesn't stay hidden for long. I regularly examine the items my opponents are using and look into any unusual choices.
  4. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    If something problematic infiltrates the environment, the meta adjusts and the environment shifts. It's healthy and good for the game to be constantly changing in small ways and this is one of those ways.

    I also think everyone grossly overstates SLG's "dominance." Her build wasn't perfected when it was posted, and the few people who've passed her ratingwise with 3DC actually put their own spins on it.

    Anyway, between map rotations and a (hopefully) constantly shifting environment, I do not worry that tech-sharing hurts the game.

    The more builds shared, the more builds played competitively...
  5. Jacques

    Jacques Hydra

    You are forgetting that those SLG and Firestorm builds, as well as the PaladinGP build (among others), had some very hard to find items. How many players have all those great epic and legendary items to build a good FS deck? Or 4 Lochabers like Paladin has? Or even 1 Bewlin's Baffling Bauble? Very few, I think. So it's imperative that you adapt those posted builds to the items you do have, and that leads to more variety in mp.

    Plus, people enjoy posting their builds, it encourages comments, debates, feedback. And as Neoncat has said, you can't keep a secret forever if that secret leads you to the top 10. You just have to spectate a match to know what items is that player using, and goodbye secret.
  6. Vakaz

    Vakaz Guild Leader

    I agree with Jacques, although I think there is often more to a build than the items it contains (divide and conquer for example has a lot of strategy and do's/don't's).

    However, now that we have competitive seasons, I worry that we will begin to see less top players sharing their innovations. I'm sure we'll get a wave of threads with the new update, but I still foresee players being more hesitant to share winnings strats/builds.
  7. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    Maybe—but then maybe more people will 'spy on' top players' games!
  8. neoncat

    neoncat Feline Outline

    Also, if the API ever gets around to working, character loadouts will be completely public information. :p
    Flaxative likes this.
  9. Scarponi

    Scarponi Moderator

    Though I agree with a lot of the points that have already been made, to be a dissenting voice from the majority I will note that there is a large part of me that wishes builds are not as commonly posted. In similar deck/team composition games I have always enjoyed building, practicing, tweaking, scrapping, rebuilding, searching, scheming and restructuring decks/teams. In the games I've played previously I usually didn't have the $$$ to keep up with the top players so I was always forced to out-build them with deck/team synergy using low end pieces. It pushed me, and when I was able to put together a deck to keep up with the "big guns" it was often my favorite part of the game experience, not just because I won, but because I did it through my build. With CH partially because of time restraints, and partially because of the ease of seeing builds in these forums I've found myself much more following forum advice with minor tweaks of my own than doing any real "ground up" deck building. I'm not unhappy with the way things are, but I do miss that part and always tell myself I want to go build a real "me" deck, but don't know if I ever will.
  10. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    You can definitely do that, Scarponi! I've built two original builds in the last month! It's still possible! :)
    Scarponi likes this.
  11. PaladinGP

    PaladinGP #1 in Spring PvP Season

    In practice, at least when I first built Divide and Conquer, there was less copying going on than I guessed. I played that build for a month or so without anyone really working on/against it to my knowledge, and it was when I posted it after that that suddenly there was counterplay and a few mirror matches.
    I think the more harmful part of it has been the long-term highlighting of super-efficient items that restricts the fun/skill parts of building - now many people have seen specifically that Slippery Shield, for example, and to a lesser extent Goat Boots are excellent, they become easy "go to" picks for high efficiency fillers in many decks. Perhaps this is a problem with the item pool, that sometimes there are a few 'best' items, but I expect M:tG has the same problem, except frequent set rotation keeps it fresh.
    Also, as Vakaz alluded to above, strategy is big. I think putting into writing what was being done with the deck was the big factor. Though I can see that with many other decks the efficient item combo is enough.

    So, in summary: I didn't get too much focused attention, even at the top with a big streak, until I posted the build. I think it was the "how to" parts of the build that spurred on the counterplay. And I think that posting specific efficient warrior cards, like SLGs focus on traits, has led to a lot of people playing cards very similar to what's the consensus on "optimal" warrior setups.

    I'm inclined to agree with the OP. Deck building is a huge amount of fun, and when more things appear viable the environment is fun. If one person has a huge streak with a few key items, many people switch to those items, and there's less variance. I posted because I think the deck crossed a level where it wasn't just doing well, but game-breakingly so, and it wasn't fun to keep winning in such a specific combo fashion. The upside was BM has switched to smaller maps, so Whirlwind Enemies is less of a nightmare. The downside is, the variety of warrior builds has dropped. My build may have been/be slightly more efficient than others, but was it so much more efficient that the game is better with a large number of people playing a similar one?

    The pleasure is in the journey. I think decks appearing on the net early is like looking at a strategy guide for a game: parts are helpful, but other parts take the fun away from areas where the main fun was learning and exploring. And I don't think "Don't look at them, then" is a good counter-argument: the point is about the nature of the environment, not what you yourself choose to do. Watchful players would notice if everyone started homing in on a few items, regardless of whether they saw it on the forums or not. I joined Card Hunter in release week, and it's a great pleasure to play in an environment where no-one really knows what's best yet. If people can tell you "These are the 3 best constructed builds", you have lost the chance to work it out for yourself and improve your own way to winning more: you can't enjoy a treasure hunt if someone's already put a big highlighter over the best treasure.

    Magic:the Gathering has this 'problem' magnified to the extreme, because of its huge and dedicated player base: pre-releases are fun for me (though I haven't played for quite a few years), because you get to test your skills of evaluating how good cards and builds are on the fly, and everyone else is in a similar situation (very few people will have done serious proxying and playtesting of the cardlist in advance). The moment the set's been out for a few weeks, you can't avoid the conversations about "the best builds on the internet feature card X", and the space for building gradually better and better decks yourself is reduced. It's efficiency towards the optimal result, but at the cost of fun, yet it's very hard to stop this happening in practice. Pre-internet it would have been easier, and that parallels posting decks I think. I think we are fortunate that card hunter is in a position where it isn't instantly 'solved' when new cards come out, so we can maintain the fun of discovery. So I'd urge people, at the very least, to delay and think twice before they post their killer combo. Are you taking away other people's enjoyment more than you are satisfying yourself?
  12. Flaxative

    Flaxative Party Leader Staff Member

    One of the reasons I post my builds is to encourage people to try nonstandard parties, FWIW.
  13. neoncat

    neoncat Feline Outline

    I still don't see anyone copying my builds, even though they're fun and (usually) competitive... Where are all the people out for the lulz? :D
    SuperBadShockSkag and Flaxative like this.
  14. Jacques

    Jacques Hydra

    I'm not sure it works that way. It seems a bit extreme for me. For example, I have been using your Divide and Conquer build for a while now, but the only thing I remember from your post is that you used 4 lochabers. I don't remember anything else because I tried to readapt it my way after I saw it, using different weapons, different armors, different arcane items, etc that I had available or thought they were better. It's not like I go to see your post all the time to remember the exact items you used. So it's the same kind of build, the same idea, but not a mere copy, as most of the items are not the same. Another example: while Slippery shield is a great item, as we know, there are a lot of players that prefer parry or dodge, because parry doesn't block any but replace itself, and you can block anything with dodge if you position yourself well enough and you can keep it.

    To sum up, saying that players will copy exactly someone else's build just because they have the possibility to see it is underestimate them. Players are smart enough to, even if they keep the idea of a build, try to readapt it their own way. Of course there are those who will try to copy the build from the beginning to the end, but those are not the majority.
  15. In a vacuum, and assuming the game was balanced, or had regular balancing, posting builds would be generally helpful, as is, build posting has magnified the problematic abilities and comps for a long time (without redress).
    Flaxative likes this.
  16. Truth will out. Eventually a great deck is going to get publicized. In a now defunct card game I played, the highest rated players' deck lists were public information and were aped shortly after an event disclosed their newest deck. That is natural and good. However, in that game the metagame was robust and had many competitive decks, and new card sets came out every few months with new cards that revamped the metagame. That's not happening here, but hopefully the new content will change this. I still enjoy the game and play as time allows, but I am looking forward to it becoming interesting again soon.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2014
    Flaxative likes this.
  17. I personally dislike the arguments for "everything comes out in the end" or approximations thereof. I agree that it is technically true, but the time scale is reasonably long compared to when a deck is posted on the forum. This is apparent in the sudden upsurge of DCW decks after SLG posted that deck and of the warrior/WW deck after PGP posted that one. When successful decks aren't posted there is a much slower uptake time. As to how a certain deck is played, this is irrelevant if you are looking simply at deck saturation. Regardless of "skill" we have a situation now where there a 2 or 3 decks that are played 90% of the time and that situation can perpetuate for months. Neither players nor devs gain from this situation. When successful decks aren't posted you gain longer periods of diversity inbetween content updates and (hopefully) balance overview.

    I do find it a little odd that there has been only one balancing update since release. I look forward greatly to new content and I think this can help diversify decks for a time, but adding more cards should not replace overall balancing. Adding new content is time-consuming for the devs and we no doubt all understand that BM is a small group, but it takes far less time to routinely fine-tune existing balance.
  18. Questor

    Questor Ogre

    I guess that MP is not such a priority. I am sure there is a way to find out how many people are actually playing MP every day and for more than the 1st golden chest.
    But i bet that there aren´t so many when you take into account that you have on average 50 people in the MP chat.
    The most important factor is the revenue, if you have a small team you have to concentrate on the part of your game which pays your bills and aims at the majority of your customers.
    Flaxative likes this.
  19. Sir Veza

    Sir Veza Farming Deity

    You could probably dig that out of
    I'm one who rarely plays MP past the first chest, but I've been spending a lot of time on the test server. Check it out if you want to see what BM has been up to. Many new cards and items which I expect to reshape the meta significantly. Of course I rarely play past the first chest, so I could very well be wrong.
  20. Ghostbrain

    Ghostbrain Ogre

    I'm all up for learning from great decks and adapting them to your own logic. Whilst it's true that some deck builders highlighted 'go-to' cards such as eletroporter novice and goat boots, there's still plenty of differing variants that can and are used.

    Regardless of if you post builds or not, just playing the game shows the trends that are in frequent use. If you're new you'll probably still deduct similar answers just from using the wiki and realising the quality of cards that are on offer.
    Sir Veza and Jacques like this.

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