Why are all OP claims on cards and not items?

Discussion in 'Card Hunter General Chat' started by ratxt1, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. ratxt1

    ratxt1 Kobold

    Hello, pretty new here so I may not know what I am talking about (haven't even finished the campaign), but I've been reading the forums to get a feel for the game, and it struck me as odd at how all of the claims for this and that being op were on specific cards and not items. In Card Hunter you don't build your deck with individual cards so the claims seem to not address the real problem.

    I think it would be more constructive if statements such as "Fireball/Frost Jolt/Leadership are too strong" would be replaced with statements such as "Staff of a Million Fireballs/Staff of Winter/Advanced Flexibility are too strong".

    Just my two cents, what do you all think?
  2. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    There are SOME discussions of overpowered items. The most common (to my memory) is the Rageblood Dagger given out in a starter pack. From there, people will discuss how nasty Vicious Thrust is, sure; but the dagger is nasty, especially when it just plain comes for 50 pizza (from Fierce Dwarf).

    Other discussions of items, I think, get subsumed into the "but everybody will get every item in 'the long run,' so I don't care how 'rare' it is right now" issue. Then people focus on the cards.

    I nonetheless hope that items will get their due. Resistant Hide, the card, got fears that it was overpowered . . . until the items where it was available became limited.
  3. Kalin

    Kalin Begat G'zok

    Partly because it really is the cards that are overpowered: overpowered items are OP because they have multiple OP cards, and those cards are powerful on all the items they're on.

    However, a lot of the balancing being done by the devs is done to items: either changing which cards items have (removing Whirlwind Enemies from Purple Cloak) or just plain removing the item from the game (Crackling Cloak).

    That just appeared in the rare shop for me; I am so very tempted to sell a whole bunch of items I don't like so I can buy that. And I still have enough pizza left for the starter deck, so I could get two. So very, very tempting.
  4. Gerry Quinn

    Gerry Quinn Goblin Champion

    Well, you can always balance OP cards (within reason) by putting them on items in small numbers or combined with worse cards.
  5. Wozarg

    Wozarg Thaumaturge

    Most times it's simpler to balance the card than the item but you are correct that in a few occasions items with say more than two of a card is the real culprit. But those times doesn't talking about the card being to strong lead to maybe its not too strong but strong enough that a limited number should be available? That as far as i remember is what happened with resistant hide and while i can only speak for my self i am happy but not overjoyed with the change and i was probably the one most against any changes to it.
  6. SurgeonFish

    SurgeonFish Automaton Moderator Staff Member

    To be perfectly honest. most of the items in the game are very well balanced. There are some level discrepancies and im curious about the card selections for items usually between minor and no talent items. For the most part though it seems that having random assortment of cards on items has done fairly well for the game.
  7. Forlorn

    Forlorn Orc Soldier

    Not even a little true. If items are so balanced, why do you consistently see the same items with the same overpowered cards over and over again in multiplayer? Like electroporter novice? Or the robes with resistant hide? Or the dueler's buckler? etc. etc.
  8. Blindsight

    Blindsight Ogre

    Because there will always be a set of most efficient gear, no matter how balanced it is. If everything is exactly 'balanced' (which is bad btw) then you'll see a set for each type of build. There's really no way with a community of people for it not to migrate to a set of 'best' gear for a given situation.

    Now that's not to say that I agree that everything is very well balanced. There are likely things that can and will be tweaked along the way, but as far as game design 'balance' goes, I feel it's pretty good. The community is, and will continue identifying items to question and the designers will need to see where they feel things should fit. We don't know what the devs have laid out numerically as to what they want the balance to be. No, everything isn't equivalent at a given power/level etc, as a game designer you will rarely ever want them to be.
    skip_intro, Wozarg and SurgeonFish like this.
  9. Forlorn

    Forlorn Orc Soldier

    You can still make items radically different yet still balanced.

    By the way, if everyone in this game had a radically different set of items for each deck, then that's when you know Card Hunter has arrived as a complete game.
  10. Blindsight

    Blindsight Ogre

    And nobody said otherwise...

    Not sure of the correlation there. It could simply mean that there are millions of items to have randomly received, or that each item is unique etc.

    I believe your intent is that if, assuming full access to all items by everyone, everyone is selecting different builds for their deck and there isn't a dominate build it's balanced. In theory that is true. In reality items and cards are situational and their value based on the chances of the given situation appearing during a match. Thus, there will always be a set of builds (usually a prime build, anti-prime build and prime-adjustment build and possibly an isolated build that exists mostly outside the meta) that will be more advantageous based on the current meta. That's not to say things aren't in balance.

    Complete balance is bad design as it means no meaningful choices. You would be able to pick any set of random items and have the same chance to win as with any other set of random items.
  11. Forlorn

    Forlorn Orc Soldier

    Not true, because that's when rarity comes into play. Items on the same rarity levels should have near equivalent levels of power. Then you will see everyone build their deck around a few key legendaries/epics/rares followed by an assortment of commons to round out their deck.

    Right now, the balance between rarity levels is horrible; most legendaries and epics are garbage, the best items are extremely hard to find and everyone is using them. There are so many unbalanced and terrible items that it really deserves it's own thread. I'm going to wait until the next patch before I embark on this project, however.
  12. Blindsight

    Blindsight Ogre

    It is true actually. As you said, "Items on the same rarity levels should have near equivalent levels of power" yet perfect balance would mean they all have equivalent levels of power thus it doesn't matter which you choose as they are all equivalent!

    In your opinion. The most rare items in the game don't need to be the best items in the game.

    *Boggle* They obviously aren't that hard to find if everyone is using them! This is in direct conflict with your previous statement about how rarity should be the key factor of an items power. Then it really would be that the most rare items are the most powerful and thus anyone who can get them will be using them...
    skip_intro, Wozarg and Heretiick like this.
  13. SgtSteve

    SgtSteve Kobold

    It's not just rarity. You have a limited number of power tokens with which to take the best items, so you can spend them on weapons, skills, or something else. That's where the decision making comes in, even if every item were 'perfectly balanced'. This is a three-tiered game - item collection, team building, and tactical play. All three have a certain element of luck, and in the collection part, everyone is going to have a different set of items available to them. A problem with 'perfect balance' assumes that every player has access to an unlimited number of every card with which to make the perfect deck. This will just never happen.

    Well, unless trading is implemented. Uh, an argument against that perhaps?
  14. Forlorn

    Forlorn Orc Soldier

    No, you fail to understand. Legendaries should be similar if not equal in terms of power, same with epics, same with rares, etc. Right now, there are commons which are better than uncommons, or rares better than legendaries. This is broken.

    Actually, yes they do. Otherwise players will get discouraged and stop playing if their high level loot always sucks.

    Nope, you fail to understand again. There's only a handful of rares, legendaries, and uncommons really worth using, and most players build their decks around those items.

    However, getting these items is just the luck of the drop; there are hundreds of items to sort through. So although some of the best items are common like the dueler's buckler, these items are actually difficult to find in practice because there are so many other common shields that get dropped. Thus for players to get these items they must grind a ton in order to get them, in the same way they would grind for a legendary, except they are farming between all the other trash commons for the one OP common item. And when people finally do get that OP common/uncommon/rare, they always use it and you see it in everyone's deck. Like the Greenstone pendant.

    This creates a really unfun mechanic for new players, who expect to see item rarity correlate with item power. Thus newbies tend to just and grind for the rarest items possible, when instead they should be reading these forums and looking for the OP commons/uncommons/rares so they can be competitive.

    But because new players are unaware that there's no real balance between item rarity levels, they instead get fooled into thinking item rarity is always better (because it's intuitive to think this) and get shafted because their deck actually sucks. Then they quit out of frustration because they think the only way to win is to farm non-stop for even better epics/legendaries when instead what they really need are the OP commons/uncommons/rares.

    This is a SERIOUS design issue that must be addressed before the game goes live, or else most players will leave. Where's the fun in knowing that the best items aren't the rarest ones, but instead on broken OP items?

    Instead of what we currently have, when a new player gets his first epic/legendary it should represent a MAJOR increase in his deck's power. Right now a new epic/legendary usually is trash loot that is for extremely situational missions or counter-decks, which are almost never worth the time and effort to build (unless you're stuck on one tough mission).

    So while in theory Card Hunter rewards everyone with the same amount of commons/uncommons/rares/epics/legendaries, in practice what actually happens are huge discrepancies in deck power because some players get the good items while other players get the weak items.
  15. Kalin

    Kalin Begat G'zok

    You must be really unlucky in your chests, or unwilling to try new things. I use my four legendaries a lot; my 28 epics contain some garbage (mostly treasure hunt rewards and treasures), but most of them are important parts of my builds.
  16. Blindsight

    Blindsight Ogre

    I understand just fine. You think it's broken that commons are so usable even compared to legendaries... I get it. You think legendaries should be equivalent to other legendaries, same with epics, rares etc. I get it.

    I say that if all legendaries are exactly equivalent (ie. in perfect balance), all Epics are, all rares are etc... Then it won't matter WHICH you pick, just that you have the most items of the highest rarity possible. Thus, no meaningful choices.

    I also argue that commons being usable over legendaries is not broken. Common items that address common problems will, and should, get used. Legendaries that address not so common situations will get used much less for a few reasons -- first, their rarity, secondly their cost to use, thirdly their usefulness in the majority of situations. There is no reason why the more rare items can't address rarer and rarer situations well -- especially if commons can't/don't address those situations. More rare = more/different/interesting utility is certainly a valid design approach and can still be combined with rarity influencing power. You seem to believe in only one design structure without any consideration that there can be others that work well...

    Where do you get this data from? Have you formally studied the behaviors of players? Read studies on it? Or is this just a gut feeling you're portraying as actuality? For the reasons stated above I still argue that "The most rare items in the game don't need to be the best items in the game."
    You seem to only see the binary suckage or OP ness (and perhaps? balance...) of items, I see opportunities to build for different situations.

    ...that you feel are worth using. Half of my legendaries are certainly usable if going for a specific type of build. So many usable epics I can't even count and I'm not going to bother to look anywhere beyond that. Don't know why you limit yourself so much.

    Again, "actually difficult to find" yet "you see it in everyone's deck" are contradictory statements, neither of which I find to be true. As a purely arbitrary example, I currently have 12 dueler's bucklers...I don't use any of them on any of my current builds.

    Again, where are you getting this information? On any behaviors of gamer populations... And again I would assert that rarity can equal coolness/utility/etc in addition to power levels (or even exclusively).

    By your theory. Nothing says it has to be this way. In fact, your argument in a previous post stated that
    Suggesting that this is a BAD thing... But here you are suggesting that the best items should be the HARDEST TO GET!

    So it sounds as though you would want a lucky Legendary to mean that you have the most powerful item in the game and thus will outclass others without a legendary -- until they happen to get a lucky enough roll. So really it's about who has the best luck...? Is this really what you want?

    I much prefer the fact that commons are among some of the most usable, consistent and meaningful in the game. This allows everyone to build to their play-style and abilities. More rare items give them options, perhaps slightly more powerful, but with more utility.
    skip_intro and Rockhopper like this.
  17. Oberon

    Oberon Hydra

    I have no issue with the balance between rarities, in fact it's close to where it should be in my opinion. Item rarity shouldn't directly correlate with game power, CCG design figured that out a long time ago. This is why there are bad rare cards and powerful commons in any good CCG.

    The one issue I see with items from a design perspective, is specific to weapons. I think the weapons that get 5-6 of the same card are problematic due to the rest of the games design. A couple examples of this would be the legendary fireball staffs, or the Staff Of Winter or Frosty Staff . On the fireball staffs, it's a clear example of getting 5-6 fireballs, where many other staffs only have 2. The encumber staffs have a similar issue, even if the cards aren't exactly the same, they each still get 6 cards dedicated to encumber.

    Using these specific types of items, players can fill their decks with these cards, giving them very good odds to consistently draw them. The remaining items on a character, and specifically the cards they contain, can't be as focused as the weapon slots. I'm not just picking on wizards, Vibrant Pain would be another example of this type of item.

    Personally I think one of the reasons we see so many discussions on encumber or fireball is due to the effect of these types of item designs. When you see more of the "problem" cards than the "answer" cards, players will have an issue. An attacker can overwhelm their opponents chances to draw enough answers to the problem, or their chances to draw them in time.

    As a quick example, you can relatively easily build a wizard with 2 encumber staffs, and 4 additional arcane items each with 2 Cone Of Cold . Allowing for 20 encumber effects in a single characters deck, with most lasting multiple turns. I think this is a problem when other types of characters struggle to fit 4-5 anti-encumber cards in a deck.

    I don't think there's an argument that Cone Of Cold is over powered. But at the same time I definitely think that being able to put that many into a deck is a problem, and that is down to the item design. I think players struggle to make these arguments because they often can't see which items their opponent is even using, just the cards.
    progammer and skip_intro like this.
  18. progammer

    progammer Ogre

    I totally agree with this point. In traditional TCG, you build your own deck, so counter card can be stacked as much as combo card (within the game's limit). But now with CH, card is limited to items, stacking mass items of similar card will cause issues. Whether it is mass Fireball, mass Nimble Strike, mass Inspiration + Piety or mass Nimbus Strike, answers for them are far and few between.

    Here's a few suggestion for this issues without putting arbitrarily card copy limit on deck(which doesn't make sense for deckbuilding). Certain legendary item can be changed to a new rarity: Unique. Unique item is identical to legendary except one thing: You can only equip one 1 copy of the unique item per party. (Obviously Staff of a Million Fireballs and Vibrant Pain get this spot). This prevent stacking too much of a certain card, while encourage the idea of "build around an item" instead of "build around a card". Current item still need adjustment though, particularly Fireballs. (There are 2 legendary items with mass fireball, 5 and 6 respectively).

    For example, given that you have all the cards, a wizard can stack up to 13 fireball in a single deck, while putting as many trait as possible on other slot will pretty much get you 1-2 fireball reliably on your opening hand. Take a party of 3 wizard, and you will never have enough counter to Fireball. Now under the new system,
    (with some adjustment) a wizard can only have 8-9 fireballs. The other 2 character either support that wizard with the most Fireball or actually stack some other card with only 2 Fireballs and some other drawbacks.
    Stefan likes this.
  19. Forlorn

    Forlorn Orc Soldier


    The most successful games use the model I described. Diablo 2 + 3, World of Warcraft, etc, all use the model of "higher rarity = higher power."

    The proof is that the most successful games use "higher rarity = higher power." If item rarity is not aligned with item power, then players do not feel a sense of "progression" or "rewarded" enough to keep going. If their first five epics or so all suck (which they aren't aware that they suck, since they don't know what all the items do), and then get stuck at the Frost Sprites because they do not have enough items with push team cards, or purge, or high level move cards, which is easier for the new player?

    Go out and farm levels or farm MP? Or play a different game? Most players hate being forced into farming if it is uncertain that their actions will be rewarded in any significant way.

    And the reason players are unsure about being rewarded is because when they get stuck with their existing rares/epics, they do not realize that had they gotten some of the better rares/epics then they would not be challenged at all. Instead they figure, "Well, I already have plenty of rare loot and I can't get past this stage, so what are the odds that if I farm my next epics will allow me to beat it?" They don't know, so instead they quit.

    BUT, if you make the game intuitive, and reward players each time they get rare loot, they will win their battles with some thought and effort, and be incentivized to keep playing. That's how games like WoW or Diablo get their players hooked. Once the players experience their first surge of power through a rare item, they feel encouraged to keep looking for more rare items.


    Comparing CardHunter to a regular CCG is a false analogy. CardHunter uses items, while regular CCG allows you to pick and shift through cards. So it makes sense for regular CCG games to have crap rare cards, because players are not punished for having them. But because CardHunter uses items, it needs to be designed like most RPG's that use gear to upgrade your charecter. CardHunter therefore must be designed like Diablo, World of Warcraft, etc.

    It's a different story when you're a new player and you only have 5 epics items, all of which suck. I see tons of players on this forum who make a few posts complaining about the difficulty, and then quit out of frustration.

    Isn't it obvious why? They weren't lucky enough to get good loot on their first play through of the first 10 levels or so, and then they quit. The game is called "CARDHUNTER." Not "FARMHUNTER." You only get one gold chest for the first completion of a level. Regular players aren't going to log in, day after day, in order to farm out one more epic from some common chest with a drop rate of 5%.

    There needs to be a serious overhaul to item rarity and power. Right now the item balance is very poor (no offense to the devs - that's why this game is still in beta).
  20. Kalin

    Kalin Begat G'zok

    Right, because it wasn't at all discouraging to open a booster and find that my only rare was a Chaoslace. (true story)

    Yes, but you're the only one blaming it on crappy epics. Everyone else blames it on the difficulty curve being too steep. (I think the early levels need to do a better job of teaching the basics of how to play a TBS.)

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