blu manchu... plea for change

Discussion in 'Card Hunter General Chat' started by owangolama, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. owangolama

    owangolama Kobold

    first off, great game. i've really enjoyed playing it, and i've played it a LOT.

    but i am close to signing off forever, and i imagine i am not the only one considering doing so.

    several times i have run into the "firestorm strategy." i'm sure you're familiar with this, but it basically involves something like having a wizard and a couple priests and just firestorming over and over until the enemy burns to a crisp. heck, they don't even have to move into range or LoS; it's available from turn one from behind a big old rock. i *could* choose to counteract this by getting special armor or just trying myself to out-firestorm my opponent. but this degrades the play experience so much that i refuse to do it. if i wanted to play paper-scissors-rock, i can do that with my 3-yr-old.

    simply put, i believe that if more and more players adopt this strategy, the game will simply cease to be fun. and that's the whole point, right?

    i'm sure there are several ways that it could be rectified, but i leave it to clever designers like you to figure that out.

    hopefully yours,
    Aiven likes this.
  2. Gentlecow

    Gentlecow Orc Soldier

    Obviously, your opinion matters, but may I suggest that you adapt your strategy?

    At the higher multiplayer ratings, firestorm decks do not exist. This is because they are inherently not as dangerous as it seems when you first encounter them.

    To counter them, mobility is key. But also anti-magic defenses, such as small blocks, anti-magic blocks, resistant hide and even healing can even out the odds by having the enemy burn themselves to death before you.

    They key to this game is adaptation. To the maps, to the tactics, to whatever you feel is breakingly bad. The tools are there.
  3. owangolama

    owangolama Kobold

    ok! point taken. i am still not convinced that the firestorm strategy "adds" to the game, but i will take your advice and attempt to incorporate it into my decks.
  4. deeincognito

    deeincognito Kobold

    BM are not responsible for the strategy the users uses in MP!!! I played around 100 MP games and never saw one firestorm based strategy, but i always keep my armor/protection balanced so i can adapt to any situation ... of course it makes me lose some game because i draw a magic protection card when i need a strong melee protection but most of the time, it's balanced and i manage to get over it.

    This game is 100% based on your gear/loot, so get ready, and prepare your gear ... to go against any opponent, not only the way u like it
  5. piotras

    piotras Goblin Champion

    Yea, the fire storm is annoying and cheesy, I agree. I wish the damage applied was choosing randomly between the attacker and the opponent, so after you're down to all characters on the board burning like crazy about to die next turn it was more of a roulette who's going to win or loose. Maybe that would push these who use this strategy to invest in something more interesting then just firestorm/team movement/heal (like the benny hill show, but on fire).

    But at the end of the day, there are counters for it, as others have said. But I need to agree that it drives the fun away and turns the game more into paper-rock-scissors, which I guess is common for the CCG genre.
  6. deeincognito

    deeincognito Kobold

    Are we complaining about the main purpose of a good CCG? A good CCG should allow the user the build the deck he wants, and no decks should be "unkillable" no matter the balance, there's always a counter to any decks. I guess you all played as much CCG as me, and it's often the case that a few "good" decks get released on forums and a lot of users start using it to climb the ladder, even if the decks is boring to play or make opponents go ape**** ... BUT ... cause there's always a but, it's a matter of balancing your deck, being able to change your main strategy to adapt to any situation that makes a good player, and i think that the player who uses that firestorm technique, will be strong only VS certain types of users who will get angry because they can't understand why can't win VS that specific deck, and sometimes it's normal, your loot/gear doesn't allow you to correctly balance to be able to counter every type of opponent deck.

    I don't think firestorm is over-powered, and i think the user who uses it right to kill you is only exploiting the fact that he knows you don't have the gear/loot to kill him while he finishes you with his firestorm strat, but a more ready user will destroy him with no hesitation before he can even call his mom to cry about it ... just be smarter, and ask around the forum for tips/strats.

    I think this game is well balanced, there's a few tricky spots, all pointed out on this forum and i'm pretty sure BM will listen and fix these in timely manner, don't forget this game is only a few months old (worldwide), and it will take time to accuretaly balance every possible deck strategy.

    Don't forget ... this is gear/loot game, if the users put hundreds of hours (or cash) to get all the cards he wanted to put together a firestorm deck, well he deserves to win a bit more than the casual player who invest 1 hour a day in the game, it's sad but BM needs to make money, so of course some player will have the edge on that factor, doesn't mean you can't have fun with it ...

    ... that was rather long ... sorry bout that!
  7. piotras

    piotras Goblin Champion

    Sorry if I didn't make it clear enough in my post, but I haven't said anything about firestorm decks being over-powered nor have I found it particularly difficult to beat (although I did lose to it once as described above, which I guess would turn out different if only my magic blocks and team-runs weren't so shy to get out of my deck into my hand ;) although I enjoyed the match because the opponent was chatty). I do however find this tactic annoying and cheesy. As pointed out, this game is still young and people are still struggling to get those perfect cards, so you rarely see builds like firestorm, which is totally great. The amount of ideas out there is great and I can see people trying all sorts of stuff out of what they've got. Firestorm deck however is one of those decks which when I see it starting I go 'ehh, it's that one again', thus I stand by my words that it drives the fun away from the game. For me at least.

    I wouldn't say that a good CCG should allow to build whatever deck you want, however. And I think CH design is a perfect example of that (at least at the 18 lvl cap). Besides power-tokens, which is your standard way of limiting the good stuff, you also got a set of cards being assigned to a particular item. The latter is what I absolutely love about the system, since it's very difficult to min/max your builds (as there's always this odd card which doesn't quite fit, diluting your deck) or even introduces negative traits (which on the other hand are positive since they speed up your card draw... darn, this game is good). I'm sure they'll iron things out as we go along. Heck, they've got a team of absolute veterans including creator of MTG, so I have total confidence that they will do a good job with the game. But, to prevent cheesy builds overflowing the game we should have topics like this to flag things that might be fishy.

    No probs :) I ended up doing the same :p
  8. Ricey

    Ricey Kobold

    I started a firestorm deck yesterday because i was getting bored of 1/1/1, I decided to use a spell focused deck because everyone seems to be using so many parries. There are lots of counters that i have seen so far, good armor, whirlwind, 2 priests + other and if you get bad draws on the first 2 turns. I dont think the damage of this build is what makes it so strong (sure i have won a few games by burning their team down) but what gets me most of my wins is once they know my build they rush out and then my priests 2v1 whoever overextends. When I started I was about 1400 now I am getting close to 1500.
    Zoorland likes this.
  9. Bandreus

    Bandreus Thaumaturge

    Honestly, I don't think FS decks get as annoying/boring as WW decks.

    When my opponent plays a WW early in the match I'm like... "mh okay pal". Then he casts the second one and I'm like "whatever I don't even".

    So yeah, FS decks are not very bad to fight against. Sure, if your opponent is lucky enough to draw resistant hide early things might get pretty tough, but otherwise I would regard FS builds like most other builds. i.e. it has its strenghts but it's not that hard or annoying to beat.

    At least if you lose vs a FS deck chances are the game was fun anyways (aside from the "losing" part ofc).
  10. Guises

    Guises Goblin Champion

    Had something like this conversation in another thread, but to expand on what I've said previously: Firestorm, WW/WWE, and Volcano go against the idea that this is a game where positioning and movement matter. They're not game breaking in the sense of being too powerful, they're game breaking in the more literal sense - they break that core concept of the game. WW/WWE are worse than Firestorm for this, but it's the same problem.

    To add to that: why do people dislike Koi pond? Lack of cover. I bring this up because I think the two things are related- without cover, your ability to maneuver in an advantageous way is very limited. It leaves you feeling exposed, which isn't fun, but the broader issue is that when you don't have maneuverability you're left with just the luck of the draw. Hoping that you pull the block that you need, or the right counter for your opponent's un-dodgeable attack.

    If there's no back-and-forth, then the game is only fun for one of the players.
    Aiven and Bandreus like this.
  11. Bandreus

    Bandreus Thaumaturge

    Guises, thanks for the awesome post, which I completely agree with. Actually I think you've hit right in the spot, and you also helped me realize something. (sorry for the incoming essay)

    I used to think WWs sucked (yeah, I think they do) mainly because they turned MP games in a luck based lottery (and they do, to a certain extent).

    But now I see this more as a game design issue. In TCGs (say, MTG) cards similar to WWs and FS are quite commonly available. So you get cards which "inflict 1 point of damage to every creature and player" or something like that. The thing is, TCGs are much more abstract than CH, you don't get a board nor entities moving on it. It doesn't feel bad because the game is purely abstract.

    With Card Hunter though, you do get a board and positioning is a huge component of it. So yeah, as Guises pointed out, WW disrupts that completely. But, worse of all, the opponent feels powerless. Which brings us to the key point here.

    WWs perform especially poorly on the counter play side. (brief note: mainly posting that extra credit ep for people not that much into game design, as I'm pretty sure Jon and the other guys at BM are much more knowledgeable than most of us on the matter :p ).

    Basically, if you're opponent comes packed with a decent number of WWs, there's very little (if anything) you can do. You can't maneuver efficiently against it. You don't have any specific weapon against it aside from "more mobility" and good luck (your fighter landing right next to the opponent's wiz).

    When I bring this kind of arguments up in the MP lobby most people would usually reply: "WWs can backfire so it's situational and a fair ability". I truly think that's a very silly way of looking at things. While WWs don't automatically result in an insta-win for the caster, the fact remains it's an ability which makes for detrimental and annoying games (if abused), turns a game built on careful positioning, strategy and planning-your-moves-ahead into an uninteresting mess hugely influenced by luck (to the point an otherwise great match can essentially be decided by a coin toss).

    Going back to the counter play concept. I feel like WWs severely lack on that element, while most other strategies (even similarly annoying ones) succeed in delivering at least on that.
    • If your opponent is going for a FSs build, you can plan your strategy around it, knowing he's going to inflict some substantial damage on her own characters as well as on yours. You can use this to your advantage. Unless he's also going for Resistant Hide + Arrogant Armor + Priests with a lot of heals, which makes everything much harder. But even then, you can still adopt a number of different strategies to change the balance of the game (like using Boiling Armor, or Purge to minimize burn damage on your team).
    • If your opponent is going for a draw engine build (another very, very annoying strategy) you can still plan around it. Touch of Death can be used to epic results in such an instance, for instance. You can use Elvish Insight to reveal the opponent's hand, then Devastating Blow to obliterate the poor guy. It's a good example of cards which their strategic use varies depending on what the opponent is doing. That makes for far more interesting gameplay.
    • You fighting versus someone heavy on encumber cards or, generally speaking, debuffs? Again, lots of purges, team moves, pushing the attached cards with your own attachments, arrogant, etc. Or you try to use cover to your advantage. You can try baiting the opponent's wiz into a portion of the map where your own characters can slaughter her.
    WW builds, on the other hand, restricts your options severely without making for interesting counter play. You basically save all your movement cards and team moves, hoping when the spell finally hits you get lucky on where your characters land. That's not interesting counter play, as those are not really that many options. You are forced into immobility, meaning the WWer can camp VSs passing the turn while you ponder if moving at all is going to cost you the game. You simply can't maneuver around WWs, nor cards you would otherwise use in any other match feature a secondary mechanic or alternative use which you can practically put to use vs. a WW player. And, furthermore, WW/WWe are cards you can fit a huge number of in a deck, meaning that even if you play smartly and save your mobility for after a WW hits, chances are the opponent will still have a second one to completely nullify whatever you have been doing all game long. Seriously, a WW deck can easily outlast all but the most mobility-centric builds.

    A WW player will usually avoid contact until he has 2-3 WW/WWE ready to be fired (easily achieved by round 2). He then tries and camps on the VP. If anything goes wrong (namely, one of your characters gets too close) he will fire a WW. If you are on top of the VSs, he will fire a WWE. If your characters land next to theirs he will fire a WWE or WW. Unless pure luck wins you the game (not that likely an outcome), the match soon turns into a scenario where your characters are scattered around the map while hers aren't (because, you know, WWE). You're desperately trying to reach the opponent and/or the victory squares, wasting your movement cards only for your opponent to fire WW when you're out of those.

    Also, to debunk the argument that WWs are equally risky for the caster and her opponent alike, from a statistical point of view WWs usually put the caster in a position of advantage: because of how large most MP maps are (10x10 tiles or more) and because the WW player's objective is to camp the VSs rather than directly kill your opponents. WW can reshuffle the entire board if the user is in a tight spot, WWE to maintain an advantageous position. Once the VSs are taken, the odds of a WW landing your chars right where you can quickly dispatch the enemy are incredibly slimm. And even then, if the WW player is smart/lucky enough, he will likely have another reset-button at the ready for when the danger-level hits too high a mark.

    Wrapping things up, I'm certainly not stating WW strats are OP or unbeatable (although I can confirm people is climbing up the ladders and hitting the epic chest reward via trivial WW decks alone, and with great ease too). But games concerning high amounts of WWs are uninteresting to say the least, and completely remove almost every amount of fun or strategic choice for the opposing player. You either win/lose almost exclusively because of luck alone which, for a game as unique and fun like CH, indubitably.
    Pokemath, Bearson Onyx and Pengw1n like this.
  12. Pengw1n

    Pengw1n Moderately Informed Staff Member

    I agree - all these cards should be given either/and/or LoS req and range. Not sure about volcano in my book however, probably ok - as it effects specific tiles, which you can move out of.
  13. Phaselock

    Phaselock Bugblatter

    No offense, I read the entire post. The player who chooses to use luck to determine his wins/losses is doing the exact counter to players who declare luck should never be a factor in a strategy game. He/she is winning by

    a) making you lose your patience, disrupting your carefully planned strategy and thereby causing you to make mistakes.
    b) negating parties who do not stock immovables, blocks, counterspells etc.

    Quote: Difficulty, my brethren, is the nurse of greatness
    Alternatively: The greatness of a man's power is the measure of his surrender. :eek:
  14. Bandreus

    Bandreus Thaumaturge

    I don't think Volcano is that much of an offender. Although a build purely built around firewalls/hotspots/volcanoes can certainly be problematic, I have yet to see games where you are left as defenseless and out of options as it's the case with WWs. Terrain attachments offer plenty of opportunities for counter play too. Use Telekinesis/WoW/Bash/Barge/whatever to put your enemy on top of her own magma, for instance. Pretty fun stuff.

    Adding LoS on top of WWs would help, but I don't think that would be nearly enough. Alternatively you could change Whirlwind so that it moved characters 2-3 squares randomly (like Maze), instead of across the whole freaking board.

    Furthermore, I also think the number of WWs you can possibly have in a deck should also be reduced. That's true especially with WWE, which is a ludicrous card. I'm sure BM can find plenty of ways to balance WWs out.

    Personally speaking, I would remove those two cards from the game entirely. But I do understand that's an option hardly available to the devs.
  15. Bandreus

    Bandreus Thaumaturge

    No offense taken ;) As I said, I'm not concerned about WWs being unbeatable. I only think they make for bad game design and, ultimately, for a worse experience.

    The player who uses WW obviously is putting his destiny in lady luck's hands. The point is, odds usually are on the WW player, especially on larger maps. Don't ask for an analytical proof of this please, just trust me :p

    Regarding a) I outlined how a WW build can be very effective regardless of how well you plan your moves.
    b) You can't have nearly as many of those as the other player can stock WWs.

    I despise builds which are effective (actually very effective) against a huge array of strategies, while being effectively countered by a tiny number of very specific counter-builds. This is rarely seen for most builds in the whole game, you usually have lots of option to respond to any kind of tactic the opponent might throw at you.

    Furthermore, CH is not an RTS. You can't change your build/strategy along the way in response to what you you see during the match. You can surely vary your general plan and the approach to the match, but your deck can only be changed in-between matches. This means that ideally (and this is my own opinion only) the design should try and minimize the amount of builds which can't easily be dealt with but with hard-counters (i.e. decks built to counter a specific strategy only). But I realize this is more of an utopic idea than anything easily achievable in practice.

    Lastly, the point I'm more interested in: at the end of the day, the game should be fun (better yet, it shall be fun for both players). WWs make for largely uninteresting and boring matches (at best), or detrimental and frustrating ones (at worst). This, to me (I'm interested in game design as a field of study) is the worst offender of all.
    Genki and Bearson Onyx like this.
  16. Phaselock

    Phaselock Bugblatter

    Oh, don't need analytical proof. I'm more than aware, since I've also used it. :p

    That's the problem. Do not try to bend the spoon — that's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth: there is no spoon. Each WWE is equivalent to 3 moves and each WW is equivalent to 6 moves. Technically speaking, a WW/WWE deck is built to destroy positioning and movement. The more reliant you are on on p&m, the harder the blow.

    Afraid I don't agree. Just did a quick check.

    Max no. of WWE possible per wizard = 9
    Max no. of WW possible per wizard = 10
    Max no. of flimsy block possible per warrior = 11
    Max no. of missile block possible per wizard = 9
    Max no. of missile block possible per warrior = 6

    Not going to list all the counters. Like I said, there is no spoon. :p
  17. Bandreus

    Bandreus Thaumaturge

    So basically, even if you stock on blocks, the WW player still is at an advantage. The defending player simply can't have enough blocks to defend from all the WWs, and blocks work only if your roll high enough (while WW targets regardless of LoS). And one WW will probably proc multiple blocks across all of your characters. Maybe one of your characters is going to resist the WW effects. But what about a second one? and a third one?

    There's a huge disproportion there. How often do you play a build with that many flimsy block in it? Let me reply for you: never. Why? Because such a build would likely suck. Those who opt to go for a very defensive build will usually opt for a mix of different cards instead: parries (don't work vs WWs), missile blocks (most effective defense), shields (work, but lower chance to block), dodges (don't work vs WWs, as discussed elsewhere).

    And even if you are really pissed by WW players and indeed opt to use the amazing flimsy block build, let's assume you can win WW builds 100% of the times this way (unlikely, but alas). You're prob going to lose vs most other builds. You're investing most of your defensive capabilities on flimsy blocks, and you're most likely giving up on a whole lot of other nice cards. Flimsy block is not the worst card in the game, but close to it.

    In the meantime the WW player just has a good laugh and goes along his way, never changing his strategy depending on what the opponent is using. Simply because the WW deals equally well with most other builds.

    Phaselock, you're talking on an hypothetical level there. You're addressing the answer "can a WW focused build be countered or tampered somehow?", and the answer is certainly "yes". But, on a practical level (which is what really counts here), truth is playing against a WW build always sucks, regardless the fact you can potentially beat your opponent or not.

    I'll stress this more: I don't care as much about "how strong is WW vs other builds" as I do "how much games vs WW players suck, regardless of who the winner is".
  18. Bandreus

    Bandreus Thaumaturge

    Try comparing the max number of WW + WWE vs. the number of blocks + missile blocks.
  19. hatchhermit

    hatchhermit Hydra

    Wouldn't long range sparks make positioning less important? Likewise, dancing cuts and nimble strikes?
    Bandreus likes this.
  20. piotras

    piotras Goblin Champion

    Right, WWE and WW affect everyone while (majority of) blocks are personal, so even in this theoretical scenario you would only defend properly (assuming your rolls are successful etc.) from a single wiz, while 2 others would still send your team flying.

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