file Number of VtES players

30 Aug 2019 12:16 #96652 by Ashur
Replied by Ashur on topic Number of VtES players

elotar wrote:

Ashur wrote: This is a important conclusion, which I kind of share, and I know for a fact that the current design team is aware of. Its tricky though, balancing the game so that kitchen table players are as pleased as tournament scene players. And making it possible for the former to actually enjoy turning up at a tournament sometimes and still recognize the game and even win some.


Actually this is golden, if it's really the case. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any real evidence of such activity from the design team, as most such problems, plaguing the game from the very beginning (dominate, weenies, predator destroying combat ets) was not addressed at all.

Well, the game is not being redesigned to fit certain players just because they whine a lot. On the contrary, its what the silent and content majority of players in both home game- and tournament environments are "listened to" more. Design goals hasn´t been reworded to the public in a while, but they are still very much like these: www.vekn.net/designers-diary/332-greetings-from-the-vekn-design-team-2 , which clearly mentions more audiences than one. Maybe Ben Peal can tell you more.

"My strategy? Luck is my strategy, of course."
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30 Aug 2019 12:25 #96653 by Ashur
Replied by Ashur on topic Number of VtES players

elotar wrote: And also there is a fundamental problem with the approach - when you got an abusive strategy and want to develop a game without nerfing it, than the only way to make other strategies to keep up is to make them also abusing. And this is the road for tournament environment to become hostile to new players.

What strategy is currently "abusive"? Many players suggest MMPA is currently too strong, and many also suggest Emerald Legionnaries are problematic, but what else? Please, provide data. Data rocks! And please also link it to "Number of players" discussion, that is the topic here.

Just returning from EC in Paris, where I saw VERY many viable deck archetypes. I never think I´ve played a big tournament with such a multitude of various deck types, even though MMPA indeed was very common - but in different kinds! Also I got the feeling stealth-bleed and stealth-vote was a bit less common this year. Need to check the decklist data to be sure though.

"My strategy? Luck is my strategy, of course."

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30 Aug 2019 12:40 #96654 by Kilrauko
Replied by Kilrauko on topic Number of VtES players

Ashur wrote: So back to the actual topic, increasing the number of VTES players (possibly from among VTM fans) and removing (or at least not strengthening) boring and/or oppressive strategies. In my personal opinion, it is interesting to further explore the VTM lorewise, looking into how the "violent clans" actually manage the Jyhad. From what I understand the setting, few vampires/ vampire coteries are successful with only potence, or only celerity or only protein. They have a mix of skills, and the advantages is what is reflected in the original Jyhad game and in modern VTES. In theory, when the Brujah player have rushed down all blockers, she should follow up with some heavy presence bleeds to take the oust. This is MAYBE a bit too hard. Over the years, attempts have been made to make combat heavy decks a bit stronger (some better: Hell-for-leather, Codex of Edenic Groundkeepers, some worse: Zephyr, Spoils of War). While it would be AWESOME if a new player (coming from RPG fandom) to play her favorite clan Brujah with fancy violence cards, because of balance issues ("A" above) it is very tricky to add more such cards. But please post ideas in the "Expansion Sets & Card Ideas" subforum, because I know designers read them.

One other thing we also need to accept about recruiting new players: VTES is not for everyone. Some are bound to find it slow and boring, especially those that have grown up with moronic phone games with blingy gratification every 3 seconds. But what we do want is to catch people that actually would find VTES great, maybe people that like deck brewing and the game´s social and political aspects and would otherwise play RPGs or boardgames. Thoughts?


There are some upcoming releases that will give boost in good or bad to the "casual" crew's knowledge of oWoD/WoD/whatever variant it is currently called. Release of Bloodlines 2 in 2020 ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire:_The_Masquerade_%E2%80%93_Bloodlines_2 ) that will introduce many gamers to the lore and themes.

Considering the current way of entertainment for audiences, there will be streams of it on various platforms in addition to word of mouth. In that environment, pondering should be had whether or not future streaming a'la latest Ropecon 2019 is something that should be added as recruiting tool. Care should be taken as interests are fickle in modern days, people pick up and lose interest quite fast unless there's something that resonates. Investing too heavily in setups might turn out as bad investment, hence thought about using means easily transferrable (ready made stream overlays, with easy to read cards, tools and notes for commenters etc.) is perhaps most sensible. Tournament venues can then choose to use what they feel most comfortable with, if any. In that ficle sense there's also no need to fear that players who do not enjoy the game would stay and complain about it while spoiling the games, they'll leave on their own as they always have. It's still important to ensure their experience is as good as possible, as it might come up in discussion later, and might bear fruit attracting someone else.

While the game is "heavy" and "not for everyone", few can argue against gaining even one new player via those routes as that brings along it with their social contacts that are potential recruits as well. If idea of "teenagers spoiling the adult fun" then plans could be made to accommodate the tables based on player experience. Eventually those "spoiling teenagers with short attention span" will mature, that's what continuity is built on. Having a visible and persistent presence in local circles visited by gamers coinciding with the above release should net some "oh hey, I've heard of this" that's so important as there's no obstacle of "weird new thing" to overcome. If local gamestore has in modern time the "wisdom" to turn away free marketing for their produce, well, they should be have their way and another venue seeked. Buying practises should reflect the support as well.

Whether or not people are able to capitalize on that is another matter altogether, currently it's 6+ months away so at least that's setup time, people who do not capitalize on it might have to wait tad longer for next Vampire themed thing to hit the masses. It's easier to find volunteers to host games if they 1) have early notice and 2) are not expected to handle it weekly but instead monthly. They of course can turn up at last minute and be there weekly, but recruitment should never be built around that.

I hope if nothing else is done, Black Chantry Productions has some of their own people play the cards on stream for few weeks with steady schuledule while enjoying good time before and after that to ride the free hype among gamers. All the while subtly pointing people towards VEKN along with their site. I say subtly because if it runs like ad, with every 15 mins or 30 mins or hourly mentions to remember to check xyz for more info it will be picked up and seen for what it is. Aim should be to give peek to the circle of friends playing, less on marketing produce. Interested people will buy the cardboard on their own when time comes for it, they need to be on the hook first. Blizzard managed to make Heartstone appeal to certain demographic with simple rules and lore attraction while monetizing virtual cards, while Valve failed with their Artifact even with Richard Garfield designing it. It should give some hint on the importance on lore and themes along with marketing, then again I might be reading too heavily on that due to personal preferences and history. VTES is still played after decades, being out of print for a while and so forth, so perhaps there's little bit more to it all then just one single aspect.

Trust in Jan Pieterzoon.

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30 Aug 2019 16:24 #96655 by Mewcat
Replied by Mewcat on topic Number of VtES players

LivesByProxy wrote:

Part of what drew me to VTES, was the No Card Limit rule. Reading about decks that could run 13x of a key card was a really cool, and a pretty unique feature of VTES.

But in my mind, I thought: wouldn't that lead to really oppressive or degenerate strategies? Or really cheesy ones? And both are kind of true, presently. And part of me loves that.


Yes. vtes appeals to the troll inside us that was levitating around morrowind shooting enemies that couldn't fight back. Problem is that it isn't fun to be the npc getting nuked.

Fundamentally Vtes is under more pressure to balance cards than other games due to the multiplayer aspect (in 2 player games if the decks are not close the bad deck just loses fast but in vtes it damages the game as a whole) and no card limits (you just play a bunch of the good cards). In competitive play you just see that same cards all the time.
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30 Aug 2019 16:46 #96656 by LivesByProxy
Replied by LivesByProxy on topic Number of VtES players

Ashur wrote:

LivesByProxy wrote: And part of me agonizes over how some strategies aren't allowed to be as oppressive or degenerate as others - why can't combat murder eating someone's vampires oust them? Why can't I have my vampires hunt my prey to death? Or murder them some other way besides just bleeding them or vote burning them.


Sorry for going a bit off-topic: This "why can´t combat be a winning strategy" discussion pops up about once each month on this forum

[...]So back to the actual topic, increasing the number of VTES players (possibly from among VTM fans)


You make a long digression about combat, which I understand and agree with, but miss my point. We are talking about VTES's target audience, and I was simply saying, what drew me to VTES was reading about "broken" strategies. In early VTES, you could spam Army of Rats and weenie votes could discard an unlimited number of political cards to get +votes. That was part of the allure to VTES, for me, and I think that mentality is still present today, and the design-decision still endures: the hyper-aggressive weenie-bleed, stealth-bleed, power-bleed strategies are remnants of old, old Jyhad.

But other aspects of VTES have not been given the tools to be the kind of "broken" that I love in VTES. How would VTES change if a card was printed for "combat-ousting-strategy" that suddenly meant you could run 9x of in your dedicated combat deck that gave you a real chance at getting VP? I don't know.

But to the actual topic--

If we had to list the psychographics of VTES potential players, this is my list:

o) the tournament guys, the ones who want to build busted decks and find broken combos
o) the kitchen table guys, the casual guys
o) the VTM RPG crowd, the guys who love the lore
o) other card/board-gamer crowd
o) people who are interested in vampire media

:gang: :CEL: :FOR: :PRO: :cap6: Gangrel. Noddist. Camarilla. Once each turn, LivesByProxy may burn 1 blood to lose Protean :PRO: until the end of the turn and gain your choice of superior Auspex :AUS:, Obfuscate :OBF:, or Potence :POT: for the current action.

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30 Aug 2019 18:27 #96658 by TwoRazorReign

LivesByProxy wrote: If we had to list the psychographics of VTES potential players, this is my list:

o) the tournament guys, the ones who want to build busted decks and find broken combos
o) the kitchen table guys, the casual guys
o) the VTM RPG crowd, the guys who love the lore
o) other card/board-gamer crowd
o) people who are interested in vampire media


You forgot the "fixers," or the armchair game designer guys (and gals) who are very interested in fixing the game and do things like complain online that combat is broken and turns away prospective players...
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