compress Change in the crypt contest rule

06 Dec 2019 11:42 #98157 by skimflux

Kilrauko wrote:

skimflux wrote: ...

It only really breaks down on a 3-player table - in that situation the Goratrix-prey will be prevented from having his copy available for defense during his predator's turn, but this is still a much better scenario than the current rules.


Pardon me for asking but how is a lopsided situation that benefits one player over another based on their seating arrangement better then the current mirrored situation? The way I see it ends up being good for the contesting predator at the expense of their prey due to the prey being forced to go forward or be a passive in the contest, a situation that benefits the predator even more. In the current format the predator is being incentivised not to perform needless contests without oust in sight as failed contest plays only result in third player sweeping the table. Meanwhile for prey, depending on the disciplines, paying total of 16 pool in a game (10 for goratrix, 6 turns of contest) could be preferable, even a rational outcome compared to Enkil Cog bleeding Rutor Goratrix that also deflects/catches the Fame.


Because the current situation is much worse.

Let's say you have players A > B > C, where A and B are influencing out a defensive vampire like Goratrix.
Both A and B lose defensive capabilites in the contest, while player C is not being impacted at all. So C is able to increase his offensive actions - clearly he benefits the most from the contest. B will not able to defend so well, but his predator will also be unable to attack him for several turns, so he is not doing so badly and will want to influence Goratrix out regardless. A wants to avoid the contest - he will suffer pressure from his predator and cannot attack his prey. So B will probably chose to initiate the contest, and A will avoid it - but this means he will have a few turns without minions to defend himself, so C will benefit from the situation either way.
If we consider the scenario with an offensive vampire contest it doesn't change much - C still benefits the most, and B will probably want to pay 1 pool to eliminate one of his predator's attacks every turn.

Under the proposed change B is disadvantaged instead of A when contesting a defensive vampire with his predator. But this is not a mirror situation - B can still put some pressure on his prey, and C will still have to get past A's defenses, so the unbalance is much smaller. And all players can still play the game!

For every other scenario and player, the change would further reduce impact in the game.

<snip>
A Person weights the risks they're willing to take when building their deck, then when sitting at the table and eventually if there is a contest, on when to pay or not. Those choices might result in a game that is not fun for you, but at the same time, you've made the choices that led to that point multiple times.


But you don't always have a choice.

Nearly all vampires can be contested so you cannot choose not to risk being contested.
If you have already transfered some pool to an uncontrolled vampire and then have to choose to contest it or not, you are already impacted regardless of your decision at that point. Often the only choice is between 'lose fast' and 'lose faster'.

<snip>
Somewhat of a solemn note but however I recommend people take the initiative and play their games as they want to play them, truly. To cherish those unique moments by having fun in the way they have fun. There's nothing wrong with homebrewing things up.


For those playing casual games I agree - do whatever you like.

But VtES is a competitive game, and in a tournament setting it should strive to be as fair and balanced as possible - the current contest rules introduce an element of luck that has a huge impact and therefore breaks this balance randomly.
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06 Dec 2019 12:38 - 06 Dec 2019 12:40 #98158 by TwoRazorReign

skimflux wrote: For those playing casual games I agree - do whatever you like.

But VtES is a competitive game, and in a tournament setting it should strive to be as fair and balanced as possible - the current contest rules introduce an element of luck that has a huge impact and therefore breaks this balance randomly.


I have to disagree that VTES is a competitive game. The pages of tournament rules on this website indicate to me that VtES is a game that some people try to play competitively, but the game itself is really not meant to be played competitively (I'm looking specifically at Play to Win. I read that section and think, "gimme a break with that nonsense"...)

I have a hard time understanding the underlying point of the quoted part of your post, that there is a problem with the contesting rule itself: If the current contest rules are fine in casual play, how can one argue there's a problem with the contesting rule itself, rather than with how certain people try to play the game?
Last edit: 06 Dec 2019 12:40 by TwoRazorReign.

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06 Dec 2019 13:51 #98159 by Kilrauko

skimflux wrote: Because the current situation is much worse.

Let's say you have players A > B > C, where A and B are influencing out a defensive vampire like Goratrix.
Both A and B lose defensive capabilites in the contest, while player C is not being impacted at all. So C is able to increase his offensive actions - clearly he benefits the most from the contest. B will not able to defend so well, but his predator will also be unable to attack him for several turns, so he is not doing so badly and will want to influence Goratrix out regardless. A wants to avoid the contest - he will suffer pressure from his predator and cannot attack his prey. So B will probably chose to initiate the contest, and A will avoid it - but this means he will have a few turns without minions to defend himself, so C will benefit from the situation either way.
If we consider the scenario with an offensive vampire contest it doesn't change much - C still benefits the most, and B will probably want to pay 1 pool to eliminate one of his predator's attacks every turn.

Under the proposed change B is disadvantaged instead of A when contesting a defensive vampire with his predator. But this is not a mirror situation - B can still put some pressure on his prey, and C will still have to get past A's defenses, so the unbalance is much smaller. And all players can still play the game!

For every other scenario and player, the change would further reduce impact in the game.

Thank you for laying it out as a scenario. While I do not agree with the much smaller part of the statement, I can see the logic behind it.

skimflux wrote: But you don't always have a choice.

Nearly all vampires can be contested so you cannot choose not to risk being contested.
If you have already transfered some pool to an uncontrolled vampire and then have to choose to contest it or not, you are already impacted regardless of your decision at that point. Often the only choice is between 'lose fast' and 'lose faster'.

Here we have a situation where competitive deck building runs against the factual truth. Please do not take this as personal attack as I can perfectly understand the logic where "bad decks" are ignored and therefore are not taken into account. But claiming "one cannot choose not to risk being contested" is ignoring the reality in favor of a stronger argumental position. We should consider that the game allows building contest free decks but does not reward that with the similar power level that comes from taking the risk of playing unique cards. By design I would argue, following the earlier post laid rational about uniqueness.

In VTES one can build a deck based purely around minions that do not contest, even in crypt. Tupdogs without any support vampires is perfectly legal and they can in turn recruit other non unique minions out. Such deck will not garner many points in current competitive turney unless there's some table luck and skilled play involved, but it still fits the criteria of avoiding a contest 100%. If Tupdog is too "new" card and it's burn factor is too high, the alphabetically *first* vampire in crypt list, Aabbt Kindred does the same. As do Fi'dai that can make Web of Knives in addition to embraces that others can. Most likely they will achieve similar tournament performance, but nevertheless ensuring "out" for players wishing to avoid contest mechanics. They have to pay the cost in performance for this priviledge of avoiding contests for certainty but I personally feel the cost is adequate. We do not need to punish them more for it and neither do we need to encourage said non-unique archetypes either as their encouragement lands also to archetypes that run few unique pieces unless specifically restricted.

VTES is rich game that even enables one to ignore crypt altogether and still have multiple minions out, mind you, with that aproach one runs a risk of contesting Jake Washington before Jake gets first Rafastio Ghoul out. But that's the "risk" one chooses to take to play a game without any vampires and no imbued in their table.

Is it possible to avoid contest mechanics at this very moment? Yes, with multiple options.
Is it min-max efficient in the current meta format? No, because high risk-high reward cards roll along even with the current contest mechanics attempting to reign them down.
Can a person's favorite high reward unique card be contest safe in competitive environment in the current ruleset? No, because the game is designed in a way where unique things can be fought over and demand a cost if contested.
Can a person's favorite high reward unique card be contest safe in homebrew ruleset? Yes, if the group decides cards are not unique or follows some other homebrew ruleset.
Should I (being selfish here) change the way I play the game and teach it to new players because either tournament players or homebrewers or both could not be bothered to make the changes they want to have? No. Unless of course there's overwhelming evidence that the game is made better for majority if the change happens. For example card text changes, some that I'm still personally not sure about (looking at you, Pentex, especially in the current star vampire meta, they could always contest or just remove the Pentex if they failed to sudden/wash/bleed it away...).

skimflux wrote: For those playing casual games I agree - do whatever you like.

But VtES is a competitive game, and in a tournament setting it should strive to be as fair and balanced as possible - the current contest rules introduce an element of luck that has a huge impact and therefore breaks this balance randomly.


So it's more akin to change for the tournament rules as opposed to the rulebook? In the same vein as banned cards? Because that's quite important distinction that changes the scope of the change and how many players it affects.

Trust in Jan Pieterzoon.

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08 Dec 2019 13:08 - 08 Dec 2019 13:29 #98175 by William_Feitosa
I disagree with most of what is being said about keeping the contesting rule as is.

As I said before, how does this rule balance the game?? The player that want to use an arika, unnamed, stanislava, etc will still use them, twda is a proof of that, there’s still those decks appearing, so it’s not deterring players from using those decks. Also this rule does not make any impact if you are the only person in a playgroup with said deck, The other players are the ones that will make adjustments in their decks to beat yours and you make adjustments to beat them, making the metagame healthier.

The contest itself is not a high risk high reward type of choice, it’s a high risk low reward kind of thing, an incredibly powerful vampire will bring with itself table hate, your crosstable will be less likely to help you and even keen to disrupt you if possible.

In my playgroup there is literally a person that says that if I play with a specific deck he will rush me no matter the circumstances no matter the seating, he will not let me play with that deck. This is allowed by the rules in the sense that he sees his chances of winning the table dwindle if I stay on the table, and that’s completely fine, I’m still playing the game, and i can adjust the deck to have more combat cards, I can adapt my strategy to have a better chance of winning. This would be a high risk high reward. But with the current rule you aren’t playing the game you are a glorified spectator it’s a lose or lose situation caused by a choice that is shaped by the kind os strategy you want to use or the cards you own, that randomly makes you lose, that’s not a high reward, your reward is PLAYING THE GAME, your reward is that you have a fair game!

You know why stanislava is so prevalent right now? Because there was a huge supply of her! Everyone I know bought at least one reign of stanislava, there is a new player in my playgroup that only owns two decks, stanislava and a malkavian so if I want to play stanislava and he is on the table there’s a 50/50 chance of a contest, it gets worse because I also own a malk deck with the same crypt.

Speaking of cards I own, I’m a new player, started playing in 2018, I pretty much just own the cards that were printed in the new bundles and a few older cards I traded (mostly library cards). So my choices aren’t abundant and most of my decks are based on the strategies contained in those bundles, and those are fixed strategies with fixed vampires. Why fixed strategies with fixed vampires? Because the vampires themselves dictate the strategy of your library, you cannot use discipline cards that your vampires don’t have, and the cards that have no discipline are weaker variants of discipline cards (with a few exceptions). With that in mind how can I, a new player, not think that my chances of contesting a vampire are only based on my preferred strategy and that choice of strategy can randomly make me lose? That’s a unfair rule that does not balance the game and is worse for newer players.

And about the possibility of making weaker variant strategy decks, those are only “weaker” right now, we live in a internet era, if a deck starts winning over and over it will become popular and no longer seen as weak, if there is a print of a new powerful card the meta shifts and adjusts itself, the best example of this is the harbringers emerald decks, there was a moment that they were extremely prevalent, then all decks started using entracements and you rarely see one posting (I have the only two postings on TWDA this year, if I’m not mistaken). So the strength of the deck relies mostly on getting an unprepared meta.
Last edit: 08 Dec 2019 13:29 by William_Feitosa.
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09 Dec 2019 02:00 #98176 by William_Feitosa
And another argument, branching from the one I just made, why buy or use the new vampires that will be printed in V5 if I have a 100% chance of contesting with other new players using them?

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09 Dec 2019 08:18 #98181 by Malachy

William_Feitosa wrote: And another argument, branching from the one I just made, why buy or use the new vampires that will be printed in V5 if I have a 100% chance of contesting with other new players using them?


So you are saying that in case of a new expansion your playgroup will only play new vamps and you will contest a lot, and that's the shortcomings of the current contesting rule, so why should you buy upcoming releases to begin with?

I find that reasoning a little bit thwarting, along with the sentiment of you saying " Also this rule does not make any impact if you are the only person in a playgroup with said deck". Well, that's one point of the rule. Why would it make any impact when you don't have to contest? Contesting cards can feel awful, as William said, but it also carries strategic elements that can be rewarding. Although I must agree luck CAN be a factor where it shouldn't be, but those situations are quite rare.

I think it is obvious that this rule was implemented to avoid powercreep and also compliment the role-playing side which was much more present at the game's dawn. I'm never against revaluation, critical thinking is important in order to evolve, but I cannot agree with most of the point brought up here and I have failed to see a solution.

Also William is right in other things I'm not bringing up now, but I believe most of his and his playgroup's problem derives from card availability, not from the contesting rule's flaws.

NC of Hungary

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