file New Blog - Gaming with BS

07 Mar 2016 09:38 #75850 by GreyB
Replied by GreyB on topic New Blog - Gaming with BS

Hello! So with all the talk about the possibility of VTES 2.0, I decided to write an article about some of the problems I perceive with the game, as well as some potential solutions. But I promise that this will be a one-of article. Next week I'll get back to talking about the game will all know and love. Please feel free to disagree with me and voice your disagreement! I've just been enjoying the conversation, and I'd like it to continue. The forums just feel so alive these days! Excitement is good for our game. Anyways, I hope that you enjoy:

Vtes Problems and Potential Solutions


Great article, but... ;)

Blood Management: Not so sure this is a "problem". I mean some decks can work really well without a single blood management card, I believe there are even some TWD's without blood management and overall, most TWD's don't even see more than 5 cards tops dedicated to blood management. The worry about blood/pool is also a quite important aspect of the game, if you take it away, the threat is watered down.

Transfers might seem like a problem, but if you theorycraft on it long enough, taking into account new problems that arise if you replace it, you'll see that the current implementation is actually quite well though of. You simply can't adres this without a significant redesign of the game.

Card Limits That quickly turned around into card distribution ;) So not a real problem with the game mechanics.

:garg: :VIS: :POT: :FOR: :flight: -1 Strength

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09 Mar 2016 15:18 #75893 by alek
Replied by alek on topic New Blog - Gaming with BS
Nice article. The funny thing is that while most current vtes players agree that Vtes has some mechanical problems everyone sees them differently :) For the three areas that you've mentioned (combat, blood management, card limits) I see problems only in combat and I see them differently than you. Going into details:
The Problem with Combat
I agree that combat can be swingy, but bleed for 7, well played banishment, parity shift, ancilla, sensory deprivation or a lot of other actions are swingy too. Also if the deck is really build to put vampires into torpor it usually does.
You've mentioned that cards that are counters to other effects are problematic because the winner takes all. Is it a problem? Almost all vtes mechanics are based on counters: stealth vs. intercept, damage vs. prevent, vote vs. vote, increase bleed vs. bleed reduction, etc. In many of those the winner "takes all" (action is succesfull or is blocked, referendum passes or fails). It all works really well.
Next you've said that combat needs cards that advance it's position toward prey elimination. I say there are such cards, Fame is the best example. The only thing to consider is do we need more such cards. IMO, yes, but only clan or discipline specific ones to further distinguish different strategies. Also, when everyone plays villeins/ blood dolls, etc. reducing blood on minions is advancing position toward player elimination. More on it in blood management section.
The Problem with Blood Management
There is no problem with blood management. But ... with small rule change we can do something really interesting. I really like the idea to use transfers not only to influence new vampires but also to move blood to/ from controlled ones. I think we can have very easy rule change that would solve a lot of issues:
Increase number of transfers to 5. You can use transfers to move pool to/ from uncontrolled minions (1 transfer per 1 pool, direction does not matter) or blood to/ from your pool to/ from controlled vampires (2 transfer per 1 blood). Thx to this:
1. Transfers are important whole game and managing them becomes important part of the game.
2. There is a lot more space in master slots which can be used for deck design.
3. Getting blood off vampires is significantly slower with reduces bloat.
4. Number of blood on vampires becomes more important (you don't need special cards to take it back to your pool) so burning it from minions is more direct way toward player elimination than now. This makes playing combat more efficient.
The Problem with Card Limits
There is no problem with card limit. It's the opposite. Lack of card limit is one of the strongest merits of VTES. The only thing that card limit do is limiting creativity. It's not increasing diversity it's limiting it. F.e. you want to have 8 guns in your deck and there are only two gun cards (let's say it's .44 and sniper rifle). To make things easier let's assume there is 4 card limit. With this every deck that needs 8 guns will play exacly the same package - 4 of each gun. Great diversity! Without card limit you can choose if you want to play 4-4, 8-0, 2-6 or any other combination dependenging on what effect you want to achieve. You want to be 100% defensive you will go for only sniper rifles. You want to be more active -> you will put more .44. And ... quess what. You can play more than 8 guns in your deck!
Next thing is distibution. I see no problem here. In LCG model it's only matter of how you design your final product. No one said that you need to put 1/2/3/4 of every card in the box. You can put only one ventrue HQ or Ancient Influence but 5,6 or more governs, kines, etc. Than you can design expansions for different strategies/ disciplines/ clans. Depending on what strategies the players want to explore they will buy such expansion. F.e. expansion "Masters of Diplomacy" will include some non-basic vote cards which are not part of basic set and even more KRCs. If you want to build a deck with 10 KRCs and there is "only" 5 in basic set you will buy this and your problem is solved. This way you can have no limits in deck design (which is HUUUGE advantage and very strong distinguish factor on the market) and no problems with distribution.
The following user(s) said Thank You: self biased

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09 Mar 2016 18:46 #75897 by brettscho
Replied by brettscho on topic New Blog - Gaming with BS
Some very nice thoughts here! The only comment I'd make is that I think we should be cautious with making it cost 2 transfers to move a blood back from a minion if we also get rid of cards like Blood Doll and Minion Tap. Imagine spending an entire turn of transfers to get 2 blood back. I'd expect that this would shift the game away from high cap vampires just because it would take so much time to transfer back your investment.

Check out my VTES blog: Gaming with BS

I also host a google doc which separates the TWDA into clans . That means I track how often clans win, which crypt groups get used, and how many people attend events. You can access all of that info here:

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09 Mar 2016 19:18 #75900 by TwoRazorReign

You've mentioned that cards that are counters to other effects are problematic because the winner takes all. Is it a problem? Almost all vtes mechanics are based on counters: stealth vs. intercept, damage vs. prevent, vote vs. vote, increase bleed vs. bleed reduction, etc. In many of those the winner "takes all" (action is succesfull or is blocked, referendum passes or fails). It all works really well.


I agree with everything quoted here. I’d like to add that the “winner take all” scenario the author of the blog post describes leaves out one crucial element: the “trumps” need to be drawn at the opportune time for the winner to take all. S:CE is a wasted card slot when Immortal Grapple is played, and Immortal Grapple is a wasted card slot when S:CE is not played. The ability to draw into “trump” cards that can swing an outcome at opportune times is usually considered a feature in most card games, not a problem. Counter cards help V:TES to function as a card game should: with "swingy" outcomes determined randomly by the cards drawn. By arguing that this scenario is “unhealthy,” the author might as well argue that V:TES should be a board game instead of a card game.

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09 Mar 2016 19:47 #75901 by brettscho
Replied by brettscho on topic New Blog - Gaming with BS

Counter cards help V:TES to function as a card game should: with "swingy" outcomes determined randomly by the cards drawn. By arguing that this scenario is “unhealthy,” the author might as well argue that V:TES should be a board game instead of a card game.


While you are certainly correct, the cards themselves also set the boundaries of how much swing is possible. For instance, there is no card that says "Stirke: Deal 1000 damage." Now that is a swingy effect! Either you counter it or you're dead. Similarly, there are no cards that say "Bleed for 1000" - counter or your dead.

So if the cards set the limits on how far the pendulum can swing, all I'm suggesting we do is narrow how far combat can swing. I'm not seeking zero variance (that would be boring!)l, but surely having combat result in nothing or destroying another player's ability to play the game are undesirable outcomes. If you agree that having your action result in absolutely no effect, or if you agree that a single action taken by another player shouldn't remove you from the game, then surely you'll agree with me that these extremes should be discouraged.

If you do like wasting successful actions or watching a single action remove your ability to play the game while forcing you to stay at the table and do nothing... well... I guess we look for different things from our games :)

Check out my VTES blog: Gaming with BS

I also host a google doc which separates the TWDA into clans . That means I track how often clans win, which crypt groups get used, and how many people attend events. You can access all of that info here:

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10 Mar 2016 07:06 - 10 Mar 2016 07:07 #75904 by Ankha
Replied by Ankha on topic New Blog - Gaming with BS

If you do like wasting successful actions or watching a single action remove your ability to play the game while forcing you to stay at the table and do nothing... well... I guess we look for different things from our games :)

It's not clear if you find the part I put in bold worse than being ousted.

For my part, I prefer NOT being ousted and sit down watching AND playing. I remember games where it happened, and ultimately I won the game because someone rescued me at some point.
Even when you don't have vampires left, you still have the ability to talk in the game and try to turn things to your advantage.

Prince of Paris, France
Ratings Coordinator, Rules Director
Last edit: 10 Mar 2016 07:07 by Ankha.

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