file New Blog - Gaming with BS

01 Mar 2016 23:25 #75629 by brettscho
Replied by brettscho on topic New Blog - Gaming with BS
Well, I think we both agree that giving bounce to everybody would make it so that nearly all decks included bounce. That statement implies that it decreases the number of defenses, but I actually don't think that's the case. Right now I the defenses of decks appear (from my perspective) to fall into a few categories: bleed bounce, block, bloat, and hope-that-my-predator-is-slow (I suppose rush could be a fifth category). A lot of clans like Brujah and Nosferatu and their Sabbat counterparts fall into this last category - they have ways of ousting, but they usually don't have the defenses to keep themselves alive long enough to allow their non-optimized ousting strategies to move them forward.

But even if bleed bounce was more readily available, would it actually stop people from blocking or bloating? Well, let's look at Auspex, the best blocking discipline and it also includes bounce. There are plenty of decks that choose to block as their defense even though they have access to all the bleed bounce they could ever want.

And let me make one thing clear - the majority of TWDA decks come from clans with access to bounce. All but two of the clans with better than average wins have bounce. Zero of the underperforming clans have it. Providing a proper defense for these clans means that you might actually see Nosferatu Antitribu again (other than Beast rush decks), it means you might see Assamites again (who won 0 tournaments last year), and the poor, poor Ravnos might actually get some tournament wins that don't rely on pure weenies.

At this point, I'm just repeating my article, so I'll leave it at this: if currently weak clans just had a better way to defend themselves, they could compete much better. And more clans get decks into the TWDA, which I count as more diversity. The fact that bleed bounce is just better than any other form of defense that the game has invented either means that it should be severely limited, or more widely available.

Ultimate, I agree that it needs to be tested. Lots of testing. VEKN playtest team?

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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02 Mar 2016 03:37 #75632 by mjvtes521
Replied by mjvtes521 on topic New Blog - Gaming with BS
You mean Lost in Translation, not Lost in Crowds.

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02 Mar 2016 05:53 #75633 by brettscho
Replied by brettscho on topic New Blog - Gaming with BS
Oops! Yes, that is what I meant.

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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02 Mar 2016 12:13 #75646 by elotar
Replied by elotar on topic New Blog - Gaming with BS
You are continuing to repeat one idea - "we need to get equal representation of all clan decks in TWDA". With your definition of "clan deck" on top of it. And to reach this goal you are suggesting the solution, which will make the game worse overall.

Explaining with points to easy reference:

1) There are no real basis under this idea - "clan competition" is artificial race, invented by several old time players, 99% of which use it to chalenge themselves by restrictions.

Clans in competitive game of VtES are just keywords, allowing to play some cards or having no perpose whatsoever if this vampire is in the crypt just for the disciplines/special.

Whining, that you can't seriously compete with assamites is like whining that the team of just tuklers can't win superbowl.

Competitive play and "fluff play" are greatly antagonistic approaches, and, again, VtES by now is one of ... just the one ccg in which "waky" deck can win a tournament.

2) Some small minority(!) of players really comes to the game from RPG, got a favorite clan there and are frustrated trying to play "clan deck". But it's totally fault of thouse, who introduced them to the game and doesn't stop development of this rediculous idea.

It's very rare in the rpg, that there are hordes of single clan vampires, achiving something without other clans support. You got your favourite VTM assamite char and want to play deck with him?

Here it is - www.secretlibrary.info/index.php?deck=view&id=21862. Your 13-th generation neonate even got chanse to collaborate with baali elder - what may be cooler?

3) Making any big conclusions from TWDA is not very relaible either. The sample size is too small, there are great many of other influensing factors - most importantly seating and skill level of players (mostly very weak).

Try to analize EC day 2 meta. There are, i think, still be not so many assamites and !nos, but "dominate gegemony" will be much less either (Hugh got a win with dominate and thats all as I remember).

For some straw man example - if I got predator with like malks94 and grand pred with gangrels toolbox, I, in most situations, will just back oust. So which deck is more competitive here?

4) LiT is a fine card. If you are playing high caps without dom and aus, then it's restrictions doesn't metter - other bleeders are younger, you got means to get blood and you got means to deal with IC. If it's not the case than what point is in your high cap "low clan" deck?

5) Bounce to all is making the game worse, because of reducing real (not artificial "more clans") diversity - diversity of game strategies. Obviously it's more effective than any other bleed defence, so all of it (for example cards with +intercept ageinst (D)) will be totally wallpapered. And it'll be mandatory, because the hope "I'll be not bled heavily" will be totally lost now - even if is you predator will be not "bleedy", he still will redirect other bleeds into you.

Having 12-16 card "fixed" for bounce/wakes in all decks we got less slots for other cards as well as justifications for bleeders to include more redirection defence, or, which is very worrisome, to drop bleed strategy whatsoever (kinda quite present effect already), so we got even more timeouts. VtES is in a very "tight" position with balance of strategies - if we shake it to far, then whole game may quickly degenerate into something like "5 combat decks doing nothing for 2 hours".

:splat: NC Russia
:DEM::san::nec::cap4:

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02 Mar 2016 17:44 #75660 by brettscho
Replied by brettscho on topic New Blog - Gaming with BS
Elotar, I think it's apparent that we think about game design differently. That's no problem, but I think this basic difference in opinion is the root of our disagreement. I see each clan and their unique set of normal clan disciplines as representing something akin to a color in magic - each has a unique philosophy that should translate to a unique set of mechanics that clan X has access to which provides them with unique and viable strategies. I don't know if you have any experience with Magic, but that game would have completely and utterly flopped if they just told people "Oh, green was designed to lose. Sorry, kids."

While I can respect your Clans don't matter, and disciplines don't have to be balanced philosophy, I think that's the way the game has been for 23 years, so I'd vote for a shift to my philosophy for the next 23 years. After that, we can switch back :)

P.S. I'd love to hear your definition for a clan deck - I'd be happy to update to another definition that made sense to me. I'm just using what logic tells me is appropriate, and it's a system that prevents one deck from being classified in two categories (which is fine if you are just listing decks, but I'm running statics on them like totaling participants, and having one event show up on the list twice would be a major problem).

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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02 Mar 2016 18:35 #75665 by 2wayspeaker
I agree with both of you.

Clans don't have to be designed to lose. But there's also no need to design a clan to win.

Disciplineless bounce will cause serious balance issues. On a new bounce card I'd like to see clan/discipline/trait/sect restrictions on it.

Yes Brett did set out what a clan deck is and what successful is. His assumptions aren't unreasonable: the goal of vtes is to score Victory Points. Achieving the most VP's at the table should be the goal of your deck. No you don't have to make a clan deck to win, that's why he added an extra column with decks that didn't fit the categorisation at all. More important are the results that dominate/bounce are so prevalent.

Point 1: Diversity of viable ousting methods
Why is bounce so common?

Because dominate bleed is the most card efficient way to deal pool damage. Pool damage translates into VP in the most direct way. Placing temptation counters for 7 turns isn't directly forwarding your goal as much as bleeding for 6 during 7 turns.

So, over 50% of decks rely on bleeds to get VP's. This benefits decks that play bounce.

Imagine if 50% of decks at a tournament played Choir/Harmony.
That deflection sure looks pretty useless now.

That is what the game needs: more unique and VIABLE strategies.
These strategies need to be interacted with (votes can be voted upon by the table, Harmony can be intercepted, Smiling Jack can be removed, bleeds can be intercepted/reduced/bounced/archoned)

Point 2: Card efficiency - Combo cards/card draw.
As Brett has found out: 3 common successful strategies are Bleed, Vote and Intercept Combat.

Rush combat isn't viable because of the incredible hand jam you suffer and you are being met with *Cancel combat *SCE *Prevention *Something that hits harder.
My proposition is to develop way more combo cards:

A discipline rush that serves as a rush and as a maneuver.

A +1 bleed modifier that serves as a +2 strength in combat.

Stuff like that. Combat cards are very hard to play without sacrificing the entire deck to it. And even if you do, the sequencing of combat makes it so you jam on your hand (Bums rush + Torn signpost + maneuver + Slam + grapple + prevention + taste) you have to play those in that exact order. Without hand size/combo cards/card draw(infernal pursuit) it's nearly impossible to pull of. You have no space for defense and no spafe for an actual pool damaging system. Meanwhile some dude named Anson just gets a .44, runs away from you and shoots you.

All combat disciplines need to receive combo cards. A rush that gives you +1 strength and a maneuver if it isn't blocked (make the misere) is still a crap card. It will jam your hand anyway. Without it you can't get in combat, but if you draw it during combat your whole plan fals through and you wasted an action. Now if the rush would double as a combat card, that'd actually be useful.
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