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About synthc

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  1. What if we made a fully automated "tournament" every week or so (maybe even every day); kind of like Brawls in Prismata, where there's a couple hours (weekly, I think) during which players can queue up for brawl matches and the top 3 with the most wins gets a prize/badge. There's also random prizes for participants to encourage people to play the brawl even if they don't think they will win. This is similar to another suggestion I saw, which was to increase the rewards given during a certain time of day in order to create an artificial PvP primetime and to keep people playing on a regular basis (can't find the topic). If you made this fully automated, you wouldn't need any signups/rules/prize pools. It could be as simple as queuing up for ranked matches during the allotted time and trying to win as many games as possible.
  2. I didn't realize that Lord Cyrian, promo Grinder, and Moloch (no promo version?) were not tradeable. If this is the case and the original game had something like a "nonTradeable" flag for cards, then that would make locking down cards easy—we would just need to recover that functionality. I definitely agree that locking down cards is the best option; I only suggested alternatives to that because I thought it would be hard to implement. Having a separate currency like you suggested would also make it clearer to players which currency is bound to their account and which they can freely trade and buy "unbound" cards with. In this case, giving new accounts a unique, one-time questline that gives lots of account-bound BFP, and having any cards bought with that BFP be bound to the account is definitely the way to go. You could also treat this questline as a sort of extended tutorial that guides players through all the different aspects of the game and helps them learn some of the more advanced stuff (rewards are a great way to get people to play tutorials). This is a very common strategy for teaching players the game and getting them some early rewards to jump-start their gameplay experience—all in all, it's proven to help significantly with early player retention. I should also stress that this stuff is especially important for this game since we will probably not have a very big player base. After the initial post-release rush, I expect to see an average of 20-60 people online at any given time—maybe a couple hundred if we're lucky and do everything right (most importantly advertising/community building, and this—ensuring there is a good progression for new players). This means that having a slow grind for PvP would be completely unacceptable. It's somewhat OK in a game with thousands of concurrent players online because you can usually get matched against someone who has a similar level to you; but in a game with a small player base it would just be utterly crushing for a new player to constantly get matched up against people with level 120 decks. They would have no chance whatsoever and would just leave the game in frustration. As a side note, I realized that there is a loophole that could be abused with the account bound BFP system: you farm these bound BFP on a smurf account and then transfer them to your main account by listing a cheap common card on the AH for a high price and buying that card from your smurf account. This would "unbind" the BFP while transferring them to your main account. Fortunately, I'm pretty sure I saw somewhere that the devs were planning on setting up a system that flags these kinds of AH transactions as potential multi-accounting or real currency trading. So this system should be able to prevent this kind of exploit, or at least may it a slow enough process that it wouldn't be worth it vs just gaining rewards normally on your main account. I like the idea, and I agree that it wouldn't have a significant P2W effect, but I think that as a matter of principle we should probably avoid "selling" any kind of in-game content (even though EA has surprisingly said that we can monetize the game "to a degree"—whatever that means). I think I would be OK with this if the charge system were removed or if players were required to trade in four copies of the card that they're getting the promo for—this would completely avoid a P2W situation because you'd have to already have the card fully charged before getting the promo. That said, we've already seen that people are quite willing to donate even when they're getting no rewards for it, so hopefully there will be no need to incentivize donations.
  3. Yep, the problem is that you can't maintain that formation while moving across the map. That's why the matchup becomes a battle of positioning, with nature always inhibiting the frost player's movement by threatening with roots. Maybe with impeccable micro it's possible to not get caught out at all by roots, but I don't really think it's feasible in an actual match—at least when I was last active, the best frost players at the time were not able to do it. But I guess we could argue back and forth forever over how big the frost advantage is, when it's really something that can only be determined experimentally (though actual matches).
  4. I think pure fire is overrated. All of pure fire's strength is focused on offense, so if you just play offensively against them and keep them on defense, you win. Firedancer is only really useful for offense and Wildfire is usually inefficient unless it's hitting a well/orb while killing units. Even decks with terrible defense like pure nature can beat pure fire by constantly pressuring with Deep Ones. As long as you don't fall behind in T1 against pure fire, you should have an advantage with every deck except bandits, shadow/nature, and fire/nature (unless it's a cliffdancer map). It is true though, that pure fire can snowball hard in the early game and just kill you in early T2. Juggernaut can also save them when they are behind.
  5. Shadow/Frost is generally considered to be the strongest PvP deck for the following reasons: Strong, versatile, and easy to play T1. Cheap, high damage units like Nightcrawler and Darkelves, as well as very efficient offensive units like Mountaineer. Building protection, CC, and Aura of Corruption make for very strong defense. One of the strongest T3 in the game (up there with pure fire) due to things like Grigori, Tremor, Silverwinds, and Timeless One. Stonekin is also very strong due to having the best building protection, CC, and knockback units (fairly unbreakable defense with all of this). Adamant skin + Crystal Fiend means that they can just defend until the power pools are big and then they can streamroll their opponents. One deck that's pretty underrated, but extremely strong is pure nature. Pure nature has some insane strength (Energy Parasite, Deep One, Shrine of Memory, and Parasite Swarm are all absurdly strong), but also some huge weaknesses: no building protection, no direct damage spells, and no high damage ranged units (except for Spikeroot, which is expensive and has to root before attacking) makes them extremely weak on defense. If played properly, however, I would argue that pure nature actually beats every deck except fire/nature and stonekin. Note that this is for 1v1. In 2v2 pure fire + stonekin is the strongest combination.
  6. You shouldn't grab a well in this situation. It's just that a lot of frost players seem to think for some reason that nature can't rush them, when in reality Swiftclaw rush is quite dangerous (even Freemka has grabbed a well vs me and lost to a Swiftclaw rush, so it's not just a new player mentality). I think it's worth stressing that you really have to watch out for this as frost. The thing is that it's nearly impossible to have a perfect formation that doesn't allow your mages to be rooted and picked off. Since you can't just stack all of your mages directly on top of each other, there's always going to be opportunities for roots, and that's why nature doesn't just get completely destroyed in this matchup. Yes, but this isn't actually that hard to do and it's impossible for frost to avoid getting rooted and having at least 1 or 2 mages picked off. Nature should always have their army in a position that allows them to intercept the frost army if it moves towards nature's base. Since both armies move at the same speed, nature actually has the initiative advantage because root can be cast from a fair distance (due to its sizeable AoE) and takes effect instantly (as opposed to Glyph of Frost). This is true, and one of the tougher aspects of this matchup for nature; though Spikeroot helps a lot for this. I usually deal with this by making sure I have enough power for Oink + Spikeroot the instant my T2 is up (Oink is needed for the Lightblade). I guess this is really tough to deal with if you don't have Spikeroot. I still think you're exaggerating frost's advantage in this matchup. Certainly, frost does have an advantage (especially with Glyph of Frost), but I really don't think it's that big of an advantage. As I said before, I've played dozens of ranked games vs Freemka and MaranV with nature T1, and as I recall, I had a pretty solid positive win ratio against both of them (more so against Freemka—Burrowers/Cannon Towers are hard for pure nature); I was definitely able to hold my own, if not win, at T1. That said, these two players are really the only good frost players I knew and regularly played against—maybe your frost T1 is a lot better than theirs. In any case, I would also love to do some sparring when I get access to the game.
  7. Very nice guide, @RadicalX. You've covered all of the important stuff in detail, but I do have one critique, and that is that I don't think your Frost vs Nature section is accurate at all. I was ranked 1st with my pure nature deck back when both Freemka and MaranV were very active, so I've played literally dozens of nature T1 vs frost T1 games against them and I can tell you that it's much more nuanced than just nature getting streamrolled by Frost Mage spam. Nature has one key card that just wrecks frost T1 when used correctly, and that card is roots. There are actually two things that are very dangerous for Frost: namely, Swiftclaw rush and Shaman spam. Swiftclaw rush is actually more dangerous than Scavenger rush IMO, because nature can root defending units when they run to attack a different location, which often buys the nature player enough time to kill a well. The other thing is that Swiftclaw has very high M damage so, on small maps and with proper micro + heals, it can actually just fight Ice Guardians and win if the Frost player grabs a well. Swiftclaw vs Ice Guardians in one location is a very close fight when the Frost player has just grabbed a well and is down 100 power and it all comes down to micro here. This makes things more difficult than the Scavenger rush because the frost player has to commit more units to defense or their Ice Guardians will just be overwhelmed and killed. On smaller maps where Swiftclaw rush is good (easy to run between bases) frost actually shouldn't grab a well, even if it means completely giving up map control. What you want to do as frost is just hang back and defend while building up a Frost Mage army. As you noted, once the frost player gets a critical mass of Frost Mages, they will be able to kite and kill the Swiftclaws with ease. If the nature player grabs a well and tries to zone you out of the map, you just need to be patient and build up that Frost Mage army—you'll still be able to kill their well long before it pays back the 100 power investment (just watch out for defensive towers). Frost can always defend against Swiftclaw rush, but they have to be very careful about taking wells on certain maps. Swiftclaw rush is very powerful on some maps, but most high level frost t1 vs nature t1 games come down to Frost Mage spam vs Shaman spam. You are correct in that Frost Mages completely destroy Shamans in a head to head fight (even with the Dryad damage reduction); but, again, the key card here is roots. This scenario is actually very high tension and a single mistake can easily cost you the game here. What nature wants to do is to keep the frost army away from their base, and catch the frost player when they have their Frost Mages in a bad formation—they want to root the frost army in such a way that they can pick off a couple of Mages without losing any Shamans and then heal up and repeat, dwindling down the frost forces until nature can eventually take a head-on engagement. First and foremost, frost wants to keep their Mages close together and in a line formation (facing the nature army) in order to prevent the nature player from getting a good root. After that they want to try and pick off Shamans one by one with Frostbite, and they want to try and force a full-on engagement by threatening to attack the nature player's base. Often this matchup comes down to the Frost player attacking the nature player's base, while the nature player uses their power wells/orb to absorb damage from the Frost Mages, but in this scenario frost usually wins due to Home Soil. So nature wants to avoid this by constantly threatening with roots (keeping the frost player from marching straight into their base). Nature can also build Primal Defender or Mark of the Keeper if they feel their base is being threatened, provided they aren't completely giving up map control by doing so. I think that nature actually has the advantage in this situation unless the frost player has Glyph of Frost. Glyph can save the frost player after the nature player gets a good root, and it is also a major threat to the nature player when their root is on cooldown—if nature can't run away or use buildings to absorb damage, they lose. So what this ultimately comes down to is a war of positioning and trying to catch the other player's army out of position; one good root can end the game, and likewise, one good glyph can end the game. Frost is generally favored when the numbers get really big (like 20+ mages) because Homesoil just keeps scaling to the point at which nature just can't do anything against it, so nature wants to be taking the initiative in this matchup, and they generally want to end it or go T2 before the numbers get too huge. Pure frost also has the advantage going into T2, because War Eagle just decimates Shamans and Dryads; whereas Frost Mages are still at least decent against nature T2 (especially combined with War Eagles, because they can knock back Parasite Swarm). I can't blame even a very experienced player for not knowing this matchup that well, as it is an extremely rare matchup, especially at the higher levels. Hopefully you can incorporate some of this information into your guide; and if you want me to back up the statements I made here, I'd be glad to do some nature t1 vs frost t1 sparring once I get access to the game.
  8. Unit: Shadow Worm Building: Kobold Inc. (hilarious in 2v2 with Voodoo Shack) Spell: Corpse Explosion
  9. Of course, I wasn't suggesting we try to get a portal added now. We should definitely wait until the game is officially released, or at least until we reach a (true) open beta stage where everyone has access to the game. I just wanted to get the idea out there (perhaps before someone puts too much work into creating a site for replays).
  10. I was thinking about how we could increase awareness of this project and attract new players, and I remembered a site I spent a lot of time on back in my Command & Conquer days before the original Battleforge was released: gamereplays.org This site is mainly dedicated to Command & Conquer and similar RTS. It has a great replay system and has portals for each game that have news, tips, guides, forums, and etc. There were several threads back in 2009 on the GR forums about Battleforge and possibly adding a portal to the site, but all of the negative experiences people had with the game were regarding the fact that it was a pay2win grind-fest (GR consists mostly of competitive RTS players who want a fair playing field). Now that the game is no longer going to be pay2win, and we have the opportunity to minimize/eliminate grinding (I really hope the devs do this, as it would be incredibly healthy for the playerbase), I think that the people at GR would be very interested in Battleforge. The site has over 215,000 registered users and there seems to be around 500 people active at any given time; so getting a portal added to the site (visibility from the home page) would be a massive free advertisement for us. Additionally, it would provide us with a very nice replay + discussion system to use. The replay system is what the site was built on and has features such as likes, searching, sorting, sharing, commenting, reviews, and casting integration (IIRC). I think that when the game is finally officially released, we should start a new thread in their forums and create a petition to show how big our community already is (this is important, because creating a new portal and adding replay support involves a significant of work for them). In the meantime, it certainly wouldn't hurt to mention the project in a new thread on their forums, just to raise awareness of the project. What do you guys think of this? I really want to do everything we can to make sure the game doesn't end up dead again shortly after its release. In any case, I used to be a writer for GR, so when the game is released I will be messaging some admins about the possibility of adding a portal; but it will definitely take the support of the Battleforge community to actually make it happen.
  11. Regardless of what the fix for PvP upgrades is, PvP and PvE should always give the same amount of rewards per time spent. Even if we were to go with a tome-like system (like Eirias' suggestion), playing PvP with tomes should still give the same rewards so that you can upgrade your own decks instead of being stuck playing tome forever. Also, even after we do get a fully upgraded PvP deck to play with, we don't want to be stuck with only that deck for a really long time—we want to be able to upgrade cards to build other decks as well. There's simply no reason for PvE to give more rewards than PvP. See my suggestions here:
  12. Hmm. In that case making tomes U3 and fully charged would really help alleviate this problem. Though, again, I still don't think it's a complete solution.
  13. No: Yes, tome will be dead from the start. This is a way to give it a purpose in that you can at least play with U2 cards. It would probably need some tweaks like I mentioned. Does this work with the free tome deck? I didn't get to try it much because it was introduced around the time I left. Are the cards U2 with 2 charges? If so, then I guess there would be no need to mix tome and ranked... just leave tome in its grave.
  14. I've been away from this forum for quite a while, but I came back a couple of days ago and saw the Ardent Peak announcement which has revitalized my interest in this project. So, I've been thinking about the long debated issue of PvP upgrades and came up with the following proposal: Balancing Gold: My idea is to make upgrades work like levels in an RPG, in that each upgrade costs more than the previous one (up to a cap). Each player would have a total upgrade level based on all the upgrades on all the cards in their collection, and the higher the level, the more it costs to apply new upgrades. The purpose of this would be to make it so that PvP players and PvE speedrunners are able to get a fully functional deck fairly quickly without upgrades being a bottleneck. What makes this different from the other proposals I've seen is that it preserves (even extends) the player progression that is collecting upgrades. Since the upgrade costs ramps up with each upgrade you apply, it would still take a very long time to get all 1,617 upgrades (3 for each card in the game); thus preserving the long-lasting, difficult to achieve end game goal for PvE players and completionists. I haven't worked out a perfect formula for this, and these numbers are entirely dependent on the rate at which we get BFP and how much gold the upgrades themselves cost, but the end result should look something like this is terms of how long it takes to fully upgrade your decks: First deck takes 10 hours of play to fully upgrade Second deck takes 15 hours to fully upgrade Third deck takes 25 hours to fully upgrade Fourth deck takes 40 hours Fifth deck takes 60 hours Each 20 cards after the first 80 take 60 hours to fully upgrade (an average of 1 upgrade per hour) When you get to the point of having played 150 hours, you have five fully upgraded decks to choose from (more than most players would even regularly use); but as far as game progress goes, you've only completed 18.5% of the game as far as upgrades go (100/539 cards upgraded), and you'd still have a long way to go time-wise before getting all upgrades. I think it should be balanced so that it would take at least 1000 hours to fully upgrade every card in the game. With the rate of increase in time it takes to upgrade 20 cards I suggested above (capped at 60 hours per 20 cards), it would take 1470 hours to get all upgrades. We could adjust the hard cap to be 50 (1250 hours) or 40 (1010 hours), or whatever seems best (maybe we want to make it take 2000+ hours). We could even replace the hard cap with a soft cap that ramps up more slowly and adjust the entire curve. The idea is that this system would give players a good pace to work with. The goal would be to balance the system so that by the time most players feel like trying a new deck, they have about enough gold to fully upgrade it, but there is still a long-lasting sense of progression due to the large amount of time it would take to get enough gold to upgrade all cards. This is a way to make upgrading cards slower than collecting cards without crippling people in PvP. Balancing BFP: It is also equally important that we properly pace BFP income in order to avoid the PvP grind—you can't upgrade cards you don't own. So the problem here is that, even though upgrading your first deck should be quick and easy with the above proposal, you still need BFP to buy the cards for your deck. While decks will be a lot more playable without optimal cards than they would without upgrades and charges (e.g. Witchclaws aren't that much worse than Dreadcharger, and a deck with u3 Witchclaws and full charges will destroy a deck with u1 Dreadchargers), this is still a problem and a big barrier to new players (and veterans that don't want to grind) that doesn't need to exist now that the game is not P2W. I don't know what level of control the devs have over the server and how it interfaces with players' collections at this point in time, but here are a couple of possible solutions to the problem: Give players a sum of starting BFP that can be used to buy packs, buy cards from the AH, and trade for cards. This must come with the restriction that all cards acquired with these starting BFP are bound to the account and cannot be sold/traded/gifted (likely hard to implement). Do the usual F2P thing and give new accounts a bunch of high reward quests to give them an early BFP boost. This will help PvP'ers and speedrunners get their first deck built quickly so that they can enjoy the game. This is also a common trick to help with player retention—players are more likely to keep playing if they think they're getting a lot of rewards and making quick progress/generally doing well in the game. The obvious downside is that this encourages multi-accounting. Maybe we could lock down trade a bit or create a system that detects grossly uneven trades. I also don't think it's necessary to allow players to send cards/BFP by mail—this opens up possibilities for a lot of abuse. Reduce the amount of BFP an account earns based on how much it has already acquired. This idea is similar to my gold idea above. You make it so that an account earns a % less BFP based on how much it's already gotten through rewards and through trade/mail. This allows players to earn lots of BFP early on that drops off slowly until it hits a cap and becomes constant. This helps prevent players from benefiting from mailing BFP to their main account, since the account's normal BFP income will drop off if they do so. There should also be a limit to the amount of BFP an account can gain from mail and trades (possibly based on level)—cards could also be limited based on rarity. Implement in-game + forum account linking and give registered forum members a bunch of BFP boosters. This helps to prevent multi-accounting and has the added bonus of getting new players to register on the forums and be a part of the community. Balancing Rarity & Enabling Diversity: My original thought for balancing card rarity was to remove the card charge system. The charge system serves no purpose in a true F2P game (it's purely a money grab) and it causes problems with rarity distribution (it's much harder to fully charge an UR card than a UC/C card). This can make decks such as pure shadow, pure nature, (and also pure fire due to the market not being flooded with promo Firedancers) unplayable for players until they've amassed a huge amount of BFP to buy four copies of those essential ultra rares. In the end, I realized that removing the charge system is probably unnecessary, as we can fix the problem more easily using other methods. An easy way to fix this issue is simply to greatly increase the chances of getting URs and Rs in packs. Let's think about the purpose of rarity in CCGs. Sure, it's exciting to open a pack and get a super rare card in it, but that's really not primary purpose—it's just a small side benefit. The real purpose of rarity systems is $$$. By making a few very powerful/specialized cards that are required to play certain decks, companies can get players to buy insane amounts of card packs in order to get those super rare cards—that is the real purpose of card rarity; and what EA has done with Battleforge is no different. So, if we increase the chance of getting URs, we're essentially 'unlocking' those decks that need URs to function properly—thus allowing players to play the decks they want to play and increasing the overall diversity of decks played. Otherwise we'd just see endless shadow/frost and fire/nature (which we'll see a lot of anyway, but at least this way we get some pure shadow, pure fire, and pure nature too). It is very important that we both prevent returning veterans from not coming back because they can't bear the though of doing all that grinding again in order to get a playable PvP deck (many people have already said they won't play the game again if they have to grind to get their decks back), as well as prevent new players from being daunted by the amount of time it takes to get the cards and upgrades to become competitive in PvP. This also applies to speedrunning in the same way, as upgrades are vital there as well. I want the playerbase to be as big as possible, and I want this game to be as good as it can possibly be. Notice that every successful F2P game has given players a very large boost in rewards when they first start playing that slowly drops off. We should do the same, as it's very important for player retention. Battleforge is also a special case, since most of the player base will have already done the grind, and many are not willing to do it all over again. Let's not make the same mistakes EA made back when they had no clue how to manage a F2P game.
  15. OK. I saw you going back and forth between that idea and just having the same free deck for everyone. This would work better, but it still has the problem of multi-accounting. Even if you don't get the rewards on your main account, you can still mail them to yourself or even run two clients at the same time and do bogus trades (I doubt the devs will put that much effort into detecting and stopping this). I think that your idea isn't bad, it's just that the thought of not being able to tweak the decks at all is horrible. This is why I proposed the 60-100 card free tome that allows you to build your own decks. Regarding your points on this being too inconsistent, I absolutely agree. Each tome should be guaranteed to have certain essential cards. It would basically be your system, but with more flexibility. Basically you're given all the core cards for a deck and you could use them to play the standard deck if you wanted to, but there's also a bunch of randomly chosen cards that you can include if you're feeling adventurous. Maybe we're both missing the obvious easy solution: put the existing tome ranked in the same pool as normal ranked so that you can actually find tome matches. This is only a partial solution though, as it's very subject to RNG, which is very bad in an RTS. But if you combined this with free tome decks (which already existed IIRC) and maybe some tweaks to how tome cards are chosen (some of the ideas I outlined for my mega-tome, like no t4), I think it would help a lot.