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ndclub

Removing Upgrade System from PVP

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@ndclub I haven't seen you in a while but since this is the thread that started it all (and we're digging up the old classic threads, like Starter Cards), I wanted to officially state my change in opinion here.

I still agree with most of what I've said, but having been reminded of what it's like to play the game without upgrades vs someone with upgrades, I rescind my statement about upgrades not really mattering. See, I can be reasonable; my opinions change and I'm not afraid to admit I was wrong :)

So upgrades matter, at least enough to overcome a small skill gulf (still not sure it actually matters for beginners), but definitely returning players will be super annoyed at the beginning because they know they're better than their opponent, but they lose because of upgrades. Likewise, players highly skilled in other RTS games might come to BF and leave, because they can't immediately be competitive (not sure if that problem can really be fixed though, because cards still need to be had).

As I have stated in several places, I think the true genius of BattleForge comes from the PvP, and I do think PvP would be better if all players had U3 of all cards. Sadly, I am in the minority in this opinion that PvP is the best part of BattleForge.

 

All that said, I would like to propose a new compromise, inspired and originally put forward on other threads. Specifically, I think we can overcome this "barrier to PvP entry" by utilizing the "locked deck" mechanic.

We have the U2 tome, which I previously declared was "good enough"--maybe it is, maybe it isn't but this solution is better (for this specific problem). My proposal:

 

When the tomes are distributed (every 2 weeks) players receive TWO free decks. The first is the randomized tome. It works the exact same as the old one: all cards are U2 with charges, and rarity ratios are the same. These cards can be mixed and matched in any deck to strengthen decks with less than U2.

The other deck is LOCKED and COMPOSED. The devs will put together a certain number of PvP decks (say, 10, and this decision will be informed by top players to be as absolutely competitive as possible). These decks will automatically be lvl 120. The only problem is that this deck will be locked. You can't change the cards, you can't use the cards in another deck, and you can't change the order of cards. But for 2 weeks, you have a deck identical to some player in the top 20, possibly upgraded even higher. And in 2 weeks, you randomly get another one.

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On 26.6.2015 at 8:28 PM, ndclub said:

EDIT: After additional consideration and desire to compromise, I am changing my new suggestion to keeping upgrades in PVE. However, when a player starts a PVP match I suggest that all cards be upgraded to U3 for its duration. I apologize for taking so long to edit the OP with updated suggestion and causing much confusion. Currently charges are not affected by this idea.

im against such a thing 

adding locked PVP decks as was mentioned by Eirias in the Topic:

The locked, level 120 premade PvP deck would be like the tutorial deck. The cards can't be changed, the order of the cards can't be changed, upgrades can't be added or removed, and the cards can't be used in ANY other deck.

and i guess most of the players will play 100% of th game and not only 1 part of it so they will be able to uppgrade their preffered cards if they have them of corse

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@MephistoRoss That was my suggestion in the topic 

 

On 23.3.2017 at 8:49 PM, Asraiel said:

In Final words spoken for me these are The Startingdecks:

For every Gamemode:

TOME Starterdeck with all 175 Common U0 non upgradeble Cards

Locked Fire PvP Deck with 20 Common & Uncommon U3 Cards

Locked Frost PvP Deck with 20 Common & Uncommon U3 Cards

Locked Natur PvP Deck with 20 Common & Uncommon U3 Cards

Locked Shadow PvP Deck with 20 Common & Uncommon U3 Cards

In Rotation of 2 Weeks:

Randome TOME Decks with 30 Uncommon, Rare & Ultrarare U0 Cards

 

To enshure the Players Freedome in making Decks, to provent that the Market gets Flooded with Common Cards and to give the Players the possebility to do Competitive PVP right from the Start.

The Random TOME wasnt shure how the Upgradelevel was so i did set it on U0 

Edited by Asraiel

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12 minutes ago, MephistoRoss said:

Well there are more factions than those 4 and a deck with just commons and uncommons will still miss the most important cards for pvp.

jep but they don not have Tier 1 Cards so they not in calc. 

well it gives u a purpose to farm and collect cards what a TCG is about. but with these you can make pvp and you can for example duel a "older" player if you both use these decks so its competitive. if you give out all cards on U3 (restricted to PVP) wheres then the TCG part of the game.

only diffrence is that you have to play the game a bit more in the PVE section. but how long does it takes to create maybe 4 decks U3 also 80 cards on U3 becase what u dont need in pvp you dont upgrade. my quess is between 1-3 months at max. 

 

but for me comes another question in at which point after release does it need those prebuild, Locked decks. beause at release or even the first 3 months its not nessesary

Edited by Asraiel

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14 hours ago, MephistoRoss said:

@Eirias why only 1 deck that is replaced every 2 weeks? Why not make a locked deck for each faction that everyone always has?

 

Well, I'm certainly not opposed to that :)

But I feel that PvP players might not participate in the market at all, if they always have the ability to play (nearly) whatever they want. If it's one deck, then a person is forced to either learn lots of decks, or buy cards for their favorite faction. For PvP at least, that would be very similar to just giving everyone all cards at U3 (which, again, I'm not opposed to). I'm not sure the restrictions in that scenario are enough to encourage those players to participate in the market (although, IS that a bad thing?).

Perhaps a bigger concern is that this might affect the metagame (although, if we're smart, we might be able to use this to make the game healthier). For instance, if I know that every player has access to a lvl 120 fire-nature deck, and I know that "basic" fire nature deck has mauler in it, then when I build my shadow frost deck, I might choose alternatives to mountaineer and ashbone pyro. Obviously this won't work against everyone, but if I'm building my deck with the knowledge that poor/new players will most likely be playing a composed deck of their choice, it will affect my deckbuilding. 

If each player only has 1 deck every 2 weeks, the odds that you will face a "composed" deck drastically decreases. Most PvP decks are harder to play than the easy 3 (shadow frost, pure fire, fire nature), so players who like those decks might prefer to stick with their own deck, even if it's not lvl 120, if their random composed deck was something like Pure Nature. If I always had access to my favorite deck, why not just play that all the time? IMO, encouraging players to try new decks makes things more interesting.

 

I can think of 2 solutions here: one is to allow players to RENT additional composed decks, of their choice (so you get one free, random one, and then if I want to play fire nature, I can play like 200 bfp to get the standard fire nature deck of the season).

Another solution is to slightly change each deck. For instance, there might be 6 variations of the fire nature deck (1st you would roll to see which faction you get, so if one deck has 6 variations and other has 3--cough cough pure fire--you still have an equal chance of getting each faction). One might have mauler, one might have sunderer, one might have double fire t3, one might have double nature t3, one might not have t3 at all, etc. That way I wouldn't know which particular fire nature deck my opponent had, if I did suspect he had one of the composed decks.

 

P.S. Should I make a new thread for this? Do you think this is a thing that will actually happen (in some variation) and bears additional discussion, or right now is it more a theoretical curiosity?

 

EDIT: Ended up making a new thread for that, here

Edited by Eirias

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That other thread, about black market and the possibility to pay for the game now, made me think about the following: Maybe they will add these 'pre-made' locked decks as a pay2use feature. This would actually make sense, even though i hope they wont do this. 

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I am back and I read the responses. I would be open to 1 or 4 locked lvl 120 PVP decks but must ask - why is this better than my original suggestion? I see it adding a little bit more manpower because in switching the decks bi-weekly, that means someone needs to analyze and decide which of the "top decks" needs to be copied. If it is found to throw a metagame off, though unlikely,  then additional work would be needed.

It could be better than my idea due to the fact that my idea only maxes upgrades, not charges, in order to allow for some sense of progression. There are some expert players who nearly a year ago said not including charges was not good enough. I also agree that charges arguably have a bigger impact on PVP than upgrades. However, upgrades in PVP are part of a mindless grind and a easily removable low hanging fruit that serves almost no purpose other than to handicap the new. Charges are similar but have an impact on the auction house and are a big part of the collection aspect that makes it feel like a tcg. I will have to mull this over again.

 

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1 hour ago, ndclub said:

I am back and I read the responses. I would be open to 1 or 4 locked lvl 120 PVP decks but must ask - why is this better than my original suggestion? I see it adding a little bit more manpower because in switching the decks bi-weekly, that means someone needs to analyze and decide which of the "top decks" needs to be copied. If it is found to throw a metagame off, though unlikely,  then additional work would be needed.

It could be better than my idea due to the fact that my idea only maxes upgrades, not charges, in order to allow for some sense of progression. There are some expert players who nearly a year ago said not including charges was not good enough. I also agree that charges arguably have a bigger impact on PVP than upgrades. However, upgrades in PVP are part of a mindless grind and a easily removable low hanging fruit that serves almost no purpose other than to handicap the new. Charges are similar but have an impact on the auction house and are a big part of the collection aspect that makes it feel like a tcg. I will have to mull this over again.

 

For one, this seems (to me) easier to implement (and understand for new players) than a system that automatically goes into your cardpool, finds how many of a card you have, and then gives you U3 of that card with the number of charges you have.

Also, you say "mindless grind" but I think the devs will balance gold/tokens and bfp gain relatively equally. You're grinding for both anyway, so I don't see a serious discrepancy of having significantly more cards than upgrades (assuming you're trying to build one deck at a time). I think a new player who thinks he's godlike at PvP will feel equally held back by cards and upgrades, since there is no fast route to either.

Additionally, this shouldn't affect the market, while your suggestion might. In your suggestion, PvP-only cards will be significantly cheaper than PvE cards (well, it depends if we're going on the version where you automatically get charges or not).

In regards to the "manpower" problem--I think all the decks can be generated in a few hours or less. @RadicalX and @Hirooo made a thread with example decks for each faction. Those could be a great starting place, and I think at least 10 extra decks per faction can be generated by slightly changing a few cards. Perhaps there could even be two decks given: one "competitive" (so standard PvP stuff) and one "casual" (so things like a Pure Nature root deck, or fun but dubious decks). Of course, they wouldn't be labelled as such: the player can figure out which is better :)

I think the locked, composed deck solution directly impacts the problem, has a few bonuses (for instance, you can see how these U3 cards work in the forge), and doesn't fundamentally change the way anything works.

 

Great to have you back, btw!

Edited by Eirias

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1 hour ago, Eirias said:

Perhaps there could even be two decks given: one "competitive" (so standard PvP stuff) and one "casual" (so things like a Pure Nature root deck, or fun but dubious decks). Of course, they wouldn't be labelled as such: the player can figure out which is better :)

Sound funny ;) . It could maybe even help to see why something is good and why something is bad (if you are trying both).

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5 hours ago, Eirias said:

Additionally, this shouldn't affect the market, while your suggestion might. In your suggestion, PvP-only cards will be significantly cheaper than PvE cards (well, it depends if we're going on the version where you automatically get charges or not).

Can you elaborate on this please? I only understand it affecting the market if I include charges which I am not currently saying.

5 hours ago, Eirias said:

In regards to the "manpower" problem--I think all the decks can be generated in a few hours or less. @RadicalX and @Hirooo made a thread with example decks for each faction

By no means was I saying it wasn't doable. I am saying it is just one more level of ongoing maintenance that will be needed. Usually you want to avoid any additional work requirement no matter how small if there are other solutions when the devs are working for free.

5 hours ago, Eirias said:

Great to have you back, btw!

Thank you, I have long planned to jump into a game and show everyone how rusty I have become. 

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3 hours ago, ndclub said:

Can you elaborate on this please? I only understand it affecting the market if I include charges which I am not currently saying.

Yeah, I wasn't sure which version of your proposal we were on (sorry, been a while). IMO, either:

1. When entering a PvP, you get the full lvl 120 deck, which means you get free charges, so PvP only cards become devalued in the market,

or 

2. When entering PvP, your cards change to U3 but

     2a. you retain the charges you have (if you start at U1 with extra charge, then that's how many charges your U3 card gets)

     2b. the game automatically counts the number of the card in your inventory, and gives you charges based on that.

 

If neither of those are your current proposal, please correct me. My problem with 2 is that for most cards, I think charges are more important than upgrades (btw, based on the current token ratio I see ingame, it looks like grinding for BFP will actually be slower than grinding for upgrades). As stated above, with 1, the market is affected.

In my composed deck solution, neither of those are problems. But if you see any, point them out! 

3 hours ago, ndclub said:

ust one more level of ongoing maintenance that will be needed

Why is it ongoing maintenance? Create 100 decks before the game is released, set the probability ratios of drawing those decks, and the rest takes care of itself...

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My suggestion was more of a 2C or 2B- lets say you have 2 copies of U0 masterarchers. My idea that started it all this was that upon joining a PVP game with a deck that has masterarchers selected, the masterarchers would be U3 and have no charges. I also considered giving the charge level as well as the amount of copies you have but at the time did not know if this was too drastic. (always all U3 no matter the amount of copies though) Honestly my current feelings is that I lean towards 2B (all U3 but only charged as many as you have copies) as you have stated.

The comment about ongoing maintenance of if the free lvl 120 PVP deck is according to your example of it having mauler and the majority of people you play have mauler - it could cause you to shift your decks to account for this. I would not like a metagame shift caused by a feature not absolutely needed but maybe that is an overreaction. Either way, the decks would have to be altered with time to prevent unexpected metagame shifts should they occur.

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31 minutes ago, ndclub said:

The comment about ongoing maintenance of if the free lvl 120 PVP deck is according to your example of it having mauler and the majority of people you play have mauler - it could cause you to shift your decks to account for this. I would not like a metagame shift caused by a feature not absolutely needed but maybe that is an overreaction. Either way, the decks would have to be altered with time to prevent unexpected metagame shifts should they occur.

Ah. Yeah, I think a solution would just be to have like 10 iterations of each deck. So one of the ten fire-nature decks will have mauler, and the other nine won't (and maybe the odds of getting each deck might vary slightly, on a random scale, so one period you might have 15% chance of getting this deck with mauler (assuming you've already rolled for fire-nature), and the next period it will be 8% chance--although if someone tracked it, that might be exploitable).

But my idea is that one algorithm goes in, and everything else is randomly done from there. I wouldn't think there would  be a metagame change (unless it was something like adding phase tower b/c there are more nature players than normal).

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Creating those decks wouldnt be a problem although it will take a bit more than a few hours to create 10 decks per colour. Would probably lead to ~3-5 different deck types per colour and some small card variation.

Denying these decks charges makes them completely pointless though. I would rather play a U2 deck with charges than U3 without. To give some examples how no charges looks like:

  • 5 forsaken means you can have around 1 minute of t1 fight or ~1 engagement before you are done. This is auto lose on all maps where you cant turtle on a chokepoint.
  • 4 Night Crawlers/4 DAs is an autolose, not even matchup or map depended. You wont be able to defend yourself without corecards after the first two minutes. Going early t3 is possible if you play a long t1. Which you cant because you dont have charges. 
  • For fire things are similar. Try playing t1 with 5 sunstrides or 4 scavengers - MA spam with charges simply wins for example.
  • 2 Skyfire drakes. 4 burrowers, 3 shadow mages etc. 

If you want people to actually be able to play PvP with these decks, maybe even experiment with a new color, give them full charges. Everything else is pointless.

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4 hours ago, Hirooo said:

If you want people to actually be able to play PvP with these decks, maybe even experiment with a new color, give them full charges. Everything else is pointless.

You may have misunderstood. My proposed locked, composed decks (see this thread for more detail) are lvl 120: they have full uprades and charges. The fact that they have full charges (without destroying the market) is an advantage over ndclub's original suggestion.

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Yea I was responding to ndclub thinking about basing the charges of the amount of cards in the inventory. This would remove the option to experiment with a color you dont own yet completely.

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i may be mistaken but are the 1 color decks not the moste expensive if it comes to rarety of cards. like t2 for example firedancer, harvester or so?

i would more prefer to have good playeble and competitive decks in the 2 color section rather than 1 color. so you have bandit, twilight, lost souls, stonekin deck made as competitive as possible but if you want to play pure decks you have to farm them first.

the biggest thing may be which color t1 gets into which deck in the end in order to be eaquel as much as possible. and then you have permanent accsess to those 4 locked decks. but if you want to go pure you have to grind farm trade (simply do the the other 80% of the game)

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On 3/30/2017 at 8:52 AM, Hirooo said:

Yea I was responding to ndclub thinking about basing the charges of the amount of cards in the inventory. This would remove the option to experiment with a color you dont own yet completely.

Remove the option is strong wording, I think it would just make it harder. There were several people not liking the idea because it removed the collecting aspect from the game. I think it allows for a happy compromise - keep collecting but remove much of the mindless grind.

 

Eirias's suggestion would also keep collecting intact, I can see why you would side with his option more if you want an all or nothing suggestion with deck level.

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I think charges and level still have a place in pvp. I played PVP quite a bit, and i never found the game static enough to lose based on low level cards.

 

It's still more about tactics and good planning than what cards you have, to a point. I'd say there is a threshhold of types of cards you need to be competitive, but at that point upgrades are almost irrelevant.

 

It's a lot easier to get to a competitive level in pvp with one or two colors than getting the required cards to speedrun most maps.

With all that said, I liked the token system, so maybe if it's relegated to gold only, give us a lot of gold for pvp matches?

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The real problem with most of the solutions I've seen in this thread is charges, and the solution is simple—remove them.  Charges really have no value whatsoever; their sole purpose in the original game was to function as a money grab (why make players buy one copy of a card in order to competitive when you can make them buy four?).  There is a value in the upgrade system (player progression/player retention), but the charge system is completely worthless and should just be removed.  Make it so that owning one copy of a card gives you the full four charges.  BFP income and/or pack rarity distribution can be adjusted to compensate for players not needing duplicate cards.  

It's been suggested that card charges are analogous to having multiple cards in a deck in a traditional CCG, but this is not the case because you're not trading off versatility for reliability when you add multiple copies of the same card in Battleforge, you're just directly increasing the power of your deck with no tradeoff at all—this mechanic is not useful and it's redundant with the upgrade system.

 

With the charge system gone, really any number of solutions to the upgrade grinding problem would work.  You could go with ndclub's idea of removing them for PvP only, and as much as I would like that, I think that a compromise that keeps PvP upgrades around really wouldn't harm the PvP experience much (if at all) if done correctly.  I think that as long as players earn enough gold from PvP to fully upgrade only the cards they need for their PvP decks, things will work out just fine.  

There will always be a BFP bottleneck as players acquire new cards to make their decks more competitive.  As long as you have enough gold to upgrade those cards when you get them, then upgrades are a non-issue for PvP.  Note that I'm not saying players should have enough gold to upgrade ALL cards they get from opening packs and such (this would defeat the purpose of upgrades)—only the 20 that they need for their PvP deck.  Getting all of the card upgrades would still be a very significant challenge that would require a large time investment and provide a long-lasting player progression path.

 

I also had another idea (hopefully this hasn't already been suggested).  What if upgrades worked like levels in an RPG, in that each upgrade costs more than the previous one?  You could even give players a total level based on the number of upgrades they have (similar to deck levels, but based on all cards in a player's collection) and the higher the level, the more upgrades cost.  This level should, of course, be weighted so that higher level upgrades (e.g. u3 vs u2) add more to the level, rather than the linear deck level calculation that just counts the number of upgrades.  

The purpose of this would be to make it so that players could upgrade a single deck fairly quickly (at least as fast as they could acquire BFP for the cards), but each subsequent deck would take increasingly longer to upgrade, and upgrading all 539 cards would be quite a feat that only the most dedicated completionists will achieve.  This system would be nice because PvP players and PvE speedrunners would be able to fairly quickly get one or two competitive decks, but the overall depth of player progression would be preserved, if not enriched.

 

As for Eirias' locked tome deck idea, I don't think this would be a good thing (at least not in its current form).  I'll make a separate post in the thread he created explaining why.

EDIT:  

 

Edited by synthc

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I still feels that upgrade system should remain the same - you don't want to play nonupgraded deck? Play tome. Don't you enjoy playing tome? Grind for upgrades to your regular deck. I don't see a reason why upgrades should remain in PvE if they are removed from PvP. Both scenes have casual and competetive group of players, is there a reason to go easy on one group?

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I played both, PvE and PvP pretty much and I think the upgrade system was perfect for me, because I started of with PvE and played PvP after i had like every upgrade.

Of course its a whole other thing for people who just want to start play PvP, I think a reworked tome-system would be a great idea, but i definitively hope you will keep the PvE System as it was, of course sometimes you have to struggle through some hard maps to get what you need, but you feel satisfied when you get it and i think that's the whole point of it isn't it?

If you really hate a map you can play random-scenarios to earn the tokens to craft it.

I even think it's not bad to get some (but not to much) tokens for PvP matches. If you have collected a nice PvP Deck for yourself and got all the upgrades you are fine, yes, but when you get a new card that would be perfect for your deck you may have collected enough tokens to upgrade that card so you can continue with PvP instead of farming PvE first.

I'm sure you will find a solution that (mostly) everyone can agree with, and I'm really looking forward to play BF again, so keep up the good work!!

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