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UPDATE: Free PvP Decks and upcoming livestream


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On 10/27/2020 at 10:28 PM, Ladadoos said:

This feature still allows you to collect cards, and you are not forced to use this feature.

Well, now. This statement is pretty disingenuous. It's the gun-to-head deflection. Like big publishers use for their """optional""" monetization in their cashgrab games. While naturally utilizing every psychological manipulation they can get away with to sucker people into buying. Anyway, going on a tangent here.

Obviously you aren't forced to do it, as in nobody is holding a gun to your head, but not doing so will put you at such a massive disadvantage that you have almost no choice if you want to be competitive right out of the gate.

This feature intends to level the playing field, by evening the power-floor, which it should succeed in. But the new initial power-floor is WAY higher than it was before. Like @MrBao said, the original power-floor was really low with ragtag trash decks. Chaotic and unpredictable. You had to improvise and be inventive. Use the cards you had to the best of your abilities and win with your OWN cards. Which to these type of players felt very satisfying.

That's no longer an option now, so unfortunately these peoples needs fall by the wayside. It is no longer a feasible strategy because you will consistently face Lv100+ decks right out of the gate. Strategy and skill only do so much when the other units simply have bigger numbers. Also, there will be less variety in the beginning because everyone will work with templates now.

So while I can agree with the argument that it's potentially better for the health and sustainability of the PvP scene, which should be a high priority for a niche project like this. With most choices having pros and cons, these players sadly get sacrificed here. But I don't like this type of argument at all, it doesn't line up with reality.

 

When I think about it, I would say that is another argument FOR making these 120 decks have a fee. Because people will eventually just consistently pick the two decks of which they always want the cards of. Which effectively takes these cards off their "want"-list permanently. Which is a negative impact on their drive to build up their own collection and on their participation in the economy. A reoccurring, weekly fee would nudge them towards going independent.

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1 hour ago, Cocofang said:

This feature intends to level the playing field, by evening the power-floor, which it should succeed in. But the new initial power-floor is WAY higher than it was before. Like @MrBao said, the original power-floor was really low with ragtag trash decks. Chaotic and unpredictable. You had to improvise and be inventive. Use the cards you had to the best of your abilities and win with your OWN cards. Which to these type of players felt very satisfying.

This is only the case in the first few weeks after release though.

When I started on Skylords reborn the open stress test has been going on for quite some time already. Therefore my first PvP fights were me using halfway upgraded cards with a mediocre deckbuild and my opponents, even in low ranks, already had competitive U3 cards. Therefore I felt like I had no chance at all. Now with the free decks when I loose, I know it was because I played worse, not because of an unfair uphill battle.

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56 minutes ago, Cocofang said:

Obviously you aren't forced to do it, as in nobody is holding a gun to your head, but not doing so will put you at such a massive disadvantage that you have almost no choice if you want to be competitive right out of the gate.

My statement is about the card collecting part, not the PvP (competitiveness) part. Of course this feature creates a higher bar that new players can only reach by choosing the PvP decks. What is also equally as obvious is that these decks don't cover everyone's needs nor eliminate the need to ever collect cards. Plus people at some point might want to diversify beyond the two decks offered per week. 

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40 minutes ago, Ladadoos said:

My statement is about the card collecting part, not the PvP (competitiveness) part. Of course this feature creates a higher bar that new players can only reach by choosing the PvP decks. What is also equally as obvious is that these decks don't cover everyone's needs nor eliminate the need to ever collect cards. Plus people at some point might want to diversify beyond the two decks offered per week. 

Sure, but they can safely cross off quite a few cards from their want-list if they just repeatedly pick them for free.

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@WindHunter Corpse explosion plays a big part in pure Shadow to reach consistent results against pure Fire as it provides a reliable and quick removal of the Rallying banner + Enforcer attack pattern, which helps alot in reaching the Harvester breakpoint, that ends up winning the matchup. In addition to that it also helps removing aggressive towers, that are built into an Aura of Corruption, therefore giving you more freedom to use this spell to punish things like stonekin army attacks.  

I agree, that Corpse explosion might be not the easiest card to use, but it is by far the strongest choice pure Shadow has. I don't really understand why Shadow Phoenix is supposed to have a big influence in the Frost matchups as the card just punished heavy well clustering in offense and usually does not have many usecases into the Stormsinger based Frost splashes. Corpse Explosion is the best card to break through Frost splash defenses (I recommend watching the TopS3cret vs Hyper match from my tournament in August, where Corpse Explosion played a big part in allowing arguably the biggest comeback in Battleforge Tournament history). 

In T3 the synergy with big nasties shouldn't be underestimated and Cultist Master also provides alot of corpses around the map, that can be utlized to break through Frost splash defenses.

Overall I'm also not a big fan of promoting Shadow Phoenix gameplay outside of Shadow Nature since I've seen so many people just hurt themselves by trying to use Phoenix in defense that often result in negative trades since the enemy splits his army, the power well starts dropping low and then a desperation crash dive happens. The card defintely has solid use cases in pure Shadow and you can do some really nasty combos with nether warp, but that is a personal preference choice, that can be used by the editing function.  

@ImperatorSK We do consider Towers in Fire & Shadow T1 as technically healthy gameplay components, but Phasetower and Mortar are obviously to powerful and do way more than what they are supposed to. Since I assume these cards will receive nerfs most likely just after the reset, it should leave the free decks in a well rounded place, where those towers help at counteracting against build up rush mechanics, without being completely opressive to play agianst. Frost and Nature can use their natural late T1 scaling advantage to put pressure onto the opponent by refusing to fight early on and at that point a Tower should be a viable option to back up a first move like a defensive early early well.  

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Imo: Legendary unit cards are potential spoilers for new players, have unique rules that increase a deck's difficulty and dilute colour identity for new players trying to learn. These cards should be exchanged for others, accounting for the whole of a new player experience.

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@DukeDublin Several decks are entirely unplayable without their legendary cards.  Pure Fire and Pure Shadow are the perfect examples. These are also the most expensive cards of the game and gatekeep a players ability to play these decks.

@RadicalX Thanks for the answer. 

@Cocofang Having a fee just serves to gatekeep PvP behind PvE, which is the entire point of this change. If a player consistently picks the same two decks he plays and doesn't collect cards, the chances are he cares about playing PvP, not collecting cards. No reason to interfere with this. But what if one week he doesn't play and runs out of bfp? Charging him to rent the decks means he can't play without doing PvE, which will just make him quit. 

I personally have been massively turned off playing in the beta because I don't like PvE strategy games and because I have been forced to play PvP decks I don't like. I have played most decks in the game before the shutdown but returning I realize I only enjoy playing Pure Shadow. Except I haven't been able to play Pure Shadow even once since Skylords began because I don't own nether warp or Harvester. I played hundreds of matches against beijingguy alone Pure Shadow vs. Pure Nature in the year before the shutdown and I'd do the same exact thing again. Other decks just don't interest me to the point where I just make more and more variations of Pure Shadow decks.

Edited by WindHunter
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1 hour ago, WindHunter said:

@Cocofang Having a fee just serves to gatekeep PvP behind PvE, which is the entire point of this change. If a player consistently picks the same two decks he plays and doesn't collect cards, the chances are he cares about playing PvP, not collecting cards. No reason to interfere with this. But what if one week he doesn't play and runs out of bfp? Charging him to rent the decks means he can't play without doing PvE, which will just make him quit.

That entirely depends on the amount. Currently you earn 250BFP for 45 mins of playing, that's about 5BPF/min. And I guess it depends on the quests they eventually implement but also 150BFP from those. They will probably consider PvE/PvP-only players. But let's just say you can only get 50 points a day by being PvP-only. And let's say you only play 30 minutes every 2 days. Over a week that's 600BFP.

Say the fee to rent 2 decks is 100BFP. Then you easily earn 6 times the amount necessary until you have to pay up again. Then let's say after that you only play 30 minutes a week and do one 50BFP quest. That's still 200BFP a week, twice as much as you need to sustain. Literally all you have to do is keep 100BFP on your account as a reserve because one day of short play is enough to stock up again.

Now you might ask "Well, if it's so easy then what is the point of having a fee in the first place?"

It creates an additional incentive to collect your own cards because it strengthens the feeling that the 120deck cards aren't truly "yours" and paying a fee makes it look more like something you want to grow out of eventually. It makes people participate more in the economy, both in the AH and by opening boosters because it nudges them towards building their own collection. It makes a scenario less likely where too many cards are just permanently taken off a players "want"-list because they just keep getting them for free. It can make people play a bit more because you either want a bigger cushion for future rents or go independent. And it is a small BFP sink which slows down inflation. What is more, 40 U3 cards is INSANE value, there should at least be some opportunity cost attached. Also, growing your collection is an integral part of the game, even if these cards can still only be used for PvP, it undermines that aspect pretty heavily. A fee would alleviate that a bit.

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If your intent with a fee is to instill the feeling that the deck isn't yours this is already true because you need your own cards in order to change it. Again to use Pure Shadow as an example, I don't like Knight of Chaos and will almost never use it. Instead I like Unholy Power, shadow phoenix, skeleton warriors, Shrine of Greed etc. etc. which I will need to buy on my own in order to include in the deck. Unless these are mechanically different than the way tome cards functioned, I will also need to re-add these cards to the deck every single time the decks refresh. 

Beyond that, I don't see instilling such a feeling as a worthwhile goal in a PvP-game. Freshness will come from being able to expand your deck and build your own beyond the starter ones and regular balance changes. Battleforge PvP is very fun and holds my attention even in the same match-up over and over again, this just feels like an added burden for no real gain.

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I'll agree that these decks should not have a fee attached.

The payment for a new player entering PvP comes in the forms of queue time, and getting walloped because you are entering a ladder without the skills others take for granted (like map familiarity). A veteran could tolerate a proposed fee, sure. A new player paying a fee for these decks will have monetary pressure to perform on top of everything else, which could make them quit (and a lost investment keeping them away after).

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@WindHunter A fee of 100BFP is so low compared to your potential earnings even in a single day that it's almost a symbolic payment. Yet is still carries with it all the benefits I listed so I don't know where your assumption of "no real gain" is coming from.

Quote

It creates an additional incentive to collect your own cards because it strengthens the feeling that the 120deck cards aren't truly "yours" and paying a fee makes it look more like something you want to grow out of eventually. It makes people participate more in the economy, both in the AH and by opening boosters because it nudges them towards building their own collection. It makes a scenario less likely where too many cards are just permanently taken off a players "want"-list because they just keep getting them for free. It can make people play a bit more because you either want a bigger cushion for future rents or go independent. And it is a small BFP sink which slows down inflation. What is more, 40 U3 cards is INSANE value, there should at least be some opportunity cost attached. Also, growing your collection is an integral part of the game, even if these cards can still only be used for PvP, it undermines that aspect pretty heavily. A fee would alleviate that a bit.

What does "the deck isn't yours this is already true because you need your own cards in order to change it" even mean? Having to purchase additional cards doesn't make the free 120PvP cards less part of your available card pool. If you just repeatedly pick the same 120deck for free they are effectively your PvP cards and you no longer have to pursue actually collecting these cards. Which crosses them off your want-list at no opportunity cost, undermining the collectible part, which exceeds the extent of merely having to get the cards you want to add.

Like, take your own example: You are a PvP pure shadow player. You get U3 Harvester for free and if you pick one of the other shadow decks you get Shadow Phoenix for free too. There goes your need to EVER actually own these cards because you will just perma-select these two decks. You will engage with the essential collectible-aspect of the game and all things tied to it less now because you already have some of your bases covered in these departments at no cost.

@DukeDublin I don't know what you mean, you get points just for playing, no need to win. I even typed out how it would play out with a 100BFP weekly fee and the current BFP-generation rates.

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10 hours ago, Cocofang said:

A fee of 100BFP is so low compared to your potential earnings even in a single day that it's almost a symbolic payment. Yet is still carries with it all the benefits I listed so I don't know where your assumption of "no real gain" is coming from.

On one hand, I think the symbolic payment would be good to incentivize PvP players to participiate in the market. But tbh I think we will do that anyway because it's less hassle than constantly remaking and rebinding the hotkeys every week. That's enough incentive for actual PvP players.

 

On the other hand, having completely free pvp decks incentivizes newcomers to try them out. 100 bfp might seem like a lot to a new player who doesn't want to waste his income on a game mode he doesn't like. If the decks are free, then these players are encouraged to try pvp. In fact, the biggest reason the free decks are implemented is to encourage newcomers to play PvP--and even a small tax works against this.

In my original proposal I was leaning toward 1 random deck each week and the possiblity to rent. Since then, the team has surpassed my wildest expectations and I fully support the ability to directly choose a deck.

Personally, I would like to see one (1) free PvP deck each week, with the option to rent an unlimited number of additional decks each week (price should increase with each deck, so 100 bfp for the 2nd deck, 200 for 3rd deck, 300 for 4th deck, etc). But I have no real complaints with 2 free per week either :) The main goal of this feature is to help PvP players get into the game without suffering through aspects they don't enjoy.

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You are right, it would be a small barrier that could make some new players consider if they really want to dump 100BFP (or whatever the fee would be) to take the chance. It would be a bit of a commitment but that could also be a positive as well. Like a player thinking to themselves that if they already paid the fee, they might as well get the most out of it and play more PvP, possibly getting hooked, as if the commitment is non-existent with the cards being free.

It would be additional legwork from a development standpoint but everyone could get a one-time voucher for their first unlock being free to circumvent this entirely.

When it comes to the amount of BFP, I think most people would agree that a weekly fee of 100BFP is incredibly low for the amount of value you get out of it. The conversation just seems a bit skewed because it started from the point of this crazy value being free. Not only are there some powerful and valuable cards in these decks, they are also fully upgraded. I don't think anyone could seriously argue that a weekly 100BFP for that would be expensive at all.

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5 hours ago, Cocofang said:

Like a player thinking to themselves that if they already paid the fee, they might as well get the most out of it and play more PvP, possibly getting hooked, as if the commitment is non-existent with the cards being free.

Among other issues, it may not be possible to get the most "bang for your buck" in PvP, especially given the small playerbase. How would a new player feel if they spend 100 bfp to play pvp and no one is on that day? Perhaps next month they are playing on a Saturday at the peak hours and think they might want to try pvp, but then they remembered that they couldn't find a game the rest of the week and they don't want to waste 100 bfp to play 2 PvP games.

 

To create a commitment, I still think a random free deck would be good. You never know what deck you'll have next week so you might as well try what you have now. I think 1 free (random) PvP deck should be the minimum, and you can rent more for 100 bfp per week.

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I mean, the amount of players is certainly a factor that we can think about but it's pretty speculative, we don't know how the playerbase will develop. At least I think it's pretty safe to say the playerbase will be noticeably bigger than it is now. However we are talking about a weekly fee. Over the course of a week you should be able to play enough to get a taste, no? I would at least assume. If you are only ever online during the absolute off-hours (if you are shift working for example or something) then it wouldn't matter anyway how you get decks, you'll always have less people to play against. But I get what you are saying, a commitment without payout (in this case the fee and then not being able to play the games) does feel bad and could drive people away. But I think that's an issue to consider after launch. Necessary adjustments that entirely depend on the size of the playerbase. For now I think we could assume a healthy but small playerbase.

Randomly getting one deck and then being able to rent additional decks is another possibility but I wonder if it wouldn't be too volatile. It would certainly mix things up but there are a whole lot of additional factors at play then. PvP decks bricking because you got assigned another deck, then having to pay the fee to play them again. People possibly skipping PvP for a week because they dislike the deck they were assigned and with a free deck being the expectation, the condition that you have to pay a fee not being the established norm, they might just sit it out until they get another one they like.

Edited by Cocofang
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