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  1. #41
    DP Visionary Demnchi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gondorian View Post
    What is stopping anyone from giving input?
    I think its because people have been asking for this kind of thing for ages. It's no where near a new topic and its been brought up many times for literally years, yet the status quo on the issue remains the same. They clearly don't feel like they've been listened to, especially with the number of times I've seen "they won't change their minds/the errata rule, don't bother" every time its brought up. For many players, its not even a discussion anymore.

    But let's actually get to the real discussion instead of that.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As Fristar said there are two main issues here, that all stem from the same problem. The errata policy preventing easier (and perhaps more effective) solutions to those problems. There are technically 3 though from the community's perspective, perhaps even more:

    1. Problematic cards can't be addressed quickly/cleanly if they have been printed.
    2. Weaker cards with some potential will remain weak if they have been printed.
    3. Printed cards hold back the potential of the digital format, be it changes, budget, time investments, the power level of new cards, ect.

    Here we're mainly talking about 1 and 2 though (since fixing those should help with problem 3). Problem 1 is easily the bigger issue.

    1. Problematic cards can't be addressed quickly/cleanly if they have been printed.

    Since the No Errata Rule prevents changes to cards (which includes bans, since that is a change to a card/set) any card that becomes problematic can't be dealt with easily, most of the time requiring a new card to solve the issue which causes its own issue (or at least has the potential to do so). Meanwhile, players continue to deal with the problems these cards are causing, be it over powered decks or (the more likely scenario) boring/unfun matches which pushes players towards not playing at all.

    Proposed Solution with errata rule and potential consequences:

    Make new cards to address the problem is the main thing that has been proposed. New cards coming out regularly is a great thing and can be a solution to some of the problems the game sees. New Counters are introduced, new strategies that discourage the problem strategies can become possible, ect. Unlike many of the other solutions, this one does require skill and decision making from the player to be pro-active to include the "solution card." It's not necessarily a bad solution. However, like any solution, it runs the risks of having unforeseen consequences (which is something that isn't lost on me for this post). The most obvious one to me is that this is a very slow solution. New cards do not come out often and the wait for them means that the issues facing players will continue to haunt them and then they need to actually acquire the solution and put it to use. Depending on the card made, it may be the solution needed, otherwise it will not see any play and the problem will continue. We also potentially add to the list of cards that are too weak. Beyond that, there is also the risk that the card does more harm than good with its intended target. It may stop players from doing X, but also unintentionally stops players from doing Y or Z, thus becoming a problem card itself.

    So while I think that new cards can sometimes be THE solution, it is one that can spiral out of control. I think a good example of this is just how many cards have been released (as early as Dark Prophecies and as late as the most recent release and LLp2) to "take care of" Hidden and Stealth mainly (but admittedly not exclusively) because of Moonstalker and Into the Froest/Lay Low. Do we really want that for every problem printed cards produce? It was already mentioned how the power of Shadow Spawn was found much later (although this was to demonstrate how these cards may have hidden potential and don't need to be buffed), it just goes to show that there are possible cards hiding in that vien, which only grows as the printed sets grow. People keep siting Soul Reaper as a problem card, do we need to add on the ability to exile a card in the graveyard when they are played just to combat it? How many would we need? What other strategies does that hamper or destroy? Is that a good thing?

    Possible Solutions without the No Errata Rule:

    The changing or banning of cards. These come with their own issues as well, but they also come with their own benefits as well. These solutions have the advantage of being fast, banning in particular. We've seen this before, believe it or not. A misstep in the wording of Lythian Sledgehammer allowed Amber to buff it, making Amber very over powered. In response while a fix was being made, the card was banned, albeit temporarily, thus making sure that people weren't waiting or having unfun games because of that issue. Changes are similar. While they do take longer and more consideration than a ban does, they ultimately are much faster than waiting for the next release. These are often times much more tame solutions, as its easier to control their intended effect. The only exception to this is changing heroes, which has very far wide reaching implications that are much harder to control. Changes to these cards means that the card could still be used and still be worthwhile to include in a strategy or deck, even if they can't produce that problem anymore. Banning on the other hand, removes that possibility completely and is the more strict (but admittedly more effective and easiest) solution. By that account, changes should probably be tried before bans.

    Like every solutions, it does have its downsides. As mentioned, banning cards removes any possibility of it adding to a deck or strategy entirely. Both changes and banning will undoubtedly harm the experience of the players whom enjoy using these problems to their advantage (changes less so), although they could find better ones because of it, though that's unlikely. There is also the chance of any change/ban needing to be reversed because it either didn't have the intended effect or somehow becomes more problematic (which is unlikely, but still). It's debatable that that is even a downside, since action is being taken. Banning also means that there is a card in the booster pack that players absolutely don't want (it could be removed from the pack though), not to mention earning through one of the ways to get random foils (again, it could just be removed from the table).

    I've been avoiding saying we should nerf/buff anything, changing something is a lot more open and a better solution than simply making it worse or something else better.
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  2. #42
    DP Visionary Demnchi's Avatar
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    2. Weaker cards with some potential will remain weak if they have been printed.

    Weak cards staying weak is a problem, just a minor one. It's more of missed potential and less interest in booster packs of those sets. Changing cards to be brought more in line with newer ones breaths some new life into old sets which renews interests and broadens possibilities. Even minor changes could bring some of these cards to be considered again in some decks. Assuming these would be used, it would increase the variety of cards that would be seen without forcing it like changing the base rules of the game would (but that's another can of worms). Of course, there is always the issue of any changes causing new problems, but most people would be fine with that risk if nothing is locked in and could be reverted or changed further to solve any issue that arises. Depending on how often changes happen, it could also be a bit annoying and bring uncertainty, but that will vary between individuals.

    If you couldn't tell, this particular topic is far more subjective than the other one (not that the other one is completely objective). Many of us out there would rather see old favorites (be it by effect, art, ect.) than new cards with better effects or are necessary to make it worth running. I feel there is some leway when it comes to that as Leach of Life is a perfect example of a card able to breath new life into old cards, but then it requires that card to always be involved. Again, its pretty subjective which approach is better and depends on the card itself.

    3. Printed cards hold back the potential of the digital format, be it changes, budget, time investments, the power level of new cards, ect.

    Pretty self explanatory. Locking the digital cards based on the physical format cuts of many paths that the digital game could take. It does have its advantages, it limits the random effects by forcing it to the constraints of a physical card game (granted that could be a self-imposed design philosophy) which helps differentiate Shadow Era from its competitors and appeals to those whom like the more grounded experience. On the other hand, locking things into place limits the options when problems do arise and the problems are felt by the vast majority of people whom have no interest in playing the game with physical cards. Cards that have misprints (Wendith) won't be fixed in the hopes of not confusing people, thus destroying the original balance/intention of the card because of a small error. Its those kinds of things that prove that adhearing to the physical format to the digital format has its downsides.

    -----

    So, speaking personally now rather than being impartial like I tried to do with the above (not sure how successful I was, my biases probably show through when it comes to viewing the negatives).

    Most people (myself included), this is a perspective that is self-created. Having interacted with many many people that play physical card games, they look forward to bans and erratas because it generally improves the experience by solving problems that the games were experiencing. Sure, not everyone will like them when their favorite card gets banned, but the physical format also has the benefit of being the most flexible when it comes to house rules. It's why we can play 2v2 physically even though its not in the digital game. Players could just agree to ignore any errata's or changes. The only exception would be if there is ever official physical tournaments that would likely adhear to erratas. If you don't want to confuse people (which doesn't really happen, TCG players tend to be on the more accepting side of complexity), reprints with the changes could always be included in a pack or special bundle later down the road should it become a problem.

    I'm pretty sure that the negatives for removing this no errata policy outweigh the positives. I don't think its unreasonable to ask the development and design team to take time every now and then to give a pass over older sets and bring them up to speed. Identify what problems these cards could be having on the game space as a large (not just the meta) and determining if a change would be the best solution. This could also be said for the cards that have room for improvement. Both of these solutions (changing cards or making new ones) don't need to be mutually exclusive. I think there is room for both. I know I personally want to see some older cards be given new life by being more playable and seeing the NPE/Stall problem be handled at its base level. As mentioned, it doesn't necessarily need to happen now, although that brings up one of the negatives mentioned above where we will continue to deal with these problems for months, if not another year before they are looked at and implemented. I really do think it's worth the time, money, and effort to look at these problems and not simply dismiss them for later. Even if it can't happen now, the discussion can. Which cards exactly do we feel are problematic? How far do we want changes to go? Are bans acceptable? Would players not mind a separate format for digital and physical? The list could go on.

    If players want these kinds of things to happen, then its worth exploring the possibilities of hearing them out and actually acting on it in some way. There are clearly issues that people have with the game, and you never know when a person has had enough and go elsewhere. Not listening to such long lasting pleas will just make someone lose their way eventually.

    ---

    Man that took me way to long to write. I really need to learn to be concise rather than thorough.
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  3. #43
    Senior Member Kylt's Avatar
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    Demnchi, you gotta also cover the cost of actually implementing the change. Without it, your argument doesn’t help making changes.

    Talk about
    1. How we select what to be buffed/nerfed
    2. What changes should be made to those
    3. How do we know that the change is right
    4. How do we measure the overall player (dis)satisfaction from the change
    5. What exactly the cost of doing all the above
    6. Is it worth the cost, comparing with other ways to satisfy players
    7. Who do the work? Who should be responsible?
    8. How long does it take? (May well indeed be a terrible idea if it takes years)

    ...Just to list up a few. Good luck :P
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  4. #44
    DP Visionary Demnchi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kylt View Post
    Demnchi, you gotta also cover the cost of actually implementing the change. Without it, your argument doesn’t help making changes.

    Talk about
    1. How we select what to be buffed/nerfed
    2. What changes should be made to those
    3. How do we know that the change is right
    4. How do we measure the overall player (dis)satisfaction from the change
    5. What exactly the cost of doing all the above
    6. Is it worth the cost, comparing with other ways to satisfy players
    7. Who do the work? Who should be responsible?
    8. How long does it take? (May well indeed be a terrible idea if it takes years)

    ...Just to list up a few. Good luck :P
    The costs are pretty simple to be honest. It will take the development and design teams time to determine the right approach and changes, and then to implement them. That amount of time with those teams costs that money equal to how much each person on that team is paid for that amount of time. I won't be involved in that process, but you guys will hear about that soon enough. But to answer specifically of how it maybe should be handled:

    1. Take a look at what has been mentioned and start there. Cover the set and ask a set of questions about each card. If it meets certain criteria that is set for this process, then it gets added to the list to be changed or at least considered further.

    2. That's part of what design teams do, they figure that kind of stuff out.

    3. You test it and gauge reaction to it. Stats only take you so far, talk to the people that play the game and see what is being said. Not everyone will be happy with a change, not everyone will be happy with no change. Success is something that they will have to define for themselves. But the most common one will be, did the change serve the purpose of changing it?

    4. By talking to them, making a survey, involve them in the process, ect. Again, not everyone will be happy, that's impossible and gauging success based on that is doomed for failure. Beyond that, not every change will be successful, and not being afraid of failure is how you can succeed beyond the norm. That applies here as well.

    5. Depends on how much time they take to do it. I won't give away numbers, but it won't cost nearly as much as making a brand new set would. Not even close. Having discussed what it would take to get LLp3 released on the current time table, it's not unreasonable to request such a thing from both the design team and the development team. Especially since most of this would be done on the design team and the actual implementation would not take that long since you're dealing with cards that already exist. To the same effect, these changes won't cost a single penny in the artwork department.

    6. That is something to discuss as well. Personally speaking, the cost is probably only slightly more than other solutions and the satisfaction that SHOULD come about is more than worth it. Especially if its more likely to keep players around, both new and old.

    7. The design team and development team. If they want to include some members of the community, that's on them.

    8. Less time than creating a new set. I won't pin a specific time-frame on the design team, but the time will be relatively short and probably wouldn't impact the development of new sets to such a degree that it wouldn't be worth the time investment. Especially if the development team needs to work on something not related to design (bugs, new features, ect.). Not to mention the amount of money you would gain from new players by making the older sets much more inciting to purchase if more of the set was played regularly would help offset that cost somewhat.

    Regardless, I believe it's 100% worth it, if only to try. I shoudln't have to cover the cost because any cost that goes into satisfying players is worth it. If you really want to go down that route, than satisfying players is a fantastic way to earn money from them. As an analogy, fixing bugs doesn't make players pay more directly, but gives them a better experience. One they feel is worth paying for. This is no different.
    Last edited by Demnchi; 03-06-2018 at 10:20 AM.
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  5. #45
    Community Manager SEF Mango's Avatar
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    Great write up Demchi.

    The other issue I have with releasing new cards to deal with “problematic” cards is that it forces the development team to spend their time (and our money) on trying to counter issues with printed cards that are not up for change. Imagine instead creating new cards for our enjoyment without focusing on trying to limit the damage of the physically released sets that cause negative experiences for new and old players.

    So, focusing solely on expanding the game as opposed to damage control.
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  6. #46
    Senior Member Kylt's Avatar
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    You could google “opportunity cost”

    (Sorry, if I sound harsh. im only trying to contribute and be constructive in limited time I have! I know youll understand)
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  7. #47
    Community Manager SEF Mango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kylt View Post
    You could google “opportunity cost”

    (Sorry, if I sound harsh. im only trying to contribute and be constructive in limited time I have! I know youll understand)
    You do not sound like anything simply stating to "google" a phrase. If you have something to say about "opportunity cost" then say it. Asking others to search is really not any sort of contribution.
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  8. #48
    DP Visionary Demnchi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kylt View Post
    You could google “opportunity cost”

    (Sorry, if I sound harsh. im only trying to contribute and be constructive in limited time I have! I know youll understand)
    "the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen."

    Based on what I found for opportunity cost (even beyond that definition), the idea is that I should consider what possible pay out I'm giving up by making any said decision. Be it money or otherwise (in business it mostly refers to profit returns). I'm basically "paying a cost" for making a decision and that cost is determined by the difference in the predicted end result of both choices. Since you didn't expand because of your limited time (which is cool, not everyone has the time to respond with so much detail... perhaps too much detail xD), I have to assume that you expected that to be put up with my answers for 5 and 6. For me, there is more than just money to consider when it comes to costs. Things like customer satisfaction, consumer good will, quality of products, ect. all factor in (all of which lead to money if they are high btw). In my original post, I went over some of this "opportunity cost" as the pros and cons for some of the proposed solutions. Hopefully I did not misunderstand you.
    Was the Leader of Acolytes of A1

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  9. #49
    Devoted Fan Gondorian's Avatar
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    I should sleep longer more often. Some good stuff posted while I was in the Land of Nod.

    It's going to take a while to read all this properly but from skimming I see the last point about the stance on no changes has not been fully understood. We have to be certain on some big things for a period so we are able to do any planning and development that isn't simply fire-fighting. If everything is a reaction then you may end up being pulled in all directions. So we make a decision and then accept it until the next time it is due to be considered again. I can't think of an organisation that doesn't follow this approach. That does not stop people from stating their preferences in the mean time (and actually that is welcomed). I just got the feeling from the OP that demands of changes were being made.


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  10. #50
    Senior Member Spartan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gondorian View Post
    I should sleep longer more often. Some good stuff posted while I was in the Land of Nod.

    It's going to take a while to read all this properly but from skimming I see the last point about the stance on no changes has not been fully understood. We have to be certain on some big things for a period so we are able to do any planning and development that isn't simply fire-fighting. If everything is a reaction then you may end up being pulled in all directions. So we make a decision and then accept it until the next time it is due to be considered again. I can't think of an organisation that doesn't follow this approach. That does not stop people from stating their preferences in the mean time (and actually that is welcomed). I just got the feeling from the OP that demands of changes were being made.


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    I always have the feeling that you take all "negative" feedback as attacks and you respond to them agressively more often than not. Your masterpieces have some cons that affect our everyday in game reality and listen to you talking about us to be patient for a huge amount of time make some of us a bit edgie and not always so poilite.

    You demand from us patience to let you do your work, but you seem to luck the empathy to understand that every choices you make (or not make) affect our gaming experience directly and for a long period of time.

    Just wait till ll3 is out, tested and played to see the outcome, is a considrable amound of time, more than half a year at least. You dont seem to understand that half a year is a HUGE amound of time to just wait to see IF there will be issues still with npe decks.

    In a few words, your agressive and "this is not gonna happen ever" tone most of the time when receiving negative feedback, makes some of us either not to bother to give feedback and sugestions or when we "man up" and do it, we do it a bit over the edge.
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