logo

All times are UTC - 6 hours

Mark forums read


Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 54 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

Author Message
Offline
 Post subject: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 12:25 pm 
Death Star Designers
Death Star Designers
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:57 pm
Posts: 3519
So I'm listening to the SHNN at work today (I wasn't on last night, I had a date), and Jim brings up a comment that a player at his regional said. Specifically he was talking about how much variety there is in the types of squads that are not just being played at regionals but WINNING regionals (he starts talking about it just after the 1:18:00 mark). In the past there have just been a few "good" or "best" squad types, but now it looks like there are tons of 'em. There was concern, though, that there are actually too many.

At first, I thought "How could this be bad? More variety is great! Parity between the factions is what we strive for!", but there is an interesting thought process behind this. It makes meta gaming (which is very important for trying to win a big tournament like a regional or Gencon) very difficult. It's really kind of a pain in the butt to try to figure out what other people are going to play, much more so than in the past.

Before I continue, lets define "meta gaming" for this conversation. I generally consider it the thought process behind squad design and strategies based on what you expect other people's squad designs and strategies are. Playing an Evade-heavy team because you know many of your opponents are playing shooter-heavy teams is meta gaming. Not playing commander-heavy squads because you know you'll have to play against a lot of Disruptive or Bastila squads is meta gaming.

Sometimes meta gaming can be easy. If the only things that are getting played a lot are Lancer, Solo Charge, and Yobuck, it's a lot easier to figure out how to counter those things. But this regional season LOTS of different stuff has been played. An OR squad won in Kentucky, but no OR squads were even played in PA! This makes meta gaming much harder; possibly frustratingly difficult. I know that I've put a lot of thought into the meta, and I couldn't tell you what you're most likely to see at a regional. I'd say that Bastila is a good bet, but I'd be totally wrong in PA, so what do I know?

Do people think this is a problem? Yeah, it's really annoying, and it's a pain that you can meta game and just be totally wrong when you get to a regional, but is that really a bad thing? I'm not totally sure what my answer is. I think that it definitely has good parts; you can play any kind of squad and at least have a chance it seems. That's awesome! But like I said, it can be frustrating because it means you can get totally blindsided by seeing something you'd never dream of playing against. The counter to that, though, is that the best players are less likely to be blindsided like that, because they'll see more options. This might just be making a bigger gap between the best players and the rest.


What do you guys think? Is this a problem? Does this create a larger barrier for entry into the competitive scene, making it harder for new players to get involved? I don't really know, so tell me what you guys think. I'll probably talk about this a little more on the SHNN next week (Thursdays at 10:30 EST) but I wanted to get some other views on it before hand.

_________________
"An elegant, easy-to-understand concept or mechanic that accomplishes 95% of what you want is much better than a clunky, obtuse mechanic that gets you 100%" - Rob Daviau

"You can't per aspera ad astra unless there's some aspera in front of your astra. And that means sometimes the aspera gets you." - Donald X. Vaccarino


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 1:36 pm 
Death Star Designers
Death Star Designers
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:29 am
Posts: 782
Location: Kokomo, Indiana
I think it is great how many possible squads that may be seen at a given regional. It forces you to adjust on the fly and be able to process what they are trying to do with each respective squad. I am surprised by how few recent power squads (Lancer(s), Solo Charge, etc.) have been played in this years' regionals so far, but I like the randomness as opposed to growing bored playing the same squads over and over. Even the new flavor of the month Mace in Your Face has many varations after the 4 core pieces (Mace, GOWK, Foul, R2). I also think people are discovering many of the quality V-Set pieces that can yield fine, powerful squads.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 1:37 pm 
Warmaster
Warmaster
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 2:35 pm
Posts: 677
Location: Danville IL
I'm glad this finally came up. I'm two regionals in and two more to go before Gen Con. I'm confused as ever with what I should do. Normally in gaming a few squads come to the top and its a matter of playing rock/paper/scissors and picking the one that you think you can pilot to defeat what you will see the most of. However there is nearly unlimited possibilities that you can bring to a Regional and have some hopes of success. Heck to make it worse there is no defined way in the meta to play a faction.

For most of my gaming career I would be praising the game and say that it has achieved perfection. However with perfection in hand I got to admit it isn't looking nearly as rosy.

First off lets look at what it does for your Regional prep. Usual prep is figure out the couple of squads that might see play and attack it the way you think will be the best way to do it. You flat out can't do that right now. There is way to much going on. For Lansing and Owensboro HannahCannon built to hate on GOWK/Windu. Sounds smart right? Well not really since he only played them once in two regionals. Here we have what was supposed to be the big bad going into Lansing Regional and it barely showed up.

Now I will admit what I'm going to say next is probably going to get me some serious heat from some of you, but Ive never been one to keep my mouth shut on something.

Having a wide open Meta kills all chances of less experienced players from winning. I'm including myself here. Players with less experience really have to do more during pre-event playtesting. We have to see everything we will face during playtesting to gain the experience to deal with it at the event. However if you have squads coming in from left field you can't do that. For people with more play experience they can adapt quicker to the craziness on the table.

That really limits the chance of a Cinderella story to happen at an event. Those stories are really exciting for the event as well for the players that are in the play level to be one. I don't think without a really crazy lightning strike were going to see this happen. Heck look at the Headhunter challenge in Lansing.. That was rough before the Meta got this confused.

Now that the regionals are starting to see the same groups of players I wonder if were going to see the emergence of a "Good ole boys club" of players who are top 4ing again and again. I'm not saying this as an insult to those achievers but merely pointing out the gap this open meta makes between our games experts as opposed to our games average players.

_________________
Winning a tournament always allows doing whatever is within the rules to win. - Billiv15


[===0=]=============>


Sentinel for Life!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 2:03 pm 
Death Star Designers
Death Star Designers
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:57 pm
Posts: 3519
audrisampson wrote:
Having a wide open Meta kills all chances of less experienced players from winning. I'm including myself here. Players with less experience really have to do more during pre-event playtesting. We have to see everything we will face during playtesting to gain the experience to deal with it at the event. However if you have squads coming in from left field you can't do that. For people with more play experience they can adapt quicker to the craziness on the table.

That really limits the chance of a Cinderella story to happen at an event. Those stories are really exciting for the event as well for the players that are in the play level to be one. I don't think without a really crazy lightning strike were going to see this happen. Heck look at the Headhunter challenge in Lansing.. That was rough before the Meta got this confused.



I don't think you're wrong; I even acknowledged it in my first post in the 5th paragraph. But I'm not sure it's true, or a bad thing if it is. For one thing, we've already seen people who have never won a regional before do well in competitive ones (Hinkbert and Spryguy come to mind). Also, I've talked a lot with Graham and Weeks about the meta, and to be completely honest we're as confused as anyone I think, and we are all three very experienced players. More experienced players will be able to adept at the table better, yes, but we are definitely having trouble with it also. Maybe just less so than less experienced players.

Even if that is true, though, is it such a problem? So there are gaps between the "great" players, the "good" players, and the "average" players. I don't think that's necessarily a problem for a game to have. The players that are very experienced and very good at the game should be rewarded for that. The game itself, be it a part of the rules, the meta game, or whatever, shouldn't try to be an equalizer in my opinion. If you want to do better, get better. If you're the best player at an event, you should win. That should be the point of tournaments; figure out who in this room is the best player. Obviously it isn't even close to that clean cut, but I think that needs to be the core. Cinderella stories are great and all, but that should only happen if Cinderella earned it. I love to see an unexpected player come out and win. I think Ian was a story like that at Gencon last year; heck, I think I was a story like that when I won the championship at Gencon in 2010! But the great thing about those stories is that the player rises up to the highest level they can; I don't think that level that they have to rise up to being higher is necessarily a problem. It makes it more difficult for that to happen, but not impossible, and that just makes it even more impressive when it does.

I also think that the wide open meta might actually HELP the chances of a crazy Cinderella story happening. We're at a point where you can bring something crazy and do well with it; something that literally no one has ever seen before. Use that to your advantage. A crazy squad that nobody understands works to confuse experienced players as well as inexperienced ones. I think that a great player playing a "normal" squad like Storm Commandos or something can definitely get beaten by an average player playing some off-the-wall squad on a weird map just because they aren't expecting it. Yeah, it will take a lot more leg work for the average player to learn the weird map and the weird squad, but that's kind of just how it works in my opinion. That leg work is the thing that turns an average player into a great player.

_________________
"An elegant, easy-to-understand concept or mechanic that accomplishes 95% of what you want is much better than a clunky, obtuse mechanic that gets you 100%" - Rob Daviau

"You can't per aspera ad astra unless there's some aspera in front of your astra. And that means sometimes the aspera gets you." - Donald X. Vaccarino


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 2:31 pm 
Warmaster
Warmaster
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 2:35 pm
Posts: 677
Location: Danville IL
Quote:
Even if that is true, though, is it such a problem? So there are gaps between the "great" players, the "good" players, and the "average" players. I don't think that's necessarily a problem for a game to have. The players that are very experienced and very good at the game should be rewarded for that. The game itself, be it a part of the rules, the meta game, or whatever, shouldn't try to be an equalizer in my opinion. If you want to do better, get better. If you're the best player at an event, you should win. That should be the point of tournaments; figure out who in this room is the best player. Obviously it isn't even close to that clean cut, but I think that needs to be the core. Cinderella stories are great and all, but that should only happen if Cinderella earned it. I love to see an unexpected player come out and win. I think Ian was a story like that at Gencon last year; heck, I think I was a story like that when I won the championship at Gencon in 2010! But the great thing about those stories is that the player rises up to the highest level they can; I don't think that level that they have to rise up to being higher is necessarily a problem. It makes it more difficult for that to happen, but not impossible, and that just makes it even more impressive when it does.


I must admit I'm extremely torn on this one. I know the rules and how the tournaments are supposed to be, look at the quote you have from me in your sig. However at the same time from an emotional side I feel like Im looking at Mt Everest size amount of opposition between myself and a top 4 spot at Kokomo. This opposition is nearly unknown meta and a host of other things. I'll be honest its discouraging as hell for a person like myself. Yes that is a personal problem of my own but it could be something that other players are feeling as well. The more players that feel that way it could begin to hurt attendance of regionals and that could really hurt a game that has long out lived its life expectancy. Even if a player has no prayer in heaven or on earth of winning the event, you still want them to think there is a chance. The less of that chance that exist, the less they are going to believe it and the less chance they are going to spend the money to travel to a regional and fork down the 15.00 entry fee to play. Yes we all play for the love of game but that blind hope in round 1 does factor into the love of the game.

Quote:
I also think that the wide open meta might actually HELP the chances of a crazy Cinderella story happening. We're at a point where you can bring something crazy and do well with it; something that literally no one has ever seen before. Use that to your advantage. A crazy squad that nobody understands works to confuse experienced players as well as inexperienced ones. I think that a great player playing a "normal" squad like Storm Commandos or something can definitely get beaten by an average player playing some off-the-wall squad on a weird map just because they aren't expecting it. Yeah, it will take a lot more leg work for the average player to learn the weird map and the weird squad, but that's kind of just how it works in my opinion. That leg work is the thing that turns an average player into a great player.


I completely disagree. The more options, the more chance of that inexperienced player to make a fatal flaw in squad design.

Basically what Im saying outside of an obsession for this game, the harder it is for an entry or average player to play and do well the less of the chance of the game growing and tournament attendance numbers staying up.

Here in Danville we have 3 tiers of players as well. Our lower tier is basically bailing out on us and while that doesn't sound bad its still hurting our attendance numbers and were going from 3 round events to two. They just are tired of trying to climb the hill. I don't really blame them. Imagine if this starts happening game wide and the effects of it. I dont think any of us want a game that is only played by Vset designers and HOFers.

_________________
Winning a tournament always allows doing whatever is within the rules to win. - Billiv15


[===0=]=============>


Sentinel for Life!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 2:34 pm 
Imperial Dignitaries
Imperial Dignitaries
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:42 pm
Posts: 3599
Location: New Jersey
Due to unfortunate timing and prior committments, I haven't been able to play at any Regionals yet this year, and it seems likely that I won't be able to play in any at all, other than the Vassal Regional (which I hope you'll all try to sign up for!). So take my comments for what they're worth. However, I have read all the regional reports and I've looked over the squads too, in addition to chatting with lots of people on Vassal.

IMHO, this is the way the game SHOULD be. Maybe I need to remind us of how stale and dry the game was with the Snowspeeder-on-Teth madness at Gencon 2009. That was a very narrowly defined meta, with almost no room for variation: play Rebels or lose. Other than the amazingly-creative and excellently-piloted Gungan squad, the Championship Top 8 was all Rebels. That was probably the most restricted I've ever seen the SWM meta, though perhaps we could look WAY back to the days of B&B before IKG showed us the power of San Hill.

Remembering what a restricted meta looks and feels like, I can say with absolute confidence that I prefer our current meta by far. How far, you ask? Over 9000!!!! ;)

Seriously, this is the way the game is meant to be played; if you can design a decent squad, you'll be able to compete. In recent Vassal games, I've played Charging Aces (Han ST and Red Squadron Aces), Mace/Skyguy/Panaka, Revan/Maul/Jaq, Bane&BlueII, Vong JHs, and more, and it's been a blast. Each one of these squads is quite different from the others and uses different tactics; each one is strong vs some squad types and weak vs others. And the thing is, I'd be comfortable bringing any of them to a Regional. I can't say enough how much I enjoy this wide open meta!

As for the matter of this meta making it more difficult for less-experienced players, I disagree. Yes, experience gives a definite edge when encountering a new situation; experienced players will more easily be able to adapt to the variable situations that they'll encounter over the course of a tournament in this wide-open meta.

However, I think the following is far more significant: since the meta is so wide-open, there is a far greater chance of all players coming up against an auto-loss (or near-auto-loss) matchup. That means that a perennial Top-4/Top-8 player can be beaten by a much less-experienced player, simply because of a matchup; maybe the experienced player is playing Kaan or Sith Sorcery, and he comes up against a well-build Vong squad and a player who knows how to run it decently well. Suddenly, the experienced player is scrambling just to hope for a 2pt win, and the inexperienced player has a strong advantage.

In this meta, a less-experienced player at least has a chance of making the Top-4/Top-8 if he knows his squad well and "guesses" the meta correctly--and yes, at this point we're all guessing. ;) In a restricted meta, the same player hardly stands a chance at all.

So actually, it seems like the ability to foresee what other players will bring is more important than past success and experience. In a restricted meta, you didn't need as much luck with those guesses, because the Tier 1 choices were pretty limited and you knew what you'd be facing. But in a wide-open meta, you need more luck with your guesses. You need to take a chance and hope for the best.

[One more thing: if the meta is this wide-open, I can't understand why more people aren't using Lobot. With all the excellent new fringe additions, he's become more valuable than ever, since he now has even more tools to help you adapt to even more situations, in an environment where adaptability is crucial for a squad's success. He's the best 27pts in the game right now, IMHO.]

_________________
"Don't give the tool more credit than the master." --Weeks
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 2:46 pm 
Death Star Designers
Death Star Designers
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:57 pm
Posts: 3519
audrisampson wrote:
Quote:
Even if that is true, though, is it such a problem? So there are gaps between the "great" players, the "good" players, and the "average" players. I don't think that's necessarily a problem for a game to have. The players that are very experienced and very good at the game should be rewarded for that. The game itself, be it a part of the rules, the meta game, or whatever, shouldn't try to be an equalizer in my opinion. If you want to do better, get better. If you're the best player at an event, you should win. That should be the point of tournaments; figure out who in this room is the best player. Obviously it isn't even close to that clean cut, but I think that needs to be the core. Cinderella stories are great and all, but that should only happen if Cinderella earned it. I love to see an unexpected player come out and win. I think Ian was a story like that at Gencon last year; heck, I think I was a story like that when I won the championship at Gencon in 2010! But the great thing about those stories is that the player rises up to the highest level they can; I don't think that level that they have to rise up to being higher is necessarily a problem. It makes it more difficult for that to happen, but not impossible, and that just makes it even more impressive when it does.


I must admit I'm extremely torn on this one. I know the rules and how the tournaments are supposed to be, look at the quote you have from me in your sig. However at the same time from an emotional side I feel like Im looking at Mt Everest size amount of opposition between myself and a top 4 spot at Kokomo. This opposition is nearly unknown meta and a host of other things. I'll be honest its discouraging as hell for a person like myself. Yes that is a personal problem of my own but it could be something that other players are feeling as well. The more players that feel that way it could begin to hurt attendance of regionals and that could really hurt a game that has long out lived its life expectancy. Even if a player has no prayer in heaven or on earth of winning the event, you still want them to think there is a chance. The less of that chance that exist, the less they are going to believe it and the less chance they are going to spend the money to travel to a regional and fork down the 15.00 entry fee to play. Yes we all play for the love of game but that blind hope in round 1 does factor into the love of the game.


I'm torn on this, too! While I do believe everything I wrote in what you quoted, I also think you're right in that it could hurt the game. Obviously I want lesser skilled people to play; I want EVERYBODY to play if they can! I'd really hate for someone to think about going to a regional and think "Naw, I won't do well, it's too difficult to beat the better players" so they don't attend. But on the other hand, I still think the purpose of a tournament is to reward and recognize the best player. The main take away from a tournament is "Who won?". That's what they exist for, and that's why we don't just play 6 rounds of round-robin and go home. We want that competition; but that competition could squeeze out the weaker players.

Quote:
I completely disagree. The more options, the more chance of that inexperienced player to make a fatal flaw in squad design.


I suppose that's true. Creating a good well-rounded squad is probably the first hurdle in becoming a good player, so I could understand how inexperienced players could have trouble with that when they can get punished really badly for even a small weakness in their squad, because it's likely that SOMEONE there will take advantage of that weakness. In the past you could get away with a weakness like "Well, this is really dependent on commanders, but is otherwise good", but now you have the chance to get screwed over because of that one thing.

Quote:
Basically what Im saying outside of an obsession for this game, the harder it is for an entry or average player to play and do well the less of the chance of the game growing and tournament attendance numbers staying up.

Here in Danville we have 3 tiers of players as well. Our lower tier is basically bailing out on us and while that doesn't sound bad its still hurting our attendance numbers and were going from 3 round events to two. They just are tired of trying to climb the hill. I don't really blame them. Imagine if this starts happening game wide and the effects of it. I dont think any of us want a game that is only played by Vset designers and HOFers.


All true. Is the variety in the meta a big thing that's driving people away, though? The difference in skill between a great player and an inexperienced player exists with or without an open meta; just how responsible is the open meta for that barrier to entry? I honestly don't know.

And probably more importantly, if an open meta IS one of the main problems, that it's just too overwhelming for a new player, what can we designers do about that? Would it be a good thing for us to push certain things to the top, just to keep the number of top tier squads in check? Would the be responsible designing? Is it our responsibility to do something about it?

_________________
"An elegant, easy-to-understand concept or mechanic that accomplishes 95% of what you want is much better than a clunky, obtuse mechanic that gets you 100%" - Rob Daviau

"You can't per aspera ad astra unless there's some aspera in front of your astra. And that means sometimes the aspera gets you." - Donald X. Vaccarino


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 2:52 pm 
Sith Apprentice
Sith Apprentice
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2008 7:15 am
Posts: 242
Location: charlotte, nc
This is such a laughable problem to have. Too many options you say? I don’t know what everyone is playing, how will I ever dominate the obvious meta? Why can’t it be back to the old days of Dodonna/San/Snowspeeder/*insert obvious piece here*?? Ahh the whining. Holy s***. Look, here’s what you do. I’ve played this game since RS and competitively since ’07. I’ve never been the best. In a ranking of Best/Good/Average/Poor…I’d put myself somewhere in the low end of the Good range. By now, most know that I love the Yuuzhan Vong. Seriously by the way. Which is why I always play them competitively, even in ’08 GenCon Champs when there’s was probably a zero chance of winning it all. In fact, in the 60+ players just two of us played those lovable scarred humanoids. I beat him by the way. But let’s get back on topic. Just play whatever you want and what squad you play the best. Odds are you’ll do just fine. With the parity in the game now, anything can win. Seriously. Mandos won. Sure there are some regions that are stacked with great players, that tundra up there in the Midwest and that Atlanta crowd here in the mosquito infested south. So as I travel down to Atlanta, I feel good knowing that I’m not having to deal with the obvious squads of yobuck and lancer with a sprinkle of NR han/mara crap. Hell…I may even win one game…who knows…but I’m pretty certain I won’t be losing to the same squads everyone across the country have been playing.

_________________
Quite possibly star wars miniatures biggest...and only Yuuzhan Vong supporter


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 3:13 pm 
Warmaster
Warmaster
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 2:35 pm
Posts: 677
Location: Danville IL
jhc36 wrote:
This is such a laughable problem to have. Too many options you say? I don’t know what everyone is playing, how will I ever dominate the obvious meta? Why can’t it be back to the old days of Dodonna/San/Snowspeeder/*insert obvious piece here*?? Ahh the whining. Holy s***. Look, here’s what you do. I’ve played this game since RS and competitively since ’07. I’ve never been the best. In a ranking of Best/Good/Average/Poor…I’d put myself somewhere in the low end of the Good range. By now, most know that I love the Yuuzhan Vong. Seriously by the way. Which is why I always play them competitively, even in ’08 GenCon Champs when there’s was probably a zero chance of winning it all. In fact, in the 60+ players just two of us played those lovable scarred humanoids. I beat him by the way. But let’s get back on topic. Just play whatever you want and what squad you play the best. Odds are you’ll do just fine. With the parity in the game now, anything can win. Seriously. Mandos won. Sure there are some regions that are stacked with great players, that tundra up there in the Midwest and that Atlanta crowd here in the mosquito infested south. So as I travel down to Atlanta, I feel good knowing that I’m not having to deal with the obvious squads of yobuck and lancer with a sprinkle of NR han/mara crap. Hell…I may even win one game…who knows…but I’m pretty certain I won’t be losing to the same squads everyone across the country have been playing.


First off please dont think I'm whining. I'm trying to relay things that Im seeing and experiencing as well as what others are sharing with me. Also I feel your pain on the Vong thing, I played OR for years when Bastilla Shan from Champions was the only rare LOL.

This is a great problem that were discussing. Really it is a tribute to the greatness of the Vset designers.

As far as how to solve this issue, the way that has proven best in the history of collectible gaming is to limit the available figs to play with. Replace Uggie in a v-set then lets say go with and all new border and Vset format. That limits things a good bit right there taking some things out of the tournament scene.

I cant wait to see the results of the Vset only event. With the balance in the Vsets I could see a fair regional format that played by those rules or even taking away the one figure from the WOTC releases. That would make things so easy for a new player to come into the game. Print out the Vsets get some representative figures and they are off to the races. They would also only have 4 sets to learn. With what I hear about Vset 4 they would even have access to all the main characters from the films.

_________________
Winning a tournament always allows doing whatever is within the rules to win. - Billiv15


[===0=]=============>


Sentinel for Life!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 4:16 pm 
Master of the Order
Master of the Order
User avatar

Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:00 pm
Posts: 6616
Location: Southern IL
Echo wrote:
Would it be a good thing for us to push certain things to the top, just to keep the number of top tier squads in check? Would the be responsible designing? Is it our responsibility to do something about it?

No, no, and no. The game is FUN right now. Honestly, I like to win as much as the next person, but I play solely for the fun of it, no matter how serious the level of competition.

I can understand some newer players being reluctant to travel to a regional and spend already scarce funds knowing that a top 4 finish is unlikely, but part of the experience is the chance to gain experience by playing against some of the best players in the game (and probably losing). Heck, it beats losing to the same player(s) at the LGS every week. :P

A v-set only format sounds fun, and if that would help increase interest, all the better. :)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 5:40 pm 
Third Jedi from the Left
Third Jedi from the Left
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:51 am
Posts: 134
Location: E-Town PA
IMO, an open meta, such as the one we have, does make it more possible for different players and squads to win. What's most important, and I'm echoing Echo here (ha!) is that is you want to win, get better! And how does one get better? Practice. Pick a relatively well rounded squad and play it incessantly! I played the hell out of my squad (Gowk/Mace) in various forms and I've been trying different versions of it since Frosty Con (which was in February). My base was always Mace/Gowk/R2/Foul and I tried different ways to use the rest of the 48 points I had left to build a squad until I found what I liked. The point is: get comfortable with something and know it inside and out. And if you can find a squad with no or few auto-losses, all the better.

_________________
"Anything worth killing is worth over-killing" - Darph Nader


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 6:12 pm 
Master of the Order
Master of the Order
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 1:08 pm
Posts: 8394
I don't think this is the real issue. I believe the real issue is that the player base has diminished to the point that it's impossible to fully flesh out a true meta. What we have are localized (even when play groups cross into other venues) groups of players running what they like and are comfortable with. Frankly, I'm fine with the idea that a person has to be a better overall player in order to do well. But that's just me.

_________________
Click here to check out all the people who have realized the truth. Someday you will, too.

"I would really, really like to not have anything else happen at the end of the round other than things just ending." -- Sithborg


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 6:14 pm 
Really Cool Alien from a Cantina
Really Cool Alien from a Cantina

Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 8:17 pm
Posts: 186
My two cents on meta composition is this:

The absolute worst meta is where only one viable option exists. That one option even beats massively warped hate squads. Several years ago minis was like that with Rebels; right when I first started playing, it was like that was GOWK. Star Wars CCG, remarkably, has ended up at this place over and over and over again. Let's see, just off the top of my head, Operatives (when they first came out), original V6 Scum, DDM's remarkably broken MBO, WYS(v), Lightside Senate (more than once), that retarded SYCFA deck that blew up every location in the game, and plenty more that I'm sure someone else here could list.

The next worse, again in my opinion, is a true rock paper scissors situation. There are several viable squads, but they all have absolutely-can't-win matchups. Minis has never really been here, I don't think. SWCCG has been there, and is accused of being there pretty much constantly by at least a few people at any given time. Imagine a meta where the only good squads, for whatever reason, where Ithorian Commander swarm, double lancer, and Mando deathshots.

In the first situation, the game turns into a 100% skill competition. Everyone plays the same squad (or loses), so it's all about who plays it better or enjoys better luck. In the second situation, it's a 100% metagaming competition. Your matches are mostly either autowin or autolose, so you just have to focus on not effing it up and hope that your autowins outnumber the autoloses. I think the latter situation is actually much more frustrating, because you end up losing a high percent of games without even really having a chance.

Fortunately, we aren't at either of those places. There are several, many, perhaps even a surfeit of good squads. And those good squads tend to at least be able to fight each other fairly well.

There is a line of thought from sabermetrics that I think is a useful way to think about your complaint, and it's very simple. If you are an underdog, you want to maximize variance. An analog to football would be for the underdog to blitz heavily and throw a lot more passes than normal. It is possible that your blitzes will fail to get to the quarterback and you give up huge gains, or that your own quarterback gets sacked on his seven-step dropback, or throws a bunch of picks. In fact, if you lose the game, you will very likely lose it more badly than you would have by playing conservatively. But, sad fact is, your team is worse. If you and your opponent just have at it, they will win most of the time. Your best shot at winning is to pursue risky strategies and hope that they pay off.

Right now, if I was a less-skilled player who wanted to make some noise in a regional, I'd play Mace. Lord, yes. If I roll enough crits, I will win every game. Is that likely? No. But it's pretty darn likely to work in at least a game or two! Maybe that'll be the game against Jason or Tim! Plus, Mace offers several very good matchups (OR comes to mind), which you can play very conservatively and consistently win. But in bad matchups? You do exactly what Jason did against Matt in PA - you throw Mace down the map, base important people, and cross your fingers. If Jason had rolled one crit, he could have gotten Weir and Thrawn, and the odds of him winning the game skyrocket. He didn't, and he ended up losing the game, but he made the right decision. That isn't a good matchup for him; if both people played conservatively, he would lose most of the time. Being crazy aggressive was exactly the right thing to do. Of course, one problem is that taking huge risks and playing ultra-aggressively is often exactly what less skilled or less experienced players absolutely do not want to do. The fear of being clownstomped or losing like a chump outweighs the increased odds of winning.

The diametric opposite of Mace is the single lancer squad from last year. The entire point of that squad is to guarantee, in almost every game, the following:

1. I will get the last 3+ activations in every round
2. I will get the first activation in every round

The only attackers in that squad are one lancer and two IG-86 droids. That's 62 points of attackers, less than Mace. All the rest is support. All of it! 69% of the squad is to make sure that you achieve Goal 1 and Goal 2, and have the opportunity to maximize the resulting advantages. That is not the squad for a beginner - heck, it isn't the squad for anyone who really wants to enjoy the game. Playing it is nerve-racking and mentally exhausting. Why do you think so few people played it at Gencon after it positively stormed the regionals? Because playing it mostly sucked! The only reason I put up with it was because, played extremely well, it had an enormous edge on almost every other popular squad.

But here's what's funny - at Gencon, because I didn't understand how the Jedi Seer worked, I lost the lancer to it, and Ian won a game that should not have had a prayer in. Because he took me by surprise, he won a nightmare matchup. Funny how that works! Because playing something that no one is familiar with is another way to maximize variability! One person figures your squad out and beats it (or doesn't). But another person doesn't, and - surprise! - "Kavar has Jedi Mind Trick? Ahh, from six squares away!? And save 16?" "Wait, Artoopio has bodyguard?! And he gives the TBSV twin?!" "Wait, that Red Squadron Ace can run 16 squares and twin me?! For forty damage each!?"

I've kind of gotten off topic, but here's the point. Right now, no one knows what is the best squad. There isn't one, at least not yet. No one even knows what the best few squads are. Not yet. And there are a ton of pieces that everyone agrees, at least in theory, are very strong, but that haven't seen regional play yet (Rebel pilots!). So, in some ways, this is a unique opportunity. Find a squad you like, that seems good, and play it. The only meta you really need to worry about is, don't autolose to Mace and Weir! Those are the only really popular squads! Revel in your freedom to play all kinds of nonsense! Deathshots, bombs, Ithorian swarms, why not? It isn't about, try to figure out every squad that someone might play and think about how to beat it. Maybe by Gencon, that'll be possible. But now isn't the time to be worrying about "What random jank squad I never thought of might beat me and how do I prepare for it."

Now is the time to be PLAYING that random jank squad!

(And yes, my appropriate named OR Jank squad from Owensboro is a sparkling example of this principle, seeing as how it probably would have gone .500, at best, at most any other regional.)

And if you don't want to try to break the meta, or at least find holes in it, play Solo Charge.

_________________
Image
GMB from ATL


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 6:31 pm 
Really Cool Alien from a Cantina
Really Cool Alien from a Cantina

Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 8:17 pm
Posts: 186
hinkbert wrote:
IMO, an open meta, such as the one we have, does make it more possible for different players and squads to win. What's most important, and I'm echoing Echo here (ha!) is that is you want to win, get better! And how does one get better? Practice. Pick a relatively well rounded squad and play it incessantly! I played the hell out of my squad (Gowk/Mace) in various forms and I've been trying different versions of it since Frosty Con (which was in February). My base was always Mace/Gowk/R2/Foul and I tried different ways to use the rest of the 48 points I had left to build a squad until I found what I liked. The point is: get comfortable with something and know it inside and out. And if you can find a squad with no or few auto-losses, all the better.


Agree very much.

Grand Moff Boris wrote:
I don't think this is the real issue. I believe the real issue is that the player base has diminished to the point that it's impossible to fully flesh out a true meta. What we have are localized (even when play groups cross into other venues) groups of players running what they like and are comfortable with. Frankly, I'm fine with the idea that a person has to be a better overall player in order to do well. But that's just me.


Ehhh, I'm not sure about this one. Have we really changed that much between last year and this? I think the player base is pretty much the same (could be totally wrong) - what changed is the pieces. Otherwise regions where the player base truly has not changed, like my own fair city, would have figured out the meta as well this year as last year.

But this year, we have no freaking clue. And we're not just saying that as some part of our master plan to win regionals or because we're jerks. For a while we thought that death shots was a meta-breaking choice and we were going to have every single Atlanta guy bring it to Charlotte or somewhere just to prove the point... except then we playtested it a bunch and it just isn't that good! There will be people playing it at Atlanta, no doubt, but I will be very surprised if it wins, very surprised. None of us thought that Mace was going to do this well! Daniel was the only one who thought that Tyber Zann was even playable!

Trust me, as someone who relied and still relies on good squadbuilding rather than amazing tactical skill to win games, not being able to decipher the meta has been maddening.

_________________
Image
GMB from ATL


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 7:11 pm 
Death Star Designers
Death Star Designers
User avatar

Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 10:03 pm
Posts: 2525
Location: Anderson, SC
Let's look at it from the other direction. Yes, there has been no clear favorite. To me that means you literally have to have a plan for everything! If you go back and read the posts from every regional winner you will notice that each one of them went in playing A. a squad they really enjoyed and practiced with and B. Had a plan for every matchup they would face.

As of now you need to have a plan for GOWK/Mace and for storm commandos. If you can't beat either of those at least 50% of the time then scrap the idea and try again. Those two squads are really polar opposite of each other so if you can handle either then your good.

It comes down to just being flexible. In the past you could run something that's more of a hate squad and probably do ok. But now any squad you play needs to be able to handle ANYTHING.

I think it's interesting how we have gone from a meta of Skybuck, Han Cannon, Solo Charge, and Lancer to a meta of anything goes. In last years regionals and gencon if you didn't run one of those squads you probably got steamrolled. Now, not the case. And I think that's a good thing.

_________________
Bald is beautiful.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 7:24 pm 
Sith Apprentice
Sith Apprentice
User avatar

Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 9:27 am
Posts: 282
Location: swming in the 716.
thereisnotry wrote:
Seriously, this is the way the game is meant to be played; if you can design a decent squad, you'll be able to compete.


Trev, I agree completely with this statement and with all due respect to Audri, I consider myself an inexperienced player and I've done far better than I've expected so far.

I think with the advent of the v-sets we've opened the door to variety and creativity. The fact that their were no OR squads in PA still surprises me. The trends at earlier regionals i.e. Hinkbert's "Homicidal Mace" pushed me to play Vong for the first time and I've got to share that I love the flat out brutality of that faction can bring to the table. So IMO it's the unpredictability of squad choices that now can now be the great level setter for players of all skill levels.

And after all, variety is supposed to be the spice of life...

_________________
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll kiss three bucks goodbye...


Last edited by DarphNader on Sat May 12, 2012 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 7:33 pm 
Death Star Designers
Death Star Designers
User avatar

Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:26 am
Posts: 60
As having played for only a few years now I much more enjoy the game as it is now with there being much more options for people to play. I enjoy trying to take an idea for a squad and make it work. I have taken Mandos to the regional in MO for the last 2 years just to see if I can do well with them. I did better this year because I was more comfortable with my squad and it had pieces that people were not used to playing against. That can make all of the difference in a game that might be close otherwise along with trying to take advantage of any breaks that come up in a game.

I have played several games over the last 10 years and I think that what makes a game is the ability to play it for a long time and not get stuck in a rut with what you play. Also, I prefer games that let you use your entire collection instead of what has been made in the last 2 years, like Magic does.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 8:56 pm 
Death Star Designers
Death Star Designers
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:45 pm
Posts: 3886
I don't fully understand the complaints. I have never fully understood the complaints about having a wide meta.

With a meta this open, it encourages creativity. The focus is less on squad building, more on play skill. You don't have to play something you don't like to win, you can play what you have fun playing, and still have a chance of winning for the most part. If anything, that should encourage other players. It may be discouraging when playing competively against top players, but it makes the more local stuff 100x better.

You know how I got 6th in MI playing Sith. It wasn't my squad, it was the the nearly 3 years I've been playing Sith at the highest competition that got me there. The key to playtesting isn't trying what you aren't familiar with, but testing what you are against something unfamiliar.

_________________
Bloomilk Ambassador


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 11:42 pm 
Dark Lord of the Sith
Dark Lord of the Sith
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:38 am
Posts: 1959
There are too many cards for older players to want to come back to play at a regional. Gunnar,John, Sean one of my old play groups thats the main reason why they wont come back.

The meta is fine and it will take shape when gencon comes around. I believe the meta still has not taken shape and it will do so later on.

All the factions can be played but that being said I still believe the mandos,Rebels,Sith, will have the most trouble overall at gencon in a 6+ round tournament with top level play.

Imp
Republic
OR
Vong
Seps
NR

are the top six factions I believe.
Sith are right on the boarder and could go either way

The problem with Rebels is not really OR its that it does have an answer to a point for Imp but cant really play vs GOWK just not enough damage and too low hp vs Mace. I know they have direct damage but then they have trouble vs imp becuase of double bubble.

Mandos with the death shot I guess can be a gencon squad but I am not buying it since all you have to do is take out the mice or the commander since its a with six CE. I know they have done will at a few regionals and even won one. Still not buying they are at the same level as the other 7.

Until all the factions are at the same level I am not buying that the meta is wide open. I believe its a lot more limited then you all are leading on.

Maybe I am wrong since I dont play this game anymore. I will still stand by that less cards means more players overall. There is just way too big of a learning curve now.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  

Offline
 Post subject: Re: Too much variety?
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 1:15 am 
Grand Admiral
Grand Admiral

Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:57 pm
Posts: 766
Location: Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Personally, I think it's awesome not knowing what you're going to play; when I first started playing seriously in 2010, I was playing 80% of my games against Rebel and New Republic.

jonnyb815 wrote:
Imp
Republic
OR
Vong
Seps
NR

are the top six factions I believe.
Sith are right on the boarder and could go either way


I've been keeping some budget stats on the Regionals so far - it's just based on overall position of each player in the Regionals so far, since individual win/loss records haven't been available. It only uses 4/6 Regionals, since there weren't full records for Portland or Owensboro. A rating of 100 for Republic would mean that that there was the Republic have finished first and only first in every regional they've played in, while a rating of 50 for Rebel would mean that their average finish is precisely mid-table.

It's not that accurate since:
i) a few factions have barely been played
ii) people don't always play top line squads, and not every player is of the same skill level
iii) a few squads that were good last year, like Solo charge, haven't been run much. I'm less convinced in Lancers are viable with all the counters at the moment; although I wouldn't totally rule them out.

From worst to best:
Seperatist, 24.5 average points, played 5 times
Mandalorian, 41.6 average points, played 7 times
Sith, 42.2 average points, played 9 times
Rebel, 44.4 average points, played 3 times
Old Republic, 46.2 average points, played 6 times
Republic, 52.3 average points, played 16 times
New Republic, 53.8 average points, played 4 times
Imperial, 61.5 average points, played 12 times
Vong, 71 average points, played 5 times

So Seperatists have been struggling, Vong and Imperial have been doing really well, and everyone else is kind of mid-table.

greentime wrote:
If you are an underdog, you want to maximize variance.

Totally - I don't see this much. Play something extreme, or run Boba BH and hope for crits. Although, generally it's good to just work to make yourself a better player.

There is a continuum of variance; if you play a balanced squad with shooters and melee, include Lobot for reinforcements, and don't have much reliance on CEs, you should be able to cope with most things. Which is one reason why Solo Charge is good.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 54 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours

Mark forums read

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Jedi Knights style by Scott Stubblefield