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Elfis
06-02-2013, 01:00 PM
My responses to posts 2-52 are in post 53-54. Further responses in post 59. Further responses in post 71. I edited this post with some of the information from the thread, and moved benefit #2 into the #1 spot.

The most powerful change you could make to the game is to change the default numbers for health, probably resource points, and possibly other stats. 100 or 1000 health would be far better than 20. 6 or 10 resources for a basic resource card would be far better than 1.

Advantages are enormous:

1) Better control over the numbers allows for a much wider variety of cards, and allows for finer balancing of cards.
- A lightning bold for 3 damage may be too strong, and a bolt for 2 damage may be too weak, but this proposal allows you to create the equivalent of, for example, a 2.6 damage bolt, without using decimals.
- By reducing the resources provided, you can create dual resource cards that are not overpowered, and can thus be basic themselves; for example 8 resources and 2 colors rather than 10 resources and 1 color.
- It opens up the possibility of making cards that you expect to play 2 of on turn 1. If there are 10 resources from a basic card, then you could cast 2 5-resource spells on turn 1, should you have them in hand.
- With overly-simple numbers, a card designer is often forced to over-or under-power a card he envisions; larger numbers alleviate this, combating power creep.

2) It frees the game from the shadow of MTG. Starting with 20 life, gaining 1 resource per resource card, etc. makes the cards so similar to MTG that all HEX cards will immediately be compared to MTG cards to determine their power. The cards will have to be of similar power to match player expectations. The pace and flow of the game is determined by MTG; not by you.
- If your cards are not compatible with MTG, you can balance them to set any pace of game you want, without having them immediately judged in comparison with the thousands of MTG cards already in existence.

3) It makes HEX its own game; not a clone. True, if HEX turns out to be much better than MTG, it will win the battle even though it is an obvious clone... but WoC has money, and they like money. If HEX does poorly, nothing will happen, but if HEX does well, MAGIC 2 will come! Being an obvious clone of the old version is a sure ticket to defeat, and I'd like my investment in this game to provide me many years of entertainment rather than a few months of improvement before the next generation of MTG defeats it.

Your biggest worry with this is probably that development has already started and there is not time to make such a big change, but until beta you can still change things at will. At the very least, all the numbers could be increased by the same multiple, which would not touch existing balance, but would allow for future variation.

You may also worry about the difficulty of doing math on cards with larger numbers, but the computer does all the math. Assuming the graphical interface is good, it will be much easier for a player to hover their cursor over their card and see part of their resource bar turn red than it is to keep track of costs in the physical MTG card game. The game will more quickly tell you the expected damage for your attackers against what they have than you can calculate in your head, regardless of number size. I click my creature and theirs, the game can display for example that I overkill their creature by 12 points. Most video games use much larger numbers than what I am proposing. Players have no trouble conceptualizing numbers even in the thousands, as long as they don't have to do the actual math on them.


In conclusion, the time to improve is now. If you choose to play catch-up with MTG, you are throwing away the advantage of starting from scratch, and a huge opportunity. With a more varied base system, in addition to the cards which only make sense in a digital game, there would be no way MTG could possibly compete with HEX online.

Madican
06-02-2013, 01:02 PM
Numbers don't scale that way. The card mechanics, in the works for two years, will not play nicely with such a ramping up.

Fireblast
06-02-2013, 01:02 PM
Having all numbers multiplied by 100 or 50 is stupid and feels like Yugi Oh.

It's easier to do maths with lower numbers too (and HEX is a game where thinking helps, not like YugiOh)

~

KingBlackstone
06-02-2013, 01:04 PM
Having all numbers multiplied by 100 or 50 is stupid and feels like Yugi Oh.

It's easier to do maths with lower numbers too (and HEX is a game where thinking helps, not like YugiOh)

~
I mostly agree with this sentiment, despite your inexplicable rage.

Xenavire
06-02-2013, 01:05 PM
Having all numbers multiplied by 100 or 50 is stupid and feels like Yugi Oh.

It's easier to do maths with lower numbers too (and HEX is a game where thinking helps, not like YugiOh)

~

I agree with this - Yugioh got very lost over the years, and that is because it had a shaky start. I feel Hex has hit all the right notes, and we know 20 life feels safe - if you want more, play life gain. This is easy to balance, scale, and conceptualise for - imagine trying to balance something that halves someone's life total when you have 50/100 life, compared to 20 life.

Genocidal
06-02-2013, 01:08 PM
s/best/worst

/thread

Wabbajak
06-02-2013, 01:24 PM
Having all numbers multiplied by 100 or 50 is stupid and feels like Yugi Oh.

It's easier to do maths with lower numbers too (and HEX is a game where thinking helps, not like YugiOh)

~

All numbers multiplied? Where does it mention that at all? Increasing base health total, or having resources start at a number other than one is not related to simply multiplying all numbers. The reasons this is advantageous are spelled out in the original post.

So far, I haven't seen any arguments against point 1 or 2 of the original post except that the current cards in set one would need to be rebalanced, which is true. We have 4 out of 5 responses that have absolutely nothing to do with the original post. Only Madican has stated anything which relates to it.

Please, before replying, can we at least read the post we're replying to?

Genocidal
06-02-2013, 01:29 PM
I read it before posting, re-read it just now, and stand by my original post.

Mr.Funsocks
06-02-2013, 01:41 PM
Big numbers are effing stupid. Worst thing to come out of the JRPG tradition. Massive experience totals for levels, health points in the 20 000 range, all just confound the issue. The ONLY advantage to inflating numbers is that you get more divisibility. ie You could start with 200 health points and have something deal 10 damage and another thing deal 12, instead of starting with 20 and having the numbers have to jump from 1 to 2 (10 to 20 if you multiply by 10).

But that kind of divisibility has no real advantages in this game that I can tell, and would really just make things more confused. It doesn't make them more "epic", just more confused. Look at Mechwarrior, where you pilot 100 ton battlemechs. It feels plenty epic when my dual AC/5s deal 10 damage, and I wouldn't be any more impressed if they were doing 10 000 damage. Just more annoyed at the numbers. Big numbers are just a way of obfuscating and artificially inflating a poorly conceived game.

Niedar
06-02-2013, 01:41 PM
So power creep before the game even launches? How about no, that 30/30 does not sound better than 5/5 as its nothing but a gimmick.

Mr.Funsocks
06-02-2013, 01:45 PM
Also the fact that that kind of divisibility, if you take advantage of it, makes it WAY more difficult to accurately plan out plays in a strategy game. If I know that he has 2 3/3 creatures, and I have 7 health, I can withstand both attacks and live, or delay two of his creatures' attacks and gain a turn. On the other hand, if he has a 28/28 and a 36/36, and I have 70 health, I now have to do completely pointless math to figure out how long I need to delay which one to survive another turn. While it adds more strategic layers to the game, it's a game type that already has plenty, and it ends up just being bloat.

BlindMan
06-02-2013, 01:48 PM
If all the numbers are even multiples of 10, then what is the point? If not, then it just makes the relative power of cards break into a huge pile of possibilities. How many times are you going to have one troop in play that is an even trade for your opponent's troop if they can be 23/23 and 24/24?

MasterN64
06-02-2013, 01:50 PM
I cannot STAND it when a game over inflates its values in a game. There is no point to having a card that has 420000/430000 atk and def when it can just be 42/43. Its stupid. The only benefit to something like this is it might SEEM somewhat cooler to your average 7 year old because your totally doing 890000000000000 damage and not 89.

Mr.Funsocks
06-02-2013, 01:52 PM
If all the numbers are even multiples of 10, then what is the point? If not, then it just makes the relative power of cards break into a huge pile of possibilities. How many times are you going to have one troop in play that is an even trade for your opponent's troop if they can be 23/23 and 24/24?

Exactly. If you DO take advantage of the finer divisibility, it ruins huge aspects of the game. If you don't it looks silly.

Kietay
06-02-2013, 01:54 PM
This wont happen but it actually is a good idea. Multiplying every number by 10 would keep the game exactly the same except offer more options for future tiers. a 2/2 card is twice as good as a 1/1 card but there is no room for anything between them. With larger numbers there would be.

Mr.Funsocks
06-02-2013, 01:57 PM
This wont happen but it actually is a good idea. Multiplying every number by 10 would keep the game exactly the same except offer more options for future tiers. a 2/2 card is twice as good as a 1/1 card but there is no room for anything between them. With larger numbers there would be.

Except that's a bad idea, and would have a very negative impact on the game if they DID make something between a 1/1 and a 2/2. Yes, it opens up more options, but they're bad options from a game design perspective.

MasterN64
06-02-2013, 01:57 PM
But at the same point why do you need a card thats a 15/15? If you really wanted to do something like that you can start doing decimal points too. I think 1.5/1.5 is better. I mean we are already talking about multiplying why not dividing?

[edit] Apparently people thought i might have been serious with this. I chuckled.

Facilier
06-02-2013, 01:57 PM
Best, most, aesthetically pleasing: those words do not mean what you think they mean.

Having smaller numbers encouragers design of more interesting abilities to distinguish cards rather than just have minute tweaks. Have a red creature with 14,576 power, 14,567 toughness and a white creature with 14,567 power, 14,576 toughness doesn't add any real diversity to the game, just messes with people's eyesight for no reason.

The game certainly doesn't need to be 20 life, and if they test something a small increase because they feel it will allow them the flexibility they wish for (I am all for having players start with Life = 42), but simply having bigger numbers does not inherently make the game more accessible, interesting, or epic.

Fireblast
06-02-2013, 01:58 PM
1.1/1.1 or 2/2 is exactly the same, it kills and lives a combat vs a 1/1.

Just leave it as it is, thanks :)

~

Tyrfang
06-02-2013, 01:59 PM
I seem to remember this being posted nearly verbatim a week ago...

Except the scale was x5, so you started with 100 life.

Mr.Funsocks
06-02-2013, 02:00 PM
but at the same point why do you need a card thats a 15/15? If you really wanted to do something like that you can start doing decimal points too. I think 1.5/1.5 is better. I mean we are already talking about multiplying why not dividing?

Well, if they were to go with any option, I'd rather multiply than divide. Decimal points occupy extra space, and make the numbers harder to read, though only slightly.

MasterN64
06-02-2013, 02:02 PM
I seem to remember this being posted nearly verbatim a week ago...

That wouldn't surprise me really. There are a lot of trolls lurking around on the net.

Either way i cant see this ever being a good idea to implement anyway. Large pointless numbers and unneeded decimals always did piss me off.

And i was joking with that post.

facade
06-02-2013, 02:03 PM
I am all for keeping the numbers lower.

My reasons
- Primarily it keeps the math a whole lot easier. Imagine an opponent has just three creatures with attacks of 175, 350, and 875. How quickly can you give me the total power? Compare, how quickly could you add 1, 2, and 5?

- I believe you overestimate how much having large numbers will increase variety. I will concede the point that you would be able to better fine tune relative power levels. But in a game like this, I'm more interested in the abilities rather than the stats. For example, I suppose they could make hundreds of unique creatures with just a single ability (like flying) by tinkering with different attack values, defense stats, or costs, but in the end they are all the same creature just with different numbers.

- Your argument regarding resources is a little flawed. The system was designed to be relatively simple. Increasing significant gradation into the number of resource cards possible means that you must now put increased mental effort into a system that was designed to be unobtrusive. To further make my point, are you happy about games where the reason you won or lost was because your mana base was uncooperative? Increasing the complexity of the mana base with different 'basic resource cards' will only make it more difficult to build functional decks, especially for beginners.

SenecaTheYounger
06-02-2013, 02:09 PM
The most powerful change you could make to the game is to change the default numbers for health, probably resource points, and possibly other stats. Start with 100 health. Start with 1000 health. The numbers are all handled by the computer, so they can be as large as you feel is aesthetically pleasing.

The only disadvantage of this is that the card development has already started, but being virtual cards in an unreleased game, this is a very minor cost compared to the benefits.

The advantages are many, and increase the potential of the game many-fold:

1)First and foremost, it frees the game from the shadow of MTG. Starting with 20 life, gaining 1 resource per resource card, etc. makes the cards so similar to MTG that all HEX cards will immediately be compared to MTG cards to determine their power. A significant number of cards will have to be comparable to top-powered MTG cards from launch, and the road from there to very brief games is very, very short.
If your cards are not compatible with MTG, you can balance them to set any pace of game you want,
without having them immediately judged in comparison with the thousands of MTG cards already in existence.

2)Second, it vastly, vastly increases the variety of cards you can create. With larger numbers comes more power to vary the cards. With one resource point to a basic resource card, you are limited by the fact that increasing its resource by even one immediately doubles its power. If each basic resource gave, for example, 4 resource points, there are a lot more possibilities to add basic resource cards that give 3 resource and 2 colors, cards that cost 2 resource so that 2 might be played on the first turn from a basic resource, etc.

3)Third, larger numbers will make the game seem much more epic than MTG. That 5/5 bruiser doesn't seem so mighty compared with your 30/30 rampager. People will be more inclined to think of the game as the next evolution of MTG rather than just a clone. And, as per above, the larger numbers alone DO actually mean the game has much more potential for card variety.


In conclusion, the time to improve is now. If you choose to play catch-up with MTG, you are throwing away the advantage of starting from scratch, and a huge opportunity. With a more varied base system, in addition to the cards which only make sense in a digital game, there would be no way MTG could possibly compete with HEX online.

I, for one, am not interested in playing matches where the life totals start at 100. I've had matches last for an hour with just 20 life. This change on its own would do nothing but draw out games and make tournaments a nightmare.

I think that others have covered the point that a lot of development has been done at this point and, as you said, this would only be an aesthetic change. More on that below.

To your points:

1. If what I have read is true, many people like the similarity to MTG. This gives people a chance to build off of previous knowledge and learn the game faster. From a financial standpoint, it also allows people to make the transition much easier. I expect that there will be a non-zero number of people that play Hex because MTGO is such a terrible client.

2. I agree that this would open up some interesting design space but I think that the interesting space is invalidated by the point below.

3. I see this one as largely irrelevant since the wow-factor will fade over time. A year in, is there really going to be an appreciable difference between a 25/25 (assuming 100 life) and a 5/5?

You mention that is opens up space for more variety but it seems to me that it will also make a lot of creature sizes useless. What role would a 1/1? To use an MTG analogy, my Deathrite Shaman can still turn sideways and make an impact even if the graveyards are empty. To achieve a similar utility for support creatures, they would need to be at least 5/5 and we get back to the point of it being a largely aesthetic decision.

If you tried to use numbers that are not easy to calculate, it would needlessly complicate decisions for players. This is a very inelegant solution. It seems to me that wins and losses should come from meaningful play decisions and not failure to calculate attack totals. This tends to happen with lower values at time anyway. Can you imagine getting to the finals of a Grand Prix-level tournament and having to keep it straight when there is a 23/25 that does 33 damage when your opponent pays 18 resources in addition to the 6/6 artifact creature that adds 3 17/17 tokens every turn and the Constant that deals 23 damage if they exhaust 3 creatures and pay 9 life?

The actual calculations when damage is assigned or costs are paid may be automatic but the decisions still have to happen in the player's head.

In other words, there is space there but it is not good space to mine.

tgm0112
06-02-2013, 02:18 PM
I seem to remember this being posted nearly verbatim a week ago...

Except the scale was x5, so you started with 100 life.

Given that OP and the first to defend him were one-time posters, I suspect it's all the same person.

In case it's not, the main point has already been made. The lack of wiggle room is no coincidence in this type of game. You want to see similar numbers because you'd like to trade creatures defending in combat. More variety means 11/13 warriors losing to a 13/12 elves all too often. Trading monsters in combat is a major part of how the game works.

Tyrfang
06-02-2013, 02:23 PM
Not-so-verbatin, but the thread is here:
http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=24395


In Hex each creature has a cost, an attack and a defense. Changing any of these by 1 makes the card much better.


A simple fix that wouldn't change gameplay much would be to use larger numbers in hex than magic uses. Give each players 100 life. Makes stats vary from 1-20. Make cards cost much more and makes resources give more mana/charges.

At first glance multiplying everything by 5 wouldn't change anything. However, now you can have a variety of resources that give varying combinations of charges and mana. You can slowly vary the stats of a card without making them superior. In the current system a 1 cost 1/1 creature is very different than a 1 cost 2/1 creature. With the new system between a 5 cost 5/5 creature and a 10 cost 10/10 creature could be a 7 cost 7/5 creature or a 6 cost 6/6 creature.

cronedog
06-02-2013, 02:36 PM
Wow, I feel like people were a lot nicer when I made the thread. I feel like there is nothing that I could say that would convince people that I am in fact seperate and distinct from Elfis.

My arguements were all related to trying to avoid block rotation and on methods to prevent power creep. I hope the community at large isn't going to crap all over people of differing opinions.

Mr.Funsocks
06-02-2013, 02:40 PM
Wow, I feel like people were a lot nicer when I made the thread. I feel like there is nothing that I could say that would convince people that I am in fact seperate and distinct from Elfis.

My arguements were all related to trying to avoid block rotation and on methods to prevent power creep. I hope the community at large isn't going to crap all over people of differing opinions.

Only incredibly bad, poorly thought out ones with the tag line "the BEST possible change".

Tyrfang
06-02-2013, 02:40 PM
On the whole this is just people saying "no thanks, it's really hard to keep track of larger numbers that aren't even multiples of 5/10."

ForgedSol
06-02-2013, 02:40 PM
Wow, I feel like people were a lot nicer when I made the thread. I feel like there is nothing that I could say that would convince people that I am in fact seperate and distinct from Elfis.

My arguements were all related to trying to avoid block rotation and on methods to prevent power creep. I hope the community at large isn't going to crap all over people of differing opinions.

That's because I was posting a lot in that thread. I tend to be one of the nicer posters. =P

Rapkannibale
06-02-2013, 02:45 PM
Bigger numbers don't open up more design space. Having different cards that give +100, +115, +234 is not more design space. It's the same place just with different numbers.

I don't think this game has to worry about beeping in the "shadow" of Magic. Having some similar mechanics actually means that if you have played Magic you will have an easier time getting into the game, while it still innovates in so many ways that it is its own game. Plus this game will capture all the Magic players that have long been waiting for a good online version of Magic. With Hex they will get that and much more. :)

Niedar
06-02-2013, 02:51 PM
Really if it wasn't for the almost direct copy of Magic with a few new features and tons of new possibilities in the future I doubt most people would be backing this game.

BlindMan
06-02-2013, 02:51 PM
Plus this game will capture all the Magic players that have long been waiting for a good online version of Magic. With Hex they will get that and much more. :)

This is huge. There are a lot of people, even among those who play or have played MTGO, that see MTGO as a big disappointment. It's "good enough" to play, but could be so much more.

Niedar
06-02-2013, 02:53 PM
Yeah I have always wanted to get into MTGO but fuck that, I am not going to play a game with such an abysmal client and run by such a terrible greedy company.

ForgedSol
06-02-2013, 02:55 PM
Using 100 life would be fine if the game was designed that way. While the game would remain balanced if everything was multiplied by five, that is not a simple change. If you're going to design a game with a 100 starting life total, you would want to take advantage of that from the beginning. That means have 6/7 creatures, 11/13 creatures, etc. Instead, because of a last minute change, the creatures from your core set that's supposed to represent that game as a whole, the core set that is the foundation for everything to come, is filled with creatures that are 5/5, 10/10, 5/10, 15/20, etc. That is the wrong way to design a core set for a 100 life starting point. You'd really need to scrap a whole lot of the work that's already been done and start fresh to show the players what it means to be at 100 life rather than just 20 life times 5.

cronedog
06-02-2013, 03:03 PM
On the whole this is just people saying "no thanks, it's really hard to keep track of larger numbers that aren't even multiples of 5/10."

Fair enough. I guess I just took it personally when MasterN64 accused me of being a troll with nothing better to do than make multiple accounts to agree with myself. I try to go out of my way to be respectful, even on the internet.

Onto something constructive:

I wholeheartly disagree with points 1 and 3. I think the point is to crib most of the basic gameplay from magic, for the sake of familiarity. Furthermore I think the new resource system is superior to magic. I made a post a week ago about how I orignally thought the game was just a magic clone, but since have become a backer. http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=24371

The summary is that keeping the core mechanics the same frees crypto to innovate on all the digial only aspects of the game.

Regarding point 3, I don't find large number epic.

Regarding point 2, I partially agree. I wish the game had some combination of slightly larger numbers and/or more numbers on the card to free up more options for lateral designs.

These obviously aren't the only or even the most important part of a game, but my favorite game of all time, the decipher star wars ccg, was a complicated game with many numbers on the card. In more relatable terms, you had attack, defense, contribation towards drawing bonus attack, a cost, a number that represents how much damage you absorb when loosing a battle and a number to add to attack if drawn for a bonus attack. Each value would range from 0-7 and this freed up the company to make wildly varying combinations that gave actual differences in gameplay. On the other hand magic reprints many identical cards over the years.

Mr.Funsocks
06-02-2013, 03:08 PM
See, the reason people probably were nicer to you is you actually thought your ideas through a little further ;)


In more relatable terms, you had attack, defense, contribation towards drawing bonus attack, a cost, a number that represents how much damage you absorb when loosing a battle and a number to add to attack if drawn for a bonus attack. Each value would range from 0-7 and this freed up the company to make wildly varying combinations that gave actual differences in gameplay. On the other hand magic reprints many identical cards over the years.

I don't see how bigger numbers do that. That's just more variables, not more values for the variables. The problem with "bigger numbers" for damage/attack/defense/life is that they're all related to the same binary system: You deal more damage than the thing has defense, it dies. You don't and it's a completely irrelevant attack. That means it's not in any way a graded scale when two creatures fight: A 22/22 is 100% better than a 20/20 if they have a 21/21. That drastically changes the balance of the game.

DjiN
06-02-2013, 04:11 PM
The game will outshine MTG easily, because of all the new interactions possible, because its the first true digital TCG. Also the added value to all of your cards with the PvE content is massive. No need for bigger numbers...

LashtonBryth
06-02-2013, 04:52 PM
The difference between a 20/20 monster and a 19/19 monster is much smaller than the difference between a 2/2 monster and a 1/1. Having the ability to fine tune things to a much finer degree makes for a stronger game with more variability. Obviously the game would be have to built with some sort of automatic on screen calculator so people who struggle with numbers wouldn't be at a disadvantage, but anyone who doesn't see how bigger numbers would make for a more varied game doesn't understand what they are talking about.

jai151
06-02-2013, 04:56 PM
The difference between a 20/20 monster and a 19/19 monster is much smaller than the difference between a 2/2 monster and a 1/1. Having the ability to fine tune things to a much finer degree makes for a stronger game with more variability. Obviously the game would be have to built with some sort of automatic on screen calculator so people who struggle with numbers wouldn't be at a disadvantage, but anyone who doesn't see how bigger numbers would make for a more varied game doesn't understand what they are talking about.

As many have said, it's not that there isn't design space there, it's that it's not design space that's desirable to explore.

Tyrfang
06-02-2013, 04:58 PM
It's not stronger, it's just messier. It's a pain in the ass to deal with 19/16s, 17/18s, 12/24, etc

New mechanics are also much more interesting than a difference to a number.

Larger numbers would obfuscate power differences further, which makes it more difficult for new players to figure out whats the best card.

Comparing a 20/20 and a 19/19 is easy, but comparing a 8/24 vs 16/16 less so compared to 1/3 vs 2/2.
And then resources would be equally annoying.
Alright, I have 45 resources this turn, and cars that cost 27, 12, 5, 18, 22, and 13....

LashtonBryth
06-02-2013, 05:14 PM
It's not stronger, it's just messier. It's a pain in the ass to deal with 19/16s, 17/18s, 12/24, etc

New mechanics are also much more interesting than a difference to a number.

Larger numbers would obfuscate power differences further, which makes it more difficult for new players to figure out whats the best card.

Comparing a 20/20 and a 19/19 is easy, but comparing a 8/24 vs 16/16 less so compared to 1/3 vs 2/2.
And then resources would be equally annoying.
Alright, I have 45 resources this turn, and cars that cost 27, 12, 5, 18, 22, and 13....

Of course it's stronger. It's also "messier" (to use your word), so obviously the game would have to be designed in a way that makes it clean and clear to anyone playing it. I personally would rather play a game balanced between 1 and 100 and do the math required than play a game balanced between 1 and 20 (assuming both were balanced as well as possible) because the game using 1 to 100 will have more variety and be more finely balanced (I'm also assuming that any card mechanics would work equally well in either game).

Gwaer
06-02-2013, 05:15 PM
Maybe they can build a dungeon with a giant number deck/champion. Put the interesting design stuff there.

ForgedSol
06-02-2013, 05:16 PM
Of course it's stronger. It's also "messier" (to use your word), so obviously the game would have to be designed in a way that makes it clean and clear to anyone playing it. I personally would rather play a game balanced between 1 and 100 and do the math required than play a game balanced between 1 and 20 (assuming both were balanced as well as possible) because the game using 1 to 100 will have more variety and be more finely balanced (I'm also assuming that any card mechanics would work equally well in either game).

But would you want to play a game that was designed around 20 life that just multiplied everything by five in the last minute? Designing a game from the ground up that way is one thing, multiplying Hex's numbers this late into design is another.

Tathel
06-02-2013, 05:17 PM
It'd also be a pain to have cards with resource based X effects need to change to X*10 (or whatever multiple everything else was bumped by)

LashtonBryth
06-02-2013, 05:21 PM
But would you want to play a game that was designed around 20 life that just multiplied everything by five in the last minute? Designing a game from the ground up that way is one thing, multiplying Hex's numbers this late into design is another.

Multiplying everything by 5 is no different than just playing 1-20. Obviously the game would have to be built from the ground up with it in mind, and it would probably be easier for the masses to do it with decimal points instead of whole numbers (1.2 instead of 12; would make it 1-200, which is even better). The digital world that calculates things for you opens up all sorts of TCG possibilities that i'm sure people will explore.

ForgedSol
06-02-2013, 05:25 PM
Multiplying everything by 5 is no different than just playing 1-20. Obviously the game would have to be built from the ground up with it in mind, and it would probably be easier for the masses to do it with decimal points instead of whole numbers (1.2 instead of 12; would make it 1-200, which is even better). The digital world that calculates things for you opens up all sorts of TCG possibilities that i'm sure people will explore.

So what are you suggesting? The OP wants Cryptozoic to change the whole system before release. I doubt he's suggesting pushing back the release date, so that suggests that in such a short time frame, that he wants wants them to just multiply everything for now, and then in future sets they have the wiggle room to really take advantage of it.

SenecaTheYounger
06-02-2013, 05:37 PM
On the whole this is just people saying "no thanks, it's really hard to keep track of larger numbers that aren't even multiples of 5/10."

It really isn't. If you want to simplify it, it is more like saying "This is a very inelegant way of opening up design space that does not add value to gameplay."

LashtonBryth
06-02-2013, 05:41 PM
So what are you suggesting? The OP wants Cryptozoic to change the whole system before release. I doubt he's suggesting pushing back the release date, so that suggests that in such a short time frame, that he wants wants them to just multiply everything for now, and then in future sets they have the wiggle room to really take advantage of it.

I'm saying that a game that used larger numbers would make for more varied gameplay. Take a game of D&D. If you used a coin flip as the determining factor in whether any decision you made was successful, you wouldn't be able to differentiate between a level 1 character with a wooden sword and a level 50 champion with the hand of God. By using a 20 sided dice, you can force that level 1 character to roll only a 20 in order to accomplish something, where that champion might only need to roll something between 5 and 20.

The game would have to be designed with it in mind. There is no way a game this late in production would be able to do it on the fly, but future games should take a look at playing with more and larger numbers.

bogatog
06-02-2013, 05:44 PM
I'm saying that a game that used larger numbers would make for more varied gameplay. Take a game of D&D. If you used a coin flip as the determining factor in whether any decision you made was successful, you wouldn't be able to differentiate between a level 1 character with a wooden sword and a level 50 champion with the hand of God. By using a 20 sided dice, you can force that level 1 character to roll only a 20 in order to accomplish something, where that champion might only need to roll something between 5 and 20.

The game would have to be designed with it in mind. There is no way a game this late in production would be able to do it on the fly, but future games should take a look at playing with more and larger numbers.

It amuses me that you used a 1-20 system to argue your point for a bigger # system.

To have some actual content in my post about this topic, I agree with the majority of people that this system does indeed open up more room for variety, but that variety doesn't necessarily improve the gameplay. The example I keep getting in my head is with damage removal spells. Having something that does 2 damage to a creature kills X range of critters with utility moves or fast agro starts. If we increase the amount of variety in creature toughness/attack, now I need more various burn spells to try and kill your stuff. Is my spell that does 17 damage going to be to enough? or do i need to use the 23 damage version also. It just muddies the waters to me.

All that being said, I would try a base 100 system for a TCG that impressed me the way Hex has so far.

LashtonBryth
06-02-2013, 05:45 PM
It amuses me that you used a 1-20 system to argue your point for a bigger # system.

well, I compared a 1-20 system to a 1-2 system, so it would be like comparing a 1-20 system to a 1-200 system.

funktion
06-02-2013, 06:13 PM
I gotta add my name to the group of people saying, "this is a dumb gimmicky idea, please don't do anything like this."

A number doesn't have to be stupidly big for me to get excited about it.

Elfis
06-03-2013, 08:19 AM
Well, I just recorded every point that people have made over the 50 replies or so, and listed the names of each poster who made that point. If there are other points you can think of that are not included here, feel free to elaborate. And feel free to further debate these existing arguments.

I have given my response to each argument.


Madican SenecaTheYounger ForgedSol* : Cards have been in development for a long time, too late to rebalance them now.

Response: A valid point, but I believe there is time, and I think the permanent advantage to the game system would be worth a lot more effort than redesigning the cards would take. At the very least, multiplying everything by 5 takes no extra design effort and opens the door for future mechanics that are impossible in the current system.

Fireblast* KingBlackstone Xenavire Mr.Funsocks facade SenecaTheYounger Tyrfang bogatog Tathel : it's easier to do math on smaller numbers. The possibilities are too vast!

Response: Certainly, there is a point where numbers become too unwieldy for a person's mind to juggle comfortably, even with the computer keeping track of all the mechanics, and that point will be different for different people. But, with the computer doing most of the work, that point is undoubtedly much higher for a video game than it is for a physical card game. 10,000 is probably too high. A 100 point system is certainly safe and familiar to basically everyone.

Fireblast* KingBlackstone Xenavire cronedog : A game that I hated/liked used big numbers.

Response: Me too!

Genocidal* jai151* funktion :no substance

Wabbajak : This is an awesome idea. Please, everyone, try to comprehend original post in its entirety before responding.

Response: Actually, I think the majority of posters did comprehend the basic gist, which surprised me greatly. I am on the internet, right?

Niedar* Changing starting life, etc. constitutes power creep.

Response: Actually, it combats power creep, because it allows the creation of cards that would have to be overpowered in a smaller number system. For example, a basic resource card that gives 2 resource but no color would be overpowered, but if basic resource cards gave 5 resource each, you might make a colorless 7-resource card that was not overpowered.
If a dev has a super good idea that they just have to implement, but the number system is too small to handle it, they may end up creating an overpowered card, but with a sufficient number system, they can go ahead with the idea and tune it to be strong but not broken.

BlindMan tgm0112 Mr.Funsocks* : Big numbers create too many possibilities. For example, it is much less likely to have creatures of equal attack and defense values, such as a 5/5 vs a 5/5 if there are a larger number of possible values. The proposed change would make it more likely that one creature will win the fight by a small margin rather than coming up a tie. Another example: I have to have a wider variety of burn effects to defeat a larger range of creatures.

Response: Actually, in MTG as it stands, nothing special occurs when a 5/5 fights another 5/5. It is exactly the same as when a 5/1 fights a 5/5, or if a 5/1 fights a 5/3, etc. Though equal matchups happen less frequently with larger numbers, you do not lose anything by it; in fact, this reduced frequency might be used, for example, to create a new mechanic where creatures that are completely evenly matched are exhausted for two turns after a battle instead of dying, without having it be an every-day occurrence. Actions that modify powers or attack and defense values also do not necessarily have a different chance of working under the proposed system than they do currently; all it does is give you more ability to fine-tune that chance when making the cards. A lightning bolt has a chance of being able to kill your opponent's creatures that depends on the damage the card designers have built into the bolt and the toughness they have assigned to the creatures; all the proposed change does is allow the designers to more accurately tune that damage and toughness to the balance they desire.
Yes, there will be more options, and at some point the options will be too innumerable to grasp, but we're far from that point. With the computer handling calculations and memory, players will be able to utilize a much greater range of cards than they could in a physical card game.

MasterN64 Mr.Funsocks* Facilier* : 420000 or 890000000000000 or 14,567 is too big and unwieldy!

Response: I agree. That seems far beyond the point of diminishing returns.

Kietay LashtonBryth :I like advantage number 2: larger numbers allow more variety of cards!

Response: I probably should have made that advantage number one, since the other two advantages I listed are subjective.

Facilier* :Having smaller numbers encourages the card creators to be more creative because they have fewer numerical options.

Response: I prefer to expand the possibilities rather than make card designers work extra hard to squeeze as much as they can out of the system. Having a larger number base doesn't prevent anything that's possible with smaller numbers; it only adds more.

Fireblast* : Creatures that are smaller lose fights regardless of how large the gulf is between them.

Response: Well, yes, but there is still a point in having many different power levels. You don't see all creatures in MTG being either 1/1 or 2/2; they range much more widely in power, and that makes the game interesting. I only want to expand that range.

Tyrfang tgm0112 : A similar idea has already been thunk of. It basically stressed advantage #2: more variety of cards.

Response: Yes, advantage number 2 is probably the main one. Personally, I think advantage 1 is even more powerful, but that one is arguable.

Mr.Funsocks : large numbers are better than decimals.

Response: Ya, decimals are a bit ugly.

Facade : Larger numbers don't increase the variety of cards by that much.

Response: That's relative. Certainly, the benefit shrinks if the numbers get so large that players don't care about the tiny differences at all. We certainly aren't near that point yet though.

Facade : Resources should be totally transparent, not increase in variety.

Resources are an integral part of the game. For example: Everyone loves dual lands, etc. My proposal only gives more leeway to create such things while still being totally balanced, thus you could have dual resources that are balanced enough to still be basic and available to all, by reducing the resource provided by just a little.

Facade : Having more varied resources makes it more complex for beginners.

Response. True. However, MTG has just gotten more complex as time goes on, because that makes for a more involved game. It bumps into its own number system and gets stuck at a certain point, and I propose to remove that roadblock, or at least push it a bit farther down the road, for HEX.

facade : Having more varied resources makes the game more random.

Response: No more random than the luck of the draw already is; in fact it indirectly makes it less random because it allows for more precise balancing of cards. And more options of course gives you more control over the chances of drawing a certain mana combination.

SenecaTheYounger :Increasing life totals would make the game too long.

Response: The idea is that changing life totals allows you to balance the game to any speed you like, rather than being tied to the speed of MTG.

SenecaTheYounger Rapkannibale Niedar* BlindMan cronedog : Similarity to MTG is also an advantage as well as a disadvantage. Some people will come to the game because they want a MTG clone but are dissatisfied with MTG's interface or lack of PVE.

Response: Sure, some people will come just because they want a MTG clone but have some specific beef with MTG itself, but a lot more people will stay with MTG if that's what they like. It already has tens of thousands of cards, etc. If Hex is to be the next generation of MTG, it should pull out all the stops to be the best game that it can be in its own right rather than just a great clone.

Elfis
06-03-2013, 08:20 AM
SenecaTheYounger : If you make the numbers too big, smaller numbers will become too insignificant to matter at all.

Response: Yes, at some point, the numbers actually become too small to care about, but we're not there yet.

Cronedog : I was the guy who thunk of this already. Everybody should be nice.

Response: Nice is overrated. I care only about logic :)

Mr.Funsocks* : The title of your post is terrible.

Response: It worked exactly as desired. I'm very pleased with it.

ForgedSol* : I'm super nice.

Response: Quite possible!

Rapkannibale Mr.Funsocks* : Larger numbers don't increase the possibilities at all.

Response: You can't argue against benefit number 2. It is a basic law of nature/mathematics.

Rapkannibale : If the game copies MTG, it will be easier to learn for people who already know how to play MTG.

Response: Yes, but that's much less important than just designing the best game you can. And I don't want to change most of the mechanics; just update the numbers for the computer age.

DjiN : I already believe that this game will be better than MTG, so why try to improve it even more?

Response: Because it will be improved even more.

LashtonBryth : 20 seems a sub-optimal number. 100 not only gives more options, it's simpler in a way.

Response: Yes, 100 is very safe, and is better than 20 for this purpose in every way I can think of.

LashtonBryth : Larger numbers also allow you to more finely balance the game.

Response: This was intended to be part of Advantage 2, though I may not have spelled it out so clearly.

Gwaer : rather than changing the whole game, they could add a PVE dungeon with different mechanics.

Response: I'm sure they will add extra levels of wildness to the PVE dungeons. You could increase or decrease all life totals, card draws, and other variables wildly in dungeons to create unique challenges. Nothing stops them from doing that later. My proposed change will expand the possibilities of the entire game though.

Tathel* : Some cards do one point for each of X resource spent. Changing the numbers would require complex formulas.

Response: On the contrary, it is very doubtful that card designers want the exact balance of 1 damage per 1 resource spent, or 1 damage per 2 resource spent, etc. Larger numbers allow for a much wider variety of burn effects and combo effects without creating an over- or under-powered card, or resorting to overly-complex formulas. The numbers will be a bit bigger, which allows the formulas to actually be simpler for the same effect!

LashtonBryth :Multiplying everything by 5 to start with wouldn't be that hard of a change to make, and it still opens up the door for the future.

Response: Yes, this would do. I think that more advantageous numbers could be found, but that one simple change opens up a lot of avenues for the future.

LashtonBryth : Decimals might be easier than large numbers, and offer the same advantage.

Response: I'm pretty sure most people would find decimals uglier.

Bogatog : Greater range of possible number values for cards doesn't necessarily improve the game.

Response: Would reducing the possibilities make the game worse? I think that's a given. Nobody would argue for, say, reducing life totals to 5, etc. On the other side, increasing the possibilities will improve the game, up to the point where the difference between the numbers gets too big to care about. We aren't near that point yet; I might not care about the difference between a card that gives 100 resource, and one that gives 101 resources, but I can definitely get some mileage out of choosing between a 5 resource card with 1 affinity and a 4 resource card with a double affinity.

Xenavire
06-03-2013, 08:55 AM
I have to disagree with several points - 7 colourless mana is still overpowered with 5 mana resources, and the current power curve is more or less perfect as-is.

1/1 no effect for 1 is pretty standard, and slightly weak. 1/1 with a poor effect for 1 is fine. A 2/1 with no effect, or a drawback is a good card.

You mess with the curve, and we could end up seeing a 1/1 for 5 with a broken effect, just because that is how budgeting works, and you could start the game at 5 mana. But the current system, a 1/1 for 5 is going to be a gamble to use, and the scaling makes that uber effect fit nicely.

I know this is hardly a flawless argument, but when there is too much room in the design space, things fall through the cracks.

Ever wonder why Yugioh has extensive ban and limited lists? The design space was open, and things fell through the cracks, and with the only resources being hand/zones and sacrifice monsters, the balance skewed crazily - the metagame is positively dominated by certain decks because they can guarantee a win in mere turns. (Synchro monsters broke it even worse, and I bet it seemed like a good idea at the time.)

maniza
06-03-2013, 09:44 AM
its an intresting idea that could lead up to intresting mechanics in the future BUT there is a reason for the numbers beeing slmall. even if the computer does the heavy lifting bigger numbers might turn some people off. most of the time simple is better.

jai151
06-03-2013, 09:55 AM
The biggest problem is the inability to make split second decisions.

I have 20 life. I have a 1/1 on the field and a +2/+2 buff and a removal spell in hand. With a 5/5, a 12/6, a 3/4, and a 5/2 swinging at me. I instantly know my options, what I can survive, what will kill me, and how I can block/remove to the best result.

Now if I have 196 life, a 12/14 on the board a +15/+15 buff and removal in hand, and a 35/32, a 44/24, a 23/10, and a 38/32 coming at me, there are just too many odd additions and subtractions I'd have to do to figure that out.

SenecaTheYounger
06-03-2013, 10:36 AM
Something else that hasn't been addressed here is the elegance or lack thereof in these sorts of decisions. (If I have missed it somewhere, please point it out and I'll revisit.)

I'm open to other opinions based on other games but let me throw this out there based on my experience with Magic and rather limited experience with other TCGs.

Magic succeeds because the design is elegant. Others that I have played such as VS have not been compelling due to their inelegance.

There is a reason that one can even make an argument, such as Jon Finkel has, for wanting to raise the level of MTG to something more like chess. Rosewater and team (not to mention most of the heavy lifting done by Richard Garfield) have managed to raise the design process to an art and that has made for compelling gameplay. Sure, Hex has used that as a springboard. to me that is a positive. They have taken the good design and added what appear to be some very solid designs of their own. This, to me, is especially true when you consider the design space they are exploring in a digital-only environment.

The ideas thrown out here are inelegant. They needlessly complicate board states. The possible space opened up does not outweigh the detriments on this scale. For instance, the only real benefit I've been able to see would be in the actual resource generation/cost but really something like hybrid mana is a much better solution. It minimizes the amount of mental strain necessary for something like calculation and puts the focus back on important game decisions.

In addition to being fun and challenging, there is something to be said for playing a game that can be beautiful. To say it another way, the actual play is elevated to an art and that is beautiful. This is something you can see in chess or go or any game where there is substance and not flash (which is what the argument for making the game "more exciting" really boils down to). I'd love to see Hex get there and it seems that it is on the right path for that.

Elfis
06-04-2013, 07:48 AM
Responded to the newer posts.

Xenavire :I care deeply about the balance of a few specific card types. I think some of your examples are not perfectly balanced.

Response: Don't care enough about specific balance examples to debate them on a message board. I care only about the robustness of the game system and the possibilities it opens to card designers.

Xenavire :Designers can still create unbalanced cards even if they have more precise control over the numbers. What if they make even more-unbalanced cards than they already have?

Response: Yes, it will still be possible to create cards as unbalanced as you like. Giving card designers finer control over the numbers does not make it more likely to create an unbalanced card by any stretch of the imagination. It can only help.

Xenavire :Larger numbers will make it harder for card designers to accurately judge the power of the cards they are creating, thus make it more likely that they will create an unbalanced card.

Response: I don't think so. The numbers I am advocating are well within the computational abilities of card designers; they are just large enough to allow a designer to better tune the power of their cards.
For example, in the beginning, there was Lightning Bolt. It was 3 damage for 1 mana. They then decided that that was too powerful and created something with a name I can't remember, which was 2 damage for 1 mana, but that was too weak. Under the default system, there is nothing in between. What my proposal does is allow you to create the equivalent of say a 2.6 or 2.8 damage bolt if that's the power level a card designer wants.

maniza :It might turn some people off. Simple is good!

Response: Yes everything might turn some people off. Simple is good to a point. However, it is the complexity that makes the game interesting. It's just about finding the point where it's too much for a human to handle and not going up to that point. Since MTG has hit the point where most cards are basically duplicates, I say it's time to expand the scope of the cards.

Jai151* : I want to be able to instantly calculate the exact damage of my abilities, so I want small numbers.

Response: An understandable desire. At some point, the numbers will get too big to calculate perfectly, and that will be different for different people. I'm guessing that the majority of players ALREADY can't or don't calculate the exact values of their potential actions. Making this harder will cause some players to much worse predict the effects of their potential actions, and players with good computational abilities may stand out more than they do now. However, I don't think it will make people of any level have less fun at the game. Most video games use far larger numbers. A pro League of Legends player knows just how much damage his abilities do and how much he needs to do to defeat his opponent; the average player doesn't have a clue but still enjoys playing the game.

SenecaTheYounger : Magic is elegant. Increasing the numbers a bit would make it less so.

Response: Sort of, in a way. However, I find 20 to be less elegant than 100.

SenecaTheYounger : Smaller numbers make calculations easier, which reduces strain, thus making the game more fun.

Response: Certainly, there is merit in that, but a certain bit of math has always been involved in Magic. They did not choose 5, or even 10, as their starting life total in the original game, because there just wasn't enough room for the mechanics they needed. Obviously, some level of calculation does not impede the game, and I still maintain that with the computer handling the grunt work, the optimal number level should be higher in a video game than was possible with actual cards.

SenecaTheYounger : Simple is beautiful. Complex is ugly.

Response: In a way. Once again, the original MTG was created to be as complex as an ordinary person can comfortably handle using just a couple dice as an aid, because it creates a more interesting game. They later added counters and other mechanics that make it even more complex. The computer allows this to be expanded.

Tyrfang
06-04-2013, 08:03 AM
League of Legends is a game that is real-time with scaling attacks, defenses, and hp.
Hex is a turn-based game with fixed numbers and costs.

Also, there's a huge difference between not being able to know exactly how much damage you do in an real-time game versus a turn-based game. Even pros don't know the amount down to a specific number, just an approximate guess, which is good enough for the game.

Avoiding positioning mistakes or making/avoiding trades is the main strategic decision in LoL.

In Hex, your resources are life total, cards, gems/threshold, and permanents in play. In essence, you want to maximize the effect of each card.

When the majority of players need a calculator to figure out the amount of damage done to each of his creatures that turn, the numbers are of cumbersome size.

Elfis
06-04-2013, 08:06 AM
I was pretty excited for this game when my friend told me it was going to be a card game that took advantage of things that can't be done with real cards, but can with the aid of a computer. I came and found that, yeah, sort of. I'm sure that with just what I've seen, it will be great fun for months. It could be more though.

And in addition to the benefits I listed before, I'm adding benefit 4: My change makes it not a clone but its own unique game. If I were WOC, I would probably be doing just what they are; not much of anything as long as they have the market cornered. I'm suspicious that WOC has a little spare change on hand for development though :) If significant competition comes along, you can be sure that improvements will follow! And if they release a revamped Magic 2 at some point, you really don't want to be caught looking like a clone of the old and inferior.

Elfis
06-04-2013, 08:08 AM
Yeah, as I said, I see where you're going with the desire to do exact calculations. I still say that some players do, and some don't, and if the numbers are increased, some still will and some still won't; just fewer of the former, and that the game will be better regardless.

Tyrfang
06-04-2013, 08:09 AM
If Hex has a large, sustained population, even if MMO-MTG comes out in 2 years (approximate lead time for a game of this scope), it will be behind.

MMOs are social games, and live and die based on player participation...

Elfis
06-04-2013, 08:14 AM
HEX is the one that has to prove itself, and MTG is the default bigwig, for the foreseeable future.

Tyrfang
06-04-2013, 08:16 AM
HEX is the one that has to prove itself, and MTG is the default bigwig, for the foreseeable future.

This would be true if Hex were a paper TCG.
MTGO and DOTP are not digital behemoths with a hundreds of thousands of regular players.
I think MTGO has about 3k daily?

Niedar
06-04-2013, 08:18 AM
Pretty much Hex will probably have more players than MTGO at launch.

jai151
06-04-2013, 08:25 AM
Response: An understandable desire. At some point, the numbers will get too big to calculate perfectly, and that will be different for different people. I'm guessing that the majority of players ALREADY can't or don't calculate the exact values of their potential actions. Making this harder will cause some players to much worse predict the effects of their potential actions, and players with good computational abilities may stand out more than they do now. However, I don't think it will make people of any level have less fun at the game. Most video games use far larger numbers. A pro League of Legends player knows just how much damage his abilities do and how much he needs to do to defeat his opponent; the average player doesn't have a clue but still enjoys playing the game.

League of Legends has nothing to do with this point. It's a completely different type of game. And the calculation has to do with strategy, not fun.

As long as you have one life, you can win the game. This is true if you start with 1,000 life, 100 life, or 5 life. Being able to judge exactly what will leave you in a survivable position is essential for tactical play, and the larger the numbers, the harder it is to make that calculation. This also isn't just adding what's on the board, it's being able to take into account what spells may be in hand. It's no good to keep yourself alive at 2 life if your opponent has a shock in hand.

TheWrathofShane
06-04-2013, 08:36 AM
I wouldn't mind multiplying everything by ten. Looks more pleasing to the eye I think.

Also, halving would have the same effect as it does now...
200 life (or 20) halved would be 100 (or 10). And you wouldn't need to round because would leave room for the magic 5 number. Okay maybe round to the nearest 0 when halving a 5 number which would end in 2.5

But this could leave some design space. Lightning bolt is to strong at 3, shock is to weak at 2. So burn could deal 25 damage! (or 2.5)

I wouldnt mind 1 resource per card and multiplied everything else by 10.

facade
06-04-2013, 09:07 AM
Going back to discussion of resources, Elfis quoted me as saying: "Resources should be totally transparent, not increase in variety." "Having more varied resources makes the game more random." and "Having more varied resources makes it more complex for beginners." I feel these misrepresent my point, so let me elaborate on resources before I get to why increasing the numbers even beyond one resource per card would be a bad idea.

In a TCG, the point of a resource system is to facilitate a flow to the game. The accumulation of resources allows the types of actions taken in a game to scale as the game progresses. Without a way limiting the flow and speed of the game, TCG's would devolve to who owns the largest dragon with none of the strategy we appreciate. The resource system is the foundation of why TCG offer such compelling strategy, but this comes at a cost. Lands/resources are boring. My games are meant to be opportunities for me to develop a strategy using mystical creatures and spells to counter my opponents strategy. The resource system is necessary in keeping games fair by limiting how much a person can do in a single turn, but otherwise detracts from what makes the game fun. Therefore, the best resource systems are easy to understand and implement. (Side note: this is why things like mana screw or mana flood are so frustrating; these are losses due to the resource system failing, a system should otherwise be unobtrusive.)

So now let me discuss why having resources cards becoming too complicated is a bad idea. What is proposed by OP is to increase the numbers to allow greater control over the variance in values of cards. But as evidenced by several individuals, math is not fun. There are certainly individuals that appreciate the math involved in being able to max/min stats and optimize the number of resources needed to make a deck function, but those are truly the minority (at least in this forum). Now it would be feasible to have creatures and life total with greater values, but resource cards should always stay at nice small integers, ideally one resource per card. As mentioned, the resource system is fundamental to the working of the game, but should be as unobtrusive as possible since any mental processing spent on calculating the resource cards needed for your deck is mental processing not spent on dragons. Resource cards need to be simple to understand and implement, and there is nothing simpler than having one resource per card. Having a variety of cards that functionally serve the same purpose only appeals to the crowd of individuals that like optimizing.

Am I saying that you can't have non-basic resources? No. As you said, every one loves dual lands, but dual resources are already possible with the current system. Cryptozoic did a great job with their basic resources. Each basic resource does four easily understandable things: increase threshold, increase resources available this turn, increase maximum total of resources, and charge your champions. There are already plenty of knobs to tweak without polluting the system with excess numbers. Magic basic lands only do two things (increase mana available of one color this turn and increase total amount of mana available) and Wizards is still making different different non-basic lands that are not strictly better than the basic land.

So in summary, to maintain a game that is fun for more than just the math-loving optimizers, basic resources should stay at their simplest: one resource per card.

TheWrathofShane
06-04-2013, 02:38 PM
But as evidenced by several individuals, math is not fun. There are certainly individuals that appreciate the math involved in being able to max/min stats and optimize the number of resources needed to make a deck function, but those are truly the minority (at least in this forum).



Its hilarious, there are japanese school children who can do this elementary math in under a tenth of a second in their head, having been trained well in public school.

Fireblast
06-04-2013, 02:51 PM
I'm able to do mental math, but I don't think it's fun.

Also there are people who do the math for you and put article on the net about how many resources you should have and so on.
In HEX we'll even have AIDA (the AI Deck Assistant) to cover that end for us.

~

Elfis
06-05-2013, 10:26 AM
Tyrfang Niedar* : No, MTG isn't that big online.

Response: They're the one to beat, and they HAVE money, and they LIKE money. If HEX does poorly, nothing will happen. If HEX takes off, you can bet your ballsack that MAGIC 2 will appear to fight for that market.

Jai151 : Leage of Legends is a terrible example.

Response: Yes, probably. I play it, so it came to mind. The point is that some people calculate everything and some don't, and that won't change when you up the numbers; only the percentage of each type of player will change. Also, it really isn't that hard to type your resource into the fireball box and see how much damage it will do, if it's not already apparent, and it's not hard to have the fireball tooltip show your current max damage. I think you are worrying way too much about math. In fact, I bet you can more accurately determine the results of potential actions than you could in a physical game regardless of numbers, because the computer will handle the numbers in the background all and show you visually the expected results of your actions.

Jai151 : It's very important to be able to calculate the exact results of an impending action so that you don't make an error based on a small miscalculation.

Response: Even if that is critical, the computer will do it. THE COMPUTER WILL DO IT! It can show you how much life a player will lose if you attack. It can display it in the form of pretty moving lifebars.

TheWrathofShane : I like advantage #2, but I am leery of changing things too awful much. Maybe implement only part of the proposed change.

Response: Understandable!

Facade* : I believe some of my points were misrepresented.

Response: I give everyone the benefit of the doubt and try to pull the most concise and logical arguments I can get out of the post. Quoting whole posts is very cumbersome, as the reader has to try to comprehend the intent of the whole original, which is often long and meandering. If you give it another try, so will I!

Facade* : Resources are part of the speed control of the game. They are necessary but they are boring. Making them as unobtrusive as possible lets you get back to the fun part of the game.

Response: I still assert that people love dual lands, etc. It IS fun to have a variety of resource choices and more precisely tune your deck with them. The problem is that with the current resource system, the options are too limited to create varied resource cards without either overpowering them or adding a restriction that makes them a niche card. My proposal would allow the creation of varied resource card types that are still balanced with the existing basic cards. My proposal makes the resource system LESS boring!

facade* :Increasing resource points per card adds too much math overhead for the player.

Response: I think you are vastly overestimating the amount of work it would take to deal with increased resource numbers. Players don't even have to keep track of individual lands anymore under the new system. If you play a resource card that gives you 8 resources, I don't think anyone will be shocked to see your resource bar jump from 21 to 29. If the resource pool is represented by a visible resource bar on the screen, it isn't even that hard to judge about how much you will have left after spending 15 just at a glance.

facade* Dual resources are already possible [without being unbalanced].

Response: Yes, some types of dual resources are already possible. I just want to increase that.

TheWrathofShane* : If only our education system were better, we wouldn't have to lament that math is hard :(

Response: :(. Anyway, I'm just interested in increasing the game's potential. Because of the power of computers and graphical interfaces, there is no need to worry about math. You play an 8 resource card and see your resource bar grow from 21 to 29, which doesn't surprise you at all. You hover your mouse over the 15-resource creature and see 15 points worth of that bar turn red, with 14 remaining in green. You play the creature, and the red portion of your resource bar disappears, leaving you with the expected sized 14 resource bar. People play games all the time with vastly higher numbers than what I'm proposing. There is nothing to be scared of!

Fireblast* : You don't even really have to do math. The internet will provide you with builds, and the ramifications of each build, if you're lazy, and the game will do all math for you.

Response: Exactly. We have the internet and we have a computer. You won't have to do any math. The game can represent everything with a quickly understandable graphical representation of everything. It can show you the damage your attacking creatures will do if you decide to attack, visually as well as numerically. It can show you how much bigger your creature will get from a buff, again both visually and numerically. You won't actually have to do any math! It will be more intuitive than the current physical card game despite higher numbers.

Yasi
06-05-2013, 10:30 AM
Change the player's health to 8000 and make the cards deal damage accordingly. Bump everything up by 400x. That way it's 400x better.

Parallax
06-05-2013, 10:44 AM
Change the player's health to 8000 and make the cards deal damage accordingly. Bump everything up by 400x. That way it's 400x better.

Just change all values to infinity. Then gameplay can revolve around trying to figure which infinities are larger.

facade
06-05-2013, 12:16 PM
My proposal would allow the creation of varied resource card types that are still balanced with the existing basic cards. My proposal makes the resource system LESS boring!


I don't suppose you'd care to elaborate? I don't see how having larger spans of numbers on the resource system makes the resource system itself less boring. (Let me preempt one argument: variety != exciting. 300 iterations of a creature with flying but with different stats and no other abilities does not mean you now have a an exciting set filled with variety.)



People play games all the time with vastly higher numbers than what I'm proposing. There is nothing to be scared of!


Let's keep are argument to a single topic. Honestly, I have no issues with large numbers. It's just as easy to do 100 + 100 +100 as it is to do 1 + 1 + 1. My issue is with granularity; I am arguing against when you start "taking advantage" of large numbers by doing 152 +38 + 67. For the reason that people dislike decimals is the reason I am against large numbers.



We have the internet and we have a computer. You won't have to do any math. The game can represent everything with a quickly understandable graphical representation of everything. It can show you the damage your attacking creatures will do if you decide to attack, visually as well as numerically. It can show you how much bigger your creature will get from a buff, again both visually and numerically. You won't actually have to do any math! It will be more intuitive than the current physical card game despite higher numbers.


Your ideas for moving bars and computer assistance is a solution, but it has a major problem in just how will the interface handle complicated board states. The overarching problem with large numbers has always been the exponential rise in the difficulty when there are more objects to calculate. A computer would have no problem doing the calculation, but then the issue becomes getting it to do the right calculation. The relevant example here is when you are defending and the attacker has sent several creatures. Sure a computer can give you total power of an attacking force, but what if you are more interested in how best to double block and apply combat tricks to maintain a healthy life total and keep your creatures alive. I suppose you can design some sort of interface with little bars everywhere that show the results that are possible in complicated blocking situations and additional colored bars that show the effects of combat tricks and have 'ghost' bars that will allow you to make comparisons with different blocking configurations ...

But there is an easy solution to this rather complicated user interface issue... just keep the numbers small so that the additional UI is unnecessary.

Elfis
06-05-2013, 12:18 PM
Yasi* Parallax : Just bump everything up 4000 times or infinitely, and it will be infinitely better![sarcasm]

Response: It ceases to be an improvement to increase the numbers past the point where the player doesn't care about such small differences. I realize you are trying to be sarcastic, but the hyperbole isn't an argument against what I am actually advocating, which is life total of 100 or 1000 and everything else scaled up accordingly. Take the reverse: Would you want to scale the life totals down to 10, 5, or 1? No! That obviously takes away from the dynamic of the game. Increasing the scale DOES definitely add to the variety up to a certain point.

Facade : How exactly would your proposed change make the resource system more exciting?

Response: It allows the creation of a greater variety of resource cards. Say I want to make a card that can be used every other turn, gives 3 different colors, and can be sacrificed to do a certain amount of damage to a target. How much resource should it give? 1? 2? How much damage? 1? 2? Increasing the number scale lets me effectively give it 1.4 mana and do 1.6 damage, for example, without using decimals.

Facade : I really don't want to be stuck adding 152 +38 + 67. That would suck.

Response: The computer will do it. Seriously, I do trust the devs to make a sufficient interface to show you what your cards are going to do without having to do math yourself. Have some faith.

Facade : I really have no faith that the interface will make it as easy as you say.

Response: Computers are amazing these days.

Turtlewing
06-05-2013, 12:26 PM
I'm against inflating the numbers because in all the years I've played Magic (since Stronghold), I've never thought they needed a .5 increment on manna or power/toughness/life. They printed a bunch of cards like that in Unhinged, and they were amusing because of how frivolous they were. They were basicly that asshole at the auction who says "and a penny" after every bid.

This experience leads me to suspect that Hex will not benefit from inflating their numeric values.

Vorpal
06-05-2013, 12:34 PM
It's a digital card game.

There's no reason they couldn't have something deal damage equal to the square root of 2. The computer will handle all the math.

The 'we need to use larger whole numbers to gain more resolution' argument only makes sense if the smallest unit you are willing to consider is 1.

Pwn1nP3nquin
06-05-2013, 12:42 PM
They don't need to artificially inflate the numbers. It adds needless complexity, not depth. Besides this fact, you're supporting your claim by suggesting HUGE UI changes to be made to the game. So firstly, you add a layer of complexity by inflating the numbers and to top it off, you want to clutter the interface with UI that wouldn't need to be there in the first place if we didn't inflate the numbers.

It seems pretty unanimous among the forum that nobody wants the numbers to change. If you want to play with big numbers, then multiply every odd number by 13 and every even number by 8 and have fun.

This game will already provide a fresh feeling because its digital format will allow the developers to create a huge variety of gameplay elements that are just not possible with physical tcg's.

That alone is enough for HEX to differentiate itself from MtG.

Genocidal
06-05-2013, 12:45 PM
It's a digital card game.

There's no reason they couldn't have something deal damage equal to the square root of 2. The computer will handle all the math.

Keeping the math simple allows players to easily (and mentally) calculate how much damage they need to deal to win/prevent to live, which creatures to block and what cards/combat tricks they should expect from their opponent. Just because the computer can do all the math doesn't mean it's a good idea.

jai151
06-05-2013, 01:06 PM
Jai151 : Leage of Legends is a terrible example.

Response: Yes, probably. I play it, so it came to mind. The point is that some people calculate everything and some don't, and that won't change when you up the numbers; only the percentage of each type of player will change. Also, it really isn't that hard to type your resource into the fireball box and see how much damage it will do, if it's not already apparent, and it's not hard to have the fireball tooltip show your current max damage. I think you are worrying way too much about math. In fact, I bet you can more accurately determine the results of potential actions than you could in a physical game regardless of numbers, because the computer will handle the numbers in the background all and show you visually the expected results of your actions.

Jai151 : It's very important to be able to calculate the exact results of an impending action so that you don't make an error based on a small miscalculation.

Response: Even if that is critical, the computer will do it. THE COMPUTER WILL DO IT! It can show you how much life a player will lose if you attack. It can display it in the form of pretty moving lifebars.

Having the computer show the "pretty moving lifebars" doesn't solve the problem. There are lots of possible responses, and you have a limited time to respond. If you waste the Murder on the wrong creature because you were off by 2 power in a 1,000 power attack, that's not going to be covered by the lifebars showing how much gets through if you block in several different ways. The computer also cannot instantly toss out possibilities that you would instantly not consider, so it can run into situations where you have a large number of things on the table and wind up with so many permutations that they can't be displayed in any kind of elegant form. If you have just two creatures on the board, and the opponent attacks with three, there are 13 different possibilities in how you could block. Now imagine a little later in the game, with you having 5 and the computer having 7. Now add in removal spells. How would a computer display all of that information?

There are things that computers are very good at. There are also things that the human brain is very good at. Math belongs to computers, but weighing options and responses is something the human brain is much better than a computer at. By artificially inflating the numbers, you're putting a wall of math in front of the meat of the strategy.

GreyGriffin
06-05-2013, 01:22 PM
This thread demonstrates 2 interesting points: People desperately fear change, and that people think really hard about card games.

The arguments about opening design space that adds no value are valid points. Complexity without depth really is just wankery. Making the numbers arbitrarily larger, especially into the hundreds or thousands, would be just ridiculous. The level of granularity would be wasted, because for ease of play no one would have a power/toughness with a significant digit past the 100's or 1000's place.

However, I do agree that there is room for some increased granularity. I personally think that 50 life would be a pretty sweet spot. Unfortunately, it's not easy to really rebalance every card for a different style of play. (3/3 would be the new 1/1, there would be a big difference between 1/3 and 0/3 which makes room for swarms of fractional offense, double digit offense would be an indicator of game-ending attack ability rather than an almost immediate death sentence if not blocked/blockable, and so on.)

I agree with the sentiment that the numbers proposed (200, 1000, 2000, 10,000) are way too big. It would just be a mess, and comparisons between troops and spells would be exhausting. But I also agree that increasing the life total would create more opportunities for gameplay. There would be a lot of unused space for the sake of sanity, but there are just more useable bands of troops and spells with a little more room to maneuver, especially at the low end of troop and spell costs.

Pwn1nP3nquin
06-05-2013, 01:38 PM
If the numbers were to be changed at all (I *highly* doubt it.) I agree with GreyGriffin. The lifepool should be represented as {x|x E Z & 30<=x<=50}

Just sayin...

Turtlewing
06-05-2013, 01:55 PM
There are things that computers are very good at. There are also things that the human brain is very good at. Math belongs to computers, but weighing options and responses is something the human brain is much better than a computer at. By artificially inflating the numbers, you're putting a wall of math in front of the meat of the strategy.

Not entirely true, but if the game is so complicated that I need AIDA (or possibly her sister Artificial Intelligence Blocking Assistant) to help me decide what creatures to block, I'm going to start asking why I even bother playing.

facade
06-05-2013, 03:15 PM
Facade : How exactly would your proposed change make the resource system more exciting?

Response: It allows the creation of a greater variety of resource cards. Say I want to make a card that can be used every other turn, gives 3 different colors, and can be sacrificed to do a certain amount of damage to a target. How much resource should it give? 1? 2? How much damage? 1? 2? Increasing the number scale lets me effectively give it 1.4 mana and do 1.6 damage, for example, without using decimals.



And you were accusing me of creating a niche resource card. As you said...


It IS fun to have a variety of resource choices and more precisely tune your deck with them. The problem is that with the current resource system, the options are too limited to create varied resource cards without either overpowering them or adding a restriction that makes them a niche card.

Anyways, my first counter-argument is that IF you want to make more complicated resources with all sorts of additional abilities, HEX already has that capability. Increasing the numeric scale provides very little new design space. As I said, each basic resource already has four different knobs that can be tweaked. This allows plenty of opportunity to create non-basic resources without drawbacks.

However, I feel you glossed over the most important point against increased number of resources provided per card. As said on the main website...


We built it that way because we know you’re not here for “the resource system,” you’re here to kill people with dragons, create ultimate combos, and use Blood Magic to murder every last troop on your opponent’s side of the table.

Offering perfectly balanced choices that come with a range of number of resources provided begins making the system too convoluted both to design and to play. Analysis is simplest when one card provides one resource. For example, you lose the guideline where a 5 cost creature typically comes out on turn 5. No longer can you use the rule of thumb that your deck should be 40% resource cards. Second, costs of creatures are now much more difficult to develop since now there are many more options and possibilities. You have claimed this as a benefit in that you will be able to say everything can be perfectly costed, but the greater the granularity, the more time that will need to be spent on each card to find that perfect balance. Third, deckbuilding and maintaining a consistent curve is more difficult since at best you will have average values of resources on any given turn. Once you have resource cards providing different values all in the same deck, you now get to recalculate your expected curve... and you get to do this for every single deck. Statistical analysis by an AI of your deck to make sure you got the resources right is practically mandatory.

In summary, to keep HEX a game and not a statistics exercise, the resource system needs to stay pretty much one resource per one card. Yes, you get the ability to perfectly balance abilities if you have larger number scale, but this relatively small design space is not worth the massive cost in the added difficulty in maintaining the flow of the game from a designers point of view and the difficulty in creating functional decks from the player's point of view.

Elfis
06-06-2013, 10:57 AM
Sigh. A restaurant moves from the desert to the city, but is still serving a teaspoon of water with each meal.

Thread: We should serve a free cup of water with each meal, maybe 2. The cost is now insignificant and a lot of people would enjoy the extra water. In addition, it is healthful to drink many cups of water per day and as an extra added benefit, it is easy to stir drink mix into the cups to flavor the water.

Poster 1: We've been serving teaspoons of water forever. You'll confuse the waiters.

Poster 2: I don't think there's enough water in the city to do that.

Poster 3: LOL, I drank 2 cups of hard whisky once and I got really sick.

Poster 4: Sure, why not just give them 50 gallons of water; it'll be 50,000 times as good!

Poster 5: You die from drinking just a few gallons of water.

Poster 6: Noobs, I can stir my drink mix into my teaspoon just fine!

Poster 7: What if you spill it? A teaspoon is no big deal, but if you dump a couple cups of water in your lap, it will suck. And if there's drink mix stirred in, whoa boy!

Poster 8: I hate water.

Poster 9: We would have to change the menus. It's too much work.

Poster 10: The cups are ugly; the spoon is much more elegant.

Poster 11: What if we wanted to move back to the desert? We'd have to change everything again!

Poster 12: The cup has more surface area than the spoon, so more water is wasted through evaporation.

Poster 13: My toilet uses a lot of water!

Poster 14: The change may confuse people.

Poster 15: Some people won't even drink the water. It just gets in the way.

Poster 16: Eddie's Fried Cactus Extravaganza tried that and they went broke. Their food sucked too.

Poster 17: I've been drinking a teaspoon of water with my meals forever and it works very well. I tried drinking a whole cup once and I didn't like it.

Poster 18: ...

Oh, you internet.

Tyrfang
06-06-2013, 11:00 AM
I think you win some sort of "longest analogy" achievement.

Xenavire
06-06-2013, 11:54 AM
I see the point, but card games aren't the same as a restaurant - generally there is no luck involved in eating/ordering, nor is it competitive. Find an example that is, and you have a fantastic point.

JBento
06-06-2013, 12:03 PM
Except that's not even remotely what the thread is suggesting. Here's what's happening, using your restaurant analogy:

A restaurant is going to open. It's completely automated and is controlled by a computer. Current system has been tested to provide a 33cL bottle of water with each meal.

Thread: We should provide a 1L bottle of water with each meal instead. It's not going to increase the per-meal cost. I mean, we'll have to redesign the entire system, reprogram the computer, and redo all the system tests, therefore increasing the set-up costs and delaying the opening for a year or so, but who cares?

And oooh, oooh, as a bonus, EVERYONE is going to have to drink the whole bottle, whether they want it or not. Everyone's going to LOVE this.

Elfis
06-07-2013, 09:17 AM
You guys are way, way too afraid of numbers that aren't even that big. Just because Bernie's across the street (MAGIC) hasn't taken advantage of what can be done in the city doesn't mean it's that hard. THE COMPUTER CAN DO IT (unless you prevent it from using both large numbers and decimals; then it can't do as much).

jai151
06-07-2013, 09:23 AM
You guys are way, way too afraid of numbers that aren't even that big. Just because Bernie's across the street (MAGIC) hasn't taken advantage of what can be done in the city doesn't mean it's that hard. THE COMPUTER CAN DO IT.

THE COMPUTER SHOULDN'T DO IT. Ceding thought to the computer is a horrible rallying cry.

Turtlewing
06-07-2013, 09:38 AM
You guys are way, way too afraid of numbers that aren't even that big. Just because Bernie's across the street (MAGIC) hasn't taken advantage of what can be done in the city doesn't mean it's that hard. THE COMPUTER CAN DO IT.

Actually magic did do it they released a series of cards that included .5 values in costs, power, toughness, etc.

They existing only in their joke set because internal R&D decided that it was unfit for a "serious" set along with mechanics that trigger when your opponent says a particular word, or cards who's variable effect depends on the player's age or what clothing they're waring. Having played with those cards I tend to agree that they didn't add anything meaningful to the design space.

The issue is not: "oh no big number me am afraid of math", it's "what do we really get out of inflating the numbers?" and the answer to that is "more complexity". Since Hex is already fairly complex with socketing, equipment, their threshold/resource/charge system, and all the transforming cards, card that make other cards, and cards that retain their changed state when moving zones. I don't think more complexity is necessary for hex.

Elfis
06-08-2013, 12:58 PM
I already gave quite a few examples of cards that can't be made without enlarging the numbers a bit.