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View Full Version : Mana problems. A complete game killer imho...



nrflorencio
06-03-2013, 09:56 AM
Greetings all.

A little background so you understand my concerns better:

I was an avid (although broke) MTG player back in the nineties. So much that the idea of starting a new TCG still gets me super excited. Now, im (as mentioned) super excited about Hex, but i havent pledge for kickstart (you can't imagine the self control this took).


There is one reason for my reluctance: mana problems.

Why is that?
Well, last year i got into MTG: planewalkers with a friend. Mostly doing duels one against the other.
What happened is that both of us started seeing a trend. Most games werent decided by our decisions. Most games were decided cause either him or I had mana problems...

Way too many lands, no lands, 3 lands in hand at start and no lands in the following 10 turns, 6 lands in a row at start of turn, both of us with lack of mana, both of us with too much mana (at least these last 2 made for a fair game).

And this were not the exceptions.
The truth is after a not so short period of experimentation we got to the conclusion that more than half the games were decided by mana issues for one side or the other.


Now to HEX:
I asked for videos in a previous thread, and some nice guy gave me a link for the streams.
First game: the streamer got only 3 resource cards against double of the oponent.
Second game: the streamer got only 4 resource cards, again, the oponent got double...


I for one can not commit the money for a TCG where my skill and my decks wont be the main factor for victory...

What you guys think??

Talreth
06-03-2013, 09:57 AM
There's a million billion threads on this is what I think.

Avedecus
06-03-2013, 09:57 AM
inb4 "Mana screw makes the game exciting!"

nearlysober
06-03-2013, 09:59 AM
Cory nailed it on one of his interviews. WoWTCG just replaces manascrew with curvescrew.

TCGs are built around random odds... sometimes the odds screw you.

Talreth
06-03-2013, 10:00 AM
First of all your decks must have been garbage for over 50% of games to end up like that, and if you were playing DotP I can understand. Second of all there's an interview with Cory where he explains the cons of both the mana system and the curve system.

incitfulmonk21
06-03-2013, 10:01 AM
If you think resource screw/flood is ever a primary factor in your deck and not your skill then TCG's may not be for you. It may factor into a single game but in the end the skillful players will have ways to minimize problems like this.

If resource screw/flood is causing you massive problems you need to look at why you are having the problem rather then blaming it on luck.

Genocidal
06-03-2013, 10:02 AM
If your deck has mana issues mitigate them, be it with resource search, card drawing, more/less resources, better mana curve, etc. Well-built decks get mana screwed much less. The decks in DotP aren't well-built; can't speak for the ones that were demoed on the Hex stream.

larryhl
06-03-2013, 10:03 AM
If you think resource screw/flood is ever a primary factor in your deck and not your skill then TCG's may not be for you. It may factor into a single game but in the end the skillful players will have ways to minimize problems like this.

If resource screw/flood is causing you massive problems you need to look at why you are having the problem rather then blaming it on luck.

+1

Mr.Funsocks
06-03-2013, 10:07 AM
They also put 2 mitigating factors in over Magic: The threshold makes mana screw slightly less painful, at least in 2 or more color decks, and the champion charge powers make flood still useful.

LargoLaGrande
06-03-2013, 10:12 AM
Now to HEX:
I asked for videos in a previous thread, and some nice guy gave me a link for the streams.
First game: the streamer got only 3 resource cards against double of the oponent.
Second game: the streamer got only 4 resource cards, again, the oponent got double...



This is not surprising. The Blood player had drawn about twice as many cards in both games as the Inspire player. We also theory crafted the deck out not long after the stream and concluded that the Inspire player was playing 20 resources, which is actually very low for what his curve looked like. Furthermore, all three games were very close, had the Inspire player gotten a second ruby resource in game 1, or had Blessing the Fallen not been bugged none of the games played would have been close.


I for one can not commit the money for a TCG where my skill and my decks wont be the main factor for victory...

What you guys think??

I know you mentioned you were playing Duels of the Planeswalkers, and I don't know exactly how deck building works, but it isn't hard to build decks that have nearly no mana issues. A properly built deck, and correct mulligan decisions alleviate like 90% of the variance that comes from the mana system. I'm not saying that it will never happen, that you'll never lose because you drew the wrong number of resources/lands, but that if done correctly you will lose a proportionate amount of times to the times when you really needed to draw one of your 10 burn spells next turn or lose, or you miss your 3 drop because your deck continued to draw 4s instead.

TowelMan
06-03-2013, 10:13 AM
They also put 2 mitigating factors in over Magic: The threshold makes mana screw slightly less painful, at least in 2 or more color decks, and the champion charge powers make flood still useful.

Isn't threshold just identical to magic? I.E. a threshold of 1 green on a 2 mana card is identical to a 1 forest 1 colourless card in magic.

Talreth
06-03-2013, 10:15 AM
Isn't threshold just identical to magic? I.E. a threshold of 1 green on a 2 mana card is identical to a 1 forest 1 colourless card in magic.

Yes but say you have 4 mana, two sapphire and two diamond. You can play two cards that have 2 diamond threshold that turn.

houjix
06-03-2013, 10:15 AM
Isn't threshold just identical to magic? I.E. a threshold of 1 green on a 2 mana card is identical to a 1 forest 1 colourless card in magic.

Kind of. It would be more like using 2 islands to cast the green card as long as you had a forest in play.

Rapkannibale
06-03-2013, 10:17 AM
Yes. No game with mana screw will ever make it past their first year. Needless to say no game with mana screw would ever survive and strive after 18 years. Oh wait....

Sorry for the sarcasm but this has just been discussed to death. It's part of the game. If you think the few games here and there where you get mana screwed ruin all the times you don't then that is your prerogative.

nrflorencio
06-03-2013, 10:24 AM
Wow... the attitude in most answers...

For the few that were polite.
True, the decks in planewalkers were no marvel.
Still concerns me cause randomness in a digital program is complete, while with physical cards you always have a certain "order" in your deck that cannot be completely broken no matter how much your oponent shuffles (and boy did we shuffle in the few tournaments i entered...)

The truth is planewalkers for me represents the corruption of some of most loved memories when it comes to entertainment... Lets hope Hex turns out fine

Parallax
06-03-2013, 10:27 AM
There is no best resource system. There are only the best resource systems.

tangolino
06-03-2013, 10:29 AM
Cory nailed it on one of his interviews. WoWTCG just replaces manascrew with curvescrew.

TCGs are built around random odds... sometimes the odds screw you.

Can you guys link this interview?
Searched it on the forums, couldn't find it.

Thanks

Black_Omega
06-03-2013, 10:30 AM
Maybe I missed the boat on this but isn't the original posters concern that you get too much, too little, not enough, no mana in hands and that is what dictates how the game goes? That is how I read it. If I am wrong, then ignore me :)

If you have a 60 card deck with 20 mana/resource cards in it, you have a 1/3 chance of getting that card into your hand... or every third card being a resource card. Those are decent odds considering you are maxed at 4 of a specific card for everything else (in which case your 4 out of the remaining 40 cards is a 1/10 chance of pulling that card, or what.. 1/12 or 1/13 chance with all the mana left in there - no calculator, could be wrong!).

And, as a side note, a lot of people will play MTG with 23-27 mana cards in their deck - depends on what type of deck you play.

But to say that the problem is how mana/resources is generated dictates how the game goes and is a 'game killer' isn't accurate. At least, in my opinion. You are hostage to the laws of probability. You could shuffle the deck and randomly pull 7 resource cards, or you can pull none. The more resource in your deck, the higher the chance you will have more in your hand - doesn't mean it is a GUARANTEE.

You can have the most wonderfully constructed deck, but if you happen to have a crappy hand given to you, you can lose to a lesser deck. There is skill involved in the game, despite what the original poster believes, but in ANY game where you are playing against the probabilities of pulling certain cards, there is an element of luck to it as well. If you feel that you cannot commit to a game like that, that is your choice. More for the rest of us!!!

Kroan
06-03-2013, 10:30 AM
DotP is not representative for a game of Magic nor Hex. That is all.

jai151
06-03-2013, 10:33 AM
The way to defeat manascrew/flood is with careful and logical deckbuilding. DotP's decks were neither carefully nor logically built.

BohemianStalker
06-03-2013, 10:33 AM
Wow... the attitude in most answers...

For the few that were polite.
True, the decks in planewalkers were no marvel.
Still concerns me cause randomness in a digital program is complete, while with physical cards you always have a certain "order" in your deck that cannot be completely broken no matter how much your oponent shuffles (and boy did we shuffle in the few tournaments i entered...)

The truth is planewalkers for me represents the corruption of some of most loved memories when it comes to entertainment... Lets hope Hex turns out fine

Usuall concern of newbie players - think game depends on being mana screwed.
Strange that somehow there are people with 60 or 70% win ratio. How are they doing it?

larryhl
06-03-2013, 10:36 AM
Btw...70% win rate in Pro Magic tournaments is considered godly. So...just to give some perspective.

jaxsonbateman
06-03-2013, 10:36 AM
Didn't see if anyone mentioned this, but resource cards providing a charge means late game they're more useful (generally) than a late land in MTG, and as such you can more comfortably go to a higher resource:non-resource ratio than you would in Magic.

Hatts
06-03-2013, 10:51 AM
Still concerns me cause randomness in a digital program is complete, while with physical cards you always have a certain "order" in your deck that cannot be completely broken no matter how much your oponent shuffles (and boy did we shuffle in the few tournaments i entered...)


A properly done physical shuffle and a digital shuffle should be equally random. How did you arrange your hand pre shuffle to get this 'order'?

DeusPhasmatis
06-03-2013, 10:51 AM
If you're really worried about resource consistency, use decks with card draw. Nothing solves deviations from the norm quite like the law of large numbers.

Resources as distinct cards provides interesting deck-building problems, affects how cards are costed, and allows interaction with the resource mechanic (acceleration and/or destruction, cost manipulation, etc...) because the system already assumes asymmetric resources.

IndigoShade
06-03-2013, 11:00 AM
The youtube video Fireblast linked a week or 2 back about Richard Garfield talking about skill vs luck (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSg408i-eKw) might be a pretty good listen for you guys complaining about mana screw. Particularly the idea that a degree of randomness opens the game to new and/or less skilled players to win occasionally even against more skilled opponents which makes them enjoy playing the game more and makes for a healthier playerbase.

Niedar
06-03-2013, 11:01 AM
A properly done physical shuffle and a digital shuffle should be equally random. How did you arrange your hand pre shuffle to get this 'order'?

So physical shuffling almost never results in a truly random shuffle. This doesn't really matter because if you really wanted to you can simulate this just as you can do a truly random shuffle.

dogmod
06-03-2013, 11:04 AM
So physical shuffling almost never results in a truly random shuffle. This doesn't really matter because if you really wanted to you can simulate this just as you can do a truly random shuffle.

My understanding is that a truly good shuffle consists of at least 7 splits and reorders, and you can always "wash" the cards as well... Nothing will ever be truly random not even digital but a close approximation is all that is really needed

Tyrfang
06-03-2013, 11:05 AM
You know, we should stop playing poker. It's all just random, no skill involved.

Punk
06-03-2013, 11:09 AM
You know, we should stop playing poker. It's all just random, no skill involved.

+1

Travis
06-03-2013, 11:15 AM
To the OP - I apologize for the way the previous people have responded to your post. They could have phrased things better and been a bit softer. First off if you decide to play the game and pledge, welcome.

Part of the reason they acted the way they did is that about every 10th forum topic is the issues you brought up about resource flood/screw. So their curtness has to do with the fact that this topic has been answered over and over again. To push some of it back on you. Did you do any of the following?

1. Did you look to see if anyone else had this issue and read the thread before posting your question?

2. Did you search the internet to find any articles about this issue and ways for it to be overcome?

3. If your resource base is correct for your deck (there are a litany of articles about this for mtg that would apply to Hex) then only probability stands in your way. While Cryptozoic is powerful and Hasbro is even more powerful, neither can get around math.

4. Magic has remained the most popular TCG in history. If the issue you are describing happened as frequently as you described, why would anyone play? Why would anyone travel and risk their money for something that was completely luck based?

Just realize that any game with cards or dice is probability based. If you play enough games, you will have games where all you draw for 22 turns is land, if your not dead first.

Lastly let me leave you with this. As one person posted your odds are going to be much better of drawing a solid hand because of the digital shuffler. Physical shuffling will never be as randomized as what a computer can do.

SenecaTheYounger
06-03-2013, 11:24 AM
You know, we should stop playing poker. It's all just random, no skill involved.

This.

MrCwis
06-03-2013, 11:44 AM
Just realize that any game with cards or dice is probability based. If you play enough games, you will have games where all you draw for 22 turns is land, if your not dead first.

So last FNM I went to I actually saw a person draw 10 lands in a row after already have 5 in play. Due to luck they were playing a control deck that hadn't drawn into any creatures yet. They then drew a Rakdos returns for 12 to win the game, because lucily their opponent had no counters in hand. It was a R/B deck with 20 lands.

every other game that i watched saw more "normal" draws of land but these things do happen apparently.

nrflorencio
06-03-2013, 11:45 AM
Bah, nevermind... Im too for this...

jai151
06-03-2013, 11:46 AM
Sure... cause in poker there is no folding...
You can go to a poker pro tour 1000000000000000000000000000000000000 times, youre not winning it.
Bet you could win a MTG tournament with a crappy deck.

[Citation Needed]

To expand, in going to that many tournaments, you could hit one where you had the nut hand every time. You would then win the WSOP.

However, I don't know of a single instance where a crappy deck has won a MTG tournament. While it's possible, I don't see it being any more likely than the poker example.

MrCwis
06-03-2013, 11:49 AM
I'm completely lost in the irony and sarcastic comments, time to call it a day i suppose.

nrflorencio
06-03-2013, 11:52 AM
I'm completely lost in the irony and sarcastic comments, time to call it a day i suppose.

Ye... Would be too much to expect for a mature and helpful community.

Anyway, amidst the rubble you can find some nice comments, some even help alleviate my concerns.

Tyrfang
06-03-2013, 11:53 AM
Ye... Would be too much to expect for a mature and helpful community.

Anyway, amidst the rubble you can find some nice comments, some even help alleviate my concerns.

The title of your thread sets the tone of the discussion.

jai151
06-03-2013, 11:54 AM
Ye... Would be too much to expect for a mature and helpful community.

Anyway, amidst the rubble you can find some nice comments, some even help alleviate my concerns.

The community was mature and helpful the first time the issue was brought up. Everyone has their limits.

Kalius
06-03-2013, 11:55 AM
The title of your thread sets the tone of the discussion.

Exactly. when people have to put up with the same thread every day, sometimes multiple times a day, they tend to lose patience.

nrflorencio
06-03-2013, 11:58 AM
The title of your thread sets the tone of the discussion.

Mana problems. A complete game killer IMHO. In my humble opinion, as in for me, as in in that think that is like vaginas (some share it, some dont, doh), wow, HOW AGRESSIVE I WAS!!!!!!!1

/End of sarcasm

See, this is the kind of answer you deserve since your first intervention in this thread. Anyway, wasting my digital breath here.


If you are tired of seeing a discussion, no one forces you to join in. Keep your attitude for the threads you want to intervene in.

tangolino
06-03-2013, 12:01 PM
If the community gets bigger, you better learn to have more patience.
Searching for an answer (using search function) doesn't always get you one. Expecting someone new to go through all threads is a bit too much. Also, if you don't want to answer yet another time about something, just don't :)

His title wasn't the best, agreed, but no need to be rude just because his title wasn't appropriate.

Kalius
06-03-2013, 12:01 PM
Mana problems. A complete game killer IMHO. In my humble opinion, as in for me, as in in that think that is like vaginas (some share it, some dont, doh), wow, HOW AGRESSIVE I WAS!!!!!!!1

/End of sarcasm

See, this is the kind of answer you deserve since your first intervention in this thread. Anyway, wasting my digital breath here.


If you are tired of seeing a discussion, no one forces you to join in. Keep your attitude for the threads you want to intervene in.

Hate to say it, but that was rather rude and uncalled for.

nrflorencio
06-03-2013, 12:04 PM
Hate to say it, but that was rather rude and uncalled for.

Not really. That was exactly on the same tone as the first answer of this entire thread. By the gentleman that said the title set the tone for the answers.

My title was polite, reasonably well constructed english. First reaction it gets is sarcasm...

ConnorJS
06-03-2013, 12:05 PM
You've got to remember if you get mana screw a lot then you must not be shuffling your mana into your deck properly. This issue is resolved in digital TCG's...

nrflorencio
06-03-2013, 12:07 PM
You've got to remember if you get mana screw a lot then you must not be shuffling your mana into your deck properly. This issue is resolved in digital TCG's...


My problems only started in a digital TCG, i dont remember having them in physical play (well, not with such prevalence that i would consider them a problem.).
Seeing as that digital TCG had some questionable decks...
Lets see, hope it will be all right.

Kalius
06-03-2013, 12:08 PM
You've got to remember if you get mana screw a lot then you must not be shuffling your mana into your deck properly. This issue is resolved in digital TCG's...

Like I've said before, mana screw/flood is a combination of insufficient shuffling, and bad deckbuilding(too many resources/not enough resources for your curve)

Tyrfang
06-03-2013, 12:09 PM
Mistaken identity? I said two sentences.

One about poker, and one about your title.

"A complete game killer" is an exaggeration.

Similarly... refuting your point by making an analogy between Hex and Poker, a game where all players draw from the same deck and their hands are entirely luck based, but is still considered a skill game, is also an exaggeration, but a valid one, IMHO.

nrflorencio
06-03-2013, 12:13 PM
Ops, confused the names... thought it was that poster again. Sorry for the heated reaction.

Although i still keep that my post was polite and not sarcastic in any way, you didnt deserve that reaction. Im at a loss in this.
Apologies.


Edit: A complete game killer for me, hence the imho. I couldnt stand playing with so much luck influence.
I will be investing into hex. Carefully.

edit 2: Ye Tyrfang, mistaken identity... Sorry

nicosharp
06-03-2013, 12:22 PM
The nice thing about this having heavy PvE aspects is:

Mana screwed does not mean you can not re-shuffle. To relieve players new to TCG, I am sure the re-shuffle opportunities will be more relaxed then they are in MTG currently.

For example, you may get 2 free re-shuffles with no recourse. You can also restart an encounter.

Getting mana-screwed as a new player is a lot better than getting curve-screwed because, deck-tuning for mana is a lot simplier than deck-tuning for curve.

nrflorencio
06-03-2013, 12:23 PM
If the community gets bigger, you better learn to have more patience.
Searching for an answer (using search function) doesn't always get you one. Expecting someone new to go through all threads is a bit too much. Also, if you don't want to answer yet another time about something, just don't :)

His title wasn't the best, agreed, but no need to be rude just because his title wasn't appropriate.


Exactly my point, thank you. I didnt see any mana concerning threads in the first pages, i started one.
Seems my title is somehow interpreted in a way i am not aware of, cause eben now i cant see whats wrong with it.
Anyway, i couldnt have explained it better.

Tinuvas
06-03-2013, 12:32 PM
This community is a bit sensitive to this subject as it is one that has been brought up in a similar vein by trolls, hotheads, and other less desirable elements before. As there was nothing obvious differentiating you from that crowd, it didn't take much to view your title as a threat to the game/community that they are a part of. I am in no way saying it was the correct response, just very easily misunderstood. Hopefully your non-troll (though heated) responses changes future responses to threads of this nature. Time will tell.

As Mark Twain put it: "There's so much bad in the best of us, and so much good in the worst of us, that it's up to all of us to leave the rest of us alone."

jai151
06-03-2013, 12:33 PM
Exactly my point, thank you. I didnt see any mana concerning threads in the first pages, i started one.
Seems my title is somehow interpreted in a way i am not aware of, cause eben now i cant see whats wrong with it.
Anyway, i couldnt have explained it better.

However, a search of "mana screw" turns up a ton of them on the very first page of results.

nicosharp
06-03-2013, 12:38 PM
To be 100% transparent. I always preferred the quest resource system in WOW TCG.

However, I do see the value of a cardless manapool, and simple interaction to play cards, to bring more people into the TCG experience.

I rather have more people playing and enjoying the TCG experience for this game, to allow card games by CZE and other companies to flourish in the future. The mana choice is just easier to understand for the masses new to TCG's.

nrflorencio
06-03-2013, 12:41 PM
However, a search of "mana screw" turns up a ton of them on the very first page of results.

I didnt even know the term. If i had to translate the term we used in portuguese for that... Well, maybe mana screw is a good translation... Just didnt occur to me to call it like that in english

IndigoShade
06-03-2013, 12:46 PM
Well in addition to the Richard Garfield luck/skill video I linked earlier on the topic Cory recently talked about it in this podcast (http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgamepodcastepisode/101273/episode-54-interview-with-cryptozoics-cory-jones) 35 minutes in. Long story short there's pros and cons to any resource system and they went with the one they felt was best for the game.

Hollywood
06-03-2013, 12:49 PM
If you havin mana problems I feel bad for you son. I got 99 problems, but a land ain't one.

Hit me!

IndigoShade
06-03-2013, 12:51 PM
Hit me!
I would if I could.

jai151
06-03-2013, 12:51 PM
I didnt even know the term. If i had to translate the term we used in portuguese for that... Well, maybe mana screw is a good translation... Just didnt occur to me to call it like that in english

Mana issues returns two in the first 5 results (not including yours). I had thought you used the term in your first post, sorry

nrflorencio
06-03-2013, 12:51 PM
Nah, youre not worth it...

nrflorencio
06-03-2013, 12:53 PM
Anyway, in spite of everything, or maybe because of it, im quite satisfied with the facts presented and conclusions reached.

Cornholio666
06-03-2013, 01:05 PM
Don't forget "Aida" The (stretch goal) deck building assistant AI who will basically tell you to put 33-36% resource cards in your deck if you haven't; will avoid these problems most of the time with a proper ratio.

caffn8d
06-03-2013, 01:26 PM
My memorable Magic mana experiences:

Week 1: It's turn 8... WHY CAN'T I PLAY MY SHIVAN DRAGON!!! *loses to Grizzly Bears and a Giant Spider*
Week 2: Whoa, mixed lands?
...
Week 5: 1st turn Taiga, Kird Ape. 2nd turn Forest, Llanowar Elf, attack for 2 with Ape. 3rd turn, Mountain, attack... Giant Growth, Blood Lust, Berserk. *prepare to shake hands* Opponent uses Unsummon on my 18 power Kird Ape and returns it to my hand.

Ah, good times. :) And yes... I really did lose once to a straight blue deck who had only 1 island and a Strip Mine on the table when I tried that exact combo.

EntropyBall
06-03-2013, 01:47 PM
My memorable Magic mana experiences:

Week 1: It's turn 8... WHY CAN'T I PLAY MY SHIVAN DRAGON!!! *loses to Grizzly Bears and a Giant Spider*
Week 2: Whoa, mixed lands?
...
Week 5: 1st turn Taiga, Kird Ape. 2nd turn Forest, Llanowar Elf, attack for 2 with Ape. 3rd turn, Mountain, attack... Giant Growth, Blood Lust, Berserk. *prepare to shake hands* Opponent uses Unsummon on my 18 power Kird Ape and returns it to my hand.

Ah, good times. :) And yes... I really did lose once to a straight blue deck who had only 1 island and a Strip Mine on the table when I tried that exact combo.

So true. Making gigantic creatures is my favorite part of CCGs, and I only sometimes consider the prospect of Unsummon/Terror/etc.

Week 1 for me was more like: I have an Island, a Forest, and a Mountain, why can't I play any of the awesome creatures in my 200 card deck?

Rapkannibale
06-03-2013, 02:27 PM
Wow... the attitude in most answers...

For the few that were polite.
True, the decks in planewalkers were no marvel.
Still concerns me cause randomness in a digital program is complete, while with physical cards you always have a certain "order" in your deck that cannot be completely broken no matter how much your oponent shuffles (and boy did we shuffle in the few tournaments i entered...)

The truth is planewalkers for me represents the corruption of some of most loved memories when it comes to entertainment... Lets hope Hex turns out fine

Apologies if I came across rude. Didn't mean to. Just had a loooooong day at work.

Fireblast
06-03-2013, 02:41 PM
Well in addition to the Richard Garfield luck/skill video I linked earlier on the topic Cory recently talked about it in this podcast (http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgamepodcastepisode/101273/episode-54-interview-with-cryptozoics-cory-jones) 35 minutes in. Long story short there's pros and cons to any resource system and they went with the one they felt was best for the game.

You're being way too helpful for what the OP deserves :)

@others : thanks for the fun.

~