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View Full Version : Mana destruction - an alternative



Xenavire
09-13-2013, 05:02 AM
So most MTG players know how much it sucks to get mana screwed, only to discover you are playing against a deck that destroys lands. It is nearly impossible to fight against.

Well, in Hex we already have a socket that threatens the same thing. But what if we could come up with a solution that is fair and worthwhile?

So I was thinking about temporary denial. Rather than completely removing the mana, simply limit the opponents use of it temporarily.

Example: A 5 cost constant that forces the opponent to ready 2 mana less during prep. The downside could be an upkeep cost (2 life per turn to keep it active) or have some cost the opponent can pay to destroy it (5 life to destroy the constant, or sacrifice a troop, or discard cards.)

But everything would be denied from temporary mana rather than permanent mana, so if the opponent can respond, they get all their mana back.

Another example could be troops, that activate when tjey deal damage. They could reduce the current mana pool by one, and then the opponent gains one less on their next turn. So getting through only once is still useful, but getting through every turn would slow the opponent down a lot.

I feel like this would be the most fair example of resource denial, and it would allow for stronger effects (but they would be temporary.)

nrflorencio
09-13-2013, 05:12 AM
I would hope for no mana destruction at all. As you said, its bad enough that you can get mana screwed...

Norious
09-13-2013, 05:18 AM
I bet the next set or two will be dealing with concepts like that

Kami
09-13-2013, 05:20 AM
I would hope for no mana destruction at all. As you said, its bad enough that you can get mana screwed...

I'm on the flip-side of this. I'd like to see this mechanic eventually introduced but probably not until at least we hit Set 3 where we have a range of card mechanics and card types to play around with.

I'd always favour more options than less when it comes to gameplay... within reason.

Shadowelf
09-13-2013, 05:20 AM
Here is what Ben Stoll said on resource denial ;

Question: Resource denial seems to be mainly absent from set 1. By resource denial, I mean discard, resource destruction, and counterspells. There are very few cards of this type revealed so far. Is this something you plan on staying away from in Hex, or do you plan on bringing it in further along?

Answer: The limited denial of that form in set 1 was intentional. The reasons for this are many, but they mainly boil down to two major pillars: fun and power. With the game in its infancy, they want their players to have fun playing their spells. (As an aside, by “players” he means the more casual crowd. It’s the rare hardcore tourney player who really dislikes counters, land D, and discard; they have an important role to play in competitive play.) Anyway, once Hex is established as a game, and is known to be “fun”, the design and development team can add more cards that some players deem less fun. Ben notes though, that the nervous excitement that comes from knowing that your cards are not safe at any time can be fun in its own way. Even your resources can be attacked, which can be very cool, especially if flavored the right way.

In terms of power, some resource destruction cards, especially “mass destruction” cards (such as a completely theoretical “set all players permanent resource pools to zero and remove all thresholds”) are powerful and have the ability to completely change the course of a game. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not a mechanic they want to introduce right away.

(http://hexmusings.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/designer-interview/)

Kingrags
09-13-2013, 05:23 AM
I think resource destruction should be very available at costs 4+. I think it should be unplayable unless the meta shifts heavily towards controll/combo.

jaxsonbatemanhex
09-13-2013, 05:24 AM
Just keep in mind that at this point, no troop with a major gem socket has both evasion and a low cost. So either you're playing blood/ruby (for Warlock Inquisitor) and hoping that they won't have any removal or troops to block your Inquisitor with, or you're getting repeatable mana destruction via a bomb that will win the game if left unstopped anyway (I'd argue that at the time Battle Beetle and Master Theorycrafter come down, the blood discard-on-damage gem would be a better form of resource denial).

ossuary
09-13-2013, 05:24 AM
I would definitely like to see some more innovative ways to mess with the board state, things that would be difficult or impossible to track in a physical card game, but which the computer can manage with ease. Reducing an opponent's temporary resources while a permanent (I'm going to continue to use the MtG term for this until Hex comes up with its own word for "artifact or troop or constant" :)) is in play seems like a very good example of this, and as you said, it would be far less frustrating because if you can deal with the permanent, you regain what you lost.

Xenavire
09-13-2013, 05:40 AM
Yeah, I am not proposing any removal of high end mechanics, I want high level players to have access to all the usual tools. But land destruction is not fun or innovative, and I think there are alternatives. It also means you can re-budget a large number of potential destruction effects.

I mean look at MTG. At 3 mana there are some rare cases of land destruction, and at 4 mana the effects are very common (if you include legacy cards). But they are very inflexible, and rarely have any effect other than land destruction (and if they do it is very much secondary to the land destroying effect.)

But imagine flexible versions: a 3 cost basic action that denies 2 mana for the opponents next turn. Thats almost as good as a counterspell, without it being completely broken.

I think it would be easier to balance and more fun to design around.

jaxsonbatemanhex
09-13-2013, 05:51 AM
It's probably better than a counterspell. It pretty much gimps the opponent's board progression for that turn, as well as leaving the way opponent for the other player to cast an important card and be pretty sure it'll resolve. Countermagic costs 3 mana and requires you not spend that 3 mana on your own turn, potentially causing it to go to waste if they don't cast anything worth countering.

3 mana LD in Magic is usually considered too good, and I think the last time they reprinted it was Stone Rain back in 9th edition. The 2 mana LD was definitely too good.

The gem seems fine, just as long as they're careful with the troops they given major gem slots to. I'd probably throw up if they made a 1/1 flight major gem socket for 3.

Xenavire
09-13-2013, 06:15 AM
Yeah, maybe the gem they can get away with, but if they continue adding similar effects, it would be nice if they could balance it differently.

There are many possible examples of land destruction, but by and large they are the same. I would give up the power for a little variety any day.

jetah
09-13-2013, 07:11 AM
There could be a drain mana spell card. Which could drain the remaining unused mana and give it to the castor (playing hearthstone both sides could have unspent mana).



But I haven't played card games other than HS for a few hours.

Gulbech
09-13-2013, 07:58 AM
I completely agree with op. Pure man's destruction is one of the first mechanic in a tcg. If we have a 4 resource destroy man's, it probably won't see much competitive play, but will be able to ruin the fun of more casual games.

They could maybe introduce some kind of temporary man's remove, like remove one mana for the next 3 rounds. Else i really like the ideas with cards that have an effect as long they are in play.

zadies
09-13-2013, 10:52 AM
I don't see the need for the effects to be exclusive. Pure mana destroy effects should just be more costly.

Xenavire
09-13-2013, 11:03 AM
But if they cost too much and do so little, they are practically useless. MTG shows this pretty well - by turn four, you should start destroying land, if you do it much later, you may as well swap those land destroying cards for other kinds of removal. It is just very inflexible.

Although, if you did include both, with the destruction being more expensive (say, 6 cost) then the destruction could actually have secondary effects without being too problematic, which could add to the layers of gameplay and leave a lot of variety.

But pure destruction can be brutal. It doesn't even have to start as someone being mana screwed - they could curve nicely and then have it all taken away. Temporary denial can do the same thing, but the other player can fight back more effectively.

I would rather a denial deck working to keep the board position like a normal control deck would, than have them just drop bombs while the opponent is crippled.

zadies
09-13-2013, 12:52 PM
Have the destoyal create troops with key words based on the type/amount of land destroyed.

Moondancer
09-13-2013, 02:36 PM
Resource Denial is a key part of major strategies and it would be a shame to see them go away. Without this combo can run rampant. But its also why you see in set one combo strategies usually do not kill instantly you put a bunch of guys in play or a big guy but still have to wait a turn to attack.

Whole archetypes go away without resource denial Aggro Control comes to mind.

Xenavire
09-13-2013, 05:50 PM
Resource Denial is a key part of major strategies and it would be a shame to see them go away. Without this combo can run rampant. But its also why you see in set one combo strategies usually do not kill instantly you put a bunch of guys in play or a big guy but still have to wait a turn to attack.

Whole archetypes go away without resource denial Aggro Control comes to mind.

This isn't a suggestion to remove it completely, but to rebalance and rebudget it so it can work at any point in the game with varying power.

And it means you can lock down combo fairly well. And being more flexible would lend itself to synergy that basic land destruction style denial would never have.

zadies
09-13-2013, 06:00 PM
The issue with varying the power level of it is that no one is really going to do I spend 1 mana to deny you 1 mana next turn that regenerates the turn after.

The real question is where the balance point is. 2 mana to deny you one of yours for three turns, or something more extreme?

Its really a fine balance to figure out the cost of temporary denial if you figure 4/5 spent will prolly be perminate destruction.

Something like 3 cost destroy one of your threshold(but not max mana) and perminatly destroy an opponents max mana and a threshold of your choice would be interesting.

Xenavire
09-13-2013, 06:04 PM
The issue with varying the power level of it is that no one is really going to do I spend 1 mana to deny you 1 mana next turn that regenerates the turn after.

The real question is where the balance point is. 2 mana to deny you one of yours for three turns, or something more extreme?

Its really a fine balance to figure out the cost of temporary denial if you figure 4/5 spent will prolly be perminate destruction.

Something like 3 cost destroy one of your threshold(but not max mana) and perminatly destroy an opponents max mana and a threshold of your choice would be interesting.

That is what tuning is for though - and the power could vary from set to set or shard to shard, or whatever. And people might play them if they cantripped (1 mana to deny 1 mana and draw a card) but thats just an example.

I would love to know if the devs have looked into something similar to this, as we have heard about them rejecting or shelfing things that were difficult to balance.

keroko
09-15-2013, 08:54 AM
resource destro cant be cheap to do or provide a reliable hard block.
they'll be testing this.

its not like counter magic denial, it has to be more expensive.

Showsni
09-15-2013, 09:38 AM
Well, at least it won't be like Alpha in Magic, which had Ice Storm, Stone Rain and Sinkhole! (All with the text "Destroy target land", costed at 2G, 2R and BB respectively.)

Even these days in Magic they generally seem to assume pure land destruction is about a 3 cost, since any 4 cost land destruction usually has a bonus tacked on. (Except Craterize... Which was replaced with Demolish for M14.)

Cazychel
09-16-2013, 12:45 PM
Well, at least it won't be like Alpha in Magic, which had Ice Storm, Stone Rain and Sinkhole! (All with the text "Destroy target land", costed at 2G, 2R and BB respectively.)

If we would get Alpha MtG style cards for HEX it would be nuts - and certainly no fun, because people have long realized how sick that power level would be and how broken and fast the combos. Mana destruction would be the least of our problems. ;-)


Even these days in Magic they generally seem to assume pure land destruction is about a 3 cost, since any 4 cost land destruction usually has a bonus tacked on. (Except Craterize... Which was replaced with Demolish for M14.)

Yeah, and for casual MtG players you can pretty much build the most annoying deck by simply cobbling together the quadrillion 3-mana land destruction cards in Red-Green. On the long run, this could result in the same scenario for HEX. On the other hand, land destruction decks are generally not competitive in MtG, so I think it would become an annoyance but not a problem for tournaments.

Gulbech
09-16-2013, 01:52 PM
If we would get Alpha MtG style cards for HEX it would be nuts - and certainly no fun, because people have long realized how sick that power level would be and how broken and fast the combos. Mana destruction would be the least of our problems. ;-)



Yeah, and for casual MtG players you can pretty much build the most annoying deck by simply cobbling together the quadrillion 3-mana land destruction cards in Red-Green. On the long run, this could result in the same scenario for HEX. On the other hand, land destruction decks are generally not competitive in MtG, so I think it would become an annoyance but not a problem for tournaments.

See this is actual the rwal problem, ld (land destruction) is not really worth it in competative play. So why even use it, when it hurts the casual and fun gameplay. Think many people have quitted games because of ld.

zadies
09-16-2013, 02:43 PM
Actually pure land destro decks are not common but loads of decks side board it for tron decks.

Rycajo
09-16-2013, 03:33 PM
I think I would prefer troops or constants with something like "-1/-1 resources for all opponents while this is in play" than all out permanent 0/-1 to resource base.

This actually makes me wonder if CZE will introduce threshold destruction. It doesn't reduce permanent resources, but it might prevent a player from meeting threshold requirements. Especially deadly against multi-shard decks, but relatively worthless against mono-shard decks.