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View Full Version : Idea to fix mana flood/screw in limited play



bootlace
10-11-2013, 02:41 AM
Paying $xx dollars for a draft/sealed, building a sweet deck, and then crashing out of the tournament due to mana scew/flood has got to be one of the worst experiences in current MTG style TCGs. I think Hex is in a great position to fix this and Ive already seen lots of great ideas to address it on this forum, and here's a slight rule addition I propose:

In a limited game, if you're deck composition is between 40%-45% resources (so 16-18 resource out of 40) and you happen to draw 0,1,6,7 resources in your opening hand then you have the option to get 1 free mulligan.

I dont think this would be game breaking and would still allow for color screw and the possibility of too fast/slow hands which allows some randomness and good deckbuilding to shine. In constructed play there could be a wider distribution of resource % in a deck, more ways to abuse this rule, and there is already more room for mana fixing/consistency, so I'm just suggesting this rule for limited games only.

Even in a game like poker getting the worst hand possible (2/7) gives you a much better chance at winning than TCGs - so I dont know why we wouldnt aim to tackle this problem.

Who would this rule hurt anyways? Im sure hardcore players would appreciate not losing to dumb luck, new players would not get super frustrated, and even playing against someone with mana screw is not even fun so it seems to benefit everyone. The only downside is it limits players to play 16-18 resources but that's a small price to pay?

escapeRoute
10-11-2013, 02:49 AM
listen, i can accept the idea of: if u have 0 OR 7 mana in ur starting hand u get a free mulligan...

thats all, everything in between is something that goes for the skill of the player to figure it out.... but pls, stop it with this mana screw thing... life can be hard, accept it and learn to work around it with what u get... its a card game... stop asking to put out the random part, else just go playing a damn rts or a turn based strategy game :/

bootlace
10-11-2013, 02:51 AM
Fixed: Sorry that's suppose to be 16-18 lands in limited, so 40-45%.

bootlace
10-11-2013, 02:57 AM
By no means do I want the game to be dumbed down - I just thought if its possible to take out the grief inducing part of the game out without major consequences, why not consider it. And I'm fine with just 0/7 resources warranting a free mulligan..

Avignon
10-11-2013, 04:09 AM
Cryptozoic approves of this grief that happens 1-2% of the time. But hey, on the upside you will have fun 98% of the time.

Xenavire
10-11-2013, 04:13 AM
What grief? Anyone who plays the game knows it can and will happen. And they do what they can to stop it (from constructing a better deck, to leaning how to mulligan).

It adds to the thrill of the game. Any time you can recover from a screw it feels like cheating death. A wonderful feeling that more than makes up for the tiny chance you get absolutely screwed.

Avignon
10-11-2013, 04:20 AM
I made a suggestion a while back that if you mulligan 4 that you are guaranteed at least 1 resource and 1 non resource. I don't think that would be game breaking (or dumbing down) at all.

This isn't MTG, and while it replicates it in many ways, I think there is an opportunity to change one of the worst aspects of it.

Whenever someone tries to bring it up a discussion, it gets instantly shot down with "learn to deckbuild" or "its been this way for a long time in MTG, get used to it".

If you are rebuilding a city from scratch, would it make sense to get rid of some of the most poorly engineered aspects of it? I guess not...

Anssi
10-11-2013, 04:23 AM
I think it would be completely fine to get 1 free mulligan in limited no matter what. Still, even having free mulligan just for 0-1-6-7 lands would make the limited experience much smoother.

HyenaNipples
10-11-2013, 04:37 AM
Of every mana/screw flood idea- this one has the most merit, in my opinion. It eliminates the most egregious of starts while still leaving room for tactical decision making.

Shadowelf
10-11-2013, 04:46 AM
Ben Stoll had given an interview to Colin about resource system in Hex a while back. I'll quote part of the article but there is more about the resource system if you care to read it (http://www.thehexvault.com/blog/2013/08/21/gencon-2013-interview-with-ben-stoll-game-designer-transcript/)

Ben Stoll: Yes, sure, Iíll go on about that. Yeah, as we all know though, of course, despite the fact that Iíve just touted variance in resource system as actually being fun Ė which it is Ė and I believe it just is, whether people know it or not. I think a lot of people that say, ďWell, I hate getting screwedĒ and all this stuff, itís like well, you think you hate it, you kind of do. But how fun would poker be if your pocket aces never got busted, right? It would stink.
But anyways, HEXís resource system recognizes that TCG players can hate this, and it can be really miserable. It is true that the worst thing is sitting there, discarding a card at the end of your turn every turn ícause you canít play your cards. You signed up to play the game; you didnít sign up to discard the dragon every turn. So, the way HEXís resource system is I believe actually alleviates this issue and hits just the sweet spot as compared to certain other TCGs.
So, thereís a few things. In HEX, you have a charge power, and the more resources you play, thatís the major way to get charges. Thereís other ways, too. So, youíre incentivized already to play more resources. What this does is it incentivizes you to potentially play more resources in your deck than you would in, say, in a game where you have to risk a resource being a dead draw.
In HEX, you never have that risk. A resource is always live. It always does something useful. In fact, sometimes drawing that eighth resource means you just got to put a 6 / 6 squirrel titan into play because of your charge power. So, itís very the opposite of that eighth resource being a dead draw. Which, we all know a dead draw feels like it sucks, too. So, youíre already incentivized to play more resources.
Because of that, there are two things. One, itís less bad when you draw a ton of resources because of the stuff I just went on about. And also, because youíre playing potentially more resources, you are less likely to get screwed because thereís more resources in your deck. And beyond that, the one last cute thing Iíll throw in because it is important is the way the thresholding system works, sometimes in a TCG when you draw that resource that you really need, it still doesnít really get you out of the jam ícause youíre sitting there with a bunch of cards in your hand. All of a sudden drawing a resource, now youíve got the ability to play those cards, but you can still only play one of them at a time.
In HEX, because of the way the thresholding system works, I rip that Ruby resource, I now have a Ruby threshold, suddenly all the Ruby cards in my hand are live, and so suddenly Iím right in the game now. I just got to totally catch up, and thatís a very exciting, fun moment. Not like, ďOh, Iím slightly less getting run over than I was before.Ē Thatís my long spiel about the resource system.

Also Cory on mana screw https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-geek-allstars/id446568794?ign-mpt=uo%3D4 episode 54 0:35:28

In additon don't forget that there will be ingame a unique deckbuilding assistant, that will help you build a resource base that is right for your deck and also help you to properly fill out your curve (more on AIDA update #10 http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cze/hex-mmo-trading-card-game/posts?page=8)

Here is also some advice by cze on building a proper resource base and curve in drafts

http://hextcg.com/drafting-in-hex/

HyenaNipples
10-11-2013, 05:02 AM
I don't particularly favor the charge power business as an effective counter to mana flood- most of the abilities are not particularly useful in the flood regard. Herczeg and Polonius being potential exceptions.

I also don't favor the Ben Stoll quote as it is used in the context with the the free mulligan proposal contained within this thread. The idea provides a higher likelihood of equal starts between players, while still maintaining the exciting variance he is championing in the quote. To go with the poker analogy- it's more fun if both players see the flop as opposed to one or the other folding out.

However, the threshold system does go a long way towards removing most of the screw problem, so I agree there.

Marsden
10-11-2013, 05:12 AM
I think that a 0 or 7 resource hand should be a free 7 card mulligan, then I guess you do the -1 card a time mulligan system if you want although I prefer to say you're stuck with your draw after that point.

keroko
10-11-2013, 05:13 AM
no on frees - encourages people to delib go under mana further than they should in cheapo accel decks.

do that and you be dead on t4 a lot.

Mugaaz
10-11-2013, 08:50 AM
no on frees - encourages people to delib go under mana further than they should in cheapo accel decks.

do that and you be dead on t4 a lot.

Did you even read the OP?

Yoss
10-11-2013, 09:15 AM
Preface: In general, I strongly support the MTG-style resource system and am very glad they are using it for Hex.



In a limited game, if you're deck composition is between 40%-45% resources (so 16-18 resource out of 40) and you happen to draw 0,1,6,7 resources in your opening hand then you have the option to get 1 free mulligan.

I dont think this would be game breaking and would still allow for color screw and the possibility of too fast/slow hands which allows some randomness and good deckbuilding to shine. In constructed play there could be a wider distribution of resource % in a deck, more ways to abuse this rule, and there is already more room for mana fixing/consistency, so I'm just suggesting this rule for limited games only.


This is almost exactly the house rule that my MTG group uses for all games, competitive (Limited) or otherwise. I recently found out that it is also very similar to an official WOTC mulligan rule for MTG when you're playing "big deck" games. I very much like this idea. I have not thoroughly analyzed for potential abuses, but the fact that WOTC supports it alleviates my worry somewhat.


"big deck mulligan" rule. If the first player's initial hand of cards has 0, 1, 6, or 7 lands in it, that player can mulligan and draw a new hand of 7 cards (rather than the usual 6). If the player does, each other player has the option to do the same, regardless of how many lands are in his or her hand. After that round of mulligans is over, the next player has the option to take a big deck mulligan. If that player does, it would again allow everyone else to take one too, and so on. Once all the big deck mulligans are over, each player may mulligan as normal (drawing one fewer card each time).

bootlace
10-11-2013, 09:47 AM
A couple of points I would like to add based on the feedback:

1) The type of screw that is most annoying and has the most impact is the one that you get at the very beginning of the game. I really dont mind getting flooded or 'screwed' after turn 5 or whatever because I can play accordingly to make up for my situation or build a more resilient deck. But when I have to mulligan to 4 just to get 2 resources, it's a steep hill that is almost impossible to come back from. So in those Cryptozoic interviews, when they talk about the whole charge system or threshold system, this doesn't address the situation I'm referring to at the start of the game but instead refers to the middle of the game.

2) There is no playing skill or deck building skill associated with 7 or 0 resources on opening hand - it's an automatic mulligan every single time...might also apply to 1 ot 6 resource hands as well +95% of the time.

3) Sure it can provide some extra fun to come back from mana screw to win, but I think the frustration of losing just because you had to mulligan to 4 to get 2 resources is more annoying. I don't think I've ever been mad at losing in MTG if my opponent beat me because they had a better deck or a better curve or straight out played better - but I've almost always felt a bad taste in my mouth if it's been due to a terrible luck with opening hand and mulligan.

4) MTG never even had the option to provide this sort of system - so analyzing what MTG has done in the past doesnt exactly apply to what Hex should do I think. As someone said, there is a blank canvas to do whatever the playing community wants and if it really benefits everyone and makes sense, then why must we copy what another company did?

5) I quite like the addition mentioned with the 'big deck mulligan' and allowing the other player to mulligan if the 'screwed/flooded' player gets a new 7.

Banquetto
10-11-2013, 04:20 PM
Whenever someone tries to bring it up a discussion, it gets instantly shot down with "learn to deckbuild" or "its been this way for a long time in MTG, get used to it".

Actually, no, it usually gets instantly shot down by someone pointing out that any changes like this would have significant effects on the art of deckbuilding, and the most likely outcome is that it would alter the generally accepted "correct" number of resources to a lower number where you still had exactly the same chance of being screwed or flooded as you do now.

jaxsonbatemanhex
10-11-2013, 04:38 PM
In casual play in MTG, while this isn't something we loudly announce, my playgroup is usually pretty kind with mulligans. Some players need it more than most, but we don't want people feeling out of the game too often for whatever reason.

However, while this is a plea to popularity (ie. not a valid argument on its own), I'll point out that the majority of pros rarely, if ever, speak out against the resource system.

To use an analogy - Texas Hold Em is wildly popular. The best players in the world sometimes lose with a pair of Aces, and even occasionally to junk. But that variance helps make the game exciting. Sure, it's not a perfect analogy, but if you're sitting in one of those Hex player seats, and you feel your opponent is a better player, running a deck that beats yours, it's nice to know that you can still get favored by the dice.

Actually, that's a good point - one of the key parts of Poker strategy is dealing with bad beats. The same more or less should apply here.

http://poker-strategy.flopturnriver.com/dealing-with-bad-beats.php

With a little interpretation you can apply that mostly to Hex and other TCGs.

Kami
10-11-2013, 04:42 PM
It's not so much that mana screw/flood is the problem but rather that the game lacks acceleration/ramp cards at the moment.

And the ones that exist are costly, most are not turn 1 playable. Same with anything that helps you draw cards.

That, in my opinion, is what makes it painful at times.

Most of the 'best' decks I've seen are either extremely fast weenie decks, flight decks, and/or decks that abuse the hell out of permanent stat boosts. And the reason is that they are able to run off 2-3 resources for the most of the deck yet can pump out huge troops just after a few turns. Even if you were to play a strong 4 drop card, you could already be facing down a 6/6. And a 4 drop typically is not very powerful in this game.

Oroniss
10-11-2013, 04:42 PM
There is always a tradeoff between power and consistency when you're deck building. Too far along the power side, you end up losing too many games due to resource screw. If you go too far towards consistency, you almost never get resource screwed but lose games because your deck isn't powerful enough.

All changing the mulligan rule does is to change what the optimal ratios are. It actually doesn't eliminate resource screw since if you don't reduce the number of resources in your deck to compensate, you'll just get beaten by the people who do.

Kami
10-11-2013, 04:47 PM
There is always a tradeoff between power and consistency when you're deck building. Too far along the power side, you end up losing too many games due to resource screw. If you go too far towards consistency, you almost never get resource screwed but lose games because your deck isn't powerful enough.

All changing the mulligan rule does is to change what the optimal ratios are. It actually doesn't eliminate resource screw since if you don't reduce the number of resources in your deck to compensate, you'll just get beaten by the people who do.

Yes but what I mean is that you have very little way to compensate FOR when you do get resource screwed. Even in MTG, you could potentially recover from a few mulligans just by ramping up very quickly.

Prism
10-12-2013, 11:39 AM
Here's how to fix 'flood/screw'. Build your deck properly with a correct number of lands and mana curve. Mulligan properly.

Rycajo
10-12-2013, 12:54 PM
Here's how to fix 'flood/screw'. Play a game with less luck involved.

Fixed that for you.

The issue that nobody seems to bring up is what luck-based part of the game will be complained about next. If resources are "fixed", then it will be early drops, or late drops, or not drawing auras when you don't have a troop, or not top decking the answer to the most recent threat, etc.

Some bad luck will always be complained about unless CZE removes all random aspects of the game (including shuffling the deck to start). Then it wouldn't be Hex. So the solution is to either deal with the random parts of the game the best you can, or play a game with less luck.

Perhaps CZE could eventually make some PvE missions or a game mode where the player is able to set the order of cards in the deck as part of the deck building. Then the only luck in the game would be who gets to start.

stiii
10-12-2013, 01:36 PM
Here's how to fix 'flood/screw'. Build your deck properly with a correct number of lands and mana curve. Mulligan properly.

Why do some many people posting on this side of the argument feel the need to condescend so much?

This post is pretty much just if you guys weren't so bad you wouldn't get mana screwed.

stiii
10-12-2013, 01:41 PM
Fixed that for you.

The issue that nobody seems to bring up is what luck-based part of the game will be complained about next. If resources are "fixed", then it will be early drops, or late drops, or not drawing auras when you don't have a troop, or not top decking the answer to the most recent threat, etc.

Some bad luck will always be complained about unless CZE removes all random aspects of the game (including shuffling the deck to start). Then it wouldn't be Hex. So the solution is to either deal with the random parts of the game the best you can, or play a game with less luck.

Perhaps CZE could eventually make some PvE missions or a game mode where the player is able to set the order of cards in the deck as part of the deck building. Then the only luck in the game would be who gets to start.

As a counter point to this why is the amount of luck in Magic/Hex exactly right? If luck is such a good thing maybe there should be more of it? the real argument here seems to be magic has X% luck vs Y% skill so we are gonig to have exactly the same ratio and that must be right because that is what magic does.

There is a huge gap between wanting Hex to be 100% skill and wanting Hex to be more skill based. And it could even be possible ot have the same amount of skill and just remove the games where one player gets mana screwed and replace it with something that isn't as horrible. Most peopel would agree lsoing to a lucky top deck isn't anywhere as near as annoying as a game where you don't play a single spell and start discarding on turn three.

bootlace
10-12-2013, 02:58 PM
Here's how to fix 'flood/screw'. Build your deck properly with a correct number of lands and mana curve. Mulligan properly.

Let me use some math since I can't seem to get through to some people with your line of reasoning:

In any limited game where you have 17 resources in your 40 card deck, there is roughly a 12% chance that you will either draw 0,1,6,7 resources in your opening hand. Keeping such a hand regardless of your deck composition or skill level is not recommended in a limited environment so you will almost automatically mulligan. So 12% of the time or 1 in 8 games you will HAVE to mulligan. In an average tournament you are likely to play 8 games if you are to win. So every limited tourney this 'dumb luck' factor will play a role in determining the winner.

Is this something we really want? There are already so many more random luck elements in this game that having such an absolutely uncontrollable factor before the game even begins seems unnecessary, especially if something can be done about it without hurting the integrity of the game.

Oroniss
10-12-2013, 03:39 PM
The problem is, that if you allow a free mulligan, you still end up having to mulligan down to 6 cards 1 in 8 games, because the optimal number of resources drops to 14-16 to take advantage of the free mulligan. If you keep running 17 resources, then you get beaten more frequently by people that do change, since they have extra "useful" cards in their decks. The change doesn't actually solve the problem of mana screw, which is what quite a few people have tried to point out.

stiii
10-12-2013, 03:51 PM
The problem is, that if you allow a free mulligan, you still end up having to mulligan down to 6 cards 1 in 8 games, because the optimal number of resources drops to 14-16 to take advantage of the free mulligan. If you keep running 17 resources, then you get beaten more frequently by people that do change, since they have extra "useful" cards in their decks. The change doesn't actually solve the problem of mana screw, which is what quite a few people have tried to point out.

Well those extra useful cards are often going to be pretty bad. In a draft where you only get 42 cards total adding two more cards to your deck will often result in playing some terrible cards. So at some point you are still better off with the extra lands. (42 is magic not sure on hex booster sizes)

bootlace
10-12-2013, 04:00 PM
the optimal number of resources drops to 14-16 to take advantage of the free mulligan.

You must not have read the rule I suggested - you need 40-45% deck resource composition to take advantage of this free mulligan (so 16-18 lands). Besides, with such a low resource composition you would be hard pressed to keep hitting your lands even with 2 lands in your starting hand.

stiii
10-12-2013, 04:08 PM
You must not have read the rule I suggested - you need 40-45% deck resource composition to take advantage of this free mulligan (so 16-18 lands). Besides, with such a low resource composition you would be hard pressed to keep hitting your lands even with 2 lands in your starting hand.

Well there is a bit of an issue with forcing players to play 16-18 resources. You are pretty much tell people how to build their deck

Badger
10-12-2013, 04:46 PM
What about having a mulligan that worked like this: Any number of times, you may discard 2 cards or more and then draw that many cards -1. Might be way too consistent but I think people would stop complaining about bad starting hands. Might even make games more competitive, although combo decks may become to strong.

So in a hand of 7 you might discard 4 cards, keeping 3 you want and then draw 3 more. Then you might discard 2 and draw 1 more.

bootlace
10-12-2013, 06:41 PM
I've never witnessed a situation where someone played more than 18 or less than 15 in MTG but of course I dont know if this will apply to Hex.

Yoss
10-15-2013, 09:27 AM
I've never witnessed a situation where someone played more than 18 or less than 15 in MTG but of course I dont know if this will apply to Hex.
I've played as many as 20 resources in MTG Limited, because my bombs were super expensive and my utility cards were good enough to suffer through mana flood. (I won the tourney.)

However, in general I agree; 16-18 is right for MTG, even with house-rule mulligans. Starting with two lands can still leave you screwed if you skimped on resources (like dropping to 14 since you're sure to start with two).

nicosharp
10-15-2013, 10:48 AM
I typically would go 17 shards in a 40 card deck. 18 if I am aiming for a high curve.