PDA

View Full Version : Hex and the pace of the game.



Lucas-Kain
11-10-2013, 08:46 AM
Hey everyone,

First off I am very happy to be participating in the Hex alpha. It is a very fun looking game with a lot of elements that will set it apart from other games. While it is still in alpha it is hard to see how all the elements will interact and play out, I am interested to toy around with them as time goes forward. What I want to talk about is something that sits at the core of the game design itself rather than things like the interface or the various mechanics, all of which are likely to be changed, tweaked and altered entirely as the game roles forward. At its core, Hex is a major expansion/iteration on the core concepts of M:TG. I love M:TG and still have some of my old decks just in case friends come by and want to play, but the game is a table-top game and as such is built around that idea. Hex is a great game to fill the void when you really want to play a round or two with someone, but it comes across as needing just a bit more to make it feel like something different at its base level.

Currently, the pace of the game is quite slow. That is fine when you are sitting around chattering with people, talking and bluffing. It fills the void. Hex is currently a lot slower then it really needs to be to keep me feeling drawn into the game itself. I love building decks, but the process of actually playing out a few matches with them (even against AI) can come across as a bit too slow and even laborious at times. While the core mechanics of mana/resources are a key component of the game, this could be helped along by having two piles of cards to draw from. One entirely made of resources and one entirely made of other types of cards. This would give players a lot more direct control over how fast the game got rolling by choosing at the start of every turn to draw from one pile or the other. This would allow there to be more effects on resource cards (like a unique one that generates 2 charges) and also increase the total number of non-resource cards players could pack in their 60 cards.

Other methods to increase pace will be added in time, I am sure... more card draw mechanics and counter plays which will make the number of times we press the "priority pass" button far more logical and less of a spam fest for my space-bar. However, there is still the basic problem that the game has in that the amount of resources you draw directly controls how fast the game moves forward for both players, and it directly impacts how "fun" the game feels. Even when you lose, there is more enjoyment in a game where you had a good back-and-forth than in one where you sat there with 2 mana the whole time and nothing to play. Losing is never "fun" but getting screwed over by RNG is just damned irritating. There would still be the random element of drawing in that the decks would all be shuffled and what have you, but it wouldn't be anywhere near as rage inducing for me, at least.

Anyone have any other thoughts on the pace of the game? Am I totally off my rocker in how I feel about this? Got any better ideas?

Xenavire
11-10-2013, 10:43 AM
I have found Hex games run at about the same speed as Magic DotP, and often a good deal faster.Especially when resolving a large stack, passing priority is a good deal quicker than waiting out that little bar 20-30 times.

The pace seems just fine at this point, although a few tweaks to the UI could make things seem a little nicer.

Soldack
11-10-2013, 11:33 AM
A great help will be "pass all priority this turn" button or hot key. When you have zero resources to spend, and no troops in play....clicking pass 5 or 6 times a turn gets old....

Mahes
11-10-2013, 02:35 PM
A great help will be "pass all priority this turn" button or hot key. When you have zero resources to spend, and no troops in play....clicking pass 5 or 6 times a turn gets old....

This is so true. I would love a "Pass entire turn or rest of turn" button just as long as it is located someplace not so easily hit.

Erep
11-10-2013, 02:36 PM
I just want the animations to go much faster (3X maybe, and I really think the default needs to be faster so that in PvP everyone is going faster, rather than just when you are playing against the computer or in PvE). That has been my opinion of what the problem has been since the beginning, as I have noticed the same things as you.

EntropyBall
11-10-2013, 03:12 PM
This thread is basically the same as many of the "mana screw/flood" threads. I think you have good points about the downsides to a "slow" online game vs a game IRL, but there is no way they are going to change core parts of gameplay like adding a mana deck. A change like that would require rebalancing all the cards. But I agree the current iteration of spamming space bar gets old, particularly when you're tapped out and can't do anything.

Xenavire
11-10-2013, 04:35 PM
I do have one thing that I want to be faster - milling. When you hit 12+ cards it actually starts to take a while. They should make that nearly instant, and just work on a nice graveyard viewer.

Kiven
11-10-2013, 07:20 PM
options for "faster" turns and animation would be great for more advanced/experienced players

mudkip
11-10-2013, 08:22 PM
I do have one thing that I want to be faster - milling. When you hit 12+ cards it actually starts to take a while. They should make that nearly instant, and just work on a nice graveyard viewer.

I think effects like that will speed up as part of the polish with Hex. It's the same as casting extinction with a full board: each creature takes a few seconds to remove.

FlyingMeatchip
11-10-2013, 08:46 PM
Start game with 2-3 mana in hand then draw the remaining cards.

funktion
11-10-2013, 09:13 PM
I totally agree, ideally you would be able to play the game just as seamlessly as you would if it were on paper. Not having to shuffle from some ability every couple turns is definitely nice... but shuffling is also one of those things that you're actively physically doing, it helps break up the monotony.

Much of this will improve I'm sure as they put more time into it and work out the kinks. The game has already come quite a ways in the last month, and when it is working well it feels very fluid. Keep in mind that the phase stops are not currently working correctly much of the time and that will go a long way towards making things more natural.

Shadowelf
11-11-2013, 01:16 AM
Well we know that the game will undergo a lot of polish before its official release, and i bet that once they get everybody in and playing, we will start seeing improvements on UI as well as additional features

Vorpal
11-11-2013, 09:33 AM
I feel like the game would go more quickly if all the animations and response times were 'snappier' and I'm sure this is something that will come with time.

It also doesn't help that I'm waiting several seconds to hit 'pass priority' each time for fear of bugging it out.

If you hate sitting around without mana to play your cards, build very aggressive decks or maybe a wild ramp deck or something.

malloc31
11-11-2013, 01:07 PM
I agree it would be nice if the game was quicker. I do not agree with the original posters ways of fixing it (I do not even thing the suggestions would actually speed up games). What I would like to see is a way to automatically pass priority on some scenarios that happen every turn. For example you play a card that has a beneficial effect every time a troop comes into play, and you can set it to auto pass every time it occurs (like it is currently possible in magic online). This would eliminate many of the times you need to pass priority and speed things up a lot.

HyenaNipples
11-11-2013, 01:22 PM
Perhaps a little checkbox like when Internet Explorer is shocked that it isn't your default browser.

Click here to not receive this priority again.

ossuary
11-11-2013, 04:39 PM
Speed of animations is certainly a concern, but also keep in mind that right now there is no real battle log, so if you don't witness exactly what happens, you won't have any way to replay it or work it out easily, so it's beneficial (for the time being, anyway) for the animations to be a little slow.

I'm sure that once the game gets closer to release and they move on to the polish stage of production, things will speed up significantly (hopefully including a battle log of some sort so you can easily review actions to see how everything resolved / interacted if you weren't staring at the screen the whole play).

MuffLord4
11-11-2013, 06:08 PM
By the way, does anybody else feel that it's strange? I didn't play TCGs b4 so I don't know if it's normal but is it normal that after playing an ability it sometimes skips me to the next step even tho I might want to play a card first?

Lawlschool
11-11-2013, 06:21 PM
Perhaps a little checkbox like when Internet Explorer is shocked that it isn't your default browser.

Click here to not receive this priority again.

I think that's actually possible. During the Alpha launch game, I think Corey showed a UI feature that lets you choose which phases to skip your priorities. I'm not sure how useful the feature is though, since it seems hard to know for certain that you'd never want to use a quick action during a specific phase, and constantly changing which phases to skip seems just as much of a hassle (if not more so) than spamming the Pass key.

I'm not sure it's ever possible to solve the annoying Pass Priority key problem, since it'd require the game to basically read your mind. It might just be an unfortunate downside to digital TCGs.

Mahes
11-11-2013, 07:32 PM
I played a long game against the AI to test Health cap. It is at least 1+ million. Ill try for a billion tomorrow.

ossuary
11-11-2013, 09:46 PM
I think that's actually possible. During the Alpha launch game, I think Corey showed a UI feature that lets you choose which phases to skip your priorities. I'm not sure how useful the feature is though, since it seems hard to know for certain that you'd never want to use a quick action during a specific phase, and constantly changing which phases to skip seems just as much of a hassle (if not more so) than spamming the Pass key.

I'm not sure it's ever possible to solve the annoying Pass Priority key problem, since it'd require the game to basically read your mind. It might just be an unfortunate downside to digital TCGs.

I would assume a system similar to what Microprose did with the original MtG PC game way back in the 90s (commonly referred to as Shandalar, for the single player campaign that came with it)... in that game, you could flag specific steps of each player's turn to always pause or always skip, but even if you didn't have a phase set to pause, any time the opponent cast something that was possible to respond to (i.e. playing a non-land), it would give you the chance to respond appropriately. So if the opponent did nothing, you weren't prompted to pass priority, but if they did something, you could respond to it.

You could also tell the game to jump to a specific phase, which would override all previous defaults for that one turn and pass priority on all those phases in between - but even then, if the opponent did something you could respond to, it would prompt you to see if you wanted to respond. So basically, it had to different "skip to here unless something interesting happens" options - which is elegant, and perfect. I expect we'll eventually see something pretty much identical to that in HEX.