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Rosenfloggen
03-13-2014, 10:10 AM
By Phil Cape

The newest patch for HEX: Shards of Fate has an addition that many of us here at Cryptozoic have been eagerly anticipating: Draft Tournaments.

http://hextcg.com/draft-tournament-overview/

Pete_Frenzi
03-13-2014, 10:50 AM
This article is a big help for me. I'm so freaking excited! I'm a relatively inexperienced Hexer, and I think Draft is a great way to learn. If you want to improve your skills, then please read the article and ger Drafting!

Yoss
03-13-2014, 11:49 AM
You will have 75 seconds to make your first selection, and the time will be reduced by 5 seconds for each subsequent pick.
So drafting is 30 minutes max. Three packs, each pack takes 600 seconds (75+70+65+60+55+50+45+40+35+30+25+20+15+10+5).

Deck building 20 minutes max (I assume).

Play 3 hours max (1 hour max per round).

Total time 3 hours 50 minutes max.


Should you fail to select a card before the timer expires, the computer will select one of the available cards randomly.
I'd much prefer if it randomly picked from the highest available rarity. That way if you lag, crash, get called away to help with kids, or whatever you at least get the benefit of drafting rares and uncommons.


“swiss style” ... you will always play three matches with your deck, earning one booster pack in prizes per match win. Playing more games will help you get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t about your strategy, making it easier for you to refine it and improve in subsequent draft tournaments.
It also gives you more play time for your money, which may or may not make you happy. (I can't always afford 4 hours, so I might rather have my losses knock me out while getting a fat payout if I make it through all 4 hours.)

Payout for Swiss (if you think of it as a bracket)
Winner's Bracket:
1st is 3 packs (WWW)
2nd is 2 packs (WWL)
3rd is 2 packs (WLW)
4th is 1 pack (WLL)

Loser's Bracket:
5th is 2 packs (LWW)
6th is 1 pack (LWL)
7th is 1 pack (LLW)
8th is 0 packs (LLL)

Total prizes: 12 packs


Draft is the best way to open packs and build your collection while at the same time sharpening your skills.
Speaks for itself.

Lagoz
03-13-2014, 12:13 PM
Ufff.. I really hope the make "Hasted" tournaments.
Sitting glued to computer for 1-1,5h is a struggle, not to mention 4 hours Oo

Edswor
03-13-2014, 12:26 PM
Yes, I hope there is a way to speed the draft tournament, aside from that, great article and very helpful for newbies like me

jimmywolf
03-13-2014, 12:34 PM
very well written an good breakdown on how draft works, as well as a noob friendly way on explaining how to play with the B.R.E.A.D breakdown thank you, looking forward to draft!

Norious
03-13-2014, 12:49 PM
Maybe have a ready button when you feel you are done with your deck building and if all players are ready then the game begins..

the_artic_one
03-13-2014, 01:12 PM
I'd much prefer if it randomly picked from the highest available rarity. That way if you lag, crash, get called away to help with kids, or whatever you at least get the benefit of drafting rares and uncommons.

I don't think that's such a good idea as it would encourage rare drafters to afk through drafting, slowing things down for everyone.

Yoss
03-13-2014, 01:21 PM
I don't think that's such a good idea as it would encourage rare drafters to afk through drafting, slowing things down for everyone.

I'd say the pro far outweighs that con. Live drafts I've played seem to always use the full timer, so I'm not expecting online to be any different. I'd guess that the AFK won't even be noticed most of the time. In other words, virtually no time will be lost for the other 7 players. Meanwhile, you get the benefit of "life insurance" for players gaming in less-than-ideal circumstances (which was one of the parts of Cory's dream for Hex: catering to the aging gamer who can't make large time commitments like driving down to the local store).

mudkip
03-13-2014, 01:22 PM
very well written an good breakdown on how draft works, as well as a noob friendly way on explaining how to play with the B.R.E.A.D breakdown thank you, looking forward to draft!

This video from Jax (is he still around?) is really good. I like his version of A & D better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZkgxG27NZ4

mainstager
03-13-2014, 02:28 PM
In sealed, if everyone's ready to go before the time limit is up, it starts the games. I'd be surprised if draft didn't run that way as well.

Yoss
03-13-2014, 03:52 PM
In sealed, if everyone's ready to go before the time limit is up, it starts the games. I'd be surprised if draft didn't run that way as well.

How they define "ready" is faulty. Just because I've clicked Save doesn't mean I'm ready, it just means I don't want to lose my progress if I need to reconnect or if I run out of build time.

GrinningBuddha
03-13-2014, 08:04 PM
In sealed, if everyone's ready to go before the time limit is up, it starts the games. I'd be surprised if draft didn't run that way as well.

I can confirm that if everyone picks their cards before the timer is done, the packs will get passed. Also, if everyone saves their finished deck before the 20 minutes is up, the tournament will begin.

OutlandishMatt
03-14-2014, 12:45 AM
I'd much prefer if it randomly picked from the highest available rarity. That way if you lag, crash, get called away to help with kids, or whatever you at least get the benefit of drafting rares and uncommons.

Please never ever ever do this, Cryptozoic. You should be penalized for AFKing. In your own example you say it takes a maximum of 30 minutes to draft. If you can't set for 30 minutes and make your picks then honestly I don't think you should be playing in a standard tournament setting.

darkwonders
03-14-2014, 08:18 AM
Just to make things clear. The one free draft tournament per week we get includes the boosters we need to participate as well, right?

Daer
03-14-2014, 08:52 AM
Yes

Yoss
03-14-2014, 09:52 AM
You should be penalized for AFKing.
First, it's important to ask: why? Second, even with my proposal, you're still being penalized for AFK; rare-drafting is still sub-optimal.


In your own example you say it takes a maximum of 30 minutes to draft. If you can't set for 30 minutes and make your picks then honestly I don't think you should be playing in a standard tournament setting.
In general I agree, you should not sit down to play if you know in advance that you cannot complete or will be interrupted. When I sit down to play I will do my best to make sure I can be there the whole time. However, I am not a hermit. I cannot guarantee that I won't get a critical phone call, or that one of the kids will get hurt and thus my wife will need help, or any number of other things that could reasonably come up as I'm trying to enjoy my "alone" time.

CZE wants as many people playing the premium content as possible. Why would they seek to steer people away?

Why should AFK carry this particular penalty? What does that gain you?

stiii
03-14-2014, 05:39 PM
Why should AFK carry this particular penalty? What does that gain you?

If someone is AFK they slow down the whole draft. So the gain is less people doing it and faster drafts.

jtatta
03-15-2014, 06:55 AM
There are several cons to just auto drafting the highest rarity cards but the main one that pops into my mind is that players will just enter multiple drafts at the same time (which they confirmed would be possible) and then afk the drafts to essentially get every rare that pops up on their screen. Players who are looking to just open packs for value rather than drafting will find this far more profitable as not only do they get their own rares from each pack that they open but they also get everyone else's. This means far more byes in the tournament and nobody likes sitting around for over an hour while they wait for their next round.

I understand, a win is a win is a win. Still, it's not fun and will discourage people from entering drafts. If I had 150 packs and wanted to have a play set of every card for PvP, I would pay the extra $1 per three packs to draft and just enter in 50 drafts and go watch a movie.

Yoss
03-15-2014, 08:36 AM
In regards to AFK slowing down the draft, I do not have access to the statistics, but my anecdotal experience is that drafters (as an 8-man group) always use within a few seconds of the full timer at each card pick. That being the case, the AFK time loss is rather small and conversely eliminating AFK doesn't give much time gain.


As far as rares drafting, I figured we'd come back to the discussion eventually, given how much talk there was the first time around. I don't see why it's a problem. As jtatta said, a win is a win. I'll always be quite happy to get a free pass into the second round, doubling my expected payout. If you're a rares drafter, please join every queue I ever play in so I can take your money (in the form of prize packs). The notion that "nobody likes sitting around for over an hour while they wait for their next round" is wrong in at least two ways. First, "nobody" allows for zero exceptions and so requires only a single example to refute. For that purpose, I present myself. As previously stated, I am quite happy to sit out a round in exchange for a doubling of my payout expectation. If I knew that I'd always be matched up against an AFK in my first round, I'd be joining MORE drafts, not less.

jtatta
03-15-2014, 09:26 AM
Yoss, I understand what you're saying about rare drafting but if it's automatically, the Auction House suffers because of it. You may think that you're "taking their money" but in the long run they're taking all of ours by having every single card in the game x8 and reselling them for twice as much.

Sure, players like you and me will take the free wins, that's sweet for us. That said, the "dealers" will be just as happy if not happier to be able to afk and make money. I'm certain that CZE doesn't want anyone to have "free wins" in draft and I'm even more certain that they don't want "dealers" dominating the auction house as both of those things are NPE.

Yoss
03-15-2014, 11:39 AM
I don't understand how rare-drafting somehow changes the market. Those rares are entering circulation regardless, which means Supply is the same in each case. Demand is unchanged either way. Therefore price is unchanged. What am I missing? Help me understand how the AH suffers from rare-drafting.

(P.S. Nice draft videos. There were a few picks I didn't agree with, but your commentary was well done.)

Gwaer
03-15-2014, 01:09 PM
If someone grabs a rare to use in their deck for draft they aren't absolutely certain to sell it. Which means it does change supply. Also if rare drafter becomes default you might have a ton of rare drafters joining, which means a bunch of byes. Just grinding free packs and not actually playing the game isn't fun. You say you like the free wins, but if you only play a single game and get top spot for that it's not fun. Draft loses value as an enjoyable experience for new players. They won't understand sitting around and waiting for two hours before their first game. That will suck for anyone, even people that appreciate the packs. Random is the best option. Auto rare draft is not. If you just have to step away for a second missing a few picks could honestly be better if randomized than if rare drafted. A lot of rares are build around. There's just not an up side from my perspective.

Yoss
03-15-2014, 04:17 PM
If a person grabs a rare to use in Constructed, that means that they wanted that card in Constructed and were part of the Demand. The Supply did go up, the only difference is that the meeting of Supply with Demand happened within a single individual rather than through the market. The price adjustment in the market will remain the same as if anyone else had taken the card.

Saying we "might" have something really isn't very useful. I might win the lottery. I might not.

Gwaer
03-15-2014, 04:22 PM
It's pretty simple, person rare drafting will sell every rare. Person who picks up a rare may not have ever bought it, but isn't necessarily going to sell it either. Not everyone uses the AH at all times.

So a card goes to someone who didn't necessarily want it, and who won't necessarily sell it. That happens pretty often in mtg drafts that I have done in my small sample.

DackFayden
03-16-2014, 08:57 PM
Well I just want to say no one here is an economist. I'm not either, but exactly how many people do you expect to be AFK in a draft? How exactly will that 'flood' the market? Are you guys saying people will game the system and AFK-draft with the idea the expected value of mass entering drafting and getting rares will exceed the entry fee?

There are some economic assumptions going here. I don't know the cost of a draft, but I do know that in HEX, TCGs, and online game markets the perfect market theory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_market) applies. Which is too say people will pay what they are willing to pay for a product. So overtime the price should even out. In order for supply and demand to be thrown off there would have to be a HUGE influx of product. Or an influx of product at a lower price.

At this point we definitely don't have the information to make any assumptions about the how the economy will be affected. I think we should base decisions on enjoyment of the core game. So I'd agree with Yoss that it should auto rare draft, I'd even say auto rarest draft. Think about it. People are usually AFK for the first couple picks and *assumption here* I think if we actually tabulated what picks were we'd see higher rarity cards are picked up early.

Of course it means people might get stuck with useless ingenuity engines or Infernos etc... But at least with rares a lot of them are bomby.

Gwaer
03-16-2014, 10:16 PM
People who are afk should get no benefit for that action. It should not be okay or encouraged to be afk. It should be a very bad thing to be afk. People shouldn't queue if they don't have time, and if an emergency pops up, that's a shame it will happen to everyone eventually and will even out. Encouraging players to be afk or have an option and at least rare draft hurts the players that are present the most. Regardless to Yoss sentiment of loving byes, I hate them. It sucks to sit around for an hour not able to play because someone ditched and got a free rare draft out of it. That should be discouraged as much as possible.

All it it takes is a possibility for rares in the draft to have a higher value on average than the expected 1$ per draft fee to make the right answer pay a dollar and walk away from the computer. That's unfun for any new player, and I'd hazard a guess to say most players. I know in current drafts that are free I hate getting byes and have forfeited every time rather than wait. If I paid to enter I'd have to sit there instead and hate every second of it. I draft to play, the winning packs is great and let's me play more, but it's absolutely not the point.

Yoss
03-17-2014, 10:06 AM
To me it sounds like fearmongering. You're not going to have an army of card vendors AFK rare-drafting. You won't even have vendors rare-drafting at all because they'll lose money.

The chances of rare-drafting being worth more than the $1 entry fee seems incredibly far-fetched. Your base packs are going to be valued at something like $1.50 each (click here for price analysis), and some of that value is lost as soon as you open it (loss of ability to Draft with it is worth something), and some is contained in the chest (which you can't Draft for). That means that the cards in a pack could easily be worth only $1 or less. That means your rare-drafting on a $1 entry fee has to make up for an entire pack worth of card value plus whatever small amount of time and capital overhead is required (which could matter when you're talking on the order of $1), and must do so using only the 2nd through 14th picks since the first pick is just the rare from your pack that you'd have gotten anyway by just opening the pack outside of the Draft. Rares that survive to the 2nd pick and lower are going to be of lower average value than those that go in the 1st pick. Sure, you'll grab lots of Hideous Conversion, Inferno, Infernal Professor, Cerebral Fulmination, and so on, but that won't cover your costs. People are going to 1st-pick the money cards.

Auto-raredraft when AFK is already a penalty for players who were intending to play, though it is reduced in pain level from pure random (and that's a good thing, it's the whole point of this discussion). Meanwhile, the hypothetical evil vendor who queues up 100 drafts to AFK in won't exist, and even if I'm somehow wrong on that, CZE can easily switch back to the current pure random method as corrective action.

Shaqattaq
03-17-2014, 11:10 AM
In the future, we're going to look at implementing a system that primarily chooses shard color cards that compliment your existing draft pile as that is going to help the player put together a playable deck and have an improved experience within the tournament. As for one that specifically picks rares, players have a general expectation-- a sort of social contract-- that each player will try to draft the best deck possible and test their strategy in the tournament. Rares are very potent, exciting in Limited play, and we want to see them in decks and matches, not in the reserves. We would prefer to promote a system that provides each player with the best deck possible, and providing one that picks within your shard colors would be superior in achieving that goal.

Gwaer
03-17-2014, 12:08 PM
Thanks Shaq! That's a much better system than either of us could have hoped for.

Yoss
03-17-2014, 02:23 PM
A smart system is indeed even better. I didn't want to suggest it since it could take quite a bit more dev time to implement. However, if ya'll want to spend the time on it to get it in before monetizing, great. If "in the future" means after monetization, then I'd still suggest implementing the random-rare-draft code as a stop-gap measure until you get around to the smart-pick code. The random-rare code should be trivial to implement; just two if/else statements added to the randomizer you've already got.

Shaqattaq
03-17-2014, 02:48 PM
No timetable for that feature. It'll certainly be post beta launch. We just wanted to let the community know that we heard them and had a proposed fix planned for sometime in the future.

a-V-e-n
03-18-2014, 03:30 AM
How are we supposed to end with 45 cards after drafting from 3 packs of 14 cards? Error in the article or will drafts have different booster composition (like having an uncommon replace the treasure chest)?
By the way, if the packs have just 2 uncommons in drafts (and sealed) then it's a big disappointment, I'd expect the limited format to get dull much quicker.

Yoss
03-18-2014, 07:45 AM
I think there are actually 11 commons, though I haven't kept careful count.

Cernz
03-18-2014, 07:57 AM
15 cards are in each pack in draft, 11 common are correct so far for draft.

a-V-e-n
03-21-2014, 05:28 AM
Thankfully drafts have 11C-3U-1R packs and play really well. But I find it odd that the Store says a booster contains 11 commons 2 uncommons 1 rare 1 treasure chest. Typo?

Shaqattaq
03-21-2014, 02:55 PM
That is definitely a typo. There are 3 uncommons in every booster pack, and you'll find 3 uncommons in every pack you open in booster draft. We'll update that soon. Thanks for the heads-up.