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Gankatron
04-10-2014, 12:52 PM
Most deck building games (DBG) have a P2W aspect as one's deck tends to improve with the number of cards available, so often the pertinent question isn't "is it P2W" versus "how much does the P2W aspect affect enjoyment of the game"?

By comparison, on the DBG P2W scale I consider "SolForge" to have a high P2W component with the unbalancing effect of Legendary cards, whereas there were no P2W concerns with the oldie, but goodie DBG "Astral Masters" as one had access to all of the cards from the point of purchase.

The main factor holding me back from funding any DBG kickstarter is the potential P2W aspect. How do you beta testers feel HEX fits onto the P2W spectrum?

Thanks!

(Incidentally I searched the forums for "p2w", as well as "pay win" and got zero returns, and then went 10 pages deep to see if anyone had raised a similar titled post without finding any, before posting this question).

Gwaer
04-10-2014, 01:12 PM
Basically it depends on how you think of pay to win. I don't think of MTG as pay to win. But a lot of people do. We've had this discussion a couple of times, but not for quite a while. Unfortunately since so many people are on a pretty big spectrum of what is and isn't pay to win, it's quite difficult to have a conversation about it.

Gankatron
04-10-2014, 01:20 PM
Yes, I was surprised to not return any threads for a search on a P2W topic as I figured this is always a contentious issue with contemporary deck building games.

I agree that people's perceptions and expectations varying on this subject, which is why I am trying to frame it in a context relative to other DBG's.

Thanks for your response!

Daer
04-10-2014, 01:27 PM
Basically if you think MTG isn't pay-to-win, then Hex isn't either. If you think MTG is p2w, then you would think Hex is as well.

The PVP side of Hex basically follows the MTG model; buy booster packs to open and build decks with your cards. This can be offset somewhat with the ability to sell the PVE (f2p) cards/equipment/etc. you find on the AH and buy PVP cards/packs with your proceeds. You could also sell the PVP cards you don't want in the AH and buy the PVP cards you do want.

the_artic_one
04-10-2014, 01:29 PM
I have never heard of TCGs referred to as Deck building games. Deck building games usually refers to games like Dominion or Penny Arcade where deckbuilding is part of gameplay.

Constructed PVP is pay to compete (there is some minimum amount you need to pay to be competitive, spending more after this amount is of minimal/no benefit). It is possible to acquire contructed cards though PVE so it's possible that it will be play to win where you can be competitive after a certain amount of grinding.
Sealed/Draft PVP modes are pay to play (everyone pays the same fee to play and cannot spend any more to gain advantages)
PVE is not out yet but it's unlikely to be pay to win as you cannot directly buy PVE cards though it may be since you can indirectly buy them by selling PVE cards for gold.

Gankatron
04-10-2014, 01:30 PM
@Daer:

Sounds reasonable. Thanks for the information. ;)

Yoss
04-10-2014, 01:31 PM
"Pay to Win" seems non sequiter when you're talking about a Pay to Play game. Hex PvP will be more or less like Magic: the Gathering; you will have to Pay to Play. Hypothetically, you can play PvP for free with the starter deck, but it won't get you very far. So much so that I consider it more of a tutorial than "free to play". To compete at the highest level of Constructed, you will need to buy cards to build your deck. To compete in Draft, you must pay the entry fees.

If you want to discuss Pay to Win for Hex, it would be in the context of the MMORPG side of the game, which we don't know much about yet.

Zer0
04-10-2014, 01:33 PM
Magic constructed is pay to win in standard. There are usually few good decks that cost less than a couple hundred bucks worth of singles. My esper control deck from r2r used to be valued at over 600 bucks because of all the singles in it, and decks that i tried to build without costing a ton of money just werent competitive.

Thraeg
04-10-2014, 01:35 PM
I'd say it's moderate. To my mind, buying cards to expand your options is an expected, normal part of the business model that doesn't qualify as P2W. Where it becomes problematic is when the rarest cards are just flat-out better than the rest, to the point that competing with them becomes difficult or impossible. As you mentioned, SolForge does have an issue with that. I'd say that the gap in power level between legendary and non-legendary cards is lower in Hex than in SolForge.

Though on the other hand, SolForge's trickle of free packs and tournament tickets just for logging in and playing is likely more generous than what we'll see in Hex, so it balances out a bit.

And as a side note, the term you're looking for is trading card game or collectible card game (TCG or CCG). Deck-building games are things like Dominion or Ascension where you are buying cards throughout each match and shuffling them back into your deck, not accumulating a collection over time.

Gankatron
04-10-2014, 01:35 PM
@artic and Thraeg:

I used DBG as a general term (I didn't even know it was coined yet) so as not to exclude games that utilize similar play mechanics but do not involve collecting or trading of cards, specifically relative to "Astral Masters" where all of the cards are available from the start, but different deck value thresholds are predetermined for PvP matches. Otherwise the terms CCG or TCG describe the general type of game to which I am referring.

Thanks for the clarification.

Hatts
04-10-2014, 01:39 PM
Without wading in to the P2W debate it's worth noting there are formats within Hex that are categorically not pay to win:

Pay to play:
Draft tournaments
Sealed tournaments
Free to play:
PvE

For constructed it remains to be seen just how much it is P2W, depending on the prices of rares / legendaries, and the makeup of the meta defining decks. It's really hard to guess at this point as we are used to having access to all of the cards.

Kilo24
04-10-2014, 01:42 PM
As it is of course not out yet nor are the major components involved in , it's hard to say for certain. Let me just summarize what we know from Cryptozoic.

There are two currencies: gold and platinum. Gold will be gotten from a large variety of PvE sources. You can only get platinum from either buying it with real money or selling stuff to other players on the Auction House or via trade. Platinum will be used for buying cards, booster packs, and for tournament fees, but Cryptozoic is selling nothing else for platinum (and platinum is the only thing that you can get directly for real money). Players can put up almost any card, piece of equipment or mercenary (and likely crafting materials and other things) for either gold or platinum on the Auction House.

PvP cards can only be bought from Cryptozoic in starter decks or booster packs or gained from other players.

PvE will, in addition to gold, give you PvE-specific cards, equipment, mercenaries and other things that you can sell. In theory, you can just play PvE long enough, sell the numerous things that you get on the Auction House, and buy all the PvP cards you want with the gold or platinum you receive from it. Whether or not that is practical is a question that can only be answered once the game has launched; economies are very unpredictable things.

If you don't touch PvE at all and just want to play PvP, it will probably be about as pay-to-win as Magic: The Gathering is. It's possible to break even or have a net gain of platinum on the tournaments that run constantly, but you probably won't. I've no idea what the general prices will end up as, but, like the rest of the Hex PvP experience, doing the same as Magic seems to be a safe bet. It will probably be cheaper overall since booster packs are half the price.

Gankatron
04-10-2014, 01:42 PM
"As you mentioned, SolForge does have an issue with that. I'd say that the gap in power level between legendary and non-legendary cards is lower in Hex than in SolForge."

Exactly.

I like monetization models where rare cards add variety to playstyles, but are not necessarily grotesquely more powerful as evinced by the Legendary cards in SolForge.

Barkam
04-10-2014, 01:42 PM
To be more specific, constructed tournaments are P2W While limited format tournaments like draft and sealed are NOT P2W.

Edit: haha this post was suppose to be post3 and ended up being post 14.

Gankatron
04-10-2014, 01:46 PM
Good information and polite conversation is difficult to find in most forums, especially on contentious topics, thanks everyone for that!

Thraeg
04-10-2014, 02:06 PM
I used DBG as a general term (I didn't even know it was coined yet) so as not to exclude games that utilize similar play mechanics but do not involve collecting or trading of cards, specifically relative to "Astral Masters" where all of the cards are available from the start, but different deck value thresholds are predetermined for PvP matches.

Interesting thought. I hadn't heard of that game, but you're right that calling it collectible wouldn't really make sense. Maybe we should be using 'XCG' as a catch-all for TCG, CCG, LCG, and whatever the proper term for Astral Masters would be.

SriSyadasti
04-10-2014, 02:41 PM
Worth noting that Hex will have a much lower price point than MTG, costing $2 a pack rather $4. There's also a VIP subscription program that provides a pack a week at a little less than $1 each. It seems reasonable to expect the cost of making a competitive tournament deck will be somewhere less than half what it is in MTGO. There's also an expansive collection of PvE cards that can be obtained for free through playing the F2P single player part of the game. These cards won't be legal in the main formats but can be used freely in casual play, there has been mention from CZE about PVE tournaments somewhere down the line but little information yet about what kind of form they might take

Ali3nSan
04-10-2014, 03:03 PM
Constructed could be considered p2w but limited and draft puts everyone on equal footing. It's not free Ofc as you need the boosters and pay entry fee but you can keep your cards :)

chili
04-10-2014, 03:22 PM
You don't pay to win in my opinion, neither in magic, you pay for cards and you have a "better" deck, but you can almost always play competitve stuff on the cheaop side

Barkam
04-10-2014, 03:39 PM
You don't pay to win in my opinion, neither in magic, you pay for cards and you have a "better" deck, but you can almost always play competitve stuff on the cheaop side

Semantics. P2W represents the idea that you can get advantahes with real money.

the_artic_one
04-10-2014, 03:46 PM
Well in magic you can't play at all without real money so it's not really pay2win so much as the cost of the game.

Svenn
04-10-2014, 04:26 PM
I have never heard of TCGs referred to as Deck building games. Deck building games usually refers to games like Dominion or Penny Arcade where deckbuilding is part of gameplay.

Thank you. That was bothering me. ;)

Others have covered this pretty well I think. It's about on par with MTG except everything is cheaper. However, on top of buying cards you will be able to earn them through play. Theoretically, you could play forever and have all cards without ever spending a dime, though I suspect that won't be easy.

As far as the power of rare cards... there are some really good ones, but they aren't required at all. I haven't sat down to try and make a deck without rares (I didn't even pay attention to rarity until sealed/drafts were added) but none of the rares are grossly overpowered.

Aradon
04-10-2014, 04:33 PM
For clarification, I believe the general nomenclature for card games are

Deckbuilding Game: Card game that involves adding cards to your deck as part of the gameplay rather than setup.
Living Card Game: Box set of all the cards, from which you can construct your deck. Everyone has access to all the cards once the initial purchase is made (though frequently there are expansions, which require more purchases).
Trading Card Game / Collectible Card Game: These seem to be interchangeable and both refer to purchasing cards in randomized packs to build a collection, from which you construct your deck. Hex is a TCG.

It can be argued that CCGs are differentiated on digital platforms by removing the trading component, such as Hearthstone, but this term's been around before digital card games gained popularity.


On the topic of pay-to-win, yes, Hex has a pay-to-win factor. As long as some cards are better than others (a concept MtG has claimed is necessary, and most card games subscribe to), you can spend money to purchase said better cards. It's really just a matter of how expensive it is to play on a competitive level, which is hard to predict right now. Hex pricing is half as much as MtGs, which should help alleviate some of the burden. It also has some PvE factors that could assist in gaining currency without spending real money, but the exchange rate (to be determined by the free market) is unknown, and as always, we can expect the 'free' currency to be very low compared to the platinum currency. I've never seen a game with dual currencies that didn't have an exchange rate that required very high amounts of time invested to purchase anything worthwhile.

There are limited formats, as others have mentioned, that create a level tournament playing field that is NOT pay-to-win in any fashion. They have an entry fee to participate in, but each player receives randomized products and essentially are on equal footing regardless of how much else they have spent on the game.


It's a card game, and card games are expensive hobbies. You can expect that spending money on it will make your decks more powerful, and if you limit your own spending, you may find that other people are able to make better decks than you. Just how much you'll need to invest and how often to make a deck that satisfies you is really too hard to judge right now. We can guess based on a few major factors, but take this with a heap of salt. First, you can guess how much it'd cost to acquire a single given rare or legendary. The price point is half that of MtG, but I believe the set is 350 cards, compared to MtG's 250. I don't have a legendary count for the first PvP set, unfortunately, but using those numbers/ratios, you can guesstimate the average cost of singles. The second is the power disparity between legendaries and rares. If legendaries are the actually-strong cards that you always need 4-ofs to be competitive, the cost of decks will be very high, as you'll open packs, get rares that you don't need, creating a flood of low-value rares while people chase the more uncommon legendaries, which will conversely be more expensive.
I think the power disparity right now between rares and legendaries is a little less than MtG's, so it should compare slightly favorably in that regard.

Again, just guesses on my part.

Gwaer
04-10-2014, 04:51 PM
For me pay to win has to have something where you can put money in and get guaranteed advantages over someone who didn't put as much money in. In a tcg that's rarely the case. Often there is a competitive deck that can beat an extremely expensive one for cheaper.

Its like league of legends, if you spend money on RP and buy champs that beat other champs, there's a p2w factor, you have more options, some champs hard counter others... But it's not p2w. A tcg seems similar to that for me. You can put a finite amount of money in. More doesn't even assist over people that put in less in many cases.

DanTheMeek
04-10-2014, 06:20 PM
Good information and polite conversation is difficult to find in most forums, especially on contentious topics, thanks everyone for that!

This, honestly, has impressed me as much as anything about Hex itself, and I don't mean just in this thread, but on the forum in general, the level of politeness and and respect shown on controversial topics on these forums is something I've not seen on a game forum before, and I've been roaming forums for years. I remember just a few months back I had tried to get into a fighting game competitively which I shall not name but will note had an equal amount of both skulls and girls in it, and the forum was absolutely toxic, one of the meanest, rudest, and just generally unpleasant bunch of forum goers I'd ever met. There were some good seeds mixed in, but I recall one post in particular I had expressed an opinion conceding a match that was already lost (I was for it) to which another player responded by calling me all sorts of "unpleasant" words that would have been filtered on more stringent forums ending by telling me, and I'm paraphrasing but this was the gist, to get the f' out you ****, only a total **** would give up in a match, so go *** yourself and never come back cause we don't want you in our community. I reported the post, then came back later to find not only was it still there, but that the hateful post directed at my person had received multiple likes from the community.

Conversely, it seems like every other post I have on Hex's forums I'm getting into an arguement with some one (usually the entire community X-D ) yet have found, despite often fighting for unpopular opinions, I've always been treated with respect and civility. This fact is FAR more important for a competitive games health then I think most realize, because, while Hex will eventually have a PvE aspect, as a competitive game you will spend a large amount of your time playing against other players. If they're constantly spitting bile at you, regardless of how good the gameplay is, odds are your not going to enjoy yourself very much. The game involving female head skeletons is actually very well made, but at least when I was tryign to get into it, it was being held back by its community, I don't see that happening here, quite the opposite, I see the strength of character in this community being just the thing the game needs to make a great game into a must play.

OKAY, on topic, yes this game will be pay to play for pvp, not required for PvE but may give advantage since it seems you'll be able to buy gold and pve items off the auction house, to what extent it harms the PvE experience I suppose will depend on how much of the best stuff is account bound and must be earned. With only a handful of exceptions like Path of Exile, very few games ever made in the history of time could not be qualified as pay to win, since you can't, for example, beat Super Mario Brothers unless you pay to own the right to even play the game. What most people think of when they think of Pay to Win, is not being charged to play, but being charged excessively high prices to compete. What is and isn't excessively high varies from player to player, thus the debates on this subject. Everyone thats said Hex will be PTW if you consider MTG to be PTW are spot on, Corey has made it clear that while they're making the game for the fans, they don't plan to live off donations that give no in-game advantage like Path of Exile, you will need to spend to get more cards, legendary cards will be really strong, and they will be really expensive to acquire. I did an article estimating how much completing play sets or making competitive decks will probably be in the forums some where, though that was before we had better numbers on primal rates (not that that would effect my numbers much anyway) so you can look that up if you'd like to get a better idea if those numbers fall in line with what you consider excessive spending required to be competitive.

In the end, though, they have made it VERY clear that PvE is meant to a free player friendly zone, no timers or pay walls to keep playing it, so if your fine with just PvE, and Corey stays true to his word, you should be able to get a ton of fun out of this game with out ever spending a dime.

Dropbear
04-10-2014, 06:24 PM
Singleplayer and dungeons is FREE TO PLAY.
Multiplayer is PAY TO PLAY THE DECK YOU WANT.

funktion
04-10-2014, 10:09 PM
I wish I had more to contribute to this conversation. Everyone's really awesome in this thread.

Actually...

I guess maybe another interesting way to look at things is to start looking at the numbers and figuring what type of advantage does playing a $75 tier one deck get you over a $30 one. I'm going to use bullet points here and it might be rambly, but I'm tired so please excuse me on that one...

-Players set the prices, not CZE. They're only selling boosters and not singles, the cards which make up a deck are only worth $30 if the players value them at that. (sure the more boosters that are opened the larger the supply of a particular and hypothetically the lower the price, though that is a gross simplification)

-If the $75 dollar deck only wins a very small percentage more often... say 3% aren't you actually better off in some ways saving yourself $45 dollars and just playing the cheaper deck? Do you plan to play often enough (and well enough) to actually recoup the cost of the higher price deck?

-What's your goal? If you're bleeding edge competitive it might be better to play whatever the best deck is regardless of cost, but if you're not that type of player you should step back and who knows that might not actually be the best option for you even if all you care about is winning.

-It might be the case that you've put in way more play time with the cheaper deck and you know its ins and outs much better. In which case you should stick with what you know even if it isn't necessarily the "best".

-In the end despite what everyone is saying about any particular meta there are often going to be times where the "best" deck really only wins slightly more often than the 5th best deck. People might consider it to be leaps and bounds better but public opinion and the actual numbers don't always sync up.

Gulbech
04-10-2014, 10:37 PM
Many good points, but would like to add:

Most commons and uncommon and a few rare will be very cheap, probably.a few cent each. So it will be cheap to make a lot of different and fun decks for a dollar or two. Could easily be done in magic, and will be possible in hex too. Will just not be as comparative as high cosy decks, but lot of fun to play.

Dropbear
04-11-2014, 01:24 AM
Actually, I will note: you will be spending a lot if you want to be competitive in an extreme sense. There will be some people smart enough to make decks and buy those cards before they post the deck they use and those prices rise, but if you are not crazy enough to think of a good combo you'll probably be building netdecks, which will be the most expensive cards.

Another thing to note: holy shit boosters are cheap. My thinking is that have a look at your top tier MTG Standard pro deck, remove the land cards, then half the price of it. That'll probably be the average tier 1 Hex deck.

meetthefuture
04-11-2014, 01:29 AM
"Astral Masters" as one had access to all of the cards from the point of purchase.

Still playing it on my tablet, though I didn't know it was known outside of Russia :)

Disordia
04-11-2014, 04:52 AM
I still find it sad the concept of pay to win has been bastardized to the point that tcgs are included in the discussion.

mudkip
04-11-2014, 06:42 AM
I still find it sad the concept of pay to win has been bastardized to the point that tcgs are included in the discussion.

I see the PvP of Hex the same as any physical TCG. I mean, it costs you nothing to look at your cards, it costs you nothing to play casual games with your friends and (future feature) it costs nothing for you to borrow your friend's cards to play a game with them.

The only costs are buying new packs and tournament fees. It's not as if you're paying to remove ads, or to extend game time or any sort of shit like that. I'm glad that Hex is nothing like those sleazeware titles.

Turtlewing
04-11-2014, 10:20 AM
It's probably worth noting that there are several different formats that probably clock in a different levels of "pay to win"

Limited formats like Draft and Sealed are obviously not "pay to win". Everyone pays the same amount to enter the event, and their card pool is generated randomly for the event (this is "pay to play"). The only benefit you can gain by paying more in these formats is playing more often.

Constructed formats fit most definitions of "pay to win". You can buy more cards to expand your options and a player can lookup the deck-list of top tournament decks and buy what they need to make those decks of the AH. Furthermore selling packs is planned to be CZE's main revenue stream so you can expect that in most cases you'll be breaking out the real money to put together a competitive constructed deck (as someone had to fork over enough cash to CZE to get the card in a pack which should be reflected in resale price).

The PvE side is a lot murkier. It looks like it's going to be in the "you can't buy power that you can't get by playing directly from CZE, but you can take some plat to the auction house to save a lot of grind" which is in pretty hotly debated territory P2W-wize.

Lonenut
04-11-2014, 10:55 AM
A TCG has, by definition, its pay to win locked in place.

The only real question is "How intrinsically cash grabby are the chase rares?"

Hex is on par with Magic so far, so significantly less chase rare cash grabby than Solforge, but still a TCG.

Disordia
04-11-2014, 11:26 AM
I see the PvP of Hex the same as any physical TCG. I mean, it costs you nothing to look at your cards, it costs you nothing to play casual games with your friends and (future feature) it costs nothing for you to borrow your friend's cards to play a game with them.

The only costs are buying new packs and tournament fees. It's not as if you're paying to remove ads, or to extend game time or any sort of shit like that. I'm glad that Hex is nothing like those sleazeware titles.

This is more like what pay2win actually means.

If Hex actually was pay2win, then I would be able to pay 10 plat to draw a card, 20 plat to start with a 10 card hand, 50 plat to ignore losing by decking, or 100 plat to start with a 10 card hand and ignore max hand size.

Pay2win describes games that let you purchase in game advantages that are generally considered extremely difficult if not impossible to compete against without also spending money.

Card games are not like this. There is a cost barrier of building your collection. This may be a ton of money or almost zero depending on how much effort you put into collecting cards, how good you are at the game, and how expensive tier 1 or 2 decks are.

What they don't allow you to do is buy in game advantages during the course of a match or tournament to give you a noticeable advantage that is otherwise impossible to get.

Only when that starts happening, then maybe these arguments about hex being pay2win or having a pay2win aspect can start having some relevance, but not until then.

DanTheMeek
04-11-2014, 12:31 PM
This is more like what pay2win actually means.


Actually I'd argue that P2W means different things to different people and is exactly why the topic is always so hotly debated, because by one persons definition something isn't even close to being P2W, while by another persons understanding it is the very definition of P2W.

Thats why I think its vital that, whenever asked if something is Pay To Win, you never to say "yes" or "no", but simply describe the game and how payments effect it to allow that person to decide for themselves whether or not the game is P2W by their persona definition.

The facts are that CZE has stated that very few PvP cards will be obtainable for free, they don't want to do anything that would even give the impression that PvP was free to play because it 100% is not intended to be, its intended to be pay to play. PvE, meanwhile, is supposed to be balanced around being able to play it forever entirely for free with out ever hitting a wall in which you need to pay to continue. It WILL, however, have cards that can only be obtained through spending real money (such as all of the PvE kick starter exclusives which you could not have gotten with out having spent money on the kick starter).

Whether or not that makes Hex P2W is up to you and your own definition of P2W to decide.

(And yes I did give my own opinion on what was P2W earlier in this topic, but I'm apparently incapable of refraining from sharing my opinion on things...)

Lonenut
04-11-2014, 12:55 PM
Well, with something like a TCG, I don't think P2W is the right phrase, too. The question is how vital chase rares are to building a good deck. If you can play competitively and have coherent decks that don't ALL require tons of chase rares/mythics, then you're in a good position for a TCG.

Disordia
04-11-2014, 01:23 PM
Actually I'd argue that P2W means different things to different people and is exactly why the topic is always so hotly debated, because by one persons definition something isn't even close to being P2W, while by another persons understanding it is the very definition of P2W.

Thats why I think its vital that, whenever asked if something is Pay To Win, you never to say "yes" or "no", but simply describe the game and how payments effect it to allow that person to decide for themselves whether or not the game is P2W by their persona definition.

The facts are that CZE has stated that very few PvP cards will be obtainable for free, they don't want to do anything that would even give the impression that PvP was free to play because it 100% is not intended to be, its intended to be pay to play. PvE, meanwhile, is supposed to be balanced around being able to play it forever entirely for free with out ever hitting a wall in which you need to pay to continue. It WILL, however, have cards that can only be obtained through spending real money (such as all of the PvE kick starter exclusives which you could not have gotten with out having spent money on the kick starter).

Whether or not that makes Hex P2W is up to you and your own definition of P2W to decide.

(And yes I did give my own opinion on what was P2W earlier in this topic, but I'm apparently incapable of refraining from sharing my opinion on things...)

That is my entire point. You have what P2W actually means, and all the bastardized "definitions" that more and more people seem to believe.

The question if a game is P2W or not can be answered with a simple yes or no. If you think there are levels to P2W or there is more to it, then you've most likely confused what P2W is and/or concatenated its definition with another definition that has its own separate term it defines.

TL DR: People think the definition or application of the term P2W is subjective when it isn't.

Gwaer
04-11-2014, 01:37 PM
Unfortunately even if it is that cut and dry in a dictionary, it's not that cut and dry in the minds of the masses. I agree that a TCG can never be p2w by its original definition. That view is not the only one though, and just yelling at one another that something is or isn't p2w is not particularly effective.

Disordia
04-11-2014, 01:44 PM
So if people don't know what the definition is for water and make up their own definition for it, that should just be accepted as another view of what it is?

Gwaer
04-11-2014, 01:46 PM
So if people don't know what the definition is for water and make up their own definition for it, that should just be accepted as another view of what it is?

That's how language works, yes. If the masses start referring to water as something else so frequently that you have to explain what water is, just pointing at a thing and saying that is water, doesn't stop the argument, or help advance the discussion. It just starts an argument between two people who both "know" what water is really.

Kilo24
04-11-2014, 01:46 PM
TL DR: People think the definition or application of the term P2W is subjective when it isn't.
I think it's that some people include the very negative stigma that is associated with the term in in the definition and some don't. People look at games they like, don't see the strongly negative connotations that the term has in that game, and consider that the term doesn't apply. In that definition, P2W is indeed subjective.

Disordia
04-11-2014, 01:50 PM
That's how language works, yes. If the masses start referring to water as something else so frequently that you have to explain what water is, just pointing at a thing and saying that is water, doesn't stop the argument, or help advance the discussion. It just starts an argument between two people who both "know" what water is really.

I will still fight for the original definition of the word then, even if I have to go full on old man with a cane shaking my fist yelling at you to get off my lawn.

Gwaer
04-11-2014, 01:56 PM
I will still fight for the original definition of the word then, even if I have to go full on old man with a cane shaking my fist yelling at you to get off my lawn.
*shrug* That has never worked with language, and never will.

The biggest issue in my mind is that term was never particularly well defined, it was applied to multiple games that were abusive with their money grabs to turn money directly into power. Most of those games did so in a very different way. Since it was poorly defined, and widely used in response to some pretty popular casual games, and took off at the same time a bunch of free to play games did, so basically you have two types of games now in the f2p realm you have p2w ones, which is free to play, but you have to pay money to progress past a certain point, or to become more powerful than anyone else, or you only get cosmetic items.

From that mindset where does a tcg fall? Most of us have known about tcg's long before there was such a thing as computer games, forget about free ones. If you're coming at this from the other direction and instead know about free casual games, you look at the tcg model and it looks obviously like a p2w game, since it's free but you have to pay to get these cards that let you participate in another portion of the game, or to beat the PVE content with the super powered pvp cards(that's not hex's model obviously, but a cursory glance can make it look like it would be)

Disordia
04-11-2014, 02:11 PM
*shrug* That has never worked with language, and never will.

The biggest issue in my mind is that term was never particularly well defined, it was applied to multiple games that were abusive with their money grabs to turn money directly into power. Most of those games did so in a very different way. Since it was poorly defined, and widely used in response to some pretty popular casual games, and took off at the same time a bunch of free to play games did, so basically you have two types of games now in the f2p realm you have p2w ones, which is free to play, but you have to pay money to progress past a certain point, or to become more powerful than anyone else, or you only get cosmetic items.

From that mindset where does a tcg fall? Most of us have known about tcg's long before there was such a thing as computer games, forget about free ones. If you're coming at this from the other direction and instead know about free casual games, you look at the tcg model and it looks obviously like a p2w game, since it's free but you have to pay to get these cards that let you participate in another portion of the game, or to beat the PVE content with the super powered pvp cards(that's not hex's model obviously, but a cursory glance can make it look like it would be)

It's an issue since a card games pricing model doesn't really exist in a video game world. I personally would call it a pay to compete or pay to play model. There's two very different aspects of a Tcg, the card collecting and the actual games you play. Pay to win would normally only be used to describe the games part but is bring extended to the collecting part.

I do disagree about the poorly defined part though. I think there is a solid definition, but it can be applied in very different ways within a game.

At the end of the day, I'd rather see a new term describe it, since it really doesn't fit in most video game pricing models.

Gwaer
04-11-2014, 02:22 PM
http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/04/19/the-daily-grind-how-do-you-define-pay-to-win/

I've been looking for definitions, they're quite varied. Even this article from 2 years ago is about how it is poorly defined.

Disordia
04-11-2014, 02:49 PM
I can concede it has become muddled since it has extended to games with different definitions of "winning". I still think that a game can be defined as pay to win or not. P2W games also have levels of how egregious they are based on how influential the bonuses are. I also believe there is a difference between pay for convenience and P2W that also helps muddle the definition. I'll still stand by that P2W games are games that offer in game advantages for payment that are not otherwise attainable, and are difficult to impossible for those who do not pay to overcome.

Zophie
04-11-2014, 03:16 PM
You can't buy skill. You can buy all the rarest cards you want and still lose if you don't know how to play them right. Even if they have the skill, there's always the luck of the draw to consider as well. Some games you just get terrible draws, even with very carefully crafted decks, so hope isn't completely lost if you're faced against a deck full of rares.

Gankatron
04-11-2014, 03:17 PM
I find that when intelligent and thoughtful people have fundamentally diametrically opposing opinions about a topic outside of religion and politics that it is not unusual for there to be a difference in semantics driving the argument.

In matters such as these it can be better to strike a common agreement in spirit, rather than a letter of the law definition, reminiscent of Justice Stewart’s ruling on “hard-core pornography”:

“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description "hard-core pornography"; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.”
—Justice Potter Stewart (1964)

Take the comment from Zer0 earlier on MTG:

“There are usually few good decks that cost less than a couple hundred bucks worth of singles. My esper control deck from r2r used to be valued at over 600 bucks because of all the singles in it, and decks that i tried to build without costing a ton of money just werent competitive.”

Perhaps one believes like Gwaer that “a TCG can never be p2w by its original definition”, nonetheless spending $600 to obtain a competitive deck intuitively feels like an appropriate functional definition of “P2W”, for me a "I know it when I see it" situation, but maybe I am just a cheapskate. :P

Rather than discuss whether one’s individual definition of P2W is better than another’s, it seems preferable to bypass the apparent subjective nature of the term "P2W" and instead utilize relative comparisons to other card games, especially if an estimate of a real dollar equivalent value for a “competitive deck” is provided.

In this case it doesn't matter if one feels having to pay $600 to put together a deck to stand a competitive chance to win at a specific TCG fits the definition of P2W; all that matters is once someone has an idea of the cost involved, whether they are willing to pay it to be able to stand a competitive chance to win.

Gwaer
04-11-2014, 03:29 PM
The issue with that example specifically is that, there are significantly cheaper decks that can beat that $600 deck. You don't need to spend that much to win. It's a choice to play the most expensive hottest ticket option, rather than a requirement.

mudkip
04-11-2014, 03:52 PM
That $600 deck is for the very top tiers. p2w generally refers to even the casual tiers, i.e. in many sleazeware games a player who spends $0 will be decimated by a player who spends $5.

Gankatron
04-11-2014, 04:22 PM
The issue with that example specifically is that, there are significantly cheaper decks that can beat that $600 deck. You don't need to spend that much to win. It's a choice to play the most expensive hottest ticket option, rather than a requirement.

I am sure that is the case, I used it as an example since it was one post that gave an actual dollar amount for a competitive deck for a comparable TCG.

It does raise an interesting conceptual question though, namely how can one approach defining what are the minimum, average, and maximum deck costs to allow one to stand a competitive chance of winning?

In toxicology there is the concept of LD50, the median lethal dose of a toxin, radiation, or pathogen required to kill half the members of a tested population after a specified test duration. Perhaps a similar concept could be utilized to determine what are the average deck costs to win at least 50% of the matches in a tournament setting, perhaps specifically in the latter rounds to lessen the effects of varying skill levels?

Such an index would allow us to directly compare the real dollar costs for establishing competitive decks between TCG communities.

Zophie
04-11-2014, 05:00 PM
Perhaps a similar concept could be utilized to determine what are the average deck costs to win at least 50% of the matches in a tournament setting, perhaps specifically in the latter rounds to lessen the effects of varying skill levels?

I think you could maybe just take deck lists from the top 50% of winners and compare it to the current Auction House values of those cards to determine an average cost. But this really won't tell you much, since both skill and luck will always be very large factors in every game played, not just the decklists.

Gankatron
04-11-2014, 05:12 PM
I think you could maybe just take deck lists from the top 50% of winners and compare it to the current Auction House values of those cards to determine an average cost. But this really won't tell you much, since both skill and luck will always be very large factors in every game played, not just the decklists.

That's not a bad idea, and I do think it would tell one quite a lot. I think it is a reasonable assumption that the top 50% of winners are likely to be the more skilled players in the community, at least in a game that isn't won predominantly on the basis of the luck of the draw (i.e. where skill is a significant factor in winning matches).

So while purchasing equivalent decks does not ensure equivalent degrees of success, it would give an estimate of the real world cost of decks used by skilled players.

Of course the AH may over- or underestimate the cost relative to buying boosters, but at least it addresses one method of acquiring competitive decks.

tautologico
04-12-2014, 08:05 AM
There is no central authority defining what is P2W and what isn't. So there's absolutely no point in saying "the REAL definition of P2W is ...". The term itself has many definitions attached to it, and your own preferred definition is no better than all the others.

As for me, HEX is definitely pay-to-win, as is MtG, and I'll explain why in a minute. The question is if this is bad or not. Despite the stigma, I don't think saying it's P2W is inherently bad.

I see P2W simply as a game where the person who spends real money (or more money than another person) has some form of competitive advantage that is not obtainable (or very hard to obtain) for free. It doesn't mean people who spend more auto-win, but they have an advantage. This in turn forces everyone who wants to compete to pay as much as everyone else who's competing, or otherwise to accept the disadvantage and try to make the better of it.

HEX (and MtG) are definitely like that. Paying more gives you more options, and better decks in general. Because there is a secondary market, cards that go in the better decks become more expensive, thus the top tier decks tend to be expensive. You can say "but there are many cheaper decks that can beat this specific $600 deck (in one match)"; this doesn't mean much. Basically no deck will be an absolute best (otherwise the meta is broken), but top tier decks will have a better "batting average" and will tend to win more. Of course someone can go to a tournament with a somewhat cheaper rogue deck and win, this is also not meaningful if you look in aggregate to the MtG tournaments: in general most tournaments are won by top tier decks which are not cheap.

In HEX there is the option of getting PVP cards for free by grinding PVE, but it will probably require a lot of effort, otherwise no one would pay for PVP cards. So HEX is better than MtG, but it's quite in-line with most other "F2P" games which are pay-to-win.

Now for the question of: is it bad because it's P2W? One of the big problems with P2W is because it's often associated with "free-to-play" games, and they do a "bait-and-switch". People go in thinking it's free, but when they have already invested good time in the game they discover they need to pay to compete. This is very bad, and HEX is NOT like that. HEX is clear upfront: PVE is F2P, for PVP you have to pay. So there's no bait-and-switch and everyone knows they have to pay to be competitive in PVP, or accept the handicap and go with it. Because it's clear for everyone from the start, I don't see how it is a bad thing. People who want to take part in it do it, knowing the price.

TL;DR: HEX is definitely P2W but this is not bad because there's no bait-and-switch.

Disordia
04-12-2014, 09:11 AM
There is no central authority defining what is P2W and what isn't. So there's absolutely no point in saying "the REAL definition of P2W is ...". The term itself has many definitions attached to it, and your own preferred definition is no better than all the others.

As for me, HEX is definitely pay-to-win, as is MtG, and I'll explain why in a minute. The question is if this is bad or not. Despite the stigma, I don't think saying it's P2W is inherently bad.

I see P2W simply as a game where the person who spends real money (or more money than another person) has some form of competitive advantage that is not obtainable (or very hard to obtain) for free. It doesn't mean people who spend more auto-win, but they have an advantage. This in turn forces everyone who wants to compete to pay as much as everyone else who's competing, or otherwise to accept the disadvantage and try to make the better of it.

HEX (and MtG) are definitely like that. Paying more gives you more options, and better decks in general. Because there is a secondary market, cards that go in the better decks become more expensive, thus the top tier decks tend to be expensive. You can say "but there are many cheaper decks that can beat this specific $600 deck (in one match)"; this doesn't mean much. Basically no deck will be an absolute best (otherwise the meta is broken), but top tier decks will have a better "batting average" and will tend to win more. Of course someone can go to a tournament with a somewhat cheaper rogue deck and win, this is also not meaningful if you look in aggregate to the MtG tournaments: in general most tournaments are won by top tier decks which are not cheap.

In HEX there is the option of getting PVP cards for free by grinding PVE, but it will probably require a lot of effort, otherwise no one would pay for PVP cards. So HEX is better than MtG, but it's quite in-line with most other "F2P" games which are pay-to-win.

Now for the question of: is it bad because it's P2W? One of the big problems with P2W is because it's often associated with "free-to-play" games, and they do a "bait-and-switch". People go in thinking it's free, but when they have already invested good time in the game they discover they need to pay to compete. This is very bad, and HEX is NOT like that. HEX is clear upfront: PVE is F2P, for PVP you have to pay. So there's no bait-and-switch and everyone knows they have to pay to be competitive in PVP, or accept the handicap and go with it. Because it's clear for everyone from the start, I don't see how it is a bad thing. People who want to take part in it do it, knowing the price.

TL;DR: HEX is definitely P2W but this is not bad because there's no bait-and-switch.

I completely disagree with everything above for the reasons I've already stated in my previous posts.

Xenavire
04-12-2014, 09:32 AM
OK, I am just going to put in my ponderings quickly. I think both sides are wrong and right, with a lot of things overlapping.

This might sound wishy-washy, but I will explain my thinking. Now, any TCG (or any game with parts that you need to buy to be able to participate, be it a sub or buying a full game from a store etc) is obviously at the core, pay to play. So lets get that out of the road - you have to pay to take part, which sets the bar.

The second part is making a decent deck. This is not technically pay to win at this point, because you can make very cheap decks with decent success rates, and can do that at a price only a little over the initial entry price for most players.

The problem comes with the shifting metagames - sometimes you will need to pay for a new deck because your good deck is being hosed by a new deck that is very dominant. This means you need to pay again, this time not to compete, but this time because you want to win. This can stay a small amount of money, which is fine. It isn't a toxic pay to win model.

The other problem is with certain blocks having high power cards, which suddenly make the more expensive decks a lot better than decent cheap decks. This is the part that can make the game toxic and leave players out in the cold. I want to specifically talk about MTG and the rare lands - all powerful because of the stability that they give to the average deck. And they all cost a large amount of money for playsets (and some decks require multiple different playsets) and that is a huge barrier, and makes the game very much pay to win.

I think this is the disconnect between the two arguing sides. Both acknowledge that the game is pay to play, but the point that holds them up is the pay to win aspect - and I think that is completely determined by what cards are 'the minimum requirement' to be competetive - if those are above a certain price threshold, then the game is going to feel very pay to win, and not the healthy kind. If the required cards are cheap, then the game is healthy and the players are happy.


So, does that make Hex pay to win? Without seeing exactly what cards are going to be the most sought after (and the rarity and costs of those cards) then I don't think we can say that Hex is or isn't the bad kind of pay to win right now. But I would err on the side of the healthy pay to win - they have some solid commons, and very few decks have global staples in the rares (some of the biggest staples have been nerfed or challenged in the recent weeks and months). So I think we wont be able to tell until Hex is monetised. Maybe not even until the first full block is complete.

But right now, my personal opinion is that Hex is not the bad kind of pay to win.

Unhurtable
04-13-2014, 05:06 AM
On the spectrum (P2P --- P2W) I'd place Hex towards the P2P end, but not that far away from the middle. There are plenty of options that are "pay neutral" such as Booster Drafts, but at the same time some rare and legendary cards are really powerful compared to commons.

Sure, there are many cards to deal with these cards that are commons, like Inner Conflict, Repel, Murder, Time Ripple etc, but at the same time you can force out these cards with cheap rare cards like Living Totem and Wild Root Dancer (lets face it you are not going to throw a murder on a 3/1 arena brawler unless you are really desperate). When it comes to the mana-expensive cards, the disparity is smaller because other factors are often involved. Although Fist is clearly better than Tyrannosaurus Hex in mono-Wild decks, the TyrHex fits better in dual/tri-color decks, the problem being that I as well as many others would point towards mono-Wild decks with Fist tend to do much better than dual/tri-color decks with TyrHex in them.

Don't get me wrong, most rare or legendary cards seem to be close to the power curve in my opinion, and many of those cards are there to "diversify gameplay" by introducing cool mechanics, but some cards are just outside of the "acceptable power curve" compared to their common counterparts.

tautologico
04-13-2014, 08:29 PM
Discussing the relative power of specific cards doesn't change the fact that the person who spends more also has more strategic options, more ways to build decks (or more decks he/she can buy), and so on. This translates to a competitive advantage, especially over longer periods of time.

Let's imagine someone who tries to spend judiciously and decides to buy singles to make just one top tier deck, one that fits her/his playstyle and so on. In MtG terms just this one deck won't normally come "cheap"; in HEX we don't know, I'd imagine the first few sets will be cheaper, but in the long run no one knows. But if the meta then changes and the deck this person bought is being targeted by several new decks in the meta, the person will be forced to buy another deck or else accept a possibly crippling handicap in any tournament.

And this is a digital TCG, not a paper one. I don't know if this will happen to HEX but with many digital card games the meta tends to shift much more rapidly than in paper TCGs. Which means that even if a single top-tier deck is much cheaper than a top-tier MtG deck, it's possible that a player needs to have multiple top-tier decks to be competitive at many tournaments.

But it's the nature of the game and no one is being tricked into it. After two decades of MtG any player knows what's what. There are many options for people who want to spend less including guilds, alternate & limited formats, and so on. But I find it hard to deny that for "standard constructed" at least, spending more will give you a competitive advantage.

Disordia
04-14-2014, 07:57 AM
Discussing the relative power of specific cards doesn't change the fact that the person who spends more also has more strategic options, more ways to build decks (or more decks he/she can buy), and so on. This translates to a competitive advantage, especially over longer periods of time.

Let's imagine someone who tries to spend judiciously and decides to buy singles to make just one top tier deck, one that fits her/his playstyle and so on. In MtG terms just this one deck won't normally come "cheap"; in HEX we don't know, I'd imagine the first few sets will be cheaper, but in the long run no one knows. But if the meta then changes and the deck this person bought is being targeted by several new decks in the meta, the person will be forced to buy another deck or else accept a possibly crippling handicap in any tournament.

And this is a digital TCG, not a paper one. I don't know if this will happen to HEX but with many digital card games the meta tends to shift much more rapidly than in paper TCGs. Which means that even if a single top-tier deck is much cheaper than a top-tier MtG deck, it's possible that a player needs to have multiple top-tier decks to be competitive at many tournaments.

But it's the nature of the game and no one is being tricked into it. After two decades of MtG any player knows what's what. There are many options for people who want to spend less including guilds, alternate & limited formats, and so on. But I find it hard to deny that for "standard constructed" at least, spending more will give you a competitive advantage.

That should be considered pay to compete, not pay to win.

Gary3k
04-14-2014, 08:03 AM
I view pay to win as paying money to get weapons/gear/etc that are generally quite powerful but can only normally be obtained through great amounts of time investment. Hex and all TCGs are pay to win. Just like playing tribes or league of legends and buying spacebucks to get access to the sweet hero/gun/etc faster than everyone else can, you pay money for a competitive advantage.

I see the argument that pay to win is like from bravely default or something, where you can pay for tokens that let you take extra turns... but even in that game, the tokens can be earned over a great deal of time (8 hours each per token, max 3 tokens).

As for bargain decks beating pro decks, you'd literally have to be some kind of prodigy that thinks so far outside the box that literally no other pro player ever thought of using the cards the way you do. Even then, its very possible that pros thought of your deck idea and didnt use it because they went with a more consistent option for the current meta. All TCGs like hex and magic are 1 part luck, 1 part skill, and pro decks always try to mitigate luck as much as possible.

tautologico
04-14-2014, 09:01 AM
That should be considered pay to compete, not pay to win.

Honestly, I don't think there's a real difference between "pay to win" and "pay to compete". Although I don't think HEX is a "bad" pay-to-win, the term has strong negative associations for many gamers, so I think "pay to compete" is a term created by people who felt bad about the term "pay to win".

In P2W games, people who pay have competitive advantages, not a "I win" button. So in any P2W, if you want to compete seriously you'll have to pay to get whatever competitive advantage other people have and not play with a handicap. So you could say that this is "pay to compete". In the end, they're the same thing: any P2W game will force people who want to compete to pay, so it's "pay to compete".

What do you see as the difference between P2W and pay to compete?


I view pay to win as paying money to get weapons/gear/etc that are generally quite powerful but can only normally be obtained through great amounts of time investment. Hex and all TCGs are pay to win. Just like playing tribes or league of legends and buying spacebucks to get access to the sweet hero/gun/etc faster than everyone else can, you pay money for a competitive advantage.


Exactly, that's what I've been saying.

EntropyBall
04-14-2014, 09:23 AM
I see P2W simply as a game where the person who spends real money (or more money than another person) has some form of competitive advantage that is not obtainable (or very hard to obtain) for free. It doesn't mean people who spend more auto-win, but they have an advantage. This in turn forces everyone who wants to compete to pay as much as everyone else who's competing, or otherwise to accept the disadvantage and try to make the better of it.
By this definition, most youth-league sports are P2W, because you can spend money on equipment, or on slightly nicer equipment. In hockey for example, you can buy a more expensive composite stick that absolutely gives you better energy transfer and a harder shot, which confers a slight competitive advantage. I don't think anyone considers rec-league sports P2W, so I would argue this isn't a good definition for the term.

Disordia
04-14-2014, 09:23 AM
I've already said what I think about it if you care to read the thread. Pay to win does actually mean you have an I win button. That's what pay to win means. You pay more money than someone, you beat them.

Also the stuff gary is going on about is more pay for convenience than anything else.

Gankatron
04-14-2014, 10:45 AM
That should be considered pay to compete, not pay to win.

Pay to win competitively then?

Gankatron
04-14-2014, 11:05 AM
By this definition, most youth-league sports are P2W, because you can spend money on equipment, or on slightly nicer equipment. In hockey for example, you can buy a more expensive composite stick that absolutely gives you better energy transfer and a harder shot, which confers a slight competitive advantage. I don't think anyone considers rec-league sports P2W, so I would argue this isn't a good definition for the term.

That could be P2W in some scenarios, assuming the gear gave significant advantage, especially between equally skilled players.

1612

I am also pretty sure that has been the premise of a few underdog overcoming economic disadvantage sports themed movies! ;)

Gankatron
04-14-2014, 11:12 AM
Pay to win does actually mean you have an I win button. That's what pay to win means. You pay more money than someone, you beat them.

Perhaps more like there is a direct correlation between the amount of money spent and the probability of victory between equally skilled players?

tautologico
04-14-2014, 11:31 AM
Perhaps more like there is a direct correlation between the amount of money spent and the probability of victory between equally skilled players?

This would be much better. I don't know of any game where paying gives you an "I Win" button regardless of skill. This literal interpretation of "pay to win" is a strawman.

tautologico
04-14-2014, 11:40 AM
By this definition, most youth-league sports are P2W, because you can spend money on equipment, or on slightly nicer equipment. In hockey for example, you can buy a more expensive composite stick that absolutely gives you better energy transfer and a harder shot, which confers a slight competitive advantage. I don't think anyone considers rec-league sports P2W, so I would argue this isn't a good definition for the term.

P2W is a term invented to use in videogames, but yes, by my definition most sports ARE P2W, actually. This is just to reiterate what I said earlier that P2W does not equal "BAD".

Gary3k
04-14-2014, 01:26 PM
This would be much better. I don't know of any game where paying gives you an "I Win" button regardless of skill. This literal interpretation of "pay to win" is a strawman.

I know of no games that do this. Maybe some facebook games or something? Definitely not any games that are meant to be played seriously.

Traditional pay to win models would be paying for a competitive advantage... and basically all implementations of this model (planetside 2, tribes, lol, strife, star wars old republic, countless others) that i've ever seen use cash money to allow you to skip grinding phases.

Are we arguing whether pay to win literally means weapons or w/e that can only be bought with cash that are strictly better? Or are we arguing whether TCGs are pay to win?

Also pay to compete isnt a thing. All games are pay to compete.

Gwaer
04-14-2014, 04:07 PM
http://finalfantasy.wikia.com/wiki/Final_Fantasy_Airborne_Brigade

That's the most recent example of a pay to win game that I have played. It's a very specific type of game that was originally declared pay to win. It must be a free to play game(hex pvp is not, and never has been represented as such), and anyone who pays money should be doing better than anyone who does not, the people on top in the games leaderboards should have paid the most money of anyone else in the game, and furthermore, there will be a wall that people just cannot get past without paying.

As I said, it's very recently that TCG's have been saying they're free to play. Hex is not a f2p tcg though, it's a pay to play TCG, with a f2p pve campaign. Hex PVE might end up being pay to win, if there are pvp cards that are required to progress, but that does not seem to be how they're planning the pve campaign. If it turns out that hex pve is pay to win, I'll be very sad. Hopefully that is not the case.

Turtlewing
04-15-2014, 02:29 PM
Gwaer

I'd argue that constructed meets those requirements.

You get a starter deck for free and should be able to get some PvP cards on the AH for gold (free to play).

Anyone who buys packs will do better than someone who does not.

The people who routinely win tournaments will all have invested at least enough to get 1 high end deck, probably repeating at least once per block, possibly once per new set. (this is the weakest link in the claim as there are diminished returns to spending more money and once you have a playset of every card more cash no longer helps).

You aren't going to beat a tier 1 deck with your starter plus what you can buy for gold baring very unusual circumstances.

Gwaer
04-15-2014, 02:34 PM
Except, pvp which constructed includes has never been represented as free to play at all. The free starter deck enables a taste of pvp, which is pay to play, and enables you to have a completely f2p pve experience, it serves two functions, but does not mean that the intent of PVP was ever to be free. And a non-free to play game cannot be pay to win. It's pay to compete, or pay to play.

Simply the fact that entering a constructed tournament costs money makes constructed not meet the requirements.

Turtlewing
04-15-2014, 02:41 PM
Except, pvp which constructed includes has never been represented as free to play at all. The free starter deck enables a taste of pvp, which is pay to play, and enables you to have a completely f2p pve experience, it serves two functions, but does not mean that the intent of PVP was ever to be free. And a non-free to play game cannot be pay to win. It's pay to compete, or pay to play.

Simply the fact that entering a constructed tournament costs money makes constructed not meet the requirements.

First of all "Not advertised as" and "is not" are two very different things. Not being advertised as free to play does not necessarily make it not free to play.
Secondly, tournaments are not the entirety of PvP gameplay.

Non-tournament constructed play does not require you pay to create an account or to participate, but does require you buy cards if you expect to win.

Gwaer
04-15-2014, 02:48 PM
PVP Is not free to play, nor has it been advertised as such. Sure other people can give you cards and buy you things, but someone bought those cards. That doesn't make it free to play. Getting a free starter deck does not make it a free to play game. I mean, someone could give you an MTG starter deck, and you could go play friendly matches in a gaming store for cards, and potentially win a decent deck from that. That doesn't make MTG a free to play game. Just because they're offering you a demo deck to play some free constructed matches with if you so choose, does not make the game free to play.

Xenavire
04-15-2014, 03:20 PM
PvP is pay to compete if you want to make it into tournaments. Therefore, even the free starter deck is not actually going to let you play for free. As Gwaer said, someone will have to pay for you to enter tournaments.

You could try to play only with the free deck, but you would be confined to queues and PvE, which are designed to not cost extra money unless you want to spend more.

Jonesy
04-15-2014, 03:51 PM
All CCGs are pay2win, digital or cardboard. The more you spend, the bigger collection you'll have, the more options you'll have to build a winning deck. There is a limit to how much you can spend and gain an advantage since once you have a playset theres nothing more you can gain from spending money (aside from tournament experience), and some people will get more for their money than others, and people can still win games having spent less and having less, but it remains a fact that the more you spend the better off you will be. The only way a card game could be anything other than pay2win would be to give everyone all the same cards for the same price and the only thing you could pay extra for would have to be aesthetic things like skins or animated cards.

And thats not necessarily a bad thing, people like chasing collections, though personally I'd prefer all ccgs be an lcg and all the carrots to chase would be stats and/or aesthetics.

Disordia
04-16-2014, 04:45 AM
All CCGs are pay2win, digital or cardboard. The more you spend, the bigger collection you'll have, the more options you'll have to build a winning deck. There is a limit to how much you can spend and gain an advantage since once you have a playset theres nothing more you can gain from spending money (aside from tournament experience), and some people will get more for their money than others, and people can still win games having spent less and having less, but it remains a fact that the more you spend the better off you will be. The only way a card game could be anything other than pay2win would be to give everyone all the same cards for the same price and the only thing you could pay extra for would have to be aesthetic things like skins or animated cards.

And thats not necessarily a bad thing, people like chasing collections, though personally I'd prefer all ccgs be an lcg and all the carrots to chase would be stats and/or aesthetics.

People don't seem to get the concept of what a TCG is. The fist post of the trading post, the collecting part. This is where most of your money will be spent. Some people want to collect every card, some want to just buy the singles needed for a deck, some people want to collect specific rare cards and not even play the game part. Either way, you build a collection, then you play the game. Some cards cost more than others. Some decks are better than others. Some decks can be built cheaply and still be competitive. That's how it works. It's up to you to collect and put together whatever 75 cards you want to battle with, same with your opponent. One you walk into a game, you're on even footing and your putting your deck building and your technical play skills to battle.

Also on the idea of lcgs, yrs they're fun to play, but the higher level competitive scene will be non-existent compared to a TCG

Gankatron
04-16-2014, 11:53 AM
People don't seem to get the concept of what a TCG is. The fist post of the trading post, the collecting part. This is where most of your money will be spent.

I don't think this is fair to say. Everybody who has played a TCG understands the collecting part. Collecting cards can be fun, but that isn't the issue some people have with the process.

A main issue is selling disproportionately powerful cards, especially since they also tend to be relatively rare. Such cards unbalance the playing field and thereby undermine the competitive integrity of the game. Moreover the "booster pack" monetization method is a virtual operant conditioning chamber providing intermittent reward for repeated use of your credit card. It is a truism that paying for cards which increase one's chances to win, is "pay to win".

The combination of intermittent rewards and "fun pain" (a term coined by Zynga's Roger Dickey to denote the situation in which a player is put into an uncomfortable position, and then offered the chance to remove the "pain" by spending real money) that accompanies matches between intrinsically imbalanced decks fosters addictive spending.

TCG players may become desensitized to this monetization scheme because it is ubiquitous, but selling opportunities to become more powerful than your opponent is a heavy-handed way to profit off of one’s customer base.

I find it interesting that monetization methods which foster deck imbalances are defended by players as I assume a similar approach would be patently unacceptable in other card games. If one were to enter a Texas Holdem tournament, but was informed that only certain players would be able to utilize Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces, the unfairness and unsportsmanslike nature of the competitive scenario would be clearly evident; it would be even more loathsome to find out one could gain the opportunity to use those cards by paying off the dealer.

The microtransaction approach (outside of cosmetic and experience boosting items) requires a developer to functionally deconstruct a complete game and allow players to spend money to reassemble it; as such those that do not spend as much money are playing with a more broken version of the game than the whales are.

Realize that one could still have a CCG without doing microtransactions, but of course taking advantage of players’ addictive natures through operant conditioning is very profitable, especially as it tends to mask total amount spent over time.

To intimate that people don’t understand microtransactions are part of TCG’s begs the question; specifically, is the selling of opportunities to gain advantage over one’s opponent an ethical way to profit from a customer base?

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/195806/chasing_the_whale_examining_the_.php?print=1

Turtlewing
04-16-2014, 05:33 PM
PVP Is not free to play, nor has it been advertised as such. Sure other people can give you cards and buy you things, but someone bought those cards. That doesn't make it free to play. Getting a free starter deck does not make it a free to play game. I mean, someone could give you an MTG starter deck, and you could go play friendly matches in a gaming store for cards, and potentially win a decent deck from that. That doesn't make MTG a free to play game. Just because they're offering you a demo deck to play some free constructed matches with if you so choose, does not make the game free to play.

Being given a free deck as part of creating a free account, makes the game free to play if that free deck is adequate to play the game.

Since you can enter constructed games and play them to their conclusion with a free starter, games in those format are free to play. Since you also will not be likely to win those games with that free starter, and the amount of cards you buy translates to increased chances to win (with diminished returns), that makes them pay to win.

The entry fee for tournaments does not make hex pay to play, because you don't have to play in tournaments to play Hex (most people I know who play TCGs IRL don't play in tournaments).

Also your own definition allows for the concept that there would be a 'wall' you can't pass without paying. That would be entering tournaments in this case.

Finally I disagree with the idea that a pay to play game cannot also be pay to win. It seems silly to say that a game that is pay to win can stop being pay to win by adding a cost to play (adding a cost to buy the game, or add a subscription fee).

Turtlewing
04-16-2014, 05:46 PM
PvP is pay to compete if you want to make it into tournaments. Therefore, even the free starter deck is not actually going to let you play for free. As Gwaer said, someone will have to pay for you to enter tournaments.

You could try to play only with the free deck, but you would be confined to queues and PvE, which are designed to not cost extra money unless you want to spend more.

You are defining "tournaments" as "the game". I would agree if tournaments played by different rules or with different card sets, but you can play non-tournamnet games in the same format as tournaments without paying entry fees.

I would argue that tournaments are only a part of the game (In my experience tournament players a a minority of total players in most TCGs).

Since tournaments are only part of the game, pay-walling tournaments is not that much different from pay-walling certain "premium" dungeons or "DLC map packs". Neither of which should disqualify a game from being "free to play" in my opinion.

Furthermore if we take another step back and look at all of Hex (PvE and PvP), you'll see that tournament PvP is a pretty small part of that big picture (arguably 1/4 of overall content is tournament PvP as PvP is roughly half the game and tournaments are roughly half of PvP as far as bullet points of things to do is concerned). There are also avenues to bypass the paywall though playing PvE content (extremely rare drops of packs and or tournament entries have been alluded to).

Gwaer
04-16-2014, 06:23 PM
That is much more akin to having a demo. Is every game with the demo free to play? Since in order to actually beat the game you have to purchase it does that make it pay to win just because the demo exists?

Arbiter
04-16-2014, 06:49 PM
Nowhere has it been stated that the free starter that will be given to people contains PVP cards. We know that it is there to enable the PVE experience, so a free player does not have to beg for cards to start going through dungeons. It has been confirmed that it is not table to be traded, and we know that it is not as good as any of the starters that are planned for backers. The statement was made during the KS that backers would not receive it, as they had no need for it.

There has been no official post that I have seen (feel free to post it if there has been, it's something that I have looked for) that this starter deck will be for PVP. It is meant to enable PVE. I can understand some people thinking that making it PVP possible will be done, but when you think about it, it is a terrible idea. Why on earth would you enable someone to pay for a "guaranteed to be terrible" experience of playing in a PVP tournament with a starter deck that should have virtually no chance of winning? People can still play friendly games against each other with PVE decks, so there is no need to give someone a PVP deck just so that they can do that.

Making sure that every PVP card in the game has to originate from someone buying it was important in the original vision. I doubt that CZE would dilute that by having a subset of cards that are free to all. I hope they don't, creating a mix of basic and non-basic cards will cause problems and heartache, rather than be the start to hooking people in. There is a sizeable portion of the community that feels if you give something out for free that allows you to play in a pay to play game, that it should also be very competitive against what people pay for.

Xenavire
04-16-2014, 07:01 PM
I think the assumption has been made with good reason - and beta is literally around the corner. So what happens when we reach Open PvP Beta and there is no PvE yet? The idea is still to get players in and playing, they cannot do that without a deck.

I am positive the cards will PvP.

Arbiter
04-16-2014, 07:25 PM
They have no need of a starter. They can go the same route that they go in MTGO - be given excess cards from mates or philanthropists, or buy cards themselves. Note that there will be a lot of spare cards around come open beta. The last thing you want is a deluge of people in general chat and forums whining that the game is terrible because there free starter never wins. PVP is a pay to play experience, which is far better than a free to lose experience, which is exactly what HEX would be with a free PVP starter.

ZillahEnoch
04-16-2014, 11:31 PM
This conversation has somewhat become a debate over wether the physical TCG business model (and therefore the Hex PVP business model) is pay to win. I find the arguments everyone has made to provide very interesting views on the subject and don't consider myself knowledgeable enough to add to it at this point.

The PVE side of things, though, have been scarcely discussed here. Even though the "win" part in "pay to win" is certainly less important versus a computer, I still think it has some relevance to the original question.
While the PVE is free to play, there are still a lot of ways in which the "pay" factor can affect this part of the game. I've seen some people refering to being able to buy PVE items from the AH, and I'd like to point out that you can also use your PVP cards in PVE, which means that you can basically buy your way to power in PVE.
So there is a good chance that if "world first" achievements become a thing, those people going for it will have to spend a good amount of money on that.
Now that is not what I am personnaly after so it is no problem to me, but it might be worth considering.
Also on the bright side, CZE has assured that the PVE content will be calibrated towards free players, meaning that you shouldn't be forced to buy cards in order to advance.

On a side note : Gankatron, you striked me as a respectful individual with well thought reasoning from your first several posts, much like Gwaer did when I first read him. So I guess you kind of brought this nice conversation to yourself.
It is pleasant to see, however, that the Hex community is still as kind and intelligent as when I left it several month ago. Thanks to everyone participating !

LNQ
04-17-2014, 05:39 AM
Based on what we know at the moment, the PvE portion of Hex is very feature rich for non-paying players, and sounds like it has a much bigger emphasis on playing to progress vs. paying to progress compared to most other free-to-play games. This is possible due to the fact that the main profit engine is the PvP game and the system tries to lure paying customers into PvP through a good PvE experience.

In my view, based on current infromation, non-paying players will be getting a really good deal compared to many free-to-play games. However, I agree with Gwaer that a booster pack based PvP TCG shouldn't be called free-to-play. The free starter decks are akin to a beefy demo.

Turtlewing
04-17-2014, 10:19 AM
That is much more akin to having a demo. Is every game with the demo free to play? Since in order to actually beat the game you have to purchase it does that make it pay to win just because the demo exists?

Playing in tournaments is not the same as "beating the game".

A tournament is just a way of generating games. You can play in games without entering a tournament.

If the starter was only legal in a limited subset of constructed formats I would agree, but from what we've been told it'll be legal in all non-limited formats.

Rapkannibale
04-19-2014, 07:01 AM
Here are my 2 cents.

IMHO for something to be Pay to Win, paying would guarantee you a win. This is not the case in Magic and is not the case in Hex (talking PvP here since we don't know details about PvE). Even if I pay to have all the cards, that doesn't mean I will win every game. People seem to forget the skill component in these games and no amount of money can buy you skill only practice and playing the game. Additionally, the core of most decks will be made up of commons and uncommons. Sure there will likely be some rare and legendary heavy decks, but that won't be the norm (my guess at least).

Even if you consider Magic P2W, Hex still has the auction house, which in theory allows free players to sell their loot from PvE for Platinum and then buy PvP cards. This is something Magic or even other digital TCGs don't really have (at least the ones I know).

So for me, these games are not pay to win, because paying doesn't guarantee me a win.

Jonesy
04-22-2014, 03:56 PM
Here are my 2 cents.

IMHO for something to be Pay to Win, paying would guarantee you a win. This is not the case in Magic and is not the case in Hex (talking PvP here since we don't know details about PvE). Even if I pay to have all the cards, that doesn't mean I will win every game. People seem to forget the skill component in these games and no amount of money can buy you skill only practice and playing the game. Additionally, the core of most decks will be made up of commons and uncommons. Sure there will likely be some rare and legendary heavy decks, but that won't be the norm (my guess at least).

Even if you consider Magic P2W, Hex still has the auction house, which in theory allows free players to sell their loot from PvE for Platinum and then buy PvP cards. This is something Magic or even other digital TCGs don't really have (at least the ones I know).

So for me, these games are not pay to win, because paying doesn't guarantee me a win.

Pay2win doesnt mean you're guaranteed a win, if that was the case it would mean only one person ever could 'win,' and if you wanted to be that player you have to be the highest bidder. Pay2win just means more money means better chance of winning which is true in every ccg up to the point where you have paid for a playset. Anyone who has paid less is disadvantaged.

Jonesy
04-22-2014, 03:58 PM
Also on the idea of lcgs, yrs they're fun to play, but the higher level competitive scene will be non-existent compared to a TCG

There is no reason why an lcg can't have a high level competitive scene. The competitiveness of magic has nothing to do with the ccg aspect, all the high level players have or have access to a playset anyways so at the high level, for all intents and purposes, the game is an lcg, its just a really expensive one. The winners aren't the ones who are the best collectors and the people winning arent people making do with a subpar deck with what few cards they have.

sukebe
04-22-2014, 05:16 PM
There is no reason why an lcg can't have a high level competitive scene. The competitiveness of magic has nothing to do with the ccg aspect, all the high level players have or have access to a playset anyways so at the high level, for all intents and purposes, the game is an lcg, its just a really expensive one. The winners aren't the ones who are the best collectors and the people winning arent people making do with a subpar deck with what few cards they have.

You are right, they could be. However, have seen any of them get anywhere close to what MTG or even WoW card game reached? If so, please let me know, I would love to see that game. Until it actually happens, we are just guessing.

As for the main point of this "debate"? I don't feel that there is anything I can say the Gwear hasnt already stated clearly (but I will try). TCGs are pay to play competitively. If you just want to play with your friends and other free players, then it is free to play. Heck, given just a little time I have no doubt you will be seeing things like "looking for pauper game!" (pauper is an unofficial format in mtg where you can only construct your deck with commons. believe it or not it is a fairly competitive format).

On top of this, once they add in the promised feature of creating player made/run leagues then you really will have a competitive, free to play experience.

However, when the majority of players talk about pvp in hex, we are not talking about casual games in the proving grounds, just like most people in World of Warcraft are not talking about challenges at the front gates of main cities when they mention pvp. While I cannot speak for CZE, I seriously doubt they are talking about casual challenge games when they talk about pvp either.

Hex is TCG and therefore a pay to play game. If you only want to play casually, then ask for for other casual players. I havnt been on MTGO for a while but when I was there I know that many people did just that and it seemed to work out just fine.

Finally, if you just want to play casually then winning should not be your main priority. If winning is your main priority, then perhaps casual non-tournament games are not the place for you anyway.

Disordia
04-22-2014, 08:31 PM
There is no reason why an lcg can't have a high level competitive scene. The competitiveness of magic has nothing to do with the ccg aspect, all the high level players have or have access to a playset anyways so at the high level, for all intents and purposes, the game is an lcg, its just a really expensive one. The winners aren't the ones who are the best collectors and the people winning arent people making do with a subpar deck with what few cards they have.

You already have the answer why.

Rapkannibale
04-23-2014, 06:23 AM
Pay2win doesnt mean you're guaranteed a win, if that was the case it would mean only one person ever could 'win,' and if you wanted to be that player you have to be the highest bidder. Pay2win just means more money means better chance of winning which is true in every ccg up to the point where you have paid for a playset. Anyone who has paid less is disadvantaged.

Very valid point. I guess there is always going to be "disadvantaged" players though. It goes both ways IMO. For example, I have a pretty busy life (job, 4 kids, wife, etc) which means I will have a lot less time to play than other people. That means that they will have more practice and and such are likely to be better at the game than I am. If me spending some of the money to get better cards lets me make up for my "time disadvantage" (which I don´t actually think it will) I don´t see there being a problem.

Jonesy
04-23-2014, 04:55 PM
You already have the answer why.

I didn't ask a question....but are you saying that LCGs will never have a high-level competitive scene because they do not generate enough money to support the prizes for one because they are not as expensive to play? That could be true, but I'm pretty sure magic and yugioh and pokemon etc make the majority of their money off the lower spending casual players than on the small fraction of players who send a ton. Which would mean its simply an issue of having a large enough player base which has nothing to do with the ccg/lcg format. Can't say I have the numbers to say back that up though, it is an interesting thought....if thats what you were going for.

Disordia
04-25-2014, 12:53 PM
I didn't ask a question....but are you saying that LCGs will never have a high-level competitive scene because they do not generate enough money to support the prizes for one because they are not as expensive to play? That could be true, but I'm pretty sure magic and yugioh and pokemon etc make the majority of their money off the lower spending casual players than on the small fraction of players who send a ton. Which would mean its simply an issue of having a large enough player base which has nothing to do with the ccg/lcg format. Can't say I have the numbers to say back that up though, it is an interesting thought....if thats what you were going for.

You've hit the nail on the head. The high level competitive scene is driven by the casual fanbase spending absorbent amounts of money.