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Rapierian
04-22-2014, 11:50 AM
Hey guys,

I've played some drafts, and there are a few things that have occurred to me in doing so. Let me preface this all by explaining that I'm saying it because I like Hex a lot, and want it to be as thriving a game and community as possible.


Drafts are a commitment. They're pretty fun, but you have to be willing to not only spend platinum to play, but then commit to the time to do both the drafting and all games you might have to play - that's pretty intense: there's no casual drafting. If potential Hex players have a bit of spare time for casual gaming, they won't be spending it drafting, because of that commitment. I'm not saying it's a bad thing that tournaments can be such major things, but the lack of a casual tournament format will mean that there are times players might like to play Hex but will choose something else - to the detriment of the community.
The payoff and the experience is quite direct. Because you're already buying the packs, you know exactly what you're spending on the tournament entry, and that gives you a direct evaluation of whether the reward you get at the end is worth the entry price you paid. Forgive me, but I'm going to make a comparison to Hearthstone's Arena mode: while the cost is actually pretty comparable (some cards and an entry fee), because it's all bundled together and you don't actually play with the cards you get (they're a reward), it has a different feeling - everyone feel's like a winner, even if you lost three games straight away. In a Hex tournament, if you're one of the losers of the tournament, you've got a bit more of a direct connection to the price you just paid for that experience, which will probably turn away some players from wanting to play in more tournaments, again to the detriment of the community.


I'm not posting these comments to try to get Hex tournaments "fixed". For what they are, I think they do a good job. I'm simply pointing out things that I don't think that Hex has yet, and that I'm hoping future play formats (such as perhaps Keeps) should look to fill. For what it's worth, I do think that the lack of a casual tournament format will hurt the Hex community if it's not filled by the time the game goes public, so I'm especially hoping to see that one put in.

Gwaer
04-22-2014, 11:55 AM
I agree that there needs to be a more casual mode, we've been promised that they have a good idea for something that will be implemented in the future and I look forward to finding out about it. It is sorely needed, especially since a game of hex is so much longer than game of HS the minimum amount of time you have to dedicate to a game will always be greater in hex.

Xenavire
04-22-2014, 11:57 AM
Sealed is going to fill most of that niche, although there will always be room for new ideas.

The problem is that any queue you have to pay for is never going to feel 'casual'. And having free queues are just going to take players away from paid tournaments if any prizes are given - and you can't expect people to queue for free and invest a lot of time for no payout.

There is always going to be some gaps because it is so hard to balance.

Khazrakh
04-22-2014, 12:08 PM
Well they at least already thought about doing an asynchronous queue for Sealed mode, so that might be an option if you don't have the time to do 3 matches in a row.

Then again they might do some kind of "Ghost Sealed" where you pay like 200 platinum, get 6 boosters to build your deck with but don't keep the cards after the tournament is over. You could actually even do it hearthstone arena style - you have 3 lives and every time you win a round you get to spin the wheel of whatever - you could even have those wheels get better and better the more games you win.

Cory also talked about the marathon tournament where you bring your own deck and get to play as much as you want for the next X hours.

Those are just some ideas right off my head - in fact I totally trust in CZE and Cory to come up with dozens of different tournament modes to satisfy every kind of player. I fully expect Hex to become huge and once we're talking about a player base of 1.000.000+ people you can fully support quite a lot of different tournament settings without skyrocketing waiting times.

Gwaer
04-22-2014, 12:11 PM
I'm really hoping for regular special tournaments with call to arms esque advertising to drive people to specific queues even wh the play base can't support that many. I'd like to test as many formats as possible in beta.

Chark
04-22-2014, 12:42 PM
Hey Rapierian,

Your observations are spot on. We are looking at activities to address issue 1 and ways to reduce the sting out of losing (issue 2). There are definitely holes in the experience for certain types of players and we want to fix that.

Slish
04-22-2014, 12:49 PM
Hey Rapierian,

Your observations are spot on. We are looking at activities to address issue 1 and ways to reduce the sting out of losing (issue 2). There are definitely holes in the experience for certain types of players and we want to fix that.

Good to see CZE confirmation of Rapierians observations. I'm curious to see what CZE will come up with first, to address the more casual type of play :D

knightofeffect
04-22-2014, 02:48 PM
Yea, that was really good to hear. Like it or not HS is changing the game when it comes to what new players will expect in terms of approachability in a CCG/TCG. It excellent that CZE is embracing meeting that challenge :)

nicosharp
04-22-2014, 03:12 PM
Yea, that was really good to hear. Like it or not HS is changing the game when it comes to what new players will expect in terms of approachability in a CCG/TCG. It excellent that CZE is embracing meeting that challenge :)
It will be interesting to see what they come up with, as it seems very difficult to compete with games based on quick play and that are truly no interaction turn-based to a game built of many many interactions per turn. PvE competitive modes will be where its at.

Jonesy
04-22-2014, 03:42 PM
They definitely need an asynch option like HS's arena and SolForge's draft. There's no reason why sealed can't be this, though something half way between sealed and draft like in the other games would be the best. You could remove the sting from losing by making it cost less to enter. In a digital game there's no reason to require 3 packs and a plat fee, you could make it anything. I'd also prefer not keeping the cards you draft because it sucks having to choose between a useless legendary and a very useful common. If you didn't keep the cards you drafted there'd be no reason to require 3 packs + plat to join.

Gwaer
04-22-2014, 03:56 PM
But then it isn't draft, which is what an incredibly large portion of us want. I think there can be a middle ground, that doesn't involve obliterating what draft, and sealed is. PVE will also fill a niche for bite sized gaming as well I hope. Last I heard there was not plans to be able to drop out of a PVE match and return to it at any time, but I'm hoping that the constraints preventing that are being worked out, and we'll have it eventually.

fido_one
04-22-2014, 04:05 PM
.... Last I heard there was not plans to be able to drop out of a PVE match and return to it at any time, but I'm hoping that the constraints preventing that are being worked out, and we'll have it eventually.

I think Cory said he wanted this to happen at some point with single player PvE in his last interview... It was mentioned in response to a question of what to do with massive downtime during tournaments (also I think when he mentioned the async sealed planning).

I could be remembering it wrong, however...

Rendakor
04-22-2014, 04:10 PM
I think an asynchronous sealed mode will give people the HS Arena experience they're looking for. Provide 6 packs plus a fee, build a deck, play to some limit of wins or losses (12/3 like HS, for example).

Gwaer
04-22-2014, 04:15 PM
if it's best of three a single match in asynchronous sealed could still take multiple hours.

Slish
04-22-2014, 04:21 PM
if it's best of three a single match in asynchronous sealed could still take multiple hours.

how can 1 best of 3 take multiple hours? both players have 30min per round on the clock. so it takes 1 hour max?

dogmod
04-22-2014, 04:27 PM
I think one option to make it like hearthstone and keep the 12/3 win/loss format is to count each win and loss in a match individually... thus if you Beat an opponent 2-0 your total is 2/0 but if you beat them 2-1 your total is 2/1... so therefore you could techinically win 3 best of 3 matches and be knocked out in the first part of your 4th match...

It would bring up the issue of what happens if you lose a game but have not yet lost the match.. I would lean towards ending that match but others might feel it would be appropriate to finish the match despite having reached the "max" loss total..

Jonesy
04-22-2014, 04:28 PM
But then it isn't draft, which is what an incredibly large portion of us want. I think there can be a middle ground, that doesn't involve obliterating what draft, and sealed is. PVE will also fill a niche for bite sized gaming as well I hope. Last I heard there was not plans to be able to drop out of a PVE match and return to it at any time, but I'm hoping that the constraints preventing that are being worked out, and we'll have it eventually.

Draft where you don't keep the cards is still draft...in fact it's how the vast majority of my irl drafts of other games have gone. If we can figure out how to do it rl I'm pretty sure it can be done digitally.

Rendakor
04-22-2014, 04:40 PM
how can 1 best of 3 take multiple hours? both players have 30min per round on the clock. so it takes 1 hour max?
This. An hour is not a huge time commitment; if you have less than that, play a casual constructed game or something.

sukebe
04-22-2014, 04:40 PM
Draft where you don't keep the cards is still draft...in fact it's how the vast majority of my irl drafts of other games have gone. If we can figure out how to do it rl I'm pretty sure it can be done digitally.

Your method is "a" draft format, but it isn't the primary one. Many people, myself included, like the fact that we have to make choices between a card for our collection or card that will increase our chance to win. That is part of draft and has been since the format was created. I couldn't stand the arena in hearthstone for this very reason. I loved the whole play when you want system but the fact that it took away a large part of the draft system made it considerably less fun and challenging.

I feel like adding any more than a single asynchronous limited format will dilute the limited ques far to much. I like their idea to simply do a sealed event where matches can be played any time. If they make it work the same way as Hearthstone (except you keep the cards you build your deck from) then I think I, and most others will be very pleased with it.

Gwaer
04-22-2014, 04:55 PM
how can 1 best of 3 take multiple hours? both players have 30min per round on the clock. so it takes 1 hour max?
Good point, I'm used to their timers not being per match and being per game, but that has been fixed for a while.

fido_one
04-22-2014, 05:52 PM
...
I feel like adding any more than a single asynchronous limited format will dilute the limited ques far to much. ...

I am sure that CZE will, over time, be experimenting with formats that will dilute queues. They won't be able to push boundaries otherwise. Even with that I think the popular queues will continue to fill up relatively fast.

Signing up for async can be async as well, so if you're just bopping into the client to put your stake into the ground ('I don't have time to play now, but I will tonight and this week for short bursts so sign me up for the next async tourney') async tournaments wouldn't steal from the other traditional queues as much as it would fill another need.

Yoss
04-22-2014, 06:59 PM
To keep queue times low at least until the game gets a bigger play base, there should only be queues for:
Swiss Draft (synch)
Competitive Draft (synch)
Constructed (asynch)
Sealed (asynch)

Nothing else, please.

sukebe
04-22-2014, 07:04 PM
To keep queue times low at least until the game gets a bigger play base, there should only be queues for:
Swiss Draft (synch)
Competitive Draft (synch)
Constructed (asynch)
Sealed (asynch)

Nothing else, please.

Why not a normal constructed tournament? It would be strange not to have that, especially since the first big tournament (the pro player and up tournament) will be constructed? If it were me, I would have your same list, but change constructed to synch.

Yoss
04-22-2014, 07:07 PM
Everything that can be made bite-sized should be. The only reason I wouldn't make Draft also asynch is that you just can't pull it off without fundamentally changing the format.

YourOpponent
04-22-2014, 07:39 PM
They definitely need an asynch option like HS's arena and SolForge's draft. There's no reason why sealed can't be this, though something half way between sealed and draft like in the other games would be the best. You could remove the sting from losing by making it cost less to enter. In a digital game there's no reason to require 3 packs and a plat fee, you could make it anything. I'd also prefer not keeping the cards you draft because it sucks having to choose between a useless legendary and a very useful common. If you didn't keep the cards you drafted there'd be no reason to require 3 packs + plat to join.

I recall that they have plans for constructed asynch, sealed asynch, and marathon (best win record in an 8 hour long tournament.)

Arbiter
04-22-2014, 07:40 PM
Sorry, you have to have constructed and sealed tournaments as well. Just because they can be asynchronous does not mean they shouldn't be offered as normal tournaments as well. With the number of free weekly tournaments, draft queues should not be an issue.

sukebe
04-22-2014, 07:47 PM
Everything that can be made bite-sized should be. The only reason I wouldn't make Draft also asynch is that you just can't pull it off without fundamentally changing the format.

I would still have to disagree with you then :-) I like the feeling of starting up a tournament and seeing it through. It isnt has if it would be a lot of your time. I havnt done a constructed tournament yet but I assume it is the same 3 rounds the other tournaments are, meaning a maximum of 3 hours and 6 minutes (and that is only if you make it to the final round). I do not want to come off as sounding elitist but if you cannot dedicate 3 hours (Max) to something you enjoy then you may want to reconsider tournament participation and just play casual games.

The reason asynchronous sealed is appealing is because there is currently no way to do that (as all tournaments or currently synced). If you just want to play a constructed game here and there, why not play casual games?

Gwaer
04-22-2014, 07:52 PM
Sorry... What is the difference between asynch and normal for a constructed or sealed tournament? You can do all of your matches in a row either way... It makes no difference?

sukebe
04-22-2014, 08:22 PM
Sorry... What is the difference between asynch and normal for a constructed or sealed tournament? You can do all of your matches in a row either way... It makes no difference?

Well, with asynch you don't have to do them all at once and your opponents will not be from a small group of people, but from a considerably larger group. It isnt a huge difference, but there is one :-)

Arbiter
04-22-2014, 08:28 PM
Sorry... What is the difference between asynch and normal for a constructed or sealed tournament? You can do all of your matches in a row either way... It makes no difference?

In an asynchronous environment you can play the same person many times. For myself playing at non-peak times for the server as I live in Australia this will be an issue. I'd rather play a tournament on my weekend during US or Europe peak times than only have an asynchronous option mostly pitting me against the same players. Plus asynchronous constructed usually doesn't lock you into a deck, which makes a huge difference. There are complications with asynchronous constructed if you do insist the deck be kept together - I think constructed asynchronous will work much better if the deck isn't locked, especially if the meta is fluid. Also in theory, you can run into the same person who might have finished and be on a different run, so if decks are the same within runs, your opponent will know what you have but you will have no idea on his.

I want to see asynchronous play, it is important to the casual player base and fun. I liked the leagues that were in MTGO. There is, however, a huge difference between this mode and tournaments where everyone is starting at the same time and getting the same decks. You are facing people who have the same deck that they started with, and no one has had the opportunity to go through half a dozen sealed decks to get their optimum deck by the time you face them.

Gwaer
04-22-2014, 08:40 PM
Playing the same person multiple times is an implementation choice, I'm glad you're bringing it up now, so we can talk about it. I don't think you should be able to play the same person repeatedly in a single asynch queue.

Asynch constructed usually doesn't lock you into a deck? What sources of usually are you working from here? It definitely should lock us into a deck for a single queue, with sideboard.

You also shouldn't be able to play the same person in a single constructed queue.

Yoss
04-22-2014, 10:13 PM
@Arbiter:

Please go read the thread linked below so you understand what I'm actually asking for. I'm asking for asynchronous 8-man flights, not an open-ended single-queue system. You are highly unlikely to play the same person twice (and they could code that restriction in if they want) and you're locked into your deck until you finish. After you finish, you can look behind you and see the 8 players you beat.

http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=32002

With that said, they could also do a single-queue system instead, but that's a much harder pill to swallow for some people, as evidenced by the recent comments.

sukebe
04-22-2014, 11:19 PM
@Arbiter:

Please go read the thread linked below so you understand what I'm actually asking for. I'm asking for asynchronous 8-man flights, not an open-ended single-queue system. You are highly unlikely to play the same person twice (and they could code that restriction in if they want) and you're locked into your deck until you finish. After you finish, you can look behind you and see the 8 players you beat.

http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=32002

With that said, they could also do a single-queue system instead, but that's a much harder pill to swallow for some people, as evidenced by the recent comments.

A "tournament" like that would take forever to complete. I think asynchronous would only work when you do a single queue system. People from that specific tournament would need to be on at the right time, with at least 2 people on at once. chances are good that most people will not share the same playtimes with more than 1 or, at most, 2 people from that tournament. I like the idea in theory but I just do not think it would work well at all in practice.

dogmod
04-22-2014, 11:20 PM
@Arbiter:

Please go read the thread linked below so you understand what I'm actually asking for. I'm asking for asynchronous 8-man flights, not an open-ended single-queue system. You are highly unlikely to play the same person twice (and they could code that restriction in if they want) and you're locked into your deck until you finish. After you finish, you can look behind you and see the 8 players you beat.

http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=32002

With that said, they could also do a single-queue system instead, but that's a much harder pill to swallow for some people, as evidenced by the recent comments.

I don't really get why if you are leaving behind the need for everyone to join the same queue at the same time that you need to keep it confined to the 8 man concept. It is like a spaceship with a steering wheel.

Gwaer
04-22-2014, 11:29 PM
The 8 man concept just makes it an easier pill to swallow for people that feel there is some great difference in the queue structures, but to be perfectly frank, it has been confirmed by CZE that all of this stuff uses the same systems, and being able to set the number of wins/participants/rounds/whathaveyou is part of the plans for the future.

Showsni
04-23-2014, 03:35 AM
The payoff and the experience is quite direct. Because you're already buying the packs, you know exactly what you're spending on the tournament entry, and that gives you a direct evaluation of whether the reward you get at the end is worth the entry price you paid. Forgive me, but I'm going to make a comparison to Hearthstone's Arena mode: while the cost is actually pretty comparable (some cards and an entry fee), because it's all bundled together and you don't actually play with the cards you get (they're a reward), it has a different feeling - everyone feel's like a winner, even if you lost three games straight away. In a Hex tournament, if you're one of the losers of the tournament, you've got a bit more of a direct connection to the price you just paid for that experience, which will probably turn away some players from wanting to play in more tournaments, again to the detriment of the community.


I don't kow about you, but when I draft in Magic I'm paying as much for the experience as for any potential prizes - usually moreso, in fact. I don't generally go in with any expectation of winning boosters to take away, or seeing losing the tournament as making me a loser. It's more about having fun with friends, perhaps picking up a few cards for my standard deck during the draft, getting some cool interactions, etc.

Now, obviously you lose some of this through a computer screen. Currently, you can't wander round the room after your match has finished and watch someone else play. You can't pack wars your prizes. You can't start an impromptu EDH multiplayer after the main event. You can't show off your trade binder. You can't win the giveaway foil that goes to people's votes for the evening. And so on... Hex might be able to implement some of these (more or less) in future, of course.

Making the draft itself a fun experience, worth the entry fee in itself, is, in my view, at least as important, if not even more important, as making the prizes you walk away with match your entry fee.

Arbiter
04-23-2014, 05:31 AM
The problem with your asynch proposal is that while it would be faster to get the first match queued, people at the latter end of tourneys may have longer waits, particularly those of us in very different time zones. Plus 8 people feels too small for asynch. You are much better off having a 7-8 round experience over a few days. I'd never be interested in a 1-3 round asynch tourney over a compact 8 person event. It would likely take me much longer to finish a 3 round sealed this way over waiting for a queue to pop and playing the whole event, For three rounds, I'd rather get them out of the way immediately.

For me, asynch should fill the "league" side of the business. A lot of fun in their own right, they compliment rather than replace tournaments. That's the thing I don't like about your suggestion, Yoss. The fact that you want to replace constructed and sealed with asynch.

For constructed, the tournament format is important. The temporal variable of a constructed tournament is actually an important part of the skill mix tested by the constructed format. In a TCG, the meta shifts all the time, and anticipating the decks that you will be playing against, and adjusting your deck against those is something that good players do, and I think it's an important skill to encourage. There is also the added complication of needing to decide what to do in the odd corner case where a deck that someone started with becomes illegal (banned card/set rotation) before his/her tournament is over.

I am very much for asynch tournaments as additions, but not replacements. Hex needs more casual options to thrive, and be able to provide a great environment for the competitive players. It can wait till a few months down the track, though, because the only people in now are backers and those invested in the game.

When it comes, I think a longer format is best, and I am unconvinced that people should be knocked out - some people may want to keep playing just for practice, and I think that should be encouraged as they have paid real money to enter. I think that in both sealed and constructed, you should be able to switch decks whenever you want (for sealed, all cards would need to come from the original pool), and I think there is a case to examine one off games, rather than best of three.There are definitely pros and cons to this, and constructed may not work without a sideboard, but if it could there would be a completely different meta for async one offs and that would be great.

Allowing constructed decks to be swapped in asynch is important, as otherwise you have to build in a mechanism to lock cards down until the event is completed, or disqualify people if they trade away a card that was in their deck. With casual players this will happen often, and I'd like to see this be a casual-friendly environment.

Yoss
04-23-2014, 09:21 AM
Thank you for taking the time to respond thoughtfully, Arbiter. I disagree with a bit of your post, but am glad to answer it.


The problem with your asynch proposal is that while it would be faster to get the first match queued, people at the latter end of tourneys may have longer waits, particularly those of us in very different time zones. Plus 8 people feels too small for asynch. You are much better off having a 7-8 round experience over a few days. I'd never be interested in a 1-3 round asynch tourney over a compact 8 person event. It would likely take me much longer to finish a 3 round sealed this way over waiting for a queue to pop and playing the whole event, For three rounds, I'd rather get them out of the way immediately.
I'd be interested to see your math/logic saying that asynch would be slower. Here's my math saying the opposite:
http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=32002&page=5&p=334970#post334970

Basically, asynch is always faster, no matter what the activity level is at any given time.


For me, asynch should fill the "league" side of the business. A lot of fun in their own right, they compliment rather than replace tournaments. That's the thing I don't like about your suggestion, Yoss. The fact that you want to replace constructed and sealed with asynch.
Leagues do not solve the problem of giving time-limited players with a competitive format, because asynchronous leagues are generally marathon events (say, month long) where the more games you play gives you better odds to win. This is the exact opposite of catering to the competitive but busy gamer. Instead it favors the guy who can play 20 games per day all month long.


For constructed, the tournament format is important. The temporal variable of a constructed tournament is actually an important part of the skill mix tested by the constructed format. In a TCG, the meta shifts all the time, and anticipating the decks that you will be playing against, and adjusting your deck against those is something that good players do, and I think it's an important skill to encourage. There is also the added complication of needing to decide what to do in the odd corner case where a deck that someone started with becomes illegal (banned card/set rotation) before his/her tournament is over.
That corner case is easily handled. They can keep playing the deck to completion and have 1 week to do so. As for meta shifting, I'm not buying it. If anything, you're penalized for taking longer to complete (and I'm OK with that) because the meta is evolving without you updating your deck. And also, an 8-man synch has the same problem to some degree.


I am very much for asynch tournaments as additions, but not replacements. Hex needs more casual options to thrive, and be able to provide a great environment for the competitive players. It can wait till a few months down the track, though, because the only people in now are backers and those invested in the game.
I'm fine with my proposal being an additional queue to the standard 8-man flights. Once they come online, it should quickly become apparent which is more popular. I predict that the synch would become obsolete (queue times would skyrocket as players move to asynch).


When it comes, I think a longer format is best, and I am unconvinced that people should be knocked out - some people may want to keep playing just for practice, and I think that should be encouraged as they have paid real money to enter. I think that in both sealed and constructed, you should be able to switch decks whenever you want (for sealed, all cards would need to come from the original pool), and I think there is a case to examine one off games, rather than best of three.There are definitely pros and cons to this, and constructed may not work without a sideboard, but if it could there would be a completely different meta for async one offs and that would be great.

Allowing constructed decks to be swapped in asynch is important, as otherwise you have to build in a mechanism to lock cards down until the event is completed, or disqualify people if they trade away a card that was in their deck. With casual players this will happen often, and I'd like to see this be a casual-friendly environment.

Locking down cards that are in your deck shouldn't be a big deal. Isn't that what already happens with 8-man flights? You get locked down for ~3 hours. Why should asynch be any different? If you're online to be trading, you can be online to play your next match and then trade later. Remember that asynch can run the entire tournament faster than synch, even for people who want to run back-to-back for 2 or 3 hours (see link above). (Or, if the need is SOOOOO urgent, you can forfeit the tourney to unlock your deck. But I really don't see this as a likely event.)

jtatta
04-23-2014, 09:28 AM
I'll be honest, I didn't read through all the responses, but who in the world would an asynch tournament with 8 players work? If I'm the only one of the eight people online do I just not get to play? I think the purpose of an asynch tournament is that not only do I get to pick the time that I get to play but that I'll also have someone else to play more or less guaranteed. If there's only seven other people that I could play, even less in the later rounds, it might literally never end.

Forgive me if I misread or the answer is posted elsewhere, busy day for me and I can't catch up.

- John

Yoss
04-23-2014, 09:34 AM
I'll be honest, I didn't read through all the responses, but who in the world would an asynch tournament with 8 players work? If I'm the only one of the eight people online do I just not get to play? I think the purpose of an asynch tournament is that not only do I get to pick the time that I get to play but that I'll also have someone else to play more or less guaranteed. If there's only seven other people that I could play, even less in the later rounds, it might literally never end.

Forgive me if I misread or the answer is posted elsewhere, busy day for me and I can't catch up.

- John

The 8-man "flight" is determined on the fly, not up front, so you're not waiting for any specific person, you just jump into the right queue (Quarter, Semi, or Final) and wait for an opponent. Only in hindsight will you be able to see which 8 people you conquered.

EDIT:
Meaning, after you've won the Final, you know which three people you beat, and the UI could (should) be designed to actually show you the complete bracket.

jtatta
04-23-2014, 09:37 AM
The 8-man "flight" is determined on the fly, not up front, so you're not waiting for any specific person, you just jump into the right queue (Quarter, Semi, or Final) and wait for an opponent. Only in hindsight will you be able to see which 8 people you conquered.

EDIT:
Meaning, after you've won the Final, you know which three people you beat, and the UI could (should) be designed to actually show you the complete bracket.

Oh, so you mean like they do it on SolForge. If you're 1-0 you'll play vs someone else in the world who is online and also 1-0. I didn't know that there were other forms of asynch. Thanks for the reply.

Vorpal
04-23-2014, 10:42 AM
I don't know so much about casual or free, but I would like to see a more asynchronous draft/sealed type of format. Similar, yes, to hearthstone's arena. Where you can craft your deck and then play it in bits and pieces whenever you have the time.

this is particularly necessary in that hex games already last significantly longer than hearthstones.

Yes, there will be pve, which I gather you can hop in and out of in a moments notice, but there needs to be some PvP hex option for people just looking to do something for 15 minutes or wherever they have the time.

LLCoolDave
04-23-2014, 10:44 AM
Asynchronous drafting is a terrible idea, because the quality of a deck strongly depends on the dynamics in the draft and the packs opened. Playing against people from other draft pods is just not a particularly fair judgement.

Yoss
04-23-2014, 10:44 AM
@vorp:
I think 15 minutes is a bit of a stretch. Any competitive match is going to need 30 minute timer per player. If your commitment time is less than an hour, I think Proving Grounds and/or PvE are going to be the place to go.

@dave:
agreed. Only Sealed and Constructed can go asynch without varping their respective formats.

Vorpal
04-23-2014, 11:04 AM
Asynchronous drafting is a terrible idea, because the quality of a deck strongly depends on the dynamics in the draft and the packs opened. Playing against people from other draft pods is just not a particularly fair judgement.

The fact it's not entirely fair doesn't necessarily mean it's not popular.

Hearthstone's arena is completely not fair in the quality of decks people have, but is extremely popular.

Granted, the more money and time investment you make into something like that, the more 'fair' you want it to be.

That said, if there was asynchronous sealed where you kept your cards afterwards, that would probably be sufficient to scratch that particular itch(and easier to implement than asynchronous draft).

I also see no reason there couldn't be formats where the timer per player is lower (or chosen by the players themselves). Though there is of course the danger of diluting your playerbase with too many competing options. Hmmmm.

Yoss
04-23-2014, 11:19 AM
The only way to get below an hour is to play best of 1 instead of best of 3. Most people want best of 3, so you'll have to provide the best of 1 as an additional option rather than a replacement. I don't see a problem with that other than diluting your player base and upping queue times.

Zomnivore
04-23-2014, 12:44 PM
Time was always a factor for me in league, if it took more then 30min to play a game I could never be sure I'd finish.

Rapierian
04-23-2014, 02:26 PM
Hey Rapierian,

Your observations are spot on. We are looking at activities to address issue 1 and ways to reduce the sting out of losing (issue 2). There are definitely holes in the experience for certain types of players and we want to fix that.

Awesome! That's great to hear.

Jonesy
04-23-2014, 04:48 PM
Your method is "a" draft format, but it isn't the primary one. Many people, myself included, like the fact that we have to make choices between a card for our collection or card that will increase our chance to win. That is part of draft and has been since the format was created. I couldn't stand the arena in hearthstone for this very reason. I loved the whole play when you want system but the fact that it took away a large part of the draft system made it considerably less fun and challenging.

I feel like adding any more than a single asynchronous limited format will dilute the limited ques far to much. I like their idea to simply do a sealed event where matches can be played any time. If they make it work the same way as Hearthstone (except you keep the cards you build your deck from) then I think I, and most others will be very pleased with it.

When you draft in a major tournament, zero thought is given to what the card is added to your collection. If you want to prepare for such a competitive environment, you need to draft without giving thought what a card may add to your collection, and so do your opponents. Only way to do this is to not keep what you draft, which is the purest form of competitive draft, and a better one as well. Having to decide between murder or useless bomb that sells for 5 bucks is an NPE--you either choose to lose guaranteed money or to decrease your chance of winning.

Gwaer
04-23-2014, 04:57 PM
^ I disagree. The pressure to keep valuable cards is still there anytime, even during big tournaments, if the value is high enough. Balancing competing pressures is a huge part of draft. The more of those present the better.

sukebe
04-23-2014, 06:45 PM
When you draft in a major tournament, zero thought is given to what the card is added to your collection. If you want to prepare for such a competitive environment, you need to draft without giving thought what a card may add to your collection, and so do your opponents. Only way to do this is to not keep what you draft, which is the purest form of competitive draft, and a better one as well. Having to decide between murder or useless bomb that sells for 5 bucks is an NPE--you either choose to lose guaranteed money or to decrease your chance of winning.

They why is that MTG, the biggest TCG in the market, does not use this "better" way of drafting even on MTGO? It may seem better to you, but many (including me) disagree with that statement very strongly. Theoretically, I can see where you are coming from, but the facts are in my favor. None of the big tcgs use the draft format you propose even in their 100% professional tournaments.

I think knowing when to skip the money cards is part of learning how to draft well. You said yourself that in order to draft competitively you need to be able to ignore what a card can add to your collection. This will take time (I know it did for me) and is a good sign that person who can do so is a good drafter.

Not to mention, there are times when even pro players will rare draft (even in big events). I was part of a group of people who used to run all the big MTG (and Yugioh and pokemon) events for most of the west coast so I had a lot of time to interact with pro players so I am fairly familiar with how they draft (as I had to help judge a lot of the mid level tournaments). What I found was that your statement is mostly true but not entirely. When they opened big money rares in the second or third pack they always spent more time thinking about what card to take. If the rest of the cards in the pack were mediocre at best, they often took the big money rare. If the rest of the pack included good or better cards for their deck then the choice seemed more personal than strategic since the same players tended to do the same thing whenever it came up. Either way though, even they had to think about it longer :-)

TL DR: I strongly disagree with your calling your method of drafting the "only" way to draft competitively. Drafts are best as they are currently formatted.

AstaSyneri
04-24-2014, 08:29 AM
To add a different perspective: I have never played Magic (I did attend a Darkmoon Faire once and did reasonably well), I am extremely short on time, and I do have a draft per week.

For me that means: In drafting I don't really have a clue (yet), I don't have the time to really get into it to learn it, and I assume (assumptions are one root of all evil, I know) that everybody else will do better in the draft due to prior MTG experience, hence I assess a low probability to win prizes.

This logically means I draw rares, especially when they are missing from my collection and after drafting quit the tournament. Which in turn likely spoils the fun for the others (to whatever extent).

I can't wrap my head around doing that asynchroneously, and while that is a topic for me (I really want to play PvE). The only way I'd really try to play draft would be if the option was there to do it intra-guild-y (what a mean construction). That way I can better assess the level of my opponents, or rather I don't care if they win the prizes and I don't, because it kind of "stays in the family".

I wish I had a better option with my drafts.

sukebe
04-24-2014, 04:35 PM
practice makes perfect asta :-) you can still rare draft but stay in the tournament and get practice in. pay attention to what your opponents are drafting and how well their strategy is working. I did this in real life in magic when I started actually playing in drafts (it took me a long while to try as I was fairly intimidated by the whole process). Not that rare drafting is bad, but if you want to get better and drafting you need to practice :-)

Gwaer
04-24-2014, 04:36 PM
I think it's a lot of fun to rare draft the most valuable cards, then try to mash them together into a workable deck, and still win the draft anyway. =P But that's just me.

AstaSyneri
04-25-2014, 01:22 AM
practice makes perfect asta :-) you can still rare draft but stay in the tournament and get practice in. pay attention to what your opponents are drafting and how well their strategy is working. I did this in real life in magic when I started actually playing in drafts (it took me a long while to try as I was fairly intimidated by the whole process). Not that rare drafting is bad, but if you want to get better and drafting you need to practice :-)

Yeah, if there weren't the time issue. Those kids amazingly want me to spend time with them (and I am told that that period is over quicker than most parents realize ;-)).


I think it's a lot of fun to rare draft the most valuable cards, then try to mash them together into a workable deck, and still win the draft anyway. =P But that's just me.

True. I might try that.

sukebe
04-25-2014, 01:34 AM
Yeah, if there weren't the time issue. Those kids amazingly want me to spend time with them (and I am told that that period is over quicker than most parents realize ;-)).



True. I might try that.

Lol, well family does come first. Just wait until they can join you in playing hex or other games. I have spent a lot of time with my own dad thanks to mtg and various other card, board, and online games :-)

In fact, I learned how to read in order to play mtg back around when beta came out. I wasnt allowed to have my own cards until I could read a childrens book to my dad (which annoyed me because I had memorized what all of our cards could do and could easily memorize what other peoples cards could do). Those were good times :-)

AstaSyneri
04-25-2014, 01:47 AM
I already got tiers for my two oldest ones. My son isn't in school yet, but very good with numbers, he'd have to memorize, and my daughter is a raptor-like reader (voracious is the word I was looking for ;-)) - it might be a good start to have her learn more English.

Oh well, so many good times ahead with Hex.