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View Full Version : A bit of feedback for Cory and the team



Refugee
05-30-2014, 08:23 AM
Don't worry! You probably opened this up expecting some whining of some sort about how things aren't fair or X needs changed. Nope, I'm just going to talk about what I like and what I don't (and in the process talk a bit about other similar games).

A very brief history of me. I began playing magic long ago in the dark times known as the 90s. Ever since I've been an enthusiastic TCG player. I've never had the time or inclination to play at a very high level but when I have competed in a variety of games I've generally been pretty successful (more in legacy than limited for magic). Most of my magic experience is in legacy and limited. I currently primarily play Hex and Solforge with a bit of dabbling in Hearthstone.

So let's talk about the good stuff first.

I love collecting. There is some itch deep within me that just loves to complete sets. I don't need every alternate art or extended art or whatever, but I want to have access to a playset of every card. In some games this itch leads to a point of frustration. In solforge for example I have essentially a playset of every current card due to tournament winnings. However, it feels a bit empty because frankly those cards are never going to have any value. The game throws so much free stuff at you that even the best cards aren't ever going to be worth much more than a dollar (if that). So it feels like all my work in collecting playsets has essentially amounted to worthless 1's and 0's. Hex doesn't seem to suffer from this. It feels like (realistically or not) cards have real value. I very much appreciate that fact.

When the servers are working correctly the game is reasonably smooth and enjoyable (at least for me). There was a period of about two days recently where for whatever reason passing priority was taking way too long (and I actually lost 2 games due to time because of this). However, apparently there some some stuck process on the server which has now been resolved and I haven't had problems since.

I LOVE the chests. I don't know what's in those things. It could be anything, even a boat! But rolling chests and I'm sure opening chests eventually is a blast. Frankly my favorite part of drafting is going to my stash later and finding what new chests I got.

The deckbuilder is actually pretty good at the moment. I really don't have any problems sorting through my stuff and finding what I want.

Drafts fire pretty frequently which is nice.

There seem to be a good variety of viable strats in draft.

Alright, now on to the bad stuff. Some of this we know is already going to be addressed but I'm going to mention it anyway.

Waiting for matches to complete during draft is agonizing. We need to be able to do something during that time (PvE). It's already been mentioned that's on the way but for now I still hate sitting there doing nothing.

The interface in general (by which I mean the out of game client) could really use some improvements. The chat is pretty awful. Sliders (The bars on the right of frames which allow vertical navigation) are almost entirely useless (at least for me).

I disagree with having a purely random shuffler. I believe the shuffler should weakly push resources away from each other so players aren't drawing long strings of either resources or non-resources.

There are a variety of display bugs that need resolved (invisible cards, duplicating inventories etc.)

Obviously a lot of people (myself included) are anxious for PvE.

I guess the AI is pretty buggy atm? (I don't really play against the AI so I'm not sure but that's what I heard).

Nothing BUT drafts seem to fire very frequently. :P

Development doesn't seem nearly as fast as it was pre-beta. Maybe that's just a perception thing or something but it seemed like in alpha improvements were being made at least every other week and now it just doesn't seem as rapid. Given delays to this point slowing down even more is a bit disheartening.

Alright! So that's my opinion. Overall I'm certainly enjoying the game so please don't think I'm dissatisfied. I'm looking forward to seeing you guys at gencon again (and the earlier you announce whatever event you're doing the earlier I can work it into my plans).

Best Regards,
Refugee

Svenn
05-30-2014, 08:37 AM
I love collecting. There is some itch deep within me that just loves to complete sets. I don't need every alternate art or extended art or whatever, but I want to have access to a playset of every card. In some games this itch leads to a point of frustration. In solforge for example I have essentially a playset of every current card due to tournament winnings. However, it feels a bit empty because frankly those cards are never going to have any value. The game throws so much free stuff at you that even the best cards aren't ever going to be worth much more than a dollar (if that). So it feels like all my work in collecting playsets has essentially amounted to worthless 1's and 0's. Hex doesn't seem to suffer from this. It feels like (realistically or not) cards have real value. I very much appreciate that fact.
I was worried about cards not having value as well with how much they seem to give out... but given that I have about 3500 cards currently (and have done my share of drafting rares) and I'm not even close to a complete playset, I don't think that's going to be an issue. Not to mention alternate art cards, mercenaries, sleeves, and other random things you can get from the wheels of fate (I've spun that a lot and I'm still missing a ton there too).


I LOVE the chests. I don't know what's in those things. It could be anything, even a boat! But rolling chests and I'm sure opening chests eventually is a blast. Frankly my favorite part of drafting is going to my stash later and finding what new chests I got.
Agreed. I really love rolling chests. It's exciting. :)


Waiting for matches to complete during draft is agonizing. We need to be able to do something during that time (PvE). It's already been mentioned that's on the way but for now I still hate sitting there doing nothing.

There are a variety of display bugs that need resolved (invisible cards, duplicating inventories etc.)

Obviously a lot of people (myself included) are anxious for PvE.

I guess the AI is pretty buggy atm? (I don't really play against the AI so I'm not sure but that's what I heard).

The interface in general (by which I mean the out of game client) could really use some improvements. The chat is pretty awful. Sliders (The bars on the right of frames which allow vertical navigation) are almost entirely useless (at least for me).
This stuff mostly just boils down to "it's beta". Things will improve over time. Also, the AI is essentially a placeholder AI from what I understand. The "real AI" is coming with PvE.


Nothing BUT drafts seem to fire very frequently. :P
Drafts are definitely the most popular format in general. Constructed hasn't taken off due to lack of trading. Everything will fire more frequently when we're out of closed beta since there's a limited pool of players that isn't really getting much larger until they open the doors.


Development doesn't seem nearly as fast as it was pre-beta. Maybe that's just a perception thing or something but it seemed like in alpha improvements were being made at least every other week and now it just doesn't seem as rapid. Given delays to this point slowing down even more is a bit disheartening.
That's because pre-beta they were still implementing new cards to finish off set 1. They could release 2-5 cards a week and that feels like fast progress is being made, despite those being fairly simple things (relatively) to implement. The things they are working on now are massive changes to the game (AH/trading, PvE, etc). Development time on those is MUCH longer. Now, they likely have a lot of these things fairly far along internally, but they can't release them until they are fully ready. Which brings me to the final point... in Alpha it was possible to release smaller, incremental updates with various bugs because nothing was for keeps... but since we're in beta they need to go through a lot more testing to make sure there aren't any serious issues that would mess up collections, break things like drafts, etc.

Xenavire
05-30-2014, 08:38 AM
I disagree with having a purely random shuffler. I believe the shuffler should weakly push resources away from each other so players aren't drawing long strings of either resources or non-resources.


Disagree.


I guess the AI is pretty buggy atm? (I don't really play against the AI so I'm not sure but that's what I heard).

It broke during Beta. I cannot express how sad this made me.


Development doesn't seem nearly as fast as it was pre-beta. Maybe that's just a perception thing or something but it seemed like in alpha improvements were being made at least every other week and now it just doesn't seem as rapid. Given delays to this point slowing down even more is a bit disheartening.

This is because new cards were being pushed weekly. If you look at just the core features, there were actually months in between most of them. UI improvements came fairly sporadically. The big issue is we aren't getting as many bugfix patches, but the upside to that is that there are not many bugs left to squish (very few that require immediate attention.)


Those are my small comments, otherwise I approve of and agree with pretty much all of what you have said.

Yoss
05-30-2014, 08:45 AM
I disagree with having a purely random shuffler. I believe the shuffler should weakly push resources away from each other so players aren't drawing long strings of either resources or non-resources.

Perhaps you'd support this:
http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=36100

nicosharp
05-30-2014, 11:13 AM
Pretty much agree with you on every point Refugee.
Not quite sure yet of what to make of the shuffler, but I can say I've never sensed the same frustration with screw or flood in ANY other game, and need to spend more time thinking about this than anything else when designing a deck. Which feels forced and is not fun.

knightofeffect
05-30-2014, 11:27 AM
Pretty much agree with you on every point Refugee.
Not quite sure yet of what to make of the shuffler, but I can say I've never sensed the same frustration with screw or flood in ANY other game, and need to spend more time thinking about this than anything else when designing a deck. Which feels forced and is not fun.

Yea, I avoided really saying anything about the shuffler except supporting the fact that it is purely random. However, even with erring on the side of that-one-more resources as apposed to MTG, I seem to experience some sort of manascrew >33% of the time; combined with my opponent's manascrew potential, it seems like it can get up to 50% of games being affected by screw.

Again, these are all perceptions from an admittedly non-representative sample, but I'm not arguing the true randomness of the shuffler, I'm just referring to the perception that screw is more prevalent in this game. I didn't play MTGO much at all, but I wonder if it had some slight weaving in it, or if it was purely random as well...

Yoss
05-30-2014, 11:44 AM
I would guess that MTGO is pure random since they're trying to mimic paper games (or at least what paper game shuffles would be in an ideal world, oops).

Rokz
05-30-2014, 04:54 PM
Waiting for matches to complete during draft is agonizing. We need to be able to do something during that time (PvE). It's already been mentioned that's on the way but for now I still hate sitting there doing nothing.


The way I took this point is that your getting eliminated in Draft and sitting there on the ladderboard screen staring at the rankings.

Just so your aware, and maybe others aren't aware either. If you click 'Forfeit' you can go and do whatever you would like, you will still get all your goodies you have acquired in that one tournament. You can even sign up to another draft and play in it. You will get all your gear once the initial draft is fully complete, no matter what. Plus you will get a message in your inbox.

Yoss
05-30-2014, 04:59 PM
The way I took this point is that your getting eliminated in Draft and sitting there on the ladderboard screen staring at the rankings.

Just so your aware, and maybe others aren't aware either. If you click 'Forfeit' you can go and do whatever you would like, you will still get all your goodies you have acquired in that one tournament. You can even sign up to another draft and play in it. You will get all your gear once the initial draft is fully complete, no matter what. Plus you will get a message in your inbox.

I took it as what I have often: finish my match in 10 minutes, then sit around for 40 minutes waiting for my next round.

laborlawlarry
05-30-2014, 05:07 PM
I seem to experience some sort of manascrew >33% of the time; combined with my opponent's manascrew potential, it seems like it can get up to 50% of games being affected by screw.

Not to be a broken record, this game does not have mana. Let's try and reinforce proper game terminology. It is an important aspect of building a solid community.

Refugee
05-30-2014, 05:10 PM
The way I took this point is that your getting eliminated in Draft and sitting there on the ladderboard screen staring at the rankings.

Just so your aware, and maybe others aren't aware either. If you click 'Forfeit' you can go and do whatever you would like, you will still get all your goodies you have acquired in that one tournament. You can even sign up to another draft and play in it. You will get all your gear once the initial draft is fully complete, no matter what. Plus you will get a message in your inbox.

What Yoss said. I know you can leave when you lose. I just hate having to wait for the next game to start when I win.

Xenavire
05-30-2014, 05:12 PM
What Yoss said. I know you can leave when you lose. I just hate having to wait for the next game to start when I win.

(Cheeky answer) You know what the easy answer is? Don't win! :p

But yeah, I also can get quite bored by that extensive wait. It isn't great for viewers either - every minute that ticks by in a stream without some action, the less interested the viewers are. I am sure this isn't just happening to me.

Rokz
05-30-2014, 05:15 PM
I took it as what I have often: finish my match in 10 minutes, then sit around for 40 minutes waiting for my next round.

Bahaha yeah now I understand! You see, I don't have this problem, as I am slow... :P

Yoss
05-30-2014, 05:20 PM
Bahaha yeah now I understand! You see, I don't have this problem, as I am slow... :P

So YOU'RE the one to blame! *pitfork at the ready* :)

Just kidding, I have slow matches too sometimes.

Xenavire
05-30-2014, 05:25 PM
I have had slow matches too, but nothing beats the one where me and my opponent ended the match with less than 30 seconds each when I landed the final blow. I mean I was racing his clock to just get my damage in, I think everything finally resolved when he was at 3 seconds.

I felt bad. So, so bad.

Yoss
05-30-2014, 05:26 PM
I felt bad. So, so bad.

In other words, you danced around the room laughing and celebrating. :p

Xenavire
05-30-2014, 05:32 PM
In other words, you danced around the room laughing and celebrating. :p

No, I really felt bad. I was a full minute behind the guy at the start of the last game (he was at about 7 minutes and I was at around 5 and a half.) I felt like I cheated him, I felt like I cheated everyone in the tournament.

I think I may have won that whole tourney in fact...

Yoss
05-30-2014, 05:51 PM
Props to you, I say. Especially if you streamed it.

Dichdude
06-01-2014, 05:24 PM
Development doesn't seem nearly as fast as it was pre-beta. Maybe that's just a perception thing or something but it seemed like in alpha improvements were being made at least every other week and now it just doesn't seem as rapid. Given delays to this point slowing down even more is a bit disheartening.


Best Regards,
Refugee

Development can't move as fast now as the game (although in Beta) is now live and any problems with patches could be costly as people now have their collections.

They can't release patches for us to test for them anymore like they did during Alpha. I realise they needed to get the money rolling but game development is suffering for it.

ElvesRUs
06-01-2014, 08:02 PM
I realise they needed to get the money rolling but game development is suffering for it.

They never should have monetized until the game was released, and just wiped collections at that point. Just offer prizes and such for most draft wins, etc., at the end of beta. But they needed the cash, and that was more important. (And why is this again? I don't understand. They got over 7x what they were asking for on KS, but they need still more?) And you're right, they have to be 10x more careful now about releasing patches because they can mess up people's assets that they paid cash for.

Xenavire
06-01-2014, 08:19 PM
Development can't move as fast now as the game (although in Beta) is now live and any problems with patches could be costly as people now have their collections.

They can't release patches for us to test for them anymore like they did during Alpha. I realise they needed to get the money rolling but game development is suffering for it.

Thats a bold statement. The fact of the matter is that they don't have smaller patches to push out anymore like they did in Alpha because all the set 1 cards are in, and a large portion of the bugs have been fixed already. The QoL patch being delayed is a pain, but it wasn't a month long delay or anything, they pushed it to this week from last week - and better safe than sorry, right?

Its making a mountain from a molehill here. If you are expecting major features, then go back and look at the timing for all the major features. If we actually get the AH, 128 person tournaments, Starter deck trials, and the tutorial all in the same month, then that will be the most amount of content added in the shortest space of time since the alpha started - I would say they have picked up the pace on major features, rather than being slowed down.

I am a bit peeved that bugfixing patches slowed down with so many known issues, but I can understand it. But major features are well on track.

GPrime
06-01-2014, 08:29 PM
I know that this has been discussed to death already, but how I feel about a completely random shuffler:

Every turn you need to look at the information you know about your opponent, then decide the ideal play given that information along with what you don't know. Among the things you know: his board position, his graveyard/void, the number of cards in his hand, his current resource and charge count, and the threshold he's played. Among the things you don't: what cards are in his hand (barring reveal effects), what he's thinking, and what cards he's going to draw next.

The last bit of information is decidedly non-trivial. And assuming you know how many resources are in his deck, you can form a reasonable guess as to the probability of that next card being a resource. However, this is only possible with perfect randomness. There will be cases where you have to bet whether your opponent will draw a resource or not the following turn, and the wrong guess will lose you the game. If the shuffler is made non-completely-random, then you don't have a prayer of making an educated guess here. With (near-)perfect randomness, you can confidently bet on the most likely outcome.

I'll leave alone the arguments over which "feels" better because that's highly subjective, but if Hex wants to be a pro e-sport then it'll embrace gameplay elements that raise the skill ceiling.

Other than that, you've got a lot of good points. Development does feel slow but I'm sure they're doing the best they can and their pace reflects the need to balance progress and the game's integrity.

Yoss
06-02-2014, 09:45 AM
The last bit of information is decidedly non-trivial. And assuming you know how many resources are in his deck, you can form a reasonable guess as to the probability of that next card being a resource. However, this is only possible with perfect randomness. There will be cases where you have to bet whether your opponent will draw a resource or not the following turn, and the wrong guess will lose you the game. If the shuffler is made non-completely-random, then you don't have a prayer of making an educated guess here. With (near-)perfect randomness, you can confidently bet on the most likely outcome.

Bolded statement is false, and then the conclusions no longer follow. My Gaussian Shuffler would still allow players to make "outs" calculations.

Turtlewing
06-02-2014, 10:05 AM
The last bit of information is decidedly non-trivial. And assuming you know how many resources are in his deck, you can form a reasonable guess as to the probability of that next card being a resource. However, this is only possible with perfect randomness.

You have that completely backwards. You can't accurately predict the next draw. You can estimate the probability but probabilities only work predictively over large sample sizes. They provide little to no insight into what will happen "this time".

By contrast with a purely deterministic shuffler, and adequately accurate estimates of starting conditions you can predict exactly what the next draw will be.

A Pseudo-random shuffler will behave somewhere in between the two cases (more predictable than pure random, and less predictable that pure deterministic).

Dichdude
06-02-2014, 03:21 PM
Thats a bold statement. The fact of the matter is that they don't have smaller patches to push out anymore like they did in Alpha because all the set 1 cards are in, and a large portion of the bugs have been fixed already. The QoL patch being delayed is a pain, but it wasn't a month long delay or anything, they pushed it to this week from last week - and better safe than sorry, right?

Its making a mountain from a molehill here. If you are expecting major features, then go back and look at the timing for all the major features. If we actually get the AH, 128 person tournaments, Starter deck trials, and the tutorial all in the same month, then that will be the most amount of content added in the shortest space of time since the alpha started - I would say they have picked up the pace on major features, rather than being slowed down.

I am a bit peeved that bugfixing patches slowed down with so many known issues, but I can understand it. But major features are well on track.

I am not making a mountain out of anything - Handing out the rewards will slow down the release of content/patches to the client. They can't now release new features until they are 100% the patch will not affect the players collections.

The reason I said they released the KS rewards and monetized the game was so money could start rolling in is the only reason I can think of that seems saine. I can't think of an alternative which makes sense to compromise an already behind project.

Xenavire
06-02-2014, 04:24 PM
I am not making a mountain out of anything - Handing out the rewards will slow down the release of content/patches to the client. They can't now release new features until they are 100% the patch will not affect the players collections.

The reason I said they released the KS rewards and monetized the game was so money could start rolling in is the only reason I can think of that seems saine. I can't think of an alternative which makes sense to compromise an already behind project.

They could have many reasons. I like to think (incorrectly) that they have huge cojones.

Dichdude
06-02-2014, 06:16 PM
They could have many reasons. I like to think (incorrectly) that they have huge cojones.

I wish I could see things the way you look at them...Lol

I have now given it some more thought and decided to back your idea 100%. CZE have not had the best of luck lately and maybe they just thought WTF lets play this game HARD mode.

Xenavire
06-02-2014, 06:22 PM
I wish I could see things the way you look at them...Lol

I have now given it some more thought and decided to back your idea 100%. CZE have not had the best of luck lately and maybe they just thought WTF lets play this game HARD mode.

Another convert! I am not sure what I am converting people to, but its something happy I think. :D