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View Full Version : Ben Stoll interview tomorrow! Help me out



funktion
07-08-2015, 09:38 AM
My stint on the charity will start on Thursday @6pm Pacific. In a rather amazing twist of fate, Lead Designer for Hex mr Ben Stoll himself will be joining me on stream right as I go live. Ben plays an enormous part in the creative genius of Hex.

This is where you all come in. There are a ton of things that I'd personally like to hear more about but I want to know what questions YOU would like to ask him. Obviously the things which we all want to know the most about are mostly unreleased features, when it comes to these types of things there will just be some questions which I can't ask or he can't answer. Regardless I'll still do my best to create an engaging interview and an interesting dialogue.

So lets hear those questions! Reply here with what you'd ask Ben if given the opportunity.

Saeijou
07-08-2015, 09:39 AM
Are there tier1 decks we didnt find with set2 + 1?

nicetodd
07-08-2015, 10:00 AM
What unique guild features will come to Hex?
What does current leveling / merc system look like?
Will we be able to break down cards and equipment for usable raw materials?

ossuary
07-08-2015, 10:04 AM
I'd like to talk about the complexity level of Hex, and how much control the players have. Where do you feel Hex should fall on the "complexity" slider between Hearthstone and Magic? Are there things we can do to encourage high level play that we're not currently doing, without making the "base" experience for beginners too daunting?

i.e. having multiple non-targeted triggers resolving at the same time - could we make these process in a default order, but allow the player who has priority to choose the order they resolve in if they wish (similar to how changing your priority stop settings works now)?

Saeijou
07-08-2015, 10:22 AM
i would like to know, how far the plans for sets are... they probably work on set4... but how far are there concepts reaching for now?
how are they encountering the problem of complexity with more sets? bans or do they have another idea for it?

Vorsa
07-08-2015, 10:27 AM
Q. Are there Prophecy & Shift related powers that the devs really wanted to find room for in set 3, that are in set 4?

Q. Is Zoltog the merc the same as Zoltog the arena boss?
With his hefty threshold requirements, he strikes me as on that is suitably balanced.

Khendral
07-08-2015, 10:54 AM
Q: Why are you avoiding the bear fight? Don't you see yourself as the winner?

thegreybetween
07-08-2015, 11:04 AM
Q: Why are you avoiding the bear fight? Don't you see yourself as the winner?

And while we're on the topic of bears:

Q: By which set should we expect "Wall of Bears"? ;)

Tazelbain
07-08-2015, 11:04 AM
Why is Tinker's robe worth a nerf but BC/XOCOY combo is not?

eimerian
07-08-2015, 11:08 AM
Important PVE question:
We already have an idea how classes will work (from last year's Gamescon interview with Cirouss for example), but how will race impact the game?
How will playing an Orc Warrior be different from playing a Human Warrior for example?

thegreybetween
07-08-2015, 11:09 AM
Why is Tinker's robe worth a nerf but BC/XOCOY combo is not?

Are we sure that BC/Xocoy won't be on the list of fixes? According to the update: "Tinkerer’s Robes will be on the list of changes that will happen with this upcoming patch and a few more minor tweaks can be found on the patch notes on release day" I fully expect that an adjustment to BC (perhaps "non-unique orc"...) could slip in under the radar.

Tazelbain
07-08-2015, 11:22 AM
Sure, but the timing of the interview doesn't allow us to see the patch notes first. So I would rather ask it and it be moot than not ask and it be relevant. Any insight into their use of the nerf hammer would be great.

nicosharp
07-08-2015, 11:43 AM
Can you ask him why Chark is so stingy with gold and Uruunaz spawn-rates?

bwarner
07-08-2015, 11:58 AM
How does Hex plan to deal with the ever-increasing number of keywords that new players need to learn in order to understand cards? Will keywords be rotated in and out of use, and/or will there be better on-demand explanations of keywords available in the UI?

eimerian
07-08-2015, 12:14 PM
Q: How does the design team feel about infinite combos? Is that something you want to avoid at all cost or might we one day see something like Splinter Twin as a viable deck in Hex? How did you react when you first saw the infinite Rhino combo with Azurefate Sorceress?

Tinfoil
07-08-2015, 12:41 PM
E-sport
How does he judge the RNG-level/skill ratio in regards to a future e-sports scene? (I personally might think the RNG is a bit high, which is an understandable design choice, but could it be a hindrance for a future e-sports scene? I would like to hear his thoughts)

RCDv57
07-08-2015, 01:15 PM
Where are my blue wheel sleeves?
What are the challenges behind implementing Animated sleeves?
What's your favorite player race from a lore perspective? What are your favorite shards to play?
What are some of the challenges with implementing 2v2 gamemodes?
What would have to happen in order for HXE to release a new set every quarter, and how close do you think you are to that goal?
Will decks made entirely out of PvE cards be possible someday, and how viable will it be to play a deck without using any of the PvP cards?
Are you single? What are your plans for this evening?
What are some of the challenges with making the Tablet version of Hex?
When do you plan on implementing some form of Daily quests, Weekly quests?
Off the top of your hat, what would the quests require players to do?
What is the process of putting together a starter deck?
Now that all 8 of the player races have starter decks, what are your plans for starters in the future?
Are there any plans on using the Escalation or Tunneling keywords for future sets?
What are your thoughts on Tunneling Actions, or Escalation Troops?
What is your favorite thing to drink?

Metronomy
07-08-2015, 01:36 PM
What about extended art in limited environments ?
What about extended art for your opponents cards ?
What time interval between sets do you aim for ?
Did it ever cross their mind to ban or change cards (e.g. cmk or reese) ?
Are you happy with the value of gold (1:80 right now) ? Do you have a problem with the highly fluctuating value of gold ?
Would you interveine when gold becomes so valuable that its more profitable to grind arena than to play and win pvp tournaments (lets say at 1:40) ?

funktion
07-08-2015, 01:42 PM
I'll just point out that design usually revolves around the creative aspects of the game. While Ben might have some input on many of these questions he's really not the ideal person to ask about them. Many of these questions are either engineering, development, or systems questions.

Something to keep in mind.

Metronomy
07-08-2015, 01:49 PM
Makes sense I gues. Well...you should have enough questions in any case.

Tazelbain
07-08-2015, 02:17 PM
Do you think Gauntlet constructed will have significantly different meta because of Bo1? Why?
Are there any cards that you watching because they may need to be banned?
What card/mechanic didn't turn out as good as you hoped for set 02?
What card/mechanic turned out better than you hoped for set 02?

wolzarg
07-08-2015, 03:11 PM
Important PVE question:
We already have an idea how classes will work (from last year's Gamescon interview with Cirouss for example), but how will race impact the game?
How will playing an Orc Warrior be different from playing a Human Warrior for example?

+1

PureVapes
07-08-2015, 04:17 PM
The digital-only medium can offer unique ways to increase the strategic depth of the game without adding burdensome complexity for the player. What are some ideas or inspirations you've had for not yet released mechanics or game modes?

How open will you be to community-driven card/mechanic suggestions that may offer new perspectives?

To what degree would the team be willing to code a significant client overhaul if an idea can't be implemented in the existing client?

ossuary
07-08-2015, 04:25 PM
The digital-only medium can offer unique ways to increase the strategic depth of the game without adding burdensome complexity for the player. What are some ideas or inspirations you've had for not yet released mechanics or game modes?

How open will you be to community-driven suggestions that may offer new perspectives?

To what degree would the team be willing to code a significant client overhaul if an idea can't be implemented in the existing client?

Again, Ben is a designer, not an engineer. Client overhauls are not a "him" question. :)

DocX
07-08-2015, 04:37 PM
Y'know, part of me's tempted to repeat the questions I've submitted previously when someone solicited questions about the resource system (eg. Is it required for Hex's game design to have 14-15% of games decided by the resource system? Do you view that negative play experience as a good part of the system, or is it merely a side-effect? If there was a way to keep the game primarily the same, but reduce or eliminate resource flood/drought (altering the shuffler to reshuffle a deck if it's at the extreme ends of the resource distribution bell curve, for example), would you be willing to implement it?) but every time I've submitted them, they've not been asked. Being able to hear cogent explanations around the initial design of the resource system and whether or not there's any possibility of modifying it would be amazing.

On non-resource questions...

What are the skills you have in mind for Hex to test? Do you believe some are more important than others? Are there any examples of design decisions that are testing specific skills?

Is the Hex team taking advantage of the digital nature of the game and using metrics and data to validate design decisions? Examples would include seeing if players use specific cards together (either expected interactions or unexpected interactions); monitoring deck building to determine the state of the metagame and specific cards/archetypes to see if it tracks with the team's expectations; balancing use of various equipments and the power boost equipment gives to cards to determine if it varies too much (Tinkerer's Robes as an example)

What is the major challenge you have when designing cards for a new set?

How do you balance making a complex and challenging game with Cory's goal of bringing in "TCG players who don't know they're TCG players"? What, if any, methods does the design team use to ramp up the complexity of the game to ease players into the various systems and ideas to transform them into a TCG player?

nicetodd
07-08-2015, 05:03 PM
+1

Please enlighten us on how anything pve related works. Last I heard all was scrapped.

RCDv57
07-08-2015, 07:24 PM
I'll just point out that design usually revolves around the creative aspects of the game. While Ben might have some input on many of these questions he's really not the ideal person to ask about them. Many of these questions are either engineering, development, or systems questions.

Something to keep in mind.

I thought that Ben was an engineering guy too.
Didn't he design and build the servers, the tournament systems, and post the stress test results?

hex_colin
07-08-2015, 07:30 PM
I thought that Ben was an engineering guy too.
Didn't he design and build the servers, the tournament systems, and post the stress test results?

Chris Woods (and his talented team) does the engineering work. Ben leads the design work.

RCDv57
07-08-2015, 07:31 PM
Chris Woods (and his talented team) does the engineering work. Ben leads the design work.

Doh!

PureVapes
07-08-2015, 07:44 PM
Again, Ben is a designer, not an engineer. Client overhauls are not a "him" question. :)

Yeah, I just figured he might know since he's the one who would come up with ideas that would need significant client changes - and thus have to beg the engineering team to implement them.

ossuary
07-08-2015, 08:03 PM
Yeah, I just figured he might know since he's the one who would come up with ideas that would need significant client changes - and thus have to beg the engineering team to implement them.

Fair enough. :)

NOBLEStarshield
07-10-2015, 12:03 PM
I wasn't able to watch the stream, anywhere I could watch the interview or at least read what happened? I'm pretty curious to what questions/answers were given out. Cheers!

Gwaer
07-10-2015, 12:07 PM
Read my thread called Ben Stoll interview with funktion? There is a text summary and links to the video there.

http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=44204

NOBLEStarshield
07-10-2015, 12:30 PM
Read my thread called Ben Stoll interview with funktion? There is a text summary and links to the video there.

http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=44204

Lol I should have updated that I found it after I commented but thanks for the link! I look forward to reading it :)

BenStoll
07-10-2015, 02:13 PM
Dear forums:

I just spent like a million hours writing a long, amazing, and even charmingly-humorous-at-points response to all of DocX's resource system related questions. Usually when I'm writing something that lengthy, i take the precaution of pasting it into an email or word doc, but amidst my flurry of typing, I accidentally reloaded the page or something, and it's gone forever. :(

I don't have it in me to retype it all out. :'(

Gone forever are pearls of wisdom that would have reinforced everyone's understanding of game design and Hex, as well as words of inspiration that would have altered your perspective on both yourself and others--as both TCG players and deck constructors--in a life-changingly existentially blissful way.

A total and comprehensively explained paradigm that explained the individuality, as well as the "greater than the total sum of its parts" unity, of the various pillars of what is ultimately "a turn-based strategy game that offers an unusually high dose of personal creative ownership (and thus self-expression as well as a high degree of control over one's individual gaming experience)," and the role that a correctly tuned luck element plays in this perfect symphony (and why I believe our current resource system optimally facilitates this role), is lost forever in the sands of time...

WAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!

I tried :(

BenStoll
07-10-2015, 02:26 PM
What's EXTRA tragic is that part of the REASON I took the time to write all this out in the first place is that I sympathized with DocX's pleas to have these never-answered-questions answered!!! And now they're still unanswered. One day, DocX, I will write up some thoughts again...

Tazelbain
07-10-2015, 02:55 PM
Ben, you are lucky. Answering never-answered-questions is likely to bring about the wrath of Old Gods.

Tinfoil
07-10-2015, 03:46 PM
Dear forums:

I just spent like a million hours writing a long, amazing, and even charmingly-humorous-at-points response to all of DocX's resource system related questions. Usually when I'm writing something that lengthy, i take the precaution of pasting it into an email or word doc, but amidst my flurry of typing, I accidentally reloaded the page or something, and it's gone forever. :(

I don't have it in me to retype it all out. :'(

Gone forever are pearls of wisdom that would have reinforced everyone's understanding of game design and Hex, as well as words of inspiration that would have altered your perspective on both yourself and others--as both TCG players and deck constructors--in a life-changingly existentially blissful way.

A total and comprehensively explained paradigm that explained the individuality, as well as the "greater than the total sum of its parts" unity, of the various pillars of what is ultimately "a turn-based strategy game that offers an unusually high dose of personal creative ownership (and thus self-expression as well as a high degree of control over one's individual gaming experience)," and the role that a correctly tuned luck element plays in this perfect symphony (and why I believe our current resource system optimally facilitates this role), is lost forever in the sands of time...

WAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!

I tried :(

Thanks for trying Ben - I really hope you will find the time and energy to write up these answers one day - I know we all want to hear it. Your insights in game-design can certainly enlighten and qualify certain discussions in these forums.

Hex is a game that tries to fill many different roles and I am especially interested in the thougths about the high-competetive play in a game with that much randomness. I can maybe make guesses, but I would like to hear dev thoughts on this :)

Gwaer
07-10-2015, 04:06 PM
Don't worry Ben. Docx is coming to Gencon. You can explain it to him in person. I'd very much like to hear you do that, because I can never explain it as well as I've heard you do it.

BenStoll
07-10-2015, 04:17 PM
Don't worry Ben. Docx is coming to Gencon. You can explain it to him in person. I'd very much like to hear you do that, because I can never explain it as well as I've heard you do it.

ok sounds like a plan.

Thanks :D

Chark
07-10-2015, 04:31 PM
Maybe we should just record that conversation like they did for this guy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSg408i-eKw).

DocX
07-10-2015, 06:08 PM
Lemme say, I very much appreciate the time it must have taken to write that up, Ben. I know there's likely a lot of context for explaining and contextualizing that vital part of the game.


Don't worry Ben. Docx is coming to Gencon. You can explain it to him in person. I'd very much like to hear you do that, because I can never explain it as well as I've heard you do it.


ok sounds like a plan.

Thanks :D

I'll be judging for another company during the day (~8am-~6pm) but I'll be over at the Hex play area as soon as I can afterward. And I promise I'll try my best to keep an open mind. Gwaer and Chark can both tell you I have the capacity to be a reasonable guy in person ;-)


Maybe we should just record that conversation like they did for this guy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSg408i-eKw).

I have the capacity to do this if we can find a semi-quiet area as evidenced by this video with some WoW TCG guy who was crazy enough to consent to sit down with me. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGxb__t5kdA) I'd be happy to do it again!

Now I'm even more hyped for GenCon!

Tinfoil
07-10-2015, 07:00 PM
Would be nice if you did a video :)

I think the "Extra Credits - Randomness in ESports" episode touched upon some central topics of what I am interested in.

Mike411
07-11-2015, 12:13 AM
I don't have it in me to retype it all out. :'(
http://i.imgur.com/ZEOLWt2.jpg

DocX
07-11-2015, 08:17 AM
Would be nice if you did a video :)

I think the "Extra Credits - Randomness in ESports" episode touched upon some central topics of what I am interested in.

I'll make sure to re-watch that before GenCon. I'll also try to set up a series of "things we can all agree on as facts" so time isn't taken up discussing those (since I've seen that take up time in other discussions with folks taking opposing sides on a topic (namely political or social topics). I think Ben and I can agree on a number of basic facts and that the crunchy, detailed information is the good stuff to get to.

Tinfoil
07-11-2015, 06:22 PM
I'll make sure to re-watch that before GenCon. I'll also try to set up a series of "things we can all agree on as facts" so time isn't taken up discussing those (since I've seen that take up time in other discussions with folks taking opposing sides on a topic (namely political or social topics). I think Ben and I can agree on a number of basic facts and that the crunchy, detailed information is the good stuff to get to.

Great. And for the record I think your initial questions were really good.

ziggarius
07-12-2015, 04:02 PM
ok sounds like a plan.

Thanks :D

I'm curious about this too to be honest, I'll be there at Gencon :)