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View Full Version : The first turn advantage. Does it seem like a serious problem to anyone else?



asdf2000
08-27-2015, 01:47 PM
I think it's because they sped the game up... there's less time to actually be reactive and do anything to stop your death.

I am finding, that statistically, I am losing WAY more often going 2nd in games where neither player is shard screwed. So many games I just see them go first with a good start and I just know I will lose and there is nothing I can do.

Does anyone else feel this way? I think they either need to rethink how they balance going second, or they need to slow the game down.

Boreaquis
08-27-2015, 01:51 PM
Now that there's bo1 PvP, I agree that this is definitely something that should be looked at. Would be nice if they would experiment with an additional boon for going second, like Hearthstone does with "The Coin".

Xenavire
08-27-2015, 01:55 PM
In limited I think the current system is just fine. In Constructed, sometimes I do feel that going second in g1 vs a good aggro deck is basically giving the match to them. Not always, but sometimes it does feel pretty bad.

Gauntlet is a totally different ecosystem and it probably is a big problem there, but I can't say I have enough experience under my belt to really comment.

darkwonders
08-27-2015, 01:59 PM
Might as well get into another lawsuit and have a similar idea that HS uses and grant a 1/0 shardless card to the person going 2nd XD

Tazelbain
08-27-2015, 02:00 PM
Maybe but it won't change. They keep adding elements of luck and removing elements of skill, so I doubt they see of the luck of the coin flip to be a problem.

nicosharp
08-27-2015, 02:04 PM
It doesn't even need to be an aggro deck.
On the draw stuck on 1 open resource vs. T2 possibility currently allots 0 counter-play.
On the draw stuck on 2 open resources vs. T3 possibility offers very limited counter-play.

While both scenarios require some extreme god hand scenarios, I don't think the constructed scene is meant to be that tilted.
I don't think play vs. draw matters as much in limited scenarios.

Gwaer
08-27-2015, 02:19 PM
The earlier the average winning turn is, the more important going first gets. In a very fast meta like the one we have it is more important than in a much slower one like we're used to. As long as all metas moving forward are not this fast it shouldn't be so bad long term

Zophie
08-27-2015, 02:27 PM
The earlier the average winning turn is, the more important going first gets. In a very fast meta like the one we have it is more important than in a much slower one like we're used to. As long as all metas moving forward are not this fast it shouldn't be so bad long term

I agree with Gwaer

nicosharp
08-27-2015, 02:37 PM
I much preferred bitching about the turn 4 clock and Gore Feast during set 1 :)

Bmon
08-27-2015, 02:58 PM
The first turn advantage. Does it seem like a serious problem to anyone else?

No. The first turn advantage can and should be mitigated by knowing your format speed and adjusting your main deck / sideboard properly.

You do get a several percentage point advantage by going first. That is mostly mitigated by a best of 3 format as well as proper sideboarding. There are enough cheap anti-aggro cards in every shard but sapphire that you should be able to win the aggro matchup through proper sideboarding and mulligans even if you go second. If not, then you should reconsider your deck choice. The only other fast matchup is RW Titania's Majesty. If your complaint is about Majesty matchups, mirror or otherwise, then that is a problem with the lack of good answer cards rather than a problem with the coin flip.

If your problem is getting stuck on two shards, then you should reconsider your shard base or mana curve. You know going into your matches that this is a fast format. Lower your mana curve to compensate.

N3rd4Christ
08-27-2015, 05:02 PM
Agree since First to play Baby Yeti wins

funktion
08-27-2015, 09:26 PM
The earlier the average winning turn is, the more important going first gets. In a very fast meta like the one we have it is more important than in a much slower one like we're used to. As long as all metas moving forward are not this fast it shouldn't be so bad long term

This pretty much is all that needs to be said imo.

Yoss
08-27-2015, 10:19 PM
The earlier the average winning turn is, the more important going first gets. In a very fast meta like the one we have it is more important than in a much slower one like we're used to. As long as all metas moving forward are not this fast it shouldn't be so bad long term

This is well said for the in-print meta, but not for the eternal formats, which will always be at least this fast due to cards never rotating out.

Boreaquis
08-27-2015, 10:33 PM
This pretty much is all that needs to be said imo.

Is it, though? Just because it won't be "so bad" long term doesn't mean that there's nothing more to discuss.

To really say if this is an issue or not, we need some hard numbers. If competitive bo1s are going to be a thing, I think they need to be as close to 50/50 as possible. This is especially true if the upcoming ranked/ladder more is bo1 as well.

Gwaer
08-27-2015, 10:51 PM
This is well said for the in-print meta, but not for the eternal formats, which will always be at least this fast due to cards never rotating out.

this is not how it works. Eternal will have access to any tools that come in the future to mitigate the speed of majesty as well. The fastest ever single format does not equal the minimum or maximum speed of the eternal format. Plus this single meta still hasn't settled down too much. I expect it will end up slower than it started, time will tell on that however.


Is it, though? Just because it won't be "so bad" long term doesn't mean that there's nothing more to discuss.

To really say if this is an issue or not, we need some hard numbers. If competitive bo1s are going to be a thing, I think they need to be as close to 50/50 as possible. This is especially true if the upcoming ranked/ladder more is bo1 as well.


Also, I somewhat agree here. In best of 1 if that's going to be a major part of the game, and metas have the potential to be this fast, then they probably should think about it.

asdf2000
08-27-2015, 11:17 PM
I don't know why you guys think it only matters in bo1. It's still very significant in a bo3. I mean, the player who goes first in g1 gets to go first again in g3. It'll cut the advantage of the player who goes first by a little bit, but it will still be there.

Really, though.... it's largely the meta... but I wouldn't be surprised if tusker wins 70% on the play and 40% on the draw. And I wouldn't be surprised if it's heavily skewed for majesty as well. And then a little skewed for most other decks.

It's kind of a problem. The coin by hearthstone actually really was genius.

This is the only actual statistical data I found on play vs draw. It's for.. that other game. But if anything I think these statistics would be more extreme for this game(right now).

http://www.channelfireball.com/articles/play-or-draw/




edit:

I am actually surprised that more information hasn't been gathered about this topic. In poker, the effect of position is very very very thoroughly analyzed. Probably because it's more directly related to money.

wolzarg
08-28-2015, 04:47 AM
And when we get that deep control set where people win turn 11 the qq will be about the extra draw.

Bmon
08-28-2015, 05:58 AM
I am actually surprised that more information hasn't been gathered about this topic. In poker, the effect of position is very very very thoroughly analyzed. Probably because it's more directly related to money.

There is more data on the subject, but I don't want to link articles from other sites. The data is also fairly recent because it was impossible to get a statistically relevant sample size until the advent of bots which can analyze thousands of observed games. Look up Saffron Olive if you're interested.

Basically, you get a 7-10% advantage going first. Match up, side boarding, and player skill are still very relevant. And finally, the effects of a coin flip average out in best of 3, non single elimination formats. There aren't a whole lot of those formats floating around in Hex right now which is kind of a problem.

Hieronymous
08-28-2015, 09:22 AM
The earlier the average winning turn is, the more important going first gets. In a very fast meta like the one we have it is more important than in a much slower one like we're used to. As long as all metas moving forward are not this fast it shouldn't be so bad long term

How do you expect them to be able to unwind things to a slower meta, though? The new set has so much control hate in it.

nicosharp
08-28-2015, 09:24 AM
Basically, you get a 7-10% advantage going first.

From my testing on % of nut draws. That % seems very accurate. Where did you get the number/calculation?

Bmon
08-28-2015, 10:49 AM
The 7-10 percentage point advantage for going first came from analyzing 28K games of MTG modern format, 85K games of MTG DTK standard format, and 56K games of MTG origins standard format. I hate to use data from other games, but we do not have access to enough data from Hex games to form statistically significant conclusions.

The breakdown was:

53.8% win rate on the play in MTG modern with 6.7 average turns / game
54.0% win on the play in DTK standard format with ~8.7 average turns / game
54.8% win rate on the play in origins standard format with ~7.9 average turns / game

Faster formats are correlated with a higher % win rate on the play when comparing formats of similar power level. Second, formats with higher power level may have a lower % win rate on the play than slower, lower powered formats due to the increased self-policing capability that comes with a larger card pool.

Sources:
http://www.mtggoldfish.com/metagame/breakdown/modern
http://www.mtggoldfish.com/articles/meta-snapshot-magic-origins-standard-aug-2015

asdf2000
08-28-2015, 11:00 AM
Well, given that you show those statistics, I am surprised you do not think it is a problem. I understand the reasons you give, but clearly these MTG players, and I, and others already understand how to mitigate being behind first turn. And yet the disparity remains.

Do you not think 7+ % is huge? Because I do.

Aradon
08-28-2015, 11:07 AM
Better than chess statistics, if I recall.
We could diminish the impact of who goes first by increasing variance in card draws, I guess...

Gwaer
08-28-2015, 11:47 AM
I wonder if data dragon could be persuaded to give us the win percentage of going on the play in hex. There have been way more than 28000 games of hex played.

bootlace
08-28-2015, 12:12 PM
Here's an interesting read about 'going first' in different types of games:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/08/do-you-want-to-go-first-balancing-hearthstone-and-other-turn-based-games/

YourOpponent
08-28-2015, 01:52 PM
I think that in a good control deck with our meta such as sapphire/diamond they would have better luck DRAWING first over playing first. Especially against Titania decks (which is interesting since most want to play first anyway with those decks) because it means on average you are drawing more cards and getting more likely to get those counters you need. (in terms of card draw)

asdf2000
08-28-2015, 01:59 PM
I think that in a good control deck with our meta such as sapphire/diamond they would have better luck DRAWING first over playing first. Especially against Titania decks (which is interesting since most want to play first anyway with those decks) because it means on average you are drawing more cards and getting more likely to get those counters you need. (in terms of card draw)

naw
which is better vs majesty, having 3 resources AND the ability to put something down on the board when you have 2 resources
or
having 2 resources and being stuck waiting until you have like 5 resources to put something on the board


not to mention the situation where you go 2nd, and they howling brave turn 1, then periwinkle turn 2. if you martyr it then you can't stop a turn 3 majesty. if you don't martyr it you also can't stop a turn 3 majesty. lol

not that the last situation comes up often. but I think going first is just way way way better

Falaris
08-28-2015, 10:33 PM
How do you expect them to be able to unwind things to a slower meta, though? The new set has so much control hate in it.

Until there is a rotation you can expect things to not 'slow down' to a certain extent. That doesn't mean that control won't be viable, it could just mean that there are more answers provided for control decks that function the first couple turns of the game. Being a digital TCG opens up a few avenues of approach for this that wouldn't be available in a paper tcg.

Saeijou
08-28-2015, 11:25 PM
Here's an interesting read about 'going first' in different types of games:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/08/do-you-want-to-go-first-balancing-hearthstone-and-other-turn-based-games/

very interesting article, thanks for sharing! :)

Boreaquis
08-29-2015, 04:54 AM
Here's an interesting read about 'going first' in different types of games:

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/08/do-you-want-to-go-first-balancing-hearthstone-and-other-turn-based-games/

I remember those statistics from back when I played Hearthstone. Say what you will about the game, but the 50.4% win rate for going first is really impressive from a balance standpoint.