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Falaris
01-09-2016, 08:17 AM
As with most of you, I'm eagerly anticipating PvE. Although I am a competitive PvP player at heart, from the outset I viewed Hex as a more casual TCG due to a variety of reasons, not all of which are relevant to this discussion. I also have a sizable (for me) personal investment in the game, perhaps not near Colin/Gwaer levels of support, but regardless I will have close to 10 Spectral Oaks.

That being said, for those that are complaining, what were you actually expecting going in? Cryptozoic/Hex is a small but talented group of employees. There will always be negatives associated with that, not the least of which being slower updates than we are used to getting from multi-million(billion) dollar companies that have hundreds of employees. In exchange, you get a game where the developers pour their heart and soul into the game. In my experience the more people involved, the more you have employees just collecting a paycheck. I can guarantee you everyone that works on Hex absolutely loves working on Hex, with the possible exception of constantly hearing IS IT HERE YET? IS IT HERE YET? IS IT HERE YET?

My biggest concern for PvE is that players who are expecting everything at launch are sure to be disappointed. There will absolutely be people who blitz through the campaign within a week. There will definitely be balance concerns in various encounters. They can internally test this product all they want. Nothing is as good as having thousands of players completely immerse themselves into PvE at once.

I seriously doubt this is the extent of the PvE experience that we are about to receive. They will constantly be adding features, adding dungeons, and improving the gaming experience. Once they have the framework down (a campaign actually in place) updates should go a bit quicker.

One of the large appeals of Hex is its community. While constructive criticism and intelligent dialogue is helpful and encouraged, the CONSTANT negativity does literally nothing to help the game or yourselves. PvE will get here when it gets here. If you are unhappy with the game.... bye? I hate to phrase it like that, but my god it feels like half of some peoples' time commitment to Hex consists of whining on the forums.

Seraph_Hex
01-09-2016, 09:39 AM
That being said, for those that are complaining, what were you actually expecting going in? Cryptozoic/Hex is a small but talented group of employees. There will always be negatives associated with that, not the least of which being slower updates than we are used to getting from multi-million(billion) dollar companies that have hundreds of employees.

I agree, just look at this multi-million(billion) dollar company (http://www.grindinggear.com/?page=staff), can you imagine how easy it must be for them to release the amount of content they do with such a huge number of employees?

frychikn
01-09-2016, 10:13 AM
I agree, just look at this multi-million(billion) dollar company (http://www.grindinggear.com/?page=staff), can you imagine how easy it must be for them to release the amount of content they do with such a huge number of employees?

+1

bizznach
01-09-2016, 10:17 AM
I agree, just look at this multi-million(billion) dollar company (http://www.grindinggear.com/?page=staff), can you imagine how easy it must be for them to release the amount of content they do with such a huge number of employees?

yeah must of been hard while balancing lawsuits when blizzard took them to court over diablo copyright.Im looking for the place they say how long it took them to release and build the game.
where is that info?

bizznach
01-09-2016, 10:32 AM
oh wait nvm i found it
"We’ve been developing Path of Exile since late 2006. It has been in Open Beta since January 2013."

sounds like 6 years to get to beta.
we are at what?
2 years?
3?
wonder where we will be at year 6?
where ever it is i'm sure it will be awesome.

Seraph_Hex
01-09-2016, 10:39 AM
sounds like 6 years to get to beta.

How would you describe the stage Hex is currently in?

Edit: It's not like Hex wasn't in development befor the Kickstarter started, since they were:
"We have been in development for almost two years and have accomplished a lot." Source (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cze/hex-mmo-trading-card-game/description)
And that is the difference they didn't choose to move forward prematurely.

IronPheasant
01-09-2016, 10:46 AM
It's been slightly less than 3 years since the kickblaster. People are certainly getting antsy, but the time frame hasn't been unreasonable.

They just don't like getting hypuu from announcements about announcements so they can wait around for an announcement about an announcement. Not for a single minute last year did I believe the "before the end of the year" target was going to happen, though there was five seconds where I had a little doubt.

One set per year certainly isn't going to be enough in the long tail, we're optimistic enough to accept maybe there was just a little

http://hydra-media.cursecdn.com/hextcg.gamepedia.com/thumb/9/9b/Turbulence.png/250px-Turbulence.png?version=e0ad1238c158ecc02485ad085a4 5fa53

in 2015.

IronPheasant
01-09-2016, 10:48 AM
For the record, I only finished collecting four copies of every Ice Arena card about a month or two ago. And I'm one of its heavier grinders. (Listen to so many ranting people on yootoob)

If each of the dungeons has 20 unique cards that drop at a similar rate, eight dungeons would "last" much longer than Ice Ring.

Svenn
01-09-2016, 11:07 AM
I agree, just look at this multi-million(billion) dollar company (http://www.grindinggear.com/?page=staff), can you imagine how easy it must be for them to release the amount of content they do with such a huge number of employees?

First of all, let me start with saying that Path of Exile is one of my all time favorite games. I'm sitting here in a PoE shirt right now, with my PoE hoodie, next to my signed PoE concept art that I have framed.

You just provided the absolute best example of why Hex people should calm down. It took GGG 7 years to get PoE, an ARPG which is a pretty well worn genre, to Open beta. SEVEN years. That was them getting the core of the game developed. After release they've started to speed up on updates. Now it's every 6+ months they release a major content patch. Yes, they do patch plenty in-between to fix things but those are minor patches for the most part. There was 11 months between the last 2 major content updates they put out.

It took them 7 years and getting the core game in before they started producing quicker content updates though. HexEnt is getting close to the point where the core game features are all implemented. Once they hit that, they can produce some quicker updates. Still, you proved that a small team, even one as awesome as GGG, can't push out major content updates every 1-3 months. It takes time.

So, calm down. HexEnt is doing just fine. It sucks that things are taking so long, and they've mismanaged expectations some, but they aren't doing a bad job.

bizznach
01-09-2016, 11:10 AM
First of all, let me start with saying that Path of Exile is one of my all time favorite games. I'm sitting here in a PoE shirt right now, with my PoE hoodie, next to my signed PoE concept art that I have framed.

You just provided the absolute best example of why Hex people should calm down. It took GGG 7 years to get PoE, an ARPG which is a pretty well worn genre, to Open beta. SEVEN years. That was them getting the core of the game developed. After release they've started to speed up on updates. Now it's every 6+ months they release a major content patch. Yes, they do patch plenty in-between to fix things but those are minor patches for the most part. There was 11 months between the last 2 major content updates they put out.

It took them 7 years and getting the core game in before they started producing quicker content updates though. HexEnt is getting close to the point where the core game features are all implemented. Once they hit that, they can produce some quicker updates. Still, you proved that a small team, even one as awesome as GGG, can't push out major content updates every 1-3 months. It takes time.

So, calm down. HexEnt is doing just fine. It sucks that things are taking so long, and they've mismanaged expectations some, but they aren't doing a bad job.

+1

WolfCrypt
01-09-2016, 11:13 AM
Amen Svenn

bizznach
01-09-2016, 11:14 AM
all this talk of PoE has me downloading it btw

Dinotropia
01-09-2016, 11:24 AM
One set per year certainly isn't going to be enough in the long tail, we're optimistic enough to accept maybe there was just a little

http://hydra-media.cursecdn.com/hextcg.gamepedia.com/thumb/9/9b/Turbulence.png/250px-Turbulence.png?version=e0ad1238c158ecc02485ad085a4 5fa53

in 2015.

You, sir, are my hero :D

HaemishM
01-09-2016, 12:46 PM
Two PVP sets per year won't be enough to keep this game going, regardless of what happens with PVE. There will never be enough PVE content to satisfy the punters no matter what you do - this is the lesson of the MMOG. All resources being switched to PVE might have been good for fulfilling Kickstarter promises, but it's created a very stagnant meta and a huge dropoff in the ability to get scheduled events to fire, which is where Hex Ent is going to make their money. It's all well and good to claim that being small gives them an excuse and "heart and soul" is poured into a game, but in the end, you have to get the content out there or there won't be a game to pour anything into.

fido_one
01-09-2016, 12:55 PM
One of the large appeals of Hex is its community. While constructive criticism and intelligent dialogue is helpful and encouraged, the CONSTANT negativity does literally nothing to help the game or yourselves. PvE will get here when it gets here. If you are unhappy with the game.... bye? I hate to phrase it like that, but my god it feels like half of some peoples' time commitment to Hex consists of whining on the forums.

...so you start a thread that will polarize and sow discord? What good will come of your rant on rants? More rants, that's what.

IronPheasant
01-09-2016, 01:05 PM
Which is a good thing. More rants never hurt anyone.


There will never be enough PVE content to satisfy the punters no matter what you do - this is the lesson of the MMOG.

An act in Path of Exile costs nearly $2 million. I'm sure a Hex dungeon comes in under $100,000.

There's always going to be heavy users off the scale, but I'm sure they could fanagle almost 40 or 60 hours of content in a year if they get going.

fido_one
01-09-2016, 01:11 PM
Which is a good thing. More rants never hurt anyone.



An act in Path of Exile costs nearly $2 million. I'm sure a Hex dungeon comes in under $100,000.

There's always going to be heavy users off the scale, but I'm sure they could fanagle almost 40 or 60 hours of content in a year if they get going.

I don't know PoE costs, but none of us know Hex costs per dungeon. It could be 10M, 10k, 100k, probably rolled into the whole development cost of the game over the life of it.

So even IF PoE broadcasts their costs for each act, there is no basis of comparison we have to how much Hex costs for each dungeon.

And yes, totally agree, rants shouldn't hurt people (though they do sometimes) and we shouldn't be upset when they happen, I just don't like a thread that is designed to demote them when in reality it is very much promoting them. Apologies to the OP if that comes off as a bit harsh, not my intent, don't know how else to phrase it.

Mejis
01-09-2016, 02:10 PM
all this talk of PoE has me downloading it btw

Lol. I would too, but last time I tired to play it the opening load time was too long for me. I noted lots of other players had the same issue. Is that still the case or has code been optimised somewhat? I would love to get into PoE.

Renquist
01-09-2016, 02:14 PM
The fact that you needed to create a thread about this speaks volumes as to where the community is. There is no accountability here, and the development process is less than transparent. I'm invested in this game and will continue to play it, however the "development" time here is beyond pathetic. I've tried to be understanding but it's terrible and acknowledging it is anything but that is a joke. Like I said before if I missed deadlines like that at my place of employment I would be updating my resume. The creative vision is ingenious but the execution is atrocious.

Announcing a vague announcement and then telling people that they shouldn't draw conclusions is...lol...I don't even know where to start. What exactly do you expect a human to do?

Ben
01-09-2016, 04:39 PM
The fact that you needed to create a thread about this speaks volumes as to where the community is. There is no accountability here

I actually completely agree with this. I bought into the KS for one thing and one thing only, PVE. The PVE side could come out in 2017 at this point and I wouldn't really care. However GGG wouldn't announce an announcement, then announce that they're delaying the announcement they were going to make because they have a good form of community management. Something I cannot say about this game, at least when we're talking about how and when they release this information to the public.

If you're unhappy with a game, you express why. If Cryptozoic took your advice and say bye, this game would go nowhere, just like this thread.

Svenn
01-09-2016, 06:19 PM
An act in Path of Exile costs nearly $2 million. I'm sure a Hex dungeon comes in under $100,000.

If they have 50 people on the team each making $50k/year (I don't know the exact numbers of people they have or their salaries, I'm using low estimates for salaries)... that's $208k/month just in salaries. Not to mention leasing office space and other costs.

So, you think 1 PvE dungeon is under 2 weeks of dev time? o_O

Also, even if content was that easy to pump out (hint: it's not), there's still the initial development of the underlying systems which takes a very long time.

IronPheasant
01-10-2016, 03:34 AM
So, you think 1 PvE dungeon is under 2 weeks of dev time? o_O

No, I think they don't have 50 freakin' people full time on one single one.

Once the basic engine is complete, we're talking about Super Mario Overworld levels here, with a couple dozen cards, not a World of Warcraft raid encounter. Art will be the primary $ sink for most of them once they get it going.

If it's very far north of $100k for a single one of these things three years from now, got some bad news about the economic viability of their business model.

Sinistarlol
01-10-2016, 06:51 AM
Creating "Dungeons" in a Trading Card Game; and creating a "Dungeon" in World of Warcraft are completely different. It'll be like saying creating 300 cards takes the same man hours and resources as a fully fleshed out raid encounter with actual sandbox content along with the coding of mechanics.

(Not directed to anybody) but when it comes to the release of PVE it's worrisome to think this is indeed just a TCG with mechanics involved, sure there's quite a bit of work since there's mechanics involved with such cards but it shouldn't take YEARS.

WolfCrypt
01-10-2016, 09:15 AM
Combining Char creation, talent trees for six classes, 96 combo traits (two for each class combo), Over 350 cards with effects ranging from badass to never before seen, Storyline and encounter choices, All this and more is going to take a lot longer then 4 months

Svenn
01-10-2016, 10:56 AM
Once the basic engine is complete, we're talking about Super Mario Overworld levels here, with a couple dozen cards, not a World of Warcraft raid encounter. Art will be the primary $ sink for most of them once they get it going.

You need to design not only the map, but every encounter. Every encounter needs scripting to make it work. Many of them will have special rules and things that need a ton of scripting. It's not just "Here's a few map nodes... done!" Then on top of that there's the PvE cards and scripting for that. There's making sure the AI knows how to use those cards. Then there's the art assets. Oh, and don't forget loot drops. And then there's testing and bug fixing which takes quite a bit of time.

It's not that simple. It's far more than just plopping a few nodes on an overworld map and calling it a day.


Creating "Dungeons" in a Trading Card Game; and creating a "Dungeon" in World of Warcraft are completely different. It'll be like saying creating 300 cards takes the same man hours and resources as a fully fleshed out raid encounter with actual sandbox content along with the coding of mechanics.
Sorry, WoW raids are not "sandbox content". They are heavily scripted, in the same way that a Hex dungeon is. In fact, in Hex you've got probably far more encounters than a WoW dungeon, so it's probably more scripting. Just because the format is different doesn't mean it doesn't require a ton of scripting to set up.

WolfCrypt
01-10-2016, 11:02 AM
Exactly. Just cuz it's a card game doesn't mean they can make it faster

Fred
01-10-2016, 03:48 PM
That being said, for those that are complaining, what were you actually expecting going in?

This is a very simple and straightforward question, which deserves a straightforward answer.

My expectations going in, when I decided to fund the game, actually came from the Kickstarter. First there was this:

http://i.imgur.com/9ir1DTD.png

This seemed to imply that most of the work was done, and that CZE needed the funds for the final art and engineering push. Heck, they only needed 300k to make it happen. At this point, it means that they have most of the design figured out, right? If all you need is the final art and engineering push, all of the talent system, the mercenary system, and all the talent trees are figured out and completely designed. We realized over the years that this was simply not the case.

Then there was this gem:

http://i.imgur.com/iT9CE1B.png

Now, I know software development never goes as planned. The schedule seemed very agressive, considering that it was already May by the time the Kickstarter came out. I actually expected some delays, as would be reasonable. I expected the game to launch at some point in the first half of 2014. CZE said it would take 4 months, I expected 12. It has been 31 months.

The community has been very forgiving of delays in the past couple of years, and so was I. However, having our concerns dismissed as "it's normal to have delays" and "what did you expect?", that's the part that stings. Who are you to tell me my expectations were bad?

sukebe
01-10-2016, 05:33 PM
This is a very simple and straightforward question, which deserves a straightforward answer.

My expectations going in, when I decided to fund the game, actually came from the Kickstarter. First there was this:

http://i.imgur.com/9ir1DTD.png

This seemed to imply that most of the work was done, and that CZE needed the funds for the final art and engineering push. Heck, they only needed 300k to make it happen. At this point, it means that they have most of the design figured out, right? If all you need is the final art and engineering push, all of the talent system, the mercenary system, and all the talent trees are figured out and completely designed. We realized over the years that this was simply not the case.

Then there was this gem:

http://i.imgur.com/iT9CE1B.png

Now, I know software development never goes as planned. The schedule seemed very agressive, considering that it was already May by the time the Kickstarter came out. I actually expected some delays, as would be reasonable. I expected the game to launch at some point in the first half of 2014. CZE said it would take 4 months, I expected 12. It has been 31 months.

The community has been very forgiving of delays in the past couple of years, and so was I. However, having our concerns dismissed as "it's normal to have delays" and "what did you expect?", that's the part that stings. Who are you to tell me my expectations were bad?

It seems you are not up to date on the situation. I may not have all the specifics right* but the basic situation is this:

They had originally been paying a different company to create this game. that company either went out of business or made it clear they would not be able to complete the game. They told Hex that it was almost done and likely gave them the $300k estimate and may even have had a part in setting the estimated delivery date. When hex actually got programmers working on the game (possibly after the kickstarter gave them the funds to hire them) they realized that not only was the game not as complete as they had been told but that they needed to essentially start from scratch. these problems combined with the facts that:

-CZE is a fairly small company
-Before Hex, CZE had no previous experience in the creation of digital games
-MMOs are notoriously more difficult to program than most people think they are
-limitation to Unity that require updating the entire system every now and then when a new version comes out that allows them to do what they need to do but were unable to do with the previous version.

Have all combined to bring us where we are now.

All that said: I do wish they would be more direct and open with us about time tables and progress but from what I have seen on these forums that would not lead to any less complaints, whining or rants as people would then be just as upset if they missed a stated deadline no matter how many times HexEnt stresses that the date was just an estimate. For this reason, while I do not like the lack of communication I cannot entirely fault them for it.

*I say this because this is just what I picked up on the forums since they were started. I don't have any specific posts to refer to as I am just going off of memory. For this reason I admit I may not be entirely right with these statements despite my confidence that I am :-)

Seraph_Hex
01-10-2016, 06:58 PM
All that said: I do wish they would be more direct and open with us about time tables and progress but from what I have seen on these forums that would not lead to any less complaints, whining or rants as people would then be just as upset if they missed a stated deadline no matter how many times HexEnt stresses that the date was just an estimate. For this reason, while I do not like the lack of communication I cannot entirely fault them for it.

I beg to differ. Proper communication would certainly help a lot, take a look at Star Citizen for instance. They release weekly (up to bi-daily) videos that keep people up to date on almost every aspect of the game be it development, production, "bugsmashing" (as they call it) and so on. When you know what is going on behind the scene your mind will be more likely at ease then when you have no idea.

We even saw this in Hex when Set 3 was delayed:
https://www.hextcg.com/slight-aom-launch-delay/

Instead of saying: "Hey folks, sorry nothing new today, maybe next week."
We got a short explanation on why and how these "technical issues" caused a delay. And would you look at that, people were understanding and supportive. Who would have thought.

Fred
01-10-2016, 07:36 PM
It seems you are not up to date on the situation. I may not have all the specifics right* but the basic situation is this:

I am entirely up to date with the situation. The question that was asked in the original post was specifically "what were you actually expecting going in?". I went in two and a half years ago with the expectations I stated above. True, they had to redo a lot of the engineering. It doesn't change the fact that people have been expecting PvE for over two years now, and a big part of the collective frustration comes from that.


When hex actually got programmers working on the game (possibly after the kickstarter gave them the funds to hire them) they realized that not only was the game not as complete as they had been told but that they needed to essentially start from scratch.

This is the part that I don't get though. True, they had to throw all the code away and start from scratch. However, if CZE truly expected that only the final engineering push was left, it means that the whole design was complete. The fact that they had to redo all the coding is no excuse for changing the talent and leveling system at least twice (with the infamous "might" system at some point). Mercenaries are also very different than what was originally advertised. Champion progression and mercenaries are two elements at the very core of the whole PvE system. Those have not been set in stone until last year, despite design being supposedly complete about 3 years ago.

Svenn
01-10-2016, 07:42 PM
I beg to differ. Proper communication would certainly help a lot, take a look at Star Citizen for instance. They release weekly (up to bi-daily) videos that keep people up to date on almost every aspect of the game be it development, production, "bugsmashing" (as they call it) and so on. When you know what is going on behind the scene your mind will be more likely at ease then when you have no idea.

We even saw this in Hex when Set 3 was delayed:
https://www.hextcg.com/slight-aom-launch-delay/

Instead of saying: "Hey folks, sorry nothing new today, maybe next week."
We got a short explanation on why and how these "technical issues" caused a delay. And would you look at that, people were understanding and supportive. Who would have thought.

That's funny that you bring up Star Citizen given all the controversy surrounding the game and the company (and the former employees talking about the awful things the company is doing and how unlikely it is the game will ever be finished). Not to mention how little progress has been made on this game (I am a backer, and I keep checking in, and it's pretty awful right now with most of the features still missing years later).

Seraph_Hex
01-10-2016, 07:56 PM
That's funny that you bring up Star Citizen given all the controversy surrounding the game and the company (and the former employees talking about the awful things the company is doing and how unlikely it is the game will ever be finished). Not to mention how little progress has been made on this game (I am a backer, and I keep checking in, and it's pretty awful right now with most of the features still missing years later).

That is exactly why I brought it up, since imho giving insight into the games progress is what's keeping people from going apesh!t.

And in my opinion version 2.1d has come a long way, I wouldn't call it "little" progress. But sure you are entitled to your opinion, but if that's "little" progress for you, then how would you rate the progress Hex has made? By applying your scale the answer would be: virtually non-existent

sukebe
01-10-2016, 08:56 PM
That is exactly why I brought it up, since imho giving insight into the games progress is what's keeping people from going apesh!t.

And in my opinion version 2.1d has come a long way, I wouldn't call it "little" progress. But sure you are entitled to your opinion, but if that's "little" progress for you, then how would you rate the progress Hex has made? By applying your scale the answer would be: virtually non-existent

Hex has come a long way from when it opened its doors over 2 years ago. the progress they have made is not what I had hoped for but it is still a great deal of progress. As it is right now it is the best online tcg around (at least to me, opinions will almost always vary). They have a long way to do but I can at least play and enjoy a full 1/2 of the game right now.

Seraph_Hex
01-10-2016, 09:06 PM
the progress they have made is not what I had hoped for but it is still a great deal of progress.

In no shape or form did I indicate that we haven't seen a considerable amount of progress, read my post again. Svenn claimed that Star Citizen's progress was little and that is the scale I applied to compare it's progress to Hex.

WolfCrypt
01-10-2016, 10:06 PM
I think the only thing we should complain about Hex is their off base updates and announcements. I admit that it's kinda bad but maybe they just estimate and assume it'll happen then boom a bad bug? You can't blame em for errors that come up at last moment.. So I can't fault them for estimates that fall short.

Cainhu
01-11-2016, 04:22 AM
Honestly, i don't get it.

The hardcore PvP players constantly saying to the PvE crowd that they should shut up, since 2+ years of delay is normal, but in the same time they complaining about set 4. What would they say, if we get only PvE content for the next two year ? (that won't happen obviously)

PvE players, especially KS backers have all right to be disappointed, while PvP players enjoy their content for years, partially funded by them. I doubt that the KS would have been successfull without the PvE element, as that was setting it apart from the other 1000 tcg out there.

Honestly, now I'm happy that I didn't backed the game on KS... now I would be a very disappointed customer. If I pay for something it should be delivered. Some delays are acceptable, even more considering that they had to redo a lot of things, but not years without seeing the end of the road.

And there are many small companies out there who can manage these points, so being small is no excuse.

bootlace
01-11-2016, 05:28 AM
Numbers are being thrown around, comparisons are being made, but the reality is this game is unprecedented and nothing really compares to it in terms of scope and features in this genre. So here's another rant regarding rants.

First of all apologies were already made about the whole KS promises and severely miscalculated target dates. There was even a window when refunds were offered to those that were upset about the delays. Realistically you could have sold the contents of your KS tier and realistically gotten out of this whole thing largely unscathed financially (most people have profited like crazy).

So let's look at what is really going on here. Everyone here or on the subreddit, including those that seem negative, wants the game to be finished and out like yesterday - I get that. But let's get one thing clear: if you're still here and following this game after all these years then you have to respect the vision, and the body of work that's already been created, and as a result the company behind it. If there was some better game out there or you really didn't see any hope for the company, you would have cut your losses short and already be off to bigger and better things. There's certainly room for criticism, and I'll get to that later, but there are other parts where the company deserves a lot of credit. With the amount of verbal punishment the team is taking lately, I believe this deserves a closer look.

Comparison To Closest Competitor (Magic the Gathering: Online)
Hex is already technically ahead of its closest competitor, MTGO, by leaps and bounds. Scalable tournaments, visuals, features (AH etc), and the list goes on and will only continue to be massively in favor of Hex. It's almost unfair to classify them in the same genre. Hasbro, who owns WotC and MTG by the way, is a near 10 billion dollar mega corporation. MTGO has been out for over 13 years, and it only seems to be getting worse as time passes. This is not even my own opinion, you can find countless criticisms out there by its own ardent fans (which I was myself at one point) with a simple search. I won't get into the game design standpoint as that tends to be subjective, but tell me of a single mechanic in MTG from the past 3 years that is as awesome as the Spiders of Set 3. Sorry but after over 10,000 cards they seem to be running out of interesting design space.

Another grip I can't seem to unshake is I still see some people with "Hex is a clone of MTG" being thrown around (and in this very community) and it's ridiculous. I've already written about this (http://www.hexprimal.com/hex-tcg-magic-the-gathering-clone-or-successor/) so I won't go into specifics as to why it's not. But think about it like this, is Candy Crush a clone of Bejeweled? Bejeweled creator doesn't think so (http://www.gamereactor.eu/news/107764/PopCap%3A+Candy+Crush+is+not+a+Bejeweled+clone/). I know WotC have done an admirable job of preventing any would be competitor from arising through sheer bullying and legal threats over the past few decades, but to see fans eat into that despite all the differences between the games is pretty sad.


Comparison To Most Successful Comparison (Hearthstone)
So at this stage Hearthstone is easily the most successful implementation of a digital card game out there. But let's look underneath the hood. Hearthstone has around 600 cards released thus far, Hex has around 50% more with a new PvP and PvE set around the corner. The adventures (PvE) cost around 20-25$ and last no more than 2 hours. Compare to the Frost Ring Arena which is 1) free, 2) has much longer shelf life, 3) lets you earn loot and gold ad infinitum and I think I don't even need to get into how lopsided things will be in Hex's favor when the campaign does come out.

Other than that HS has a poor mix of Draft/Gauntlet, a constructed ladder, a Tavern Brawl which is a weekly playmode where there are specific restrictions or new rules. That's it. I'm pretty sure that without their insane level of polish, the Blizzard IP and backing, and the easy to pickup game style this game would never have been so successful. Yet the simple/easy nature of the game will ultimately also lead to its downfall. Already the game is showing cracks through power creep, inability to expand significantly in terms of features despite willingness and capital to do so, and its business model as it relates to new comers.

Hearthstone is always said to be cheaper to get in, but as far as new players are concerned this isn't really true. There is no auction house so you can't get the specific cards you want and dust to 'craft' the cards is REALLY hard to come by, so you essentially have to crack open packs blindly in hopes of getting the cards/deck you want. Hex allows you to buy the specific cards/deck you want, and then allows you to sell those and try out different decks. And 5 years from now if you no longer want to play, you can get a lot of the money/time you invested back with perhaps even dividends as card prices have known to rise (see Reese, VK etc).

Other New Games In The Genre
I'm not going to do a comparison of all the other digital card games out there but it's safe to say that there isn't a single one of them that even pretends to want to do what Hex is. It's noteworthy that Elder Scrolls Legends (a new digital card game from another established video game company) was suppose to come out last year and not only has the company completely missed their intended release date but there's not an ounce of information about what's happening to it. This stuff happens in this genre - things look easy initially, but the complexity increases exponentially as you dig into it.

Difficulty of What Hex Is Building
There seems to be this thought that because Hex isn't building these 3D worlds or that there is no huge visual component to the game that it should be cheap, quick and easy to make. I don't think these people understand at all how complex what Hex is attempting to do really is. In 3D games you have tools and engines (even ready toolkits (http://store.steampowered.com/app/335930/)at this point) to help build out things at really quick speeds. There really isn't anything out there to create logic for thousands of different cards to work together. And how about Artifical Intelligence? Is that something anyone here thinks is easy to create? You can't throw $1 million or even $10 million at that problem and expect to have it solved. Heck, there has been more than $17 billion (http://www.wired.com/2014/10/future-of-artificial-intelligence/) investment in AI since 2009 alone.

What about the amount of creativity, testing, and skill required to create thousands of balanced equipment to alter each card in an interesting unique way plus talent trees, mercenaries, gems and a whole bunch of other things that increases the permutations to a level that I'd imagine even a quantum computer would have trouble handling. Sorry you can't just grab a few random $50k per year coders/designers and expect to crank this stuff out without breaking the crap out of everything in the game.

Right now the process has been slower than people would have liked but has the company ever really let anyone down, has it really made a huge game breaking move yet? The economy is surprisingly resilient, the F2P component is remarkably functional despite the core campaign yet to be released, the meta diversity has been really impressive in the lifespan of the game considering how long the sets have been out (with 1 PvP and 1 PvE ban/nerf), and the game just keeps getting faster, more beautiful, and just better. Things are looking GOOD from this perspective.

Criticism

The area that HxE does deserve to be called out on is there management of expectations and their communication strategy as a whole. I'm not going to get into where they messed up, what they could have done, or what they should do moving forward as that's all been well documented at this point and would need an extra few thousand words.

Looking Forward

PvE is around the corner. Maybe it's a bit late, ok really late, maybe it won't have as many dungeons or classes as we want on the initial release, but it's freaking coming. And there's going to be more stuff coming after that. Game might not seem popular now but things can change quickly. We haven't seen HxE's marketing push yet. A sweet PvE campaign that is inviting to new players should establish a positive retention rate. From that point on they just need to crank out more content -> more advertising -> more retained players/income -> rinse & repeat. You pay the right content creators, get the right PR/media hookups, and your game can break out pretty quick in this day and age.

TLDR: HxE has messed up with initial promises and communication, but stop holding them to that mistake. 2.5 years in, this is still THE digital TCG out there to be excited about.

Svenn
01-11-2016, 07:18 AM
snip.

Very well written post. 100% agree that the main thing HexEnt need to be called out on is management of expectations. The game itself is amazing.

Khazrakh
01-11-2016, 07:21 AM
Very well written post. 100% agree that the main thing HexEnt need to be called out on is management of expectations. The game itself is amazing.

Indeed.
Great post bootlace!

xou
01-11-2016, 07:37 AM
awesome stuff

Great post, mate! SO MUCH HYPE!!! :o

fido_one
01-11-2016, 07:50 AM
Numbers are being thrown around, comparisons are being made, but the reality is this game is unprecedented and nothing really compares to it in terms of scope and features in this genre. So here's another rant regarding rants.

First of all apologies were already made about the whole KS promises and severely miscalculated target dates. There was even a window when refunds were offered to those that were upset about the delays. Realistically you could have sold the contents of your KS tier and realistically gotten out of this whole thing largely unscathed financially (most people have profited like crazy).

So let's look at what is really going on here. Everyone here or on the subreddit, including those that seem negative, wants the game to be finished and out like yesterday - I get that. But let's get one thing clear: if you're still here and following this game after all these years then you have to respect the vision, and the body of work that's already been created, and as a result the company behind it. If there was some better game out there or you really didn't see any hope for the company, you would have cut your losses short and already be off to bigger and better things. There's certainly room for criticism, and I'll get to that later, but there are other parts where the company deserves a lot of credit. With the amount of verbal punishment the team is taking lately, I believe this deserves a closer look.

Comparison To Closest Competitor (Magic the Gathering: Online)
Hex is already technically ahead of its closest competitor, MTGO, by leaps and bounds. Scalable tournaments, visuals, features (AH etc), and the list goes on and will only continue to be massively in favor of Hex. It's almost unfair to classify them in the same genre. Hasbro, who owns WotC and MTG by the way, is a near 10 billion dollar mega corporation. MTGO has been out for over 13 years, and it only seems to be getting worse as time passes. This is not even my own opinion, you can find countless criticisms out there by its own ardent fans (which I was myself at one point) with a simple search. I won't get into the game design standpoint as that tends to be subjective, but tell me of a single mechanic in MTG from the past 3 years that is as awesome as the Spiders of Set 3. Sorry but after over 10,000 cards they seem to be running out of interesting design space.

Another grip I can't seem to unshake is I still see some people with "Hex is a clone of MTG" being thrown around (and in this very community) and it's ridiculous. I've already written about this (http://www.hexprimal.com/hex-tcg-magic-the-gathering-clone-or-successor/) so I won't go into specifics as to why it's not. But think about it like this, is Candy Crush a clone of Bejeweled? Bejeweled creator doesn't think so (http://www.gamereactor.eu/news/107764/PopCap%3A+Candy+Crush+is+not+a+Bejeweled+clone/). I know WotC have done an admirable job of preventing any would be competitor from arising through sheer bullying and legal threats over the past few decades, but to see fans eat into that despite all the differences between the games is pretty sad.


Comparison To Most Successful Comparison (Hearthstone)
So at this stage Hearthstone is easily the most successful implementation of a digital card game out there. But let's look underneath the hood. Hearthstone has around 600 cards released thus far, Hex has around 50% more with a new PvP and PvE set around the corner. The adventures (PvE) cost around 20-25$ and last no more than 2 hours. Compare to the Frost Ring Arena which is 1) free, 2) has much longer shelf life, 3) lets you earn loot and gold ad infinitum and I think I don't even need to get into how lopsided things will be in Hex's favor when the campaign does come out.

Other than that HS has a poor mix of Draft/Gauntlet, a constructed ladder, a Tavern Brawl which is a weekly playmode where there are specific restrictions or new rules. That's it. I'm pretty sure that without their insane level of polish, the Blizzard IP and backing, and the easy to pickup game style this game would never have been so successful. Yet the simple/easy nature of the game will ultimately also lead to its downfall. Already the game is showing cracks through power creep, inability to expand significantly in terms of features despite willingness and capital to do so, and its business model as it relates to new comers.

Hearthstone is always said to be cheaper to get in, but as far as new players are concerned this isn't really true. There is no auction house so you can't get the specific cards you want and dust to 'craft' the cards is REALLY hard to come by, so you essentially have to crack open packs blindly in hopes of getting the cards/deck you want. Hex allows you to buy the specific cards/deck you want, and then allows you to sell those and try out different decks. And 5 years from now if you no longer want to play, you can get a lot of the money/time you invested back with perhaps even dividends as card prices have known to rise (see Reese, VK etc).

Other New Games In The Genre
I'm not going to do a comparison of all the other digital card games out there but it's safe to say that there isn't a single one of them that even pretends to want to do what Hex is. It's noteworthy that Elder Scrolls Legends (a new digital card game from another established video game company) was suppose to come out last year and not only has the company completely missed their intended release date but there's not an ounce of information about what's happening to it. This stuff happens in this genre - things look easy initially, but the complexity increases exponentially as you dig into it.

Difficulty of What Hex Is Building
There seems to be this thought that because Hex isn't building these 3D worlds or that there is no huge visual component to the game that it should be cheap, quick and easy to make. I don't think these people understand at all how complex what Hex is attempting to do really is. In 3D games you have tools and engines (even ready toolkits (http://store.steampowered.com/app/335930/)at this point) to help build out things at really quick speeds. There really isn't anything out there to create logic for thousands of different cards to work together. And how about Artifical Intelligence? Is that something anyone here thinks is easy to create? You can't throw $1 million or even $10 million at that problem and expect to have it solved. Heck, there has been more than $17 billion (http://www.wired.com/2014/10/future-of-artificial-intelligence/) investment in AI since 2009 alone.

What about the amount of creativity, testing, and skill required to create thousands of balanced equipment to alter each card in an interesting unique way plus talent trees, mercenaries, gems and a whole bunch of other things that increases the permutations to a level that I'd imagine even a quantum computer would have trouble handling. Sorry you can't just grab a few random $50k per year coders/designers and expect to crank this stuff out without breaking the crap out of everything in the game.

Right now the process has been slower than people would have liked but has the company ever really let anyone down, has it really made a huge game breaking move yet? The economy is surprisingly resilient, the F2P component is remarkably functional despite the core campaign yet to be released, the meta diversity has been really impressive in the lifespan of the game considering how long the sets have been out (with 1 PvP and 1 PvE ban/nerf), and the game just keeps getting faster, more beautiful, and just better. Things are looking GOOD from this perspective.

Criticism

The area that HxE does deserve to be called out on is there management of expectations and their communication strategy as a whole. I'm not going to get into where they messed up, what they could have done, or what they should do moving forward as that's all been well documented at this point and would need an extra few thousand words.

Looking Forward

PvE is around the corner. Maybe it's a bit late, ok really late, maybe it won't have as many dungeons or classes as we want on the initial release, but it's freaking coming. And there's going to be more stuff coming after that. Game might not seem popular now but things can change quickly. We haven't seen HxE's marketing push yet. A sweet PvE campaign that is inviting to new players should establish a positive retention rate. From that point on they just need to crank out more content -> more advertising -> more retained players/income -> rinse & repeat. You pay the right content creators, get the right PR/media hookups, and your game can break out pretty quick in this day and age.

TLDR: HxE has messed up with initial promises and communication, but stop holding them to that mistake. 2.5 years in, this is still THE digital TCG out there to be excited about.

yep!

YoureNoDaisy
01-11-2016, 08:19 AM
You need to design not only the map, but every encounter. Every encounter needs scripting to make it work. Many of them will have special rules and things that need a ton of scripting. It's not just "Here's a few map nodes... done!" Then on top of that there's the PvE cards and scripting for that. There's making sure the AI knows how to use those cards. Then there's the art assets. Oh, and don't forget loot drops. And then there's testing and bug fixing which takes quite a bit of time.

It's not that simple. It's far more than just plopping a few nodes on an overworld map and calling it a day.


Sorry, WoW raids are not "sandbox content". They are heavily scripted, in the same way that a Hex dungeon is. In fact, in Hex you've got probably far more encounters than a WoW dungeon, so it's probably more scripting. Just because the format is different doesn't mean it doesn't require a ton of scripting to set up.

Don't forget, it takes time to plan out advertisements, magazine, websites, youtube video's. All have to be planed out and set on a set date.

WolfCrypt
01-11-2016, 09:14 AM
Amen Boot.

knightofeffect
01-11-2016, 09:31 AM
Can we just take Bootlace's post and sticky it or something for the 2016 Hex review and outlook?

Excellent post man!

Gwaer
01-11-2016, 09:40 AM
Unfortunately one promise that I feel was not quite lived up to, and the root of many of these issues is that the community at large isn't really in the sausage factory. Rather than really seeing what is going on, you are given a tiny bit of tasty sausage and promised more. There are good explanations for why things have gone the way they have. Anyone who goes to visit them in california has access to much of that. Maybe nothing super secret, but generally more than what is available to everyone.

So rather than actually seeing the process, you're one step closer to the process than usual. Normally someone would have the job of saying 'no this information is not ready to go to the public yet, because it's not definite, there's too much that could change, etc' instead, we don't have that, but also don't have access to the deeper information of why these statements/previews are tenuous or must be changed. I wish they would drop it, and either really open up the design and development process to the public at large (which i honestly think is the less optimal choice) or my preferred solution - hire the person that says 'NO, don't talk about this yet, do not build expectations that cannot be delivered on, and won't be adequately explained'

I say this mostly as an insider. As you all know I have had a good hard look under the hood from my many trips to visit hex entertainment, and I am a devoted fan and absolutely know they have the best of intentions, but when you can't give everyone the full story, you also shouldn't give them half of the story too far removed from the rest of it.

Xenavire
01-11-2016, 09:51 AM
I object!

Not with the content or sentiment, but with one specific fact - there have been two significant bans and two significant nerfs in PvE so far (and the reasons for those have been as clear as day, so no harm, no foul.)

All things considered, thats nothing in the grand scheme of things (even WoW rolls out nerfs and buffs like candy all these years later, you'd think they would have learned by now ;)).

Good post Bootlace, and I agree wholeheartedly - especially with the scope of what is being done. I have made attempts to build a simple game myself, and even with all the tools there, I took weeks to create about 10-15 minutes of content. (On the other hand, I was also my own QA, testing and fixing bugs, so maybe I did ok.)

Hex has a bright future though. They just can't falter on the final few hurdles, or it will have a lasting impact - they need to push out this wave of PvE, and follow up with more within 6 months, or we will be in the same position as we are for PvP right now. And PvP has to start speeding up as well. And most importantly, they need to put the MMO into the game, by getting out game modes with more than 2 players. It doesn't have to be raids off the bat, but we need the modes to start truly interacting with each other as groups. Guilds need to chase this too.

Anyway, not long to go, looking forward to PvE!

WolfCrypt
01-11-2016, 09:55 AM
Let's hope for all our sakes we get PVE before March

Xenavire
01-11-2016, 09:57 AM
Let's hope for all our sakes we get PVE before March

I have to imagine we will, they are ramping up the spoils so it would take a pretty big barrier not to get it before March. Better not jinx it though!

WolfCrypt
01-11-2016, 10:08 AM
I have to imagine we will, they are ramping up the spoils so it would take a pretty big barrier not to get it before March. Better not jinx it though!

Toolate already said it and once you say it you either jinx it or nothing happens

dbug
01-11-2016, 10:37 AM
nvm

spankydonkey
01-11-2016, 11:31 AM
Great post Bootlace, very well written.
I like most of the KS (just SB for me) plus others that have come on board after, have invested a lot of time & money into this game.
I'm sure we all want nothing more than this game to succeed & grow into the best game in it's field.
It's just a little frustrating the time it's taking to get there.

Cory_Jones
01-11-2016, 11:58 AM
Numbers are being thrown around, comparisons are being made, but the reality is this game is unprecedented and nothing really compares to it in terms of scope and features in this genre. So here's another rant regarding rants.

First of all apologies were already made about the whole KS promises and severely miscalculated target dates. There was even a window when refunds were offered to those that were upset about the delays. Realistically you could have sold the contents of your KS tier and realistically gotten out of this whole thing largely unscathed financially (most people have profited like crazy).

So let's look at what is really going on here. Everyone here or on the subreddit, including those that seem negative, wants the game to be finished and out like yesterday - I get that. But let's get one thing clear: if you're still here and following this game after all these years then you have to respect the vision, and the body of work that's already been created, and as a result the company behind it. If there was some better game out there or you really didn't see any hope for the company, you would have cut your losses short and already be off to bigger and better things. There's certainly room for criticism, and I'll get to that later, but there are other parts where the company deserves a lot of credit. With the amount of verbal punishment the team is taking lately, I believe this deserves a closer look.

Comparison To Closest Competitor (Magic the Gathering: Online)
Hex is already technically ahead of its closest competitor, MTGO, by leaps and bounds. Scalable tournaments, visuals, features (AH etc), and the list goes on and will only continue to be massively in favor of Hex. It's almost unfair to classify them in the same genre. Hasbro, who owns WotC and MTG by the way, is a near 10 billion dollar mega corporation. MTGO has been out for over 13 years, and it only seems to be getting worse as time passes. This is not even my own opinion, you can find countless criticisms out there by its own ardent fans (which I was myself at one point) with a simple search. I won't get into the game design standpoint as that tends to be subjective, but tell me of a single mechanic in MTG from the past 3 years that is as awesome as the Spiders of Set 3. Sorry but after over 10,000 cards they seem to be running out of interesting design space.

Another grip I can't seem to unshake is I still see some people with "Hex is a clone of MTG" being thrown around (and in this very community) and it's ridiculous. I've already written about this (http://www.hexprimal.com/hex-tcg-magic-the-gathering-clone-or-successor/) so I won't go into specifics as to why it's not. But think about it like this, is Candy Crush a clone of Bejeweled? Bejeweled creator doesn't think so (http://www.gamereactor.eu/news/107764/PopCap%3A+Candy+Crush+is+not+a+Bejeweled+clone/). I know WotC have done an admirable job of preventing any would be competitor from arising through sheer bullying and legal threats over the past few decades, but to see fans eat into that despite all the differences between the games is pretty sad.


Comparison To Most Successful Comparison (Hearthstone)
So at this stage Hearthstone is easily the most successful implementation of a digital card game out there. But let's look underneath the hood. Hearthstone has around 600 cards released thus far, Hex has around 50% more with a new PvP and PvE set around the corner. The adventures (PvE) cost around 20-25$ and last no more than 2 hours. Compare to the Frost Ring Arena which is 1) free, 2) has much longer shelf life, 3) lets you earn loot and gold ad infinitum and I think I don't even need to get into how lopsided things will be in Hex's favor when the campaign does come out.

Other than that HS has a poor mix of Draft/Gauntlet, a constructed ladder, a Tavern Brawl which is a weekly playmode where there are specific restrictions or new rules. That's it. I'm pretty sure that without their insane level of polish, the Blizzard IP and backing, and the easy to pickup game style this game would never have been so successful. Yet the simple/easy nature of the game will ultimately also lead to its downfall. Already the game is showing cracks through power creep, inability to expand significantly in terms of features despite willingness and capital to do so, and its business model as it relates to new comers.

Hearthstone is always said to be cheaper to get in, but as far as new players are concerned this isn't really true. There is no auction house so you can't get the specific cards you want and dust to 'craft' the cards is REALLY hard to come by, so you essentially have to crack open packs blindly in hopes of getting the cards/deck you want. Hex allows you to buy the specific cards/deck you want, and then allows you to sell those and try out different decks. And 5 years from now if you no longer want to play, you can get a lot of the money/time you invested back with perhaps even dividends as card prices have known to rise (see Reese, VK etc).

Other New Games In The Genre
I'm not going to do a comparison of all the other digital card games out there but it's safe to say that there isn't a single one of them that even pretends to want to do what Hex is. It's noteworthy that Elder Scrolls Legends (a new digital card game from another established video game company) was suppose to come out last year and not only has the company completely missed their intended release date but there's not an ounce of information about what's happening to it. This stuff happens in this genre - things look easy initially, but the complexity increases exponentially as you dig into it.

Difficulty of What Hex Is Building
There seems to be this thought that because Hex isn't building these 3D worlds or that there is no huge visual component to the game that it should be cheap, quick and easy to make. I don't think these people understand at all how complex what Hex is attempting to do really is. In 3D games you have tools and engines (even ready toolkits (http://store.steampowered.com/app/335930/)at this point) to help build out things at really quick speeds. There really isn't anything out there to create logic for thousands of different cards to work together. And how about Artifical Intelligence? Is that something anyone here thinks is easy to create? You can't throw $1 million or even $10 million at that problem and expect to have it solved. Heck, there has been more than $17 billion (http://www.wired.com/2014/10/future-of-artificial-intelligence/) investment in AI since 2009 alone.

What about the amount of creativity, testing, and skill required to create thousands of balanced equipment to alter each card in an interesting unique way plus talent trees, mercenaries, gems and a whole bunch of other things that increases the permutations to a level that I'd imagine even a quantum computer would have trouble handling. Sorry you can't just grab a few random $50k per year coders/designers and expect to crank this stuff out without breaking the crap out of everything in the game.

Right now the process has been slower than people would have liked but has the company ever really let anyone down, has it really made a huge game breaking move yet? The economy is surprisingly resilient, the F2P component is remarkably functional despite the core campaign yet to be released, the meta diversity has been really impressive in the lifespan of the game considering how long the sets have been out (with 1 PvP and 1 PvE ban/nerf), and the game just keeps getting faster, more beautiful, and just better. Things are looking GOOD from this perspective.

Criticism

The area that HxE does deserve to be called out on is there management of expectations and their communication strategy as a whole. I'm not going to get into where they messed up, what they could have done, or what they should do moving forward as that's all been well documented at this point and would need an extra few thousand words.

Looking Forward

PvE is around the corner. Maybe it's a bit late, ok really late, maybe it won't have as many dungeons or classes as we want on the initial release, but it's freaking coming. And there's going to be more stuff coming after that. Game might not seem popular now but things can change quickly. We haven't seen HxE's marketing push yet. A sweet PvE campaign that is inviting to new players should establish a positive retention rate. From that point on they just need to crank out more content -> more advertising -> more retained players/income -> rinse & repeat. You pay the right content creators, get the right PR/media hookups, and your game can break out pretty quick in this day and age.

TLDR: HxE has messed up with initial promises and communication, but stop holding them to that mistake. 2.5 years in, this is still THE digital TCG out there to be excited about.

Nothing is more important to me than the health and happiness of this community, we try our hardest not to make mistakes and beat ourselves up pretty bad when we do...

Thank you for this post Bootlace it really is great, seriously, thank you!

love, cory

knightofeffect
01-11-2016, 01:44 PM
An aspect of this game I think gets discounted and lost a little bit in the grand scheme of progress is the AI.

When I first read the Hex kickstarter, I was really skeptical regarding the ability to create a challenging AI that doesn't cheat. In my coding world, the amount of interactions and decision-trees you would have to write for just a paper-based TCG of this complexity would be near impossible, let alone with the added fun, wacky design space of a purely digital TCG. The answer was in the TCG AI guru Chris Woods; we have been told since the beginning that Chris has been working on an AI that would enable a challenging experience while allowing it to respond to the full complement of cards played against it without cheating in any way. An extremely ambitious, audacious, and unheard of task.

Since then, we have seen the AI grow in leaps and bounds and gotten some goodies about how it works behind-the-scenes. It seems Chris has written an AI that can actually parse the templates of the cards itself and therefore script the actions of the cards automatically as well as their effect on the game state. I cannot emphasis enough how big of a deal this is... they have effectively written an AI that understands various aspects of the game state, reads the cards it has available, determines which action produces the best change in game state, and then runs it all up against a player-learning algorithm that interpolates other risk factors (IE this meta deck usually plays this threat, hold back your removal for it until you reach some game-state tipping point. You know, like humans do). That is mind-blowing.

The thing is, that is really the only way to do it. It is the only way to build a foundation that can support the amount of content and interactions that PvE will require, not just in this first iteration, but several god-willing years into the future. The vision it took to create, pitch, and develop that system, with the vision (read: Cory's magnificent hubris) to believe in that system is the only reason that this game is even possible. The crazy thing is, it seems to work. At this current point, the AI has reached past "impressively competent" and into the area of "eerily cognizant". It's gotten so I have to stop myself from using my AI assumptions in arena and play more like I was playing against a human, which is again, an incredible feat. Does it still make mistakes? Sure, so do humans, but a lot of the AI bugs that remain really seem like low hanging fruit (hiya storm cloud). However, the progress completely makes me buy into the notion that they will be able to script the AI into representing different personality traits including a disposition to certain play mistakes... that will crank the PvE AI experience into sublime territory.

But here's where I was going with all this... This is the single strongest thread for me to hold onto in the midst of any delays, dissapointments, and doubts. No other game is even close to being able to pull this off. I played the first couple of "dungeons" in Hearthstone and could just smell the simplistic script-based decision trees running the experience; hell I found it to make stupider decisions that two Hex AI iterations ago that was particular shameful for the lack of permutations it was even having to consider. When Hex launches PvE really *wink* soon, it will have pulled something off that frankly no one else has even sniffed at, not in technical complexity or depth of experience. And they are doing it as a small, independent (well, I guess there is Gameforge now on all NA/EU fronts) company with no previous experience in a software environment.

Here's to an amazing 2016! =)

Yoss
01-11-2016, 10:05 PM
Cory, someone needs to take that bootlace post and get it published, maybe with some embellishment on the Criticism section (sorry, but it should be balanced and not just vaguely refer to other posts). It is a very excellent State of the Union for Hex right now.

Here's to a break out year for Hex!

Mejis
01-11-2016, 10:20 PM
Couple of excellent posts in here, especially bootlace's and knightofeffect's.
Regarding the latter and, specifically, the AI, I completely agree. There was a point where I was concerned that the AI would never catch up, but now (and this is not to say it doesn't still do funky things at times) I thoroughly enjoy the plays it makes. There have been some nice unexpected losses I've had in arena due to some sneaky plays and combat tricks. Definitely has made a huge leap in the last month or so and has me even more hyped for all the decks and strategies we'll face in campaign.

wolzarg
01-11-2016, 10:59 PM
Couple of excellent posts in here, especially bootlace's and knightofeffect's.
Regarding the latter and, specifically, the AI, I completely agree. There was a point where I was concerned that the AI would never catch up, but now (and this is not to say it doesn't still do funky things at times) I thoroughly enjoy the plays it makes. There have been some nice unexpected losses I've had in arena due to some sneaky plays and combat tricks. Definitely has made a huge leap in the last month or so and has me even more hyped for all the decks and strategies we'll face in campaign.
Post attack gorefeast is the one that sticks out in my mind made me do a spit take and groan as it cost me the game.

knightofeffect
01-11-2016, 11:47 PM
Post attack gorefeast is the one that sticks out in my mind made me do a spit take and groan as it cost me the game.

Hahaha, yea that's great stuff. I have had some pretty slack jaw moments myself. I really enjoy watching War Bot make his hero power decisions. Originally you could kinda formulate when he was going to use it.... Now it just seems well reasoned most of the time, like most of the AI decisions.

tecnophi
01-12-2016, 01:23 AM
I thought this thread was ranting about rants? Not reasonable assessments of Hex's rate of development and talking about PvE coming soon. Great posts by the way.

I guess I'll rant about other rants...

I find most rants post have little value as it doesn't bring a new idea to the table or any interesting point of discussion. It's all complaints of something or other that is not very well liked or personally liked, or complaints about something or other related to hype. They make for boring reads, and just generate negativity for little purpose. Have been reading things like "is the game already dead?" or "PvE will never live up to the hype".

Where are the good rants at?

I guess I can provide some interesting topics... With the aim of being a rant as well as provoking thought and discussion.

List of topics that could be legitimate rants:

1. No PvE campaign test server? - Is this is going to be straight to live servers? This is a bit concerning as previously both the large scale tournaments and the frost arena were publicly tested before going live. PvE campaign must be all tested in-house. Considering frost arena had issues on launch. I personally doubt a completely smooth PvE campaign launch. (when was the last MMO anything that had a perfect launch?)

2. 100k Tournament anything - From participation numbers to ticket earning structure to the lack of content generated from these events. I think there is a lot to criticize here. Officially, I don't think that the exact date of the Top 12 live playoff is published. I assume that in the future that will be similar large prize tournaments that can benefit from the learning from how the current 100k IQs tournaments are going.

3. Future Large PvP Tournament plans? - No official large prize tournament pass the 100k has been announced, I can see why this isn't a big deal as the focus has been on PvE lately. But thinking about official large competitive events, there is only VIP tournaments scheduled to happen. There's still the leftover Pro-Player Kickstarter Backer tournament that still needs to happen at some point. I think that it can be said that official large tournaments are even less concrete than PvE content when Frost Arena was about to released.


(currently bored, so I rant)

Svenn
01-12-2016, 07:13 AM
Nothing is more important to me than the health and happiness of this community, we try our hardest not to make mistakes and beat ourselves up pretty bad when we do...

Thank you for this post Bootlace it really is great, seriously, thank you!

love, cory

Making mistakes is fine. It happens to everyone. What's important is whether you learn from them and adjust in the future or continue to make the same mistakes. :)

Valnir
01-12-2016, 07:32 AM
... So here's another rant regarding rants...
HxE has messed up with initial promises and communication, but stop holding them to that mistake. 2.5 years in, this is still THE digital TCG out there to be excited about...
Nice post bootlace! End of story.

fido_one
01-12-2016, 07:49 AM
Making mistakes is fine. It happens to everyone. What's important is whether you learn from them and adjust in the future or continue to make the same mistakes. :)

I will say in software development and I.T. in general, I used to use that quote all the time and then I stopped using it when I realized it is effectively moot when it comes to software development and operations. Since software development and operations are so damn unpredictable over time, you can do something a thousand times over, all with the same time frame and be totally 100% confident on your timings.

Then something completely unrelated happens. Your backup server just blew up! Your UPS blew up and you need to get the exact same model in but it'll be a week! Your key players in that dev area spend so much time together working on their shit they all gave each other a bad case of the flu and you have to send them home before you hazmat the whole office. You think the people you made the promise to differentiate between the project goal you gave them and a UPS snafu? To them, you made the same mistake.

I don't think Cory has the opportunity to say 'Dude, we were so sure we were going to hit this and then our database security authentication token system radius server handshake thingie (whatever my techie people told me) needed to be updated and we felt that was more important, hence why you don't have PvE!'.

My main critique of CZE is their management of expectations like many others, but I have to remind myself I don't know what's going on in the back end, and they can't tell us, so they may not be making the same exact mistake. I think they're learning the hard way why software development is a harsh, harsh mistress.

It took me two decades to learn that lesson. And I wasn't a popular figure for learning it either. Imagine you're my boss, you know nothing about I.T., so you go to your CIO and say 'you have 30 people, I need this [what I perceive to be super simple thing done] and I need a guarantee that it will happen by such and such a date.' and your CIO goes 'pretty sure we can get it done, pretty confident we can get it done by that date, but I will not give you a 100% promise that we'll hit that date as I'd be disingenuous in doing so. There are no promises in this industry.' <- they automatically think you're crap at your job, or at least being flippant.

I have never seen anyone learn the lesson without having gone through the fire a zillion times. And it's more complicated than that. Software dev and I.T. ops sacrifice young blood all the time. New people come in, look at the older people, aren't nearly as cynical, and say 'yeah, I can get that done by your time frame!'. And some times they do! That's how I got pretty high in my industry pretty quickly. I just didn't know I was on borrowed time, that I was extraordinarily lucky. I thought it was just hard work and sly thinking that made me hit my marks. Promotions came because I was the one that could manage teams and get it done, etc. etc.

What I had no idea at the start of my career was my success was tied to short cuts I and my team didn't know we were making. Once you are in a production environment, and you need reliability, everything is locked down. Try explaining to your boss that you didn't hit your marks because you used a slightly different LDAP server as it was more efficient not knowing that a legacy program from 1998 that still must be used by your finance department is consistently wiping all of your employee passwords, and to fix it, you have to re-haul the system. Finance department can't afford the 1M upgrade or the 3 months of training to get software that isn't in the stone ages.

Now try explaining that sort of shit to, well, us. It's like 100,000 bosses overlooking I.T. that have no insight to what you are doing or really care, they just want promised results. It's an impossible situation, and personally I need to remember that Cory and co. can only really learn the lesson after getting burned so many times. I've been hard on them, and will probably continue to be as I'm an argon ass, but I do need to remember that few, if any, walk into the industry with the lesson learned, you have to experience it yourself and it takes years before you realize how unpredictable it really is.

Svenn
01-12-2016, 08:49 AM
I will say in software development and I.T. in general, I used to use that quote all the time and then I stopped using it when I realized it is effectively moot when it comes to software development and operations. Since software development and operations are so damn unpredictable over time, you can do something a thousand times over, all with the same time frame and be totally 100% confident on your timings.

I was more referring to handling things like communication than software development. I've got a Comp Sci degree, I program... I know how much of a bitch it can be. ;)

Learning from mistakes in communications (ie. don't announce an announcement ahead of time because the possible outcomes are much worse this way... announce nothing and people are angy, announce the wrong thing and people are angry, announce the right thing and people are satisfied but not as excited if they didn't know about it at all), expectation management, design, etc is entirely possible though. That's more what I was referring to.

fido_one
01-12-2016, 08:55 AM
I was more referring to handling things like communication than software development. I've got a Comp Sci degree, I program... I know how much of a bitch it can be. ;)

Learning from mistakes in communications (ie. don't announce an announcement ahead of time because the possible outcomes are much worse this way... announce nothing and people are angy, announce the wrong thing and people are angry, announce the right thing and people are satisfied but not as excited if they didn't know about it at all), expectation management, design, etc is entirely possible though. That's more what I was referring to.

Yeah mate, sorry, wasn't directed at your opinion exactly, I'm in a war and peace mood about I.T. ops right now as it's aligning with an active project I'm doing. Unfortunately the forums seem to be paying the price.

Fred
01-12-2016, 12:06 PM
Now try explaining that sort of shit to, well, us. It's like 100,000 bosses overlooking I.T. that have no insight to what you are doing or really care, they just want promised results. It's an impossible situation, and personally I need to remember that Cory and co. can only really learn the lesson after getting burned so many times.

We did, at one point, get an epic explanation from Chris Woods (https://www.hextcg.com/slight-aom-launch-delay/) as to why the launch of Set 3 was delayed. When that article came out, peace was restored in the forums and everybody was very forgiving and super grateful to understand the reasons behind the last minute delay.

I understand that not all setbacks can be explained as clearly and simply as a memory leak triggered by a race condition, but that is the kind of communication that we got used to, and this is what we long for now.

Yoss
01-12-2016, 12:18 PM
We did, at one point, get an epic explanation from Chris Woods (https://www.hextcg.com/slight-aom-launch-delay/) as to why the launch of Set 3 was delayed. When that article came out, peace was restored in the forums and everybody was very forgiving and super grateful to understand the reasons behind the last minute delay.

I understand that not all setbacks can be explained as clearly and simply as a memory leak triggered by a race condition, but that is the kind of communication that we got used to, and this is what we long for now.

I agree that was a sweet article, yet we must realize that it likely consumed several hours of Chris' time to write it, hours that could have been used for some other good purpose like actually moving the product closer to release. Customer status writings/meetings are a necessary evil, not a universal good.

Svenn
01-12-2016, 12:33 PM
I agree that was a sweet article, yet we must realize that it likely consumed several hours of Chris' time to write it, hours that could have been used for some other good purpose like actually moving the product closer to release. Customer status writings/meetings are a necessary evil, not a universal good.

You clearly have never seen the Path of Exile communications. That's one of the things I love about GGG... they are amazing at communications. In fact, if their service goes down (even for a few minutes) or a major bug crops up we get an entire incident report of what happened, how it happened, what they did to fix it, and what they've done to protect against it in the future.

Check this out: https://www.pathofexile.com/forum/view-thread/861418

Communication with customers is important, and will go a long way. It keeps people calm and reassured (so you don't get the constant "omg sky is falling" posts on the forums, which will drive people away). We have a community manager. He should be able to gather the necessary info and write up communications. I'm honestly curious as to why we don't get more communications from Phenteo, either forum clarifications or whatever. I've seen just as many posts from Chark, Shaq, Chris Woods, etc as from Phenteo... even on simple things or things that seem like they should be coming from a CM.

Yoss
01-12-2016, 01:11 PM
I agree that PoE article is great, Svenn. I would like to point out that it is a discussion of live server down time and impact, though, not a spoiler or projection of new content release. Live server down time and item destruction are a huge deal and absolutely deserve that level of communication, even more so in Hex due to the real money value of our stuff. However, we are talking now not about disruption of service or defective goods, we are talking just about expectations management for future content.

Renquist
01-12-2016, 01:51 PM
I work in IT as well. Supervisors of mine wanted me to do pursue some project management certs for my current position. I'm more of a deployment guy and as i'm reading the curriculum all i can think to myself is this is just a bunch of ****.

After reading this thread I'm starting to see how it could be applied in the world...

fido_one
01-12-2016, 09:04 PM
I work in IT as well. Supervisors of mine wanted me to do pursue some project management certs for my current position. I'm more of a deployment guy and as i'm reading the curriculum all i can think to myself is this is just a bunch of ****.

After reading this thread I'm starting to see how it could be applied in the world...

God, I was a CIO for near a decade, an I.T. manager for a good while before that, and was forced to go to my fair share of management courses. They're almost all bunk in my opinion. If you're learning how to manage from a book or a course, it won't hurt, but your cards are stacked against you in being a really good manager. I.T. management is about dealing with situations that no book or course can really prepare you for.

You've got to find your own style, your own strength, and carve out what morals you need to keep and what ones need to be sacrificed. No classes go into that. Especially the moral bit. And if you manage well, you can bet your ass your moral code will be put to the test and no amount of classes or books will steer you through that.

Not to say they're all crap, 90% of them are. The remaining 10% just never worked for me, but they did do good for other managers, I think.

Honestly, I'm just thankful we live in a world now where Steve Jobs isn't being emulated every two seconds and brought up in stupid management training for I.T. - until about 2008, every I.T. manager, CIO and trainer I ran into wanted to be just like Steve Jobs (and they knew his style). It was encouraged. It used to infuriate me. Jobs did what no one else could, and he managed it in a way no one else could and no one else should ever want to. They never understood that only Steve Jobs could be Steve Jobs, and emulating him made you an asshole and a horrible, horrible manager. That, and those poor sycophants weren't CEOs, they were CIOs, meaning they are as much a cog in the wheel as their employees, if not more so.

Unfortunately, we still live in a world where people think management = better pay and benefits than those that work for management. So everyone wants to get promoted to management to make better money. Totally different skill set than what you were doing before, in fact, if you enjoyed what you were doing before, say goodbye to it in most cases. The amount of times I lost the battle of having a super skilled employee that worked their asses off not get a promotion because they would make the same amount of money or more than I was insane. That shouldn't be the case (though I understand the argument if a direct report makes more money than their manager, the manager will be in a better position to ask for a raise, but there are simple ways around that).

Reading that, I'm happy I'm on my own right now, even if it's the scariest thing I've ever done.

EDIT: Sorry you said project management, I went on a rant on management courses. PM courses can be important especially if your corporation is using a standardized PM workflow. I'd imagine poking my eyes out with a fork in hour 4, however.