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View Full Version : The state of the Hex competitive scene, suggestions, and much more.



Wuggalix
02-26-2016, 08:36 AM
Hello all,

It's been a long time I wanted to post something like that so here it is.

I came to Hex around mid-November of last year (so a bit more than 3 months) after a friend of mine told me he's just won a slot for a tournament with a prize-pool of a PT... I've played MTG for around 10 years, 5 of them competitively, so I was pretty enthusiastic about this "new game that looks like an upgrade of a game I've liked for so long"... Even though it seemed strange to me that I haven't heard about it previously.

Anyway, I've downloaded and played Hex and if we exclude the way too many bugs, I have to say that the game felt awesome to me... Also there were some IQs left, so that was a great incentive to play even more of it.

But now that the IQs are over and since we don't know what's planned and what's not regarding the competitive play/scene, I tend to feel like I'm wasting my time here...
I've been grinding events (DE/PE/MOCS/PTQ/etc) on modo for years but there always was an event to prepare for (QT/GP/PT), there always was a goal to reach, something worthy and something nice to try and obtain, that hundreds of hours of testings would help to achieve.

But let's be a little bit more precise.

To start with, I would like to say that if I am currently writing all my thoughts for you to read, this is only because I feel that the game is great, has a lot of potential and deserve that time of my... In order for it to improve and become the major player it should be.

Anyway, on to the main points.




1) Low player base :

=> Issue : I'm not going to lie on this one, queuing for a draft that might only fire half an hour later always makes me feel like I'm wasting my time and that "nobody play that game anyway"... It is unfortunate but true that the waiting times to play any PVP game is way too long. And since there's too much waiting time, people tend not to bother queuing and here comes the vicious circle.

=> Offered solution : As I said previously, I've been playing TCGs for a decade and not having heard of Hex is somewhat significant of how not enough focus has been put on marketing. I do think that the product is great, but it's not sufficient to have a great product to have a successful business, you also need people to be aware of it... Because otherwise, no matter how good it is, the guys out there won't be buying it since they don't even know it exists in the first place.




2) PVP is dead :

=> Issue : While the fact that the current number of players is low is certainly on obstacle to have a good and living PVP scene, this is not the only issue. Call it how you want, but I would summarize all the things that makes PVP a dead thing as "people are lacking incentives to play PVP".
Yeah I know set 4 is coming (and that will definitely be a relief). I also know that many players like to say that they are "waiting for set4", but is that the only thing ? Isn't that just a part of the problem ? An excuse for them not to play because they simply don't want to (anymore) ?

People tend to be bored easily nowadays, and for sure the waiting time between set3 and set4 has been too big, but what's done is done and I tend to think that if there were other incentives than a new shiny set, people would still play a lot of Hex PVP.
While the draft/sealed format has clearly been solved by many, the constructed format is far from being solved.. We see plenty of new decks every week in gauntlets and 5S. That, let me tell you, would definitely not happen if the players have had put enough efforts in constructed (but I'll come back to that later).
Soooo, people are no longer playing drafts because they are bored of it, and people are not playing constructed to some extent because they are bored of it, but there's stilll a lot of room for improvements and innovations here, so I would say that they tend not to play constructed because they are simply lacking incentives to do so.

=> Offered solution : People have to have something interesting to gain while playing (talking mostly about constructed), they have to have a reason to play... Grinding the points to be able to play in IQs were definitely something like that, but there is room for other incentives to be implemented.
I know that on modo the grinders used to be rewarded by a yearly highly prized tournament for the top100 constructed and the top100 limited (in qualifier points)... Now that would be something that you keep in mind and make you want to play some PVP... You know, that kind of "just doing an event or 2 today and got some points so I'm better placed for the race" feeling people would have.
I've heard people were talking about a HS-like ladder, I think this is clearly bad (at least the way HS does it) and a ranking system based on points earned by doing tournaments like I said would give that impression of laddering without the same feeling as the HS people have to "ladder pointlessly".
The player of the year race as I presented it would be something cool, and would definitely gives more incentives for people to play on a regular basis.




3) Competitive PVP is dead :

=> Issue : Now that the IQs are gone, there is literally no incentive for people to play serious PVP. People will still play it a bit, but casually... You've seen all those fancy decklists ? Yeah I've been playing random decks as well, just because there is no incentive to play seriously, so I joined the bandwagon and brew some crap of mine to "at least have fun, even if the deck is awful".

=> Offered solution : There is no real secrets here, for people to be willing to put the efforts in trying to solve the meta and optimizing their builds, there need to be one or several large (in terms of prices) tourneys to be planned... And I'm not talking about 10k plat, I'm talking about 100k$ tournaments.
While the 5 shards tournaments are fine, they are not competitive tournaments, they are more like FNM where everybody comes for free with whatever they feel like playing and that's it (which is cool for PVE guys that want to softly put themselves into PVP -- but not for people looking for a challenge and prizes).

=> What we actually need is something reliable and planned... Let's say 4 (or more) invitational like tournaments per years with the same prizes, now I am fairly sure that we would be able to get plenty of players (grinders) to come from other TCGs and play Hex... And let me tell you, those guys would not be willing to spend countless hours on PVE to grind their way up, they would come and put the cash on the table to get access straight away to what's better in PVP to playtest with and start preparing for those big bad tourneys.

I am talking about the grinders, those guys are really good clients for TCG because they "pay in advance". They tend not to pay too much after (they will then "go infinite"), but it's balanced by the fact that they are constantly and actively promoting the game and bringing more competitive players.
To sum it up : We need Pro Tour, we need World Championships, we need it big, bad and Shiny.

Wuggalix
02-26-2016, 08:38 AM
4) Random other things that I'll just leave here to discuss :

- Twitch : Well, I really hope that you manage to get the Invitational live on the Hex official website... Twitch is cool and all, but it should not be the main channel when someone want to follow the main Hex tournament. I mean, if we don't manage to get something on the official website, it will feel a bit underground, which is a shame because the tourney is big enough to justify the hype around it.
- No offense to anybody (as I've only tuned to like 5-6 channels), but again, developing the competitive scene would provide more twitch channels and better ones... It is funny to compare it to HS on that matter. HS has no tournaments in client (which is totally awful) but they have plenty of very good streamers (both on the entertainment side and the competitive side). I've watch plenty of them and often enjoyed it because they played well... Same regarding magic (even if it was recorded most of the time, talking about CF website), some guys like streamers who play crappy but fun brews, others like watching pure good plays and tier 1 decks... Whatever, it would be beneficial to everybody if we would have more streamers (and would also be way better to current ones because more people would tune at every moment).
- Please stop the single elimination 5 shards, single elimination is awful and does not reward consistency, it just gives a higher variance to the result, and makes pairings matters way more... To sum it up, that's a tournament structure that punishes well rounded decks, and rewards gamble choices.
- Please do fix all the bugs, they are a pain and a scarecrow for every player who wants to play actual tournaments. If you're playing PVE it's annoying but you can just do it again, but when it screw a tournament in PVP it's way more annoying (even if I have to say we have the nicest support I've seen around).
- Primal chests should be listed under primal on AH... They currently are not listed anywhere (not even on legendary as the "know bug" thread suggest. The only way to see them is to click twice on "min bid" and then search through the pages.
- One word on campaign : I have played it and enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would have. For someone like me who's here for competitive PVP, the fact that I've played campaign that much definitely means that it was a success. Gratz to everyone.

Last point : regarding prizes of current tournaments.
=> In order for the constructed scheduled tournaments to be interesting people has to get about 2-3 times their entry fee when they do 3-1, so around 9 packs, no need to put prizes if you're doing 2-2 because you know, 2-2 is not a good result.
=> People are doing a bit of constructed gauntlet because that literally is their only option, but the EV is really poor and would love a boost. That would very likely bring more player to it and therefore diminish the waiting time, wich will also be another incentive for players to play (virtuous circle this time).
=> For the next Invitational like series of events (because I really think there should be others), the prizes does not need to be that high, they were way too high IMO... I'm not complaining I've gotten too many packs for those I've been playing in, but it was not necessary, definitely. Only prizes for top16 sounds good to me, with a decently high prizes starting at top8, and something like a sleeves for everybody, that was cool.


Thanks for reading, I'm really hoping this will help things to change... And of course feel free to discuss any point, that's the point. :)

Until then, take care.

Wugga.

Metronomy
02-26-2016, 09:35 AM
I have to say I was very shortly away from doing such a post myself. It's always good to stirr things up a bit and voice criticism. Lets hope we can have a serious discussion about the problems (sadly there are many people who will defend just anything hxe does to all ends). Wuggalix, me and others who sometimes voice criticism care enough about the game to even do so (just to keep that in mind).

Now...to the issues:

Playerbase)
The single biggest issue I see is the low player base. I realy hoped that pve and the official release would be the turning point. It is too early to realy tell but for me personaly I can say I would have hoped for more. The game is good. PVE is good. People who play it say it's good. What the game needs is marketing. What I feared with the surprise release sadly has come true. The "release" (and the quotations sadly are in order) has fallen completely flat. One of the most important ways to get people to know a new game are gaming websites. One and a half months after the release we still have only three official reviews. Not even enough to get an official score on metacritic. I am not sure who is at fault here and I cannot judge without knowing the backgrounds. But I will say that for me as a passionate player that is very disheartening and concerning. I played Infinity Wars and they also made a silent release from one day to the next. Same thing happened. It fell flat. It would have been wise to set a date in like a month after the initial pve patch.

I am not sure how to solve this problem. Set 4 will help to bring back a portion of old players who had been inactive. But what we need is a real push for new players. Digital cardgames can be realy popular (Hearthstone has proven that with over 40 million accounts). Of course HEX can never get anywhere near that number and it doesnt have to. But Cory wrote in his end of the year letter that there are 120,000 monthly active users. That was before the pve patch. I gues that number would be more than sufficient to keep a game going. But I have to admit that I have problems believing this number. Maybe I have some misunderstanding but its true that drafts fire roughly once every half an hour. Scheduled Constructed or Sealed tournaments dont fire at all (altough they have the best payout). The only way to play constructed is gauntlet and its pretty much the same names you see all the time.

Which brings me to the next point:

Constructed PVP)
I agree with Wuggalix. Right now there is little incentive to play constructed. I know that some kind of ladder or ranking system is supposedly coming with or shortly after set 4. That should help (as long the potential playerbase is big enough). The details of that system are worthy to discuss but since we dont know anything about what they have planed its also kind of pointless at this point. As to the pro-tour-like proposal. I'm all for it. The thing is I dont know anything near enough about the situation with HXE and Gameforge. Big tournament series are important to keep very dedicated players engaged and they are always something for new players to aspire. Wizards was always aware that the pro tour was expensive for them. They understood it as investment. And it always was a good investment. Such tournament series are always something to aspire after for all players even if 99.99% of them will never get there. I have to admit I have my problems with Gameforge. They haven't prooven to be the best publisher for games in the past. The communication between HXE and Gameforge looks broken from the outside. As examples I can give the set 3 release celebration announcement or the ESL series. There is not much we can do as players. And it's a bit pointless to speculate about such internals. Nontheless I still wanted to at least voice my concerns (and leave it with that).

I realy hope we will have another Invitational style series soon. About how the qualifying process can be improved upon is another topic (my suggestion would be to have a certain number of slots awarded by overall performance througout the complete series). Best case another such series will be announced at the invitational. Wuggalix said it right. Players need something to look for. Right now there is nothing except the community tournaments. Those are great but just not enough longterm.


I will close with the following: Right now I lack a bit of longterm goals and communication about that. We dont have any timetable for Set 4 except the info from many months ago that it is basically done. The letter Cory wrote at the end of the year was good (even though I have problems with the 120,000 figure). Maybe this kind of statement can be made like every 3 or 6 months. I understand we have the weekly news articles. But I have to admit that those have been a bit dissapointing in the last weeks and months. The overall communication is good...dont get me wrong. Certainly better than most gaming companies handle that stuff. But communication for a tcg is highly important also.

There are many other things that could be improved (e.g. the ingame introduction is still far from perfect since there is no introduction into stardust or the use of the auction house or the handling of the currencies or introductions into pvp). Since I have gone long enough I will leave that for another time.

So..thats about it for now. Feel free to disagree. I just wanted to voice my opinion. I care about the game and hope it has a bright future. The potential is there. I am afraid it might fall flat though. That's why I do write this. My outlook might seem a bit bleak for some and I am sure that many disagree. Nontheless..I am glad I finally voiced my concerns.

Tazelbain
02-26-2016, 09:37 AM
I never understood the PvP Grinder. So are there a lot players who have ~0 chance to win the 100k tournaments, but dump a bunch money into PvP just because they exist? I am one of ~0 but the only thing I like about the IQs was that they caused Scheduled Constructed to launch for a few weeks, once that stopped I stopped caring.

The Scheduled tournaments originally only gave prizes on 3-1 +. Didn't change much.

Monkranos
02-26-2016, 01:49 PM
I think it would help if you could go play PvE while waiting on a tourney to fire, and it would just save your state while in the tourney.

Voormas
02-26-2016, 03:19 PM
The only big problem right now is the lack of Set 4, but with today's announcement that it will be playable for attendees of the Invitational it would look like that won't be a problem for much longer

Elwinz
02-26-2016, 03:38 PM
hardly, set 4 wil be only temporary boost for pvp.

Metronomy
02-26-2016, 03:45 PM
To whoever decided to move this thread to the feedback section: Yes, technicaly it belongs there. It is still a bad move though since its just a fact that here this thread will reach a 10th of the players it would reach in the general section.

On another note: I reached out to a gaming website (gamestar) and JoeLePaul reached out to like 10 gaming websites. The goal is to make them aware of the games existence and suggest to make a review. I am aware that the issue we dont have any coverage probably is not because those people dont know the game exists but that they dont feel any need to give it coverage. One way or another contacting such gaming sites cannot be bad and I suggest others to do so as well.

Kami
02-26-2016, 04:19 PM
To whoever decided to move this thread to the feedback section: Yes, technicaly it belongs there. It is still a bad move though since its just a fact that here this thread will reach a 10th of the players it would reach in the general section.

It doesn't need to reach the players. It needs to reach the devs. That is the whole point of providing feedback/suggestion.

Also, each thread has its place. If it technically belongs here, it belongs here. If you don't use it where it belongs, then you reduce traffic even further in the section it should be and clutter sections where it shouldn't.

---

As far as PvP is concerned, yes, it's a bit stale at this point but you also have to keep in mind, there's a lot less cards in this game compared to another that has been around for over two decades. Even theirs is stale to a point but because of the amount of variety and formats, there's always something to do - not to mention fairly consistent releases. However, consistency will come to HEX as the game slowly polishes and features are finalized. Right now HEX is in a state of flux, it's trying to do several things simultaneously and there is only so many resources available.

As far as the low player-base is concerned, that could be attributed to HEX being in a state of flux. Right now, there is scarce little to do and while the card pool seems large for a starting TCG, it's actually smaller than it is due to the usefulness of cards and very limited formats (no multiplayer, only a handful of competitive formats that are limited by set, etc). Once a player has exhausted what they feel is fun for them, there's little reason to keep checking in until more variety becomes available.

In my opinion, the two biggest things hurting HEX currently are: 1. Card pool expansion is slow. 2. No casual formats such as FFA, 2HG, 3HG, Emperor, Commander, and more.

The average TCG player is not a hardcore competitor, they just want to play with cards and have fun. PvE fits that to a point but it's like playing Solitaire, playing by yourself is only fun for a time. PvP seems to be ignoring the casual players completely (for instance, VIP is only particularly valuable to competitive players due to the VIP tournaments for AA cards).

Granted, word is that they will be adding sandbox features down the line but unfortunately that will take time and there are a lot of priorities ahead of that.

The only thing we can do is wait but my feeling is that HEX is on a bit of a clock. They can't push too fast and overextend but they can't be too slow or become stagnant. It's a tricky situation.

That being said, I'm sure HEX can pull through. Their foundation, albeit not massive yet, is fairly solid for what it is. As more parts come together, they can be polished further too. It should be good. :stormcloud:

Metronomy
02-26-2016, 04:36 PM
Its not only about reaching the devs but having a discussion within the community...but anyways..

The points you raised Kami are all pretty much all true but what I think the biggest issue is, is the lack of marketing and general product awareness among the gamer community. This is what realy concerns me especialy one and a half months after the release. I do have concerns about the content intervals and lacking game polishment. But those are all (as you say yourself) fixable over time. With a new game it gets harder to bring in new people the older it is. People rarely go to play small unknown games that have been released for over a year. The release is the make or brake for most games. I dont see where a huge push should come from if it doesnt come this year.
On that note: the 120,000 figure (monthly active users) just seems not realistic in my eyes...does it to anybody else ?

As to new players not joining in the pvp experience. I want to elaborate a bit further here on the point that the ingame introduction is still lacking. New players often dont know what a draft is or what constructed means. There is just no transition from pve to pvp. It is all: Go find out about it yourself. And do your own research when you dont know anything about how the different tournament types work. As a new player you can play through the whole campaign and not know that there are pvp tournaments, an auction house or an extended art feature.

How to solve this: It was proposed before I believe. Have those functions be introduced within the campaign. Have an npc in the cities that opens up the auction house tab and give a first time explanation how to use it. Same can be done with stardust.

As for the pvp tournaments: I proposed it before a long time ago and I propose it again. Have a one time reward that brings players to pvp. Beating the last dungeon should award a free draft ticket. It has to be a one time only and one per account thing of course. I dont think one free draft for a completed campaign per account would destroy the market too much. What it potentialy would do is hook up people to play pvp. Right now there is no transition. The tournament tab is even hard to find if you dont know it exists. That transition is especialy important once people are done with the pve part. PVP is where money can be made. You would the same time need to explain how a draft works and what a sealed is and so on (skippable of course).

Yoss
02-26-2016, 04:44 PM
I fully agree about having better hand-holding for ALL the game's features. There should be an entire web of tooltips, tutorials, and hints that provide guidance all the way from account creation to basic learning, to campaign, to auction house, to arena, to chat, to mail (and trade), to integration with the PvP tournament scene (and more). All the better if they can do it in style, like through Campaign quests.

That said, they desperately need to get out at least two PvP sets per year, and also have at least one, probably at least two, big tournaments each year as well.

bootlace
02-26-2016, 04:50 PM
Hi Wuggalix, welcome to the game and excellent first few posts with a lot of great, honest feedback.

I agree that a serious organized play program needs to be announced, hopefully this will happen at the Invitational or soon thereafter. More MTG players are finally starting to give this game a look and having a nice digital 'pro' circuit would do wonders for the game. I think a lot of people who come over from MTG, if they give the game a try, end up liking it (a lot of us who KSed this game were initially MTG fans as well) but it's hard to expect them to drop a few hundreds dollars and invest all that time when there's no serious competitive scene around.

If you can get just a few top level MTG pros to stream your game and talk about it, the masses will soon follow as the buzz spreads. I mean I don't know if MTG pros will ever adopt Hex as their MAIN game but I don't see any reason why it can't be a supplement to them since it's so convenient to play it digitally. I think initially this is the angle that Hex should use to market their organized play "be a TCG pro by playing anytime, anywhere" - which should resonate with some TCG pros from other offline based games who are used to having to travel all around the country at the moment.

5S, ESL, and other community tournaments have done a great job at holding things over but it is time now for HxE to step up and reveal their plan. We've heard before about some regional and world championship plans, and I'm not sure what's the best format but I do have a few ideas:

-I hope that whole winner-takes-all-format in the IQs was a one-off thing and isn't repeated. Some point system for finishing in top 1/2/4/8/16/32/64 will go a long way in motivating many more people to stay in the race and keep playing/keep coming back.

-Put top heavy $ prizes in these tournaments and maybe throw a few packs to those in top 32 or whatever. Make people excited to spend their weekend playing this - charge entry fee on top if you have to (if people are paying 500 plat to enter VIP tourney, they should be willing to pay 1000 plat to enter this big $ tourney...throw in some sleeves/AAs in there if you feel bad about charging so much).

-I've voiced this before but I think towards the end it was too brutal to get enough IQ tickets with schedule tournaments. Players are already going to be facing each other in big tourneys on weekends, no need to force these scheduled events. Give the equivalent of 3 IQ tickets for 5-0, 2 tickets for 5-x and 1 ticket for 4-x.

-I personally think a ladder does help the game. But I don't think a ladder system like HS would be good for Hex at all (no one would play the pay modes). Finishing the ladder at a certain rank can give you a few points at the end of the month towards the overall leaderboard (say the equivalent of one of the IQ like 'big weekend tournaments'). Players wouldn't be forced to grind this 24/7 but those with enough dedication could get a few 'extra points' if you will.

-So the players with the top points through X months (earned as mentioned above through the weekend tournament or the ladder-end-of-month bonus) would get invited to an Invitational style tournament with big prizes.


This way players have short term (weekend IQ like tourney with $ payout), medium term (monthly ladder ranking), and long term (quarterly or bi-annual Invitational qualifier leaderboard) goals.

That's just one way they could do it, would be interested to hear others opinions on this.

Voormas
02-26-2016, 04:57 PM
hardly, set 4 wil be only temporary boost for pvp.

I guess I was implicitly assuming that Set 4 will be the start of regular set releases ;)

Biz
02-26-2016, 05:36 PM
top-heavy prizes would reduce the number of participants even if it increases the quality of decks. i don't think that's good until there are way more players.

better prizes could just involve giving packs for the next set as rewards. no amount of set 3 packs will be exciting to players who have all the good cards from set 3.

as for staleness, i don't see why there can't be a swiss tournament every week for a fresh format. it should be trivial for a digital game to run deck restriction checks. crowdfund the prizepool if needed.

Clawdius
02-26-2016, 08:00 PM
I guess I was implicitly assuming that Set 4 will be the start of regular set releases ;)

Infinite things are implicit in any statement, it's a vacuous point.
http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=3907

Wuggalix
02-27-2016, 02:43 AM
1) Consistency and sets releases : I have no doubt that this will be solved over time, and that Hex will find new interesting and special events (flashback, holiday etc) to create that feeling of a "living game"... So while it might be a current issue, it will hopefully be solved by the end of 2016 with a decent pace of releases.

2) Casual formats : Even if I agree that it would be a welcomed addition for many casual players (2HG, etc) , most multiplayer formats looks like a real nightmare for the devs to code and implement... So I would keep that in mind, but for when the game is much more developed than it is right now. Also, the casual players have been given a whole new playground with the launch of AZ1, which kinda make up for it.

3) PVE to PVP link : I do agree that the current link between them is far from straightforward, and new players that have been through the campaign are not directly introduced to PVP. While this is not a major concern to me, a slight introduction to PVP might help (and yeah that 1 draft ticket per account after completing something big enough for people not to farm accounts is a great idea).

4) Organized competitive play : I am also hoping that something will be announced at the invitational, and I shall add that I will be pretty disappointed if this is not the case. Not by itself or because I'm expecting it, but because the lack of announcements on that matter would have a lot of meanings on the future.

5) Bring well-known Pro/Writers : to me the best thing that happen to the game in 2016 so far is the creation of a column with Adrian Sullivan on the official website. This is to me the promise of a bright future with even more well known and appreciated people coming to Hex. Regarding the Pros, Hex will obviously have a hard time for now to bring any pro (from MTG) into the game, streaming and introducing even more players to Hex... Because as it is right now, only the adventurers would put themselves into Hex, as there is literally no money to be made here.
HS drained several Pros from MTG (Kibler of course, but I know at least 2 former mtgo grinders that are now top HS streamers)... But there is money to be made in HS.
I don't think there's a secret recipe here, if you introduce money to be made, then you will have highly visible players that will be willing to promote the game for you, you'll then get a lot of new players influx (mostly competitive, or wannabe competitive, but also a decent amount of casual players), end then the money come back to the game... But it's not a zero sum investment, as during the process you'll just got bigger, so anything you'll do in the future will have more impact (and be more profitable).


6) IQs / slots / Leaderboard : I'm perfectly fine with that "only the winner get a slot, others get packs" format... I've lost in more than a dozen top 8 at competitive level (GP/MOCS/PTQ) for few wins, so I know how it feels when you're close, but come back home without the plane ticket... But that's what a competitive card game is all about, in the end there has to be a winner and a looser.
But... I would love some points to be given on PVP tournaments (including IQs) to have something like a player of the year race, with a big final tournament. Now that would reward consistency and good finishes even for those who did not manage to get a single slot... And it would also reward (and highly "incentivised" people to play scheduled PVP) .
=> Hex is a bit too young to do something on a whole year, but a race that lasts 3 or 4 months (so 4 or 3 per year) would definitely be a huge boost to PVP attendance. I'm looking for something with a (daily updated) leaderboard on the main website, so that people get to check it every so often. And then the topX of the leaderboard will qualify for a tournament that would take place online with huge prizes.
=> It does not have to be as huge as the Invitational like tournaments (Pro tour etc I was talking previously) but still quite high to be a real incentive.

7) New constructed formats : It does sound quite easy to me too to create new constructed formats with different restrictions... After all it's all a ban list question. Something like what has been called "rock league" could definitely be implemented as an official format here with constructed scheduled tournaments... As well as plenty of others.
While this might be good overall, we still need way more players if we introduce new formats to be played, otherwise the tournaments will only fire for a certain time before they ended up being left aside (especially if the points with leaderboard system I'm talking about is not implemented)

=> The more I talk about it, the more I feel that this is the most needed thing the game is lacking... Gaining points while playing PVP (4 points for 4-0, 1 point for 3-1, draft win, and 5 wins in gauntlet) with a leaderboard and a tournament at the end with sweet (high) prizes for the highests ranked people, THAT would be an incentive to play the game as much as people can... And do that extra event every now and then.







PS : I disagree with it being too hard to get IQ tickets, I end up with more than 40 extras, and I've only played the second half of the events... So people that want to devote time to prepare for IQs will have the tickets anyways.

Yoss
02-27-2016, 09:59 AM
A leaderboard that is based on earning points in the existing PvP options would be perfect and shouldn't be hard to implement. This would be much better than the ladder systems in other games, IMO.

tecnophi
02-27-2016, 10:34 AM
I don't like exaggerations of "PvP is dead" and all that. I fully agree that it the numbers of players are not that great at all, but it isn't dead. It doesn't quite look like it's going to die at the moment either. Weekend tournaments are getting about ~130 players or so regularly. Wish it was a lot more, but it is what it is. Check out the link below listing tournament numbers and winners (maintained by Zubrin).

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eQ4RxxM14mOy2Fj3YLFfE2Gq8GHCMV2OiynwA9OTtAg/edit#gid=0

Wuggalix
02-28-2016, 08:19 AM
I don't want to be too harsh on those weekly tournaments, I know that some people have put time and money in there, and it can only be an upside for the game... But.

... But they are free, and that's the main (if not the only one) reason the attendance is so high... Would people pay even 500p to play with their (slightly modified) campaign deck in a PVP tournament ? No, but they do here, as it does not cost them anything.
As I said previously, that's a good thing as it offers those guys the possibility to softly put themselves into PVP... But that should not be considered a living PVP scene, not even mentioning competitive PVP.


PVP is dead because the players are not willing to play it. They indeed still do so once or twice a week, but "because it's free and they might ended up getting some prizes if they are lucky"... That, is not what I would call a burning desire to play PVP.


----

Regarding the Swiss VS Single Elimination for the weekly tournaments :

- for competitive players : Swiss is better as it rewards consistency and good preparation... You're only out if you loose twice, which is fair... In a single elimination event on the other hand, you can face a random deck that beat nothing but your deck (let's say 90% win rate against your deck and 10% versus every other deck) and boom you're out. And that is certainly not a good feeling for the competitive player.

- for casual players : Swiss is better as it allow them to play as many rounds as they want. If they want to try their new fun brew, the weekly tournament would be the best place for it as it does not cost them anything and they can face different opponents (with their number of points every round pretty much)... On the other hand, if it's single elimination, then they might very well face Johnny and his 30k plat awesome deck, and they got crushed round 1 without being able to play any of the sweet interactions they wanted to... And boom they're out... So once again, not a good feeling.... While if it would have been swiss, then the casual players might loose round 1, then round 2 (damn unlucky today), but they would have soon faced other less challenging opponents, and would have been more likely to play the cool things they wanted to play by the end of the event...

----


To finish, I'll come back a little bit on the PVP scene.

I have the feeling that people are starving here. They badly want to play Hex, but they don't have anything to play with, so they ended up eating everything that they can voraciously... Honestly am I the only one with that feeling ? Like "OMG OMG draft hype"... Seriously ? A draft should need no hype, a draft should fire every 5 minutes (even less)... And if I want to play a gauntlet game I have to ask on the chat if (by any chance) there is someone willing to play... When we think about it, it's a bit like begging for an opponent to feed you.

The only makeshift of exciting tournament that there is is the weekly tournament, so everybody appraise it... But it's not because that's the only option (that fire), that we have to be fine with it.

That's basically the whole point of this threads, I am willing to make things change, because for me (and a lot of other players - current and future players I mean) that is definitely not sufficient.

=> I can not emphasis enough how much I think that the game is great and has a lot of potential, but it's a shame that it is not seeking more popularity, and well, to be the one thing everybody talk about when it comes to TCG.

There is another game that everybody know that has screwed up badly their competitive play in the last couple years, and there are a lot of "unhappy" players that would be happy to make the transition to something else... But they won't switch to something that is merely alive and have no esport/competitive scene.


Dream bigger, then make those dreams come true (in a near future).

Metronomy
02-29-2016, 06:54 AM
this is all valid but still...the most important thing is promoting and bringing new people into the game..
short update on that front: I contacted gamestar.de (which is easily the single biggest gaming site for german speaking audiences) and they said that they already are in the process of doing a review for hex. Which came a bit unexpected but it is realy good news. We just need more...

malloc31
02-29-2016, 10:58 AM
The idea that the number one problem is lack of new sets is only really a problem to veteran players, to new players new sets doesn't help at all (and may even hurt since now they even have more sets to have to catch up with us).

I think the number one problem is a lack of a casual (newbie friendly) PVP scene. We need a ladder that costs nothing or only a relatively small amount of gold to enter. We also need officially ran pauper and other cheap style tournaments, to give people a place to start. Right now this game (PVP side) is great for people trying to make money or go infinite but terrible for casual players. The community has done a great job trying to help with this but at some point Hex needs to step up and take on these things them selves. Because most of the times casual players are not going to be reading the forums looking for independently ran tournaments, Hex needs to put them in the game and show it to them.

Khazrakh
02-29-2016, 12:12 PM
The idea that the number one problem is lack of new sets is only really a problem to veteran players, to new players new sets doesn't help at all (and may even hurt since now they even have more sets to have to catch up with us).

I think the number one problem is a lack of a casual (newbie friendly) PVP scene. We need a ladder that costs nothing or only a relatively small amount of gold to enter. We also need officially ran pauper and other cheap style tournaments, to give people a place to start. Right now this game (PVP side) is great for people trying to make money or go infinite but terrible for casual players. The community has done a great job trying to help with this but at some point Hex needs to step up and take on these things them selves. Because most of the times casual players are not going to be reading the forums looking for independently ran tournaments, Hex needs to put them in the game and show it to them.

That's very true and probably the number one issue that keeps new players from playing more.
Personally I love the highly competitive nature of the Hex PVP, but that's not what casual/new players are looking for. Each and every of those (cheap) CCGs out there has an easy and inexpensive way for new players to casually play some PVP and earn something from it. I'm not proposing giving out great stuff for free here, but some small incentives and some form of ladder are really important for the future growth of Hex.

Tazelbain
02-29-2016, 12:37 PM
Yes, newbie PvP is the issue. Building the player-base means significantly less if there is no functional path to flip the PP-curious into PvPers. If I wasn't already past it, there is no way I would be willing to climb over this barrier.

Competitive PvP might be exactly what new players are looking for, but they will never find out because Hex PvP pool only has a deep-end.

Wuggalix
03-01-2016, 07:07 AM
An in-client ladder like there is in Hearthstone would be awful, both for the game itself and the attendance of other (actual) tournaments... If people want to play casual PVP they have the 5shards weekly series, the Rock league and other community tournaments. Of course some of them are not in client, which would I do agree, considerably boost their attendances.
It can only be a matter of time for Hex to implement something like a pauper/rock format in client, since this has shown to be quite popular in other TCGs...

But this would not solve any of the (more concerning) issues I've mentioned previously (namely : lack of incentives to play competitive PVP and overall emptiness in terms of players).


Well, I guess we'll have to wait until next weekend to -hopefully- know more on what is planned to solve those issues... I would have loved more comments in the meantime though, just to make me feel that more than a few of us actually care about the future of the game.

Tazelbain
03-01-2016, 09:02 AM
Well a ladder is happening, but we have zero detail about it. So it's hard to speculate.

As far as progression in constructed, right now someone is spending the price for first-tier console game to build a deck just to try competitive. If you are not sold on hex, it's hard justify that over the console game. Having a low-powered, lower-cost(but still pay), still very competitive format could drop barrier to the cheep steam game price point. Its much more likely place were undecided players will be to put money down and get hooked into PvP.

Largashbur
03-04-2016, 11:47 PM
Thanks to a review from IGN Spain yesterday, HEX received its well-deserved metascore of 89:

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/hex-shards-of-fate

With this score, it is the Top 1 (!) of recently released games, one point more than XCOM 2:

http://www.metacritic.com/browse/games/release-date/new-releases/pc/metascore

Elwinz
03-04-2016, 11:49 PM
Well deserversed? LEts be honest game is deep in mechanics , fantastic art. But has so many problems right now not sure its the right score.

Wuggalix
03-07-2016, 09:52 AM
Here is a post I've made in the general discussion part of the forum, but I would like to be here as well, as it is the continuity of this thread... And I think should reach the developers.


-----------------------------------------------

Hello all,

I've already talked a decent bit about the PVP ladder and explained why it should be implemented soon here : The link (http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=48155)

While the threads did not get the amount of inputs I was expecting (mostly because it has been moved to a more obscure zone where fewer players go), I do want to point out again how crucial it is to have a ranking system as well as explain how (IMO) it should be done.


First of all, no matter what people think about the other games, when creating something new we have to think about what has already been done, and how good/effective was what has already been put into practice elsewhere.
In order to make it clear, I'm gonna talk mostly about MTGO, since a HS-like ladder is both awful and not suitable at all to a game like Hex.


At some point, there was a thing called "player of the year" race. Basically people were awarded points for doing great in tournaments and those points were accumulated all year long, and easily check-able because there was a leaderboard on the main website... This way everyone was able to see who was the player who earned the most points (ie: the one who've won the most tournaments pretty much)... And at the end of the year there was an invite only tournament (online) with large prizes for the topX of each constructed and limited players.

To make it simple, that's what we need here because :
- It gives an actual incentive for people to play tournaments because of the points earned (and more so, scheduled tournaments, more on that later)
- It rewards people for playing more and more of Hex (paid tournaments to be more specific)
- It creates an actual competitive scene (which is not the case at the moment, see link) which will drain players from other games.
- It rewards grinders who plays a lot of tournaments.

Obviously as I mentioned on the link, a year long race would not suit a game like Hex (for now at least) so something reset every 3-4 months would do great.... And obviously a tournament (online, that's cheaper for Hex) at the end of each season for let's say the top20 players in limited and the top 20 players in constructed would be the close the season and create a sense of fame for several (as well as high prizes of course).

I really insist on the fact that the prizes at the end have to be quite high... They don't have to be 100k$, especially if it's run 4 times per year, but they have to be decently high : AAs & Sleeves of course because they are free for Hex, and cash because cash is shiny... If there are some legal issues with cash - which is very possible - then an invitation to the next big tournament (like the invitational) could keep the "shininess" of the tournament.
But the appeal of that system would not (only) be prizes, fame would be another very nice thing that people would be willing to play more events in order to get it (in order to be ranked higher in the leaderboard).

Anyway, on to the system.

I'm looking for something like :

LIMITED
- Competitive drafts and Casual drafts : 1 point for winner
- Scheduled Sealed : 3 points for 4-0 and 1 point for 3-1
- Sealed Gauntlets : 1 (or 2) point(s) for 5 wins

CONSTRUCTED
- Scheduled Constructed : 3 points for 4-0 and 1 point for 3-1
- Constructed Gauntlets : 1 (or 2) point(s) for 5 wins

VIP
- Same amount of points than their respective regular counterparts

5 SHARDS
- It's hard to give points to a 7 or 8 rounds of single elimination event... Would have been more fair if it was swiss.
- But if we assume the (awful) single elimination is kept, then 3 points for winner of the weekly, 2 for second, and 1 point for the 3rd and 4th.
- As for monthly tournaments, I would say the same should be kept (3/2/1-1).
- There might be an argument that those tournaments should be kept on the casual side and awarded no points at all. I would not mind at all, it would also make sense that the points can only be earned in paid tournaments (especially since the entry fee is really low here).

OFF CLIENT TOURNAMENTS
- No points awarded. Mostly because it would be too annoying for Hex to manually gives points to those that would earn them in off client tournaments.


=> Regarding the leaderboard, it HAS to be put on the official website for everybody to watch, that's the main point of a leaderboard, making people talk about it and dream about it.
=> I think that 3 leaderboard should be created. One for constructed, one for limited, and one with both of them mixed... It would therefore gives a chance to qualify for every people. Some prefer limited, some prefer constructed, but this way they would be able to see how they compare versus other players in their favourite format.


As a side note : later on, when guild will be implemented, I'm sure everybody will love to see the name of the guilds next to the players names on the leader board.


ELO SYSTEM :
Just to make it clear, I would not mind an ELO system to be put in place, but this should not be the base system to gives entry for tournaments, or prizes etc... This should remain something cool that players can compare (and brag about) but it should not have any value. I've seen way too many times players refusing to enter tournaments because they were afraid of loosing points while they have a high ELO rating... And I did it myself several times back in the day (when ELO ratings used to qualify for large MTG tournaments).
This ELO system is cool, but it should not be given any "monetary" value, because if it is the case, instead of dragging more people to tournaments, it will be an actual scarecrow.
And I'm certainly not kidding.
=> What the game need is NOT one guy who played a draft, won it and then stopped playing for 3 months to keep that 100% win rate. It is NOT the top10 players to stop playing to keep their ELO rate high enough. What the game need is more people that play Hex, more people that play tournaments, and if possible, paid tournaments.


To conclude, I'm a bit concerned by the very vague words Cory has given during the Invitational regarding all of this... Mostly because I have felt that there is still a long wait before any implementation on that regard... But I'm confident in the fact that it will, just not sure when.
Still I was expecting an announcement regarding the competitive PVP future and we've had nothing of the like... but anyway, here is my contribution and feel free to comment or send me a message so that we discuss it.

Metronomy
03-07-2016, 02:46 PM
..
While the threads did not get the amount of inputs I was expecting (mostly because it has been moved to a more obscure zone where fewer players go),
...

I am maybe going to comment on this in the other thread. But this issue deserves repeated and I am glad you did it. It is a minor thing but you are right. Moving the thread to this subforum burried the topic for a big portion of the player base. The developers saw it but a big part of such a thread is to have a community discussion. It's not just about giving feedback to the developers.

Wuggalix
03-07-2016, 03:07 PM
Well to be honest, I'm more interested in the developers (and everyone from Hex) reading it, than it being the most popular topic in the community.

I would have still expected more contributions from other players, but there's indeed fewer visitors here so it is how it is... I'd say whatever as long as the people that are taking decisions take that into consideration (they might or might not agree with what I'm saying, or implement some stuff but not everything, that's up to them, but at least I've said what I thought was important).

It is not my business, just one I care about.
But yeah, I think it's fine that I posted the previous message both here for the developers, and elsewhere for the community to debate.

Thanks for the support mate, I'm sure we're on the same line on many topics.

Wuggalix
03-17-2016, 02:52 PM
After listening to Cory's Fiveshards 2h long interview, here is what I've heard, and what I think about it :


RANKING
- Hex is working on a ladder+ranking system, and since it "might" comes between Set4 and AZ2, I'm thinking that they already have a very precise idea of what it will be, and it's probably already designed and just need engineering... So I don't really think it's still necessary for me to try to sell the ideas I thought would be best on that subject.
- If I've understood it well enough, the players will earn points by playing regular PVP competitive tournaments and playing the upcoming ladder... I think I've heard something about "wining and loosing points", so there might be some sort of ELO in here (with some homemade tweaks I guess).
- That might means that some tournaments (like swiss drafts, and probably the community tournaments as well) will not earn points, which I'm perfectly fine with.
=> Overall, from what I've heard, the ranking system sounds like Elo and the ladder sounds like HS... Neither of those I'm particularly happy with (see previous posts), but those are obviously guesses at this point, and what I'll retain from the interview is that the ranking system is coming rather soon, and that's a big deal.



COMPETITIVE/E-SPORT
- We can expect 3 large Invitational like events per year... No starting date has been mentioned though, so that might be in a not so near future.
- I'm still expecting an announcement rather soon (in the next 60 days) regarding that.
- There was a brief conversation about the opening of the game to the Chinese market... And that those guys would be included in one of the (3?) tournaments... So I guess World championships are planned, but that might not be for 2016 unfortunately.
- The next large events will be bigger than the first invitational in terms of players (something I definitely support and think it makes ton of sense for many reasons)... I don't think Hex need to do something as big as the Pro Tour (about 200 players), but 50 competitors sounds like a fine number to me, at least for now, and should grab a decent portion of the competitive players.
- Half of the spot will be awarded to tournaments (like IQs) winners, and half will be awarded based on ranking/ladder... We don't have much more information on that so I can't really comment, but I like the idea of doing it half/half, because I think it's important to have a small number of "pro players" that the public will see again and again... And giving slots to highly ranked will definitely help in that regard.
- The renewed saying that the Esport scene is something that Hex is seeking was definitely great to hear, it was obviously not as great as a announcement with a timeline, but I'm sure this will come rather soon... And since this will be linked with the Ranking system, I forecast the announcement in the next 60 days (along with the one on the ranking system), which I find pretty reasonable.
=> To conclude, great things are planned, and I think that the chosen pace of events is great (3 each year or 2 + World championship each year).... We are still a bit in the dark regarding when this will all start, the next one could be in several months, or in two years time. So I think a slight enlightenment here would be great for everybody to know what to expect.



MISC
- About 50 people in the team currently (+ consultancy) is definitely a sign that the game is getting better managed and that more stuff is coming, and at a better pace... So, even if it might not look like it at first glance, it's actually a great sign for me regarding the brightness of the future.
- I'm glad to hear that the marketing push is yet to come (and will do rather soon)... Nothing new here since Phenteo already told us that Hex is currently trying things in that regard, but still good to hear again that the team is working on it and that we will see it in action in the months to come.
- Since we will have 3 sets and 3 big tournaments each year, I'd like to say that I think it would be awesome to use all the events to hype the upcoming set (just like what has been done with the first event)... MTG are doing their PT right after the set's release, but I think it's better the way Hex has done it - ie: previous to the set's release - as it is a great way for the company to build the hype, and it's also way better for the players to test the format.
- 3 sets + 3 AZ + 3 Events = 40 days between each... Sounds pretty great to me. I think something like 50/50/20 would be optimal as it lets people play the new set for 50 days, then the new PVE content for 50 days, and then the Big tournament would takes place 20 days before the next set.
- I am overall more confident now regarding the increase in the player base, thanks to the upcoming marketing push first, but also thanks to the organized competitive play that will rather soon be launched as well... I am confident that both of them combined will help take many players from competitor TGC game(s).


I might have missed many things I wanted to talk about when I was listening the interview, but well, I think most of it is here.... It was a great listening with plenty of small details that helped everyone understand more what you're at, and what schedule should we expected (even with no dates given, approximate timing is fine to differentiate a "wished feature" from a "near to come feature").

Thanks for the kind words on the "feedback from the forum" during the interview, I'm delighted you guys read it and if something I've said was ever helpful or made you reconsider something into a better one, I'm glad I've help, that the only purpose of the thread.

Cheers,

Wugga.

Hawke
04-07-2016, 07:42 AM
I 100% agree with everything Wuggalix said in all his posts.