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Organised play - bans and restrictions


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I've been arguing a lot on the internet over this. So, long story short:

- deck builds will become significantly more varied for the next 6 months while people figure out new combinations. the staleness in the competitive scene is gone

- objective style play is no longer so crippled, so suddenly there's another archetype to plan for in an all comers deck - see freshness of the scene

- the barrier to entry (cost of buy in for a new player) is SIGNIFICANTLY lowered for the time being - you no longer have to buy everything to be competitive off the bat

- People seem to be missing that there are also NIGHTVAULT cards on the restricted list. GW are recognizing and responding quickly to maintain levels of balance in the game. They have literally never done this but are doing it for their "competitive" game. It shows investment and commitment to the product.

 

TL:DR this is good for the long term health of the game and any arguments about making purchases based on a single card are invalid as the lists is roughly 5% of the total released cards

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8 hours ago, mmimzie said:

Is ban earth quake just because the threat of the card is just too good against any hold objective deck

Exactly. I was already teetering on the brink of retiring objective decks before Earthquake. When that card came out I stopped instantly.

As you say, the threat of it being in a deck made playing objectives too risky.

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Earthquake is good against objective decks but its a symmetric effect that is not very useful against aggro or defense.

It's a situational card, and if they are playing Earthquake then they are probably not playing Trap, Pit Trap, Twist the Knife, and all sorts of other really powerful cards that are useful in many more situations.

I think it's fine on the restricted list.

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I'll also add to the Earthquake discussion.  In my ultra aggressive Fiends deck I never even used it, I needed almost every other card on the restricted list before that one.  Now that I'm even further restricted on my aggro cards I see absolutely no reason to use this card.  Honestly I would wager other objective decks will pose the greater threat of actually having the card in their deck rather than hyper aggression decks.

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Ban list, no real issue with it.

Restricted list, the majority is totally fine.

These 5 are really a problem for me:

Extreme Flank
Fired Up
Loner
Pit Trap

Slumbering Key

Half are hardly released a month. They should have been left to mature in the format a bit. 

And "Incredible Strength"? What were they smoking there!?

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9 minutes ago, Zimagic said:

These 5 are really a problem for me:

Extreme Flank
Fired Up
Loner
Pit Trap

Slumbering Key

Half are hardly released a month. They should have been left to mature in the format a bit. 

And "Incredible Strength"? What were they smoking there!?

The first 2 are incredibly easy, almost auto scores. The third....meh? Pit Trap is an identical copy of Trap, so if Trap is restricted, so should Pit Trap, Slumbering Key likewise with A Destiny to Meet.

 

If you're going to make a commitment to balance, you have to address things quickly or you never get on top of the swing. Its no coincidence that these cards went immediately into competitive decks on release and popped up again and again. They deserve to be on the restricted list.

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Right now:

The best cards on the restricted list are the easy objectives and the uniquely powerful plots.

As you’re restricted to only 5, if you’re building a deck to score Glory fluidly, you’re mostly going to take 2-3 objectives and 1-2 plots unless you have a very specific role for a unique upgrade.

So there’s a pile of upgrades on the list you’re essentially never going to play again. Or if you play them, you’re relying on “less good” objectives and plots to help you get the glory needed to actually play them.

It will take some adjustment, it should be ok, (if only because other players have the same problem) but it feels like making decks much worse overall and making the majority of the reserve list upgrades unplayable in competitive play. The RL objectives & plots are mostly a strategy choice, RL upgrades are essentially blank cards. That's a real pity as they are already the weakest card type of the 3.

 

Going forward:

So, UW releases Molog’s Mob & Godsworn hunt. They have loads of good universal cards. Do they take cards off the reserved list to make room for the new easy to score hotness that is put into every deck or does the list grow by 1-2 cards with every release? There’s those 2 & another 2 bands just in season 2 alone.

Essentially, where does the Reserved List stop?

My worry is the huge amount of testing that goes into deciding what comes off a reserved list & why. How do you decide whether, random example, Awakened Weapon is now safe to come off into a card pool that’s even bigger than it was when it was first put into the list? Adding cards to a pool allows you to leverage everything just a little more. Reserving cards makes it next to impossible to gauge the strength of cards in the wild. You have to test it yourself and I don’t think GW has the means to do that amount of testing.

And taking it off is not just saying “You can have Awakened Weapon”. Taking a card off the list, any card, is allowing players to have their choice of any other “too good/common” reserved list card in addition to the card that comes off, which makes it very tricky to actually take any card off the list.

That feeds directly into the list growing with nothing ever coming off.

 

 

I don’t like Bans but I hate reserved lists. They are a nightmare to police and become an erroneously easily way to “deal” with cards that haven’t been properly balanced. And, as I have already mentioned, it’s almost impossible to take cards off reserved lists like this with any real understanding of what does to the metagame.

 

2 thumbs down for me.

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1 hour ago, ipoo2 said:

Just checking (new to underworlds) With escalation, it is both players you count? So my opponent plays two upgrades and when I play one, I can score the objective? Or do I need to play all three?

You count the upgrades played by both players, but only if those upgrades were played during the preceding action phase. (Upgrades played during the end phase do not count toward scoring Escalation.) By contrast, Ploymaster counts only your own ploys, not your opponent’s. 

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On 11/16/2018 at 11:27 AM, Zimagic said:

Right now:

The best cards on the restricted list are the easy objectives and the uniquely powerful plots.

As you’re restricted to only 5, if you’re building a deck to score Glory fluidly, you’re mostly going to take 2-3 objectives and 1-2 plots unless you have a very specific role for a unique upgrade.

So there’s a pile of upgrades on the list you’re essentially never going to play again. Or if you play them, you’re relying on “less good” objectives and plots to help you get the glory needed to actually play them.

It will take some adjustment, it should be ok, (if only because other players have the same problem) but it feels like making decks much worse overall and making the majority of the reserve list upgrades unplayable in competitive play. The RL objectives & plots are mostly a strategy choice, RL upgrades are essentially blank cards. That's a real pity as they are already the weakest card type of the 3.

Agreed. 4 of my 5 restricted choices are objectives because they dictate the way I play. The fifth is a ploy. I do feel the pain of the upgrades as they were key in keeping guys alive, but in general, the objectives are most important until more are released.

 

On 11/16/2018 at 11:27 AM, Zimagic said:

Going forward:

So, UW releases Molog’s Mob & Godsworn hunt. They have loads of good universal cards. Do they take cards off the reserved list to make room for the new easy to score hotness that is put into every deck or does the list grow by 1-2 cards with every release? There’s those 2 & another 2 bands just in season 2 alone.

Essentially, where does the Reserved List stop?

My worry is the huge amount of testing that goes into deciding what comes off a reserved list & why. How do you decide whether, random example, Awakened Weapon is now safe to come off into a card pool that’s even bigger than it was when it was first put into the list? Adding cards to a pool allows you to leverage everything just a little more. Reserving cards makes it next to impossible to gauge the strength of cards in the wild. You have to test it yourself and I don’t think GW has the means to do that amount of testing.

And taking it off is not just saying “You can have Awakened Weapon”. Taking a card off the list, any card, is allowing players to have their choice of any other “too good/common” reserved list card in addition to the card that comes off, which makes it very tricky to actually take any card off the list.

That feeds directly into the list growing with nothing ever coming off.

Gut says this list continues to grow until the release of Season 3, where it will probably be more acceptable to cycle out ALL of Shadespire's neutral cards. It looks like the list is made up of the most common cards used in Grand Clashes (the top tier of competitive play). And if you look at the decks on UnderworldsDB, that's certainly holding true. We will get a couple of months following the new releases, then they'll re-evaluate the objectives that are in 90% of decks but not on the list and put them on the list. I have no issue with a constantly evolving meta like this having played CCGs and LCGs. It is impossible to do the sort of testing that will catch these cards because once released, they get so many more reps and are tuned and tweaked in decks by the community. Every deckbuilding game company has this issue.

 

On 11/16/2018 at 11:27 AM, Zimagic said:

I don’t like Bans but I hate reserved lists. They are a nightmare to police and become an erroneously easily way to “deal” with cards that haven’t been properly balanced. And, as I have already mentioned, it’s almost impossible to take cards off reserved lists like this with any real understanding of what does to the metagame.

 

2 thumbs down for me.

As I said, I don't think cards will come off the reserved list until an entire season cycles out. Earliest point at which this happens is the release of season 3. Regarding policing, I don't think it's a coincidence that the deck builder GW released provides a PDF format of the deck with a "valid for organised play" stamp.

 

The metagame was stale as hell, even with with nightvault releases. The meta right now is very fresh. The list did its job, and i think will continue to do so

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I also applaud the fact that GW is trying to keep decks versatile.

 

However, banning cards is too easy.

Couldn't they just FAQ the cards?

For instance:

- time trap lets you take two action but with a maximum of 4 damage being dealt in total over the two action steps.

- quick thinker must be played in the beginning of the activation.

...

The next step is that with the coming out of season 3, all the cards from season 1 will be "banned" or something like that. And I really would not like that...

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I don't think that will be the case.

GW aren't analysing on their own - they're relying on the deck fiends at tournaments.

The cards on the lists are frequent flyers verging on auto-include regardless of faction or play style.

As has been pointed out, a number of the cards were the reason people were stating that objective play was pointless in the competitive scene.

GW won't be able to 'ban' season 1 without effectively invalidating a product (S1 warbands), so I don't think that'll happen.

The ban list is cards that could effectively turn the tide of the game with no chance of counter.

The restricted cards are probably better defined as 'cheap shots'.

Heck, last game I played before the list was published, I played great concussion which cost my opponent 2 inspires and 4 glory.

The following turn he played earthquake and cost me 5 glory.

I don't expect the ban card list to grow too much - we're on about 400 universal cards so far and only 3 are on the list.

Restricted list... We know GW and others do a fair bit of deck crunching after events, so the restricted card list will change every so often - maybe alongside FAQ updates.

Whether that's additions or substitutions we'll have to see.

Long story short, GW want you to have to work for your glory. Cards that ****** with that will be dealt with.

 

 

Edited by BaldoBeardo
typos. Also, "metal fastener with tapered shank and a helical thread" is a ban word?!
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1 hour ago, Phyriphiry said:

However, banning cards is too easy.

Couldn't they just FAQ the cards?

FAQ of printed cards is not a good idea. People are already complaining about FAQs invalidating Battletomes (KO). It's easier when it's a computer game like Hearthstone, because you can change the text on card and everyone will have new version. Even if you print new version of FAQed card, some people could still have old version and mistakes could happen. Banning is used by all TCG companies, because it's the most efficient way of dealing with problematic cards. 

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11 hours ago, Phyriphiry said:

Couldn't they just FAQ the cards?

For instance:

- time trap lets you take two action but with a maximum of 4 damage being dealt in total over the two action steps.

- quick thinker must be played in the beginning of the activation.

FAQ-altered text is bad; redesigned cards/rules are better. For example:

Time Trap: Choose a fighter who has not yet been activated in this phase. They can take an action. Skip your next activation (you cannot play this card after your fourth activation).

Time Trap: [Just like the current card, but change the rulebook so that fighters who have taken a Charge action can't take another one.]

Quick Thinker: Reaction: Play this after an enemy fighter's Move action. Make a Move action with a friendly fighter who has not already made a Move action in this phase. Place a Charge token next to the friendly fighter.

Maybe those ideas will come back under new names; maybe they won't. I miss Time Trap a little bit, but I don't miss Quick Thinker at all. (No one misses Great Concussion.)

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15 hours ago, Tutenkharnage said:

FAQ-altered text is bad; redesigned cards/rules are better. For example:

Time Trap: Choose a fighter who has not yet been activated in this phase. They can take an action. Skip your next activation (you cannot play this card after your fourth activation).

Time Trap: [Just like the current card, but change the rulebook so that fighters who have taken a Charge action can't take another one.]

Quick Thinker: Reaction: Play this after an enemy fighter's Move action. Make a Move action with a friendly fighter who has not already made a Move action in this phase. Place a Charge token next to the friendly fighter.

Maybe those ideas will come back under new names; maybe they won't. I miss Time Trap a little bit, but I don't miss Quick Thinker at all. (No one misses Great Concussion.)

THIS

 

Having to keep up with massive errata is time intensive for the design team (who are likely stretched already working on other games) and will make the OP scene confusing if people aren't up to date with errata.

 

The banned and restricted list is the cleanest way to do it. There's one or two odd choices (Loner) but overall, you were seeing these cards in pretty much every deck.

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On 11/22/2018 at 1:33 AM, Phyriphiry said:

I also applaud the fact that GW is trying to keep decks versatile.

 

However, banning cards is too easy.

Couldn't they just FAQ the cards?

...

The next step is that with the coming out of season 3, all the cards from season 1 will be "banned" or something like that. And I really would not like that...

I agree that ditching an entire season world be a major, major mis-step. I would likely quit the game.

I don't agree that FAQing cards is a good approach. I really don't like the idea of being in the in-game mindset, looking at my cards and planning, and then having to remember that some of what I'm reading is not current. Keep the cards text unassailable.

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