v0.20 - Deck construction - the good, the bad and the ugly

Discussion and questions about the latest version of Chaos Reborn. Not for bugs, but for comments about the game play.

  • Deck construction is now heavily influenced by Staff type. Here are the rules:
    1. First, 2 spells are added to the deck that match the staff type (randomly chosen)
    2. Then spells are allocated to the deck randomly, but spells which match the staff type have twice their usual probability of being included.
    3. There can be no more of 2 spells of the same type in a deck.

    Does this work better than before?
    Are there still problems?
    Does it make sense?
    What are the alternatives?
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    Julian Gollop
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  • so far i like this, have had a few games where you can really feel this in your spell deck it feels smoother, the synergy works.
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    Incarnadine
     
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  • There are some issues with 2) in my opinion. For some staves, you don't want you entire deck flooded with the increased casts. For instance, if I have a staff of mounts, I want two or three mounts, but not six. And things like shooter or dragon staves where most of the creatures have low casting chances can make opening tricky because of the lack of early game presence. Burning spells is worse now with the smaller hands/libraries and the more powerful staves will sometimes force you to get rid of cards as early as turn 1 in order to not get overrun from the start.
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    Obsilium
     
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  • I like this change and I think being able to influence the spells in your deck rather than having the power to choose every single spell is the way to go generally. Choosing your entire spell deck sounds like fun but I think it comes with too may problems and would ultimately break the game as people find decks that are too strong to play against.
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    goldendragon76
     
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  • this change is one of the best in this version!

    before I seemed to always be getting Staff of Chaos and a deck full of law spells, or staff of undead and no undead etc.

    Having a couple of guaranteed spells of your staff type is great.

    One possible change that could be made to this system would maybe be 2 spells guaranteed staff type, then 70% of remainder have double influence based on staff, 30% have double influence based on not being affected by staff.

    That would help to deal with the issue Ob suggested where you get a deck flooded with creatures of your staff type. I think the impact of which is quite different for each staff type. For staff of creatures it seems likely you would've got loads of creatures and not many magic attacks/growths because there are a lot of high cast chance creatures. Staff of Dragons on the other hand only has 3 creatures that are influenced, 2 of which you will have anyway so 6 dragons is the most you could possibly have in your deck. Having said all that from the games i've played so far I've not had a problem with any of my decks and the cards relation to the staff.

    Having a maximum of 2 of the same card is good, it creates more interesting/varied decks, adds an extra tactical layer for things like when to use blobs/bolts (if you use you're second everyone in the game now knows you have none left etc). It would be nice to be able to have a list that can slide into view of everyone's casts though (I know there is the playback option but it would be tricky to re-watch the entire match to see if a certain player has used 2 bolts) just has their name, in the wizards colour, then the spell cast in a scrollable list that slides in/out from the side/top or something just for quick reference.

    Overall a great change.
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    Ped209
     
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  • Obsilium wrote:There are some issues with 2) in my opinion. For some staves, you don't want you entire deck flooded with the increased casts...

    I just had this problem with Staff of Weapons: 2 bows, 2 shields, 2 swords. I think there are only those 3 spells for Staff or Weapons, so if you're guaranteed 2 of them, it seems likely you'll get most of the other four as well? I wouldn't mind so much, but I literally never cast double shield or double sword, I'd rather burn for mana. If there were more weapons, or the extra sword/shield did something more useful, it'd be less of a problem.
    Generally however, I like the new deck construction method. I think it will work well with the Chaos/ Law staffs (haven't had them yet:).
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    RafiRomero
     
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  • I just had my first match where no one had a single magic bolt. Odd, but it makes sense. I think that the Staff of Zzzap is suddenly more desirable! I like this first step toward having equipment arbiter what specific spells manifest in your deck and hand during a match. But I think a larger question remains: how is the randomness of spell decks and hands part of the thematic game world of Chaos Reborn rather than an arbitrary metagame mechanic?

    The initial imaginings of the game suggest that players will be able to create a library of spells, and spell hands and decks will be drawn from this evolving library. But how much will players be able to curate their libraries? With a library mechanic, I presume that people can purge spells from their library. If so, then power gamers can optimize how their equipment interacts with their customized library to output better the chances for good hands. E.g., a player might be able to keep the 10 spells they want in their match and ensure they get 2 copies of each in every match. But if players cannot curate their libraries, then why bother with a "library" mechanic at all?

    Given the themes of struggling to control magical power, I think that the evolution of using equipment to exert control over how hands and decks manifest in a match is best served if we eliminate spell libraries altogether:

    NoWorries @ viewtopic.php?f=5&t=566&start=20 wrote:Eliminate spell libraries altogether. I.e., there are no spells to discover. Every Wizard would have equal, random access to the same spells. As otherwise indicated by Julian, players would strive to find and develop equipment and items to increase control of the magic their Wizards bring to bear in battle.

    Eliminating spell libraries advances themes of Chaos Reborn. The many realms of Chaos Reborn came about because of a cataclysmic Schism that destroyed our world in the 14th century. (See Allen Stroud's new blog post here for more details.) Conjoining the game's themes to its mechanics, it would make sense for this great cataclysm to unleash immense magical powers which all Wizards can tap. Thus, all Wizards share the exact same power. However, the most experienced Wizards (i.e., high level Wizards) have tools and abilities that give them more control over that power. This would provide a firm theme as to why Wizards focus so much energy on developing magical equipment to help reduce the "chaos" inherent to trying to tap in to the immense magical power that permeates the game's many realms. In contrast, how would it make sense that an infinite number of procedurally generated spells become loot throughout the many realms of Chaos Reborn?

    Eliminating spell libraries simplifies harmonization of the single-player game with the multi-player game. Rather than separating the themes supporting multi-player/tournament game play from single-player and co-op realm exploration, they could become thematically integrated once the problem of equalizing/managing spell libraries are eliminated. And players who invest heavily in realm exploration would not be advantaged over multi-player players in having a larger spell library. In the end, the measure of Wizards in all types of game play would rest exclusively upon the equipment they use to tap into the immense magic of the game world. And tournaments would be easier to manage by simply regulating the levels or types of equipment that could be used rather than regulate spell libraries.

    Eliminating spell libraries makes the early game more interesting. The major difference between high level Wizards and low level Wizards will be that the higher level Wizards will have less randomness and more control over the spells they bring to a match. This means that even low level Wizards will get access to random dragon spells from time to time. Why should we deprive 1st level apprentice wizards from having dragon spells in their deck? Merely, they'll need to find and level up a Dragon Staff if they want to have more reliable access to dragon spells and a better chance of actually using them. But until then, low level Wizards should have at least a chance.

    Eliminating spell libraries changes the paradigm to promote player engagement. Yes, I know. This post seems to conflict with my prior post. However, never underestimate the power of a consistent and sensible theme within a game. If theme is players acquire spells for a library, then players may feel a loss of agency if they don't get to use what they acquire. However, if theme focuses on developing equipment and items to harness pervasive and chaotic magical power, then the sense of player agency likely will not focus on spells which are never in a Wizard's possession outside of a match.

    Eliminating spell libraries is simple. All of the other ideas addressing Julian's current idea all suggest something which require Julian and his team to make some new rules or new systems. Eliminating something that doesn't yet exist, however, is simpler than making it and balancing it in the first place.

    Eliminating spell libraries make spell balancing easier. Unlike "card" games where players acquire spell or action cards for their decks, there will be no legacy uber cards in hand. In other words, since players will never have a spell ability in their hand, then players cannot get offended if that spell ability gets changed or eliminated or otherwise modified as the game evolves. If the theme is Chaos, then don't give players the illusion of property rights by giving them libraries of spells.
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    NoWorries
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  • Arcane robes and Staff of Zzzap -> Control wizard of doom

    Played a 4-way today with this combination, and three of my first five turns were spent casting triple magic attacks on unfortunate wizards. The four spells that my neighbor lost to this left him with nothing to do in the endgame against the megabolt rush (fortified by killing a wizard in close combat).
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    Obsilium
     
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  • I never liked the idea of spell libraries because of the way I've watched Hearthstone become being all about three or four 'viable' decks that are optimised to win against the largest combination of enemies.

    But on the other hand, if the deck you take into battle is taken randomly from a spell library, that might be more in keeping with the Chaos metagame of overriding randomness.

    I guess it rather depends on whether we are going to be hunting through realms looking for that one unique legendary spell, or if everyone has access to all spells from the start.
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    Tess
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  • I think the only way a spell library would work is if you are not allowed to discard any learnt spells otherwise you would be able to discard all but the 20 spells that you want to take into battle knowing this to be the ultimate deck and optimum set up for your favourite staff/bodygear/hat.
    The Kickstarter info states that your wizard will begin the game with a meagre selection of spells and more are learnt by playing the game and finding spell books. If you learn 'Summon Hydra' then this spell should be added to your library of possible spells you can get in your deck even if you're not keen on using it or it does not fit in well with your staff of law, shooters, etc.
    You would still want to seek out and learn more spells because the initial ones would be the weak ones like goblin and dwarf and the harder to find ones held in realms protected by high level wizards would be the dragons and manticores.
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    goldendragon76
     
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