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Subject: Why CCGs, LCGs, TCGs implement uneconomical cards (a query) rss

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S. Caro
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Why do card games (LCG, CCG, TCG, etc) make "expensive" cards in terms of resources?

Seriously, why bother? The meta always comes down to drawing and spending resources in the quickest way possible. Why waste time or effort to make cards that will not be used because they cost too many resources or turns to execute?

An example for Android: Netrunner players:

Lemuria Codecracker (1)
Hardware
1 click, 1 credit. Expose 1 card. Use this ability only if you have made a successful run on HQ this turn.

2 credits and a click for a circumstantial card to reveal one of the corp's installed cards. It is only good early game, you can pretty much count on corp bulking up HQ against default criminal. Infiltrate already exists for no cost, one click, good any time.

I'm sure there are tons more examples out there too. When I played Yu-Gi-Oh! at one point there were really only two or three types of decks that existed and all of them shared a similar pool of cards.

Maybe insightful folks could shed some light on this issue.
 
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Mike Watne
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In terms of CCG and TCG models, a large part of the decision is due to Limited play formats (drafting, sealed, etc). In these formats, players enter a tournament with a set number of blind packs and build a deck from the contents.

While a card that is otherwise superior to a given card in all respects may exist, in a limited format you are not guaranteed to have access to it (it may in fact be a huge longshot to see a particular card). Therefore, the more "expensive" but equally functional related card becomes valuable simply by virtue of being available to you.

There are usually several cards in a TCG set that are included to fill these Limited roles - far less efficient versions of rare cards that are much more common - which may never be used in standard constructed formats but are worthwhile during sealed/draft.
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Benjamin Maggi
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Some games limit the number of cards allowed in a deck. Having 6 cheap cards, or one expensive card that does 6 (or even 5) times the power at 6 times the cost, means it won't help early in the game but may help later. And, it takes up 1/6 the space as the cheap cards.
 
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Ray
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I believe it's because of the 'dreamer' aspect with someone who might be naive when it comes to the ability to get that out into play or someone who looks at it as a challenge to be able to get it out.

In both cases, the player is having fun with the card. And if you played Magic the Gathering in the mid 90's and said you didn't make a deck with Lord of the Pit in it....I will call you a liar!
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Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist
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CCGs print bad cards so you'll want more of the good ones and will go buy more product. If you're playing a Limited environment (Draft or Sealed), then making use of a limited number of good cards diluted by bad cards is part of the gameplay. If you're looking at a Constructed environment, then part of the purpose of bad cards is to let you learn that they're bad and you shouldn't use them, so you can feel good about yourself for becoming a better player. If there's card limits, then the purpose of bad cards is also to be extra, worse copies of a good card you've already maxed out on.
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Luca Iennaco
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Mark Rosewater (Magic Lead Designer) wrote an article on it (Jan 2002 - still valid if you want to hear "their side" on the subject; no particular knowledge of Magic necessary): http://archive.wizards.com/Magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg...
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Andrew Bartosh

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Skulchilde wrote:
Why do card games (LCG, CCG, TCG, etc) make "expensive" cards in terms of resources?


I think you're using the wrong term here. Plenty of games have/had expensive cards that see/saw regular use. I think what you're actually complaining about is -inefficient- cards: cards whose power level is not equatable to their cost or whose effects are duplicated by cheaper cards.

Quote:
Seriously, why bother? The meta always comes down to drawing and spending resources in the quickest way possible. Why waste time or effort to make cards that will not be used because they cost too many resources or turns to execute?


This is somewhat erroneous as well. The meta generally comes down to using your resources to reach your endgoal as quick as possible, which plays out very differently. There have been several games where playing a long game was a legit choice.

Quote:
An example for Android: Netrunner players:

Lemuria Codecracker (1)
Hardware
1 click, 1 credit. Expose 1 card. Use this ability only if you have made a successful run on HQ this turn.

2 credits and a click for a circumstantial card to reveal one of the corp's installed cards. It is only good early game, you can pretty much count on corp bulking up HQ against default criminal. Infiltrate already exists for no cost, one click, good any time.


This is actually a pretty long discussion, so I'm just gonna try to list all the reasons why mediocre cards like Lemuria exist as quickly possible. *takes a deep breath*

1. Marketing for collectible models. Chaff makes the wheat seem all the better.

2. Multi-purpose design. In games with limited formats, said bad expensive cards can become solid due to different game pacing/card pools.

3. Game design failure. Sometimes devs design cards they think will do well and do well in testing, but don't survive in the wild.

4. Niche design. Sometimes awkwardly priced cards find uses in/against specific decks/combos.

5. Flavor. Sometimes cards are sacrificed for flavor purposes.
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The original Star Trek CCG does not have "costs" with its cards. This means that it is just as economical to play a powerful character as a weak one. However, they get around it by making many characters that are weak give bonus points to missions, or play for free at certain locations. "Weak" characters also have different icons for staffing ships, so they are still necessary.

The result is that most decks will have a balance of characters of different types, and weak and strong ones are both necessary.

It took the designers a few years to realize this...so it wasn't until the 3rd or 4th expansion that cards were published that made it useful to use the weak cards.

The game is still supported (trekcc.org) and the current designers still find ways to make underpowered cards useful.
 
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Richard Poole
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Lemuria is reusable.

A lot of cards are not the best cards. However, the "best" cards are defined by the meta. If there was a card that says "you win", but it costs enough that you can't play it in an average game, you won't play it. But if Rush decks start getting countered by some kind of Stall deck, you could play I Win against the stall deck and win. Whether a card is good or not will change depending on the cards that were just released and the meta.

Generally, they don't print cards that are just strictly worse than other cards in every way. They intend to offer choices. If those choices are too easy sometimes, that's the price of progress.

CCGs, especially at the advent of their existence, were just lousy with literally inferior cards though.
 
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Kendall McKenzie
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essentially a competitive game is a tool for telling who's better at the game. It seems kind of obvious to state it like that, but it means you actually have to design your game so that people who are better at it do better than people who are worse

and one way to do this is by putting in "trap" cards - cards (or options) that seem appealing to your average player but require some level of knowledge of the game to realise that actually you could do something else for the same effect but more efficiently or easier or faster, this is a very simple way to elevate better players over worse ones, especially in a game where the sets update so often, so you need to actually have the reasoning ability to work out what's better rather than just look it up online

however I personally don't really like this method since you're basically "tricking" your playerbase and it feels disingenous to me
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Pas L
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Every question you ever wanted to ask about a TCG has been answered by M:tG blog posts. Just google!
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