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Subject: Is Pandemic Legacy really that good? (On it's way to #1) rss

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CARL SKUTSCH
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Right now it's #23 with a geek rating of 7.729. More amazingly, I did a search and it's #1 among games with at least 1000 ratings. It's ungeeked average is 9.03!!! This monster is dominating the chart.

And yeah, I know, ratings are not an accurate reflection of game's quality, etc etc, fanboys, etc etc. But still, these are crazy numbers.

Is the game really that good? I've played Pandemic and thought it was fine. With the right people it's a fun game but nothing to go crazy over. Pandemic Legacy clearly has people going crazy!

So, thoughts?
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Daniel B-G
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I haven't played my first game yet, but from the rulebook reading I've done, I'm very excited about this. Should hopefully get to give it a spin tomorrow.

In the base game you could afford to be cavalier about outbreaks and allow them to happen in certain cities for the good of the game. Now that decision is much harder as it could cost you your research centres and seriously curb your ability to get in or out of the city, which has major consequences down the line. There's also consequences for having a character in the city when an outbreak happens, you get scarred, if that happens 3 times that character is dead. This is all before we get to the legacy deck that will spit out loads of additional complications that make the experience far more immersive and deepen the narrative of the game.

I can see why everyone has gone crazy for the game, but nevertheless a little surprised at the pace of the ascent.
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Chuck Harrison
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skutsch wrote:
Is the game really that good? I've played Pandemic and thought it was fine. With the right people it's a fun game but nothing to go crazy over. Pandemic Legacy clearly has people going crazy!
In the past two years I have played Pandemic a total of four times. In the past four days I have played Pandemic Legacy six times, and I am looking forward to playing it again this evening.
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CARL SKUTSCH
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Tineren wrote:
skutsch wrote:
Is the game really that good? I've played Pandemic and thought it was fine. With the right people it's a fun game but nothing to go crazy over. Pandemic Legacy clearly has people going crazy!
In the past two years I have played Pandemic a total of four times. In the past four days I have played Pandemic Legacy six times, and I am looking forward to playing it again this evening.
Huh, so maybe it is that good. Now I have to feel left out because I don't have the right kind of gaming group!
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I've played regular pandemic/on the brink about 30+. I don't mind it but never pick to play it. After a few plays realized that it is the same puzzle like in forbidden island. Where once things go on the stack they are out of order but you basically know what's coming. After realizing that, it turned bland for me.

The evolving bird and threat of things happening in legacy, makes the game far more interesting for me. I'll give one example from the rulebook so there's no spoiler. When an outbreak in a city happens, it becomes more unrest. You sticker with a number 1-5 increasing each time it happens. The higher the number m, the more implications there are fit that city. Not going to list them all but it makes treating harder. Again it isn't a spoiler that was rulebook stuff. So when my group plays we don't want any outbreaks. Where in regular pandemic you can usually get away with a few with no issues.

I hope that one example helps a little. For me, it took the pandemic concept that I found a little dull, into a game that is much more interesting. With huge implications for you decisions, the decisions become significantly more important. I've been having a blast
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Joe Kundlak
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I have watched all the Dice Tower live play videos (as I do not see myself purchasing the game, because I do not have a game group that could be dedicated to repeated plays of this particular game) and without spoiling anything, I can say this:

For me, Pandemic Legacy blows regular Pandemic out of the water. True, I only played the base Pandemic game so far (without any expansions), but the narrative is awesome in Pandemic Legacy. And, it could also be played a second time, with a different group, say a year after you finished the first game. True, you would know some things that happen, but if you would leave decisions on the other players, you would still have a really enjoyable game.

And I am not even talking about Season 2, when it comes out...
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Renate Cloake
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thor0298 wrote:
The evolving bird and threat of things happening in legacy, makes the game far more interesting for me. I'll give one example from the rulebook so there's no spoiler. When an outbreak in a city happens, it becomes more unrest. You sticker with a number 1-5 increasing each time it happens. The higher the number m, the more implications there are fit that city. Not going to list them all but it makes treating harder. Again it isn't a spoiler that was rulebook stuff. So when my group plays we don't want any outbreaks. Where in regular pandemic you can usually get away with a few with no issues.
That realisation that actions you take now are going to have lasting consequences doesn't take long to sink in. In our first game, we had a bunch of outbreaks and merrily put number 1 stickers on those cities as instructed. On our second game, and outbreak occured in one of those cities again and the person with the sticker sheet said "you realise these only go up to 5? We're going to run out pretty soon!". I think it's partially the fact that your actions have lasting consequences that makes it so much more enjoyable than a non-legacy game.

It's addictive. We played 9 games in a row Saturday night.
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I think that variable sequential plotting of board games may end up being as major as adding color to television.

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I've played as many games of Pandemic Legacy in 1 months as I've played regular Pandemic since I got the game.

However, I do not see any replayability after I've finished the game so I wonder if it will change my opinion a bit. However, for now, I consider it one of the best gaming experience I've had with board games.

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skutsch wrote:

Is the game really that good? I've played Pandemic and thought it was fine. With the right people it's a fun game but nothing to go crazy over. Pandemic Legacy clearly has people going crazy!
I have a very similar attitude towards Pandemic. I've played it a few times, wasn't terribly impressed, I don't own a copy of it, never played any of the expansions. But Pandemic Legacy is a 10/10 in my book.

The idea that you have no idea what could happen next, combined with the fact that your decisions will have permanent, lasting effects? Those are honestly two revolutionary ideas, and they make for a gameplay experience very much unlike anything I've played before. So yeah, I think Pandemic Legacy is that good, and is worth going a little crazy over. I can't wait to see what the future holds for legacy games.
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Sassycat wrote:
The idea that you have no idea what could happen next, combined with the fact that your decisions will have permanent, lasting effects? Those are honestly two revolutionary ideas
All campaign style games since the dawn of roleplaying has that, and dungeon crawl campaign games recently.

But, they said that Crossroads cards are innovative when they had been done in many forms before (Crisis cards of BSG, Dark Cards of Android)... so it seems designs need to be done and forgotten before they can be really innovative and revolutionary again.

devil
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a1bert wrote:
Sassycat wrote:
The idea that you have no idea what could happen next, combined with the fact that your decisions will have permanent, lasting effects? Those are honestly two revolutionary ideas
All campaign style games since the dawn of roleplaying has that, and dungeon crawl campaign games recently.

But, they said that Crossroads cards are innovative when they had been done in many forms before (Crisis cards of BSG, Dark Cards of Android)... so it seems designs need to be done and forgotten before they can be really innovative and revolutionary again.

devil
It's not fair to compare the game to a dedicated roleplaying game with a dungeon master. It's their job to keep things fresh. Even something like Imperial Assault is player vs dungeon master so one person is making the decision on how to change things.

Pandemic Legacy is much closer to a video game where there are predetermined scripts but your play will influence the board dynamically. In video games you call that emergent gameplay, where things can happen that weren't pre-planned. And before the legacy system I've never seen that before. Even classic solo games always have the same events.
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Daniel B-G
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a1bert wrote:
All campaign style games since the dawn of roleplaying has that, and dungeon crawl campaign games recently.
But that is contingent upon having a competent GM. Furthermore, RPGs have that awkward tension of "character actors vs. power players vs. simulationists" that can cause constant disagreement. This doesn't really exist in boardgames, the activity is much more singular in it's motivation either "win" or "beat the game".

Porting it to a board game and making it work is an achievement. Campaign descent was also notorious for breaking over the long term (not that I ever tried). Pandemic Legacy has been skillfully crafted, tested and developed such that the experience is great out of the gates, but with the sacrifice that it lacks everlasting replayability.
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skutsch wrote:
Is the game really that good?
I doubt it. I think this is a clear case of self-selection bias. People who buy it and rate it are probably those who already enjoyed the original and like the "legacy" concept. People like me, who dislike Pandemic and abhor the idea of defacing and destroying game components, are unlikely to play and rate the game.
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GSReis wrote:
skutsch wrote:
Is the game really that good?
I doubt it. I think this is a clear case of self-selection bias. People who buy it and rate it are probably those who already enjoyed the original and like the "legacy" concept. People like me, who dislike Pandemic and abhor the idea of defacing and destroying game components, are unlikely to play and rate the game.
This is kind of a self defeating point? You doubt the game is good yet you admit there's no way you'd play it, not because of the merits of the product but because of the format. I abhor collectible card games and the entire concept of blindly buying something hoping for X card in a pack but I totally recognize Magic the Gathering as a captivating game that has remained fresh in people's minds for 25 years or so.

But I'll say that I went in having disliked Pandemic, didn't play Risk Legacy, and thought a player vs. board game set over 12-24 permanently changing games would be tedious and impossible to manage. I was wrong.
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GSReis wrote:
skutsch wrote:
Is the game really that good?
I doubt it. I think this is a clear case of self-selection bias. People who buy it and rate it are probably those who already enjoyed the original and like the "legacy" concept. People like me, who dislike Pandemic and abhor the idea of defacing and destroying game components, are unlikely to play and rate the game.
As someone who has never played Pandemic, nor a legacy game, I can say that my wife and I are both enjoying it very much. We're on April, and the way the game is evolving is a really great experience.

So, to answer the OP: yes, I think it is quite good. Is it the 'best game ever'? Probably not.

The "clear case of self selection bias" could apply to pretty much any game on the Geek, so it seems sort of a moot point.

edit: ninja'd
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well there are a ton of people who aren't fans of pandemic most of which can figure that out before even playing it. Then there are plenty who play and give it a mediocre score because they realize its just due to the type of game so they feel bad rating it actually bad. All of that helped pandemic be rated well. Then you make one that attracts all of those fans with the same game but deeper. I don't think many new players jumped to pandemic legacy without the pandemic stepping stone. So nearly everyone who plays it are already the type of people who will love it.
Its a good game set up for even greater success.
edit:ninja
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So the increase in the number of instances of people giving this game a rating of '10' is like an epidemic, only global?

There must be a name for that.
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Of course not. It's a heavily marketed (previously tested with Risk) high-concept retool of an already extremely successful game that nearly defines modern co-ops. It promises a shared experience with friends similar to the original, but with infinite variation over many gamenights.

The game could be hot garbage written in a week and it still would have been heralded as the second coming. The fact is that 1) it wasn't, it was put together by some of the most consistent people in the industry, 2) in the worst possible outcome, it's just bad Pandemic variants, and everybody loves Pandemic.

[I find it hard to use Pandemic as a gateway for non-gamers any more when The Cure exists, though. The Cure is such a good gateway game that my favorite way to play it with newbies is basically DMing as Disease: drawing the new infections, reminding them of their powers every other minute, and knowing the rules. It's still fun.]
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GSReis wrote:
skutsch wrote:
Is the game really that good?
I doubt it. I think this is a clear case of self-selection bias. People who buy it and rate it are probably those who already enjoyed the original and like the "legacy" concept. People like me, who dislike Pandemic and abhor the idea of defacing and destroying game components, are unlikely to play and rate the game.
I bought Risk Legacy because I thought my boyfriend would like it and I must admit that the idea of permanently altering the game made all of us twitch to start with. But once you follow through with it, it's remarkably cathartic. I think it helps that the rulebook demands that you follow the legacy system - you can explain it to yourself that it made you do it. Although from the outside it seems quite destructive, it's actually quite creative.
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I know some gaming friends playing the campaign and they rave about it. It is clearly a hit with them like no other game I've seen.
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Good for the fans.

But I don't like it. Male alpha gamer stuff killed the basic game for me already. Do this do that, not for me.

Also the hype made by The Dice Tower guys is RIDICULOUS. Like many other players I think there are a zillion better games out there that I want to play first.

And Defenders of The Realm put a real fantasy theme on this basic system that actually was fun to play too in the category "thematic".

It is just a game really, like all euro games.

In the end everyone gets bored by mechanics. Good games in my book have theme as an attraction, not theme as an afterthought put on mechanics.

That's quite a difference between say Labyrinth the War on Terror or Twilight Struggle or just being the next Ticket to ride or Pandemic euro.

A game like ArkhamEldritch Horror is like reading a book with you in the leading role, that kind of experience will never be achieved by most euros.

And Pandemic is just another euro for Rahdo fans.
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jaybeethree wrote:
It's not fair to compare the game to a dedicated roleplaying game with a dungeon master.
Of course it is fair to compare the Pandemic Legacy campaign-style game to other games where decisions have lasting effects and consequencies to further plays (through acquired abilities, items, branching missions), especially games that are also played in a campaign format.

jaybeethree wrote:
It's their job to keep things fresh. Even something like Imperial Assault is player vs dungeon master so one person is making the decision on how to change things.
It sounds like you are defending the game about something I haven't even accused it of. What is this keep things fresh you talk about? Multiple playthroughs of the campaign?

I know Imperial Assault. There is no dungeon master in it to make it fun, the imperial player has to play their best to keep up the challenge (well, upto a point). The imperial player does not need to change things to keep things fresh, that happens through playing a different mission and having hidden information. The imperial player does have choices, but they are his ways to have a chance to win. Wins and losses of a story mission directly affect which story mission is coming up down the line. Wins and losses of side missions give rebels or the imperials new abilities, allies or villains to use in further campaigns. And earned experience and credits allows to buy abilities and upgrades.

After that you can talk about how to keep things fresh on a second, third, or fourth playthrough of the same campaign without adding expansions.

jaybeethree wrote:
Pandemic Legacy is much closer to a video game where there are predetermined scripts but your play will influence the board dynamically. In video games you call that emergent gameplay, where things can happen that weren't pre-planned. And before the legacy system I've never seen that before. Even classic solo games always have the same events.
There are games that have stories and there are games where stories come out of what happens in the game (events or not). I like the latter more. And it looks like you agree.
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a1bert wrote:
jaybeethree wrote:
It's not fair to compare the game to a dedicated roleplaying game with a dungeon master.
Of course it is fair to compare the Pandemic Legacy campaign-style game to other games where decisions have lasting effects and consequencies to further plays (through acquired abilities, items, branching missions), especially games that are also played in a campaign format.

jaybeethree wrote:
It's their job to keep things fresh. Even something like Imperial Assault is player vs dungeon master so one person is making the decision on how to change things.
It sounds like you are defending the game about something I haven't even accused it of. What is this keep things fresh you talk about? Multiple playthroughs of the campaign?

I know Imperial Assault. There is no dungeon master in it to make it fun, the imperial player has to play their best to keep up the challenge (well, upto a point). The imperial player does not need to change things to keep things fresh, that happens through playing a different mission and having hidden information. The imperial player does have choices, but they are his ways to have a chance to win. Wins and losses of a story mission directly affect which story mission is coming up down the line. Wins and losses of side missions give rebels or the imperials new abilities, allies or villains to use in further campaigns. And earned experience and credits allows to buy abilities and upgrades.

After that you can talk about how to keep things fresh on a second, third, or fourth playthrough of the same campaign without adding expansions.

jaybeethree wrote:
Pandemic Legacy is much closer to a video game where there are predetermined scripts but your play will influence the board dynamically. In video games you call that emergent gameplay, where things can happen that weren't pre-planned. And before the legacy system I've never seen that before. Even classic solo games always have the same events.
There are games that have stories and there are games where stories come out of what happens in the game (events or not). I like the latter more. And it looks like you agree.
ONE session of ArkhamEldritch Horror has more story that 2345 sessions of Pandemic combined. btw.

I guess most people never even played thematic games in the first place.

No wonder.
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Ben_Bos wrote:
ONE session of ArkhamEldritch Horror has more story that 2345 sessions of Pandemic combined. btw.

I guess most people never even played thematic games in the first place.

No wonder.
I have plans to get a copy of Legacy do a campaign with friends to try it for myself but I have to wonder: if this wasn't sold as a, "legacy" game with multiple installs, would it be nearly as popular? Just regular games have things with lasting consequences if you want to call it that. It's just that it happens over 1 encapsulation, 1 game so it isn't thought of as such. And if it's only really good for 1 playthrough, can it really be considered that great overall?
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