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Subject: In Defense of Destroying Components rss

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Maxx Cho
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When Stravinsky debuted the Rite of Spring, there was a riot in the streets. People said, "How can this be music?"

When Webern debuted his atonal string quartets, there was laughter in the audience. People said, "This has to be a joke right?"

When John Cage composed 4'33", he pushed the boundary of what music is. Music was no longer a series of pleasant notes played on an instrument. John Cage showed us that music is a social construct.

Every time an artistic medium is pushed beyond what has come before, people will fail to understand it. Why is it that board games must be doomed to always exist as we understand it today? Let the designers roam free and give us new and interesting experiences. Make me a lab rat in their social experiment. Let's not be closed-minded and always be seeking that medium-heavy euro lasting 2 hours with strategy/tactics and (virtual)-infinite replayability.

People have been collecting board games for decades. They sleeve their cards, bag their components, and put it on their Kallax shelf, to be gloriously displayed as part of their collection. They pull it down occasionally to play it. Any game design that is innovative enough to disrupt this cycle, I will heartily applaud. (My idea: A Board game version of Cage's 4'33". An empty box. You open it, and your gaming group can stare at the empty box and meditate on the nature of gaming.)

I do find it strange that the most vocal arguments against legacy is coming from those who haven't even tried playing this game yet. This is ironic, since the reason for destroying components is experiential (it psychologically raises the stakes for your game play decisions). It would be like trying to critique a recipe by reading the ingredients (let alone smelling it or even tasting it.)

I've said this before, but playing Legacy without destruction would be like watching a movie with the sound off (but reading the subtitles). You would still understand the plot and even be able to have intelligent conversations about the movie, but you haven't experienced the movie. The gameplay is like the plot, but the destruction of components is like the background music that heightens the tension. I still remember viscerally what it felt like to rip a card for the first time in Pandemic Legacy. I still remember the sound it made, and the feeling in my hands. There is more to a movie than the plot and the dialogue. There is more to a game than the just the mechanism and the theme.

If you think Legacy is a money-grab, so be it. It is irrelevant when discussing the artistic merits of design. (By the way, there is no evidence that Legacy is a money-grab).

"All Art of the past must be destroyed" - Pierre Boulez
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Dean L
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atonaltensor wrote:

I do find it strange that the most vocal arguments against legacy is coming from those who haven't even tried playing this game yet. This is ironic, since the reason for destroying components is experiential (it psychologically raises the stakes for your game play decisions). It would be like trying to critique a recipe by reading the ingredients (let alone smelling it or even tasting it.)
This came up in another thread and I stil think it's the perfect analogy. Because people do do that. People will look at a restaurant menu, ask about exactly what's in certain dishes, then pick the thing they think they'll like best.

Others like nothing better when dining than a tasting menu, or will ask the waiter what the chef recommends.

It's just the way people are. Some actively seek out new experiences, others avoid them.
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James
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Deano2099 wrote:
People will look at a restaurant menu, ask about exactly what's in certain dishes, then pick the thing they think they'll like best.
And sometimes those people will read the menu on the internet, act extremely disgusted at one of the flavor combinations, and not only refuse to eat there, but actively leave nasty Yelp reviews telling people not to eat at that restaurant because the ingredients are gross.

And those people are ridiculous. Just as people who rate this game a 1 due to a philosophical opposition to the concept of a legacy game are ridiculous.
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Ben Bosmans
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"In Defense of destroying your game you just bought for 64 Euro..."

WoW.

That I would live to see this in my life time even ...


Enjoy the money grab. The moment FFG will come up with a HP Lovecraft game where I need to tear up the Cards of Monsters or Elder, I will gladly give a 1 rating to one of my favorite games.

Pandemic is not even a thematic adventure, so if Euro gamers need this kind of self destruction to their game collections to motivate them to play ...I am happy.

It shows how rich real thematic games are in the first place. Legacy is for games who are incapable of giving long term play without destroying your game.

------

It is a sign of failure when you can only enjoy a game by self destructing it.
It is the ultimate waste of resources
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Robert Mair
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Ben_Bos wrote:
It is a sign of failure when you can only enjoy a game by self destructing it.
It is the ultimate waste of resources
Would you care to share your experience playing the game or are you just making the OP's point for him?
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Clyde W
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Emperor's New Clothes was an empty box. #"art"
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Xenothon Stelnicki
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What an unfortunate soul. Never having heard music because his stark terror at losing the experience by participating in it kept him at home, fingers buried in his ears.


Ben_Bos wrote:
"In Defense of destroying your game you just bought for 64 Euro..."

WoW.

That I would live to see this in my life time even ...


Enjoy the money grab. The moment FFG will come up with a HP Lovecraft game where I need to tear up the Cards of Monsters or Elder, I will gladly give a 1 rating to one of my favorite games.

Pandemic is not even a thematic adventure, so if Euro gamers need this kind of self destruction to their game collections to motivate them to play ...I am happy.

It shows how rich real thematic games are in the first place. Legacy is for games who are incapable of giving long term play without destroying your game.

------

It is a sign of failure when you can only enjoy a game by self destructing it.
It is the ultimate waste of resources
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Clive Jones

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Ben_Bos wrote:
That I would live to see this in my life time even ...
I'll let you into a little secret: I really don't like Magic the Gathering, Agricola, Terra Mystica, Tash Kalar, 7 Wonders or Through the Ages.

I do find Pandemic Legacy exciting and intriguing.

I'd appreciate some advice from you: should I continue contributing to the Pandemic Legacy forum, or should I instead go and tell the forums for those other games that they suck?
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Clyde W
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Sure, why not?
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Eric Devir
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This argument of being offended by the mechanic is really tired.

The Legacy system is something new in the boardgaming world, and frankly it is late to the party. MMOs having been doing this for a long time and pen and paper RPGs for even longer (my DM forcing me to rip up my player sheet upon his demise is one of my most vivid, formative and lasting gaming memories).

The changing and evolving game state and the emotional heft of physically making those changes is precisely the point of the system.

The primary thrill of the Legacy system is the journey through the campaign. While you still have a playable game at the end of it, the play-ability of the game past the 18 or so plays you get is not really the point.

All of the people bashing this game as a "money grab" (though I'm not sure that means what people think that means) should take a look at their collection and see how many of their individuals games get 18 plays...

If I have four people play through the campaign, that is approximately 4 hours of enjoyment time per session times 18 sessions= 72 game hours. Game is $50 on Amazon, so this comes to about .69 cents per player, per game. Hardly exorbitant. How much do you spend going to the movies? or a 6 hour long video game? How much per play have you spent on those $60 games that get played twice?

I suspect the push back is coming from the collector set--where defacing components challenges their very foundation of their reason for being in the hobby. I have some of those tendencies, but I love that this game is challenging me to treat this object for what it is--a toy with the capacity for some serious surprises, thrills, storytelling and bonding with my friends and families.

So with that in mind, I rip away and give a barbaric YAWP, every time!
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Brian Jurney
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Who says you have to destroy the card? Why not just put it under the insert and dont use it again? Its not like Matt is going to kick down your door because you didnt tear up the medic card.

Or will he......?
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mateo jurasic
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you might as well destroy them, since the game is not really playable in any fun way once you have finished the game.
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James
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mateooo wrote:
you might as well destroy them, since the game is not really playable in any fun way once you have finished the game.
This is patently untrue. It's every bit as playable as regular Pandemic.

The worst thing about the discussion around Pandemic Legacy is all of the moaning coming from people who clearly haven't played even a single game of it.
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Clyde W
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jurney85 wrote:
Who says you have to destroy the card? Why not just put it under the insert and dont use it again? Its not like Matt is going to kick down your door because you didnt tear up the medic card.
Matt uses the Dispatcher to have Rob come kick down your door, actually.
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Clyde W
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eviljelloman wrote:
mateooo wrote:
you might as well destroy them, since the game is not really playable in any fun way once you have finished the game.
This is patently untrue. It's every bit as playable as regular Pandemic.
Well, sure, but Pandemic isn't all that great to begin with...
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Ben Bosmans
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Zaprobot wrote:
This argument of being offended by the mechanic is really tired.

The Legacy system is something new in the boardgaming world, and frankly it is late to the party. MMOs having been doing this for a long time and pen and paper RPGs for even longer (my DM forcing me to rip up my player sheet upon his demise is one of my most vivid, formative and lasting gaming memories).

The changing and evolving game state and the emotional heft of physically making those changes is precisely the point of the system.

The primary thrill of the Legacy system is the journey through the campaign. While you still have a playable game at the end of it, the play-ability of the game past the 18 or so plays you get is not really the point.

All of the people bashing this game as a "money grab" (though I'm not sure that means what people think that means) should take a look at their collection and see how many of their individuals games get 18 plays...

If I have four people play through the campaign, that is approximately 4 hours of enjoyment time per session times 18 sessions= 72 game hours. Game is $50 on Amazon, so this comes to about .69 cents per player, per game. Hardly exorbitant. How much do you spend going to the movies? or a 6 hour long video game? How much per play have you spent on those $60 games that get played twice?

I suspect the push back is coming from the collector set--where defacing components challenges their very foundation of their reason for being in the hobby. I have some of those tendencies, but I love that this game is challenging me to treat this object for what it is--a toy with the capacity for some serious surprises, thrills, storytelling and bonding with my friends and families.

So with that in mind, I rip away and give a barbaric YAWP, every time!

Once again, a GOOD game doesn't need this money grab of destroying game components.

I played Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansion 23 times over the last 32 days in 1 to 3 hour sessions ... and with Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear – Firefight Generator...

I can create complete new solitair scenarios endlessly.

Now that's something great and that's because the new solo AI system is awesome. Thanks to Eickert/Butterfield you know the last one is the Jedi Knight of solo gaming...

I don't need to put stickers on my maps or destroy the troops I play with to organise campaigns or solo scenarios endlessly and have fun.

Defending a Legacy system is the ultimate of boredom. You better throw 65 Euro in the toilet because after 10 plays your hard earned money is spend and you need a new 65 Euro pack.

CRAZYNESS in board game land.


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James
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Ben_Bos wrote:

Defending a Legacy system is the ultimate of boredom.
Spouting off on the internet telling people what they should and shouldn't enjoy is the ultimate of boredom.

Maybe you should try "BGG: The Legacy Game", rather than re-playing the same tired solo game of listening to yourself talk over and over again. We get it, you don't like the things we like.

The craziness in boardgame land is that you think the thousands of people who massively enjoy this experience have opinions that are somehow less valid than your own.
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Xenothon Stelnicki
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Ben_Bos wrote:
Once again, a GOOD game doesn't need this money grab of destroying game components.

I played Conflict of Heroes: Eastern Front – Solo Expansion 23 times over the last 32 days in 1 to 3 hour sessions ... and with Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear – Firefight Generator...

I can create complete new solitair scenarios endlessly.

Now that's something great and that's because the new solo AI system is awesome. Thanks to Eickert/Butterfield you know the last one is the Jedi Knight of solo gaming...

I don't need to put stickers on my maps or destroy the troops I play with to organise campaigns or solo scenarios endlessly and have fun.

Defending a Legacy system is the ultimate of boredom. You better throw 65 Euro in the toilet because after 10 plays your hard earned money is spend and you need a new 65 Euro pack.

CRAZYNESS in board game land.
And thus the Angel Ben-Ha-Meen wasted away, staring and lovingly sniffing at his meals each night, never tasting lest their impeccable beauty and scent be marred by his ravenous nature.

Dude. For everyone out there who's still on this bs. You're not destroying components in a Legacy game; you're creating them. The whole concept is players are participating in the design process by making their own distinctions to the factions, board, various decks, etc. You're not losing anything, you're creating something uniquely yours. If you're making pottery and you want to never fire your pot, keep it just moist enough everyday to never be usable, and keep all the bits removed in the creation of that pot stored lovingly in a glass curio cabinet, so be it. If you've allergic to clay, cool. Just don't go acting like the people who've actually fired their clay and are enjoying their cups and bowls are the ones missing a runner on their rocking chairs.
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Gr Wr
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I've been following the discussion on Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 with interest, and the connection made here regarding art is a good one. It helped me understand exactly where I take issue with the Legacy concept. I understand many people are die-hard proponents of this system, and the following is, of course, only my opinion.

Be it music, painting, stand-up comedy, cooking, acting, or boardgame design, I would consider all of these things artistic expression. Individual acts are members of a certain tradition. Good art, generally, is faithful to its tradition, while bringing something to the table that is its own. Most art is attempting to do that. Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 is attempting to do that.

When art fails to be sufficiently original, or is simply weak in some standard field of its medium, gimmicks are often used to mask weaknesses or garner attention despite the mediocrity of the work. Bad novels are full of plot contrivances used to keep a reader interested despite poorly developed characters or a lack of talent with sentence structure and word choice. People constantly complain about the lazy choices made by producers of television series or movies, be it endless repetetive sequels, or substituting special effects and action for decent characters and an interesting story. Popular music is similarly maligned by many.

In that context, I feel that the Legacy system is a gimmick to artifically create visceral, emotional responses in the players without having to do the heavy-lifting of writing a strong-enough storyline for the campaign. If all choices have real permanent results and lost components are destroyed, you are certainly more invested in the game. But you can create that investment with good enough writing in the campaign. I think most RPG players would agree with me. Write a campaign that people will remember, that touches them emotionally, and you don't have to force them to tear up a card in order to get a reaction. I fully believe that someone could write such a campaign for a game like Pandemic, but it would be hard work.

People have likened paying the cost of the game to other finite forms of entertainment, like a meal or a concert. But for those, part of the experience is that those artists are actively plying their trade for you in those other instances. This game is not being designed in front of me each time I play (some arguments are that it is, but then, I, the player, am the artist. Why am I paying to create?)

The point is that boardgames are an established artistic tradition. Paying this much for components that you are going to willfully destroy has not ever been a part of the idea of a boardgame. Campaign games have existed before and did not have to resort to this. This game could have been made resettable, and the fact that it isn't is difficult to read as anything but a way to make money. Videogames do not erase themselves when you finish them, novels do not burn at the end, and movies do not cease to be after a screening. Nor do they force you to buy a new copy or else use your existing copy in the specific, limited subset that you have played your copy into. I enjoy reusing my favorite videogames, movies and novels all the way over again. Same with games.

Again, this is all only my opinion, but this is what has bothered me all along about Legacy games: it strikes me as at best, a fad, and at worst, a trend of disposibility as a way toward lazier game development and a way to gain more profit from consumers by selling them additional copies, without any added benefit to them (having to buy another copy vs. being able to replay the campaign with the same game). Thanks for reading.

*Edited for clarity of my final statement.


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James
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GrWr wrote:
a way to gain more profit from consumers without any benefit to them.
Pandemic Legacy is one of the most engrossing, enjoyable gaming experiences I've ever had, in any medium. No benefit to me? Please.
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Gr Wr
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I meant specifically having to re-buy the game in order to replay vs. an intrinsically resettable game. That difference offers no value for the additional cost in my opinion. I'm sorry if I was unclear.
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James
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GrWr wrote:
I meant specifically having to re-buy the game in order to replay vs. an intrinsically resettable game. That difference offers no value for the additional cost in my opinion. I'm sorry if I was unclear.
Except that it fundamentally changes the experience in a way that, quite obviously, people enjoy and find valuable.
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Kerrin 2
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Off topic: I keep expecting your avatar to subtly jiggle once in a while.
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eviljelloman wrote:
GrWr wrote:
I meant specifically having to re-buy the game in order to replay vs. an intrinsically resettable game. That difference offers no value for the additional cost in my opinion. I'm sorry if I was unclear.
Except that it fundamentally changes the experience in a way that, quite obviously, people enjoy and find valuable.
Agree 100%. Without the Legacy aspect of Pandemic Legacy, we're just left with Pandemic.
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Peter Thur
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atonaltensor wrote:


"All Art of the past must be destroyed" - Pierre Boulez
"Must be destroyed" is pushing it a bit. But I accept that not all things last forever. Sooner or later a coffee mug will break, a good book drops in the bathtub, the favourite shirt wears out and fades to grey. Things break or get used up - so why argue about a playing card that's supposed to be torn?

If you want to keep things in pristine condition, keep them shrinkwrapped on the shelf. But where's the fun in that? I want to use and experience things I like and am totally aware that there's a risk of damaging or wearing them down. So what? If it's really that valuable to me, there are ways to replace it.

A few years ago my mother reminded me there were still some bottles of wine in the cellar of my parents home from the year I graduated from school. We had designed "Abi 1993" labels for these bottles and every graduate got some of this wine. So I dug up wine that was stored for 20 years.

My options were a) keep it or b) open and drink it. I decided to drink the wine, because it seemed quite useless to keep a bottle of liquid for another 10, 20, 50 years. It would have made no difference if they were filled with water. Only by opening them I was able to experience the contents.

And it was a mixed experience. Not many of them were still drinkable after such a long time. Some went down the drain after just sipping at a glass of them. Some tasted old but were acceptable (far from good, but ok). One was really fascinating - coloured like amber, smelled like honey and was completely tasteless.

Now the wine is gone, it's irreplacable but tasting it was more worthwhile than storing it for another decade - after all it was intended for drinking.

Like Pandemic Legacy is intended for playing.
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