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Subject: Is an LCG the correct format for this? rss

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Simon C
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I've been eagerly reading the previews and spoilers for this game and am definitely looking forward to trying it a bit, even if I'm not sure yet I'll go the whole hog on it.

But, a question occurred to me. Why is this coming out in the LCG format? Does that format make sense given the apparent structure of the game?

Specifically, it seems new stories and adventures, post-core-set, will come out in the format of a big box with two chapters, followed by six small expansions containing Chapters 3-8 of the same adventure. Each one has its own bits and pieces with it in terms of new heroes and deck-building, plus the parts necessary for the included chapter(s).

So why not just release it as a single big box containing the entire adventure? You can't buy a chapter pack without having got the big box preceding it and (possibly) the earlier chapter packs of the same cycle. When you've got those, unless you weren't a fan of the game, you'll need to get the rest. Unlike a competitive LCG, there's no real benefit to the constant drip-feed of new cards and changing meta.

I'd also generally prefer to play an adventure at my own pace, rather than as dictated by the release schedule and individual expansion availability, and others have already raised questions about the issue of wanting to include new hero cards in your deck to try them out from expansions that arrive mid-adventure. That said, these particular issues can be resolved by simply waiting for a cycle to complete and only then using all the content.

Which brings me on to the only reason I can think of for the LCG format, which is that a big box plus all six chapter packs following is a lot of content and selling them combined would have quite a high price tag attached. In UK prices, a box plus cycle will come to ~£80. Even allowing for the fact a combined produce would be cheaper due to lower shipping and storage rates, I imagine both FFG and FLGSs balking at trying to sell a >£50 product which is "just" a lot of cards as an expansion. That's the price of an Imperial Assault expansion (or more) and this wouldn't contain miniatures or boards.

But is there another reason I'm missing? Maybe someone who's played LotR (I've only played FFG's competitive LCGs, personally) can explain?
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Jon Browne
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LeonardQuirm wrote:
Which brings me on to the only reason I can think of for the LCG format, which is that a big box plus all six chapter packs following is a lot of content and selling them combined would have quite a high price tag attached. In UK prices, a box plus cycle will come to ~£80. Even allowing for the fact a combined produce would be cheaper due to lower shipping and storage rates, I imagine both FFG and FLGSs balking at trying to sell a >£50 product which is "just" a lot of cards as an expansion. That's the price of an Imperial Assault expansion (or more) and this wouldn't contain miniatures or boards.

But is there another reason I'm missing? Maybe someone who's played LotR (I've only played FFG's competitive LCGs, personally) can explain?


I think you basically answered your own question here - it makes more sense from a marketing point of view and it makes FFG more money.
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Nushura
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Using the same principle TV series should not be released on a weekly basis. You cannot watch an episode if you have missed any of them....so release all of them at once!

Money is of course one of the reasons, but since it is unreasonable to expected you to finish all content at one night. Monthly installments keep you more hooked than a lot of content once per year
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Peter vP
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It being a cooperative game means you can set your own pace, not sure why you would feel forced to follow a meta.
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Lee Elliott
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The cycle keeps LCGs in the lifestyle game category. Spending hours on forums and podcasts and following the meta is much of the appeal for me. I have trouble playing the competitive ones enough around here so I really looking forward to this as a small self contained hobby.
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The Pathfinder card game uses this same format, and I think FFG sorta used this format for their LotR game. Also, of course, by releasing a big box then smaller expansions, a company can release a product (the big box) while still developing the latter expansions (hopefully only the presentation!). And, of course, some players may only want the big box for whatever reason.
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M.C.Crispy
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Oh come on people! There's cynical and then there's just plain cussed!

Sure, it's a good financial model for the publisher, I get that. But don't companies only exist to make money? (that's a rhetorical question, in case you didn't spot it)

The LCG format works great for a product like this: you buy the core, and if you don't like it you've not invested too heavily and can probably sell on to somebody wanting a second core or just wanting to try it. If you do like it you can buy the first deluxe and if you enjoy that you can buy the adventure decks (or whatever they're called) that add to it. If you don't like the them of the deluxe, you can bail without too much lost - you can try the next deluxe if it seems more to your taste.

With regular expansions coming out (and likely being in permanent reprint) you can regularly increment your purchase/story progress, drop out and then catch up, or wait and then binge buy. Great flexibility.

I got burned badly with LotR, didn't get on with it at all, but I liked WQ:ACG and Arkham Horror is my favourite game of all time, so I fully expect to like this one. I'm really looking forward to regular updates to my content and the opportunity to play further into the quest while going back and playing again with different Investigators. Yes, it could be done with annual super-deluxe expansions but having to wait a year between them is not appealing to me.
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Phil Tegg
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So roughly:

Base set = 240 cards for £30
Expansion = 60 cards for £15

Selling a game in the LCG is at least twice as profitable.

And constant new releases keep the game in the spotlight, as opposed to one event a year.
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Adam Hostetler
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Nushura wrote:
Using the same principle TV series should not be released on a weekly basis. You cannot watch an episode if you have missed any of them....so release all of them at once!



Netflix does it!
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Scourn1
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LeonardQuirm wrote:
I've been eagerly reading the previews and spoilers for this game and am definitely looking forward to trying it a bit, even if I'm not sure yet I'll go the whole hog on it.

But, a question occurred to me. Why is this coming out in the LCG format? Does that format make sense given the apparent structure of the game?

Specifically, it seems new stories and adventures, post-core-set, will come out in the format of a big box with two chapters, followed by six small expansions containing Chapters 3-8 of the same adventure. Each one has its own bits and pieces with it in terms of new heroes and deck-building, plus the parts necessary for the included chapter(s).

So why not just release it as a single big box containing the entire adventure? You can't buy a chapter pack without having got the big box preceding it and (possibly) the earlier chapter packs of the same cycle. When you've got those, unless you weren't a fan of the game, you'll need to get the rest. Unlike a competitive LCG, there's no real benefit to the constant drip-feed of new cards and changing meta.

I'd also generally prefer to play an adventure at my own pace, rather than as dictated by the release schedule and individual expansion availability, and others have already raised questions about the issue of wanting to include new hero cards in your deck to try them out from expansions that arrive mid-adventure. That said, these particular issues can be resolved by simply waiting for a cycle to complete and only then using all the content.

Which brings me on to the only reason I can think of for the LCG format, which is that a big box plus all six chapter packs following is a lot of content and selling them combined would have quite a high price tag attached. In UK prices, a box plus cycle will come to ~£80. Even allowing for the fact a combined produce would be cheaper due to lower shipping and storage rates, I imagine both FFG and FLGSs balking at trying to sell a >£50 product which is "just" a lot of cards as an expansion. That's the price of an Imperial Assault expansion (or more) and this wouldn't contain miniatures or boards.

But is there another reason I'm missing? Maybe someone who's played LotR (I've only played FFG's competitive LCGs, personally) can explain?


So your saying you feel its better to release it all in one go? Thus costing 150$. That's 2 cores and 6 packs. For large involved board games with many pieces that might work, but its a card game. The amount of people that would pay that upfront is crazy small. 60$ for 2 base then 15$ a month like a subscription for cards/adventures is better by miles for many people to afford. It also paces the game. If you sold it all at once, you could blow through it, then be bored and toss it to the side. Knowing each month you get new adventures keeps people engaged.

There is a large benefit to the "constant drip feed" of new stuff each month. Its new. And people will want it. No science here. As I said, it keeps people coming back knowing new cards they can use and new adventures.

To your third point, you already answered it. Don't like a monthly release? Don't buy the packs monthly. Buy them whenever you want to. They are not forcing you to buy the packs by any means.

I play LOTR, and have every single expansion/box. I couldn't tell you how much $ its worth. Maybe 500-600 at this point? No clue and really rather not add it up.

Its the thrill of new adventures, new cards you can add, and new themes added. If I want to play a specific elven warrior deck, I can. If I want to do dwarves that draw cards, I can, etc. Its something to look forward to each month.

LCGs are good for constant stream of cash, and good on the players as you get everything you need each pack and its cheap. What other format would you want CCG? That does, and only ever will work for MtG as its following is massive.

My biggest concern with the game is uniqueness. If I play with a friend, and we both have the same hero is that ok or is there a universal uniqueness. That's one issue with LOTR a lot of people hate.
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Drew
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$500 to $600 - a complete LOTR LCG collection is over $1000. There is part of the answer people lose perspective how much they actually spent. A complete Arkham Horror board game collection is not as expensive.
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Tyler Howsare
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Agent of Cthulhu wrote:
So roughly:

Base set = 240 cards for £30
Expansion = 60 cards for £15

Selling a game in the LCG is at least twice as profitable.

And constant new releases keep the game in the spotlight, as opposed to one event a year.


Pretty sure the base set retails for $40 and small expansions for $15. Assuming everything else is equal, that would make expansions 1.5x as profitable, not 2x.

But I don't know if we can assume everything else is equal. Core sets are presumably more expensive to produce because of the extra stuff that goes in them, but it's also my understanding that they sell a lot more because some people will buy only core sets, and some people will buy multiple core sets.

Does the larger print run make up for the increased cost of producing the extra stuff for core sets? I don't know.
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Drew Dallas
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You don't have to play in campaign mode, you can play each scenario as a stand alone adventure with decks built for that adventure.
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mathew rynich
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Everything FFG does is in the service of making money. I believe they also want to make worthy products, but at the end of the day they need to pay their bills right. I don't think I'm out of line when I say that FFG historically has a good track record in making fun hobby games. I don't regret any of my purchases, but I also know my limit on how many of these I can feasibly support and still be economically responsible.

The release cycle is the living part of the living card game. The idea is the game is constantly fresh and new, It's always keeping up interest levels and discussions in the community rather than dump it all at once and then have huge lulls where the game lies dormant until the next big box.

You could always ignore the game for a while and pick up complete cycles after they complete. I don't see anything wrong with that and you'd be getting the exact experience you are asking for in the OP.

Also maybe this game just isn't for you. It's okay if you don't dig this style of game. They have an Arkham Files game for just about any type of player right now. AH:LCG for living card game enthusiasts, AH board game for die hard boardgame players, EH for people looking for a board game with less of a time investment, Eldar Sign for people who want to play a lighter game in this theme, Mansions of Madness for people who want to plays a minis game...

So yeah no I don't believe this is the wrong format for this game. I believe with this game they've now covered all the formats they produce at FFG. There was an empty spot when the CoC LCG was retired and now it's filled.
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Brady Sadler
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LeonardQuirm wrote:
Does that format make sense given the apparent structure of the game?


Yes.

From both a development standpoint and marketing standpoint, the LCG format is the optimal model for this type of game.
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Danwarr
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The LCG format actually works best for FFG's non-competitive games like LotR and now AH:LCG. Releases are on a steady schedule so people can purchase and complete quests/adventures at their own pace. Contrast this to Netrunner and GoT, where if you don't have the most recent pack, there is a good chance your "old" deck doesn't have the means to challenge something a "new" deck will have.

Honestly, it's best to think of FFG's co-op LCGs less like actual card games like Netrunner, Game of Thrones, etc and more like board games that are constantly releasing expansions, not dissimilar to what FFG does with Eldritch Horror, Arkham Horror, and Mansions of Madness.

Also, money.
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It should be noted that a deluxe pack has roughly the content of 3 stand alone packs, with 2/3 of the price.
So a mega-deluxe pack with the content of 6 stand-alone pack would provide even more VFM, and cost no more than 60USD and maybe less.
If somebody thinks that a "mega-pack" will cost the same as 6 smaller packs, this is plainly wrong.

I think the best model for the game would have been exclusive "Saga" type expansion, like those for LotR. Release a new "Deluxe" packs every 2-3 months and maybe 2-3 packs can be connected to create a "book".
 
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mathew rynich
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I mean if that's the type of product you are searching for then Eldritch Horror is probably what you are looking for and not this game. There is going to be overhead with releasing these packs separately. I think that's understood. Though releasing them separately means we get content every month rather than maybe twice a year like the LOTR Saga boxes or Eldritch Horror. That's the audience this game is trying to reach. People who want a subscription type hobby game where it's updated constantly.

Add: I think a lot of the angst I'm seeing is coming from people trying to force themselves into a product that isn't for them because they like the theme. Though as I pointed out above they have a large variety of products in this theme so there is no reason to force yourself into an LCG when you can just go play one of those.
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Jerome Nowak

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phillosmaster wrote:
I mean if that's the type of product you are searching for then Eldritch Horror is probably what you are looking for and not this game. There is going to be overhead with releasing these packs separately. I think that's understood. Though releasing them separately means we get content every month rather than maybe twice a year like the LOTR Saga boxes or Eldritch Horror. That's the audience this game is trying to reach. People who want a subscription type hobby game where it's updated constantly.

Add: I think a lot of the angst I'm seeing is coming from people trying to force themselves into a product that isn't for them because they like the theme. Though as I pointed out above they have a large variety of products in this theme so there is no reason to force yourself into an LCG when you can just go play one of those.


This is 100% why Im NOT buying into Arkham The Card Game.... I have Mansions 2, Elder Sign...and if I want more, Im getting into Eldritch. This will wind up too expensive for me, for what it is.
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And that's totally fair Jnowak415. Good on you for not forcing yourself into a purchase you might regret. Everyone wants something different out of these games. I'm buying into the game because I enjoy LCGs and the community that grows around them. I like picking up a pack a month because it keeps me excited about the game. That said this all comes at a price. LCGs are not cheap.

Add: Also collecting multiple LCGs at once seem to have diminishing returns (considering you are splitting your time among those games). Though I was a Conquest player. So with it's death this freed up that part of my gaming budget. So it was sad for me that my old game was dying, but at the same time it was a relief that I didn't have to choose between the two games when this one finally get's released.
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Jerome Nowak

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phillosmaster wrote:
And that's totally fair Jnowak415. Good on you for not forcing yourself into a purchase you might regret. Everyone wants something different out of these games. I'm buying into the game because I enjoy LCGs and the community that grows around them. I like picking up a pack a month because it keeps me excited about the game. That said this all comes at a price. LCGs are not cheap.


Hey...there is a reason Im following this thread It certainly interests me and am curious about it.
 
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Mark Griffiths
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phillosmaster wrote:
I believe with this game they've now covered all the formats they produce at FFG. There was an empty spot when the CoC LCG was retired and now it's filled.


Still waiting for that Terrinoth LCG...
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That's a good point. I'm surprised they haven't used their in house properties for one of these LCGs. It would help flesh out the lore for those game settings. Now that Terrinoth is getting a full mini wargame I wonder if that's the direction they want to go in for that property's hobby experience though. Still no hobby version of the Twilight Imperium world though.
 
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Simon C
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Thanks for everyone's replies. That said, I feel several people have answered a different question to the one I intended, possibly due to poor phrasing on my part.

I don't have an issue with this being an LCG, and don't hate the idea. However, when I came to think about how I'd like to tackle it or try it out, I realized the advantages I see in an LCG - which I'm an avid fan of in the form of Netrunner - don't seem to apply to a co-operative game with an extended story across packs like this. I didn't see what I, as a player, would get from this format over a format of "release the base game, then release large expansions every six months consisting of an entire adventure each".

For context, I also own and love all of Eldritch Horror (and am very pleased to see the new expansion announced today!) So I'm not desperate for a game of this theme, since I have one, and I'm used to a format of regular bi-annual larger expansions. I guess I just am trying to get insights into what the LCG release pattern brings to this that an Eldritch Horror style release pattern wouldn't.

Obviously money and pricing are key reasonings behind this format, but those are things that benefit FFG, not us as players. I understand that FFG wants to make money, yes, but unless there's a benefit for players then a higher price point for the same content is just a downside for us. That said, I can imagine there's actually more content in a box+cycle here than in (say) an Eldritch Horror big box expansion, requiring more development and testing, and the higher cost is needed to cover that - which is entirely fair.

Community involvement and discussion has been suggested as a positive from the format - is there a strong element of that in the LotR LCG?

Flexibility is a fair point as well, so it's good to know some people feel it benefits from that (although I'd say those players could equally well buy my proposed bi-annual expansion and dole up the contents, only allowing themselves to get a chapter-pack worth's each month just as well as I could buy en mass ).

Several people have mentioned the element of ongoing hype and constant drip of new releases keeping their interest - I see the point, and in a competitive game with a meta like Netrunner that's very important, but for this I come back to Eldritch Horror; is there really much fade-out of interest between the six-monthly releases?
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