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Pandemic Legacy: Season 1» Forums » General

Subject: The Emperor's New Clothes rss

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Brian Smith
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This is my first ever post on BGG, and I figured I'd begin with the greatest game of all time. I had never played Pandemic, but had always considered buying it. When Legacy came out, it was the push I needed to finally pull the trigger. During the cold month of February, my wife and I made it through all twelve months successfully. Almost too easily in fact, but that is another disussion in itself. We have kept our stickered-up board and use it to play base Pandemic now. We keep it in our regular rotation, and it is one of my wife's favorite games. I currently have base Pandemic rated as an 8. But according to the BGG rating system, I have a problem rating Pandemic Legacy - Season 1.

The BGG rating of a "10" is defined as - Outstanding, will always enjoy playing. I have 20 to 25 games in my humble but growing collection, that I keep in a regular rotation and feel that I may always enjoy playing. Pandemic Legacy is not one. My question is, how many people that rate this game a 10, will "always enjoy playing" it?

The game flew up the charts because of it's unique and fresh Legacy mechanic, but how many people that finished the campaign, return to play it again, and will continue to? You need to buy another copy, or find someone who has one. You already know the surprises. You know the plot points. You know how the movie ends.

I understand and mostly agree with those that were exhilarted by the "experience", but the experience can't be equaled a second time. There are many great games that you can play over and over and come away thinking - wow that was the most exciting game of game X, that I have ever played. You can learn new strategies and tactics, that you hadn't considered before. People dedicate their lives to games like Go and Chess. If the definition of a BGG 10 is "I will always enjoy playing", then ranking this game as #1 is an insult to great games with replayability. If the definition was "best single gaming experience I have had", well then, I guess I could understand.

These ratings are of course posted right after finishing the campaign, and that is the real root of the problem with a Legacy game. People don't replay the game, and thus do not adjust their rating down. There is no chance to have the "hotness" wear off.

Like most gamers, I will likely never play this game again - which describes a rating of 3 on this site. When you compound this with the "price per plays" problem, I have come to the conclusion that Pandemic Legacy, Season 1 is an imposter. The emperor has no clothes.

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Ben Kyo
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I appreciate the well-written post, and welcome to the Geek.

That said, all this and more has been hashed out endlessly on the forums, about Pandemic Legacy in particular and about the rating system in general. You haven't added anything new to the discussion.

My solution was to rate the game according to the experience, and to incorporate the lack of replayability as part of the rating rather than the entirety of it (IIRC I gave it 6). I don't think anyone else needs to apply the same criteria as I did, and the ratings and rankings will continue to be applied and interpreted differently by as many people as use the site.
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Brian Smith
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Thanks for the feedback.

I haven't read much of the discussion, but obviously, I'm in some kind of minority when it comes to rating this game. BGG told me what the definition of a 10 is. They should remove the definition, if the rating is open to interpretation. Replayability is one of many things that make a board game great, and for me is probably the most weighted factor. I have to play a game at least 10 times before I can give it a solid rating, and my opinion can often change with repeated plays after that. I'd like to see a poll taken - If you were on a deserted island and could take one board game from the BGG top 100 with you, which one would it be? Where do you think Season 1 would rank? I'm thinking pretty low, and just ahead of Time Stories.
 
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smithbc19 wrote:
I'd like to see a poll taken - If you were on a deserted island and could take one board game from the BGG top 100 with you, which one would it be?

It would depend a lot on the circumstances. What are my priorities? How long will I be there? How many other people are there with me? Who are they? How's the climate? I'm kidding, of course, but if you set up a detailed set of parameters for a situation to emphasise replayability, you'll force people to pick a game that is highly replayable. In a similar way you could pick different parameters to force different choices.

FWIW, I also consider replayability to be one of the most important factors for a game, and I have a correspondingly high-ish h-index (around 25 for about 2000 plays). From anecdotal evidence and a poll I made I think about 1 in 4 boardgame geeks approach games similarly, but it seems a majority prefer to play a lot of different games instead of exploring all the nuances of a few. You'll see a lot of arguments that 10 plays is more than enough in today's overwhelming abundance of games, and therefore that PL meets expectations for replayability. (Of course I'm only talking the minority who play the kind of designer games that we do, and not the overwhelming majority of the population who play only a few simple games or specialise in one or more of the classic abstracts.)
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Simon C
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Note that BGG's scoring system and definitions were not designed with Legacy games in mind. In fact, Legacy games probably didn't exist as an idea.

Maybe BGG should update its scoring in light of the evolution of games - but once you've been on BGG any length of time, you'll probably notice updates are not something that occurs frequently en mass. Plus, what about all the existing scores that people have awarded?

So everyone, individually, has a choice. If they are going to rate Pandemic Legacy, they have to rate according to either the descriptions or the number - because for many people, those will not match (they may not match for other games in the Geek either, but on the other hand, they may).

I can understand your comments, and your choice to rate according to the descriptions, but I think the number is the better choice - because of all the listings and rankings based on the numerical comparisons. A 10 game is going to be seen and played by an awful lot more people than a 3 game, and this is a game that deserves to be seen and played.

And in fact, surely this is the more important use of the ranking - showing it to new users of the site, who may not have played it before, what you thought of the game, than keeping a personal record of "am I going to want to play a game of this in the future?"

Maybe BGG should indeed remove the description of the rankings. But I'm not going to give a great game a bad score - and consequently suggest to people who haven't played it that they shouldn't - because of an outdated, inappropriate (for this item) phrasing that is out of my power to change.
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Robert Stewart
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There are people who continue playing (and replaying) Pandemic Legacy - either with multiple groups playing with different sets, or with a reset kit. They've got a pretty strong case for giving a traditional 10 rating. And, as people have said, the descriptions given for ratings don't really apply to one-shot games like Legacy.
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Brian Smith
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"There are people who continue playing (and replaying) Pandemic Legacy - either with multiple groups playing with different sets, or with a reset kit. They've got a pretty strong case for giving a traditional 10 rating."

Those people are in the minority of the "10s" though, if you read the comments. Personally, I guess I feel it's a shame that these people have to pay another $60 each month, to play the game again. It encourages the industry to move in a direction that I don't like. But to each his own. It's a good game, and I'm not losing any sleep over it's place at #1. I predict Uwe comes out with Agricola Legacy soon, and we will have a new #1.
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Clyde W
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I'll just tag this thread with "clydeiii_complaining_about_pandemic" and let you go read my arguments along these lines in other similar threads: https://boardgamegeek.com/tag/clydeiii_complaining_about_pan...
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Clive Jones

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OK. Sensible question relating to a dumb comment... :-p

I've not seen tags used before. If there's a single "flat" namespace, what's the etiquette on naming them? Anything goes if you start the tag with your username?
 
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Dean L
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smithbc19 wrote:


The BGG rating of a "10" is defined as - Outstanding, will always enjoy playing.



Is it? For me it shows as "Outstanding, always want to play and expect this will never change" which is quite different.

Throughout my campaign of PL, I always wanted to play it. Now I've finished, I still want to play it, but month 13 isn't available. If it were I would definitely be playing it. Which to me satisfies the criteria for a ten - that criteria just has to be interpreted in the context of a legacy game.
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Brian Smith
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But month 13 would be part of another game. Knowing what is to come in months 1 through 12, how often are you going to play those months again?
 
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Clive Jones

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This is all getting perilously close to the ontological argument for the existence of God. (-8
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Dave S.
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smithbc19 wrote:
"There are people who continue playing (and replaying) Pandemic Legacy - either with multiple groups playing with different sets, or with a reset kit. They've got a pretty strong case for giving a traditional 10 rating."

Those people are in the minority of the "10s" though, if you read the comments. Personally, I guess I feel it's a shame that these people have to pay another $60 each month, to play the game again. It encourages the industry to move in a direction that I don't like. But to each his own. It's a good game, and I'm not losing any sleep over it's place at #1. I predict Uwe comes out with Agricola Legacy soon, and we will have a new #1.


Why does it matter to you what other people rate a game? I'm pretty sure I could pick out a game I don't enjoy and there will have been people that rated it a 10. Should I be upset at them for disagreeing with me?

Are you also saying that Legacy games are encouraging the industry to move in a bad direction? Or did I misinterpret what you were saying?

If you are saying that, then I would like to point out that there are thousands of games released every year, and only a few of those have been, or will be Legacy games. Complaining about Legacy games hurting the board game scene would be the same as someone complaining that co-op games will ruin board games as well. It is just a classification of games.
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Robert Stewart
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smithbc19 wrote:
But month 13 would be part of another game. Knowing what is to come in months 1 through 12, how often are you going to play those months again?


There are extremely few (if any) games I would want to get up in the middle of the night to play. Most 10 votes on BGG are from people who'd decline an invitation to play at least some of the time, which suggests that they don't always want to play...

And just because people can't play through the game for the first time again (in the absence of convenient amnesia), that doesn't mean they don't want to...
 
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Dean L
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smithbc19 wrote:
But month 13 would be part of another game. Knowing what is to come in months 1 through 12, how often are you going to play those months again?


Zero, because I don't physically have the game to do that with. Which raises another question: what happens when it goes out of print so no one can buy a new copy either? Can it then not get any high score at all?

I always rate assuming ideal circumstances, which for PL includes having a new bit of campaign to play. In the same way I don't mark down The Resistance just because I wouldn't play it with four people, or Twilight Imperium because I rarely have the time or players available. Or Cosmic Encounter I wouldn't really want to play with the exact same aliens twice. Or Legendary I'm assuming a different combination of heroes, villains and schemes. Or Sherlock Holmes CD I'm assuming an unplayed case is available. And Twilight Struggle I'm assuming a player of similar skill and experience is available to play against.

PL is certainly an edge case with that's sort of thing, as its limited on purpose, but for my own ratings it's enough to justify it to me without feeling like I'm "cheating" the system.
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Sam Hillier
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I gave it a 10 because, well, I "always want to play and expect this will never change." I *want* to play more Pandemic Legacy, but there currently isn't any. When more comes out, like, say, Season 2, I'll be all over that.

Similarly, I'd rate a TV series like Daredevil a 10, even though I doubt I'd watch Season 2 again. Season 3 though? CANNOT WAIT.


Also, the ratings here are pretty much meaningless since people can do whatever they want.



Also, being #1 on this site does not mean "greatest game of all time."
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Brian Smith
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Wrong, wrong and wrong Dave S. I already said that I don't lose any sleep over rankings, but we can certainly discuss where something should be ranked according to the BGG ranking definitions. Why do you care what I think?

You did not misintrepret what I am saying. Having to buy a brand new game f0r $60, to be able to play again, when it is now IMPOSSIBLE to get the same experience....imo, is moving in the wrong direction. Regular co-ops don't have this problem. So your analogy is off.
 
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Brian Smith
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Also, being #1 on this site does not mean "greatest game of all time." [/q]




So it's Troyes, just like I thought?
 
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Clive Jones

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Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm living proof that even people who didn't give Pandemic Legacy 10.0 can still rate it higher than Troyes. :-p

(Don't get me started on Agricola. If I want senseless complication and unnecessary frustration, I'll do my job, not play a game!)
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Ray Greenley
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smithbc19 wrote:
Quote:
Also, being #1 on this site does not mean "greatest game of all time."





So it's Troyes, just like I thought?

Sure, if that's how you feel. What else really matters?
 
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Ronald Tin
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I have had the same question but I have come to accept that each person will have a different interpretation of the guideline.
 
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