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KeyForge: Call of the Archons» Forums » General

Subject: An observation rss

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Brett Thomason
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The more I look at the Keyforge rules forum, the more I think Richard Garfield is extremely overrated. He does get a slight nod for doing something else other than Magic however.
 
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Richard Garfield has done a number of great games, not only Magic. I think his record as a game designer is beyond questions.

Rules wording for Keyforge seems to have a few problems. And whoever-should-be-in-charge-of-that is remarkably slow in correcting those issues. This could either be because they are really doing it well (unlikely, since most of that could have been done in the first issued rules version). Or this could be because they realize that they have produced rather a mess and do not know how to fix it. I fear that this might be the case.

(For casual, explorative play, most of the issues can be fixed. Hard competitive play is currently something I do not deem feasible with the state of the rules as is).
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Per Glöde
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Android: Netrunner 7.72142/2(2012, 1996 as Netrunner), Magic: The Gathering 7.31061(1993), King of Tokyo 7.15909(2011), KeyForge: Call of the Archons 7.07853(2018), RoboRally 6.99044(1994)

In my objective ranking, biased towards geekrated quality and quantity, he is #14.

Item for Geeklist "Ranking of the top designers calculated from their game ratings using h-index"
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Mikko Saari
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Yeah, I'd note that Richard Garfield isn't likely responsible for the rules editing for KeyForge. I'd blame FFG for that – there are couple of editors listed in the rule book, a producer, a quality assurance coordinator, an executive game designer and four people with game development credits. So blaming Richard Garfield for the quality of the rules is a bit heavy in my opinion.

The base game design of KeyForge? I think it's just fine. The current state of the rules? Fine for casual play, but I wouldn't touch competitive play right now.
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This Guy
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This game is unusual in that an underexamined ruling could invalidate some people’s product. It won’t affect all customers equally, and those who get hit can’t just swap out a card that gets nerfed.

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Per Glöde
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Garfield himself ruled differently regarding the "when destroyed..." debacle by FFG. He should put his foot down instead of letting himself be overruled by that silly FFG team.
See Re: Active Player and Destroyed Abilities.
 
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I don't think he has a final say in the rulings anymore. It's entirely in FFG's hands, and that's not a good thing.
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Niall Smyth
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And holy shit have you seen the MTG rules? And FAQs? And Judges?

I think a lot of the rules issues are non-issues if you don’t approach this as a MTG player would.
 
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Eric Bridge
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What I don't get is that the 3 or 4 most popular ruling/timing questions here are not "obscure", so I don't know why their answers would not have been in some kind of FAQ when the game came out. Supposedly this was play-tested a lot, and yet it seems like we players are discovering very obvious conflicts...
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Per Glöde
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The playtesters were probably star-struck by the name RG and did not dare to raise issues. Like this: Holy crap, it's Richard Garfield!
 
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rico
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gaaloechild wrote:
Garfield himself ruled differently regarding the "when destroyed..." debacle by FFG. He should put his foot down instead of letting himself be overruled by that silly FFG team.
See Re: Active Player and Destroyed Abilities.

Just to note: he agreed with the ruling on the card as written, but seemed to favor issuing errata on Biomatrix Backup to remove the "You may" from the card (making its triggered effect non-optional)
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Caleb
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Breaking: FFG game has significant rules problems caused by shoddy development, quality assurance, and proof-reading. Story at 11.

shake

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Ian Toltz
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Weaselboy wrote:
The more I look at the Keyforge rules forum, the more I think Richard Garfield is extremely overrated. He does get a slight nod for doing something else other than Magic however.


I agree that he's overrated, but I still think he's one of the best game designers of all time.

I think he's overrated simply because he has his fair share of duds, as well. Not everything he touches is gold. But he has well more than his fair share of amazing games, so... still one of the best.

I'd put him on par with Knizia, who has a lot of iconic games but also has a huge mountain of boring dreck.
 
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Sky Zero
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Weaselboy wrote:
The more I look at the Keyforge rules forum, the more I think Richard Garfield is extremely overrated. He does get a slight nod for doing something else other than Magic however.


shake

It’s the first edition of something completely new and different. No amount of internal playtesting would identify every corner case, interpretation, misinterpretation, and overanalysis of the word “destroyed”, “may”, etc... People aren’t relying on precision in Keyforge rules to make a living and like the early Magic days, there were be learnings in how to frame words in a universal way.
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Dapperghast Meowregard
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poshniallo wrote:
And holy shit have you seen the MTG rules? And FAQs? And Judges?


While I agree that they make Keyforge's rules look a thousand times worse by comparison, it's slightly unfair to hold it to that same standard considering like no other game has bothered to aspire to such lofty heights (And I doubt many have people in charge of knowing the rules who are separate entities from the designer).

TLDR: Comparing Magic's rules to keyforge is a bit like comparing Michael Jordan's basketball skills to mine.
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Ian Toltz
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skyzero wrote:
It’s the first edition of something completely new and different.


The distribution model is completely new and different. The game, while excellent (modulo terrible rulings), follows a very well-worn formula. The only thing that's really innovative about it is how the cards don't have costs to play.
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Dapperghast wrote:
poshniallo wrote:
And holy shit have you seen the MTG rules? And FAQs? And Judges?


While I agree that they make Keyforge's rules look a thousand times worse by comparison, it's slightly unfair to hold it to that same standard considering like no other game has bothered to aspire to such lofty heights (And I doubt many have people in charge of knowing the rules who are separate entities from the designer).

TLDR: Comparing Magic's rules to keyforge is a bit like comparing Michael Jordan's basketball skills to mine.


I am not sure, of course, but I think that poshniallo meant to say that MtG suffers from massive errata, FAQ etc. I think he means to say that MtG is even worse than Keyforge.

I agree with Dapperghast though; MtG is a completely different league.

What angers me (at least a little bit) is that Keyforge should have aspired to reach similar levels of legalistic clarity as MtG does. The work is mostly all done already, MtG already did it. Keyforge just needed to adopt the lessons learned by MtG.
Instead, they just ignored it. Shoddy rules, shoddy translations, inconsistent rulings.

Asmor wrote:
skyzero wrote:
It’s the first edition of something completely new and different.


The distribution model is completely new and different. The game, while excellent (modulo terrible rulings), follows a very well-worn formula. The only thing that's really innovative about it is how the cards don't have costs to play.


Also not that new. Epic Card Game did a very similar thing.
I think the "houses" idea is the bigger novelty.
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Richard Garfield
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I am definitely overrated if rules integrity is of high value - to me the process of getting that correct is editing and development and I lean on that more than I should perhaps, like a writer leans on an editor or an architect on an engineer.

Comparing that particular axis to other designers though, one needs to be careful and compare apples to apples. A game like Hanabi (my favorite coop game), or for that matter apples to apples are in a different universe of challenge with regards to rules integrity as compared to a massively modular game.I still probably won't rate great with my massively modular peers but I'll do ok!

I am optimistic they will sort things out. I am helping and trying to keep focus on simplicity and consistency with maximum modularity between cards. My statements that they are correct to be conservative means that they should take their time and get the system right rather than figure out an answer on a case by case basis.





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Max Maloney
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Si Fei wrote:
Dapperghast wrote:
poshniallo wrote:
And holy shit have you seen the MTG rules?

While I agree that they make Keyforge's rules look a thousand times worse by comparison

I am not sure, of course, but I think that poshniallo meant to say that MtG suffers from massive errata, FAQ etc. I think he means to say that MtG is even worse than Keyforge.

There’s almost no errata in Magic. I can only think of one errata’d card in the last 9 years and it’s a very picky change that doesn’t affect play and 99% of players wouldn’t notice.

The rules document is huge and legalistic, which is probably overwhelming to some but works well for having a game be competitive (since there is no ambiguity in rulings).
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Kevin B. Smith
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Phelddagrif wrote:
I am optimistic they will sort things out.

Just wanted to say that this was a super classy response. Thanks for being you, for participating in the conversations here, and for taking the high road.
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Sam R
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Dormammu wrote:
Si Fei wrote:
Dapperghast wrote:
poshniallo wrote:
And holy shit have you seen the MTG rules?

While I agree that they make Keyforge's rules look a thousand times worse by comparison

I am not sure, of course, but I think that poshniallo meant to say that MtG suffers from massive errata, FAQ etc. I think he means to say that MtG is even worse than Keyforge.

There’s almost no errata in Magic. I can only think of one errata’d card in the last 9 years and it’s a very picky change that doesn’t affect play and 99% of players wouldn’t notice.

The rules document is huge and legalistic, which is probably overwhelming to some but works well for having a game be competitive (since there is no ambiguity in rulings).


Agreed, but magic has had 20+ years to master it. This game has had... a month? Plus ffg has never done a game like this.
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Dapperghast Meowregard
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LateShacka wrote:


Agreed, but magic has had 20+ years to master it. This game has had... a month? Plus ffg has never done a game like this.


Except for Netrunner, Game of Thrones, LotR, L5R, Arkham Horror, Game of Thrones again, arguably every board game they've made...

Plus as mentioned a few posts back, Magic didn't have the advantage of being able to use Magic as a reference (shoulders of giants and such). Like the obvious example would be the term "if able" and how much it does for parsibility.

That said, I'm pretty ambivalent about it, like the rules should be better, but also whatever.
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Stephen Schaefer
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DapperGhast wrote:
Asmor wrote:
skyzero wrote:
It’s the first edition of something completely new and different.


The distribution model is completely new and different. The game, while excellent (modulo terrible rulings), follows a very well-worn formula. The only thing that's really innovative about it is how the cards don't have costs to play.


Also not that new. Epic Card Game did a very similar thing.
I think the "houses" idea is the bigger novelty.


Redemption has been doing it since 1995.

That said, I don't think Garfield is overrated, I just think MtG kind of puts a finger on the scale for basically creating an entire genre. I appreciate him more for RoboRally and King of Tokyo than his card games.
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Sam R
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Dapperghast wrote:
LateShacka wrote:


Agreed, but magic has had 20+ years to master it. This game has had... a month? Plus ffg has never done a game like this.


Except for Netrunner, Game of Thrones, LotR, L5R, Arkham Horror, Game of Thrones again, arguably every board game they've made...

Plus as mentioned a few posts back, Magic didn't have the advantage of being able to use Magic as a reference (shoulders of giants and such). Like the obvious example would be the term "if able" and how much it does for parsibility.

That said, I'm pretty ambivalent about it, like the rules should be better, but also whatever.


No, they’ve never done a game like keyforge. Unique deck game... yeah...

Keyforge isn’t magic. So they can’t use magic as much as you think... unless they want it to become magic.
 
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Dapperghast Meowregard
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LateShacka wrote:

No, they’ve never done a game like keyforge. Unique deck game... yeah...


Nobody's ever done ice cream delivery via trebuchet, but if they did I doubt they'd be able to fill the containers with baby carrots instead and be like "Nobody's ever done the trebuchet model before, we can't just assume ice cream delivered this way should be ice cream."


Quote:
Keyforge isn’t magic. So they can’t use magic as much as you think... unless they want it to become magic.


They can't copy/paste the rules for spell resolution, but Magic in general provides a gold standard for rules clarity any other game can use as a reference. Like when you can look at this nightmare of a card that probably cost somebody their job and be like "First off okay, wow, but I also completely understand how it works," you know they're doing something right.

Or really any other game, there are general conventions of rulebooks you can learn (For an obvious example, note that you probably won't find many rulebooks that put the table of contents on page 13, the index on page 8, and the setup rules on page 16.
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