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Subject: One game divided into 7 installments ? rss

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Martin Smith
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Just some random thoughts. It seems to me that the initial core set and the following 7 expansions were all designed and completed at the same time and are in effect one big balanced and tested game. In the core set we have been given a part of this completed game - the first 220 or so cards. The rest will follow in the coming expansions. My concern with this is that it is changing the experience and difficulty of the initial base set.

Some of the cards we have seen in Hunt for Gollum and Conflict at the Carrock have really changed the way the core game plays and in general made the game much easier to win. To me the most noticeable example of this is the Winged Guardians - we now have a cheap creature that can block 4 damage which was lacking in the core set. There are other examples as well such as Dunadain warning and signal which again make the game a little easier to win.

Not sure how I feel about this business model - would it just be better to have one game with all the cards in it from the start ? Also will the balance of the game be preserved or just get easier and easier ?
 
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Justin Fitzgerald
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I haven't got these expansions, but I basically agree. I'd far rather see an entire cycle released at once. I've been told that simply isn't possible because you'd be waiting 6 months for a cycle to complete.

However, it'd be a lot cooler FFG folks. Here's why. You get a pile of cards and have to use them to create the penultimate deck that is able to traverse all 6 scenarios. It's almost like a puzzle, keeping in mind there are many possible solutions to that puzzle.
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Oleg volobujev
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Flamehearted wrote:
Just some random thoughts. It seems to me that the initial core set and the following 7 expansions were all designed and completed at the same time and are in effect one big balanced and tested game. In the core set we have been given a part of this completed game - the first 220 or so cards. The rest will follow in the coming expansions. My concern with this is that it is changing the experience and difficulty of the initial base set.

Some of the cards we have seen in Hunt for Gollum and Conflict at the Carrock have really changed the way the core game plays and in general made the game much easier to win. To me the most noticeable example of this is the Winged Guardians - we now have a cheap creature that can block 4 damage which was lacking in the core set. There are other examples as well such as Dunadain warning and signal which again make the game a little easier to win.

Not sure how I feel about this business model - would it just be better to have one game with all the cards in it from the start ? Also will the balance of the game be preserved or just get easier and easier ?


You right. But the future quests difficult level also increase. Now is already 7 for Carrock. Massing in Osgiliath is 9. Rosgobel should be also at least 7 8. Than is ok. If difficult level will not increase yes there is a problem.......
 
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Justin Fitzgerald
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Glaurung2 wrote:
You right. But the future quests difficult level also increase. Now is already 7 for Carrock. Massing in Osgiliath is 9. Rosgobel should be also at least 7 8. Than is ok. If difficult level will not increase yes there is a problem.......


I don't entirely agree here. You're in effect creating an environment where the early quests will never be played again. It's alot like M:TG where 90% of the cards from old expansions are trash now. What'd be better, imo, is if the power balance stayed steady or alternatively, some cards were only available in certain cycles.

What's instead going to happen in an environment with constant difficulty increase is the old quests and cards are junk. And on top of that, a new player coming in will never again experience the progression that people "in the moment" were able to if they buy the game, mixing all the cards together, and fail to realize the game was supposed to evolve over a spectrum of time.
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Matt Shinners
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I don't think it's possible (or, at least, it would be exceedingly difficult) to create a continually expanding card game without power creep that doesn't get stale. If the power level never increases, there are only so many ways that you can use the base mechanics until you just start repeating yourself.

Believe me, I hate power creep as much as the next guy. I just prefer it to a game dying or becoming stale. If you want to experience the game as people who were following it as it was released happened, there's nothing to stop you from just using older card sets. As you can see from the video game community, in particular, there's no shortage of people who artificially limit their experience in order to up the difficulty of a game. People level in WoW without upgrading their armor, beat FF7 with only one party member, etc... I see a similar thing in LotR's future.
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Justin Fitzgerald
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One way is with a planned end date: i.e. Thunderstone.
 
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Paul Bach
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Flamehearted wrote:
Not sure how I feel about this business model - would it just be better to have one game with all the cards in it from the start ? Also will the balance of the game be preserved or just get easier and easier ?


Considering the game listed a $39.95 and each expansion is aprox. $15, Then the Core set with the first expansion cycle would be prohibitively expensive. $100 minus any savings FFG gained from consolidation of packaging. (Or FFG would have cut into the profits to make it more reasonable.)

I dived into this because I wanted a good Tolkien game that I could play solo. I've never played any deckbuilding games before, so I had to weigh my excitement about the theme against my lack of deck building skill/experience. If it had been too expensive at the initial buy in, I might not have bothered, although I would have drooled each time I went to my FLGS.

Another consideration would be that the plethora of Player cards would have overwhelmed me in my inexperience. Working with a small set to begin with let me start to get comfortable with the idea of deck building without have to make as many decisions about which cards to include. "Oooh, they all look so good!" I might have been frozen with indecision.
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Robbie M.
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Another problem has to do with balance. I've seen this happen with one of their other LCGs. If a sphere or a certain strategy becomes too good, FFG will have to wait until the next cycle goes through the dev. process in order to bring the other spheres up to the same level. I don't really see this becoming an issue with LotR due to it's co-op nature but the potential is there.

That being said, I am a fan of the distribution. It's fun getting new toys every month.
 
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sonny sonny
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MattShinners wrote:
I don't think it's possible (or, at least, it would be exceedingly difficult) to create a continually expanding card game without power creep that doesn't get stale.
thunderstone is a prime example that it is possible. arkham horror is another (you can claim that it's not a card game, but the small expansions have only cards).

it wouldn't have been any problem, for example, to make winged guardian with just 3 shields. it would have been a good card, something new, but much better balanced.
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Matthew Saloff
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KakarisMaelstrom wrote:
I haven't got these expansions, but I basically agree. I'd far rather see an entire cycle released at once. I've been told that simply isn't possible because you'd be waiting 6 months for a cycle to complete.

However, it'd be a lot cooler FFG folks. Here's why. You get a pile of cards and have to use them to create the penultimate deck that is able to traverse all 6 scenarios. It's almost like a puzzle, keeping in mind there are many possible solutions to that puzzle.


You can do this now. You just pick up a new one each month. Our group so far then usually will sit down with the new cards and play through all of the quests, old and new. And the old quests are still fun because we keep trying for better final scores.

KakarisMaelstrom wrote:
What's instead going to happen in an environment with constant difficulty increase is the old quests and cards are junk.


Cards like Sneak Attack, Gandalf, and MANY MORE from the core set will NEVER be junk.

Like Matt Shinners pointed out, you need new, good cards to keep the game from getting stale. But that said, there are many core set cards that will be staples for a long time. And there can always be new cards that make older cards better, either directly or indirectly.

Look, I get what a couple of you in this thread are saying, but coming from someone who has played a lot of card games, I love how these LCGs are distributed. We get a few new player cards and a new quest every month, can learn every in and out of all the new cards in a few different decks while playing through all old and new scenarios, and then after a few weeks you get to do it again. It will keep the experience fresh for a long time like CCGs/TCGs of past, without having to drop a $100 per box and get used to 300 new cards all at once.
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Jonathan Ramundi
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MattShinners wrote:
I don't think it's possible (or, at least, it would be exceedingly difficult) to create a continually expanding card game without power creep that doesn't get stale. If the power level never increases, there are only so many ways that you can use the base mechanics until you just start repeating yourself.

Believe me, I hate power creep as much as the next guy. I just prefer it to a game dying or becoming stale. If you want to experience the game as people who were following it as it was released happened, there's nothing to stop you from just using older card sets. As you can see from the video game community, in particular, there's no shortage of people who artificially limit their experience in order to up the difficulty of a game. People level in WoW without upgrading their armor, beat FF7 with only one party member, etc... I see a similar thing in LotR's future.
Yup.

I’ve yet to beat Escape from Dol Guldur solo (I’ve only played 3 times). Since my last attempt, 2 expansions have released, with more to follow. Should I create a deck with the capability to beat the scenario with relative ease, I’ll continue to strip cards out of it until all I’m left with is core cards. That’s my ultimate goal, to be honest (well, one of them). I know it requires more luck (a lot, in fact) than skill, but, if I’ve got nothing left to do by the end of the SoM cycle, I may as well.

Same thing goes for the newer expansions; I may try to defeat them using only core cards, etc.
 
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Jamie Riehl
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Jotora wrote:
I know it requires more luck (a lot, in fact) than skill,


At the risk of bringing this up again, winning Escape from Dol Guldur certainly requires luck, but without skill it is impossible. Skill (or, more to the point, experience) is a far more important factor, imo. Also, it is totally winnable with core set cards.

Quote:

Same thing goes for the newer expansions; I may try to defeat them using only core cards, etc.


I think you're absolutely on the right track here. One of the ways players have found more value in MtG is by creating their own variants using restricted card pools (5-color 250, peasant and so forth).

Personally, I love getting a managable sized, affordable addition to the game every month. Collectability is a big part of the appeal of these games for a lot of people. The $100 big box idea is far less appealing to me than the way the game is distributed now. If you're looking for that kind of LOTR experience, there are certainly options available:

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/9609/war-of-the-ring
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/823/lord-of-the-rings
 
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Martin Smith
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camipco wrote:
Jotora wrote:
I know it requires more luck (a lot, in fact) than skill,


At the risk of bringing this up again, winning Escape from Dol Guldur certainly requires luck, but without skill it is impossible. Skill (or, more to the point, experience) is a far more important factor, imo. Also, it is totally winnable with core set cards.

Quote:

Same thing goes for the newer expansions; I may try to defeat them using only core cards, etc.


I think you're absolutely on the right track here. One of the ways players have found more value in MtG is by creating their own variants using restricted card pools (5-color 250, peasant and so forth).

Personally, I love getting a managable sized, affordable addition to the game every month. Collectability is a big part of the appeal of these games for a lot of people. The $100 big box idea is far less appealing to me than the way the game is distributed now. If you're looking for that kind of LOTR experience, there are certainly options available:

http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/9609/war-of-the-ring
http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/823/lord-of-the-rings


Right but this overlooks the fact that the core set is hugely hugely overpriced, considering that e.g thunderstone provides nearly 3 times the number of cards at a comparable price. In total the base set and all 6 expansions will be about 550 cards - and have costed about 140 dollars.
 
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Chris Parsons
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Flamehearted wrote:
Right but this overlooks the fact that the core set is hugely hugely overpriced, considering that e.g thunderstone provides nearly 3 times the number of cards at a comparable price. In total the base set and all 6 expansions will be about 550 cards - and have costed about 140 dollars.


This game and it's expansions have consistently sold out. I had a really hard time getting hold of the core set. They're already reprinting it.

If you feel ripped off, then that's a different issue, but FFG definitely got the economics right.

Perhaps Thunderstone was underpriced.
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Daniel Heidenreich

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Who pays full retail price for game though? Go to a good game store or online and you can find the core under $30 and each expansion for $9.99...

(unless you don't live in the U.S. then I understand your pain)
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Jonathan Ramundi
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camipco wrote:
Jotora wrote:
I know it requires more luck (a lot, in fact) than skill,


At the risk of bringing this up again, winning Escape from Dol Guldur certainly requires luck, but without skill it is impossible. Skill (or, more to the point, experience) is a far more important factor, imo. Also, it is totally winnable with core set cards.
Wasn't denying that at all, believe me. And I know it's winnable with the core cards; many people here have done it many times.

Still need to be lucky though (I'm doomed ).
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Ben Bosmans
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It is ALL about money.

Making good games is secundary these days.

Marketing and smart selling techniques are far more important.

Lotr CG can now be sold for 125+ euro, while in reality the game would sell for 50.

It is still cheaper than a collectable CG though, as the typical cost for a CCG would be around 250 Euro per set.

Bottom line though is, is the game good enough to warrant the price tag?

I think it still is, although with each expansion every player should seek out if he still wants to go with it.

Also: don't let the makers impose on you their monthly rythm. Only buy when you want and advance through the expansions when you play them and not shelve them.

That's the advantage of a solo game experience (or co op), theplayers of tge Warhammer Invasion CG don't have that choice.

This being said, I don't think I'll buy the copied SW Card game. Copied mechanics from this game into a worn out dull SW Lore is a little too much to ask for the players.

FFs has to watch out because too much money grabbing and the players will turn against them.

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Drew Dallas
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Ben_Bos wrote:

This being said, I don't think I'll buy the copied SW Card game. Copied mechanics from this game into a worn out dull SW Lore is a little too much to ask for the players.


Have you even played it yet, it plays nothing like LotR.
 
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Matthew Saloff
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Ben_Bos wrote:
into a worn out dull SW Lore


Wwhhaaaat? Now you're just talking craziness.
 
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