Player Base?!?

Errata issued by the CoE, open discussion of candidate rules for errata, and submissions for the Annual Rules Vote.
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rezwits
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Player Base?!?

Post by rezwits » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:25 am

I have an interesting question:

What was the player base of MECCG back in 2001-2003?

Were there like oh IDK over 10,000 players? Worldwide?

Just showing up at 50 or so tournaments on weekends and playing thousands and thousands of games, with the top 8 net decks getting reported?

I consider myself a games designer. I have some apps and video games.

But when I look at the this net rep digest ruling from circa 2003:

What is the reason that the Palantíri of Orthanc and Elostirion don't give MP's to Fallen-wizards?
*** This was created to try to make squatting Fallen Wizards less powerful.


I had to ask myself, was the player base of MECCG this HUGE? to justify this ruling?

I mean were there like an onslaught of Fallen-wizard decks at tournaments all over the globe? Where the top 4 Decks were Squatting Saruman White Hand decks? or some other Wizard? Say Pallando?

I just have to laugh and cry at the same time, I just finished a game ending 29 to 28, where I had the Palantir of Orthanc, which I didn't count for MPs and lost.

But I was playing against corruption and had to fight thru 2 Lure of the Sense the whole game, on my Saruman. I was tapped most of the time trying to beat a 6.

At the end of the game, I am asking myself: Does this give 2 CP? Do I have tap Saruman and the Palantir? YES YES and YES

What is so broken about being able to have Saruman reside in Isengard with his Palantir and play this THEME deck?

I mean seriously WHAT SIZE was the PLAYER BASE back in 2002? 250 guys? whatever what a joke...

I think it was more like 5 guys just sitting around in a room... I mean as if corruption wasn't bad enough!

There needs to be some revising of some rules, because I don't think the play testing or player base, was large enough to justify half the rulings made back when the game was barely played.

I understand most of the timing rules and those definitely needed to be hashed out. But a willy nilly, I don't like "squatting" ruling is garbage!

oh and in case you didn't know the guys at I.C.E. who created the game were statistical MASTERMINDS...
You probably aren't playing Agents correctly 8) <- need a rule thread for this tho...

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Bandobras Took
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Re: Player Base?!?

Post by Bandobras Took » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:18 pm

The real problem is that ICE couldn't keep updating the game. While no MPs on Palantiri is a little sad, a Wizard's Ring gives you both MPs and the DI for another 2 character MPs, so FWs aren't actually hurting in the squatting MPs department.
Remember, NetRep rulings are official. This does not necessarily mean they are correct.

You probably aren't playing Fallen Wizards correctly. This prompted the backlash erratum that I will link to as soon as I notice it is officially posted. :)

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Thorsten the Traveller
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Re: Player Base?!?

Post by Thorsten the Traveller » Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:26 pm

And how do you suppose ICE (or anybody else) should/could have kept track of the player base?
What is a player base? those who own the game, those who play it (regularly), or those who attend events?
After ICE went belly up, lots of meccg was dumped, and many people picked it up for little, without really being an active player.

At Worlds 2000, 2001 and 2003 as I recall, quite a few people were present, but no more than 100, and not all were GO players. So it was never a really big active scene, even if there were guys from USA and Japan even.

nb. apart from Magic, few ccg's or lcg's are continued over a long period of time.
Stone-age did not end because man ran out of rocks.

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rezwits
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Re: Player Base?!?

Post by rezwits » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:21 am

Thorsten the Traveller wrote:
Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:26 pm
And how do you suppose ICE (or anybody else) should/could have kept track of the player base?
What is a player base? those who own the game, those who play it (regularly), or those who attend events?
After ICE went belly up, lots of meccg was dumped, and many people picked it up for little, without really being an active player.

At Worlds 2000, 2001 and 2003 as I recall, quite a few people were present, but no more than 100, and not all were GO players. So it was never a really big active scene, even if there were guys from USA and Japan even.

nb. apart from Magic, few ccg's or lcg's are continued over a long period of time.
Well that's kind of why my question was some what rhetorical and answered the reason for my question on "How the ruling could have happened?"

Because with magic, YES there were so many boards and top 8 sites, I mean it was crazy. I just don't see how people could complain about this deck or that deck, or style vs style with MECCG.

To me I am like how many games back in the day did you play where "You got sick of squatting?" Like your' 5th game? :P hehe

Just kidding don't get me wrong it sucks to ditch hazards because they aren't moving, but the longer your wait to make a move the scarier it's gonna get/be.

I just think there are or should be quite a few different strategies out there. BUT for argument sake there are two principals, and they should both be 100% playable. MOVERS and CAMPERS (squatters). I mean decks that move and decks that squat.

I guess I just don't get the frustration of squatting where there are so many drawbacks to doing that, BESIDES, facing creature hazards.

Put it this way, as look back at rulings, I AM NOT EVEN PLAYING some strategies, but I am saying to myself who cares if someone does whatever, let um play.

The only thing that should have been banned or just whatever, would be recursive things, that like you draw your whole deck, literally search for a card, I.e. the exact card like tutor which this game doesn't have, really, pretty much NONE because you have to earn your tutors, i.e. goto a site, tap a sage etc... (maybe something can pull from SB)

IDK, I just never saw that much game play, posted on the net...I mean I have seen http://www.fallen-gandalf.net and the other councils, but I would just say, all-in-all:

Things would have to just get HELLA-BENT out of shape to just change the General Scoring of Cards? I mean it's just weird, I mean in all the years even MtG (WoTC), never out right said, "Ok this 5/5 is a 4/4". Just never happened... And they had TONS of people complaining about TONS of cards.

So I am just saying with such little playing going on... hmm... everything has been exhausted? I mean don't get me wrong the DC card guys those guys go thru some cycles of cards and decks... ;)

(so yeah just some websites with the same top 8 decks DOMINATING year after year) and I guess as of late we have Fallen-Radagast...
You probably aren't playing Agents correctly 8) <- need a rule thread for this tho...

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rezwits
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Re: Sheer Time

Post by rezwits » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:12 am

One note:

In summary, I am saying how is it that guys have played like 500+ games of MECCG?

I mean the sheer average time it takes to play MECCG is at minimum 60 minutes. Some would say even more.
The average game time of Magic, is like 10 minutes, at minimum.

So if you played 600 games of Magic in your lifetime, maybe you have even played 100 games of MECCG?

And if that's the case, how many times did you play against squatters? like 20 games?

Just sayin', I just don't think the numbers are there, to justify some, "fairness" rulings. Broken-ness errata SURE...

Man I need Lagers... :(
You probably aren't playing Agents correctly 8) <- need a rule thread for this tho...

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Bandobras Took
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Re: Player Base?!?

Post by Bandobras Took » Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:43 pm

I've got 628 on GCCG alone. I haven't kept precise statistics, but I can safely say at least fifty percent of my games have featured at least one side with significant squatting elements. Also, keep in mind that I've been on a hiatus from playing for a few years now as rather massive real life issues have intervened. Otherwise, both numbers would be even higher.
Remember, NetRep rulings are official. This does not necessarily mean they are correct.

You probably aren't playing Fallen Wizards correctly. This prompted the backlash erratum that I will link to as soon as I notice it is officially posted. :)

DamienX207
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Re: Player Base?!?

Post by DamienX207 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:00 am

For what it's worth (not much!), I am 99% of the same mind as rezwits (the 1% allowing for further extrapolations henceforth). Coming back to this game in 2016, the amount of functional errata that's been issued over the past 20 years is truly astounding... not only because it makes an already complicated game nearly impossible to play, but because it also makes the game truly impossible to teach to uninitiated newcomers who can't trust what's printed on the cards in front of them, effectively sentencing the game to a Mordor-worthy death.

Contrast Middle-Earth with Magic, where Wizards of the Coast goes far out of their way to issue the least amount of functional errata possible; if a card is way, wayyy too powerful in its printed form, then it gets restricted or banned and ceases to be an issue (see: one of the most powerful cards in the game that was printed with the incorrect casting cost, but still never received errata that would have changed its numbers/function as printed). And yet, inexplicably, MECCG doesn't have any restricted or banned list whatsoever ... just hundreds of examples of seemingly random tweaks and fiddles, sometimes making a card mesh cleaner with the game rules, but often just complicating things for the sake of a handful of people's perceptions of power level or "staying true to what we imagine the designers had intended" or :roll: :roll: :roll: .

Of course, one would have to imagine that most of these examples of functional errata weren't born from ICE/Councils analyzing thousands of games in order to understand how a particular card was impacting the global meta game. One person built a deck that made particularly good use of a powerful card at one tournament, leading to a frustrated opponent lobbying the CoE to adjust the card's power level -- and "sure, we already have hundreds of cards with functional errata, what's one more?"

If squatting is that much of a problem, adjusting the actual game rules is a far more elegant and rational fix than issuing functional errata to dozens and dozens of cards.
And if it wasn't clear enough, count me in favor of MECCG rules reform. :D

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Re: Player Base?!?

Post by Kjeld » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:36 am

Out of curiosity, I started to glance through the URD v4.0 (latest version?) to see if there really are a bunch of seemingly arbitrary functional errata.
Here area few examples I found:

Aiglos: Does not get the bonus for Doors of Night when used in company vs. company combat.

Bill the Pony: Card Erratum: the body should be 10, not 6.

Book of Mazarbul: Replace "tap the bearer during the organization phase" with "tap Book of
Mazarbûl during your organization phase."

Hour of Need: (1) If successful Hour of Need taps the site it is played at, not the site associated with the faction. (Van) (2) Cannot be played at a tapped site. (Van)

Reading through these, and also considering the example given by rezwits with regard to the to Palantiri, I can see where the frustration comes from. These all seem to be "balance" related errata, but there is no justification or explanation. They can, therefore, appear arbitrary, while also complicating the game by adding new rules to specific cards that aren't printed on the cards themselves.

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Theo
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Re: Player Base?!?

Post by Theo » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:42 am

The Bill the Pony and Book of Mazarbul changes are printed on the unlimited versions.

Aiglos: This isn't errata, but just clarifying original CVCC rule that hazards don't have any affect.

Hour of Need: arguably also clarification... a bit more debatable in my mind though. :roll:

@Damien: I suspect there are different tradeoffs between the two approaches you speak to. For Magic it seems easy to do a banlist and move on, or whatever, because each card doesn't have any significance in the grand scheme of things. With something like MECCG, where each card was designed to have some tie to the overall story/game, it would be sad to ban iconic cards. Something like, "whoops! now you can only choose from one of 4 wizards..." Or "whoops! now we need to make a new expansion / promo release because we messed up the card that was supposed to help balance X" I've wondered whether issues like these will go away if printable electronics get to be cheap enough for table-top CCGs...
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Re: Player Base?!?

Post by Kjeld » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:13 am

Theo wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:42 am
The Bill the Pony and Book of Mazarbul changes are printed on the unlimited versions.
Ah, I didn't have the actual cards in front of me and was looking at scans (apparently Limited Edition).

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Re: Player Base?!?

Post by DamienX207 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:25 pm

@Theo, I think that's a valid point cosmetically, but misses the larger problem. For sure, CoE should try to avoid banning "special" LotR cards as much as possible, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't ALSO have tried to create a practical game experience.
Furthermore, it just as easily goes the other way: in the case of Palantir of Orthanc, the fact that Fallen Saruman can't use his own dang palantir to build his victory is LESS thematic, not moreso. Vilya is another example that comes to mind; surely it would be more thematic to just make it restricted/unique (if that's even necessary), rather than tweak yet another number on top of countless others. I would never argue Fallen Radagast should be banned as an avatar; but ban/restrict one or more of his support cards that isn't so "special". Players will seriously be so upset if they can only have 1 auto-influence Muster instead of 3 +5-influence Musters? Etc.

The point is, the original onus should have been to make deck-building more challenging, as players obviously do that at their leisure with the ability to reference a banned/restricted list as they're constructing -- rather than force your players to try to memorize hundreds of miniscule tweaks while they're playing an already massively complicated game. If you're trying to balance un-editable cards, do it by simplifying the rules around them. I mean, that's just better game design, no?

(speaking in past tense now bc I don't expect to make headway on this issue) :)
Last edited by DamienX207 on Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Bandobras Took
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Re: Player Base?!?

Post by Bandobras Took » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:30 pm

I'm not sure what's being argued here. ICE altered both cards and rules in just that attempt (to make a practical playing environment); had they been around long enough, we would have seen reprints of both. Where the CoE went wrong in the past was in the decision to never alter card text or rules. That meant that as soon as a card text came along that wasn't working as intended, or a rule came along that meant the game wasn't working as intended, the only solution was to produce a ridiculously convoluted and ridiculous ruling that only applied to the card in question.

But given ICE's sloppy wording, a tome of rulings and clarifications is inevitable. That problem's not going to be solved until you rewrite both the rules and all the cards from the ground up, because imprecise and incomplete texts are found in both.
Remember, NetRep rulings are official. This does not necessarily mean they are correct.

You probably aren't playing Fallen Wizards correctly. This prompted the backlash erratum that I will link to as soon as I notice it is officially posted. :)

DamienX207
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Re: Player Base?!?

Post by DamienX207 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:36 pm

The difference is we’re talking about functional errata. Personally I’m fine with clarifications and rulings; not so much when the card literally does something completely and unintuitively different from what it says. And even then, that’s not the end of the world in select cases; The original point from rezwits is that just bc a few people don’t like a cards power level doesn’t mean functional errata was necessary.

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Bandobras Took
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Re: Player Base?!?

Post by Bandobras Took » Sat Mar 10, 2018 5:13 pm

I don't know that errata was ever issued because a few people didn't like a card's power level, unless those few people were the actual game designers at ICE.

Even the CoE rulings that amount to functional errata were usually (if not always) issued to uphold the way the card was traditionally played rather than because a player didn't like it.
Remember, NetRep rulings are official. This does not necessarily mean they are correct.

You probably aren't playing Fallen Wizards correctly. This prompted the backlash erratum that I will link to as soon as I notice it is officially posted. :)

DamienX207
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Re: Player Base?!?

Post by DamienX207 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:53 pm

Again BT, we're talking about functional errata for power level. We've named several examples and I'd be happy to go through the entire CRF to list more, but saying "that doesn't exist" is clearly not the case as laid out above.

It's just a shame that there's such an entrenched sense among the dozen or so regulars on this message board to blindly maintain the status quo even when confronted with rational arguments for improvement. How many posts do their need to be around the 'web of random Tolkien fans hearing about this awesome game but then immediately giving up because the rulebook is over 100 pages to see that this is a real problem? The shame is that working together to make the game more accessible would not only give the CoE more weight and increase our ability to find fellow gamers, but would make all of our collections more valuable if the audience size increased with the limited card pool. Instead ... you know, this. :?

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