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  #4273  
Old September 16th, 2020, 12:58 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

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Originally Posted by heroscaper2010 View Post
In the same way, getting automatic skulls or shields is bad for the game because it bypasses a core mechanic in the game of rolling dice?
Not at all. The core mechanic of dice is the introduction of randomness. Having a single unit with less randomness does not remove randomness from the game, it only makes for a more consistent single unit.

On the other hand, a power like this would ruin the game:
NO RANDOMNESS
Whenever any player would roll attack dice or defense dice, instead of rolling, that figure gains automatic skulls equal to its Attack or automatic shields equal to its Defense.

It doesn't matter if you can find a way to balance the effect to be fair. It's no longer Heroscape. All plays are entirely predictable (except d20 units).
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  #4274  
Old September 16th, 2020, 01:08 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

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Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
It doesn't matter if you can find a way to balance the effect to be fair. It's no longer Heroscape. All plays are entirely predictable (except d20 units).
But it is still Heroscape. You are placing all of your Order Markers on Ebol. YOU chose that whenever you drafted Ebol into your army.

What you are suggesting is completely removing a mechanic from the game. An Order Marker example would be:

REACTIVE
Do not place Order Markers. Instead, after your opponent takes a turn, you may take a turn with any Army Card with at least one figure you control.

That power is bad for the game because it completely removes Order Markers (nevermind the turn-interruption and initiative confusion it causes). Ebol is completely different. You are still placing OMs which means they can be targeted and eliminated. That is the risk, especially with a figure who can take self wounds and only has 4-life, 2-defense.

There is no bypassing of mechanics with Ebol. He is on the board, and the Order Markers are on him. When I go into the Online HS app, I still do all of the actions everyone else does. This really isn't this difficult.

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  #4275  
Old September 16th, 2020, 01:22 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

I suppose we have found the one and only design space where Ebol would actually become broken and all of your concerns would become valid.

HIGH COMMAND or whatever you wanna name it - I'm over these stupidly ridiculous, never going to be accepted, extreme example powers, but since we have to use them to prove points, here we go again...
Before placing your army, you may choose any or all figures to not start on the battlefield. [Clause about how to get them onto the battlefield].

So sure... if you want to deny Ebol from the SoV because of a potential power like that, go right ahead. If you're truly worried about that design space, give Ebol a range restriction so that he has to be on the board. Even that power, if accepted, would probably have some restrictions that prevent Ebol from being one of the options anyways.

If you worry Ebol doesn't cost enough, raise his points.
If you worry about Neural Transmission's lack of range/clear sight restrictions, add one.
If you worry that Sensory Overload doesn't trigger often enough, raise the threshold.

But don't deny Ebol because of you can't stop over exaggerating everything with a thread of similarity.

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Last edited by heroscaper2010; September 16th, 2020 at 01:39 PM.
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  #4276  
Old September 16th, 2020, 02:04 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

Personally I don't see how Ebol "eliminates [Order Markers] as a game mechanic" significantly more than existing units like the Marro Hive, Ulglinesh, Kato Katsuro, or Kurrok. That's not even mentioning that a lot of the current "meta" armies pretty much only use one army card in the first place (e.g. an army of only of 4th/10th, or an army of Knights/Gruts/Dwarves + bonding heroes), which "eliminates a key game mechanic" without even needing to use a special ability.

Ebol's power is in theory more game-warping than the Hive or Kato, because he can be used with any units, rather than being restricted to a specific race/class. But, as HS2010 has been repeatedly pointing out, in practice Ebol sucks in most armies, so the space of armies where he can be used somewhat competitively is going to be fairly small, just like the space of armies where other OM sink commanders can be used.

He self-balances for large games by taking wounds as the rest of your army does, which means that the armies that get the most value out of Ebol are almost certainly going to have him die at some point, and be back to placing OMs normally. As HS2010 has pointed out, Ebol removes some of the strategy of OM placement, but adds new strategy in the form of trying to time Ebol's death so that you don't lose a bunch of unrevealed OMs.

There are already plenty of units that allow armies to "ignore core mechanics" of the game. The modular terrain is one of the big selling points of Heroscape. Flying lets units just completely ignore it. What an awful power. The engagement rules are also a key mechanic that are part of the game's balance. And yet one of the most common abilities in the game is disengage, which lets a unit completely avoid engaging with this mechanic, what's up with that? But we don't complain about these, because changing core mechanics of the game is kind of the point of special powers.

Again you can argue "those abilities are only on specific units, Ebol grants an ability to the whole army!" But I think you're missing the point. First off, there are reasonable builds where literally your whole army has disengage (e.g. orcs), so you are completely ignoring a core mechanic of the game. Secondly, the fact that a unit's ability applies to a broad scope of units isn't really important if it's not worth it outside of very specific builds. Like, in theory you can play Taelord in any army. But in practice, because of his cost, he's only going to be worth it in an army with units that really benefit a lot from +1 attack, so he doesn't end up warping the meta. In some sense, Taelord does restrict the space of units that can be added in the future. A unit that got insane benefit from an attack aura (e.g. a ranged figure with quintuple attack and a special power that prevented them from using height advantage) might be impossible to add to the game since Taelord exists. But for most new designs, Taelord's existence is a non-factor, because most new units don't benefit from +1 attack more than all the units currently in the game do.

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  #4277  
Old September 16th, 2020, 02:25 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knight of Scape View Post
Personally I don't see how Ebol "eliminates [Order Markers] as a game mechanic" significantly more than existing units like the Marro Hive, Ulglinesh, Kato Katsuro, or Kurrok. That's not even mentioning that a lot of the current "meta" armies pretty much only use one army card in the first place (e.g. an army of only of 4th/10th, or an army of Knights/Gruts/Dwarves + bonding heroes), which "eliminates a key game mechanic" without even needing to use a special ability.
Yes, of course they do that. But the key difference is that they do so in a limited sense. They give a key advantage to faction builds. Flying is a ability specific to individual units that gives them an edge. Building a whole army with Disengage means you are creating an army with that specific advantage.

There is no power that gives Flying to each and every unit in your army. There is no power that gives blanket Disengage to every unit in your army. And yes, existing units that give benefits to all units in the game do restrict design space. Raelin's aura has killed more than a few potential defensive abilities because it combines too well.

I never wanted to get into this argument because it's pointless. I've been in these sorts of arguments many times before and I know how impossible it can be to convince people of the inherent problems of these sorts of designs. But I'm arguing here anyway to try to save people time and consternation. The C3V would never make a unit with this level of order marker freedom, nor would VC allow an SoV submission to do so, for all the reasons I'm trying to explain. Arguing here and convincing me isn't going to make a difference; I'm just one voice of many. (Not that I'm personally at all convinced so far. Just because something can exist in canon doesn't mean it should. Even if it works, the ability to remove order marker decisions from any and every army build is neat for a personal custom, but should not be a part of VC canon.)
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  #4278  
Old September 16th, 2020, 02:29 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

My old friends from HoSS will vouch for me: I am as stubborn as they come, but I am mind blown at this level of stubbornness.

Who does Ebol help more so than any figure right now, released or unreleased?

What army are you building right now with Ebol that is so broken?

This isn’t an argument. I know stubborn when I see it, and all I’ve seen from your last two pages of posts is stubbornness and an unwillingness to be open minded. Sad and unfortunate.

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  #4279  
Old September 16th, 2020, 02:34 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by heroscaper2010 View Post
all Ive seen from your last two pages of posts is stubbornness and an unwillingness to be open minded. Sad and unfortunate.
Then you haven't read them with an open mind. All I've seen is explanation. I may not agree with it all but that is all I've seen from Scytale.

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  #4280  
Old September 16th, 2020, 02:41 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

For those that are open minded, it’s worth pointing out that by default, other factions limitations that cut Ebol from being helpful in their armies, naturally create a space where Ebol can shine. This space is namely hodgepodge Unique Armies with or without Raelin and/or Rats - the same space that Ranjit is in the works of helping.

Ranjit and Ebol are just opposite ends of the spectrum.

Ranjit says we’ll take the bad OM management to another level, spread out all of the OMs, but give the Uniques a couple of boosts to hopefully compensate.

Ebol on the other hand says dump all of the OM on me and I’ll give you “freedom“ (he takes control of them so are they really free?), but no boosts.

It has been one of my biggest joys, in this sense, to see how they mirror each other from Einar/Valkrill.

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  #4281  
Old September 16th, 2020, 02:49 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

Quote:
Originally Posted by quozl View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by heroscaper2010 View Post
all I’ve seen from your last two pages of posts is stubbornness and an unwillingness to be open minded. Sad and unfortunate.
Then you haven't read them with an open mind. All I've seen is explanation. I may not agree with it all but that is all I've seen from Scytale.
Fair enough, but at this point, I feel like I (and others) have explained away all possible concerns. Certainly there has been a stubbornness and unwillingness to change opinion, or at least test it out with caution.

I don’t know what to do. Like Scy said at the beginning, freedom in OM management is deceptively powerful, but like I said, maybe it takes playing the figure to actually understand that the only thing deceptively powerful are the words on the card and not the unit sitting on the battlefield.

Sucks to put in all the work to get shut down by theoryscape. Submit one unit and be told the theme isn’t right on, submit the next and the theme is right but people who haven’t even tested Ebol get to shut him down over theoryscape? Rough way to motivate people. Not going to lie that this is probably my last run up this stubborn wall, it’s just slightly exhausting is all.

If you Scy, or anyone else, would like to read back through my posts and/or actually play a game with Ebol, I would greatly appreciate that effort.

I, however, am done advocating.

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  #4282  
Old September 16th, 2020, 03:01 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

Thanks, heroscaper2010. I understand the frustration. I think all Scytale's points are fair. I also think the weaknesses in your proposed unit to be enough for me to vote for it anyway. It's a very interesting proposal but I think we need to just stick with the facts when discussing it.

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  #4283  
Old September 16th, 2020, 03:12 PM
Knight of Scape Knight of Scape is offline
 
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

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Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
Yes, of course they do that. But the key difference is that they do so in a limited sense. They give a key advantage to faction builds. Flying is a ability specific to individual units that gives them an edge. Building a whole army with Disengage means you are creating an army with that specific advantage.

There is no power that gives Flying to each and every unit in your army. There is no power that gives blanket Disengage to every unit in your army. And yes, existing units that give benefits to all units in the game do restrict design space. Raelin's aura has killed more than a few potential defensive abilities because it combines too well.
I feel like I addressed this exact argument in the last paragraph of my previous post. You say that "balance does not matter" in this conversation, but I feel like you can't separate "design-space-restrictivness" from balance. Certainly, any unit with a power that can affect any friendly figure is going to restrict the design space of future units. But the amount by which a unit restricts the design space is tightly correlated with the balance of the unit. The reason that Raelin rules out so many potential abilities is that she is incredibly undercosted.

As I pointed out, Taelord has the same kind of unrestricted aura as Raelin, but he doesn't actually limit the design space much at all, because he's costed in such a way that he's only worth using with units that benefit abnormally much from additional attack. He's priced with his best-case use in mind, which is how I think things should be done. While he does restrict the design space of future units, creating a figure that would actually be broken in combo with Taelord takes some pretty wacky powers. His cost means that he doesn't restrict the design space a whole lot. At 80pts, Raelin is worth adding to just about any army, and could be broken in combination with a good unit with an ability that scales with defense dice. At something like 140pts, Raelin would become "not worth it" for a lot of armies that don't really want extra defense dice, opening a lot more room for units that "make Raelin worth it".

In the same way, if Ebol was priced in such a way that you could just throw him into whatever build and expect him to be useful, he would restrict the design space very harmfully. But if he's balanced in such a way that he's only really helpful for specific unique hodge-podges that really want the extra OM flexibility in the early game, then I really don't think he limits the space of future units all that much. Most new customs you could think to design would trivially be not very good with him, just like most uniques are not that exciting with Ranjit (or Finn or Thorgrim, who also offer unrestricted stat boosts (with unlimited range), but cost too many points and turns to make them effective as suicide boosters).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scytale View Post
I never wanted to get into this argument because it's pointless. I've been in these sorts of arguments many times before and I know how impossible it can be to convince people of the inherent problems of these sorts of designs. But I'm arguing here anyway to try to save people time and consternation. The C3V would never make a unit with this level of order marker freedom, nor would VC allow an SoV submission to do so, for all the reasons I'm trying to explain. Arguing here and convincing me isn't going to make a difference; I'm just one voice of many. (Not that I'm personally at all convinced so far. Just because something can exist in canon doesn't mean it should. Even if it works, the ability to remove order marker decisions from any and every army build is neat for a personal custom, but should not be a part of VC canon.)
It's fair enough to say that C3V is very unlikely to accept such a design. I don't think that means that it's pointless to talk about the concept, though. Hopefully both C3V members and other custom creators are open to evolving their views of what kind of customs are good for the game, and I think that new perspectives are helpful, even if no one is likely to completely change their mind this month.

Personally, I like units that don't synergize with explicit "factions", because I feel like part of the fun of Heroscape is that you can have vikings and aliens and elves and samurai and robots all fighting side by side, and units that tie themselves into specific faction based builds often make army creation less fun and interesting, so I think that requiring exciting new abilities to be restricted to a particular "faction" is pretty bleh.

Right now, most "meta" armies are already designed to barely engage with the OM mechanic by only having one card to put OMs on at a time. A lot of creative hodgepodge armies are unplayable, just because the OMs are too tricky. I feel like a focus on "not restricting future design space" can come at a cost of greatly restricting the space of playable armies (which is obviously great for game balance--it's much easier to balance a unit when you know that there's only a few army builds it will ever be played in--but I think that balance comes at a cost).

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  #4284  
Old September 16th, 2020, 03:57 PM
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Re: The Pre-SoV Workshop

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Originally Posted by Knight of Scape View Post
I feel like I addressed this exact argument in the last paragraph of my previous post. You say that "balance does not matter" in this conversation, but I feel like you can't separate "design-space-restrictivness" from balance. Certainly, any unit with a power that can affect any friendly figure is going to restrict the design space of future units. But the amount by which a unit restricts the design space is tightly correlated with the balance of the unit. The reason that Raelin rules out so many potential abilities is that she is incredibly undercosted.
I'm not even talking about design space restrictiveness (which is another thing to be concerned about). And no, balance isn't directly tied to these problems. Just because Taelord is really expensive doesn't mean his aura is potentially problematic; the reality is that giving everyone +1 attack is not that problematic to begin with. It does help some units more than others, but that's not important. The issue with +1 attack is balance.

We could pass a version of Ebol that gives total order marker freedom but is almost never worth drafting. That still doesn't mean we should. We shouldn't pass a unit with the random insta-win power I posted earlier, on that I hope we can all agree, regardless of how balanced it is. Check out BiggaBullfrog's review of the SoV submission Catalan Mercenaries for another example. He found them to be balanced, thematic, and fun, but felt the Cut and Run mechanic put too much of fate of the game on a random roll. That isn't good for a serious competitive game, and he rightly downvoted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knight of Scape View Post
Personally, I like units that don't synergize with explicit "factions", because I feel like part of the fun of Heroscape is that you can have vikings and aliens and elves and samurai and robots all fighting side by side, and units that tie themselves into specific faction based builds often make army creation less fun and interesting, so I think that requiring exciting new abilities to be restricted to a particular "faction" is pretty bleh.
I definitely agree with that (heck, I remember speaking up in disapproval when the Sacred Band were first announced with a weaker version of bonding than the Romans had). There is a lot of danger in broad synergies, though, as the ODs learned quickly, and we've had to deal with many times in VC as well. Warlord Bonding on the Romans has been as example of something that's gotten in the way multiple times, restricting potential Marro and Ullar Warlord creations that would give the Romans too much of a boost that was meant for others. The ODs also spoke of another regret from early designs: the single-Life Deathwalkers, which put a nasty crimp into auto-wound powers they designed later (and still plagues us to this day). Working around problematic interactions happens often, and the broader we make things the more of these we have to continue to deal with again and again. Or worse, we don't think of something, and a misguided release leads to dangerously potent unexpected interactions. Just recently there was a lot of trouble in the final stages of passing Xundar and the Shadows when the interaction with Azazel was questioned, leading to lots of extra testing and some unit changes.

So yeah, I really love crazy cross-faction synergies, and I'm not certainly not alone in VC on that point. But history has taught us prudence. We can and do create broad synergies, as well as push boundaries, but we do so with great care and lots of discussion.
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