Author Topic: Magic the Lackeying (Community Game Redesign Challenge!)  (Read 3233 times)

GnKoichi

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Magic the Lackeying (Community Game Redesign Challenge!)
« on: March 07, 2010, 11:21:02 pm »
Hey All. I've been mulling over why I've stopped enjoying playing Magic on Lackey, and I came to this conclusion: The cards & formats are not designed for a virtual environment. So, we're going to fix that. This topic will see the creation of a new base set. Magic Virtual 01 will adhere to the following guidelines to both separate it from the existing MtG game and to ensure it is optimized for a virtual environment:

1. There will be no rarities. All cards will be playable, balanced & competitive for their cost.

2. No existing cards will be used. Functional reprints will be expected.

3. Creatures will be balanced across colors. Color differences will be exaggerated in abilities and effects.

Each step, I want to focus on two things: Game & Flavor!

Unless anyone is opposed, I want Flying to be an ability that can show up in any color, and to have one other easy-to-understand mechanic show up in each. I also want a basic "tribe" for each color, which can be based around race or class. How will we decide these things? Vote!!! Just fill out this quick sheet:

[Mechanics]
W:
U:
B:
R:
G:

[Tribes]
W:
U:
B:
R:
G:

Note1: The mechanics should be basic-level pre-existing keywords. A good list of those can be found here at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Magic:_The_Gathering_keywords#Keyword_actions

Note2: I know it may sound boring to design a core set. If this goes well, I want it to expand out into full expansion creation. But we should start with the core set.

GnKoichi

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Re: Magic the Lackeying (Community Game Redesign Challenge!)
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2010, 11:31:31 pm »
My votes:

[Mechanics]
W: Lifelink
U: Protection from ...
B: Trample
R: Haste
G: Flash

[Tribes]
W: Angels
U: Humans
B: Demons
R: Goblins
G: Elves

Ripplez

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Re: Magic the Lackeying (Community Game Redesign Challenge!)
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2010, 06:12:29 am »
i dont undrstand the first post. why does magic need redesigning for a virtual environment? why doesnt it fit and what do the new example changes have to do with tat?

reelhotgames

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Re: Magic the Lackeying (Community Game Redesign Challenge!)
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2010, 01:18:48 pm »
I'm in agreememnt with Ripplez - I've played plentry of virtual magic and it has no real issues to me. If you're looking at redesigning the wheel for the sake of the wheel, I get that, but I think its an excerisise in futility if your doing it for any other reason. Cheers.

GnKoichi

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Re: Magic the Lackeying (Community Game Redesign Challenge!)
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2010, 05:03:23 pm »
i dont undrstand the first post. why does magic need redesigning for a virtual environment? why doesnt it fit and what do the new example changes have to do with tat?

Well, it's not that Magic doesn't fit in a virtual environment. It's just not optimized for it. Here's how each of my original points addresses the issues involved in the redesign:

1. By eliminating rarities and keeping all cards relatively balanced, you remove an artificial construct that serves no purpose in a virtual environment. When you have access to any card you want, having less playable or less desirable cards serves no purpose.

2. It would be too confusing, I feel, to use the existing Magic fluff or cards. I expect major changes, with very little overlap with existing cards. By changing reprints into functional reprints, we clearly define our design space as being separate from the original game.

3. Creatures being unbalanced is an admission by the original game of Magic that the powers of colors are not balanced. If we start with balanced creatures, that will encourage us to design other cards that are also balanced. This is separate from the primary concern of virtual optimization, but if we're going to redesign the game, we might as well improve it. I feel it will also make it easier to balance card contributions from a large group of participants.

Tokimo

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Re: Magic the Lackeying (Community Game Redesign Challenge!)
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2010, 07:15:54 pm »
I think re costing spells so that creatures are equivalent makes sense on some levels. On other levels it doesn't make that much sense. I've always been bothered by the suck level of blue creatures. What would fix this? Weaker blue spells, which means counter spells that cost UUU or something.

I would suggest that flying should be available to all (as it is now) but blue should still have extra helpings of it. Actually the same should probably go for each ability.

W: Lifelink, First Strike, Vigilance
U: Flying, Shroud, Flash
B: Deathtouch, Regenerate, Wither
R: Haste, Flying, Double Strike
G: Poison, Trample, Reach
A: Indestructible

Clans:
W: Soldiers, Angels
U: Merfolk, Serpents
B: Undead, Demons
R: Goblins, Dragons
G: Elves, Beasts
A: Thopters
« Last Edit: March 08, 2010, 07:18:11 pm by Tokimo »

Ripplez

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Re: Magic the Lackeying (Community Game Redesign Challenge!)
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2010, 08:37:56 pm »
there are a few things wrong here

Quote
1. By eliminating rarities and keeping all cards relatively balanced, you remove an artificial construct that serves no purpose in a virtual environment. When you have access to any card you want, having less playable or less desirable cards serves no purpose.

this is simply untrue. there exist the formats sealed and draft. many MANY people find pleasure from these formats and the rarity and the simplicity of some of the cards are important in these formats. not everyone plays constructed and yes, people play draft and sealed online. you use special programs for it (dont ask me what, i dont personally play those)

Quote
2. It would be too confusing, I feel, to use the existing Magic fluff or cards. I expect major changes, with very little overlap with existing cards. By changing reprints into functional reprints, we clearly define our design space as being separate from the original game.

not related to magic as a virtual game. this is after-the-fact, if you dont make a new version, this point will never arise

Quote
3. Creatures being unbalanced is an admission by the original game of Magic that the powers of colors are not balanced. If we start with balanced creatures, that will encourage us to design other cards that are also balanced. This is separate from the primary concern of virtual optimization, but if we're going to redesign the game, we might as well improve it. I feel it will also make it easier to balance card contributions from a large group of participants.

:( there is no way to make this sound pleasant. so just know that no matter how i phrase it, i dont mean to sound mean

the power levels of the colours are not balanced because of the intrinsic design areas of those colours. greens counterspell hate doesnt get as much love as say, vigilance which doesnt get as much love as say counterspell (for example). the reason these arent balanced is because these abilities are usually at odds with each other. greens love for creatures is laughed at by blues love for countering them before they hit the field or bouncing them back after. blacks -toughness killing cards are simply outdone by red most of the time and white the rest of it. this is because those colours are meant to be balanced as a whole, not in parts

this carries over whenever new blocks and their sets are made. once a focus is chosen for a set and mechanics made, those mechanics will adhere to some extent to the design areas of the colours, thematically AND gameplay-wise. the imbalance usually comes about with a combination of the colour design as well as the focus of the block itself. this needs to be understood because of three things -

1) creatures dont have to be balanced amongst each other. creature strength is just one part of the design space for each colour. white has weenie, red has small haste/destruction, black has overcosted things, blue has equally pathetic ones, green has big stuff. this is because along with the creatures comes their spells, their forms of removal, their forms of instants, sorceries, library manipulation, mana curve. creatures are only one small part of the big picture. to say lets balance the creatures and then balance all the other spells is not going to work, the creatures are meant to be balanced within the colour as a whole. they ALL contribute to a colours strengths and weaknesses

2) you have not taken into the focus of sets. this is why colours vary from being godlike in type 2 in one block and then getting powered down/up in a different block. some sets like Time Spiral had alot of control orientation. naturally some mechanics will rise dominant. other sets, not so much. gimmicks they used like kamigawas legendaries and ravnicas multicolours will produce different results. to give another way of looking at it - the design space for a colour gives the general aspect for that colour but the block gives the localised instance of that colour. the two together form the balance in extended and type 2. older formats are usually left to fend for themselves (because of the headache of balancing 2K+ cards) since those formats tend to be about power anyway, so you don't really need to ban alot. just the really retarded ones

3) the colours are MEANT to be different. they are not meant to have same power level of creatures, removal, development, mana curve and so on. this was a design choice so that making a deck around colours has significance; by choosing a colour, you are taking on the mechanics and design space that that colour offers and EXCLUDING the aspects of the unchosen colours. by choosing black, you forgo white's mass creature removal, you forgo red's burnl, you forgo blue's counterspells. by choosing white, you forgo black's life drain, you forgo its tutoring, you forgo its spot creature removal, you forgo its life>advantage conversion. this is another reason why trying to balance all the aspects of the game with the colours and just varying the focus of the mechanics wont work. while your keeping the mechanics apart for this reason, youll already have done damage to the importance of having the colour system. building a deck to cover more design space is meant to be difficult and have its pitfalls (mana resources being a good key one) in order to offset the advantage inherent in gaining such aspects to work with. if you try to equalise, this loses meaning, most of the colour system loses meaning

additional points not mentioned : this is why i wish more people played fighting games. this concept of balance needing to come from equal opportunities is not wrong but to apply it stringently to every situation without thought IS wrong. this is more of a personal note but to wish for every colour to be perfectly in synch with each other in a fractal of balanced and yet harmonious beauty.... is not going to happen. thats not how balancing works, thats not how games work and thats certainly not how players work, particularly power gamers. that should NOT be an excuse to let things lie unbalanced (iv seen this excuse used way too often, it always annoys the heck out of me) but you should also understand why this is so. because the design space is asymmetric, there will often be overlap, combinations and antagonistic relatinships that strengthen and weaken a side, in any game of any genre. unless the game is closed (no more progress done on it) there is little hope of keeping this perfect balance because quite frankly doing so just limits design space horribly.

this is why using blocks to focus and give certain mechanics a chance to shine oand through them, colours, is a good thing. but you dont NEED to balance all the colours. they dont HAVE to all be amazing all the time, they just need to be viable. if all of the colours are viable on some level, it doesnt matter if they arent all viable at a competitive level, that is not their place. casual play has its place too and just because black, red and green are good at a tournament level doesnt mean white and blue are retarded. they can have fun effects and relatinships within themselves and the other colours and provide fun at a casual level, with a chance to allow higher level of play. you dont need to actually be able to win tournaments with white and blue, although itd be preferable. like i said, you shouldnt use the fact that something is usually weaker as an excuse to not try to balance the game. but expecting every colour t do equally well isnt really the point; the point of higher level play is to let the better player win. colour need not come into it

and this all glosses over another key point - the colours were made with themes in mind. the importance of storyline/thematic qualities in a game often goes understated. the colours were probably not designed to be balanced from the start and you can't really expect that. it doesnt mean that this is something to fix, it cant be fixed through block analysis. but to just equalise every colour just because you can ignores alot of the thematic value of the design choices. green has huge creatures because those creatures are tuned into the natural cycle of the world. blues creatures suck because theyr frail weaklings whod rather rely on trickery than straight up combat. white has the rfg removal w/ opponent gaining advantage because that line of cards symbolises the creature giving up their military life for a different purpose (it also makes good gameplay sense, which is why that line of cards is usually a great example of flavour and gameplay coming together). to simply discount it is silly. and that IS what it will do because when you rebalance cards like this, you discount any interaction apart from the superficial. in the new system, sure white might have more lifelink cards than any other. but that is diminished, there is no real impact of colour choice, especially since you're making all colours have access to all mechanics in a nontrivial way and theres no real flavour or feeling to the colours if i can pick a red creature and have a slightly weaker version of lifelink

tl;dr - dont do it. i really really think your misguided as to how balancing such a thing works

also, sorry if any part of it came across as mean or impatient. i didnt mean it that way, i just word things badly sometimes

Trevor

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Re: Magic the Lackeying (Community Game Redesign Challenge!)
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2010, 01:19:46 am »
I don't see any reason to do this. There are some things that are better done with real cards, like "look at the top 5 cards of your deck and choose one" type of mechanics. There are some things that are a lot better done with virtual cards, like shuffling a deck (which is instantly done with a single click and it is perfectly random). But I don't see any good reason to change how any CCG works when it is played virtually.

It seems like you just want to create your own CCG from scratch, arbitrarily taking and leaving things from magic. I don't think its wise to do so and I don't think the idea would catch on. Also, I don't think you should ever splinter the CCG community by having multiple versions of what is essentially the same plugin.

That said, if you really want to make a plugin in a different way, I can't stop you.