The Unintended Effects Of Patch 1.2

  • Nifty129's Avatar 390 643 Posts Joined 05/29/2020
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago

    There has always been pros and cons of live card balancing in games when compared to the hands off approach of mtg.

     

    For one, you can unintentionally ruin what has made you game fun by listening to your fans, Gwent being a great example with it's gold update.

     

    Similarly, with it's limited card pool and emphasis on champions,  Legends of Runterra has to be cautious not to make too many archetypes unplayable.

     

    So what changes did we see and what are the meta implications...

     

    1. Stand alone no longer works with Zed, this list want never top tier so why did Riot want to kill this champion

     

    2. Elise is worse because she can't flood the board with brood swarm - again not on the tier list so this nerf doesn't make sense

     

    3. Legion rearguard was an aggro card not a burn card per say, so now Darius and Katarina are worse

     

    4. Badger bear was showing up in control decks, but they nerfed the damage not the toughness, so they made it worse at aggro but still good in control

     

    5. Unyielding spirit still exists so Fiora is fine, even though she was the nerf target

     

    6. Boomcrew nerf was needed and well implemented

     

    7. Grizzles ranger got double nerfed and is now unplayable

     

    Unintended meta consequences

     

    control variants are the only archetypes worth playing mid range and aggro are dead

     

    So no bannerman, no noxious anything that isn't swain

     

    Region diversity will appear healthy, but deck archetypes will all be very slow

     

    Fun for some, absolutely awful for the majority of players 2/3

     

     

     

     

     

     

    -8
  • Hellcopter's Avatar 260 306 Posts Joined 02/09/2020
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago

    1- Stand Alone is not a ionia card. If you trully think Zed interaction with it is that good, another reason to nerf it.
    2- Elise will see exact as much play as before the buff on Brood Awakening
    3- That's how patch works: some nerfs make some champions worse, some buff/new cards make them better. While what you said is true (just very slightly but still), some new cards previously released also helped Darius. Adapt.
    4- It was a consensus Grizzled Ranger and Loyal Badgerbear had too many stats for their cost.
    5- Fiora was not the nerf target, and personally, i think Unyielding Spirit works better on Lux, Heimerdinger and Lucian.
    6- Yeah.
    7- He is weaker then before, but still strong. Deal 3 damage, Scout and Last Breath that summons a 3/4 is very good value for only 4 mana. But he probably won't see play in every Demacia deck now.

    Its too early to make any hasty conclusions about the state of the meta. Players are still experimenting and usually takes at least one week until it settles down a bit. 

    Hearthstone: Me vs Firebat -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09NCE81owjo

    3
  • Nifty129's Avatar 390 643 Posts Joined 05/29/2020
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago

    I'm just coming at this as a guy with nearly 20 years of competitive card game experience.

     

    Its fine if you dislike the predictions it doesn't make them any less correct.

     

    There is also the budget player considerations that again make up the majority of your player base.

     

    Nerfing things that aren't top tier doesn't make sense, unless you are fostering a very particular play style that only appeals to a very small but cash rich player base.

    -7
  • CursedParrot's Avatar 635 698 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago

    The thing is, Burn Aggro is still a viable deck. Just because players can't achieve a 60+% winrate with it doesn't mean that it isn't a good option for newer players who want to play fast games. I've played a few games with it since the patch (replacing Legion rearguard with Teemo) and it seems weaker but still very viable, especially against all the weird decks players throw together. 

    0
  • Nifty129's Avatar 390 643 Posts Joined 05/29/2020
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago

    I was using burn as the example of unintended effects. Which granted you seemed to have missed.

     

    They wanted to nerf burn and only hit 1 of it's trademark tools. Boomcrew

     

    Then they nerfed rearguard which hurt Noxious's region identity.

     

    You have to understand that only 20 percent of a card game operates based on tier lists.

     

    mtg understands this that's why prices are impacted by commander not standard.

     

    There was a better way to nerf burn without harming low tier noxious champions like Katarina and Darius

    -4
  • Hellcopter's Avatar 260 306 Posts Joined 02/09/2020
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago
    Quote From Nifty129

    I'm just coming at this as a guy with nearly 20 years of competitive card game experience.

    Thats very nice.

    I do think everyone's opinion on this forum is just as important, yours included. 
    Veteran or a relatively new player, we are all experiencing the same game.
    By exploring different views on the same subject, we improve, and sometimes even learn about ourselves. 

    I don't like to share because it looks like a brag, but since experience seems important for you, this is mine resume:

    Show Spoiler
    MTG player since 1998 (Ursa Saga), around 22 years worth of experience between many other card games, including: Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, Hearthstone, Marvel, Gwent, Shadowverse… and more, on top of being a sucefull professional Poker player over 10 years.

    Here is the best results i achieved on Legends Of Runeterra so far:
    Show Spoiler
     


    Hearthstone: Me vs Firebat -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09NCE81owjo

    0
  • Nifty129's Avatar 390 643 Posts Joined 05/29/2020
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago

    The point wasn't that one opinion is better than an other, but that fan feedback is bad for strategy card games.

     

    I opened with the Gwent example for a reason, fan feedback killed that game.

     

    So here we see the case where Riot is balancing based on fan complaints.

     

    Burn had a higher winrate with rearguard turn 1 so it gets deleted, even if that makes a lot of other noxious decks worse.

     

    Badger bear is over tuned so it gets nerfed even if it makes midrange unplayable.

     

    Zed lists were upsetting to pro players so they get deleted.

     

    This is a bad way to balance a game historically, and your vs my opinion is irrelevant in the face of that.

     

    Just release new sets, and let the balance adjust in the face of new mechanics minus tiny tweaks don't kill entire archetypes.

    -3
  • DoubleSummon's Avatar Ancestral Recall 1580 2271 Posts Joined 03/25/2019
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago

    This is annoying

    1. Stand Alone was a toxic card, it was unfun to play against, also Zed is still very much playable.

    2.Elise is still one of the strongest champions in the game, and you can still play the nerfed card.

    3.Legion Rearguard was the highest winrate when played on turn 1 card on the burn deck, that's why he got nerfed, also he created a very unfun scenario where you play an overstated unit that you also have hard time blocking, and also is a fuel to the imperial demolisionistBADCARDNAME so it's kind of a burn card on that regard.

    4. Loyal Badgerbear and  Grizzled Ranger are worse in the bannermen deck as intended.

    5. the card is in the watchlist, will probably be reworked next month. if you notice this time Riot stated they only touched numbers.. dunno why but they decided on may they only do number changes.

    7. doubt it's unplayable, It's still very powerful and the 4 slot is very free.

    I disagree with your predictions as well.

     

    3
  • OldManSanns's Avatar Azir 1040 924 Posts Joined 08/05/2019
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago

    I was going to respond to your numbered list but Hellcopter and DoubleSummon wrote basically what I would so I'll just speak towards your predictions.

    Quote From Nifty129

    Unintended meta consequences

    • control variants are the only archetypes worth playing mid range and aggro are dead
    • So no bannerman, no noxious anything that isn't swain
    • Region diversity will appear healthy, but deck archetypes will all be very slow

    Bannerman still feels REALLY strong.  Sure Ranger and Badgerbear chip a 1 less damage/ea, but the bears still have 4 HP so they survive most attacks giving bannerman, war chefs, single combat, and ranger's resolve a lot of value.  Yes on paper all the cards are strictly worse now, but in practice I think none of the nerfs are going to significantly lower the winrate or playrate of this deck, just like the nerf to bannerman from last patch had an almost negligible impact 4 weeks ago.  Therefore I absolutely disagree with the first half of your 2nd prediction; I think this archetype is going to continue to dominate ladder and tournaments.  I'll also say that the noxus/P&Z burn archetype will continue to be popular but for the opposite reason: the units have less health so it will be less consistent, but if you can still punish slow opponents with a lot of early damage.  I could see the decklist changing up a little, but overall I think the archetype will remain very popular--especially since its one of the few that can get ahead of bannerman.  I would agree that Noxus won't see much play outside of this archetype and Swain.

    As a corollary to the above point, I predict almost the exact inverse for your 1st prediction: the meta will continue looking much like it does now, with a bevy of midrange and aggro with control practically nonexistant.   Control is in a very bad spot right now--all of the AoE are either very expensive or moderate cost but only do 1 damage, so as a result they are too slow for aggro and too light for midrange.  The one deck that was treading water was Corina, and that archetype is probably hit the 2nd hardest out of all by this patch.  Any viable deck needs to be able to fight board against the existing bannerman and burn decklists, and even post-patch that requires putting your own units on the board so more midrange and aggro decks.

    Finally, I think Demacia, Bilgewater, and P&Z will remain overly popular and Frejlord and non-burn Noxus will remain least popular by a wide margin.  SI might dip--depends greatly on if someone invents a clever Hecarim deck to supplement the hits to Corina and spiders.  Ionia will remain where it is in the middle.

    1
  • Nifty129's Avatar 390 643 Posts Joined 05/29/2020
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago

    We've already seen the push to a slower meta with streamers.

     

    The number of 1 drops have basically been removed from lists,, unless they have card cycling or buffing potential.

     

    Everything needs to trade 2 for 1.

     

    Any win con that exists before turn 6 is unattainable.

     

    I'm sorry but this is simple how the game functions now hate me all you want.

    -3
  • meisterz39's Avatar 925 1200 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago

    Some nitpicky things to start - thanks for no longer centering all of your text, but please stop putting two new lines at the end of every sentence. It makes in unnecessarily hard to read and process what you're saying. Also, please add some color to the "Gwent" example you keep referring to - I haven't played Gwent, and I'm betting others here haven't either, so it's helpful to add more description when referencing some other CCG.

    Quote From Nifty129
    Nerfing things that aren't top tier doesn't make sense

    In principle, this is not really true. There are often things which are not top tier, but are super unfun when they see competitive play. I think Unyielding Spirit and the "Klepto-heavy" decks are great examples of this - they're not so over-powered that they are breaking the metagame, but they're super unfun to play against because they lack significant counterplay and produce unfun situations like unkillable units, or scenarios where your opponent knows more about your deck than you do.

    More generally, we have to believe that Riot (and really any CCG creator) tries to be two or three steps ahead with their nerfs. Sometimes it may make sense to nerf a lower tier deck along with a higher tier deck because you've tested it and know that said lower tier deck is going to simply replace the higher tier deck as the problematic deck in the game.

    Quote From Nifty129

    mtg understands this that's why prices are impacted by commander not standard.

    Is this a reference to the MTG secondary market? I don't consider secondary market prices on cards as a balancing mechanism in the game, and don't see how this relates to creating a well-balanced CCG - more than anything, it's a (perhaps unintentional) way to block poorer players from joining competitive play.

    Quote From Nifty129

    They wanted to nerf burn and only hit 1 of it's trademark tools. Boomcrew. Then they nerfed rearguard which hurt Noxious's region identity. There was a better way to nerf burn without harming low tier noxious champions like Katarina and Darius

    What do you recommend? It's not really much of an argument to say "there's a better way to do this" and just leave it at that.

    Frankly, I think the change to Legion Rearguard made a lot of sense. Noxus does feature overstated units that can't block as part of its identity, and I can see why you might think that shrinking one of those units (particularly when there are already very few "Can't Block" cards in the game) hurts that aspect of the Noxus identity. But really I think this just reflects Riot correcting their own misconception on the "Can't Block" effect. Comparing the pre-nerf Legion Rearguard to Reckless Trifarian, both had statlines which were about 1.5 to 2 mana over the average stats for their cost (that is, a 3/2 body is worth about 3 mana, and a 5/4 is worth about 5 mana).

    On the surface, this made sense - they're basically saying that blocking is worth about 2 mana, so units that are otherwise vanilla but can't block should have bodies that are about 2 mana bigger than their cost. However, what we've seen in practice with these cards, and what anyone who's played a lot of CCGs can tell you, the value of an effect is not always linear with its cost. Getting 3 mana's worth of stats on turn 1 is worth a lot more than getting 5 mana's worth of stats on turn 3 (it's the difference between 300% mana efficiency vs. ~166% mana efficiency). This is especially true in a game that features LoRs Spell Mana bank - it's much easier to respond to 5 mana's worth of stats on turn 3 if you've banked mana, but your mana bank is empty on turn one, leaving you with inadequate tools for dealing with a 3 mana body.

    Quote From Nifty129

    The point wasn't that one opinion is better than an other, but that fan feedback is bad for strategy card games. I opened with the Gwent example for a reason, fan feedback killed that game. So here we see the case where Riot is balancing based on fan complaints.

    While I don't agree with the blanket statement that "fan feedback is bad for strategy card games," I agree with the overall sentiment that game balance is about more than just tweaking the most popular decks every four weeks to keep players happy. A well-balanced CCG should have a metagame that regularly changes because players find new strategies to beat top-tier decks, not because the cards change out from under them.

    And this is honestly something I think Riot needs to be better about. I am not a game developer, but it seems to me like a four week balance patch cycle is a tight time-frame to do right (that is, for a full cycle of investigating potential problem cards, implementing changes, and testing those updates). It takes time for players to experiment with the newly nerfed/buffed cards to see how the metagame might shape up, meaning that a non-trivial amount of the data Riot has to work off of for the next balance patch is experimentation and not very valuable for balancing purposes. And without good data, you're more likely to make less effective balance changes, further sticking you into a bad cycle of putting your thumb on the scale to address the metagame and making it impossible to see whether or not the game can self-balance.

    Now, perhaps Riot's future balance patches will feature fewer buffs/nerfs, and the balancing will stabilize. I sort of doubt it, based on the watchlist and the last few balance patches, but maybe they will slow down.

    2
  • AberHatschi's Avatar 70 9 Posts Joined 05/21/2020
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago

    When you think that a patch is ruining anything, just imagine that is how game was released. Do you want to play it or not?

    If you always think about things you could benefit from in the past, you will find yourself only on the miserable end in the present.

    0
  • Nifty129's Avatar 390 643 Posts Joined 05/29/2020
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago

    Just gotta embrace the way the game works now. I have found that things have slown down enough for TF and have been enjoying that style of game play.

    -1
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