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We don't need power creep

  • FortyDust's Avatar 230 454 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 4 days, 15 hours ago

    GrappLr posted a weirdly self-contradictory YouTube rant today that, to me, summarizes a lot of grumblings about the expansion I've noticed from certain streamers. His two main points were:

    1. None of the top-tier decks use Targon. In fact, they are all archetypes that existed before Call of the Mountain.
    2. Hush is a "fun police" card that stifles creativity.

    Do you see the contradiction? If none of the best decks are in Targon, they are not running Hush. Therefore, Hush cannot be a big enough presence in competitive play to keep a significant number of new decks from succeeding.

    Of course, I must also point out that most of the top decks on the meta stats list have pretty low play rates. In fact, you don't see a play rate above 10% until you get down to ... wait for it ... Trundle + ASol. That's right, an all-new Call of the Mountain archetype. A meta with a lot of low play rates means greater diversity and excellent balance. When more people are choosing to play a new deck because it's fun, even though it doesn't perform quite as well as a lot of the older ones, that is a very good thing. (Another point -- I don't believe mobalytics tier lists are the most accurate representation of the actual meta. They get results from a fairly thin slice of the overall LoR user base, and I'm not at all convinced that the sample size is sufficient.)

    GrappLr is upset because -- and he states this explicitly -- there's not enough power creep. He says he wants the first few weeks of a new expansion to be full of people saying, "OMG all these new cards need to be nerfed." Words cannot express how strongly I disagree with that sentiment. I say the fact that the new cards do NOT need a nerf is a sign that Riot did an amazing job with the balance. On the contrary, this is a great opportunity for Riot to appreciate how badly some of the old archetypes need to be taken down a notch.

    So I just wanted to take a moment to congratulate Riot on a job well done, and I hope they don't take this negativity to heart. Keep up the good work, and I'm looking forward to those nerfs of last season's cards.

    5
  • Topandito's Avatar Academy Adventurer 275 120 Posts Joined 03/29/2019
    Posted 4 days, 11 hours ago

    I couldn't agree more. I think one of the things that's gradually driven me away from HS is the way that they constantly drive each expansion to try and make some kind of huge splash. We don't just want new archetypes we want cards that refresh the old archetypes as well. So allowing old cards to stay above water is a huge draw for me.

    4
  • Nifty129's Avatar 120 150 Posts Joined 05/29/2020
    Posted 4 days, 8 hours ago

    Magic struggles with the concept of power creep as well. The Amohnket, and Ixalan blocks were designed to be fun focused and didnt sell, so we got War Of The Spark.

    The reality is that the difference between Targon and Bilgewater is about a 3 percent win rate. So that says all Riot needs to do is a few tiny tweaks like they have done in the past.

    0
  • meisterz39's Avatar 420 644 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 3 days, 17 hours ago

    Honestly, GrappLr's comments are probably self-contradictory precisely because, as you said, Mobalytics is not a great source of information. Their tier lists are defined by two people's personal experiences, and their stats page is nearly impossible to parse through. So, if you're playing against (and losing to) lots of decks with Hush, and seeing lots of decks on the tier list that are old (and so long as you're not bothering to think critically) those are exactly the conclusions you're going to draw.

    In general, I'm on board with the idea that the new cards are fairly balanced relative to the other regions, and that avoiding power creep is strictly good. I'm not totally sold on the idea that Riot has done a great job with this expansion, however. I know much has already been said about Aurelion Sol, and I don't want to turn this into just another discussion on him, but I think he has had an outsized impact on what new content can be relevant. The jury's still out on whether, as an individual card, he's too powerful (my gut says he's a bit too good, but it's hard to judge). But because of how the other new archetypes operate (with an emphasis on playing cards prior to attacking), any metagame that uses lots of those new cards is going to experience a massive influx of ASol Control to beat them back down.

    This is exactly what we saw with the first week of play in CotM, and it's why everyone reverted back so quickly to old decks*. It's true that the individual play rates of Targon decks are higher than most "meta decks," but those old-archetype, highest winrate "meta decks" still make up nearly 50% of the meta game. That staleness is a problem, and while power creep obviously isn't the answer, but I think releasing a full expansion would have done a lot of good to ensuring the metagame wasn't stale. This whole sets/expansions "release a few regions at a time" thing has arbitrarily stifled the ability of players to develop new decks that don't use Targon, and Targon's ASol problem makes that hard.

    *It's common in CCGs for the old meta decks to be the best new decks initially, as they're already optimized and people typically just slot in one or two new cards and call it a day. Eventually that gives rise to new decks as people experiment with new content across the colors/classes/regions of the game. That hasn't really happened thanks to the arbitrary way that Riot has chosen to gate the release of its new content. It has left your options as a) build a deck with Targon, where ASol is king, or b) use an old deck that lacks Targon.

    2
  • FortyDust's Avatar 230 454 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 3 days, 15 hours ago

    The first week, Aurelion Sol's power level was magnified by the psychological effect of seeing a 10/10 SpellShielded Champion that often levels up immediately. But players have already gotten much better at dealing with him, so he's not quite as demoralizing as he initially was. This in turn makes it more likely people will actually try to fight instead of just giving up, which will result in even more games he does not win.

    Eventually, once everyone is used to him and knows how to deal with him, I think he'll settle into a real (not just perceived) power level that's entirely suitable for a 10-mana Champion.

    0
  • meisterz39's Avatar 420 644 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 3 days, 14 hours ago
    Quote From FortyDust

    The first week, Aurelion Sol's power level was magnified by the psychological effect of seeing a 10/10 SpellShielded Champion that often levels up immediately. But players have already gotten much better at dealing with him, so he's not quite as demoralizing as he initially was. This in turn makes it more likely people will actually try to fight instead of just giving up, which will result in even more games he does not win.

    Eventually, once everyone is used to him and knows how to deal with him, I think he'll settle into a real (not just perceived) power level that's entirely suitable for a 10-mana Champion.

    Just so I'm clear on what you mean - are you saying that you believe the other new archetypes are balanced well against ASol? Because I'm not really talking about him in a global sense, but scoped down to the latest expansion. Aurelion Sol Control is not entirely oppressive to the game and all other regions, but it is far and away the most powerful new archetype because the rest of the new archetypes are effectively unusually slow midrange decks. There may be metagames where some of those slower midrange archetypes can succeed, but I suspect any metagame that slow will inevitably devolve into an ASol Control meta.

    To your point about adjusting, I think people are basically used to him already, and are able to play around him with traditional aggro and midrange builds. But the Call of the Mountain expansion released a bunch of archetypes that can't simultaneously compete with him and these faster midrange builds that have already saturated the meta for a while, which is why the metagame looks so stale. It's hard to speculate on what the metagame would look like if they had released the full set up front because we don't know exactly what's coming next, but I expect it would look a lot fresher because there would be renewed experimentation with a lot of the regions that got only two cards in the new expansion.

    With so little new content to work with, it's no wonder the best Spider Aggro/Endure decks, or Pirate Aggro, or Bilge/Demacia Scout decks already existed. And that's a real failure on the part of Riot to keep the game fresh.

    2
  • FortyDust's Avatar 230 454 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 3 days, 12 hours ago
    Quote From meisterz39
    Quote From FortyDust

    The first week, Aurelion Sol's power level was magnified by the psychological effect of seeing a 10/10 SpellShielded Champion that often levels up immediately. But players have already gotten much better at dealing with him, so he's not quite as demoralizing as he initially was. This in turn makes it more likely people will actually try to fight instead of just giving up, which will result in even more games he does not win.

    Eventually, once everyone is used to him and knows how to deal with him, I think he'll settle into a real (not just perceived) power level that's entirely suitable for a 10-mana Champion.

    Just so I'm clear on what you mean - are you saying that you believe the other new archetypes are balanced well against ASol? Because I'm not really talking about him in a global sense, but scoped down to the latest expansion. Aurelion Sol Control is not entirely oppressive to the game and all other regions, but it is far and away the most powerful new archetype because the rest of the new archetypes are effectively unusually slow midrange decks. There may be metagames where some of those slower midrange archetypes can succeed, but I suspect any metagame that slow will inevitably devolve into an ASol Control meta.

    I've been using Silverfuse's Freljord-SI every-troll deck, and it never loses against ASol. It also performs very well against older archetypes. So no, I cannot agree that the ASol archetype is the most powerful of the new set. It's just the most popular. Huge difference.

    I also very strongly disagree that the meta is stale. Seeing older decks continuing to thrive (along with all the Timmy players loving ASol) may make it feel stale to some players, but that's a perception, not a fact.

    -2
  • Sykomyke's Avatar 140 129 Posts Joined 05/30/2019
    Posted 3 days, 11 hours ago

    I actually still don't think ASOL itself is a problem card. Though according to today's patch notes they may be changing his level up requirements in the future.  IMO the most problematic card is actually Cosmic Inspiration.  To me it needs to be nerfed to not refill spell mana.  As it stands if you cast this on turn 10 with full mana (10+3) It can become obscene since you can cast it twice in a single turn and still be left with 3 mana and 3 spell mana.  I understand it's a celestial card and therefore supposed to feel powerful, but it either needs to cost more (and refill spell mana), or not refill spell mana at all.  As it stands if you float mana from turns 1-2, and then play celestials on turns 3-4.  You can get this out as early as turn 5 which can be backbreaking to play against, even if you yourself are playing a similar deck.

     

     

    Quote From FortyDust
    (along with all the Timmy players loving ASol)

    There's no need to insult a subset of a playerbase just because they like a particular card.  

    1
  • FortyDust's Avatar 230 454 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 3 days, 8 hours ago
    Quote From Sykomyke

     

    Quote From FortyDust
    (along with all the Timmy players loving ASol)

    There's no need to insult a subset of a playerbase just because they like a particular card.  

    How is that an insult? Do you even know what it means? "Timmy" is just a slang term (not pejorative) referring to players who like to play big units with powerful effects. No judgment attached.

    Stop looking for ways to be offended, and you'll be a lot happier.

    1
  • meisterz39's Avatar 420 644 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 3 days, 8 hours ago
    Quote From Sykomyke

    Quote From FortyDust
    (along with all the Timmy players loving ASol)

    There's no need to insult a subset of a playerbase just because they like a particular card.  

    This is actually a term used by the MTG design team, and it refers back to the Fairly Odd Parents: https://youtu.be/QHHg99hwQGY?t=2648

    That link is set to the timestamp where those descriptions come up, but I would recommend watching the whole thing if you're a fan of CCGs generally - there's a lot of good design insights in it.

    2
  • Sykomyke's Avatar 140 129 Posts Joined 05/30/2019
    Posted 3 days, 3 hours ago
    Quote From FortyDust
    Quote From Sykomyke

     

    Quote From FortyDust
    (along with all the Timmy players loving ASol)

    There's no need to insult a subset of a playerbase just because they like a particular card.  

    How is that an insult? Do you even know what it means? "Timmy" is just a slang term (not pejorative) referring to players who like to play big units with powerful effects. No judgment attached.

    Stop looking for ways to be offended, and you'll be a lot happier.

    Upon first reading it, your statement felt like a pejorative term.  (My mind immediately went back to OG seasons of south park and "Timmay") I figured you were calling people who liked to play Asol/Control decks simple minded (to be PC about it).  It's not the first time these forums, or others have dealt with that mindset either.  I'm sure even if you don't play Hearthstone on the regular you are familiar with people who whine and bitch about Rez Priest, even though it's a valid, good archetype, people whine about it because it stomps on their aggro plans. Point being, I've seen people isolate and witch hunt control deck players the minute a good control archetype comes to power.

    Also, once again...no need to insult people.  You could have completely left out your second sentence and your reply would have been just peachy.  Don't tell me how to feel, and I can assure you, I wasn't "looking for ways to be offended".  I don't need your advice on how to live my own happy life thank you very much. 

    And for the record, I actually agree with your original thread post and upvoted it.  I think you have pointed out some contradictions by 'popular' players and highlighted the fact that a small spread in deck winrates proves that most decks are relatively balanced for the most part.

    Quote From meisterz39
    Quote From Sykomyke

    Quote From FortyDust
    (along with all the Timmy players loving ASol)

    There's no need to insult a subset of a playerbase just because they like a particular card.  

    This is actually a term used by the MTG design team, and it refers back to the Fairly Odd Parents: https://youtu.be/QHHg99hwQGY?t=2648

    That link is set to the timestamp where those descriptions come up, but I would recommend watching the whole thing if you're a fan of CCGs generally - there's a lot of good design insights in it.

    Thanks for explaining meisterz.  I actually remember watching part of this video a few years ago.  I remember the part about the spikes.  I completely forgot about the terms for "timmy" and "jenny" type players.

    0
  • Hellcopter's Avatar 145 251 Posts Joined 02/09/2020
    Posted 2 days, 18 hours ago

    Clap Clap Op, great post, 100% agree

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

    0
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