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How's it going TCG Top Tier. Artificat has recently updated and while small in size, brings a significant change in how develop plans to go forward. Originally, Valve was intent on keeping Artifact as close to a physical TCG as they could. However, it seems they've realized that a digital card game presents unique opportunities that TCG's do must go to great lengths to accomplish otherwise. Your buddy Majin Goo is going to go over a few important points and provide my opinion on the subject. The first thing to note is that the update adds in account levels and skill ratings. The skill ratings are separate between constructed and draft. Account leveling will show your experience, essentially track how much you actually play the game, while providing you tickets and packs as you advance. This is a minor addition as most games today have content like this and it's important that valve continue to add features that give players a reason to play the game. The major part of this update is their change in design philosophy. Originally, Valve had committed to the idea of not changing cards and using bans as a last resort. From their prospective, this would ensure card value and build consumer confidence in the marketplace. While I applaud the idea and love the marketplace, balance and competitive progression is what keeps players buying cards and pushing their limits. Valve has done a lot in regards to listening to their player-base and realized the problems that come with such an issue. Much of their concerns had aligned with my own and I'm glad to see them adapting to the environment. Stale Meta focused around power cards are incredibly difficult to build around and deal with, this will allow them an opportunity to ensure previous sets will not hinder future development and creativity. There thoughts on the subject can be read: "Further consideration also made us realize it was the wrong approach from the development side. An extremely high bar for making iterations will indirectly cause future set development to be worse off. Long term set creativity will suffer if we are reluctant to try new ideas because of fears around not being able to make adjustments." Now this brings up the question, "What about the cards I bought that will lose value due to balance?" This is a good question, one that valve was prepared for. While it doesn't do much to help players that bought cards early on when they were their peak, it does show they are concerned with the success of the marketplace. Valve has decided to buyback any singles you bought in the marketplace that were changed in this update. They will give what the market peak was up to 24 hours prior to the announcement of the changes going live. While traditional TCG players are no strangers to balance affecting a card's value, I assume newer players to the model will have concern. The key here is to remember that it is more important in the long run for card value if you have buyers. As people leave because balance is ignored, it will become harder for you to sell as the demand drops. In the long run I believe this will help the overall value of Artifact cards. Now, let's talk about the changes. Not many cards were changed and the changes are not crippling. In fact, from what I can see, more cards were buffed than nerfed which is good to hear. There were 6 buffs and 2 nerfs to be exact. The notable nerf being to the card that held the top spot for value for some time, Axe. As someone that plays an Axe/Tinker deck, I've always felt Axe gave you too much for nothing. Not only is his signature card good, but he is capable of providing aggressive board presence for several turns. This can make it difficult for slower decks to really get going. Axe was adjusted from a 7/2/11 (Atk, Armor, Life) to 6/2/10. While the change is minor, it does make him slightly easier to deal with. The key here is that his armor remained 2. Armor in Artifact provides an "actual" change to damage. What I mean by this is that if armor is positive it reduces the damage, if it is negative however, it will increase how much damage the unit takes. Think of armor as not just equipment, but state of health. A unit with negative armor could be seen as poisoned, sick, or weakened, so they take more damage. While a unit with positive armor could be seen as well equipped, in extraordinary health, or made stronger by magical enhancements, so they take less damage. What makes Axe powerful is the natural 2 armor that he starts with, essentially making it to where champions themselves need to deal with him and even then he has the advantage in the first 2 to 3 turns. If he continues to shape the meta I could see the Armor being changed in the future. Let me know what you think and make sure to comment below so we can have a good discussion about the changes going forward. Lets talk about your favorite changes and what you think could make the game more appealing to a larger audience. Remember as indicated by Valve, they are listening to us and discussing our ideas and our concerns: "Since the release of Artifact, there have been a lot of discussions surrounding this topic. Input came in many forms, some from online discussions, some from direct feedback with players, and some through discussions among our own team members. This caused us to take a step back and spend a bunch of time debating the merits of the different arguments presented." Full information can be found at: Skill Rating, Leveling, and Balance Update
I figured I'd make this thread since several cards from the upcoming set have been shown now, and I figured it could be fun to talk about. Namely, we have new Broly levels and Bojack finally has an MP. Now, I'm not going to bother doing a full breakdown of either stack. There are plenty of those online already, and honestly, they are both very straight forward stacks that don't really require big breakdowns. But I do kind of want to explore the biggest positive I see in the new Broly levels; The ability to somehow restrict the old Broly stack. I know a lot of people would rebel against the idea, and just be incensed by the idea, especially since I don't think Broly has been performing THAT well in recent competitive scenes. But honestly, I'm just glad that it's even an OPTION now since previously, there was no way to restrict him without making the MP entirely unplayable. Now, if there is another big shift in the meta, and he starts to dominate entirely, they can emergency restrict one of his levels or something, and use that as a short-term fix while they work up to a newer fix. That said, it's also kind of cool that we now have Energy Beats Broly. I don't really think his new stack is quite as overwhelming as his classic stack, but I like it's synergy with Rampaging Mastery and the ability to almost just skip to level 3/4 off of a single decent combat. His first level comes across as serving the same function as Awakening Trunks(?), and his search on Level 2 basically gives you his 3 so long as you have ANY +2 anger card in hand already. That said, I could easily see this getting overwhelming/broken depending on what other cards come in this set. Bojack is considerably more boring, which I actually find surprising (at least, personally). I straight up think he's the entire Blue Style wrapped up neatly in a single MP, and considering that I main Blue and love Bojack, that feels like it's a love letter. But he's just not interesting to me? Anger control is neat, Level controlling is neat, his Setup and Ally aren't bad by any means, but he doesn't really capture me. I'll still give him a shot (probably on OCTGN), but he's TOO Blue in the same way that Bardock was... Well, yeah. Like, Blue thematically has Allies and Setups. He has that. It thematically has some anger control, both supporting their own, and lowering the opponent's. He has that. Blue has some controlled Rejuv. He has that. Blue has board control (Betrayal and co.). HE HAS THAT. It could be cool to have these Blue themes in the other colors, but he feels like a checklist. |: What do you guys think so far? Also, hoping for/looking forward to a new Gohan stack personally.
First off, where the heck IS everyone? Alright, moving on. Having gotten back into DBSuper's TCG at the site's prompt, it's hit me once again that they have unconsciously limited the lifespan of the game to only as long as the Dragon Ball IP will carry it. Some people won't see this as a problem, or an issue, especially when there's still so much to be done, but what I'm digging at there is that there is nothing in the game's mechanics, gameplay, or frankly anything else that MAKE it a Dragon Ball game. It is, for all intents, just a fairly bare TCG frame that can be used for pretty much any IP. This is something I've brought up before, of course, so nothing new. But that got me wondering what other IPs would interact really well with Pan-Z's update to the Score game model? And I want to be clear, I want to find ones that would work both in terms of flavor, and in terms of fitting the model. In theory, you could probably force any IP to work with the game, but a lot of them would come out feeling... Dull, imo. The big one for me so far though is; Digimon: Hands down my favorite one, and the one I think would almost straight-up just port into the Pan-Z model. Also the main one that I'd actually want. The MP-Levels easily correspond to the Digimon-life cycle, you can change Drills out to Tamers or have Tamers function the same way Sensei decks of old did, Crests could be used as Element-Specific versions of Kaioken/Unleashed that forsake the MPPV equivalent, find a way to break up the Crest of Miracles/Destiny into multiple pieces for a DBV-equivalant and so on. As for Ultras/Fusions, you could easily slot them in as either alternative Level 4s who give up MPPV, or have them be a boosted Level 5 that you get through a card like Gohan's Backlash. MP stacks would probably be the most difficult, depending on if you want to follow evolutionary lines, or specific Digimon from the series. With the former, it's pretty easy to fit in a Pokemon-esque box in the corner that says "Evolves From," and let people build their own stacks. Alternatively, have a Tamer's image in the corner, and make that dictate your stack (which seems mighty boring to me). Of course, it's also worth mentioning: DC/Marvel: The obvious one, and kind of what we had hopes for MetaX (at least, I think). Honestly, I don't actually know how well Comic-Universes would naturally fit into the PanZ Model. Rather, I think you'd need to make some edits; The big one being to change the "Power Level" to "Tiers of Strength" since there's such a unimaginable difference between Superman and Batman. Either scrap the MP-Levels (since transformations are incredibly rare in DC), or remodel it to focus on "experience and time" as the flavor (even changing out Anger for Experience). Make it so instead of MPPV, you can get wins by Intimidation, and scrap the Dragon Balls/DBV (in favor of Infinity Gems/Stones on Marvel, no idea what you could change it for in DC). It's almost entirely flavor, but it feels weirdly important to me. Most Shonen Properties: Don't want to talk about this one at length, since it feels self-evident. If you guys wanna explore it though, go for gold. The big ones obviously all work (Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, MHA). I also think IPs like Megaman (specifically Battle Network) could work within this model with some minor changes here and there.