FRA 2.0 Review - Initial Thoughts

    • Personally, I find the new FRA a vast improvement.

      You could build tonnes of decks for the previous version, but the act was almost entirely masturbatory; for me there was very little joy to be found in creating a good deck when the opponents posed no threat at all.

      The new FRA is, clearly, not perfect- I think some fights might punish some concepts too much and some might be undertuned, but I'm nowhere near deep enough into it to make any judgment.

      However, the new version at least makes deck-building feel somewhat meaningful- making a deck that beats the arena would, at this point, feel like something of an achievement.

      Then again, I'm far more fond of puzzles than sandboxes- if the latter is what you wanted then I see why you're disappointed.
    • Arkansaw wrote:

      Even with terrormill it is not a sure win and many of the bosses can be quite dangerous in elite form (on top of the usual rng the deck has to deal with). With these challenging fights It is okay not to win all the time, but the rewards should be increased to make it more exciting. Right now I am getting too many repeated cards, while finding equipment takes a very long time (I was there are 100-300 pieces right now for possible arena drops). Maybe a choice of drops (like Shroom Haus) would help?
      The loot table is the most surprising aspect for me - I have taken to crudely documenting my draws now, so while this is only a one Dungeon Crawler sample size:
      • The new uncommon & rare PvE cards are very common (around 40% of drops), which is nice as some are really good.
      • The new legendary PvE cards are extremely rare however (less than 1%) - I have only drawn 2 across all runs.
      • New common equipment isn't too tough to draw, uncommon & rare seem about equal scarcity.
      • I have yet to see a legendary equipment drop. :(
      • Old PvE cards take up about 20% of draws, old equipment seems a fair bit less frequent however.
      • I haven't observed any particular rarity boost for higher tiers, but a] I wasn't recording at the time I got my 2 legendary cards b] I draw a disproportionate amount of old cards in my tier IV boss loot (40%) - so maybe they keep eating up slots where rarer new loot could be dropping.
      I am a trifle concerned how many runs I'll need to ever have a playset of Bibliophile, or collect the snazzy legendary equipment I see - have resisted browsing them all, but still seen a few drool worthy items. :love:

      I can't imagine how lofty the goals would seem without Dungeon Crawler! Certainly an undertaking of months, if not using auction house.
      Member of The Unnamed Council - the Hex TCG PvE Guild
    • ShinGuard wrote:

      While I can understand people wanted mercs and extra decks, I'm not a fan of that approach. Mercs may be too powerful even for this iteration of FRA. Let's get the really stupid encounters adjusted, see where the difficulty is, then MAYBE think about reserves or something.
      Let's be clear, I'm asking for campaign chars and merc be available for A version of an arena. If devs want FRA 2.0 to be pvp champs only as a test of PvP-style deck building with PvP champs I'm ok with that.

      There is still room there for them to create an arena experience (random opponents picked from a pool of campaign decks, for example) . Put it in the campaign. Expand the FRA tab to be an "Arena" tab that includes FRA 2.0 and other modes. There is no queue for FRA to dilute with more options. They might even use one of the Arena tab options to try out multiplayer.
    • Typhonstein wrote:

      ShinGuard wrote:

      While I can understand people wanted mercs and extra decks, I'm not a fan of that approach. Mercs may be too powerful even for this iteration of FRA. Let's get the really stupid encounters adjusted, see where the difficulty is, then MAYBE think about reserves or something.
      Let's be clear, I'm asking for campaign chars and merc be available for A version of an arena. If devs want FRA 2.0 to be pvp champs only as a test of PvP-style deck building with PvP champs I'm ok with that.
      There is still room there for them to create an arena experience (random opponents picked from a pool of campaign decks, for example) . Put it in the campaign. Expand the FRA tab to be an "Arena" tab that includes FRA 2.0 and other modes. There is no queue for FRA to dilute with more options. They might even use one of the Arena tab options to try out multiplayer.
      I've said this in a few places, and I won't dwell on it 'cause it's kind of off-topic here... but this is what I want more than anything.

      I love my campaign characters. I want a reason to use them that isn't farming static dungeons. Give me an arena-esque experience. Think Diablo 3 Rifts. Let me bring my character into a random string of challenges with a boss or bosses that test my character's mettle.
      Gamer. Streamer. Photographer. Writer. Anime Lover. Possessor of Stuffed Animals.

      Also... I'm terrible at this game.
    • For curiosity sake, I'd like to see numbers regarding what % of attempts complete successfully. A few very vocal people say the arena is just fine, l2p, build better decks, etc, but I suspect the numbers may not back that up. Maybe such data is a pipe dream, but it would give us an idea how the community at large is fairing against FRA.
    • Arkansaw wrote:

      If the expectation is just normal clear, many decks should do okay if they take those autolosses in stride. It is definitely less rewarding for people who were doing perfect runs all the time.
      With what? Aside from Terrormill, I'm finding that even 'best' decks get kicked out very, very, often. If you want to win in a conventional manner using troops FRA is just not having it.
    • ShinGuard wrote:

      Arkansaw wrote:

      If the expectation is just normal clear, many decks should do okay if they take those autolosses in stride. It is definitely less rewarding for people who were doing perfect runs all the time.
      With what? Aside from Terrormill, I'm finding that even 'best' decks get kicked out very, very, often. If you want to win in a conventional manner using troops FRA is just not having it.
      Looking at the FRA tier list, I see some troop decks. I'd assume NicoSharp and the deck's creator have tested them and they are capable of full clear and not get kicked out often.
    • ShinGuard wrote:

      Arkansaw wrote:

      If the expectation is just normal clear, many decks should do okay if they take those autolosses in stride. It is definitely less rewarding for people who were doing perfect runs all the time.
      With what? Aside from Terrormill, I'm finding that even 'best' decks get kicked out very, very, often. If you want to win in a conventional manner using troops FRA is just not having it.
      Usually there is at least one doable challenge for every one autoloss, so with that I can complete a regular run. I suppose the same goes for other decks that have reasonable winning chances against most FRA encounters (hence viable).
    • ShinGuard wrote:

      Arkansaw wrote:

      If the expectation is just normal clear, many decks should do okay if they take those autolosses in stride. It is definitely less rewarding for people who were doing perfect runs all the time.
      With what? Aside from Terrormill, I'm finding that even 'best' decks get kicked out very, very, often. If you want to win in a conventional manner using troops FRA is just not having it.
      This is my experience also, I have quite an extensive collection and have tried several different archetypes and TerrorMill is by far the only deck I have found to be consistent enough. I am getting around 50% perfect clears with the non perfect runs usually only a single loss to a elite with an explosive start. I've faced elite Hogarth several times now and have beaten him every time with a few on the first attempt. I know there are other decks out there that are performing as well if not better but those that are playing them are tight lipped on their contents. Personally I think that FRA 2.0 is a train wreck as it's way too punishing for so many archetypes that many people either resort to playing a single deck (like I have) or just give up. I've got a huge collection but for this mode of play I really only have a small subset that are usable....is that the intention of FRA?

      The post was edited 1 time, last by TheBlackCrypt ().

    • That is essentially what I am questioning as well. If this is the intention, that just makes me quite sad. I thought someone else made a really interesting observation earlier in the thread about FRA2.0 being a puzzle compared to FRA1.0 being a sandbox. I'd like to take this a bit further and say that maybe FRA 1.0 was 80% sandbox/20% puzzle while FRA 2.0 is maybe 90% puzzle and 10% sandbox (maybe even less?).

      As I started off the thread, just building some fun decks and losing in FRA1.0 was still fun. Doing this in FRA2.0 and pretty much never getting to play your cards is like pulling my hair out. Frustrating and not fun at all. So, I've simply resorted to farming with what I could build with the Terrormill deck. While I have grown to appreciate it, I'd much rather have the vast breadth of possibility of FRA 1.0 back.

      I think someone else made a point of making multiple arenas which seems like it has some excellent potential.

      Finally, while I love my characters in the AZ's, it doesn't quite scratch the same itch that FRA1.0 did with all of the various creative things that I could do (with some punishment, but not like now).

      If FRA 1.0 allowed such a creative experience and FRA 2.0 pretty much cuts that out, what will replace that creative outlet? This might be the second arena idea!

      Thanks for all of the feedback and such on this thread. Great seeing everyone's thoughts and opinions!
    • What's super frustrating for me is the FRA was my preferred way to play. I was done with the campaign, I've played through that so many time can barely stand to look at it anymore. I don't like to grind, but gold is required for the game, so you have to do some activity to make gold. I do the gauntlet, but I'm not good so I can only stomach so much of that, and I have a day job so I'm not interested in putting in the time/effort to get better. I just like playing casually.

      FRA was pretty darn good, overall. Yes, it was getting a little state because the pool of opponents wasn't very deep, which is why the announcement that they were making those changes was so welcome. But in all, FRA 1.0 allowed for a great deal of experimentation while making some cash and NOT feeling like I'm grinding, I'm actually playing the way that I want to play.

      So they took that away. Worse, they did it BEFORE having something to replace it. It just seems ill considered. I'm feeling like maybe I should just take a break, which is weird because a new set just came out. If they do something, I hope it doesn't take three months to figure out.
    • ShinGuard wrote:

      For curiosity sake, I'd like to see numbers regarding what % of attempts complete successfully. A few very vocal people say the arena is just fine, l2p, build better decks, etc, but I suspect the numbers may not back that up. Maybe such data is a pipe dream, but it would give us an idea how the community at large is fairing against FRA.
      Might be interesting statistics to see, more so if they can remove 'solved netdecks' like a couple of the mill builds, Coach's crusher etc.

      However I think the problem is people would have very different ideas of what rate would mean the arena is good, or successful. Personally I'd say if 15-25% of new uniqueish decks are getting to the final boss with 5-10% hitting perfect at least once on multiple runs, it's tuned perfectly, I get the feeling you and many here would disagree.

      I've got a large library of decks I used in the original arena, ranging from highly tuned 'netdecks' that you almost have to concede to take a loss with, to goofy stuff I've made myself that rarely hit full clears on the old arena, and practically every level in between. I'm having a ton of fun running them through the new arena, scraping some completely, shifting quite a few to the 'fun, but don't expect to get much past tier 2' category, spending time tweaking some to do better.

      I get that a lot of people feel like they've lost their 'sandbox', but I for one think it's great that we got a 'puzzle' that actually makes it feel like a challenge to tune a deck concept enough to do well with it. Then again, I'm one of the oddballs that thought campaign dungeons lost a ton of their fun and replayabliity with the loss of the dungeon life system.

      I do hope they give the people that want a 'sandbox' a place to play, whether it's an all new mode, or just an 'easy' toggle for arena, but please don't hit what we have now too hard with the nerf bat.
    • Halsey wrote:

      ShinGuard wrote:

      For curiosity sake, I'd like to see numbers regarding what % of attempts complete successfully. A few very vocal people say the arena is just fine, l2p, build better decks, etc, but I suspect the numbers may not back that up. Maybe such data is a pipe dream, but it would give us an idea how the community at large is fairing against FRA.
      Might be interesting statistics to see, more so if they can remove 'solved netdecks' like a couple of the mill builds, Coach's crusher etc.
      However I think the problem is people would have very different ideas of what rate would mean the arena is good, or successful. Personally I'd say if 15-25% of new uniqueish decks are getting to the final boss with 5-10% hitting perfect at least once on multiple runs, it's tuned perfectly, I get the feeling you and many here would disagree.

      I've got a large library of decks I used in the original arena, ranging from highly tuned 'netdecks' that you almost have to concede to take a loss with, to goofy stuff I've made myself that rarely hit full clears on the old arena, and practically every level in between. I'm having a ton of fun running them through the new arena, scraping some completely, shifting quite a few to the 'fun, but don't expect to get much past tier 2' category, spending time tweaking some to do better.

      I get that a lot of people feel like they've lost their 'sandbox', but I for one think it's great that we got a 'puzzle' that actually makes it feel like a challenge to tune a deck concept enough to do well with it. Then again, I'm one of the oddballs that thought campaign dungeons lost a ton of their fun and replayabliity with the loss of the dungeon life system.

      I do hope they give the people that want a 'sandbox' a place to play, whether it's an all new mode, or just an 'easy' toggle for arena, but please don't hit what we have now too hard with the nerf bat.
      I don't think anyone wants easy but having a single puzzle arena narrows down what can be played and therein lies the problem. If you take the puzzle encounters in campaign for example you will find that no single deck can consistently beat them all....each requires a deck specifically tuned to that encounter but the problem with FRA is that there are too few decks that can be tuned to the 30+? different encounters.
    • TheBlackCrypt wrote:

      I don't think anyone wants easy but having a single puzzle arena narrows down what can be played and therein lies the problem. If you take the puzzle encounters in campaign for example you will find that no single deck can consistently beat them all....each requires a deck specifically tuned to that encounter but the problem with FRA is that there are too few decks that can be tuned to the 30+? different encounters.
      Let me be clear, there are some fights in the new arena that may be a bit overtuned / too heavy with the hate, and it still needs some tweaking. Field medic being in my mind the biggest offender. I also don't think it's near as bad as some people want to make it out to be. An all in deck of any type ought to have 1 or 2 guaranteed losses in my mind, a decent deck has some form of plan B, even if it isn't great.

      Granted the biggest difference between me and a lot of the people wanting changes, is I don't consider a deck that can't consistently clear it a failure, or unfun. I have a fair pile of decks that will rarely if ever hit tier 4, much less clear it, that I still have a ton of fun playing and tweaking. Which also means, one fight shutting down my deck doesn't mean I think it's a failure, or that I won't play it when I'm in the mood.
    • Halsey wrote:

      TheBlackCrypt wrote:

      I don't think anyone wants easy but having a single puzzle arena narrows down what can be played and therein lies the problem. If you take the puzzle encounters in campaign for example you will find that no single deck can consistently beat them all....each requires a deck specifically tuned to that encounter but the problem with FRA is that there are too few decks that can be tuned to the 30+? different encounters.
      Let me be clear, there are some fights in the new arena that may be a bit overtuned / too heavy with the hate, and it still needs some tweaking. Field medic being in my mind the biggest offender. I also don't think it's near as bad as some people want to make it out to be. An all in deck of any type ought to have 1 or 2 guaranteed losses in my mind, a decent deck has some form of plan B, even if it isn't great.
      Granted the biggest difference between me and a lot of the people wanting changes, is I don't consider a deck that can't consistently clear it a failure, or unfun. I have a fair pile of decks that will rarely if ever hit tier 4, much less clear it, that I still have a ton of fun playing and tweaking. Which also means, one fight shutting down my deck doesn't mean I think it's a failure, or that I won't play it when I'm in the mood.
      I guess the benchmark for success or failure is a personal thing but FRA for me is seeing a well tuned deck performing optimally, consistently, quickly and being able to cross the finish line to win the prize....anything less just doesn't cut it. If you succeed in having fun by failing to reach tier 4 with a bunch of wacky inventive decks then that's great but there are many players, like myself, that don't get the same level of enjoyment when their decks fail to fire because of the way FRA has been designed.
    • TheBlackCrypt wrote:

      I guess the benchmark for success or failure is a personal thing but FRA for me is seeing a well tuned deck performing optimally, consistently, quickly and being able to cross the finish line to win the prize....anything less just doesn't cut it. If you succeed in having fun by failing to reach tier 4 with a bunch of wacky inventive decks then that's great but there are many players, like myself, that don't get the same level of enjoyment when their decks fail to fire because of the way FRA has been designed.
      I guess it depends on my mood, I've got both types of deck, and enjoy both on different days.

      But is your deck a failure if your burn deck clears the arena, even hits perfect, but is pretty much an auto loss when Field Medic pops up? That's the point I was trying to get at, I get a lot of the fights can seem very one sided when running certain archetypes, but that one loss shouldn't mark the deck as a failure. Though as I said above I'm all for some of the encounters being tweaked a bit.

      I will say the most irritating thing for me right now is just how often I want to salve a decks problems with Spirit of Retribution. Having a go to toolbox of cards I like to use to solve particular problems in various shards is great, that card is just too much of an answer in my opinion at the moment, more so than the encounters. People aren't looking for new solutions, they're just stuffing in spirit plus equip. That however is another discussion, and I do fully expect it to at least pick up a threshold requirement for the play for free when attacked effect.