FRA 2.0 Review - Further Reflections

    • Players want a mode where they can toy with their food, in the wide-open sandbox environment.

      Something not Campaign, because campaign has wierd shard restrictions, and 'complex' mercenary and campaign character build paths.

      Something not in FRA 2.0, because Elites and particular passives, can shut down even the most synergistic decks.

      On top of that, most expect equal farming output for their time commitment to this push-over sandbox environment.
      On top of that, several complain about balance allowing 1 deck theme to work better than others in more challenging environments.
      On top of that, several want the ability to have specific answers to certain encounters, that they did not build into their main deck, because it takes away from the synergy.

      Ultimately, what everyone wants, is to have fun playing HEX, and feel like their time playing HEX is valued equally. (with some variance of course for skill and luck)

      The major argument in favor of this, is the game is extremely RNG heavy, and cards that move into expensive territory are more effective at trivializing content, and making players that invest, more valued for their time playing, than players that don't invest.

      The major argument against this, is the game is free to play, and with learning skills over time, and investing in the right cards, you will increase the efficiency in how your time produces value.

      HEX FRA needs to be looked at as end-game content. Gold is not the major incentive to try it, or play it. The chase dragon encounters, and high-end deck experimentation, with powerful synergy are.

      What people want for a sandbox, is a Vanilla Gambit - Give the AI the same Health as we have and access to same champions (PvP champions), give them no starting cards, and build them a beast deck, with equipment. Then we bludgeon it out until there is 1 man standing. This could even be an endless mode, with a leader board for how high you can go.

      ____________________________________________________________________________________________

      I do enjoy the new FRA, but for full transparency, what is keeping me from playing new FRA the most now, is the poor Auction House, and trading environment. Price locks on many cards, by people making great use of AH alerts/etc. Equipment being posted at astronomical prices, by a handful of players paying attention to what is not readily available. Poor length of auction times, so players that invest the most time, have the easiest time controlling the system. I can't try new things, because players have found ways to control lock those new toys at prices well outside of reasonable. Hope we get an AH fix soon. $ does influence accessibility to fresh concepts, in a mode that now requires very specific synergy to win consistently.
    • +1 on the Post of Nicosharp right above ^

      We really need a better AH in the game, I'm happy with the recent slight amelioration of lag while browsing my large collection to do my auction listings, but we need a more practical, functional and more " fair" AH.
      Awaiting the Doomwalker's arrival in Entrath since the Beta.

      " Honey, where's my chaos key ?
      - Have you searched in your chaos coat ?
      - Shoot I left it in the chaos car... "

      ... Still be waiting for a while it seems ...
    • NicoSharp wrote:

      HEX FRA needs to be looked at as end-game content. Gold is not the major incentive to try it, or play it. The chase dragon encounters, and high-end deck experimentation, with powerful synergy are.
      While this is true, that doesn't mean this has to be accomplished by simply denying people the ability to play.

      Again, say we look at an MMO... a well designed end game content would not deny access to certain classes simply based off of encounter design.

      If we look at the closest equivalent to classes in an MMO(since class defines playstyle there) as being your choice of strategy(aggro, control, action, lifegain, constant-focused, etc.)... then basically what a well designed piece of end-game content would do is provide challenges that do not restrict strategies, but simply challenge them.

      Now, if you're allowed to alter your strategy between matches(ie. FFXIV-style job changes), then it's less important. Since a person can, during the same run, switch to a different strategy. And as a result, you can hate out certain strategies. Since, at that point, it is on the person for not bringing multiple options with them. However, if you are forced to pick one strategy and playi t through the entire content, there should NOT be components of that content that simply say 'you lose because you chose this strategy'.
      Gamer. Streamer. Photographer. Writer. Anime Lover. Possessor of Stuffed Animals.

      Also... I'm terrible at this game.
    • I want end-game content to actually involve playing Hex.

      I despise the Gallows Ghast and Armies of Myth encounters in the campaign, because they're outright cheating. But it's a one and done thing for each character, so whatever. War Bot was the only fight in FRA 1.0 that went this way with any regularity, with Xarlox occasionally being a jerk.

      There's definitely some Elites that actually interact, like Darkspire Enforcer and Angel of Dawn. But plenty either don't or have such incredibly fast decks that the interaction is just them killing your stuff while you watch them kill you.
    • My current terrormill can get about 50% perfect runs, with a very small chance of failed runs. Winning is not always fun but losing with any lesser deck is definitely not fun at all. Besides, some of these lesser decks are even more expensive than terrormill.
      "Winning with terrormill is not fun? Try losing with it"
    • Galliard, your comments are highly dependent on what type of deck you are playing. My favorite deck now, interacts with all, and they all interact with me equally, and it can still pull perfects, even facing periwinkle elite, and elite avalanche giant. The frustration really is in how narrow a space you must tune your deck to have turn 1, or turn 2 at the latest, answers for elite threats that start in play. We can't really have an equal playing field vs. the AI, because the AI can't be programmed fairly and so comprehensively to scare us if they had the exact same building parameters as we did.

      Forcing a player to make deck space for removal as a high value must have, is restrictive to players that want to have success outside of standards forced on them, because they still look towards FRA as an anything goes sandbox. When in reality, the sandbox that is "The Arena", if it ever will be considered challenging, must throw a wide range of enemies against us, to make it feel challenging. Players should be okay with knowing what they need to bring to deal with all the encounters. However, the more encounters there are, the harder it is to squeeze all those answers into a 60 card deck.

      Think of it as going camping, and not bringing a tent, sleeping bag, or fire starter. Sure, you can survive, but you are making it a hell of a lot harder on yourself.

      The first thing I would do, is not make FRA 2.0 easier. I'd find ways to allow players to earn saving graces, that compensate for their lack of flexibility in the deck. I've shared ideas on this, but I'm not sure how many of them are low hanging fruit. If that was not a desired direction, I'd probably quickly follow that idea up with nerfing the Field Medic passive(Once per turn, or specific amount of damage negated), Burly Botanist passive (Starting hand only), Archon of Nulzann passive (1 or 2 cards per turn). Finally, I'd look at Elites, and find a way to more evenly balance them to be more powerful, but not have such an explosive early game. Some examples would be allowing Avalanche Giant Elite to be able to play 2 resources on turn 1, but maybe only have Ice resources, or other resources that are 0/1. Take out Underworld Recruiter, and Ardent Recruiter as starting cards for Moonrise Elder Elite / Dread Technomancer Elite. That is obnoxious. Consider having the Gooplasm challenge trigger on turn 2 or 3, not turn 0. Do something with Periwinkle Elite, and Hogarth Elite, because they are just not fun to play against. This of course is dependent upon whether or not we get other tools, like saving graces, that I mentioned, to deal with this more obnoxious threats.
    • NicoSharp wrote:

      Think of it as going camping, and not bringing a tent, sleeping bag, or fire starter. Sure, you can survive, but you are making it a hell of a lot harder on yourself.
      Except... that's not it at all.

      They're asking someone from California to go camping, not telling you where you're going, and then wondering why you complain when they fly you to the arctic and you don't have a heavy duty winter coat.

      Yes, technically it's on you, but the list of things they're asking you to prepare for is ridiculously expansive, and preparing for it is simply choking out too many possible archetypes. Unless they have a magical swiss army knife that has both cold and hot weather supplies.

      (Edit: Aside from this part, I do agree with most of what you said, although I'd rather see them give us the ability to bring multiple decks in stead of nerfing the hate, personally... since that allows them to add whatever encounters they want without worrying about what it might be hating out...)
      Gamer. Streamer. Photographer. Writer. Anime Lover. Possessor of Stuffed Animals.

      Also... I'm terrible at this game.
    • Nico, you seem hung up on the idea that it's a lack of synergy that causes people to lose in the arena. It's not. At least not entirely.


      To use your analogy, sure you need a tent. But that tent also can't leak, must be bear-proof, and needs to only take 90 seconds to setup. Wrathwood Master Camping makes a sweet tent that works great, but if you're camping in Frost Ring National Park the three minute assembly time means you freeze to death.

      And a firestarter is nice too. There's a really great Burn branded starter log, but it attracts Ursus Field Medicus to your camp. Decree of Cold Banishing makes nice matches, but the the wind on Burly Peak always blows them out.

      And the fastest way across is just to buy some Spiraling Defoliant and spray it as your ride through on your Toyota MR2 Spyder.


      Goofy analogies aside, decks with plenty of synergy just don't work because they have the audacity to take a few turns to ramp up. Or try to do something fundamental to the game that some champion just ignores. My FRA 1.0 deck that reliably won on turn 4 or 5 and usually gets a perfect run couldn't even beat tier 2 of FRA 2.0.
    • Eraia wrote:

      No offense vic... but I could theoretically make the worst deck ever and have one successful run.

      Telling me you made it to 18 out of 20 doesn't tell me anything except that you got lucky one run with that deck. I want to know how that deck AVERAGES. How many times did you have to run that before you GOT that 18 out of 20? Was the 18 out of 20 your 400th run and the rest died before the end of tier 3?
      I run the deck one and only once because i want to try all champ so if i succed I move on and try something else.
      How i do the deck :
      I try a list, If I fail I change card(s) in it and try again until I have a list that perform.
      I do not say It's only skill, I do not say it can be made everytime. I say if i succed one, it can be again maybe by changing a little the deck

      For the one I listed here the number of run before I complete the Arena :
      Polonius : 1
      Fahrny : 1 or 2 don't remember
      Wyatt : lose 2 times and then put the empress
      Running Deer : need more 3 or 4 I think
      Dimmid : 1
      Kishimoto : lose 3 with other shard and then try R/W and succed immediatly .


      I work and play only after and weekend, don't have the time to run 400 time for each champ


      I post in youtube a Lyonel Fynn deck Ruby/Wild and need 10 (or little more) run before succed but at first the deck was Sapphire/ Ruby and the more I lose and change the deck the sooner I lose in the Arena. Then I figured out why I was close to succed at first and change the deck (change Sapphire for Wild) and succed in 2 run

      If you manage to go in last tier with your transform deck I think you can beat the Arena, just change what you think is not good and push what make you win.
      Exactly what say Sukebe in post 5

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

    • NicoSharp wrote:

      No, perhaps it's just a reading comprehension error.

      I was saying, decks must lose synergy to include enough answers for a long list of threats.

      I think I'm going back into no forum post hermit mode, take care dudes :)
      Hmm, you said in your first post on the page that the entire point was synergy.

      I guess I assumed you meant that because I find it hard to believe anyone would defend FRA 2.0 while simultaneously admitting most effective decks are janky monstrosities that don't do anything other than not lose.
    • I didn't. You should probably start using the quote feature if you want to speak to something specific, or call anyone out on something. I'd rather not post more, but do also want to avoid libel.

      Easy example to understand of a deck sacrificing some synergy to be more effective in FRA 2.0, that most everyone can understand:
      Spirit of Retribution in Terrormill.

      More examples:
      Contract Killing in any blood themed deck, not centered around life-gain.
      Scorch or Burn in a Troop based Aggro deck.
      Totem Trap or Purify in a Constant themed deck. (Anti Burly Botanist)
      Troop based finisher, in a direct damage deck. (Anti Field Medic)

      People can't just say they want to build the best "Merry Caravan" deck, and only include troops and poppy cake and expect amazing results. They may need some Morphology, and Battle of Destiny mixed in. You can have "Powerful Synergy" help lead you to victory, but having all parts working as part of the same system for your deck in a fishbowl easily gets shot down, if that system does not plan to interact at all with what the opponent is doing.
    • Galliard wrote:

      Eraia is exaggerating a bit, but he's ultimately right. Most Elite enemies and Hogarth aren't playing Hex.

      They're playing a game that shares some mechanics with Hex, but they're not playing the same game as us. We still have to play resources, draw cards, pay for cards, etc. They don't.

      So to beat them, you have to go non-interactive. My Illuminate deck wins by suddenly having 40 damage worth of Candlekin on the board for a single lethal swing, rather than attacking/blocking/trading like you'd actually expect to do.
      I' don't love to see this decklist if you're not opposed to sending it to me. My Illuminate runs wild on a number of encounters, but gets wrecked by Myrim and Hogarth.
    • Also, I'm a big fan of Nico's suggestions. I don't mind losing to the Avalanche Giant (Elite or Regular) because it's designed as a street fight and works well. I HATE losing to Hogarth because it's a game of chess and all he gave you is two dice, a 7 of diamonds, and the dog from Monopoly. Challenging is good, oppressive/uncompetitive is bad.
    • NicoSharp wrote:

      People can't just say they want to build the best "Merry Caravan" deck, and only include troops and poppy cake and expect amazing results. They may need some Morphology, and Battle of Destiny mixed in. You can have "Powerful Synergy" help lead you to victory, but having all parts working as part of the same system for your deck in a fishbowl easily gets shot down, if that system does not plan to interact at all with what the opponent is doing.
      But morphology WOULD be synergistic with Caravan, since it's a transform effect.

      The point is that there are answers within certain strategies that are synergistic to give them broad answers... but if an opponent completely destroys an entire strategy with a hard counter, that doesn't matter. For a constant deck, solitary exile should logically be a great answer to most things. Yet because of bad design on some encounters, using a very strong, synergistic removal isn't good enough.

      An example I like that someone used... if I deck simply said 'transform all blood threshold cards into dreadlings', would you be okay with that too?

      That's the same concept as what Botanist does, just to a card type instead of a threshold. It's bad design...


      ShinGuard wrote:

      I don't mind losing to the Avalanche Giant (Elite or Regular) because it's designed as a street fight and works well. I HATE losing to Hogarth because it's a game of chess and all he gave you is two dice, a 7 of diamonds, and the dog from Monopoly. Challenging is good, oppressive/uncompetitive is bad.
      Exactly. Certain fights just WORK, and when they work holy crap can it be hard. But they're fun to face because the fights just feel so crafty. Avalanche Giant is a great example. Lightning Skyhunter as well. The conscript one as well. He can go off FAST. And that's fine.

      Then there're those fights who just say 'oh, you wanted to do x, sorry... feels bad doesn't it?'
      Gamer. Streamer. Photographer. Writer. Anime Lover. Possessor of Stuffed Animals.

      Also... I'm terrible at this game.
    • ShinGuard wrote:

      Galliard wrote:

      Eraia is exaggerating a bit, but he's ultimately right. Most Elite enemies and Hogarth aren't playing Hex.

      They're playing a game that shares some mechanics with Hex, but they're not playing the same game as us. We still have to play resources, draw cards, pay for cards, etc. They don't.

      So to beat them, you have to go non-interactive. My Illuminate deck wins by suddenly having 40 damage worth of Candlekin on the board for a single lethal swing, rather than attacking/blocking/trading like you'd actually expect to do.
      I' don't love to see this decklist if you're not opposed to sending it to me. My Illuminate runs wild on a number of encounters, but gets wrecked by Myrim and Hogarth.
      I'd shared it before, so here you go: hex.tcgbrowser.com/#!/deck=248689

      Unfortunately I doubt it's going to help you a bunch against bosses. It does well against most Elites but always ends up struggling against the bosses. They tend to have answers to swarms (like From the Ashes or Empress of Ice or Boldheart preventing damage). In contrast, you can generally avoid direct interaction with Elites by using The Crowd Roars to bypass blockers, Rimeclaw to make the AI do really dumb things, or just cheat with Spirit of Retribution.

      You'll note there's only ten actual Illuminate related cards. I started with way more but I got worn down as I replaced them with cards necessary not to lose. Air Elemental has synergy, but I'll probably be removing it next.
    • Galliard wrote:

      Edit: Nevermind, no good would come from that post.

      There's not really any point arguing when people are seriously throwing out "Have you tried playing removal?", no matter how good the intentions are.
      Please tell me where the quote, "Have you tried playing removal?" comes from?
      Are you paraphrasing?
      Are you just looking for a fight?

      This has been a habit for far too long, to not be addressed. This has happened quite a bit, with me in particular. I'm happy to settle this with you publicly or by PM. Because I don't get it? Let's stop jumping to conclusions through personal reasoning, without asking clarifying questions first. Less stress, and we will live longer :)

      How are examples of what it means to remove "synergy" from a deck, have anything to do with "arguing", or suggesting that people try removal? It has everything to do with the current arena does not allow fishbowling to succeed for a large majority of decks. Decks need to veer off in other directions to compensate for crazy challenges in the arena.
    • Galliard wrote:

      ShinGuard wrote:

      Galliard wrote:

      Eraia is exaggerating a bit, but he's ultimately right. Most Elite enemies and Hogarth aren't playing Hex.

      They're playing a game that shares some mechanics with Hex, but they're not playing the same game as us. We still have to play resources, draw cards, pay for cards, etc. They don't.

      So to beat them, you have to go non-interactive. My Illuminate deck wins by suddenly having 40 damage worth of Candlekin on the board for a single lethal swing, rather than attacking/blocking/trading like you'd actually expect to do.
      I' don't love to see this decklist if you're not opposed to sending it to me. My Illuminate runs wild on a number of encounters, but gets wrecked by Myrim and Hogarth.
      I'd shared it before, so here you go: hex.tcgbrowser.com/#!/deck=248689
      Unfortunately I doubt it's going to help you a bunch against bosses. It does well against most Elites but always ends up struggling against the bosses. They tend to have answers to swarms (like From the Ashes or Empress of Ice or Boldheart preventing damage). In contrast, you can generally avoid direct interaction with Elites by using The Crowd Roars to bypass blockers, Rimeclaw to make the AI do really dumb things, or just cheat with Spirit of Retribution.

      You'll note there's only ten actual Illuminate related cards. I started with way more but I got worn down as I replaced them with cards necessary not to lose. Air Elemental has synergy, but I'll probably be removing it next.
      I've got air elemental in mine as well, but he just feels TOO SLOW. I repeat, a 4 drop, that makes half your board double in strength is too slow. ;(

      Thanks for the share!