What do you think of Hex's new player experience?

    • What do you think of Hex's new player experience?

      The last 2 weeks I have been seeing some new players, really unhappy about joining Hex and having issues finding draft, evo and other format games.

      Do you think Hex is in a welcoming state to accept new people right now?

      I feel there is a seriously population issue right now and its giving the game a bad impression for new people.
    • most ppl know that the first player experience is the biggest issue with hex, also the rewards for new players / free 2 play players need to be revamped to have a chance vs all those ccgs and maybe mtg arena.... but it might be too late now anyway.
      Austrian Kickstarter & Slacker Backer
      -=] Dont mess with the bull, you gonna get the horn [=-
    • There have been numerous discussions of issues with the game's introductory experience....

      A few of the salient points...

      1) The introductory phase of the campaign forces players to slog through really dry encounters with a really dry deck for hours before even STARTING to get anything interesting.

      2) The starting dungeon is painful. Not only is your deck so bland that playing it is a chore, but the enemy decks for certain races feel like they're designed to counter everything your deck does - making the game's simply a matter of stalling until they run out of steam.

      3) The lack of any sort of account-based 'questing' or 'achievement' system means there's very little guidance for new players to find what they should be participating in.

      4) The rewards are tuned around use of the AH, but most of what you get early on is worthless on the AH. This means new players have very little bargaining power.

      5) The game never actually informs you that it IS tuned around use of the AH, so you simply feel like you're getting garbage that lacks in synergy constantly until you realize it.

      6) The lack of any sort of limited matchmaking makes evo and drafting really hard for new players to step into.

      7) The game has nothing built-in to teach you how to build decks. There are no deckbuilding hints, no well-built sample decks, no tools to give you an idea of WHY you might be struggling.

      8) The campaign has very poor signposting. There is no indication that Gnomes are optional(also, if you choose not to talk to the Gnome and leave town, you'll be completely unable to continue the game until you go back and talk to him even though his quest is optional), and encounters like the Hag, Piranhas, etc. look the same as non-challenge fights.

      9) There is nothing to motivate players to log in and play. No specific goals, daily/weekly events, etc.


      (and, since this was something I was thinking or writing anyways, and it seems relevant... here's a new player suggestion thread: Suggestions For Improving the New Player Experience )
      Gamer. Streamer. Photographer. Writer. Anime Lover. Possessor of Stuffed Animals.

      Also... I'm terrible at this game.

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

    • NPE PvP is straight out terrible right now to be honest. Rock could have saved it if AZ1 dropped current standard commons as it would at the very least given them an opportunity to readily farm stuff for a format in an ok-ish environment (as OK as a PvE environment can feel to a PvP player thay is).

      Actually tried out HEX on PS4 where the PvE is highly limited, and as F2P it was such an unfun experience. Sure, was able to grind up to gold with a little bit of struggle, but it was not an entertaining process I can tell you hence why I did not continue.

      As it now stands, Hex is almost as bad as MtgO for those looking for the PvP experience solely, and that is not a good grade as MtgO has such a terrible NPE it is not even funny and stays afloat a lot thanks to pros using it to practice or qualify to tournaments.

      This is mostly their own fault for not marketing it properly to gain a certain degree of mass-appeal as it is inevitable that a competitive game without catch-up mechanics and a playerbase mostly consisting of veteran players is going to create an environment that is harsh on new players.

      This is why the PvE experience is so crucial for this game to succeed and that it feels rewarding enough, but that will not help thise who solely want to play PvP at all regrettably. For those games like HS are way more appealing to be honest as it will not demand s heavy investment only to get started basically, and that is depressing.

      I know that this is a TCG and that it therefore has a high entry cost, but despite that it needs NPE to grab a player’s attention to make them do the purchase, and going on the ladder as a new player is not going to pull most people in to stay nor recommend the game to their friends.

      Both PtcgO and MtgO have this solved by being based on a physical game, which means most get their NPE covered by playing casual games with their friends or at a FLGS, and PtcgO actually has IRL purchases tied to their online client and in addition to that gives new players a bunch of cards to get started, has the ladder tied to wins rather than win% (meaning that everyone can farm the ladder), and has it giving good rewards, sometimes even the top cards of the current format.

      HEX, on the other hand, forces new players to either grind PvE for hours upon hours or spend a lot of money to get a decent deck as it’s NOE. To me that works as I love PvE, but I know people who only enjoys PvP, and most of those are like ”lol, nope! Not gonna pay hundreds of dollars before I have even tried the game to play it!”.

      I love Hex, I really do which is why I am so harsh on it over the NPE, because I see so much potential in this game, and it is a truly great game and has replaced Mtg and MtgO for me since no one plays MtG limited where I live anymore which was my main way to keep MtG affordable and MtgO as this is superior to the terrabad client they have and the card designs in this game triumfs modern MtG standard that is too often focused solely of swinging bigger creatures on smaller creatures where Hex actually dares to add interesting cards and strategies in addition to this. Hex is the best Online TCG on the market, it is just sad that the NPE does not make it justice.
    • Hard to judge it as a veteran tcg player that has been with HEX since the KS.

      I have no idea what thoughts PS4 players have regarding this, but I'm sure it differs drastically.

      For PC, I think there needs to be more hand holding and a tutorial atmosphere built squarely into the campaign.
      Eventually, I feel like the PS4, and Tablet players should have the same entry level experience to PvE content, before being thrusted into PvP content.

      I don't want to say more, because I am fairly salty that this has not been a focal point for the game yet. The steam launch, and now 2 PS4 launches, and no importance put here. Seems like such an obvious area for improvement, and a great place to tie in "marketing" to players to purchase at certain key break-points in the game. Maybe that is being done with PvP decks in the store for the PS4 players?
    • In my opinion they should utilize the space they have in the client to communicate news and similar stuff much more than they are doing now.

      They could make a tab with tutorials on all aspects of the game. They could have these tutorials written by members of the community from a player point of view with honest and objective information and have these articles be curated by the team.

      HEX has always talked about how important the community is for the indie game that they present and this is a good way to express that. I'm fairly confident that some of the users are willing to write such articles and are capable of doing it well. Probably for free too.
      "Ignorant beliefs are stains upon the mind."
    • Well...
      Hex is the best dTCG there is (by quite a margin actually).
      But... Hex is horrible at showing new players around and it might be even worse at keeping them engaged even if the figure out what to do in the first place.
      The sad truth is - we've told HXE about that issue when they did the Ninja Release, when they released on Steam and again when they started to do the PS4 releases.
      HXE build a wonderful game but they failed to ever build a working new player experience or a functional reward structure around it.
      I'm not sure if it can yet be redeemed and even if it could be, I'm not sure they'd even want to do it.
      There have been so many good ideas over the years, many with no or close to no additional programming needed but they chose to never implement any of it.
      I don't feel like going over all the stuff again, but Eraia is making some very solid points (expect number 6 obviously) and a lot of that stuff should and could have been fixed years ago...
    • Trenzalore wrote:

      (expect number 6 obviously)
      #6 IS a solid point. You just disagree with it. You disagreeing with it doesn't mean it isn't a good point ;)

      Lack of matchmaking makes it much harder for new players to get into it since you're forced to play against far more skilled players right from the start which means a long string of losses simply due to the skill differential. That's borderline factual.

      The question is whether you feel that that trade off is WORTH it because you like the way limited works without matchmaking. But it's undeniable that matching random new player against JadiimJedi or Yasi or some other extraordinarily skilled player in their first evo match is not going to necessarily create a positive 'new player experience'. Whether that's something that is a problem worth fixing or just an unfortunate result of the 'way it has to be'... that's up for discussion, and we clearly disagree on that. :)


      That being said, I agree with the sum of your post. It just seems like they don't CARE about that...
      Gamer. Streamer. Photographer. Writer. Anime Lover. Possessor of Stuffed Animals.

      Also... I'm terrible at this game.
    • These points have been brought up repeatedly over the years. I know I personally have written a emails with detailed issues & what some steps to address them might be. The shortest way for me to put it is that the game doesn't punch you in the face with how awesome it is right away and it continues to stumble over itself for the next few hours of play time.

      The PS4 client and experience is dramatically better than the PC one is but it still had a few rough spots last time I started a new account.

      Unfortunately a lot of this is actually an industry wide problem. Developers (and moreso publishers where applicable) have a hard time justifying spending resources revamping existing features and content when they could instead spend those resources on something new that is likely to have a more immediate payoff. Using the new player experience as an example it seems like a no-brainer as far as long term payoffs go, but it isn't so simple when they have bills to pay and engineers / artists only have so many hours in the workday that the team needs to allocate them as productively as possible.

      The way Hex is structured / pitched, I see the adventure zones being the thing that new players are supposed to be funneled into (those funnels don't exist). The more content they continue to release for adventure zones the worse the new player experience gets in comparison. I wouldn't be too surprised to see AZ3 be bundled with something along these lines for that very reason.

      Sieges do fill a gap that was sorely needing to be filled, but that particular gap was near the end of the player experience.
    • I agree with Funktion. They just have so little resources that all they can do is keep the machine of set releases running and don't have time to fix anything along the way. The AH, performance issues, UI upgrades, chat, tournament visibility, etc. Basically nothing has been addressed even though there have been hundreds of awesome community suggestions to improve each of those issues.

      Nicosharp made an awesome post about NPE about a year ago with full upgrades to starter deck lists. How long would it take to implement new starter decks? One day? Improving the crappy unexciting starter decks (they are so, so bad) would be the highest impact change they could make. . It's pretty sad but I think they would love to make all the changes people want and have suggested but just can't do it.
    • The default priority stops if you do a fresh install, or anyone installing for the first time, are absolutely terrible/incorrect and I could easily see turning a large portion of players away who don't know how to fix the stops.

      Like... it's scary to think how many players this could have affected. It cost me a game three times because I kept forgetting. Once long ago on my old PC when I did a reinstall, once again on my new PC I built a few months ago and it happened on PS4 as well.

      As a default, all priority stops should be checked except the stop prior to the turn starting. You shouldn't have to set priority stops for things like playing an action prior or post blocking...
    • StarStorm wrote:

      The last 2 weeks I have been seeing some new players, really unhappy about joining Hex and having issues finding draft, evo and other format games.

      Do you think Hex is in a welcoming state to accept new people right now?
      New player experience is a completely different subject to queues not firing. Which one does the OP really want to talk about??
    • Vroengard wrote:

      StarStorm wrote:

      The last 2 weeks I have been seeing some new players, really unhappy about joining Hex and having issues finding draft, evo and other format games.

      Do you think Hex is in a welcoming state to accept new people right now?
      New player experience is a completely different subject to queues not firing. Which one does the OP really want to talk about??
      If the structure of a core mode is troubled [ie, Ranked's lack of matchmaking, Gauntlets having overly precise matchmaking and the little-used Sealed format really just pulling people away from the other two modes, Immortal not having rewards, etc] then obviously that's going to affect the New Player experience. We're not talking "End Game Content" or "Niche Formats" or anything like that, we're talking things players are presumably going to hit in their first few days of playing.

      If matchmaking can be streamlined and made more functional, then that could help new and old players both (certainly, new players aren't alone in complaining about such things). Conversely, the fact that new player retention is so terrible* (for other reasons) to begin with can be considered a factor in creating a cyclical downward involvement in PvP play. So from that perspective as well, the topic can be considered relevant.

      *On a related side-note, I have seriously never seen a game that has worse retention than this game, and yet is actually playable. I have friends that'll spend 3 months on even an objectively trashy game with me, but people usually leave Hex in the first few days- including the roughly 40 invitees I've personally attempted to get invested in the game. More notably, every player- be that those invited by me, or the many I've spoken to in the game- has referenced the same short list of issues as their reasons for leaving. Similarly, that shortlist is criticized emphatically by long-standing players, as well.

      In consideration of both perspectives, the OP actually clarifies the matter with their last comment ["I feel there is a seriously population issue right now and its giving the game a bad impression for new people."], in which they directly relate the matchmaking shortcomings as part of the central theme of their post, which is "New Player Impressions".

      To rephrase their topic as prompts, it would perhaps amount to "What factors are feasible to work on so as to improve the impressions new players get of the game? I feel low population in matchmaking is a key issue in regards to that, so is that something we can fix?"

      In the end, marketing is all about impressions, and Hex is infamous for nearly only giving negative impressions [outside of their compellingly rich (albeit also rather unreliable) gameplay content]. This topic could cover a great many things HexEnt falters with, but polishing up the weak spots in core modes (be that campaign pitfalls, lack of proper matchmaking in ranked, lack of immortal format rewards to better retain less active players, or more efficient gauntlet queuing) is the most obvious starting point, as those are the elements which are not only intuitively the most critical for player retention, but have been the most vocally criticized elements by new players in the past, as they left the game.

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

    • Serious talk time.

      I think the main reason New Player Experience and Player Retention are suffering is because of people having the wrong idea of what game they're joining.

      Let's present some common misconceptions:

      1) F2P - Sure, if you (1) work farming PVE (N/A for PS4) OR (2) are great in Limited OR (3) work playing the AH more than the game itself.

      2) MMO - [Actually dropped now] But people still expect some features that are missing like (1) Guilds, (2) Raids.

      3) RPG - Only 2 AZs where (1) dialogue options don't matter, (2) race doesn't matter, (3) class doesn't matter, (4) faction matters incrediblhy little.

      4) TCG - [This is the only bit that cannot be blamed to HXE at all and it's just people missing basic knowledge] i/ The "T" part - Despite AH clunkiness and inability to directly trade via a trade window, NEW PLAYERS DO NOT APPRECIATE THE VALUE OF CARDS. They are used to other games, and I don't mean only card games, offering a mountain of NOTHING that earns them nothing except a way to pass time. Only MTG players have any idea that you need to invest in the game and the cards in order to gain back, ii/ The "CG" part - The vast majority of card games after MTG have become increasingly simplistic. Hex is a complex, slow, competitive game. New players have not experienced such gameplay before. They do not value competitiveness. Recently I watched a stream of a new player and after M1G1 they said "Wait, we have to play again?", when M1G2 started, after reserves. They do not know about reserves, they probably have no experience with priority and phase stops and why they're important.

      TL;DR Hex is a game for a very small portion of video game players and even video card game players who grew up and were conditioned to see gaming differently.
    • I really wish there could be settings to matchmaking. So I could set that I would prefer to wait longer to be matched with a cosmic player. With the influx of ps4 players I get matched with a lot of players with 68 or random numbers of cards in their decks. It feels more like playing pve than a competitive game. Not saying anything about ps4 players as a whole, lose to them all the time. But would be nice not to get matched with newer players with bad decks.
    • Vroengard wrote:

      I think the main reason New Player Experience and Player Retention are suffering is because of people having the wrong idea of what game they're joining.
      I mean, there are two sides to this... yes, people's expectations and what the game offer don't match... but is that because people are being uninformed or unreasonable... or is Hex is designing a game for a market that mostly doesn't exist?

      As to your specific misconceptions:

      1) This is a problem because the game lacks interesting repeatable content at all skill levels. That's not a result of 'the wrong expectations', it's a result of missing content.
      2) MMO - ya, that's a result of Hex's poor advertising and product labeling... but expecting functional social and group coordination features to exist in an online game is entirely reasonable.
      3) Those are all Hex's design shortcomings, not a matter of poor expectations.
      4a) Trading - This is not so much a result of games 'giving away nothing' as it is a result of video gaming being designed as a hobby, not a job. People do not EXPECT to get anything back out of games, they simply want the game to be fun. When 'the possibility of getting value out of it' interferes with 'the game being fun', then that's more of a hindrance to the game's success than anything. That isn't to say Hex SHOULD change that, it's their call... but it's something that is definitely a factor.
      b) Competition - This is blatantly incorrect. The world's most popular games, both to play and to watch, are hyper-competitive. League of Legends, PUBG, etc etc etc... people want competition. People LOVE competition. It's a HUGE selling point to have a thriving competitive landscape. But very few games are built off of a Bo# environment, outside of direct tournament settings... so it is understandable to not be aware of that. Additionally, people want FAIR competition. And a big part of fair competition is effective matchmaking to ensure they are facing people of appropriate skill levels.
      Gamer. Streamer. Photographer. Writer. Anime Lover. Possessor of Stuffed Animals.

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


      (...) Additionally, people want FAIR competition. And a big part of fair competition is effective matchmaking to ensure they are facing people of appropriate skill levels.
      If by "skill" you mean proper decision making ability, then no ranking can evaluate your "skill", because you know, we play card game where much is matchup and RNG dependant. For example, I can do flawless plays and still lose, or can do multiple mistakes and still win, in both cases due to reasons that have nothing with my "skill".
    • Morwath wrote:

      If by "skill" you mean proper decision making ability, then no ranking can evaluate your "skill", because you know, we play card game where much is matchup and RNG dependant. For example, I can do flawless plays and still lose, or can do multiple mistakes and still win, in both cases due to reasons that have nothing with my "skill".
      That's why MMR ratings are not designed on one game, but rather on hundreds.

      Everyone has a small percentage of their wins AND losses determined by pure rng. Everyone. And, assuming well built decks, the percentage that is determined that way should be pretty close to equal, over the long run, for everyone. As a result, those games essentially don't matter.

      If everyone plays 500 games, and loses 40 and wins 40 due to rng... then everyone has the same starting point. 80 games, 50% winrate. The remaining 420 games, then determine your ACTUAL MMR.
      Gamer. Streamer. Photographer. Writer. Anime Lover. Possessor of Stuffed Animals.

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

      Morwath wrote:

      If by "skill" you mean proper decision making ability, then no ranking can evaluate your "skill", because you know, we play card game where much is matchup and RNG dependant. For example, I can do flawless plays and still lose, or can do multiple mistakes and still win, in both cases due to reasons that have nothing with my "skill".
      That's why MMR ratings are not designed on one game, but rather on hundreds.
      Everyone has a small percentage of their wins AND losses determined by pure rng. Everyone. And, assuming well built decks, the percentage that is determined that way should be pretty close to equal, over the long run, for everyone. As a result, those games essentially don't matter.

      If everyone plays 500 games, and loses 40 and wins 40 due to rng... then everyone has the same starting point. 80 games, 50% winrate. The remaining 420 games, then determine your ACTUAL MMR.
      Thats simply not true, as not everyone is affected by RNG equaly. For example, player A and B play exact same list of W/D Momentum while laddering, they will not get exact same starting hands on average (statistcialy they would, but in reality they won't), but even if they would get same hands, they will play against different people and mirrored hands will have different value due to different matchups, and A will be more often on play than B.
      Their results at the end of day will be completly different, even if their decision making is similar, they will end with different MMR.

      Also, 500 games in a season? There are maybe few players who play that much.
      Now, if we take into account that actual important part of competition is much smaller sample size (tournaments) then deviations between players is even bigger.