Thoughts on Siege in the context of the upcoming new reward system

    • Thoughts on Siege in the context of the upcoming new reward system

      Good afternoon everyone,

      Ever since last week's Friday Update from @HEXCoryJones came out, I have been reflecting on my Siege experience so far and all the feedback we were able to gather on the Warden's discord server. I figured it would be a great timing to poke everyone's thoughts on Siege and what it could be in the near future.

      First of all, I'd like to say that I am more than thrilled at the notion that we will get more incentives to play the game mode and I am really excited to see that Hex is willing to invest a bit more in the short term towards it. The one thing I really hope won’t be missed is that we should approach Siege the same way we approach PVP standard format. One of Hex’s biggest success related to constructed is the availability of data on decks and their “stats”. One of the biggest issues playing Siege right now is that everything is hidden. This prohibits lots of players from participating (on both sides). I think that keeping the data hidden for a competitive game mode is a significant mistake, even more so in a future world where we have even more incentives to participate! It will create an even bigger “elitist” context where players with information succeed and players without information fail, giving very little room for players without information to improve and experiment unless they invest significant resources to get that information.

      At the very least, I believe it would be extremely beneficial to the mode if we would have at least access to the attacker’s deck information and performances. We don’t need to see the defender’s deck, but for players interested in the game mode, knowing which attacker deck is performing well would make it a lot more accessible for casual attackers, and create a much more interesting context for competitive players to work with.

      I would also make a strong case that defenders not having access to deck ideas really put a strong barrier to entry for them. It is already really hard and time consuming to come up with a deck + AI personality that works well (it is in fact the hardest deck building exercise we can do in the game right now), it is even harder for players on smaller collections. And those that are not part of the “circles” where a good deal of information is shared are often just not participating.

      There are many ways to make deck data available without penalizing both sides of the game mode while keeping the excitement of discovery. I sincerely hope that coming with the added incentives to participate, we will also get the relevant “meta” information. I think enabling players to “play the meta” would be a much more appealing proposition to all players. I can only imagine that we would see a very significant diminution in ladder participation if all the data was hidden. I believe the same principle applies to Siege for both competitive and casual attackers.

      Finally, on the subject of casual players, I believe that having some kind of mechanism to separate the “casual” and “competitive” Sieges will likely become a necessity once we get these added incentives to play. I know a great deal of casual players that just loves trying “fun” or “themed” Sieges that do not care about the rewards. You already see groups of players trying to figure out convoluted ways to identify “fun” Sieges so that casual players would try them. I would love to see having the option so that players could put their Siege in a “casual” or “non-competitive” queue without cost or rewards. I would even go so far as to suggest that Sieges in that queue should not get removed when they are beaten. Just accumulate some stats and provide “defender” player ranking based on a simple “thumbs up | thumbs down” rating that would pop at end of the run so that players creating the most "appreciated" content could get higher visibility. I think having attackers and defenders deck hidden for such a queue would be PERFECT as this is a context where having suspense and discovery moments really improve the level of “fun” of the experience. Whereas when prizes are on the line and players get competitive... not so much!

      In short, let the competitive players fight a meta and casual players have the joy of discovery!
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    • I like the idea of a separated casual and competitive Siege format. The problem with siege now is that it pits player resources against player resources, which drives it into competitive territory where only the most capable and well equipped players are rewarded. Long term, that equals a dying format, with little room for new players to find positive experiences. Right now, casual players just pay to be preyed upon on either end of the siege equation.

      For siege to thrive, it needs some component or mode that rewards participation rather than victory. People need to want to engage with the system without fear or cost of failure.

      I see siege as a brilliant way to leverage crowdsourced content, but when I throw together a mod for Fallout 4, I don't lose a dollar every time someone beats it. The mode is really working hard against being all it could be.
    • I largely agree, especially with the casual section, though I do think that competitive siege defender data should probably be kept out of the API until the Siege is actually defeated.
      Once that does happen, however, I think it'd be great to have access to both the API data and the replays for successful siege attacks.
    • the competitive angle seems premature, especially considering that the highest EV is for nobody to participate

      they should just make it fun before worrying about all that

      playing a standard deck against the subset of PVE decks that the AI can accidentally end up playing semi-reasonably is not fun

      people who want to game it, will always find ways to game it. people who want to just buy some cards and have fun with them can't even enjoy the mode right now

      how to fix:
      • let attackers use immortal pve decks. characters. mercs. (let defenders use those too once the AI can handle them.)
      • let people play without stakes
      • change the siege listings to be more like a list of levels with some basic descriptions/categories/ratings, instead of useless author names.
    • Personally i am not to mad about siege even though i lost alot of gold with my defenses.

      There are some thing i would like tos ee adjusted

      Set gold ammount to challenge a defense deck (based on the starting value the defender set)
      - This means that when you put up a 1000 gold defense every attacker will have to pay 400 gold no matter how many times the defender won

      Give a reward for harder to beat defense decks
      - So for every unique attacker (this to protect a bit against farming) add a counter to the defender. When the defender is beaten give them an extra crafting reward (mainly/only attainable throught sieging) based on how hard the defense was. (1-3 unique wins = common, 4-5 unique wins = uncommon , etc)

      All of this will make it more valuable to beat stronger defenses as player (and more intresting) will challenge weaker defenses once for fun and stronger once for the gold/crafting components.
    • I think sharing attacker data is fine, but I don't see the point of trying to come up with really good Siege defenses if your build is going to be instantly shared with everyone. In PvP when a successful decklist is revealed, you still have the ability to play it more optimally than netdeckers but with the AI piloting it, you've just given away ALL the secret sauce. If there was for example the ability to set custom fine grained AI rules on how to pilot each deck, then it would be different.
    • Bootlace wrote:

      I think sharing attacker data is fine, but I don't see the point of trying to come up with really good Siege defenses if your build is going to be instantly shared with everyone. In PvP when a successful decklist is revealed, you still have the ability to play it more optimally than netdeckers but with the AI piloting it, you've just given away ALL the secret sauce. If there was for example the ability to set custom fine grained AI rules on how to pilot each deck, then it would be different.
      I think that in the context of Siege it would be fine because of its structure. Even if you know which decks are doing best, you might not have defense composition for instance. Even if you knew all the decks that performs well, and all the combination, and have access to all the PVP decks to counter them all, it would still be fairly hard to have a good deck that beats a specific defense. Players would start adjusting their defense for what players brings in. This is why I believe having players fight a "meta" instead of trying to fight the information war would be a much better proposition than having hidden information for competitive play (which is the nature of the game mode right now).
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    • I can confirm that I found it particularly strange that we've had almost no one sharing either their Attacking or Defending deck ideas. I don't see any forum threads in the Deck section either. (Testing teams or guilds sharing ideas doesn't count because that's still a closed environment, a group of friends).

      Making this mode competitive and not releasing the API has changed the face of the PvE community (though I suspect that there's a few players who wouldn't have touched PvE before but found this opportunity to farm some currency), which used to share deck ideas for the FRA (and that thread is always updated with ideas) because now they have something to win from being secretive.

      Not surprised though, this is basic human nature.
    • Vroengard wrote:

      I can confirm that I found it particularly strange that we've had almost no one sharing either their Attacking or Defending deck ideas. I don't see any forum threads in the Deck section either. (Testing teams or guilds sharing ideas doesn't count because that's still a closed environment, a group of friends).

      Making this mode competitive and not releasing the API has changed the face of the PvE community (though I suspect that there's a few players who wouldn't have touched PvE before but found this opportunity to farm some currency), which used to share deck ideas for the FRA (and that thread is always updated with ideas) because now they have something to win from being secretive.

      Not surprised though, this is basic human nature.
      this is because the mode is too punishing for people to experiment and have fun

      let attackers win and make a bunch of crazy pve decks that actually have a chance and people will share them

      sharing the AI decks that perform well just means you will see more of the same boring stuff when you attack. i have made like 10 or 15 different defense decks. i wouldn't want to play a standard deck against a single one of those
    • I thought it had a lot more to do with 0 interest to play a mode, albeit fun, with adverse incentives.

      We have decks.
      We can share decks.
      I was planning to write articles.

      All I need is the carrot on the stick. Sounds like we are getting that soon.
      When that happens, more will hit the interwebs.

      The only current incentive is the leaderboard. Sharing brews for defense and attacking only weaken your chances to be a successful defender or attacker, currently. With carefully thought out incentives, some of the sting will be removed by encouraging a wider array of players to participate.
    • Biz wrote:

      sharing the AI decks that perform well just means you will see more of the same boring stuff when you attack
      It's not that much different from Ladder though, right? You know what the meta is, so you try to play the meta decks.

      Same with siege. There must be some Siege AI meta (which, I might add, would be far far more diverse than the PvP meta) so expecting to see the same 15 decks would be fine.

      And in a similar fashion, as there are people playing PvP with fun decks, there would be attackers and defenders playing with fun decks. The problem that both Coach and Nico have pointed out is that those players are vulnerable to people who might farm them for gold/plat instead of appreciating the content.
    • NicoSharp wrote:

      I thought it had a lot more to do with 0 interest to play a mode, albeit fun, with adverse incentives.
      While it is true that we don't have a lot of incentives to play the mode right now, hidden information and not being able to identify competitive and casual Keeps are very strong barrier to entry.
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    • I'd like to see a feature to save a singular keep setup (all three keeps, intro text, gold rewards), and relist that keep with a single button. Then, as long as that unique keep setup is used, players can rate a keep on difficulty (and/or fun) so that the next time it's relisted, you can start to generate ratings. This encourages players to relist the same keep even after it's been defeated once, and also enables Hex to remember who's defeated a keep setup, which can let them block that player from re-running a keep. I know I'm usually discouraged from relisting a keep because I figure the same person can just go rerun it and take my gold.

      Some way to rate keeps has to be in the client, or else it's just a blind gamble.
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    • I really wish sieges could be posted for free. I like watching the AI duel it out and it's nice to build theme decks, but it always feel bad when they just get stomped by some combo strategy/tier 1 PvP deck and it does feel a bit bad to watch some obvious new player lose some gold to my decks.

      Also, kind of without saying, the AI still needs some work; it still refuses to simply play certain cards.
    • I've joked about having a colosseum where two players could pit AI-piloted decks against each other. Other players could observe the fight and place bets with a percentage of the pot being split between the owners of the gladiator decks.

      I would enjoy that more than the current siege setup.