Easy Ways to Make Hex More Approachable

    • Easy Ways to Make Hex More Approachable

      A discussion in the collector deck thread made me want to start another of these threads to offer suggestions for ways that wouldn't require much coding to increase the approachability of Hex. I know I know, preaching to the choir... but maybe if we keep offering ideas some of them will stick.

      1) Use the newsfeed space in-game more. That space should show recent patch notes, a link to the current known issues list, a highlight of any tournaments scheduled to happen that day, etc.

      2) Bring back the budget store decks. Those ~10 dollar budget constructed decks will serve as a great counterpoint to the collector decks and offer a great intro to the game.

      3) Add starter bundles. I know Hex has been hesitant to offer any discounts or anything to avoid impacting the economy, but offering a one-time-per-account bundle for 15 bucks that gives one of those budget constructed decks, an 'account level boost' that increases account leveling exp for the first 2 weeks, and 2 evo sealed tickets (or some similar combination of stuff)

      4) (this one might take a bit more coding) Offer in-client guidance to players on first login to point them towards good starting points, and offer them a reward for it. (account level quests/achievements would tie into this pretty well.)

      5) Move away from a reliance on timed tournaments and add more of those formats as on-demand methods of play. For ones that are less competitive, build a set of AA commons/uncommons and give a random one for every 5-10 wins. For ones that are more competitive, add entry fees and prize support. Award account experience for all of them. (that's not to say get rid of the timed tournaments, just stop relying so much on them as the 'only way to play')

      6) Resculpt VIP to be a modern subscription service with real value.
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    • Eraia wrote:

      A discussion in the collector deck thread made me want to start another of these threads to offer suggestions for ways that wouldn't require much coding to increase the approachability of Hex. I know I know, preaching to the choir... but maybe if we keep offering ideas some of them will stick.

      1) Use the newsfeed space in-game more. That space should show recent patch notes, a link to the current known issues list, a highlight of any tournaments scheduled to happen that day, etc.

      2) Bring back the budget store decks. Those ~10 dollar budget constructed decks will serve as a great counterpoint to the collector decks and offer a great intro to the game.

      3) Add starter bundles. I know Hex has been hesitant to offer any discounts or anything to avoid impacting the economy, but offering a one-time-per-account bundle for 15 bucks that gives one of those budget constructed decks, an 'account level boost' that increases account leveling exp for the first 2 weeks, and 2 evo sealed tickets (or some similar combination of stuff)

      4) (this one might take a bit more coding) Offer in-client guidance to players on first login to point them towards good starting points, and offer them a reward for it. (account level quests/achievements would tie into this pretty well.)

      5) Move away from a reliance on timed tournaments and add more of those formats as on-demand methods of play. For ones that are less competitive, build a set of AA commons/uncommons and give a random one for every 5-10 wins. For ones that are more competitive, add entry fees and prize support. Award account experience for all of them. (that's not to say get rid of the timed tournaments, just stop relying so much on them as the 'only way to play')

      6) Resculpt VIP to be a modern subscription service with real value.
      1) I agree.

      2) I dislike idea of buget decks for couple of reasons, but mainly because as they usualy aren't good enough to have fun with them. MTG in the past had preconstructed decks that were super cheap, but they were completly worthless and you could enjoy them only while playing on kitchen table with someone else having such deck. I'd rather see something for 30$ on level of MTG challenger decks, even 50$ if it would need to cost that much to be competitive.

      3) Starter bundles are good idea, they could be mixed with some collector stuff. Elder Scrolls Legends for example is selling 10 packs + playsets of 3 different AAs [it's 21 pln for me, so it's probably 5 euro) and other bundles like this one. Good ideas should be copied imho.

      4) I agree, good tutorial with some freebies would be a good thing.

      5) I agree.

      6) Not my thing, but I agree that VIP should have value if HexEnt is supposed to earn money.
    • Morwath wrote:

      2) I dislike idea of buget decks for couple of reasons, but mainly because as they usualy aren't good enough to have fun with them. MTG in the past had preconstructed decks that were super cheap, but they were completly worthless and you could enjoy them only while playing on kitchen table with someone else having such deck. I'd rather see something for 30$ on level of MTG challenger decks, even 50$ if it would need to cost that much to be competitive.
      Bluntly, those are bad constructed decks then, not budget decks. I've seen 10-15 dollar budget decks in Hex that were EASILY adequate for leveling to cosmic and for having a decent chance at winning in a normal constructed environment. They won't win tournaments, but they don't HAVE to. They just have to show people what a good deck looks like, give players a few wins, and have relatively clear paths to upgrade.

      @JeffHoogland used to highlight some on his site regularly(don't know if he still does or not). It can be done.

      The reality is that if you want to appeal to a new player, 30-50 bucks is NOT the way to go. That's too high right there. Even the 20 dollar collector decks are borderline too expensive for that purpose(fortunately that is not the purpose of the collector decks).

      A 10-15 dollar budget deck with a handful of rares that came with clear update paths built in(they could probably set the game up to have a 'non-budget' section that you could see if you bought the deck that showed things to buy to improve it) would work way better as an entryp oint than a 30-50 dollar deck that didn't require as many updates would.
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    • Plotynus wrote:

      For 4), they're onto something. Watch the last Dev stream and you'll find how a new npc randomly appears. They said it's a feature that they're implementing to help new players.

      I agree with the others.
      Sounds like it - good to hear. Dev streams are while I'm on my commute home from work so can't watch(no smartphone). I hope that all pans out and proves a good starting point to offering new players direction.
      Gamer. Streamer. Photographer. Writer. Anime Lover. Possessor of Stuffed Animals.

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    • Eraia wrote:

      Morwath wrote:

      2) I dislike idea of buget decks for couple of reasons, but mainly because as they usualy aren't good enough to have fun with them. MTG in the past had preconstructed decks that were super cheap, but they were completly worthless and you could enjoy them only while playing on kitchen table with someone else having such deck. I'd rather see something for 30$ on level of MTG challenger decks, even 50$ if it would need to cost that much to be competitive.
      Bluntly, those are bad constructed decks then, not budget decks. I've seen 10-15 dollar budget decks in Hex that were EASILY adequate for leveling to cosmic and for having a decent chance at winning in a normal constructed environment. They won't win tournaments, but they don't HAVE to. They just have to show people what a good deck looks like, give players a few wins, and have relatively clear paths to upgrade.
      @JeffHoogland used to highlight some on his site regularly(don't know if he still does or not). It can be done.

      The reality is that if you want to appeal to a new player, 30-50 bucks is NOT the way to go. That's too high right there. Even the 20 dollar collector decks are borderline too expensive for that purpose(fortunately that is not the purpose of the collector decks).

      A 10-15 dollar budget deck with a handful of rares that came with clear update paths built in(they could probably set the game up to have a 'non-budget' section that you could see if you bought the deck that showed things to buy to improve it) would work way better as an entryp oint than a 30-50 dollar deck that didn't require as many updates would.
      Honestly, if you want attract new players you should focus on supporting Rock. Once you introduce on demand Rock que and tournaments on demand for it, you could simply put few Rock decks into shop for 5$ each. That should be enough to give new players fair and competitive gamming experience, also to show them how good deck can look like.

      Then, for those who would want invest more into STD you could put 30-50$ decks that can perform well in tournaments.
    • Morwath wrote:

      Honestly, if you want attract new players you should focus on supporting Rock. Once you introduce on demand Rock que and tournaments on demand for it, you could simply put few Rock decks into shop for 5$ each. That should be enough to give new players fair and competitive gamming experience, also to show them how good deck can look like.

      Then, for those who would want invest more into STD you could put 30-50$ decks that can perform well in tournaments.
      That's a reasonable suggestion as well. I do agree rock needs more support.

      That being said, I still feel like offering 10-15 dollar decks with upgrade paths is healthier as it stimulates the economy(if a person has 30 bucks, they can buy the 15 and use the info from the upgrade path to buy some additional cards from the AH to improve the deck afterall)... but I can see why you feel the way you do.
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    • Hex could easily do $15/1500p decks that are great. And I'm talking about decks that could do very well in tournaments. Just look at what WOTC did, the company who repeatedly shafts its customers at every opportunity. The new set of $30 decks are the best pre-built decks I've ever seen.

      It's just a matter of how much Hex values an affordable Standard. Because right now it's not, and it's driving a lot of people to not play, among other things. You want to drive the price of Standard down? That's how you do it. Just look at what happened to Runebind/Eyes of the Heart this afternoon.
    • Morwath wrote:

      2) I dislike idea of buget decks for couple of reasons, but mainly because as they usualy aren't good enough to have fun with them. MTG in the past had preconstructed decks that were super cheap, but they were completly worthless and you could enjoy them only while playing on kitchen table with someone else having such deck. I'd rather see something for 30$ on level of MTG challenger decks, even 50$ if it would need to cost that much to be competitive.
      Were you around for when HXE did give players preconstructed decks? Those were cheap, relatively speaking, and with enough games they could get you to Cosmic, all of them. It wasn't easy but it wasn't impossible either. Their main fuction was to make people forgo ladder anxiety, deck researching and building anxiety and to give them a taste of climbing rewards.

      And it worked.

      We don't need to give players 30 dollar decks when they can get all ladder rewards with a 15 dollar deck, which they can then upgrade, if they want, to have a fair chance playing in cosmic.
    • Vroengard wrote:

      Were you around for when HXE did give players preconstructed decks? Those were cheap, relatively speaking, and with enough games they could get you to Cosmic, all of them. It wasn't easy but it wasn't impossible either. Their main fuction was to make people forgo ladder anxiety, deck researching and building anxiety and to give them a taste of climbing rewards.

      And it worked.
      What's your basis for saying that it worked?

      The problem with that approach is that when players repeatedly lose games to players with clearly better cards they're very likely to quit long before they make it to cosmic. Players generally don't find playing with a handicap fun.
    • Mach wrote:

      The problem with that approach is that when players repeatedly lose games to players with clearly better cards they're very likely to quit long before they make it to cosmic.
      And your response to this situation is... either buy the tier 1 deck outright or don't play PvP? Because that's the only two ways out of your hypothetical situation.

      And I'm saying it worked because we had people thanking the creators and saying I wouldn't have played the Ladder seriously without x/y/z deck. People bought those. You surely must remember the zerg of B/R Yotul decks and D/S/W Pathfinder decks.

      Also from personal experience. When I got the Pathfinder deck it was the first time I grinded to Cosmic.
    • Vroengard wrote:

      Morwath wrote:

      2) I dislike idea of buget decks for couple of reasons, but mainly because as they usualy aren't good enough to have fun with them. MTG in the past had preconstructed decks that were super cheap, but they were completly worthless and you could enjoy them only while playing on kitchen table with someone else having such deck. I'd rather see something for 30$ on level of MTG challenger decks, even 50$ if it would need to cost that much to be competitive.
      Were you around for when HXE did give players preconstructed decks? Those were cheap, relatively speaking, and with enough games they could get you to Cosmic, all of them. It wasn't easy but it wasn't impossible either. Their main fuction was to make people forgo ladder anxiety, deck researching and building anxiety and to give them a taste of climbing rewards.
      And it worked.

      We don't need to give players 30 dollar decks when they can get all ladder rewards with a 15 dollar deck, which they can then upgrade, if they want, to have a fair chance playing in cosmic.
      I was around, but I disagree that getting to cosmic matters at all, as you can get to cosmic win winrate around, if not below 50% with enough games. Difference between good and bad deck is, that with the first you go cosmic with 0-1 loses and with bad one you struggle for some time until you get your lucky streak to carry you there.

      I'd rather say that Hex has two issues:
      1. Price of competitive decks - How could I even try to convince any of my MTG friends to give Hex a try, if we're as expensive as MTG and sometimes our top decks cost even more? They will rather buy another deck for their favourite game rather than risk investing such money into game thats has low population AND game that they may dislike.
      2. Lack of competitive play on demand for constructed players.
    • Preconstructed decks don't have to be "Good". They need to be "good enough", cool to play, upgradeable and able to get you into Cosmic with average playing before the end of season.

      I agree that those two points you mention are seriously hurting Hex too. However they are neither the only ones nor the two top ones.
    • Vroengard wrote:

      Preconstructed decks don't have to be "Good". They need to be "good enough", cool to play, upgradeable and able to get you into Cosmic with average playing before the end of season.
      WotC disagrees with you, thats why they introduced challenger decks, so new players could have some fun during tournaments without investing too much. You can disagree with their point of view, but they manage the most popular and succesful TCG in history...

      While you see those precons as something good, because you got first time into cosmic with one of them, my experience with them was completly opposite. During that time I was playing mostly Kagu Shoku and Clash Control, those precons were nothing but free wins for me in like 90% of time. They clearly need to be better than what we got in the past.
    • Vroengard wrote:

      I have no idea how good those linked decks are tbqh. But sure, let's have Hex ask for more money upfront from new players.
      Ask "for more money"? Are you serious?
      When I mean competitive decks, I mean competitive decks. I would put entire Hevka candles for 30$ and only cut Wax Sacrament and Well of Conquest to 2 each. It would greatly reduce silly prices of cards like Well of Conquest, Wax Sacrament and Light Em Up, but in my opinion HexEnt shouldn't be afraid to force lower some prices for top cards as current "free market" is good only for price manipulators and limited grinders.

      I believe giving few competitive 30$ choices for new players is better than making some 10-20$ budgets based on currrent AH prices, like it was done in case of old preconstructed decks you've mentioned, where you could build them cheaper just by buying singles from AH.

      Right now, what you can buy for 30$? Collector deck and 5 packs?

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

    • 1) Suggested this a 100 times before now. This is by far the worst thing about HEX; bad communication.

      2+3) I don't believe this will have any impact at all as pre-conscructed decks always suck.

      4) I'd prefer community written descriptions of features to clippy-clones. But others might like that, so sure.

      5) Sure. They should experiment on finding the most popular way to do tournaments.

      6) Don't care
      "Ignorant beliefs are stains upon the mind."
    • Transience wrote:

      2+3) I don't believe this will have any impact at all as pre-conscructed decks always suck.

      4) I'd prefer community written descriptions of features to clippy-clones. But others might like that, so sure.

      5) Sure. They should experiment on finding the most popular way to do tournaments.
      2/3 point: as far as 2 goes, it depends on what you compare them to. If you're comparing them to the decks that win the Bash, then probably. If you're comparing them to what a person SHOULD be seeing at the lower end of the ladder, then not so much. I feel like offering people both a starting point as well as a logical progression path gives them an understanding of both deckbuilding and the game itself, as well as giving them a moderately strong starting point.
      As far as 3 goes, you don't HAVE to include those decks in the new player starter bundles for new player starter bundles to work, but if you add entry decks at all it's a great idea to include them in the starter bundle. There is absolutely no way that starter bundles that offer good value for players on entering the game don't help. It may not be a big help, but it is utterly silly to imply that 'giving new players a good deal' won't help improve the new player experience. It's basic logic, and it's why so many games/stores/services/etc. offer 'newbie discounts' in some form or another.(Sign up now and we'll waive the registration fee, 20% off your first order, sign up for your first year and get 3 months free, etc. etc. etc.) - there's a HUGE established history of success with this type of thing. And there is no reason why it wouldn't help Hex too.
      4) Hex adding better in-game guidance doesn't remove community guides or the forums or the chat system... and if it were implemented in the form of an account wide quest system, it'd be a huge boon for new players.

      Morwath wrote:

      I believe giving few competitive 30$ choices for new players is better than making some 10-20$ budgets based on currrent AH prices, like it was done in case of old preconstructed decks you've mentioned, where you could build them cheaper just by buying singles from AH.
      I feel like a big part of why that works for Magic is because Magic has such a long-term reputation and history, and so much player trust.

      In Hex, I fear that the playerbase, being as suspicious and fearful as they are, would likely get really pissed off at Hex for undermining the economy like that.

      That's not to say I think it's a bad idea, just... I fear that it would cost Hex more than it would help, at this stage, given what I know of the playerbase.
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