PVE Content - Modifications - Permanence

    • PVE Content - Modifications - Permanence

      Most of this I've said before and not in a formal suggestion - this is partially what I want to see from Hex PVE moving forward and a response to the developers feeling their time invested in creating content is trivialized by the playerbase. That they can't keep up. That should never have been the goal, there are too many players and not enough developers to pretend that was a thing they could do, there needs to be 2 types of content - stuff like siege to keep us busy, and things like campaign to entertain and delight. Just because we beat the final boss of Act 2 of presumably many very quickly shouldn't be an indicator that it wasn't a worthwhile endeavor - we haven't even gotten to the middle difficulty yet, we have so much and so much harder content to discover as the campaign expands. Just because your players are at a higher level than your PvE campaign at the moment doesn't mean you should be dissuaded from that aspect of the games development - it just means there's a hole in what we have/need in terms of difficult content. If you need something that's dynamic and keeps the PVE people satisfied make that thing - some suggestions below as to how - giving you the time you need to build and develop the story and classes for campaign.

      There's a ton of potential in just client tweaks to expand on what we have in Hex already, time investment sure some things more than others, but we're sitting on time right now so let's do the best with it we can right? The campaign isn't trivialized yet, sure we can clear it quickly, but I played it a lot, a lot a lot, and don't have a full set of AZ2 goodies yet, some things are just hard to farm, it's the best source of gold and for that reason alone will continue to see play, and we're happy with any and all additions to it.

      Stop removing content - new FRA shouldn't have replaced the old one, I loved the old one and would play it again today in an instant, and I'd play the new one too, but we certainly lost something there and it was pointless to lose. It was a great intermediate PvE experience, sure not everything there was as challenging outside of the dragon fight, but it was a place people could turn to in order to grind out gold for cards they wanted, I literally farmed enough gold for every card in the game at one point which was a huge braggadocios feature of Hex - you could invest time in the community into the game and improve your deck and get any card you wanted to have for your time, players who invest their time in their hobby are the ones passionate enough to invest their money as well. Maybe I couldn't afford to spend a few grand on set release to crack a playset of every card in the game but I was in the tournaments and paid to enter the gauntlets, and plat for singles, bought packs just to give them away to people new to the game or for those who hung out with me in streams. Didn't bother me a bit to spend the money I did and build my collection and share that love and enthusiasm for my favorite game with as many people as I could. We don't have the constructed gauntlet anymore, we don't have long form drafts - and if we wanted it what's the harm in putting a queue up for it? If people actually prefer the new format they'd queue for that, I wouldn't worry too much about fracturing your playerbase at this point. Kind of a dead argument at this stage I suppose but moving forward - like, okay? Especially don't remove content people are actively engaging in.

      Roguelike PvE content. Could be a dungeon that fills itself with decks that are a certain archetype - gets harder as you progress - gives rewards when you fail. Unlimited playability, could be a way to introduce boss encounters you haven't found a way to fit into the story mode of the game, introduce new cards outside of sets regularly, introduce new equipment for cards that haven't found their way into the campaign arena or chests yet, I'd allow players to set up a Dungeon Siege where they put down a bounty for anyone who can beat their Highest Zone/Clear Counter whatever in that endless dungeon seed where they'll encounter the same options and hurdles you did. As new cards come out you can incorporate them not only into the rewards but the opponents decks as well, you could even somewhat randomize them have deck slots that have different powerful options that work well with that decks archetype and vary from run to run (but are still seeded so other players can encounter them as well - until the next time the game updates at least)

      Creative Solutions to Balance. We don't want hard counters to archetypes in PvE - we saw a bit of that in the FRA revamp and it was bad, it killed whole archetypes. I'm not saying you should be able to run just one deck and clear all content, I'm not saying you shouldn't be able to either, I'm saying it sucks you make cards, we get them somehow, and then they become useless forever. Collecting bits and bobs to throw together a constant based deck for the arena was really fun, and it made a slightly wonky/inconsistent combo goodness mashup that I'd describe as high A tier in terms of clear speed and a solid C in terms of chance to win. But guess what happened, there's an encounter where constants give the enemy dreadlings, one where each constant I play gives them life, on where every time I play a card my other cards get more expensive, one where my cards are just more expensive all the time, one where they play a card that turns my board into an army of their plants - that last ones fair but cmon. That deck wasn't a problem and Uncreative Solutions to Balance hit it hard. If a cards too good in campaign maybe make it restricted to 1 copy, we already see some restrictions in campaign in flavorful ways to which cards you can and can't use, nerfing cards is your choice but seriously we haven't seen content difficult enough yet to warrant lowering the power level of cards - can clear the campaign with standard legal cards and no equipment Easily at the moment and if PvE is a little more OP that's fine - in fact that's good - we're not hurting anyone by having fun, but indirectly we're being hurt when you nerf fun. Embrace the madness a little haha. There's actually no reason to nerf cards in PvE at all, if a card looks too good from a frame of reference of Standard or even Legacy maybe it is too powerful from that frame of reference but the mistake you made was the campaign and arena in no way have to resemble those formats. If the opponents in campaign regularly had 70 health or your cards decayed as turns passed like the old Killipede encounter - not saying that was a fun experience - a free army of 2/3s on turn 1 doesn't really turn the tide in your favor anymore. Being able to discard a card with no threshold requirements to gain life or peek into your deck and select a card or having one troop that left unanswered just wins the game for you isn't that bad, and even if you nerf pve cards like the slaughtergear nerfs so one card that came down turn 2 didn't win the game - PvP cards already do that, turn 2 spellshield hierophant or turn 2 Brilliant Annihilix are still going to runaway with the game, getting a turn 2 Speed Feral Replipopper - especially equipped - is going to be nuts and it's going to win games and you can try and stop things like this from happening but you're going to fail and you're going to hurt peoples feelings for trying.

      Speaking to that, if I want to challenge my buddy to a game where I'm using pve cards and equipment and they want to use theirs against me too, what in the world made you decide to stop us doing that? Sure you Can but I don't see the motivation, kind of a weird flex? Wild West Constructed should be a thing, and if you don't want to make it a thing that's fine, but let us set up our own tournaments maybe? And Absolutely let us challenge each other directly, we can spoof a tournament with online resources and provide our own prize support etc. if it's not something you want to officially exist.
    • Siege changes, let us "nerf" our cards slightly eh? Being able to give a troop Defender for example strictly worse but the AI will never choose to attack with it and that's a great thing for certain cards. Must Attack also modifies it for the worse but won't allow the AI to decide. Too often we see the AI that would have won if it just swung, or it did swing early on with a utility troop into removal that otherwise couldn't have hurt it, and now when it should or shouldn't attack will feel like our choice - even if we don't decide to put always attack or never attack on it is a choice - and it won't feel so frustrating when it happens because it was on us *Psychology*. If siege had a layout where you could select 4 decks they had to beat them in increasing order but had a choice of 2 in between the hardest and easiest decks it'd make it feel more like what people wanted, especially if you could choose a dungeon theme for it, the decks initial order wouldn't matter if the hardest deck is up front and someone loses to it it'd get pushed back into one of the middle slots - if it was your best decks they could go around it so there's no purpose in not setting it up how you want. (Deck 1 up front - split path to two decks with their champion showing on the map (2 and 3) - back of the dungeon the "boss", if deck 1 loses it gets pushed into slot 2 or 3 at random and that deck it swapped with is put up front, if 2 or 3 loses they become the boss). To minimize complexity you could restrict how many cards we could modify in each way, like only 4 creatures can have always attack outside of normal game rules, or can't attack, or always select a specific "mode" for a card with options as to how it's played, or always play this card etc. You can think of hundreds of ways to modify cards that take choices out of the AIs hands and into our own and restrict them in any way you feel is fair, the AI is a great general Hex player, but the PvE decks that are a challenge to the minds of Standard Players aren't general Hex decks, and while ideally the AI could pick up and play any of them well enough we're not at that point yet and honestly shouldn't really need to get there anytime soon.

      Multiplayer doesn't have to look like what people think it does. You could by default only see your own cards and assume what your teammate is doing is worthwhile, basically from your perspective it's just you and the raid boss with some time between your turn and its (or the other way around or both...). If you play anything that requires you to interact with a card that's actually in play but not visible on your board (if you need to target something of a teammate or a secondary enemy - and by need I mean "are given the option to") their stuff joins your board from out of the void temporarily but doesn't trigger anything by doing so - server side everything is just always in play but this will clear up the clogged feeling. You could give the option to toggle the board state to see each of your allies stuff n things with a button opposite the phase/turn info on the right side of the screen - and if you wanted allow us to "follow" the active player where you'd be basically spectating (not actually spectating as that's more of a replay feature than a live on the fly thing everything "in play" but not visible just would be in another zone or the the Void from your perspective depending on how you implement this) your allies on their turns. Yeah it'll be slow, but it'll work with the client we have fairly well - a bit of lag maybe since I get that with 100 or 200 card decks and longer turns waiting for all the priorities to pass but either accept it or disallow doing anything on your allies turns either way it'd be better to have than not to. For Non-PvE 3+ players or raid bosses with adds or multiple targets you can have an equivalent button to change which opponent you're looking at - again system side everything is always in play, but the client doesn't need to know that for the server to do it's thing, and again you could have the option to "follow" the current opposing players board around as the turns progressed and things jumping into existence as they become relevant. Cards are already formatted rules wise for multiplayer let's make it happen. Whichever enemy you are looking at when you select a troop to attack will be the recipient of that attack. This infrastructure will allow for raids, free for all 4 player games for EDH goodness, and 2v2 team games, maybe down the road expanded to 5/6 players as optimizations to the client and server make this less of a burden to manage.

      Ideas for the rogue class, Backstab charge power 2: Deal 1 damage to target opponent, they become poisoned for 1 turn (maybe If they take damage armor interacts with it) - like a mild toxified they take 1 damage at the start of their turn if they are poisoned. Different skill tree perks - troops poisoned enemies play have a chance to become poisoned (they take a damage then remove poison - it stacks so 1 stack of poison is removed but only ever take 1 damage). All non-poison damage to poisoned enemies is lethal something along those lines, rogues that begin the game in your deck inflict poison onto whatever they deal damage too. To finish off the poison tree if a troop has less toughness or a player less life than the poison stacks they have they are destroyed. The top troop of your deck gains unblockable. You have a 10% chance to avoid taking damage, beyond that for 2 points if you avoid damage in this way counter attack for that much damage (non-troop sources of damage hit the opponent directly otherwise it's dealt to the troop), critical strike chance 10% to deal double damage from any damage source to opponents or troops they control. If a rogue deals damage to an opposing champion a random rogue in your hand gets cost -1. Back Alley Shortcut - Rogues you control have speed (artifact begins in play). You begin the game with 2 Versatile Killer in your deck 0 cost quick action colorless, rogues you control with swiftstrike gain This deals double damage, troops you control gain swiftstrike (in that order) - draw a card. All In - if you would gain life instead poison a random opponent or opposing troop.

      Human Rogue - Pickpocket, some % more gold gained, Orc Rogue - your crits deal triple damage some low % chance to crit without the skill point additive bonus with it, coyotle rogue - added base evasion chance, elf rogue poison instead deals 2 damage, necrotic rogue enemies killed by your necrotic become 1/1 necrotic rogues and come into play under your control, dwarf rogue rogues that begin the game in your deck gain exhaust destroy target artifact (saboteur), shin'hare all shin'hare that begin the game in your deck count as rogues, vennen spiders you control are poisonous.

      Generic Equipment - there's a whole lot of design space in equipment - for example a set of armor that all it does is give you 1 life at the start of the game, a set that any 3 pieces grants armor 1 and a full set grants draw an extra card at the begging of the game - go nuts. There's no reason equipment has to specifically modify cards and not other game rules. Give decks that have empty equipment slots some more versatility - maybe the cards in that deck just don't have equipment yet and they will have to make a choice later about which ones to use, maybe all of the cards in that deck are just competing for the same equip slots. Happens a lot, but there's a ton of design space to add more content and versatility to the game without needing a huge investment on resources in game or art even.

      If you have any questions / comments, suggestions to fix a glaring mistake I've made - or even just to point it out and get the ball rolling on fixing stuff I'm here - be off to work now catch you all later
      Arti
    • The problem is they didn't design their PVE content with longevity in mind. Things like the campaign are fun, but it is single consumption development. That's a waste of development time by itself.

      Here's an example. Frost ring could have just had a special currency as the only reward you get from playing it. Then, there could have been a shop where you buy your exclusive rewards using that currency. This would open them up to two avenues of extra content with minimal development effort.

      The first avenue for extra content being the shop, where you can simply add new rewards for currency over time. That is super easy to do with very minimal development effort. It also avoids the OBVIOUS problem of making it harder for players to chase individual cards when rewards are flooded with additional random drops.

      The second avenue would be optional modifiers and encounters that the player could opt into, which are also added over time. Harder modifiers give you bigger return in currency rewards.

      Similar design philosophies could be applied to raids, with raid currency and rotating raid bosses, campaign dungeons, etc.
    • on the subject of card nerfs, I hate them unless they make a lot of sense. Forgotten Triolith prenerf made no sense and was beyond overpowered, being able to discard itself enable archetypes though which was nice but the change is healthy overall, The Crowd Roars! and Phenteo's Gift nerfs were unwarranted and killed archetypes that were previously playable. Other nerfs like Slaughtergear's Make them less desirable as stand alone cards (Though I don't find them that good to begin with). Captain's Parrot was fine and increasing its cost ensured it was unplayable.

      On the subject of FRA, it's too difficult because of the broken static effects of opposing champions, ensuring that you must play unfair to stand a chance I.E. Succumb to Madness combo variants, or Lady Cassandra threshold cheat decks. Toning it down would be a welcome change.

      Campaign, my only issue is the Gems, we need more. Some Mercs require socketed cards to take full advantage and the best ones are of the Nulzann faction. The prismatic reliant gems are just not good at all and hate having those as the only minor slots.

      For PVP stuff, I want draft queues back, I hate draft gauntlet because it's impossible to finish anymore. I desperately want Immortal ranked or something, I don't want to pay just to play my Immortal decks and have fun. And an idea I have had is to make ViP promos available by buying a ViP membership and distribute them without attending ViP tournament, as most people know I've been looking for my final ViP AA Massacre and it's frustrating because you can't find copies to complete sets especially if you have already committed, I think it would be easier to redistribute them as so we may have better access to the versions we prefer.

      And to cap off, I despise Siege. Locking unique rewards behind it was an awful idea, and is unacceptable. I like creating decks, and collecting cards, but when some of those cards I can't get except from a game mode I cannot stand to play, makes me a little angry.