Recent posts by Sir_Valimont on Kongregate

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Topic: Spellstone: General / If you were to design a Battleground Effect, what would it be?

How about a global effect that turns all gold you earn from missions into shards. :)

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / No Refill Pact for Nethergore Raid

I’m not sure I understand the goal of this pact. What about the structure of raid events do you want the devs to change?

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / Are you sure you want to Quit SpellStone?

Well, I think to Synapse’s credit Spellstone is a game that has the right type of allure in a few ways; and this such that people who strongly dislike certain elements are still willing to play. The low barriers to entry and small daily time commitment are part of that but the large community is something of a self-perpetuating benefit. People stay because other people stay.

I think we can conclude from this that Synapse does a lot really well. I am squarely in the camp of people that dislike money-grab design, of which Spellstone is preeminently guilty, but like many others I have my reasons for sticking around anyway. Credit where credit is due: the game has some great qualities.

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / [Contest] Nominate-a-Mate!

Am I allowed to nominate trivia-master Valibot? I think alter egos should count. :)

Just kidding but this seems like a nice community-oriented contest. Good to see … look forward to hearing who wins. Hopefully the selection committee will be able to see through the politics as well … inevitably there will be a few people who get many nominations because they’ve cajoled others to name them (e.g. guild leaders of active guilds). I prefer to think folks that contribute to the community more creatively will win the prizes!

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / Fun Discussion: What do you like about Spellstone?

The fact that it’s casual and easy-to-play.

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / Free Game Design Tip (on runes)

Don’t invent a game-changing bit of content (runes) and then force players to suffer the RNG’s mercy as to whether they get access. A low drop rate means that someone somewhere is going to get unlucky and not receive the drop for a long time. It doesn’t matter if “on average” the rune shell drops once a week or whatever. The reality is that many players have never sniffed one, and many more will go months without seeing one.

This is an easy problem to avoid with common sense.


The first thing you should do is to give a few free rune shells to everyone.
The second thing you should do is fix the drop rate.
The third you should do is stop developing content with such badly designed drop rates in the first place.


Runes don’t have to be so rare. Make it require 10 rune shells per rune and make them drop 10 times as often. That way you remove the factor of horrible luck that has completely ruined your content release by gleaning only negative reactions from your community. And heck, it took me all of 30 seconds to find a solution! :)

Cheers,

- Sir V

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / True or False! (Spellstone Edition)

False.
I was too disappointed that it had nothing to do with the spice. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Cilantro Valley next month.

The person below me will not use the word “person” is his question, and the person below me is not a NOOB.

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / To devs: Did you not get my support ticket?

ok done

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / To devs: Did you not get my support ticket?

Sorry to pester, but I submitted a support ticket a long while back asking for a refund on Ursurio dust and it still hasn’t happened. Did you guys not get the ticket?

Thanks,

- Sir V

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / Spellstone Themed Word Football!

Nerf

(that is the most appropriate word for Spellstone right now) :)

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / the truth about F2p and Pay2Win

I think the OP makes a lot of sense. I also think it’s reasonable to nerf things once in a while if a developer finds them overpowered.

One perspective I would add is this:

We are all gamers and we all enjoy games. One of the reasons that games have become better over the years is not just technology; but it’s also improving game designers! Designers have a lot of experience playing games themselves, and as such they make better games. Synapticon is a great game design company and you can tell they know the industry well.

One interesting thing to think about, though, is that there is a big difference between designing a game from a player’s perspective and from a designer’s perspective. Even if it’s useful to know games, a game designer has to think differently about content than a player. This is MOST true when it comes to game balance, like we’re discussing.

A player is frequently going to favor cards or items that are “better” or “stronger” because he sees the immediate utility. A game designer is going to think opposite: A game designer looks at all of the content (the cards and items) that are NOT being used, and thinks it’s a problem. If I make 100 cards in my playset but 95 of them are never used by players, as a game designer I am sensitive to that. In part it’s because all my hard work is being wasted … but more than that it’s because I look at the game as a whole product and I’m not sitting inside of it as a player.

When it comes to balancing a card pool in a card game, it’s important to recognize the difference between cards that are POPULAR and cards that are OVERPOWERED. There is a big difference. Cards are popular for many reasons, including obviously that they are strong. But there are many cases where a popular set of cards is not overpowered — just popular. And they should not be nerfed. Rush decks are a perfect example of this. The rush strategy is POPULAR for many reasons. It’s easy to play, the construction is easy to understand, and it emphasizes a relatively smaller set of cards so it’s easy to build. Players love finding the shortcuts to the easiest or most efficient competitive methods in games and that has nothing to do with whether they are overpowered.

In sum, I think it’s important to look at rush decks for what they are. They are going to be popular because of the way they play out. But just because a lot of people like using them does not mean that they are overpowered. I am not saying I think Ranger was or wasn’t overpowered — I leave that discussion to everyone else. I am just trying to point out that you should never, ever automatically assume something is overpowered just because a lot of people use it.

Cheers,

- Sir V

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / To community : how will your deck morph on november 19th?

I expect to use the paladins I never used before. Otherwise not much.

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / Think you have bad luck with gold packs?

If you study user trend data for this kind of thing, from the company perspective, it is smart to up the drop rate a little for new accounts. So new players tend to see a few more epics / legendaries, and are encouraged to keep playing the game. Then when drop rate returns to its normal low amount, players often think it’s been nerfed (where have you heard that recently?) but they are already committed to the game so they stay. Anyway I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Synapticon takes advantage of these types of strategies. They are surely aware of the phenomenon.

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / Anyone else liked to have seen shadow assassin's health buffed a bit?

A good mental exercise: What if Assassin had 99/1? Surely you can see how useful he would be with delay-0. For one thing you could insta-kill the opponent by laying him down when you had more cards out than your enemy (or on the first turn). Or insta-kill any annoying enemy you want, ever. That utility is good enough for a 1-for-1 tradeoff … but there are also times when immediately killing something allows your assassin to survive a round because your opponent is left with no one to retaliate.

Assassin is useful because of the guaranteed quick damage burst, not because he can survive at all. The buff should be to attack power. The only reason he’s not viable right now is that his attack is too low to one-shot enemies reliably (or at all). But he’s never going to be added to a deck because of his survive-ability.

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / Anyone else liked to have seen shadow assassin's health buffed a bit?

I probably would have buffed his attack actually and not his health. He needs to be strong enough to kill something before it can kill him back to have any potential use in the game. He’s a glass cannon but not a strong enough cannon. The glass part is not going to change.

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / [Dev] November 19th Card Buff List

Originally posted by Harconn:
Originally posted by Sir_Valimont:

I used up my 125 free shards to get 2 cards out of the recent box and received Bog Aberration and Marsh Ogre — quite possibly the two worst epics I have yet seen in the game. Is there a chance either of both of these will get buffed?

Thanks,

- Sir V

Can u please stop it now? Also Bog is a good card.

Sorry is that a dumb question for some reason? I’m just asking if those cards will be buffed. Aren’t a bunch of epics from the pro set being buffed already??

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / [Dev] November 19th Card Buff List

I used up my 125 free shards to get 2 cards out of the recent box and received Bog Aberration and Marsh Ogre — quite possibly the two worst epics I have yet seen in the game. Is there a chance either of both of these will get buffed?

Thanks,

- Sir V

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / (To Devs) About The The Repurchase of Epics/Legendaries

Obyto / Synapticon:

I am really not trying to be unhelpful in pointing this out (quite the opposite) but I think it’s just plain obvious. The reason there are so many issues with these nerfs and with any future adjustments to the meta as you suggest is the game design itself. Namely, the dusting “system.” It’s just plain bad (not meant to be offensive). But yes, bad is the correct word in my opinion. A card game is supposed to encourage a player to collect, not to destroy 80% of his collection.

Can you give a serious response to the following question:

What possible reason for the dusting system can there be OTHER than to force players at one point or another to feel like they’ve burned cards they actually want back?

Think about it. What is the purpose? Why would you want to limit players to one play style, chosen by whatever deck they favored when they started burning all cards in the “other” categories? I don’t think there is any possible merit except to try to “screw players over” (pardon the expression) so that at one point they have to spend more money to get cards they already had before. I literally see no other incentive for that game design, but I’m curious if you have an explanation. The reason I’m asking you to respond is to engender thought and discussion about the design, obviously, and not to be insulting.

Cheers,

- Sir V

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / If I had to redesign the dust system ...

Originally posted by swai:

There’s one big difference between this and the current system. Collecting dust requires activity and winning games, but yours rewards inactivity.

I’m not sure where you’re reading inactivity into my suggestion. The cards which you have in Energized mode are the same ones you would have dusted now. So keeping them inactive is exactly the same as you would do now, except now they are gone forever and in my version they are just unusable until you un-Energize them (which would be the same as un-dusting them). You still would get cards and gold from grinding just like now and you still would want to do so to improve your collection.

Obviously, the max Energy from an Energized card would be the same as its dust value now … it’s not like those numbers would go up forever … so I’m not sure what the issue is.


Originally posted by ChuckDaRighteous:

removing dualing/quading would take away a lot of the grind/money system so that won’t happen, at least in this game.

I guess you’re right that you would need less overall copies of top cards in my system. Fine, then you could keep dualling and quadding. Cards used up as dual or quad copies would just enter the same unavailable mode as Energized cards.

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / If I had to redesign the dust system ...

There are always going to be issues every time this card pool gets re-balanced, because of how dusting works. Here’s what I would do if I could change the entire system, without really changing the way the game works at the core:


ENERGIZING SYSTEM 1.0

First of all your inventory has unlimited space. Just because it’s dumb for it not to.

Every card in your inventory can be put into one of two modes. Either “ACTIVE” or “ENERGIZE.” You can toggle this at any time for any card. When you put a card into Energize, it disappears from your set and you get the equivalent amount of energy points (which replace the current “dust”). You can always browse your inventory in “show all” mode to return any energized cards to Active mode. You may deckbuild and use any cards that are Active only.

Energized cards give the same amount of energy points as they give dust now, and you use energy to level up your cards to additional levels (none of this dual-ing and quadd-ing stuff, just level ups).

However: when you energize a card at first, it only gives a little bit of energy. For example, just 1 energy point for an energized Rare at first. After it has been in energy mode for 24 hours, it grants an additional point. After another 48 hours beyond that, one more point. After about a week it gives full energy. This way, players have an incentive to make good decisions about which cards to energize and which not.

Every active deck you might choose to play will have a basic energy requirement, based on the total number of times you have leveled up cards being used in that deck. If you have recently removed several cards from Energize mode back into Active mode, you may need to alter your deckbuild before you can play it again.


Wishful thinking I’m sure, but I have tried to present a design here which addresses all of the current problems but keeps the spirit of the game identical. With this system, the devs could make card balance changes any time they’d like and no one would mind. Plus we’d have a normal card game where you are actually trying to collect cards, and not be afraid of dusting the wrong cards at the wrong time, only to be screwed later.

Hope this is helpful at least to get people and/or the game devs thinking. If you like this idea please support the thread! :)

Cheers,

- Sir V

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / please delete or lock

Originally posted by peonyou:
Originally posted by Uncle_Mab:

If you are in trouble it is because you failed to anticipate the inevitable. Change. You chose to put all your money on a single horse, and now another horse is catching up to yours. The guy who spread his bets doesn’t mind. Maybe you should have spread your bets if you hate losing that much.

Spot on. I am so stealing that analogy.

Not at all spot on. It’s a false analogy. The rules of a horse race do not change between the time you place your bets and the race itself. The rules here have changed unexpectedly. You can argue that you always have to expect the unexpected but that doesn’t really hold water. Either way it doesn’t justify your scorn.

I think the proper sentiment is commiseration, or failing that, sympathy, or failing that, politeness. This confrontational antagonism is much more childish than even the most over-the-edge complaints I’ve seen about the nerfs. That’s how I see it anyway.

- Sir V

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / The actual problem with nerfs

Well, I see the point that the game being fairly new makes the changes easier to bear. But I don’t think that does anything to diminish the underlying issues I’ve pointed out. Also I would add that I think a lot of premium players tend to spend money at the very start of a game — get the investment in early — so the loss is disproportionate for them.

I would point out the following about microtransactions:

There is a tendency for games to move in a certain direction, towards casual, short-term use, which includes microtransactions as part of the design. There are different forces at work … the influences on design of mobile games for one (à propos here at Spellstone). However I think there is a misunderstanding about the connection between microtransactions and how that touches upon the short-term nature of virtual goods being sold through them. In brief, the two are actually mutually exclusive: there’s no reason for one to imply the other. You can use microtransactions to sell virtual products and then treat them with persistent respect, like some games do (usually the case with larger MMORPG-type games). It is simply false to believe that the nature of virtual goods inherently disqualifies them from any expectation that their value will be respected over time.

Maybe a more useful way to look at it is this: The way of the future will be for virtual goods to have larger and more persistent value. People will be able to exchange game goods in popular games directly for real-life money, and the transaction will be handled quickly and fluidly. In that context, the trend is not going to be for goods purchased in games to be considered worthless, but actually the total opposite. We’re in a transitional period right now. (Of course, casual-style games like this one will always exist so the point is moot in this microcosm).

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / Am i the only person getting a kick out of this?

I don’t think people complaining have a monopoly on childishness. I think making fun of them is pretty childish.

The difference between this game and other card games is that you are impelled to destroy the cards you’re not using. So nerfs to the ones you are using inherently feel unfair. It’s not that complicated to understand. Sure, people can say dumb things when they’re upset … but I find that easier to understand than this kind of a thread … is this supposed to be a maturity e-peen display? I think it backfired.

Be respectful of others, and especially those you disagree with, and things will go best. :)

- Sir V

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / [to DEVS] simple solution to nerf/card rebuy/deck rebuild

There is a hard limit of 100 cards in an inventory. Not sure why, but that is the case.

 
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Topic: Spellstone: General / The actual problem with nerfs

I think people are missing the basic issue with nerfs, regardless of whether you are pro- or anti- nerfing Wyld cards.

Any card game needs balance changes from time to time, especially early on. But what’s unique about this game is that you actually are required to destroy the majority … yes, MOST … of your cards in order to make the few remainders more powerful.

So, in most cases a card game will re-balance a bit, and players will simply transition to other deck types, starting to play with other cards that were just sitting in their inventories doing nothing. In Spellstone however, any balance change like this nerf basically resets a lot of the progress of existing players instead of just changing the existing metagame for them.

Try to understand: It does not matter if you are P2P or F2P in this example. Free players pay with time, and premium players pay with time and money — but BOTH types of players dust their cards as they go. ANY rebalance now or in the future means that players will have made irreversible decisions on their card pool regardless of whether they pay or not. You don’t have to think this is a big deal but you should realize that this is different from almost every other card game.

It is a problem now and it is going to be a problem moving forward for the developer any time they want to re-balance cards.

The best solution I can think of is to fundamentally change dusting and turn it into some enchantment where the cards you use are always recoverable if you want to switch deck types. I don’t really see any reason it makes sense to penalize players for playing one deck type at the moment by making it impossible for them to go back and try something else. In my opinion much of the enjoyment (and much of the point) of a card game is to encourage players to experiment with different deck types as they play, not get locked into one deck because they had to destroy the rest of their card pool and because the inventory is too small for multiple decks anyway.

Cheers,

- Sir V