11 Replies Latest reply on Jul 30, 2016 12:28 AM by mshoap13

    Love the game, but I think it can be better and hope I can help.


      So my claim to fame was winning a 256 man tournament in 1995 in MTG, ever since then I've enjoyed and continue to play card games.  Hearth stone was a blast in beta and here I am today.

      Honestly I signed up not thinking I'd get in and really didn't care either, I'd seen it from a distance at PAX and watched it play out for an hour and pretty much wrote it off.  Now after doing the quests, getting an understanding of the mechanics and looking at the cards, I'm kinda excited, its been a lot of fun.


      Ok most of my feedback is from the point of view of a competitive player who doesn't like RNG (its why I gave up on Hearthstone and MTG to an extent).  If your going for lots of RNG, then keep things as they are and move on with your plan.  However if your wanting to increase the skill based aspect then I have some thoughts.  Now I haven't played a lot, but I can roughly narrow down certain boundaries of the game and share some aspects that you as designers can hopefully gather fruitful info from.


      1.  For starters the game deck sizes are 50, with a limit of 3 cards, this means you will roughly have a chance of getting a particular card 1 out of 17 cards.  Now this may not be an issue in of itself, because maybe many cards are of similar flavor for creating consistent theme's/goals of a winning deck.


      2.  You get 3 cards to start (which is a very small number for a 50 card deck game), you can cycle through all of these for a possible gathering of desired cards at the start, but still the odd's are low that you can cycle consistently to get cards for your particular strategy or if cards are very similar in nature, it means there will be less possible combinations per deck for deck building.  RNG seems to high here.


      3.  Prophecy seems like a super RNG swinging mechanic (I like the card drawing mechanic from damage).  A player happens to get 1-3 random ones in a game, and poof they win from RNGjesus alone.  Just seems like to iffy of a mechanic honestly and will create rage and possibly a joke of a tournament scene.




      1.  From where I'm at now, I'd say people should start with 5-7 cards minimum, this would immediately open up more balanced hands for both sides and a more fun game from the start.


      2.  A great mechanic you may want to toy around with is an offering mechanic (Duelyst and Spellweaver have something similar).  Basically it allows you per turn to shuffle a card back into your library and draw another.  This greatly increases smart choices and lowers rng/bad draws.  Maybe every other turn could work as well, but having played games with these mechanics I really haven't felt a drawback (unless there is excessive combo win combinations).

        • 1.

          I agree with everything you wrote, luckily the game is still in beta and bethesda can toy with all the mechanics (starting hand, 3 limit card) I haven`t played the game a lot in order to give an objective opinion about Prophecy mechanic but the rune system looks like a good idea and it is probably dangerous and difficult to balance it with combo decks (maybe that's why they created the Prophecy mechanic, that way you can counter a combo deck).

          I would add that legendaries are a bit underwhelming and the 1 card limit in a 50 card deck is really inconsitent.

          • 2.

            Cant seem to find out how to edit my first post, but I wanted to add.


            The going second mechanic.  After going through many tests in Hearthstone beta and coin, the coin giving a mana one turn was sufficient.  I can't imagine that giving 3 turns of an extra mana will not be a overwhelming advantage.  I'm sure this will be monitored and changed over time, but if I had a million dollars I'd bet its to powerful.

            • 3.

              I think it's important to keep in mind the target audience of a free(ish)-to-play digital CCG.  You need a decent amount of RNG in a game like this so new players don't get demolished every time they play against someone with (A) more experience and (B) a bigger collection.  And the prophecy mechanic, while RNG-dependent, is a strong one that players love (it goes back to shield triggers from duel masters/kaijudo, which is still an active game in Japan).  The only RNG right now that could be over-the-top are the effects that give random keywords or items to your creatures - that's a huge amount of variation.


              And to your point about hand sizes, you don't want to increase the starting hand size by much, if at all, because having too many options paralyzes new players.  Plus, you draw an additional 5 cards from runes over the course of the game, so in the end you see about as many cards as you do in a game of magic (but unlike magic, which has land, all your cards in Legends are gas, which again increases complexity and the risk of option paralysis).  And while I've played duelyst and can appreciate the redraw mechanic, I don't think every game needs it.  It's true that it adds another avenue for skilled players to maximize their options every turn, but it's so narrow that it could easily just be done on a few cards (like magic did with cycling) without making it something you have to consider every single game.


              I guess what I'm saying is that RNG is part of card games and Legends has a good balance.  It's much better at this than hearthstone, and about the same as magic (which has its own unique form of RNG with its mana system).

              • 4.

                As tehchancels mentioned, the small initial handsize gets compensated by the rune card draw mechanic. I would like something like maybe mulligan 5 cards and choose 3 of them to start your game with, I agree that only getting 3 cards out of 50 to mulligan is kind off bad. That might be overly complicated though, if you have to mulligan and then choose?. While the "triple coin" for going second sounds op I have not noticed any problems with it in-game, I have not been tracking if I win more often going first or second but by no means do I feel like I lost if I go first nor like an autowin if go second. In HS you also get an additional card while going second, here you only get the mana buff. Also, since magicka can go over 10, +1 magicka is less impactfull than it is in HS. Hard to say without knowing the global winrates but it feels balanced.

                • 5.

                  I would argue there is more rng by the fact that there is 20 more cards in a deck then Hearthstone and the same size drawing hand.  Yes you can have 3 of a card, but thats potentially more rng then having 2 cards with a 30 card deck.


                  Nothing is certain yet in this, but its something the keep an eye out for, which is the point of the post.


                  If the developers are going for rng like hearthstone, then stay course, otherwise these things should heavily be considered.

                  • 6.

                    The first time I heard about TESL I thought "they gotta make it less RNG and less grindy and p2w. Then it may beat HS". Based on this feedback it seems RNG here is still prevalent if not more so than in HS. That's discouraging.

                    • 7.

                      I think we need to examine the number of cards you're expected to see, on average, in any of the three games (magic, hearthstone, and legends).  Then we can look at how the maximum copies per card interacts with the expected cards seen in each game (4 each in magic, 2 in hearthstone, 3 in legends).  I'm curious about the odds myself but my math sucks so let me know if I'm off on any of this.


                      In magic, you're expected to put 24 lands and 36 non-lands in your 60 card deck (oversimplification, but that's the accepted average).  If you want to minimize RNG in your magic deck, you'll use 4 copies each of 9 different cards for those 36 non-lands.  Because you draw 7 cards in an opening hand of magic, your odds of getting a single copy of any of those 9 cards is 1 in 15 (6.66%).  So you have a base 6.66% chance of drawing a copy of one of your 4-ofs when your deck has 59 cards left in it.  Obviously, your chances improve the further you draw into your deck, to the point that after you've drawn your 7 cards, the odds of getting a copy of one of your 4-ofs increase to 7.5%.  I'll call this the opening hand percentage, because it represents how likely you are after drawing your opening hand to draw a specific card.


                      In hearthstone you put 2 copies each of 15 different cards in your 30 card deck to minimize RNG.  Your initial likelihood to draw one of them is still 1 in 15 (6.66%), but your opening hand percentage (with a 3 card hand) is 7.4%.  So at least initially, the small starting hand size in hearthstone increases the RNG of drawing a single card.  Of course, this changes significantly as you get deeper into the deck in hearthstone, but at least initially there's more RNG than magic.


                      Now for elder scrolls legends.  You put 3 copies each of 17 different cards for a 51 card deck (I realize you would only have 50 to really minimize RNG but the math makes my head hurt).  Your initial likelihood to draw one of your 3-ofs is 5.8% and your opening hand percentage (3 card hand) is 6.2%.  But if we factor in the extra 5 cards you get from runes, that percentage increases to 6.9%.  Since you don't get all of those runes initially, the actual number is somewhere in between 6.2% and 6.9%.


                      That leaves us with 7.5% in magic, 7.4% in hearthstone, and 6.2-6.9% in legends.  So it looks like it's accurate to say there's more RNG in deck construction and drawing a given card in legends than in either magic or hearthstone, which are almost equal.  But this leaves out the high-RNG of land in magic, which makes magic unarguably the most RNG out of any of the three if we expand RNG to mean likelihood to draw a given card AND ability to play that card.  Neither hearthstone nor legends has this problem, as they both use a non-RNG resource system.


                      But if we expand RNG to mean individual card effect variance, it's hard to beat hearthstone, where you can lose the game on turn 2 to an unlucky ping from a flame juggler.  Legends definitely has these effects as well, such as the blue 1 magicka 1/1 who deals 3 random damage when he dies.  It's this type of RNG that I think legends should minimize.  But it, like hearthstone, is already leagues better than magic's RNG from its mana resource system.


                      To wrap up, legends sits in balance between magic and hearthstone with its RNG - even though you're ~1% less likely to draw a given card than in magic or hearthstone, you don't have to deal with magic's resource RNG.  I feel like that's an acceptable compromise.

                      • 8.

                        three main things

                        first i think that the bottle with three additionnal manas for the one who doesn't start is balanced because in opposite to hearthstone(where you only get one additionnal mana) , this player don't get bonus card, which is huge when you start with 3 cards in your hand. i think this system is much better.

                        second, i think that three cards in enough knowing the fact that we will draw some 5 other cards later thanks to the runes. I still haven't played much but i never really seem to miss having more cards.

                        Third, the system with the runes and the prophecy makes the game more fun and unique, otherwise this game would just be a mix of might and magic and hearthstone themed on TES univverse

                        final thing, i'm amazed to see all references to the games ( in particular the arrow in the knee) and i also find it interresting to choose between two card evolutions

                        • 9.



                          Its actually a lot less rng than that.


                          The odds of drawing a particular card in a 60-card deck are obviously 1/60. If there are four such cards, the odds are 4/60. The odds of NOT drawing one of those cards in the first draw is 1 - 4/60 = 56/60.

                          To calculate the odds of the entire first hand, we can do it backwards:

                          The odds of not having any of the four cards in the first card is 56/60 (as I said above). The second card has odds of 55/59 (i.e. one of the remaining non-Bird cards after a non-Bird card was drawn to start), and then 54/58 and so on:

                          • Card 1: 56/60 chance of not being the card you targeted
                          • Card 2: 55/59
                          • Card 3: 54/58
                          • Card 4: 53/57
                          • Card 5: 52/56
                          • Card 6: 51/55
                          • Card 7: 50/54

                          The odds of ALL of these happening (i.e. none of the four cards being in your hand) is the result of multiplying all these odds together:

                          (56*55*54*53*52*51*50) / (60*59*58*57*56*55*54) = ~0.6005 or ~60%

                          To calculate the odds of at least one of these cards being the one you're looking for, you can subtract this result from 1 (or 100%) to get a ~40% chance that (at least) one of your four cards will occur in a 7-card draw from a 60-card deck.


                          Now in Hearthstone you have half the hand size to start, so it goes down to about 20% to get a card you desire if you have 2 of a card.

                          In Legends its even less since  you have approx. 1/17 chance of getting a card if you have 3, I'd wager about 17% chance of getting a card you desire.

                          So its a 23% chance per draw which goes down as the game goes on to draw desired cards THIS IS HUGE rng difference.


                          You mention that there is more cards drawn throughout the game in Legends but due to its random nature each time, and unlike a larger starting hand where you can plan out a strategy, this extra draw is not helping skill driven play.

                          You throw in some wombo wtf Prophecy luck moments and this is more rng then hearthstone.

                          • 10.

                            Like I said, the math is confusing so I'll just have to trust yours.  And it does feel like the 3-card starting hand makes it tough to craft a strategy - you just have to mulligan for the lowest cost every time unless you're going second, in which case you can smooth out your curve with the magicka flask.  A 4 or 5 card starting hand could help with this type of RNG.


                            But I think we have to distinguish between types of RNG.  You've established that legends has high "draw RNG" because of the small starting hand size combined with 50 card decks at 3 duplicates max.  There's definitely more here than in hearthstone, and it would seem to be more than magic, but again, magic has the mana system that dramatically increases draw RNG.


                            Hearthstone, however, is the king of what I'll call "effects RNG."  Cards like ram wrangler (5 mana 3/3, if you control a beast you get another random beast, which could be a vanilla 1/1 or an 8/8 with charge) have such wide variance in their effects that they can win the game on the spot if you get lucky.  Legends has some amount of effects RNG, mainly with prophecy cards, but not to nearly the same extent as hearthstone.  And magic has a tiny amount, but almost entirely in "for fun only" cards like grip of chaos.  I think when people complain about hearthstone RNG they're mostly focusing on this type of RNG, not draw RNG.

                            • 11.

                              On deck size and card maximums: In Legends we're expected to build robust decks that don't rely on hitting the same combo every other game. There are a lot of cards hand-designed to fit similar goals giving many decks a ton of interactivity. Some archetypes could still use some help in interactivity as they're basically one-hit-wonder decks relying on having one specific card (Shackle with Dres Tormentor and Dwemer with Halls of the Dwemer).


                              Starting hand size is probably one of the most brought up things throughout the beta. I myself feel like the opening draw needs to be more consistent. I'd A) like to see more cards before finalizing and B) I'd like to have at least one more card to start with. My proposed starting sequence would be draw 7, reshuffle 3. Leaving us with the best 4-card opening hand. With all of this being said, those of us who've been in the beta for a while have seen a fundamental shift in the meta, away from Aggro decks, which has done wonders to alleviate game-opening consistency problems. When nearly every single game lasted 6-8 turns due to rampant Aggro decks, playing an early curve was hugely important and having a 2 drop and 3 drop in your starting hand could make or break your experience. Now that the meta has shifted towards Tempo and Mids, it's not uncommon for neither player to drop a card until turn 3 or 4 giving us a significantly larger "effective" starting hand.


                              A lucky Prophecy can definitely turn a game around. That being said it's not a mechanic that's been shown it can be reliably built around (though Fate Weaver and Summerset Orrery show that the devs have considered it). Even when I'm on the losing side of a lucky Prophecy break (and especially when it's game-winning crucial) I actually find myself getting excited to see it happen instead of getting upset over a "bad break." Many Prophecy cards may need to be tuned while balancing efforts continue as Intelligence has a slew of relatively undercosted Prophecy cards while Agility seems to get the shaft with overcosted ones.


                              As far as having reshuffle goes, this is the kind of thing that should either be prohibitively expensive or extremely limited (1 per turn, 2 per game, destructible support card, type limited). There are simply too many extremely powerful situational cards in the game to allow digging through one's deck like this in TESL. It would completely destroy Control decks which are already on the ropes. Card draw and cycles are already baked into the game and while some decks could use a little tuning in this regard (Intelligence and notably Elusive Schemer; or basically buff everyone else besides Strength's card draw capabilities).


                              Elixir of Magicka is definitely the most mentioned misjudgement since Beta began. Many people subjectively judge it to be too strong when the devs have statistics showing that the first player to act is still a very slight favorite (51:49) even with 3 uses. Mechanically, when you think about it, the Elixir is simply allowing Player 2 the opportunity to steal the tempo by one Magicka for up to 3 turns throughout an entire game. A lot of things have to go right in a game for them to even use two much less all three bonuses and even when they do, Player 1 still had the advantage on every other turn. Beyond that, the Elixir is a Support card and is subject to removal from Vicious Dreugh as soon as Turn 4. Strength also has Belligerent Giant, Endurance has Shadowfen Priest, and Spellsword has Edict of Azura for other Support removal in the game right now.


                              And finally, on Hypergeometric Distribution:

                              Card Draw Probability - Google Sheets

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