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Editorial: What's Wrong with Direct Damage?

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A complaint that I'm seeing here and there is that some people really hate direct damage in this game.I actually really don't understand this at all. In fact, direct damage is probably more thematic in this game than it is in many other games.

I don't mean that other games can't justify it's inclusion - I mean that direct damage is so closely tied to super heroes that it would be silly to not have such a huge focus on it.

Some heroes are like Wolverine. They're going to walk up to you and punch you in the face. They can't help it - it's just what they do.

But others? They're shooting lasers. Cyclops doesn't need to punch you - he's going to look at you and shoot you.

And there are lots of heroes who do this! Even those who are very melee focused still have some ranged attacks up their sleeves. Batman is more than willing to punch you in the face, but there's a good chance that you'll get knocked around with a Batarang as well.

Superman can literally knock you into the middle of next week - but he's not averse to using his laser beam eyes as well. Have you ever heard a villain say, "Aw, Superman, the direct damage again? So overpowered." Of course not.

And why wouldn't it be effective? If I decide to run at you and punch you, there's a lot more time for you to thwart my attempt than if I simply throw a fireball at you. It's just good strategy.

A superhero game without strong, effective direct damage would be an enormous thematic miss.
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  1. JoshuaWilburn imported's Avatar
    soooo... DC Dice Masters Confirmed!?
  2. Horatio imported's Avatar
    If you'll stick with me through an analogy, direct damage is like a dash of spice or garlic on a well considered and delicious entrée. Makes for an essential finishing touch to a game/strategy that would otherwise seem bland. The current meta is like a giant bowl of spice and garlic.

    The problem people have with direct damage is the game should be about fielding, blocking and attacking. Instead it's about hanging back in the field and never actually attacking anyone. And the fact that so few characters can actually do it makes the game just about them. People don't really like buying a bunch of cards and dice only to find that most of them can go right in the garbage.

    Gameplay would be far more strategic if this game had been more about board state and trying to figure out how can I get my attacker through. Turns out that's an idiotic strategy. And that's another problem people have with direct damage - it seems like dummy damage - seems too cheap and easy. Like I alluded earlier, would have been ok if it were a smaller impact, but direct damage can win all by itself.

    Another reason people don't like it is if you don't have very specific cards to combat it, you will lose because there's practically nothing you can do about it. This is not a positive aspect to the game.

    You may disagree with all the above, but as you correctly point out, a lot of people do dislike (the prominence, if not the concept) of direct damage and those people have very real reasons for doing so. I think the above covers a good bit of it.

    PS. thematically, I think direct damage should have been confined to mental / psychic damage.
  3. Katie imported's Avatar
    Sadly still no official confirmation for anything but D&D; Dicemasters, but I think everyone is very much expecting to get DC and Yu-Gi Oh! sometime in the near future.
  4. Sean Powell imported's Avatar
    I wouldn't mid direct damage if this game allowed the interruption of it. Be the only reaction they allow is a point here or a point there from damage prevention globals. And when a direct damage source can hit for 5 and you can only prevent for 1.... That doesn't promote fun and interactive game play in my opinion.

    That being said, I still love the game!
  5. Randy imported's Avatar
    I would like to see a global that allows you to prevent damage from a source other than combat, or damage before the attack phase by sacrificing or spinning down characters
  6. Katie imported's Avatar
    Would probably have to be a 'while active' skill, rather than a global. 'While character is active, you may spin down character to prevent one damage from any source'. Not sure, though.
  7. Stephen Mitchell imported's Avatar
    I love the direct damage element and in my opinion it's not so simple to do it as people expect. Cyclops ILCK is an expensive character so building up to get that big hit, the game should be almost over anyways. It's like in MTG, you can have your 'finisher' in your hand at the open of the game but they're usually so expensive you need to wait for the mana to reach your pool.

    Angel "Soaring" is cheap but you have to account for the cost to purchase an action and then wait until you cycle him onto the field to take advantage of it. Dr. Strange "Mast of the Mystic Arts" is an expensive card that costs you the price of a previously purchased action as well.

    So while direct damage is an 'easy' strategy to use, it's costly and can be slow to develop. Angel "Soaring" is the easiest one to get out there but you're spending 5 energy over the course of several turns if you want to combine him with Power Bolt. Even then, once you use him, now they're both in the used pile and you pray that you field Angel before drawing that Power Bolt again.

    Direct damage isn't an automatic win, but it IS good strategy and makes perfect sense within the context of the game. You can remove attackers from the field and you can block Cyclops ILCK and 'prevent blocked characters from dealing damage' as well. There are ways to avoid it, people just have to be strategic about it.
  8. Horatio imported's Avatar
    Stephen, ever played with Gobby or Johnny Storm? Not exactly "slow to develop".
  9. Stephen Mitchell imported's Avatar
    I usually include Johnny Storm, yes, but not Gobby.