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The Outsider Report

Why Set Rotation isn't a Great Idea (right now)

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Still here, back from a long break after the holidays throat-punched me, to continue writing bits of The Outsider Report every now and then. I'll start up my ideas blog again as well sometime next month, as the past little bit hasn't been too interesting nor have I had the time to flesh out some more of my ideas.

Anyways, the ever ongoing discussion of set rotation has caught my eye again, and I figured I'll get all of my thoughts down here rather than spread out across some forum thread. So without further ado:

SOME TOP SUPER-CLICKBAIT OMGWTF MLG REASONS WHY SET ROTATION MIGHT BE A BAD IDEA 20XX! YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! CLICK HERE!



Set rotation encourages Wizkids to be lazy:

So far, I would say that the only set with any genuine attempt at quality control was D&D: Battle for Faerun. Dice were in good shape, the card stock was nice and the text (mostly) made sense. Can't exactly say the same for any other set they've put out. Yes, I'm glaring at you AVX and ASM, thank you for noticing. Back on point, there are also still many, many questions going back as far as the AVX set, and they've been letting them pile up for a while now. I'm not exactly confident that these are ever going to get answered, especially with a possible rotation on the horizon. What's my point here? A set rotation schedule will give them the ability to continue to disregard quality control issues and rulings because they'll just be rotated out anyways. After all, who cares? Everyone's buying the product anyways, right? It gives them no incentive to work on improving the quality of the game.

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Set rotation allows them to break the game and your wallet at will:

Let's imagine a scenario. Say, AVX, UXM, YGO1 and D&D1 got rotated out. Just think about all those power cards people are going to miss in the game. Hulk, Prof X, BEWD, Prismatic Spray, etc. What exactly is stopping them from printing pseudo versions of these cards in newer sets, in ridiculous rarities? Not just super rares, but short-printed super rares? Possibly chase only? The answer to that question is absolutely nothing. Games like MTG, Yugioh, Pokemon, etc have all proven that companies can do these kinds of things all the time, and the only effect they'll ever see is money pouring into their coffers. After all, what sounds more appealing to you? Buying a $150 single or buying a ton of product looking for it? They can win in either scenario, because it could be the players buying up all the product searching for it, or dealers buying it all to sell off as singles for profit. The best (read: worst) part about this is that they could easily do this over and over again, rotating these cards out and selling them to you all over again, or, Common Vixen forbid, even more powerful versions that create stale metagames.

(Totally unrelated Mewtwo EX, Siege Rhino, Wavering Eyes and Green Goliath images, carry on)

To wrap everything up, I want to point out that I really like Dice Masters, even though it may not be apparent from some posts like these. I really do care about how the game is handled though, because there aren't any other great ccg's out there right now, and having to wait for another one to pop up is boring. These are the big issues I want to address here. Obviously they aren't sure things, but other producers of ccg's haven't set a good precedent for set rotation in my eyes, nor does Wizkids have a great track record for doing things well. Yes, this post is mostly doom and gloom, and I will admit that there are some potentially positive outcomes with set rotation. However, I haven't seen very much discussion about the ways it could go horribly wrong. I admire that optimism, but I'm worried that people may not be thinking about this from the other side of the river. As for my personal opinions on set rotation, I'm neither for nor against it. I'm for a quality game that I can enjoy, and if they decide to do set rotation, I'll be all for it if, and only if quality control issues, rulings and game health are maintained properly.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments, and I'll try to reply to each.
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Comments

  1. pk2317's Avatar
    Argument: From what we have seen so far, WK has been (mostly) doing a very good job of distributing power cards across rarities. For every SR Constantine or ZMags, we have a common Professor X or Human Paladin. Heck, in the most recent set (ASM), the two top-tier cards I've seen the most discussion about are the Common Silver Sable and Uncommon Vulture.

    I fully understand the worry that all the "power cards" would be only in the highest rarities, but so far that has not been the case.
  2. bahamut7's Avatar
    Osprey, excellent article and illustrates the biggest fear I had for set rotation, wizkids getting lazier. I know many local scenes will just carry on with unlimited for some days and specific formats on others, but to continue to NOT get rulings for card interactions that impact the game greatly? Shameful, especially when it only takes a handful of people to answer the questions.
  3. Osprey's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pk2317
    Argument: From what we have seen so far, WK has been (mostly) doing a very good job of distributing power cards across rarities. For every SR Constantine or ZMags, we have a common Professor X or Human Paladin. Heck, in the most recent set (ASM), the two top-tier cards I've seen the most discussion about are the Common Silver Sable and Uncommon Vulture.

    I fully understand the worry that all the "power cards" would be only in the highest rarities, but so far that has not been the case.
    I agree to an extent when it comes to the rarities, because your point is valid. On the other hand, we are still stuck with 8 super rares per set, which is a terrible idea at the current release schedule. It looks like they've dialed back on chase cards for now, but with all of the issues that Wizkids has with every set stacked on top of each other, I don't exactly feel very trusting.
  4. sewnwings's Avatar
    We have already seen Wizkids being "lazy" doesn't have anything to do with a set rotation. From what i understand from talking to clix player, poor customer service on the rules updates are is par for the course. That game is like 10 years old, so I don't know that with or without a rotation the rules will ever be clarified faster.
    I think we can look at the CCG market and heroclix and not have to ask IF a rotation is necessary or IF it will happen. The business model is pretty clear and we should plan for it and ask WHEN it will happen.
    This isn't necessarily bad though. Yes old cards will fall into less played formats, but a rotation helps attract new players. Rotation pushes the sales for new sets, which is important if we want any questions answered. It also lets new players in the game with out having to play too much catch up. I'm hoping after this years worlds there will be a boom in intrest and rotation will let new players in on a new landscape where we all need to figure out what is good again.
  5. Osprey's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by sewnwings
    We have already seen Wizkids being "lazy" doesn't have anything to do with a set rotation. From what i understand from talking to clix player, poor customer service on the rules updates are is par for the course. That game is like 10 years old, so I don't know that with or without a rotation the rules will ever be clarified faster.
    I think we can look at the CCG market and heroclix and not have to ask IF a rotation is necessary or IF it will happen. The business model is pretty clear and we should plan for it and ask WHEN it will happen.

    First, I think that the prospect of a rotation wouldn't make them lazy (because as you pointed out, they aren't do much currently) but it encourages them to continue to largely ignore issues with the game in the interest of pushing more product. Secondly, I totally agree, rotation is a likely event,

    This isn't necessarily bad though. Yes old cards will fall into less played formats, but a rotation helps attract new players.

    Agreed.

    Rotation pushes the sales for new sets, which is important if we want any questions answered.

    I disagree. The game has been selling incredibly well already and has even become a top seller on many popular websites. The only way these questions will get answered (in my opinion) is if the release schedule is slowed down, or sales have dropped dramatically and there are people picketing outside their offices with clear signs explaining why they're upset. (Seriously though, don't stand outside their offices shouting. That kind of behaviour creates spite.

    It also lets new players in the game with out having to play too much catch up. I'm hoping after this years worlds there will be a boom in interest and rotation will let new players in on a new landscape where we all need to figure out what is good again.

    This is iffy. Yes, it helps new players get in, but on the learning new metagames bit, I have to ask myself: Is this the case? Or would they just rehash and powercreep old card designs like every other semi-popular to very popular ccg has done before? I think we'll more likely than not end up with a new green goliath every year. Dark-green Destroyer anyone?
    Responses in bold.
  6. agentj's Avatar
    "there are also still many, many questions going back as far as the AVX set, and they've been letting them pile up for a while now. I'm not exactly confident that these are ever going to get answered, especially with a possible rotation on the horizon. What's my point here? A set rotation schedule will give them the ability to continue to disregard quality control issues and rulings because they'll just be rotated out anyways. After all, who cares? Everyone's buying the product anyways, right? It gives them no incentive to work on improving the quality of the game."

    I could not of said that any better, that is exactly how I feel.