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Thread: The future of Dice Masters (from a whiny ex-Magic player)

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    The future of Dice Masters (from a whiny ex-Magic player)

    So a little background on me- I used to be a Vintage Magic player. I was a fair player (at one point having a 2000 DCI rating), but my strength and what I contributed most to my team was deck-building and metagaming. I was able to come-up with solutions to current metagames in a way that allowed our team to have a reasonable amount of success at tournaments (we played in a metagame with the Channel-Fireball crew, including LSV and David Ochoa, so I consider that an accomplishment I'm proud of).

    I retired from Magic, but got the Dice Masters bug. The game is well-designed, but frankly limited. That leads me to my whining. In a game where most game information is known in advance and the card/dice pool is small, my particular skill set is not as useful as it was in Magic. In fact, there seems to be significantly less opportunity in Dice Masters to find "silver bullets" in general and great answers in particular. How can this change? I know it isn't necessary RIGHT NOW, but the current game can only be sustained for so long before significant changes are necessary to the mechanics of the game.

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    This is repaired with time. Plain and simple. We have a set about to release, Age of Ultron not long after that, and War of Light later this year, and that's just what we know about. The game isn't even a year old yet. I would challenge anyone to show me a CCG/LCG that has a full and robust card pool and diverse meta game before its first birthday. And we are already seeing changes as old cards become more or less useful in light of new cards. We have new keyword mechanisms introduced with each set. It's blossoming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbone3 View Post
    The game is well-designed, but frankly limited. That leads me to my whining. In a game where most game information is known in advance and the card/dice pool is small, my particular skill set is not as useful as it was in Magic.
    I too have been playing Magic for quite a while, and while I wasn't ever on any competitive teams I did help prep some friend for PTQs for a few years. I see where you're coming from with the thought that there is very little hidden information, and I can understand that you think the Dice pool is small, but let's compare some things for now.

    1) Hidden information and "bluffing", versus Unpredictability and "push your luck". One of the skills of a great magic player is card knowledge, but on top of that it is knowing how to use that card knowledge, the probability of what your opponent can draw, what you can draw, and what beat what. With that analysis, it often comes down to reading and bluffing your opponent about what you have so that you can stall for time or influence him into making a play mistake out of paranoia.

    Dice Masters shouldn't have this back and forth as often. It IS still prevalent because the meta is constantly fluctuating, sets are dropping faster than events are happening and general card knowledge is still pretty minimal compared to the analysis background of the MtG sages(see the data charts on the front page, even WK isn't quite sure what's good yet). Instead, Dice Masters provides an element of hidden knowledge by having random results of dice rolls. Instead of neding to know the probability of what cards your opponent is bringing/has drawn, you need to know the likely hood of him to roll his finishing move, which often involves having X energy and Y characters to blow you out. Advantage in Dice Masters is gained from using as much of your resources as possible to ramp, while using as little as possible to stop your opponent from getting his pieces together.

    2)Card pool verus Dice pool. There are two aspects of this. First, cards published. Second, Cards playable (at a given time). The Standard format of MtG is 1472 cards at current. Live Dice Masters is 680 cards (fewer dice). A big diffeence, but one that is mitigated some if you realize that Standard has 7 sets in it (about 210 cards a set) where DM is only 5 sets, or about 136 cards per set. comparing 7 set to 7 sets, we're taling 1470 vs 952, or about 3:2. There are indead less options in the current WK design, but we also can't assume they're going to stick with only 7 sets. (of note, WK is releasing at the same schedule rate as WotC, so 7 isn't an unreasonable assumption, but we just haven't seen their competitive design yet).

    I mentioned Playable cards. Looking at the average MtG deck, a player brings anywhere between 10-15 card slots and multiples of those. In DM we bring 10, with multiples of those. However, unlike MtG, we also "bring" our opponent's BACs and Globals for use. There are significantly fewer cards in Magic that both players can spend resources on, without spending one of their cards to interact. Arguably, knowing the DM metagame is just as much about knowing what cards you're bringing but also what globals your opponent can bring for you.

    In fact, there seems to be significantly less opportunity in Dice Masters to find "silver bullets" in general and great answers in particular.
    As of right now, you're right. In the future, a lot of that depends on WK's competitive format design. On a deck versus team basis, it would seem like you are correct, and with a current 1 match round format, with no side-boarding, you are probably right. However, I don't think the problem exists in the game itself, so much as the Competitive structure, and tournament rules set-up. Could WK design a sideboard system? (3 card and 6 dice sideboard?) Could the find a way to execute best of 3 formats more efficiently? Will we see "standard" formats and cycling sets for DM? Who knows, but we are probably not likely to see major changes to what is turning out to be a very deep and broad game design.

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    I still think there is a fair number of opportunities for introducing hidden information into the game at a later date. Think of the "Morph" ability from Magic where, for three colorless mana, you played a character card face down and it was a 2/2 character unless and until you paid the Morph cost for he card, at which point you flipped it over and it functioned like a normal character. WizKids could do a set where the Starter (in addition to the other stuff) came with four Morph (or whatever it would be called) die that had three sides of two generic energy, and three sides of 2/2 characters with 0/1/2 bursts (so you knew what level the character was). You start the game with the morph character card face down and with the morph die on it. You play along, and then flip over the card (and replace the die) when/if you pay the morph cost.

    I'm not saying this is the best idea ever--I'm a game player, not a game designer--but the point is to emphasize that the game is very new, and there a ton of possibilities for making the game more diverse and deep as new sets come out. Magic didn't really start introducing complex mechanics for many sets.

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    This is indeed a possibility. However, I think the nature of DM will keep that out of circulation for a while at least. A lot of room still to explore before we need to start adding such layers of depth.

    To expand on my TL;DR, where Magic boils down to a bluffing card game, similar to poker, Dice Masters builds off a system of pushing your luck to eek an advantage. You could build a team without PXG to push your lick that your opponent does have it, and get the advantage of 8 cards versus his 7. You can push your luck and reroll pawns hoping you get the energy for a big buy early or leave yourself a blocker. The examples go on and on, and while some of them are bluffs, for the most part they are challenges against luck itself.

    It will be a while before we've explored just this aspect of the game, let alone explored the economy and combat aspects. Then we move to control, pawn denial burn or "mill" decks, etc. the list just goes on and on of ways we can manipulate the rules we already have.

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