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Girsanov

Stuck - Design a CCG without element of luck/chance!

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I have been wondering if it was possible to make a CCG/TCG (collectible/trading card game without the element of luck/chance. In most CCGs, players have to shuffle a deck of cards containing their "army" then draw cards from that randomized deck to duel with an opponent. There is always an element of chance: if you draw vital cards while your opponent doesn't, you have a much better chance of winning. I set out to see if I can remove this by modifying the popular Magic : The Gathering system (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_the_Gathering). Basic System 1) Players start with 2 lands, they can be used to produce 1 resource. Every 2 turns, they gain an additional land. So the resource curve ("mana curve") goes 2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5,... and so on. 2) Players take their turn simultaneously. They can spend resource to summon creatures like in M:tG. However, instead of drawing cards from a randomized deck, they have up to, say 20 different cards in their hands at all times. To avoid abuse, each card can only be used once each turn. 3) Players start with 20 life. 0 life = game over. Combat System The M:tG combat system appears to be too simplistic without randomness. So I opted to use a modified version of the innovative combat system of The Spoils (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Spoils). 1) One of the player go first and declare an attack if he wants to. He choose any number of creatures to be in his attacking party. Then the opponent can choose any number of creatures to be in his blocking party. Then the attacker gets to choose more to add to his party. Then the defender and so on until the attacker choose not to add anymore creatures. 2) After this, combat starts and they get to choose which creature deal damage to which creature, selecting one target per attacker/blocker. Creatures then do damage simultaneously to each other and those with 0 or lower hp are destroyed at the end of combat. 3) Creature stats are simple "Power/Toughness". Power is amount of damage dealt by creature. Toughness is amount of hp. At the end of the turn, all creatures are healed to full. Unblocked creatures do their damage directly to the player. 4) After combat, the option to attack is passed onto the defending player. If he attackers or choose to pass, the option is passed back to the original player. This goes on until both players pass. Problems 1) I started with basic 2/2 creatures that costs 2 resources. But totally got stuck. I tried out several creatures with abilities and even added spells that buffed/debuffed creatures or prevent creatures from attacking/defending but still get stuck. When one player tries to push an attack with an offensive buff, the defender can simply react accordingly and dismantle the attempt. 2) The main problem is that the defender always have the advantage to dismantle any incoming attack. There is little incentive to attack and so both players will keep pumping out creatures to defend. 3) I avoided having spells that directly destroy creatures or spells that destroyed all creatures in play because without the element of luck, there is nothing stopping both players from wiping the board repeatedly and resulting in another stalemate. Conclusion Am I trying to design an impossible game? This was the reason why I started the other thread asking if a strategy game without the traditional board/map/grid, randomness/luck, hidden information etc can work. So far it appears to be impossible! Any suggestions on modifications I can make to this game?

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I don't have time to make a long post now, but if I get a chance I'll have more comments tomorrow.

If you eliminate randomness, you also have a game where each player comes in and does the same thing every game they play. It could make for a game that isn't played much.

Oh, and if all anyone will do is defend, why don't you just lower the HP of everyone?

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Quote:
Original post by Dekasa
If you eliminate randomness, you also have a game where each player comes in and does the same thing every game they play. It could make for a game that isn't played much.

Yeah, like chess and go.

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Quote:
Original post by Dekasa
I don't have time to make a long post now, but if I get a chance I'll have more comments tomorrow.

If you eliminate randomness, you also have a game where each player comes in and does the same thing every game they play. It could make for a game that isn't played much.

Oh, and if all anyone will do is defend, why don't you just lower the HP of everyone?


Thanks!

I did try lowering the hp of everyone. There is still this dilemma:

1) We need to allow some defenses strong enough to repel a least part of the attack or it will become simply a race to do lethal damage.

2) As long as we have defenses, the defender can use his defenses to block the attacker optimally. If the defender cannot dismantle an attack

Maybe the problem is that a CCG style system just doesn't offer enough complexity without the randomness.

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Quote:
Original post by Dekasa
If you eliminate randomness, you also have a game where each player comes in and does the same thing every game they play. It could make for a game that isn't played much.

Yeah, like chess and go.


lol yeah. The ability to position pieces (on a board) really add a ton of strategy to Chess.

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Good morning Girsanov,

I think it all depends on the topic of your game that relates to the overall strategy of attack and defense.

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Original post by Girsanov
lol yeah. The ability to position pieces (on a board) really add a ton of strategy to Chess.

If you want to argue that chess has no strategy, you should go talk to a chess master, or better yet, play him.
Because chess is ALL strategy - no chance/luck. Go, too.

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I think you'll be better off starting from the ground up, instead of starting with a game like Magic (a game that is all about randomness and hidden information) and then trying to change the rules around.



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A game like magic has randomness in the shuffling of the deck - but you could take some of that out. For example you'd start with a random hand, but instead of drawing one card out of your randomized deck you could search you deck for any one card.

Now you have added some strategy.

The real issue is : you do need to come up with something new instead of retooling something already out there.

What specific goals do you have and how can you meet them in the target medium ( a CCG) ?

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Quote:
Original post by vaneger
A game like magic has randomness in the shuffling of the deck - but you could take some of that out. For example you'd start with a random hand, but instead of drawing one card out of your randomized deck you could search you deck for any one card.

Or just have the players start with exactly the same deck, make it just a matter of how players use the cards.

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Quote:
Original post by vaneger
A game like magic has randomness in the shuffling of the deck - but you could take some of that out. For example you'd start with a random hand, but instead of drawing one card out of your randomized deck you could search you deck for any one card.

Now you have added some strategy.


Have you? You've removed some chance and added some options, but that doesn't mean you've added strategy. Without getting into a long-winded and probably fruitless discussion about what "adding strategy" means, I think this is worth consideration. A large part of M:TG is dealing with unexpected changes - being able to select cards means that the player is always able to choose the most obvious possibility, rather than figuring out what can be done with what is available. I, personally, find the latter more interesting and strategic.


In my view, a more fruitful way to remove chance from M:TG is by letting the player "stack" their deck. It could be an interesting game of optimizing card order. But such an optimization may become fragile and predictable - a single "remove top card from target player's deck" card could easily nuke someone's build order. Keeping multiple options open and reducing repetitiveness of strategies would still be necessary and planning ahead would be vital.

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