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Author Topic: Keyforge  (Read 606 times)
schild
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on: October 18, 2018, 10:44:12 AM

I know a couple of us have preordered stuff, but it's an interesting take on sealed decks. Basically, every pack is a playable deck based on a slightly massaged algorithm (if card X appears, then card Y will appear, etc). Anyway, it's from FFG, so I expect about two years of support and then it'll be forgotten. Nonetheless, it's from Richard Garfield and plays like a super dee duper streamlined Magic. The end result is somewhere between Magic and Hearthstone. There's no instants, which blows, but it seems like an excellent filler and casual card game.

There are no deckbuilding rules, but I expect them to break on that within 6 months unless they're completely against making money.

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/keyforge/
Goldenmean
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Reply #1 on: October 18, 2018, 11:12:06 AM

I have no idea whether this game is going to be any good, but I'm mostly just really amazed that card production and collation technology have come far enough that it could be made. That's got some interesting connotations for games down the line.
schild
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Reply #2 on: October 18, 2018, 11:14:11 AM

The card production and collation data is fairly trivial. It just means more files to print. It's basically two decks per sheet and they wrap 500 if/then statements about cards into an algorithm and have a starting cluster of cards for each deck. That part seems easy. What bothers me is they just expect people to always want to play their random shit and that's just not how it's going to turn out.
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Reply #3 on: October 18, 2018, 12:03:19 PM

I can appreciate it though because sealed deck has always been my favorite format (though obviously standard draft is great).  This is an entire game built around sealed deck play.

Iíll just have zero people to play this with though, so going to have to pass.  Maybe if they make a pc version.

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Goldenmean
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Reply #4 on: October 18, 2018, 12:20:54 PM

The card production and collation data is fairly trivial. It just means more files to print. It's basically two decks per sheet and they wrap 500 if/then statements about cards into an algorithm and have a starting cluster of cards for each deck. That part seems easy. What bothers me is they just expect people to always want to play their random shit and that's just not how it's going to turn out.

Yeah, like you said, the algorithmic side of generating the print sheets is pretty easy, or can be at least, if they're willing to give you "dead" cards in a deck, which it sounds like they are. I could probably code up a naive form of that in an afternoon. I just wasn't aware we had tech that was about printing millions of dynamically generated sheets instead of a million copies of a single print sheet. Maybe this is just me not paying attention to production technology, but I assume we'd have seen that well before now if that was easy.

As for the random starter deck only thing, I doubt they'll change it. The whole concept of the game is around this sealed deck style play. And there are unique card backs per deck. You could get around that by forcing sleeves, but it's clear they've committed to this plan pretty hard. Honestly, I don't really want it to be just another TCG/LCG either. There's plenty of those, and they have more interesting mechanics than this seems to. As is, it might be an interesting beer and pretzels game to have around that I don't have to take very seriously. If it's just another LCG, I wouldn't bother with it at all.
schild
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Reply #5 on: October 18, 2018, 12:38:14 PM

Their dynamically generated sheets are even trivial. Feed data to program. Program makes sheets. What's really happening is a printer is just being told "print one of each" and was given 200,000 sheets.

If you want something more interesting - try to solve how they're packing THIS (board game unique game): https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/discover-lands-unknown/
Rendakor
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Reply #6 on: October 18, 2018, 12:39:26 PM

I can appreciate it though because sealed deck has always been my favorite format (though obviously standard draft is great).  This is an entire game built around sealed deck play.

Iíll just have zero people to play this with though, so going to have to pass.  Maybe if they make a pc version.
I'm in the same boat. I don't have time for the FLGS life anymore, and my reliable board gaming group consists of my wife and one friend; the wife isn't into card games and playing this exclusively against one person seems like it will get old fast.

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schild
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Reply #7 on: October 18, 2018, 12:40:39 PM

The card production and collation data is fairly trivial. It just means more files to print. It's basically two decks per sheet and they wrap 500 if/then statements about cards into an algorithm and have a starting cluster of cards for each deck. That part seems easy. What bothers me is they just expect people to always want to play their random shit and that's just not how it's going to turn out.

Yeah, like you said, the algorithmic side of generating the print sheets is pretty easy, or can be at least, if they're willing to give you "dead" cards in a deck, which it sounds like they are. I could probably code up a naive form of that in an afternoon. I just wasn't aware we had tech that was about printing millions of dynamically generated sheets instead of a million copies of a single print sheet. Maybe this is just me not paying attention to production technology, but I assume we'd have seen that well before now if that was easy.

As for the random starter deck only thing, I doubt they'll change it. The whole concept of the game is around this sealed deck style play. And there are unique card backs per deck. You could get around that by forcing sleeves, but it's clear they've committed to this plan pretty hard. Honestly, I don't really want it to be just another TCG/LCG either. There's plenty of those, and they have more interesting mechanics than this seems to. As is, it might be an interesting beer and pretzels game to have around that I don't have to take very seriously. If it's just another LCG, I wouldn't bother with it at all.
Well, it'll never just be another LCG because it's a TCG. You'll never get all the cards in an expansion or box.

That said, they're limiting their design space for reasons I don't understand and frankly, without both draft and constructed, they're hurting their bottom line. They need to figure out one or both. Regardless of how people feel.
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Reply #8 on: October 18, 2018, 01:04:15 PM

People will inevitably play Constructed in some form if the game is successful; it's just a question of whether they are using homebrew or official deckbuilding rules.

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Reply #9 on: October 18, 2018, 01:09:26 PM

They DO need to get in front of the whole deckbuilding / cube possibilities. If only because you don't want people who want to play constructed but are playing by different rulesets. There needs to be a unifying set, and frankly, I don't care if they sanction it or not, they just have to do it.
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Reply #10 on: October 18, 2018, 02:14:40 PM

That said, they're limiting their design space for reasons I don't understand and frankly, without both draft and constructed, they're hurting their bottom line. They need to figure out one or both. Regardless of how people feel.

You seem to have a tendency to think that every game wants to be Magic, which isn't the case. The history of gaming from the mid 90s on is filled with hundreds of games that have tried to be Magic and failed. I imagine companies at this point are a little bit anxious about making another one (and the fact that new CCGs are pretty rare these days seems to back that up). Keyforge is trying to do something different. Will it work? Enh. Who knows. I think it's sort of a silly idea, but I'm withholding judgment until I play it. If it doesn't end up paying off for them, I'm not clear on why they'd try to shoehorn this game into being the Magic clone it was clearly never intended to be instead of just making a new game that was intended to be CCG #758420 from the start.
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Reply #11 on: October 18, 2018, 02:29:54 PM

This has little to do with Magic and more to do with having piles of cards with no use. Even Magic needed something more than Magic (EDH). To not have a use for retired/not good enough decks because they have to be kept in the same 36 pile is shortsighted at best.

This is just super obvious design shit base on the last X years of tcgs. Have a backup plan for retired goods.
Goldenmean
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Reply #12 on: October 18, 2018, 02:54:32 PM

That's fair. I'm sure that there will be all sorts of things taking advantage of that space if the game is successful. I'm just not sure how much FFG will actively support it. It took Wizards quite a while to get around to supporting EDH in any sort of official manner, and EDH was a fairly logical extension of vanilla Magic, just with different deck construction rules. With each Keyforge deck having unique backs and QR codes tying cards to decks, it's clear that they're actively disincentivizing things like standard constructed, whereas Magic always had all sorts of wacky variants from day one. It was a much more open design.

Honestly, the disposable nature of this game is one of the biggest problems I have with it, and why I don't currently intend to pay much attention to it outside of buying the starter set just to fiddle around with. If it's good, maybe I'll occasionally buy a new deck to play with work folks.
schild
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Reply #13 on: October 18, 2018, 02:59:35 PM

Ffg is notoriously bad at ANY support, so I'm not expecting much, though I did load tf up on keyforge decks to make a cube.
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Reply #14 on: October 19, 2018, 02:08:00 PM

I watched some dude on youtube go on and on about how the chains mechanic of this game is going to be a big draw. Especially for competitive play. His thinking is that people would want to be able to say "I won x tourney with 3 chains"

I am not certain that I buy his logic but it does seem like an interesting balancing mechanic.

I saw the it at SHUX this past weekend but never got a chance to sit down and play it. They only had a handful of deck and 2 small tables for people to try the game. No give-aways and nothing to buy :(

Either way I will be buying a few packs.

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schild
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Reply #15 on: October 19, 2018, 02:23:50 PM

Chains are stupid and I won't play with them as a handicap and whoever said that is stupid.
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Reply #16 on: October 19, 2018, 02:59:27 PM

So is just randomly getting a seriously unbalanced deck.

IMO either chains works or there is no competitive scene. Of course the chances of there being a competitive scene when MTG already exits is probably slim anyways

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Reply #17 on: October 19, 2018, 03:03:53 PM

There won't be a competitive scene that matters because FFG is the actual worst at support. The game almost doesn't matter.
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Reply #18 on: October 19, 2018, 03:42:59 PM

I don't understand this at all.

The only atttraction I can imagine is if lack of deck customisation lets them really push power and uniqueness of the cards so the decks are more extreme and generate a genuinely unique feel.

I'm guessing these things don't feel more unique than say a magic draft deck?

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Goldenmean
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Reply #19 on: October 19, 2018, 03:54:27 PM

I'm guessing these things don't feel more unique than say a magic draft deck?

They're worse than draft decks because they're algorithmically generated, and based on some early reports, the algorithm is still perfectly capable of including "Give elves +5 blah" type cards when you have no elves in your deck. They're a lot more analogous to sealed decks than draft decks.

Theoretically the mechanics of the game means that matters less than it would in Magic, but I'm not entirely convinced.
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Reply #20 on: October 19, 2018, 04:37:38 PM

I'm guessing these things don't feel more unique than say a magic draft deck?

They're worse than draft decks because they're algorithmically generated, and based on some early reports, the algorithm is still perfectly capable of including "Give elves +5 blah" type cards when you have no elves in your deck. They're a lot more analogous to sealed decks than draft decks.

Theoretically the mechanics of the game means that matters less than it would in Magic, but I'm not entirely convinced.

This is actually a bad example. They went out of their way to make sure that the algorithm knew not to put certain cards in decks without support. So if a card that says X shows up, a selection from cards that say Y will also always show up. I don't know what early report you saw, but I've seen about 50 decks and Garfields comments seem to hold true.

It's an algorithm, sure, but it's not some smart-learning AI. The algorithm was just given a shitload of variables and matches them up piecemeal. Think of it more as diablo chunks rather than some smart Computer Thing.

In that regard, they're somewhere between Sealed decks and FNM Event decks.

Every single one I've seen has been more cohesive than the average draft deck.

All that aside, deck-building rules or no one ever takes the game seriously.
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Reply #21 on: October 19, 2018, 05:13:35 PM

Entirely possible I am operating with bad information. I have not seen any decks in person, but there were a few different reports when the game premiered about this sort of thing happening.
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Reply #22 on: October 19, 2018, 05:36:15 PM

I'm in the Keyforge Discord channel for Reddit (don't join, it's not good), and have seen hundreds of decklists and nothing super terrible happening yet. No one is getting a Lord of Atlantis and zero relevant creatures.
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Reply #23 on: November 15, 2018, 08:45:25 PM

Not my pic, but wowzers that algorithm.

« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 08:48:36 PM by Hawkbit »
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Reply #24 on: November 19, 2018, 04:58:01 PM

I'm in the Keyforge Discord channel for Reddit (don't join, it's not good), and have seen hundreds of decklists and nothing super terrible happening yet. No one is getting a Lord of Atlantis and zero relevant creatures.

I did get a deck with 5 decent Artifacts (all with Action: abilities), and a Rare of: everyone puts all their Artifacts in to their hands.

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schild
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Reply #25 on: November 19, 2018, 05:28:29 PM

Kind of the opposite of what I was describing. Also, that's not really so bad.
eldaec
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Reply #26 on: November 27, 2018, 12:44:44 PM

Spoken to people who've spent time with this. The comment that struck a chord most was someone saying it feels like playing magic (or whatever) sealed deck but with better synergies and without the pressure of fucking your deck up in the 30 minutes building time.

I can see that - same way longer term sealed leagues are a decent way to get used to playing magic.


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Reply #27 on: December 16, 2018, 07:25:14 PM

you can play this online and form your own opinion:

https://www.thecrucible.online

you make an account, you go to the main key forge site where all the decks are loaded to online and get some links and add those decks to your crucible account and away you go. Plays fine. Will require you read a lot.

I'm not sure, I was really really hyped about this when I heard about the idea. But after playing a few dozen games... Its good but I doubt its good enough to overcome FF and carve out a LGS niche which is what it needs to do in order to live.

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schild
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Reply #28 on: December 16, 2018, 10:28:33 PM

My wife and I like playing it a good deal, all physical cards obviously. Games like this are always more fun with the actual objects. Ffg sucks ass tho.
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Reply #29 on: Today at 02:40:02 PM

My cousin got me into this. I like that I can import my deck into the Crucible and just start playing. I've found there is a pretty good balance of skill and luck involved. Fork in the road moments where you gotta weigh playing cards/actions and using creatures/artifacts that you have already established on the board. Also, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the house...not overstock piling ember against Shadow, and knowing that your flanks are more safe against Dis, etc

I'm down to play sometime, message me and let's roll! I play during the workday...typically 7am EST - 3pm EST.

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