Errata / Ban list / nerf

  • playtesters

    There's an interesting question. Sooner or later a card which breaks meta will be released. It may be a card in its basic form which enables OP combo or a card created by crafting. Due to the digital nature of Volition, there's a possibility to nerf this card down and fix problem, I assume. However, such a card would be already sold a few times, because players want powerful cards. Nerfing card down significantly decreases its value. Shouldn't players be compensated for this?:) Maybe nerfing is not a good idea at all then? What is Your take on this guys? How You're planning to approach this problem? Question was inspired by this video

  • For fixes and errata... just wait for the next block to be writen ! and reprint the car with the fix !

    for compensation :
    if volition use is own "token" to buy and sell cards & booster.
    if a ban occur -> refund in token value
    errata/nerf -> refund in token value of the différence of value ( for exemple : between the anoncement of the nerf and.... one weeke later?).
    or... nothing at all ! like in other CCG !
    I prefer the "nothing" solution
    and maybe ... the creation of a "legacy" tournament rule !

  • administrators

    This is a great question.

    I am torn on this subject as I believe nerfs and errata are part of any card game. With a physical card game you also have bans. Bannings are interesting and can be looked at in a few ways.

    First off, a banning can be used to remove a "broken" card or a card that is overused within the meta. Not every banned card is banned because it's broken. Sometimes games ban cards because it just defines/effects the meta too much.

    Towards the end of The Spoils I was looking at implementing a "meta shift" list. This would be a list of cards that are temporarily banned in the "standard" environment. This helped create a new meta without having to constantly release / flood the market with new cards. You would be able to shift the meta by removing certain cards, let that meta run for a while and then make another meta shift by bringing back "banned" cards and banning others. While this can frustrate some people because cards they own are no longer allowed to be used in sanctioned events, it also allows for lots of deck building and new environments. At least with a meta shift list, you know that some of those cards could make their way back into the environment, unlike a full on ban. You can also pair this with standard rotation and legacy type rules.

    Errata and Nerfs
    When it comes to a physical card game I feel like you either Errata a card for clarity/original intent (and update future printings) or you ban a card outright. It doesn't feel right for a card to be designed, printed and distributed and then nerfed just to make it less powerful.

    However, one of the big benefits of a digital game is that it is evolving and living in a way that a physical game doesnt. Hearthstone (and pretty much all other d-ccg) do this because they can. The difference being that you dont actually own your cards in these games. I really like the idea of being able to nerf or adjust cards to improve the game experience with a digital first game but I am at moral odds with the idea that these players paid for 1 thing and now are getting another.

    Unlike physical games it is a huge benefit to print on demand that if a card is errata'd or nerfed (or maybe even buffed) that you can just print out a new copy... but again, nerfing something someone already owns and changing their digital asset seems odd.

    Maybe there could be a feature in the wallet that lets a player choose to modify their assets. Basically we can nerf or buff a card and then the player is allowed to make that change if they want. Now... if they are wanting to play in an official event, they would HAVE to of complied with the nerf/buff digitally but if they wanted to just keep the cards as they were originally printed, they can. I think if you combine this with the idea that a nerfed card might yield some sort of "refund" or reimbursement, could be very cool. Maybe cards that have been issued a nerf yet remain unmodified for years will yield some sort of collectors value?

    Anyway, these are just some of my thoughts on this an in no way confirm any specific direction we might be taking with the nerf/errata/buff/ban process. I would love to see more discussion on this!!!

  • Personally I look at the ability to errata cards, and then print errata'd cards such that the card works as written, is a huge asset to a game. It allows for the game to live and, in a way, breathe as it adapts to changes in the meta. I get the idea that errata-ing a card in a way that reduces its value can be a negative experience to that cards owners, but I would think it a preferable option to a card being banned, which is what games that can't do this are restricted to.

    Whether there becomes a perception of a moral hazard, where players perceive that errata is too likely and that that effects the market, could be a concern, but is already present wherever there are cultivated formats (from kitchen table bans to tournament banings).

    The ability to print "legacy" versions of a card is definitely an interesting idea - and could lead to some interesting formats where you could allow any version of a card to be played.

  • playtesters

    Having literally just encountered Volition, I'm still thinking about the project as a whole but this is an incredible question for sure, glad to hear people are thinking this deep into it.

    Maybe the best idea is to errata, nerf or ban cards as and when necessary? I agree that balance is essential to any card game and errata and nerfs are key to maintain this and I think most players know this too. I feel like players will ask themselves the same question, "Yes, this card is super strong right now but because it's that strong, should I really buy it? It might get banned..." and that isn't necessarily a bad thing in my opinion.

    If a player were to buy a card that is incredibly strong, they should be aware that it may get banned or errata'd at any time. The same applies to any other CCG. Every time a set is released in any CCG, the meta shifts. There's a new strongest deck, new strongest cards that blow the game wide open. Those strong cards surge in price and people buy them. But those same people know that there is a risk in buying those cards and when they get banned, they understand and continue playing. I don't see why the same thing couldn't work in Volition.

    In regards to created/crafted/edited cards, I still have the same idea in mind. If you create or craft a card that is simply incredible and smashes through everything, then you have to know that there is a risk of it being dealt with to give everyone a fighting chance. Saying that, I feel that crafted cards will need a more precise judgement. If a card is only beating the meta at the time, then I don't see a need for an instant ban or nerf. But if it's crushing every shift in meta and is all-round silly, then yeah! Give people a chance! Players should understand that yknow!

    Anyway, that's my opinion. Players know that what they're buying could be removed from the game or nerfed (and in turn, they could be readded or amended), but they still purchase cards or upgrade digital assets in video games, knowing there is a level of risk. Why should Volition have to behave any differently?

  • I actually like what the old Decipher Star Wars ccg did.
    I don’t recall them ever banning anything but as soon as a card became problematic, they released a card that could easily counter it.

  • administrators

    @qoorl I think that this can be a decent solution sometimes. Ideally you dont want to always just create a "Silver Bullet" for problematic cards, and not always can a "silver bullet" answer the issues that a problem card causes.

    I think that generally this practice/solution is just one of many things that can be done to maintain a healthy, fun environment.

  • Interesting, I've always had something of a negative opinion of silver bullet cards as an answer to a meta warping strategies - because usually they're either too broad, like graveyard sweepers feel to me in M:tG style games, or too narrow, like the examples I've seen from... I want to say the Star Trek CCG which named like 6 different cards and said if they'd been played a certain amount this game by an opponent, you win?

    That's not to say that I don't like interaction as a means of answering certain strategies, for example targeted graveyard removal that forces interesting choices generally seems very cool to me.

  • we live in the digital age, Errata the card. banning makes you lose a card and "Silver Bullet" cards are just slots taken up in your deck because something has gotten out of control IMO.

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