Author Topic: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions  (Read 876 times)

Offline Hymn

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Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« on: September 28, 2022, 06:52:40 PM »
+1
Good evening,
Over the course of several months I have been making an effort within the community to raise awareness on the state of Redemption. One of the key talking points has been a conversation of the current health of Redemption. Some believe the game to be in a good state with the current meta while others (including myself) see areas the game could benefit for some changes. Concerns have been raised over the possibility of changes to the game making it difficult to adapt to the new environment. I have made it my goal (among other goals) to find a solution that both better the game for new and existing players while not changing the game fundamentally or taking away from the heart of what Redemption stands for. Many solutions have been brought forward such as alternative formats, removal of phases, limiting card types or activations, and bans or errata's. Trying to find an elegant solution to these issue is difficult but I believe it can be achieved as a community. The two most popular changes I have seen proposed are banning a specific set of cards and the implementation of the exert mechanic. My favorite so far as I have shared with the community on the Threshing Floor podcast was the Schaefer Solution.

The Schaefer Solution is a gameplay change proposed by the elder Joseph Schaefer while we were discussing the state of Redemption. It entails restricting players to only being able to play as many Territory Class (TC) cards outside of battle equal to the current round. This solution curves the current lack of resources and interaction Redemption has suffered from since the increase of power and density of TC effects. By limiting the number of TC cards that can be played in a turn equal to the current round, a pseudo resource curve is established. This gives players incentive to play with different styles throughout the course of the game. Those who prefer speed still retain the ability to be aggressive in the early game but are restricted by the turn counter and will be punished for reckless play in the Discard phase if they bloat their hand too much. Midrange and control players now have more time to establish their strategy and are no longer absorbed into the speed playstyles as lockdown pieces and counters tact onto the end of a massive chain of card advantage with powerful hand control effects. Players with this solution now must choose more carefully how they want to build their deck strategically.

This is just one of many possible solutions that must be tested and discussed with the community further to understand it's validity as a real addition to the game. It has been proposed that all cards (besides dominants and lost souls) should be restricted to X= the current round however this is a more extreme variation that would require testing. Concerns were raised about this solution causing games to go longer, however I do not believe this to be the case. Most of all the time in a turn is spent search and playing cards in the preparation phase and discard phase. When those choices are limited less time overall will be spent and more focus will be placed in the battle phase. This could potentially shorten competitive matches to a twenty minute length allowing for a best of three format to arise. Tracking the round may be difficult to do in your head after awhile so a good alternative can be to use some dice as a physical game aid. This way you can keep track of what round it is, and how many times youíve played a TC card this turn.

Much work on this solution must be done to refine it's true potential which includes testing and discussion. Please share your thoughts and constructive criticisms below so we as a community can better the game we love.

Thank you,
Jared Strauss
« Last Edit: September 28, 2022, 08:06:58 PM by Hymn »

Offline Jonesy

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2022, 08:29:59 PM »
+2
I feel like if we were able to actually make this work it would help. In order to make this work though we would need a simple, and creative way to keep track of rounds. I think that is the biggest hurdle.
I always wondered if creating a deck building rule when it comes to the amount of territory class cards can be in your deck would work. Any idea will have pros and cons.

Offline Hymn

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2022, 11:45:59 PM »
+1
I feel like if we were able to actually make this work it would help. In order to make this work though we would need a simple, and creative way to keep track of rounds. I think that is the biggest hurdle.
I always wondered if creating a deck building rule when it comes to the amount of territory class cards can be in your deck would work. Any idea will have pros and cons.

As you say, every idea has it merits. Tracking the rounds would become tedious overtime without some kind of game aid. Realistically, any form of counting tool could be used but dice are the most realistic. You could whip out the old abacus if you wanted, that would actually work really well haha.

Thanks for contributing to the conversation!

Offline agurthewise

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2022, 01:38:10 PM »
0
Some of my thoughts on the subject from discord:

I think speed first turn is a huge turn off to new players, and while some could grow to like it they are pushed off before they can adapt to it. Watching your opponent search and set up counters for 6+ minutes while you have no interaction is not fun.
Im only here with this discord because of the community, my history with the game and the theme, I love the cards that tell their story from scripture. The first turn solitaire NPE would have run me off if I didnt have those ties.

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The variant of THE SCHAEFER SOLUTION I would like most is: Players can only play X card(s) outside of battle on their turn, where X is the round.

Dominants (and lost souls) are unaffected by this limit.

I like it as a hard limit on just "cards" because its much simpler rules wise than saying and less arbitrary than territory cards, or  ďterritory cards, sites, fortresses and artifacts. Also prevents nontc character vomit to territory. Making drawing hand up to 16 less enticing in first 2 turns.
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You can still do some larger TC character setup with THE SOLUTION if you abuse banding turn 1.

You can make a rescue attempt with a TC character (straight from hand during battle, so it doesnt count against you) and band in other good TC with Resurrection or Talitha etc... then play an Evil Character TC for discard phase. You could have 3-4 tc in play with that turn 1. So a fast start, but still gives opponent opportunity to fight it in combat.

----

Whatever the variation - With the SOLUTION the game would look like classic redemption more on first 2-3 turns and look more like modern redemption in the latter turns. And I love this.
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Would love to see youtubers try it out and maybe unofficial tournaments with it in a few months. I think the current growth is hamstrung by NPE for players. I donít expect new players to play tournament because it is so full of NPE currently. I just introduce them to casual and cube.

Offline Sean

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2022, 03:44:52 PM »
+1
If the problem is strictly 1 card type then the adjustments are best served targeting that 1 card type. Lumping in other card types would be too drastic.

I still think the easiest and cleanest way to curb TC cards is to limit them with a deck building rule like was done with Dominants. 1 per LS is already used for multiple card types so adding TC to that list would provide a good limit and not be confusing because the concept already exists.

I also think this is much less a rules issue and more so a power creep issue. The easiest way to curb power creep is to ban. The second easiest way to curb power creep is to cycle out old cards through rotation. The team of elders has been very strategic with banning cards and I think has done very well taking out the few cards that are truly worthy of a ban. I also think the introduction of rotation last tournament season is just a starting point. As time goes on, it is going to become more and more necessary to have another 'round' of rotation. Not only is it good for the game to keep people buying product but such a system also makes it easier for new players to succeed in competitive play sooner without maxing out their credit cards for pieces of cardboard that are shiny. It also creates more easily defined eras of the game which can looked back on nostalgically as well as learned from for future game development.
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Offline agurthewise

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2022, 04:02:19 PM »
0
Its definitely not strictly 1 card type, though yes 95% of the cards are TC.

Sites like patmos, golgotha etc and many fortresses artifacts all can have similar speed implications to TC cards.

Still I'd be fine with just TC, I just think all cards is more elegant (makes more sense to explain to new players than just TC cards) and has less problematic loopholes.

Edit -

I do think Redemption should rotate again some day but at the rates new sets come out I expect that to be years out, and I think the ban list would be too long and too unpopular to fix the current state.

Thank you for the reply Sean, love the discussion!
« Last Edit: September 29, 2022, 04:08:53 PM by agurthewise »

Offline Sean

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2022, 04:33:16 PM »
0
I do think it is very interesting that the whole idea of territory class came from special abilities such as Lydia's 'cannot be captured' not working unless in battle. I remember being one of the people musing about this all those years ago. We did have a small number of cards that had 'until discarded' wording like Death and Hades but for the most part the only stuff that was active outside battle were forts and arts and the occasional set aside enhancement. Then we got High Places which allowed certain enhancements to be played outside battle. Then we got territory class and everyone cheered...except Lydia because she isn't TC anyway! Now we are musing about territory class cards because of how OP they have become. We have come full circle and never even closed the Lydia loophole.

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Offline agurthewise

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2022, 04:42:12 PM »
0
100% agree.

#TCLydia!

Offline CtheTree

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2022, 06:19:55 PM »
+1
So I decided to reach out to Redemption Elder Mr.Hiatus and pick his brain about the state of the game directly. I realized something, many of us (including myself) writing here are relatively new to the game of Redemption and have a somewhat limited perspective on the full spectrum of the game.  I especially wanted Mr.Hiatus's perspective because he is the lead for card design now and understands what is coming down the pipeline. He is more active than just about anyone in terms of deck building and thinking through the game. After my conversation with him I strongly believe the following: the game currently is very close to being healthy. We underestimate some of the full effect of rule changes that have already been made and new cards that have been printed and new cards coming in the future even ones in K/L. With this in mind I believe a change to the rules is not necessary at this point. Also I believe that one card needs to be banned: Numerous as the Stars. Earlier today in a conversation I called for Numerous, Matthew, and Denarius to be banned and for Star of Bethlehem to be errata'd. Once Numerous is gone though cards like Star of Bethlehem and Matthew become less problematic. Star of Bethlehem needs heroes to be super effective, without Numerous it does not have as many. Without Numerous decks are likely to run less colors making Matthew less problematic. Also Denarius is not broken because it requires running an emperor which frankly can be less than ideal in terms of deck building and can lead to a sub-optimal defense at points in terms of blocking. I truly believe what the game needs is for Numerous to be banned and then for the new cards that Mr. Hiatus and crashfach have been working on for K/L and the new set to hit print. At that point we will see the game arrive at a healthy point. The elders have set in motion much for the game to be healthy in terms of rule changes already. The game is close to where it needs to be.
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Offline agurthewise

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2022, 06:36:01 PM »
-1
Adding my discord reply to CtheTree here too:
---

I agree the game may be healthier in first turn balance than most people expect.

I think the game is currently unhealthy in the gameplay experience, specifically the new player experience.

With no resources the flurry of solitaire activity on turn 1 is extremely discouraging for a ton of players that I have run into.

My opinion (and obviously opinions arent facts, totally fine to disagree with me) is that the highest level of the game is not healthy to most new players. (Some of course will be fine with it and thrive)

---

I do love discussion like this and I love your articles CtheTree, thanks!

Offline jhendrix6426

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2022, 06:41:08 PM »
+1
While it is true Tyler has been around the game for a long time and knows elements to the game's future that we are not privy to in terms of card design and what the future sets hold, it's also worth ackowledging that newer players to the game like myself (started in 2019) have a unique perspective because we don't have the long history holding us to the game. New players judge the game on its merit and how it plays right now in the moment and that determines if they want to invest their time and money into the game. New players are not going to acknowledge the unhealthy elements of our game and be willing to wait for the game to have a fair and balanced competitive atmosphere when there are hundreds of other gaming options they can devote their time to. Players like us picking the game up, trying it and sticking around to be a part of the game and it's wonderful community are vital to future growth. Veteran players like Tyler have stepped away from the game at a pretty high rate over the past decade as Redemption has moved towards its current game state. New players are what will give this game a bright future, so I believe at this current time that a main point of focus should be on trying to enhance the new player experience. I think the game is in a much better state at the present moment than what it was when I first joined, hopefully that has been clearly stated by my stance on all of the changes as mentioned on the podcast. However, I know that each tournament season I have been active has been warped by a deck coming out that abuses the prep phase on turn one to create a solitaire style game state and it seems like that play style has gotten more and more resources to continue to thrive with the latest sets. Clearly that is not the intention of the design team, but while there is nothing in place to restrict a player from having both speed and control, it will continue to be a problem.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2022, 06:44:07 PM by jhendrix6426 »

Offline CtheTree

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2022, 07:02:25 PM »
0
So one thing I would like to clarify is a definition of "new" player. I would say you and I are "newer" players. I came back to the game in 2019 after being gone for over a decade and when I played before I did not know how to play it correctly. That being said you and I are competitive players. I run a play group made up of 10+ players who I would consider except for 2 or 3 to be truly new players. They are primarily jr. high and high school students. For them they don't care about what is going on in the competitive arena and just want to have fun. When we have tournaments they all primarily just have one average deck. The thing that is most hard for them is when rules change. This past year I have had to help them navigate through several (necessary might I add) rule changes and that has been a struggle for these new players just trying to figure out how to play the game. Rules changing all the time I would say is more negative for new players than a card or two being banned. I view rules changing therefore as something that should be done with great care and only when totally necessary. At this juncture I do believe banning Numerous as the Stars and allowing the new cards coming down the pipeline to take their effect has a good chance to balance things out. If it is not enough then yes, rule change should be evaluated. However, those changes (a card ban and helpful new cards entering circulation) are much easier for truly new players to handle and if they do work not having to change the rules of the game further is ideal for the truly new players to the game.

The lifeblood of Redemption is newcomers learning the game, getting interested, and sticking around even if they do not become competitive players and remain casual. Having a low threshold to entering the game is key for this to happen. These new rule changes complicate that entry level further in my mind. I teach new people at my play group to play the game often and this new proposal would make that harder plain and simple. If it is truly necessary then so be it. However, I believe we should exhaust other options before adding complexity to the entry level of the game. That will potentially deter newcomers from getting into the game and sticking around in my opinion. A lot of the Redemption community is casual not competitive and I think we tend to view things primarily through the lens of competitive play. This new rule proposal I believe is mainly from that perspective not from the perspective of true newcomers and casual players.

I think a lot about the casual player who really doesn't care about being competitive. They are a meaningful part of the game too and make up a fair amount of my play group. Some of them get interested in the competitive side of the game eventually but for others it is just a fun game to play and fellowship with other people. I think that is a big reason why I am so hesitant with this proposed rule change because I think it makes the experience of those players less enjoyable by complicating their game play further with things they have to keep track of. They have no desire to be competitive or to know the meta. They just want to have fun playing the game with friends with the cards they have. When rules are changed the impact on the whole community needs to be considered even the casual players. You and I are both players who have a desire to be competitive and in fact everyone chiming into the conversation so far are. I am trying to think on behalf of many of my play group members and others like them in the community.

My love for Redemption started as a casual player when I was in high school. My friend who taught me the game in high school and I were not at all connected with the meta or the competitive scene in how we played. We just had fun playing the game together. I enjoyed the game just as much then as a casual player I do now being in the competitive arena as a player. Many people in my play group are like that just wanting to enjoy this great game on a casual level with their friends. Any rule changes need to not only keep the experience of competitive players in mind but also the casual players too.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2022, 07:28:17 PM by CtheTree »
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Offline agurthewise

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2022, 07:09:39 PM »
0
100% agreed constant rule changes are rough for community

I just think the pros of the potential solution could outweigh the cons and future proof the game in some sense.

Think about it the solution could actually remove the need for 4 activation rule and reserve rule.

Reserve rule is because people were abusing reserve on turn 1 with TC right? Not because of reserve access in battle.

----

I think its fair to say TC and other speed cards have completely changed the flow of the game to look drastically different to 90s redemption.

I feel thesolution would make the early turns look similar to 90s redemption and I think that would be really cool.

Obviously we arent slinging meek enhancements anymore, but making battle phase more important seems fun to me.

Offline Sean

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2022, 05:42:28 AM »
0
I'll give it a skim soon though. Ultimately, I much prefer these boards to the discord any day. Far cleaner and more organized in general. Catchy title though.  ;)
I don't enjoy discord much at all as a platform but I get why most are drawn to it. Especially for a discussion like this one though, this message board is way better in my opinion. Things get lost very easily on discord, even if they are pinned. having to scroll up and down in that thing is something I rarely do. But with this discussion I went and looked on discord and there is a lot more being said there than here.
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Offline Red

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2022, 06:38:06 AM »
+5
Since I've been mostly absent for these conversations, I'll put most of my thoughts on the forums, but what I will say here discord is 1) all of the opinions surrounding other games have not been contextualized to examine where Redemption is as far as development in contrast to other games which have full-time developers. 2) I have always been fundamentally opposed to drastic rule changes and will continue to be. Card pool problems must be solved through errata-bans-silver bullets.

More thoughts!

I am a long-time player, you guys are all my friends and I ask you to [1] listen to what I have to say, and [2] don't think it is exclusively coming from nostalgia and resistance to change. I frequently teach newer players and have been for the vast majority of my 17 years playing Redemption. I also have played at a high-level for ten years.

Within 2 years, it is almost as if the rules have been largely rewritten in this quest for balance and simplicity. I'm about to get whiplash if ability definitions keep changing. Nonetheless, I am ardently opposed to arbitrary solutions to problems and the main problem lies firmly in the card pool, namely the design of counter cards. The TC cards perpetuate an oppressive game state that is caused by characters having abilities that they have no business ever being designed with. Numerous as the Stars is an issue because it grabs 4-5 characters that can create an oppressive game state and set up a rescue as well. The Schaefer Solution does limit the oppressive game state, but it does so by increasing complexity through having players to keep track of gamestate in a non-intuitive way. In my humble opinion, one of the things I enjoy most about Redemption is the freedom to not have to track things through outside means. It's easy for me to just take 1 deck and go and play with my friends or playgroup members, the Schaefer Solution requires some means of round tracking and that's an increase to complexity.

I also think we are jumping both feet forward in a world where none of us have playtested (In the tournament preparation sense) the majority of GOC Phase 2 and seen what the implications of 3 new and fully loaded defenses are. I think we desperately need to evaluate the current metagame with more tournament experience than just thinking the deck that Earley posted in Zerubbabel's Temple is the end-all-be-all. There has been a strong herd-mentality when it comes to the sizes of defenses and the viability of certain decks/themes. Let's explore what has been released for a month longer before we start decreeing that the sky is fallen and everything is broken.

Lastly, I think a number of people disagree as to what a balanced CCG looks like. I think a fruitful continuation of this thread would be a discussion where we each post our own opinion on a "balanced" CCG and see where that takes us.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2022, 06:43:19 AM by Red »
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Offline CtheTree

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2022, 07:31:38 AM »
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Very well said Red. I could not agree more. Thank you for sharing your thoughts from a background of balanced experience with teaching new players regularly and being a competitive player for years.
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Offline agurthewise

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2022, 09:14:53 AM »
0
I think itís clear we have seen a lot of good points from the pre discussion and the next step is preliminary unofficial testing of it.  Minds may change either way when we encounter it.

We may find it more tedious and unfun than expected or easier and more intuitive than expected. Good content and videos for the community will help others have a more informed opinion too.

 Iíd love to spend some time testing it with someone in my rare free time lol.

Offline 777Godspeed

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2022, 10:57:51 AM »
+2
     Over the years I also have seen a lot come and go. Rotation has been a good thing for Redemption. I wasn't originally onboard with it, but after several discussions as to what it actually entailed rather than the rampant assumptions of what it was going to be, I saw the wisdom in it. And remember, Rotation had been talked about for a good LOOOONNGGGG time prior to it happening.
     Fast forward to now. Several recent rule changes have been made for the health of Redemption, as well banning several more problematic cards. It is time to let these changes settle in and see what longer term effect they have. I agree with CtheTree, that Numerous as the Stars should be on the chopping block and I agree with RED that drastic rule changes should be a last resort. Banning, Errata and Silver Bullets should be looked at first, with extensive playtesting doing its' best to even head off using those.
     Over the years and various playgroups, I have taught Redemption to new, young players and new (TCG experienced players) and haven't run into the issues of it being too complex (for being a complex game). Basics, Basics, Basics is where I start and make the distinction between casual play and the whole 'nother animal of competitive play. I don't teach based on what I think they should know or learn, or what they should like or dislike between formats casual and competitive. I just show them and share with them the differences and let it grow from there.
      It is time to let what we have done (rule changes/banned cards and brand new set released) be put through the wringer of deck design and high-level competitive play to see if we are closer to where we want to be.

Godspeed,
Mike
     
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Offline Master Q

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2022, 04:14:23 PM »
+2
So I read most of this and I believe I agree with Jay. While a rule change that limits the cards you play in a turn would probably be healthy, and I personally would like this idea (this would go a long way to balance multiple cards in the game), it would also be yet another rule to remember, and I don't think we need more of those this late in the game.

As far as the problematic cards go, I can think of 2 - Numerous and Matthew. In lieu of rule changes, these I would ban asap for game health reasons.

I know I was always one of the biggest proponents for bans before they were a thing (https://www.cactusforums.com/redemption-card-play/the-problem-of-the-liner-(or-the-relevance-of-banning-cards)/) but I also don't want to go crazy with them. But I can see where it is needed. Numerous, which wasn't an issue on release, has become unmanageable as more sets have expanded its potential. Matthew I think should never have been printed with its ability: how that got out of playtesting completely astounds me. Any card that lets you plus as much as these are problems.

Pretty much every other card game has great limits on draw cards, and most other games have costs. Redemption does not. I should not have to worry about my opponent going +10 before I get a turn. Honestly, I shouldn't have to worry about them doing that with a single card at any point during the game. Any other game would not hesitate to cut cards like these out.
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Offline CtheTree

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2022, 04:52:00 PM »
0
Good thoughts Master Q. Curious, as mentioned in an earlier post here: yesterday I was saying in one conversation that Numerous, Matthew, and Denarius should be banned and Star of Bethlehem should be errata'd to one use per game. I later adjusted to just feeling Numerous needs to be banned. I definitely do not think Denarius needs to be banned at this juncture any longer.

However, you are reminding me why I originally thought Matthew should be banned. Just the principle of the card is overpowered.

Truth be told if Numerous is banned Matthew becomes the primary speed engine. I am in agreement with you: both Numerous as the Stars and Matthew should be banned as soon as possible.

I also think Star of Bethlehem needs to be dealt with in that vein. In a world with Matthew and Numerous being gone I see many people trying to abuse Star of Bethlehem to draw 12 since along with The First Combo it becomes the premier speed engine in a world without Numerous and Matthew. The First Combo is fragile and comes at a cost sacrificing ability souls. Star of Bethlehem is very easy to recur through The Coming Prince and allows for a potential draw 10-12 with ease. Limiting Star of Bethlehem to one use per game will mean it is getting a draw 6 at best and some other star interactions which seems quite fair.

So I propose that Numerous and Matthew be banned and Star of Bethlehem be limited to one use per game.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2022, 04:57:26 PM by CtheTree »
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Offline Sean

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2022, 10:31:01 PM »
0
Being able to reuse Dominants is always bad.
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Offline Kayden L

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2022, 12:01:42 AM »
0
I don't think matthew needs the ban hammer with numerous gone. Matthew in my eyes is a form of punishing decks that use too many brigades and will become significantly more situational without numerous making brigade cram viable. Most competitive defenses are only running 1-3 colors, and if you're opponent is drawing some crazy 7+ off of your hand with matt, maybe you should be rethinking if you need so many brigades in your deck.

Offline Master Q

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2022, 01:01:44 PM »
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I also think Star of Bethlehem needs to be dealt with in that vein.

Star of Bethlehem should not be touched at this time. It is far less reliable without Numerous I think. Besides, having an errata to it before the seasonís even really kicked off seems wrong to me (especially since it tells you right on the card that you can use it twice haha). You could still get lucky with it and use the Star 3 times to draw an obscene amount, but realistically youíre not doing that. Give it some time and we will see.


Most competitive defenses are only running 1-3 colors, and if you're opponent is drawing some crazy 7+ off of your hand with matt, maybe you should be rethinking if you need so many brigades in your deck.

This just isnít true in my experience. Most decks runs at least 2 colors (1 good/1 evil). Of those, inevitably at least one of those good cards will have more than 1 brigade. Probably the same for evil. So, on average, Matthew probably draws 4+ per turn. Also consider the following:


Unlike other cards of this type (Hannah, Mighty Men) Matthew is CBI. If he goes off, your opponent does not get a chance to negate him- you could even make him CBP if you feel like it. Strike 1

Also unlike those other cards, he is not limited to evil brigades. Nor is he limited to just good: heíll even check site brigades. So if youíre holding Patmos in hand, thatís a draw 3. If youíre also holding something like a Wages of Sin, thatís a draw 6. Then, if youíre holding a good card thatís not a brigade on Patmos, thatís a draw 7. This is stupidly easy to achieve on the first turn. Compare this to other themesí draw heroes where they usually require you to have X other heroes of that theme to draw X, or they have some kind of limit. No such set up or limit here, with a much bigger payoff. Not even mentioning the hand look, which is stupidly strong by itself. Strike 2

Also consider how insanely simple it is to get this Hero turn 1. Patmos, the tutor angels, Life Through Christ (which also protects him), anything that grabs Patmos, anything that grabs one of the tutor angels, anything that grabs Life Through Christ, etc. This is almost a 100% turn 1 Hero with even a few of these cards in the deck, and, as they are still good in the deck as a whole, they donít really dilute your deck all that much. Strike 3


AUTO was busted for years because of its CBN protect, but its draw 2 basically necessitated the creation of Foreign Wives to counter draw Heroes. Now I canít even really run FW as intended for fear of the opponent drawing 7 off 1 card in my hand. Yeah, I could put her in Reserve, but I should not be afraid to run a counter to a card specifically designed to counter said card. That defeats the whole purpose of a counter.

If you want to punish multiple brigades, Defiled LS and Babel are other examples of defensive cards that allow the opponent counterplay, cannot be abused Turn 1, which donít also punish decks that might just splash a Faith here and there. Drawing on offense is insanely good and insanely easy to do nowadays with all the banding going on, so itís not like banning Matthew would change all that much in the long run apart from correcting a design flaw which should not have made it out of testing. This is a power creep that should not be accepted, and we've already had to endure it for a season. :P
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Offline Sean

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2022, 01:56:39 PM »
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I also think Star of Bethlehem needs to be dealt with in that vein.

Star of Bethlehem should not be touched at this time. It is far less reliable without Numerous I think. Besides, having an errata to it before the seasonís even really kicked off seems wrong to me (especially since it tells you right on the card that you can use it twice haha). You could still get lucky with it and use the Star 3 times to draw an obscene amount, but realistically youíre not doing that. Give it some time and we will see.


Most competitive defenses are only running 1-3 colors, and if you're opponent is drawing some crazy 7+ off of your hand with matt, maybe you should be rethinking if you need so many brigades in your deck.

This just isnít true in my experience. Most decks runs at least 2 colors (1 good/1 evil). Of those, inevitably at least one of those good cards will have more than 1 brigade. Probably the same for evil. So, on average, Matthew probably draws 4+ per turn. Also consider the following:


Unlike other cards of this type (Hannah, Mighty Men) Matthew is CBI. If he goes off, your opponent does not get a chance to negate him- you could even make him CBP if you feel like it. Strike 1

Also unlike those other cards, he is not limited to evil brigades. Nor is he limited to just good: heíll even check site brigades. So if youíre holding Patmos in hand, thatís a draw 3. If youíre also holding something like a Wages of Sin, thatís a draw 6. Then, if youíre holding a good card thatís not a brigade on Patmos, thatís a draw 7. This is stupidly easy to achieve on the first turn. Compare this to other themesí draw heroes where they usually require you to have X other heroes of that theme to draw X, or they have some kind of limit. No such set up or limit here, with a much bigger payoff. Not even mentioning the hand look, which is stupidly strong by itself. Strike 2

Also consider how insanely simple it is to get this Hero turn 1. Patmos, the tutor angels, Life Through Christ (which also protects him), anything that grabs Patmos, anything that grabs one of the tutor angels, anything that grabs Life Through Christ, etc. This is almost a 100% turn 1 Hero with even a few of these cards in the deck, and, as they are still good in the deck as a whole, they donít really dilute your deck all that much. Strike 3


AUTO was busted for years because of its CBN protect, but its draw 2 basically necessitated the creation of Foreign Wives to counter draw Heroes. Now I canít even really run FW as intended for fear of the opponent drawing 7 off 1 card in my hand. Yeah, I could put her in Reserve, but I should not be afraid to run a counter to a card specifically designed to counter said card. That defeats the whole purpose of a counter.

If you want to punish multiple brigades, Defiled LS and Babel are other examples of defensive cards that allow the opponent counterplay, cannot be abused Turn 1, which donít also punish decks that might just splash a Faith here and there. Drawing on offense is insanely good and insanely easy to do nowadays with all the banding going on, so itís not like banning Matthew would change all that much in the long run apart from correcting a design flaw which should not have made it out of testing. This is a power creep that should not be accepted, and we've already had to endure it for a season. :P
Publican needs an errata to give X a '(limit3)' like a large number of other drawing cards have. At that point though may as well just make his SA D3 and get rid o the X entirely. In current state though I think he is OP.
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Offline Sean

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2022, 02:32:46 PM »
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I just took a quick look at 21 and 22 Nats winners for Type 1 2-Player and I only saw Numerous in main deck for one of them. Is Numerous only now a thing after GoC came out? I have only really worked on LoC only and Type 2 decks for the past 2 years so I only recently started looking at Numerous to see what could be done with it and I am surprised that it wasn't in more of the top 3 decks the past 2 years because it has Blue and Green and those brigades show up a lot so I'd think Numerous would be included but it hasn't been to the degree that a team of elders would want to ban it.

Numerous definitely seems like an auto include for any GoC based offense for disciples or nativity. Plenty of green to play it on and plenty of stars to boost X higher.
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Offline Gabe

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2022, 03:40:16 PM »
+1
I like limiting territory class Enhancements to 1 per turn. That's something we've discussed as far back as pre-Nationals 2021. But with rotation and the delay to the Reserve forthcoming we decided that a limit on TC would be too much at once. Even then I fully expected that to be the next major change we need to make.

The problem with "The Schaefer Solution" is that basing a limit off off the number of rounds is something that players fail to keep track of too often. That's been a problem for as long as I've been in the game.

Veterans are familiar with multiple turn set aside cards and have seen plenty of times that players lose count for any card that lasts more than 1 turn. The longest those tend to run is 4 turns but those have proven difficult to track.

Last year when we were testing the delayed reserve access we started with 3 rounds. One problem with that length of time is that players struggled to keep track of the rounds. Ultimately it was too long of a delay but it reinforced that tracking rounds isn't a good idea.

In both of those examples the people who failed to keep track of rounds are experienced players. We've taken many steps in the past few years to help the game be more friendly to new players and casual players. Adding a feature that we've seen experienced players struggle with seems highly unlikely.
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Offline agurthewise

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2022, 11:16:07 AM »
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I like limiting territory class Enhancements to 1 per turn. That's something we've discussed as far back as pre-Nationals 2021. But with rotation and the delay to the Reserve forthcoming we decided that a limit on TC would be too much at once. Even then I fully expected that to be the next major change we need to make.


Just a hard limit to 1 TC enhancement per turn is definitely easier to implement. While not my ideal change I like it very much.

Offline marc0090

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2022, 09:14:34 AM »
+2
My group was assigned the mission of playing a game with the Schaefer Solution and report pros and cons. My group is roughly 10 people and consists mostly newer players and a few that are competitive players. Here is some of their feedback on the Schaefer Solution:

1. Slowed the pace of the game for the first few turns. This was viewed as a positive impact.

2. It made the playing field more level between a really new players (using a slightly modified starter deck) and a player with a few months more experience using a more modified starter deck with LoC cards. Basically, the player with better cards couldn't gain as big of an advantage over their opponent on turn 1.

3. Minor struggles to keep track of what round it was but was mostly a non-issue. A die was sufficient to track.

4. The rule was explained and understood readily.

5. In my personal experience, I feel that this addition of a rule could warrant the elimination of 1 or more rules. The 4 use per turn rule and the reserve rule may not be as necessary if the "resource curve" starts out so low at the beginning of the game.

6. No one used high level decks or tried to break the game. Thus, our ability to find any weaknesses of the Schaefer solution or potential to abuse the game with it was limited.

Lastly, my personal, bird's eye view notes on TC abuse in general:

1. The fundamental problem is the resource curve being inverted in Redemption as discussed by Hymn on the podcast. Whatever solutions are proposed should make it a priority to create a more standard resource curve or at least level it out some. 
   A. The proposed solution to only play TC enhancements on TC characters may limit how easy it is to play TC cards, but it still leaves the resource curve inverted and allows for the potential to abuse TC cards.
   B. The proposed solution of modifying deck building to only allow for a limited number of TC cards also doesn't address the inverted resource curve, but at least puts a cap on the potential of TC abuse. Unfortunately, this also suffers from the criticism that it would be one more rule for players to learn and likely won't be enough to remove any existing rules.
   C. The proposed solution of limiting all TC cards to 1 played per turn still leaves the resource curve inverted, but it does flatten it considerably. This rule change may be enough to eliminate the 4 use per turn and/or reserve rules.

Thanks for indulging my thoughts and thanks to everyone for the constructive manner in which we are discussing this. Biggest thanks to the leadership team who is actually listening to and participating in the conversation with humility and wisdom. This is a great community.

Offline agurthewise

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2022, 05:03:50 PM »
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Great post, thank you for testing it!


Offline Red

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #29 on: November 30, 2022, 11:15:46 AM »
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I've thought long and hard on solutions to the current problem at hand that don't limit what Kevinthedude and I call 'Redemption-Feel." I have two that I'm really fond of that aren't major changes that have strong potential to limit some of the insanity.

#1 - The Artifact Activation Solution with a Delivered ban.
My proposal: Place all artifact actions at the very end of Preparation phase.
Explanation: This solution seems incredibly miniscule, but considering that Denarius/Four-Drachma Coin/The New Covenant allow for a player to draw into more territory class gas that then enables explosive starts with Numerous as the Stars/Star of Bethelehem, it's a fairly significant change. However, it would require banning delivered, otherwise delivered makes it a non-fix.

#2 - No Territory Class cards round one
This solution is self-explanatory. Both players get a turn 1 attack before being able to play TC enhancements. This increases the efficacy of anti-territory class artifacts and Moses (CoW) while implicitly dissuading players from loading their deck with 10+ TC GEs.

Both of these solutions maintain the unique Redemption feature of being able to play several cards per turn, while reducing the gap between the players who go first and second, while also dissuading the current vogue in deck building of playing a million TC GEs.
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Offline Sean

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #30 on: November 30, 2022, 12:18:18 PM »
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I like # 2 but not #1.

I don't like #1 because it forces a ban of a card that would otherwise not be ban worthy (unless it is, but I don't feel like it is). I feel like it makes more sense to ban the cards like Numerous, Denarius, Four-Drachma, etc... that make it so easy to draw 10% or more of your deck in one phase (let alone 1 turn). These cards create the same disproportional card advantage on later turns/rounds as they do on first turn. Granted, the impact of first turn is definitely greater than later turns.

I still feel like strategic card bans/rotation is the way to go and would make #2 unnecessary even though I think it would also work.
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Offline agurthewise

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #31 on: November 30, 2022, 12:52:08 PM »
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I would like either of these more than the current state, but overall I dont feel they go far enough.

Its funny about what people view as Redemption-Feel. I feel like Choke-hold (Limit - 1 TC enh per phase) or Schaeffer Solution are the most Redemption-Feel solutions.

From my background in the early years playing casually in late 90s the game was really all about the battle phase, the era before TC cards only a few cards were ever played outside of combat.

Its why I love chokehold or the S solution. The 2 solutions you mentioned definitely could hinder speed and solo play, but at the end of the day they will still be very viable. Again this is a lot of feelings and opinions, I cant claim objective truth here, just giving my 2 cents.

Offline CtheTree

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #32 on: November 30, 2022, 01:11:56 PM »
+1
I appreciate all the discussions happening regarding the health of the game and respect those who have contributed their thoughts. Josh P, Jay C, John H, and Jared S in particular are some of the finest minds in the game. I do think something needs to change but personally I would vouch for a more conservative approach. I have said already and will repeat: the rules of Redemption have gone under more changes in the past year and few months than had happened in many years before it. This past year has seen the implementation of Rotation, the Reserve rule, the new rule on determining who goes first, and the rule limiting ability activations to four per turn. Many seem to feel these changes are not enough and the game still is not at a healthy spot. I hear terms like "Solitaire" being used to describe game play that occurs at the top levels. All that to say I do not believe the culprit is the current set up of the rules but rather a few specific cards that enable bonkers amounts of speed. I truly believe if Numerous as the Stars is banned, Star of Bethlehem is banned, High Places is banned, and Denarius is banned we arrive at a place in the game where there is far more balance due to the already implemented rule changes. Bottom line: when a card is able to net more than four cards in one fell swoop that is super powerful. This is why Mayhem has been and continues to be such a good card. That being said Mayhem is capped at 6 and often does not get there due to cards being in hand you do not want to burn. Numerous as the Stars, Star of Bethlehem, and The First Combo net 5+ cards with ease on a regular basis. If one of these is dealt with the other becomes the dominant speed engine in the meta. I believe if these three bonkers speed engines are dealt with we arrive at a spot in the game where there is far more balance.

The reason is without these ways of generating huge card advantage you are left with Mayhem, 4DC, and then tutors that get one card. You can have a TC heavy deck but the result is something like my Once Upon a Time in Zion build that is in reality a glass cannon. It does not run many counters and has no defense. It becomes much harder to both lock down the board and generate a strong rescue suite together when you do not have absurd ways to get 5+ cards in one fell swoop. Pair that with the rise of Salty and running a TC heavy deck becomes far more risky. The reason TC heavy strategies have been so strong for a while is they get you to a way to multiple ways to generate 5+ cards with ease and blitz through your deck. If Numerous, Star of Bethlehem, and The First Combo are eliminated there is no way in the game to net more than 6 cards in one fell swoop. Mayhem becomes the card that can net the most card advantage and then 4DC behind it. 4DC requires Peter being in play and therefore is much more situational. Mayhem is a fantastic card but it has proven in years past to be balanced and not to shift the game too far in the advantage of the user as it also resets the opponents hand giving them a chance to get resources. This is particularly risky against a Salty deck for instance. I do advocate for Denarius being banned since it has become the new Endless Treasures and works on its own without needing other cards to draw. Matthew is strong but limiting brigade count and cards like Crowds LS do hurt him a fair amount. I have spent many hours deck building and playing the game since August of this year post-Nationals. I really do believe the existing rule changes made in the last year are enough and we just need to ban some busted cards that create excessive card advantage. Once that is done the game I truly believe will be in a wonderful spot.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2022, 01:15:31 PM by CtheTree »
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Offline Red

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #33 on: November 30, 2022, 01:35:25 PM »
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I like # 2 but not #1.

I don't like #1 because it forces a ban of a card that would otherwise not be ban worthy (unless it is, but I don't feel like it is). I feel like it makes more sense to ban the cards like Numerous, Denarius, Four-Drachma, etc... that make it so easy to draw 10% or more of your deck in one phase (let alone 1 turn). These cards create the same disproportional card advantage on later turns/rounds as they do on first turn. Granted, the impact of first turn is definitely greater than later turns.

I still feel like strategic card bans/rotation is the way to go and would make #2 unnecessary even though I think it would also work.
Delivered is unilaterally the most broken consistency card in the game and it in-and-of itself does more to contribute to the current game state than either 4dcoin or denarius. Furthermore, it makes no sense to weave 4 different artifact activations through the prep phase and those activations fuel oppressive game states.
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Offline Sean

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #34 on: November 30, 2022, 01:52:12 PM »
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I just had another idea that I've not heard previously.

New rule: Any cards drawn during the preparation phase may not be played from hand in that same preparation phase.
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Offline Crashfach2002

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2022, 05:35:16 PM »
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I just had another idea that I've not heard previously.

New rule: Any cards drawn during the preparation phase may not be played from hand in that same preparation phase.

While the thoughts of this are solid, in function this simply won't work. We are at the mercy of people being honest here. Generally speaking you will have no idea what was in my hand and what I drew, so the honor system is king. While this game has always been based on that, recent rulings have taken steps to make this less of a necessity. Not because no one can be trusted, but mostly because certain people in certain circumstances will simply be tempted to cheat, so we want to avoid putting people in that position as much as possible.

Offline Sean

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Re: Redemption Game Health Discussion and Solutions
« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2022, 09:19:44 PM »
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I just had another idea that I've not heard previously.

New rule: Any cards drawn during the preparation phase may not be played from hand in that same preparation phase.

While the thoughts of this are solid, in function this simply won't work. We are at the mercy of people being honest here. Generally speaking you will have no idea what was in my hand and what I drew, so the honor system is king. While this game has always been based on that, recent rulings have taken steps to make this less of a necessity. Not because no one can be trusted, but mostly because certain people in certain circumstances will simply be tempted to cheat, so we want to avoid putting people in that position as much as possible.
I did not think of it in that way but I would definitely put a high value on limiting temptation. Your logic is solid.
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