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ELO is not broken (a magical rant)

ELO is not broken (a magical rant)
Monday 29/10/2012, 23:56
ghelas - Admin English

Urban Rivals | Free Online Manga Trading Card Game | TCG | MMO
76 messages
ELO is not broken (a magical rant)
ghelas - Admin - The TrendEnglish - Monday 29/10/2012, 23:56

I hear a lot of complaints about ELO mode these days, what with cards like Kalindra and Askai roaming free.
I think these come from people focusing too much on cards that are individually strong and not enough on which cards have good synergy. Right now, building a good ELO deck is a fun puzzle. Which cards are banned this week? What can I do to counter the strong cards that aren't banned? While everyone is busy complaining, I am having the time of my life.

Let's take a look at Kalindra (the card people complain about most) and then take a look at some possible half-decks in two different clans, FPC and Pussycats. Think about using Fei, Chan, Shifou, and Zhu Tang -- three of those cards can easily beat Kalindra pill-for-pill, and the forth lets you threaten a fairly big life-per-damage gap of your own. Think about using Clover, Charlie, Lucy, and Ella in a Pussycats half-deck... All of these reduce Kalindra's damage so hard, that it's impossible for her to be the huge threat she usually is.

I think the definition of "OP" in this game is starting to change. When most players say a card is "OP" they now mean "I have to work to counter this card, and I don't wanna." A card that forces you right out of your comfort zone and into a creative deck you would have never tried otherwise is *good,* both for you and for UR. IMO, you can complain, or you can step up your deck-building game. The choice is yours.

Sincerely,
14/4 with an Ulu/Vortex deck so far this week.
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11/76
Icarus - Legend - E X C A L I B U R English
Tuesday 30/10/2012, 18:07

You'll never that it is not broken until you played a real one
12/76
ghelas - Admin - The Trend English
Tuesday 30/10/2012, 18:48

Azel effectively swings for 11 damage (up to 13 if there's life gain in the opponent's deck.) That is, assuming she hits first turn. That's a bit high of a gap for a 4*, but not outrageously so. There are many 5*s that gap about as hard, and don't demand that you hit 1st turn to achieve that gap.

Here's an easy test for if a card is OP:
Try running it.
If it consistently nets you way higher ratings than your favorite "non-OP" setup, you're right, it's OP. If not, the card is simply hard to fight, arguably "swingy," but not "OP." I have yet to discover any magical cards that boost ELO score by 40-50 points. If you find one, be sure to let me know!
13/76
wasteroftime - Moderator - Open Casket English
Tuesday 30/10/2012, 21:45

Lots of cards and deck builds affect my ELO score 50 points...
14/76
ghelas - Admin - The Trend English
Wednesday 31/10/2012, 03:43

@ Waster: That's all well and good to say, but have you really, honestly tried tracking that? I've checked your profile a few times. "highest ELO - 1433... not sure if one should play on " "Personal best recorded on Sunday 14/06/09"

You do seem to stick by that philosophy, spending many (most?) weeks without an ELO score.

Why not give the mode another honest chance? I think ELO has probably changed tons since you were really into it. It's true that swingy cards are a lot more prominent these days, and I agree that it can be frustrating at times. I just maintain that a lot of that can be countered with good strategy. Focus on control instead of necessarily winning 3 rounds or getting 2HKOs. Try a few unorthodox setups. Experiment with those crazy Vortex, and see for yourself how game-changing a good fork can be, whether your opponent has swingy cards or not.

You might find yourself having a lot of fun. I know I do.
15/76
wasteroftime - Moderator - Open Casket English
Wednesday 31/10/2012, 04:02

Good forks... yeah lots of them... thats what makes the current meta more swingy and 50-50.

ive played enough of all existing modes that i know what i enjoy and know what i enjoy less

"Focus on control instead of necessarily winning 3 rounds or getting 2HKOs"

i dont actually know what that means and i imagine few people who actually read that knows what that means... i can translate that to roughly... gain pill advantage then smash him with the biggest meanest swingy card possible... even better if the nuke is backed up by some nasty opening pill manip or poison card.

more swingy cards equals more swingy games

i measure my ELO play based on how easily i can get up to just over 1320. I play for the credits and not for the lottery of the top 100. Making top 100 for me is not effective use of my time, since the hours of gameplay to get top 100 is often rewarded with... the exact same amount of credits with a score of 1300.

Are there weeks i can look at and instantly know i will cruise to 1300 in 30-40 games just based solely on the cards that are in play???? Ofcourse.

Are there weeks that i know it will be a tougher week due to the amount of crazy cards in play that ANY player can put their deck and take games off me??? Ofcourse.

So do cards affect my ELO score... well maybe not since ill play to 1300 the weeks i do play, but the cards affect the amount of effort I'll need to put into that week.

Swingy cards are not my style since i dislike the luck factor that it introduces in many (notice i say many not all) draws that either player gets.

Make whatever deck you want, at the end of the day you have to draw those cards and counter cards.... the more nasty cards in play, the more important it is to draw your counter cards.... and as a result we get a more draw dependent games.

Not trying to change people's minds. Bottom line, some people like the current system, some do not. I prefer a meta that has less luck involved.
16/76
subclavianHoA - Imperator - Harbingers of Ares English
Wednesday 31/10/2012, 05:36

@ghelas:
You are partly right, there are no real "overpowered" cards in elo, or at least none on the same level as Jackie Cr or the big 5. However, the 14 life change coupled with all the horrible life-gappers being released, turns many games into 50-50s (swingy? is that what you kids are calling it these days?), and that is not very fun for many people.

Judging from previous conversations with you, you seem to care a lot about whether cards/clans are overpowered or not. But overpowered cards are not the only thing that can break a game
17/76
ghelas - Admin - The Trend English
Wednesday 31/10/2012, 06:01

@Waster:
When I say forks, I mean plays that give you a 100% advantage if done right. Example: if I sneak in a low-pill Round 1 win with Kusuri, I can threaten KO with with Tsubame. In some cases blocking Tsubame's KO attempt means you lose anyway, as I will have enough pills left to 3-round. A well-played fork is a strategic victory, not a "lucky" victory.

""Focus on control instead of necessarily winning 3 rounds or getting 2HKOs"
i dont actually know what that means and i imagine few people who actually read that knows what that means... i can translate that to roughly... gain pill advantage then smash him with the biggest meanest swingy card possible... even better if the nuke is backed up by some nasty opening pill manip or poison card."

If you say you don't know what it means, why attempt to translate?
By "control" I mean cards that dictate turn order. A lowly Jean or Graff or whatever will keep Azel from being a first-turn game winner. A + pillz card will let you punish your opponent if he overpills on the first turn. An ability SoB means that your opponent's bonus-reliant card has to tiptoe around it -- and that makes it easier to predict in which round it will be played. High-level ELO games are often won by encouraging your opponent to make moves that play into YOUR game plan; that is control.

I am not trying to change your mind, either. I understand the down sides of the current ELO system. Just pointing out that it is still rich in strategy. :thumbs
18/76
ghelas - Admin - The Trend English
Wednesday 31/10/2012, 06:11

@Subclavian:

Very good point. (By the way, "swingy" is kind of a new one for me, too.)
I just think that strategy-based games are still very possible and that many players who love strategy thrive in the current meta. The punch/counter-punch style of deck-building, which often involves using big cards *and* thinking about how to stop said big cards, is not really all that 50/50 in itself. I personally feel there is a good amount of finesse involved.

I can imagine a meta with allllll "OP" cards removed, and I think that what would be left are a bunch of similar cards competing in an even more chancy way. If all draws end up being roughly equivalent, the game devolves into an exercise in psychology rather than strategy. The best bluffers/readers would reign supreme. I just tend to think that would be less fun than ELO is as it exists now. A good strategist and a good reader may think nothing alike, yet both end up in the top 100.

@ Everyone:
Just want to say thanks for enduring my rants, and for taking part in a discussion about the current meta that has, so far, been very good. I enjoy seeing what people think of ELO, whether or not their opinions happen to match my own.
19/76
wasteroftime - Moderator - Open Casket English
Wednesday 31/10/2012, 06:39

Umm you do realize the vital part of that strategy you described is exactly what people are calling swingy

your set up for Tsubame is EXACTLY what people are talking about... that opening play when backed up by some pill return card makes the 1st round too much of a guess.

winning a low pill round with Kusuri with Tsubame (or Dregn/C Beast is better actually) isnt skillful.. if the oppoent does not have a counter card (say a DR or SOA) in their hand in that situaition this simply reduced the game into an opening round guess.

power creep have also played a massive role.
in the past, it was more possible to recover from opening rounds, now the opening rounds are often far more unforgiving. Round 3 was often the decisive round in the past, now I see far more games being decided after round 1, and certainly far more in round 2.

opening rounds have always been important, too often they are have become decisive with how the match goes on
more games now can be determined after round 1 or sometimes even before the match begins when compared to the past meta. this i dislike or i should say i like it less than before.

SOB SOA DR counter cards... dont make it sound like countering the most threatening cards is always possible, smart players will dance around your counter since they do get to pick half of the match ups in a 4 round match.

no one is questioning the strategy element... but it is a matter of preference, i much prefer less luck involved.

edited by wasteroftime Wednesday 31/10/2012, 06:39
20/76
ghelas - Admin - The Trend English
Wednesday 31/10/2012, 07:51

@Waster:

"winning a low pill round with Kusuri with Tsubame (or Dregn/C Beast is better actually) isnt skillful.. if the oppoent does not have a counter card (say a DR or SOA) in their hand in that situaition this simply reduced the game into an opening round guess. "

I'm not sure I understand? You're saying this play shouldn't exist, because it's too unpredictable? If I have Tsubame and I'm leading with a small mitigating card like Kusuri, it's obvious to any good player what my play is. I will probably put a few pills on Kusuri, allowing her to possibly secure a win and open up the fork -- but if she's blocked, I get a couple of life back. Fairly safe move (which is exactly what makes it good.) It's pretty obvious that I'm not about to throw 7 pills on her, right? (We are talking about 14 life here, which means means I do need that Fury to KO.)

The advantage from making such a move is purely strategic. There is very little guesswork involved. When confronted with such a move, I would assume Kusuri has 4-5 pills on her (5 pills gives Tsubame 9 to work with in the following round.) But even if I read Kusuri perfectly, my opponent still suffers almost no disadvantage. It is a forceful but safe move that limits how the other player can react. I don't see how it's "swingy."

I definitely see your point about opening rounds, and I agree. It would be nice if there were a bit more recovery options. Power creep is a part of any such game, though. It is an artifact of progress.

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