Early Game Issues reviewed by a Newbie

This is turning into the mother of all edits :smiley:
After some feedback on reddit another round of revision seems in order (https://www.reddit.com/r/faeria/comments/673aw4/early_game_issues_reviewed_by_a_newbie/)

Faeria is one of the first CCGs i really enjoyed due to its high level of and variety in strategy.

This depth, however, poses a significant challenge to newcomers and greatly tips the scales towards yellow rush in the early game. Now before i go on, I want to clarify one thing - I do not think yellow rush is overpowered in the grand scheme and it definetely shouldn’t be nerfed as that would likely ruin it for the fairly balanced high level play.

BUT new players - unlike most veterans - do not have the tools required to deal with rush proficiently. Heck, most players do not have the knowledge to defend effectively nor the cards to have fun while doing it.

I made a cheap variant of Jok3se’s budget deck (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRtpwucIJTA ) that can be viewed here (https://www.faeria.com/the-hub/deck/937-rank-10-to-1-in-a-day) and it took me from rank 10 to 1 in a day. I only started to encounter proper land placement and GR crackthorn (and other decks properly utilized against rush - i.e. buff against choking sands, etc.) at rank 2. So, clearly, a huge portion of the player base cannot deal with one of the cheapest decks.

And this brings me to the actual point of contention - Yellow rush is simple, cheap and fun. Whereas the response requires good land placement, a deliberate and careful strategy as well as more expensive decks - if one wants to experience anything but green taunt buff. (Some argue that red is another option, but budget red is disadvantaged in its probability to draw both a taunt + buff… and it’s still taunt buffing)

Now it is easy to say that people should just read the guides on the web to learn about the game, but that is clearly not an ideal solution. We are not talking about deep meta game strategy. Yellow rush is one of the easiest and most basic gameplay styles that more often than not can be played without spending time studying anything. Players that are not interested in this style, on the other hand, will already be frustrated by their defeats or pyrhic victories and now have to put in extra effort to find guides and learn that they most likely crafted the wrong cards to rely on anything but land placement and green taunt buffing.

Regardless of whether you hate or love rush… this is bad for the game. People will not stick around, if they have to suffer through this experience without a tangible remedy. Which brings us to potential solutions.

Knowledge is Power

Faeria does a great job teaching players about many game mechanics in the solo missions. I believe this needs to be expanded upon with a (recommended) campaign that teaches players about rush. A defensive Jalmyr so to speak. Preferably not just about yellow rush. Alternatively, if a campaign like this proves too difficult to implement, it would still be a great improvement if a selection of according guides could be accessed ingame alongside visual aids.

Considering the current situation (see rank 10 to 1) placing such tutorials in prominent positions seems highly necessary.

On a sidenote - I think it would be absolutely awesome, if players could create and share puzzles ingame. Considering that these wouldn’t have to net rewards, there would be little competition to the mission packs and it might greatly expand the content of the game (for free devs winkwinknudgenudge).

Versatility is Fun

While i don’t believe (yellow) rush requires a nerf, I do think it would be good to provide basic decks of the various colors with a more versatile and enjoyable response to it. There certainly are some common and rare cards that might achieve this, but to me they do not seem particularly useful in non-rush games - or they are restricted to a color. A more versatile defender of the homeland or a weaker, neutral variant of battle toads like a “rare” 3 cost event that spawns two peasants might be one solution. Similarly, more events dealing with land control (like shifting tides) could also greatly improve the experience. You could, for instance, offer a neutral 2-3 cost variant of tides and allow red to destroy land again (4f, destroy an unoccupied tile/7f destroy any tile adjacent to yours).

The guiding principles here should be both viability and fun. While the defender will probably never get the same enjoyment as the rusher, he should at least not have to absolutely hate it. To examplify this - one of the coolest encounters I had as yelllow rush was against a blue player who managed to draw three shifting tides in a row. Super lucky of course, but even 1 is quite helpful in stalling the rusher and solidifying land control - allowing the defender to potentially launch a counter attack rather than just defending until yellow is drained.

Overall though, I believe it is most important to teach people what to do. In a fun and visible manner. Like Jalmyr.

Cheers for a pretty good game.

4 Likes

A well written post overall. I’d really like to see a puzzle maker, you could even have a monthly competition for the best one :slight_smile:

1 Like

nice post, i really like the suggestion with custom puzzles

however when it comes to decks needing more tools to deal with yellow rush i have to disagree, the deck already got pushed down to t3 and is porbably at the weakest point ever

the power of the deck in lower ranks comes from the fact that it’s easy to play - new players that don’t play rush often build horrible lands and waste all their ressources and time, whereas with rush you just double neutral and set up deserts close to the enemies orb

faeria imo will always be more of an elitist games simply due to the importance of the board and landplacement … adding more rng effects like the devs sometimes think to make this game more casual friendly won’t do anything except making the game more unenjoyable for veterans or people who want to escape from the hearthstone dilemma

@Eufrat - Absolutely puzzle competitions would be awesome! Both for making and solving them. And a puzzle editor of sorts would also make it much easier for players to create super accessible guides.

@luuu90 - Cheers for the feedback! I agree with you on not making yellow any weaker, but don’t you think that there are options to add a greater variety of responses without necessarily weakening it? If balanced properly with faeria costs it may just allow players to pursue mutually exclusive but equally “good” strategies.

Naturally the first step would be to teach players how to deal with rush… but that only addresses their frustration partially. The issue isn’t just about winning or losing, but rather having a good time while doing it. If you force a particular play style on folks that they cannot escape unless they pay or grind through it… that not only restrict new players, but the game itself. Faeria has so many great options and styles, so much potential to really engage players, yet that is all sort of hidden away or at least significantly diminished for new people by their experience with rush.

I wouldn’t even mind buffing yellow, if it meant that there were more options to deal with it. Particularly land based stuff should also be quite interesting for high level play and is not necessarily dependent on hard (creature) removal rng luck. Just removing and unoccupied land would work quite well already.

The avoid lethal puzzles sound like a good idea. It might be difficult to represent defensive strategies in that format though, as often the thing you have to do to avoid defeat will be over more than one turn.

Aye, it definetely poses quite a challenge - especially because understanding the danger is often based on recognizing your opponents deck. Not easy to convay right away. And it is further complicated by the chance of players making the right choices for the wrong reasons… and thus never learning what they were meant to learn. But it still feels like the most engaging and far-reaching way to teach them.

It might be easier with a kind of advanced tutorial (like the starting tutorial) against Khalim, Seifer, Aurora, Tarum etc. playing actual net-decks as they are played by a real opponent, with Fugoro guiding the player through all of the important considerations… ie the opponent is using the full Khalim set, of course it’s Yrush!