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2 Champs and a Chump- Episode 103

2 Champs and a Chump 2C1C Podcast Kennon


6 Comments

I know I shouldn't do this having only listened to the first half, but I can't help myself because I find the debate so intriguing.

So... from a Shagga point of view we have a reduction in general creativity, but from a Jaime point of view we have an increase in deck creativity due to the nerfing of some of the games most efficient cards.

I agree that creativity, in general, by pure definition, is decreased when you remove choices from the card pool. That's quantitative reduction of potential creativity because you're making the space smaller.

I also believe that you cannot define creativity purely in terms of potential as there are two ways to define creativity. One way (which I believe is the way Will is defining it) purely deals with options. There is no more creative space than a blank canvas with every color available at your fingertips.

The other way creativity is defined is based upon the result. Give two different people the exact same space with the same tools, you will not get the same result. Not every individual person is as creative as the next and they tend to mimic what they see. They paint a sun, a house with a chimney, a single cloud, and a stick figure family because it's all they know. Now, take away some choices - tell them they can't put a sun or moon in the sky, but they have to put something else in there. Some will draw a rocket ship, others will draw a plane, still others will come up with something altogether different.

While my analogy there is far from perfect, the point that I hope comes through is that when I say we will see an increase in creativity - I'm talking about the result. By limiting choices and removing the standards, people are being forced to make other choices right before regional season. This will lead to increased creativity in deck building even though the overall creative space has been reduced. That's my take.
    • Ire likes this
Correction on the Martell knights idea. Archibald and Drinkwater are not knights when you have an agenda, their whole textbox is blank including traits. So in agenda decks they are just 3 str bicons :)

Anyone else find it funny that few years ago Targ & GJ were the usual bottom feeders in house rankings and now they have taken the top after being the weakest ones in the game?

Also something of GJ choke, I actually often go for a hybrid builds with choke. I have never felt that all out choke was the thing. Problematic parts with all out choke is that it has no answers when it fails to choke and even when it does what it wants to do... it is really slow in winning the game. So even with all the choke I always fear with all-out-choke deck to go on time instead of full win. In those choke decks the refugee is probably the restricted card of the choice, but in hybrids it is not so easy to just choose the refugee.
Sorry it's taken me so long to reply here, guys. Too many things to stay on top of lately.

Glad to hear that you enjoyed the discussion, Doulos2k. I think that the issue is really just one of terminology. I would argue that creativity is increased by an expanded card pool due to the additional possible permutations of card combinations. There's not really any way to argue against the math of the greater numbers.

The issue then is what the FAQ expands. Now that I've had a little more time to articulate in my head, I would argue that what the FAQ expands is efficiency variety. While the total number of permutations has gone down, the number of permutations that have a roughly equivalent efficiency has gone up. This creates greater variety at a tournament level due to more similar levels of options but doesn't inherently mean that more creative builds are possible.

This is due largely to the fact that no single player is 100% any of the established player archetypes (Ned, Shagga, Jaime). If you're bothering to play in a tournament at all, you've got at least some quotient of Jaime in you, or you wouldn't be worried about the event at all. If you have some Jaime, then efficiency starts entering into the equation.

The interesting things is that once you have a greater variety of efficiency some of the creative builds have a greater relative efficiency compared to their standing previously. This gives the appearance of greater creativity, but is in reality Jaime competitiveness rather than Shagga ingenuity.
I don't think we disagree, exactly. I believe that while the builds themselves may not be "more creative" within themselves (decreasing choice always decreases the potential for creativity). what we are seeing is greater creativity by the individuals building the decks because their choices had been so severely limited.

Creativity is defined by originality of thought. Removing established patterns tends to have the side effect of fostering greater creativity. While you can call this expanding efficiency variety, the effect of expanding efficiency variety is to cause individuals to think more creatively about the card pool because they cannot fall to their established patterns.

Creativity can't be defined solely by the number of options available. That is potential creativity - the number of options available creates a specific number of permutations - the more options, the greater number of potential permutations. Thus - greater creative potential. However, when certain cards see widespread use and you get to a place where homogeneity begins to creep in, how to you, once again, foster creativity?

One way to do it is to greatly expand the card pool with a dizzying array of cards that completely change the standard choices that created this perceived homogeneity. But, that actually introduces complexity to the process because it is impossible to know exactly how these cards will interact with the existing cards already deemed incredibly efficient.

Another way to do it is to limit the choices. I think we're just talking about two ways to view creativity. You're looking at potential creativity while I'm thinking about the way we think about the cards. Greater efficiency variety is causing people to think more creatively and, hence, we may see a greater creativity in deck building due to these limited choices.

Time will tell of course.
Originality of thought then would be the capability to internally buck those existing patterns and generate a pattern of your own then, right? So it would be an internal force rather than an external force (ie, Restricted List). Thus the list expansion would still only be creating the appearance of creativity. This will bear out in 3-4 months. I agree with you about established patterns and that we have been forced out of many of those patterns now. Due to the nature of the game, however, by the end of this year's Regional season, the current most efficient patterns will have been established, thus negating the forced creativity of the Restricted List.

What do we do at that point?

I'd like to see FFG clarify a little more about their future intentions with the list. If it's only going to be a growing list used for this purpose, I think that it's an unsustainable direction for the game to go.
Good points. I actually agree that if this doesn't become a living document in some sense, we're on a slippery slope. I'll reserve judgment until the next major FAQ update. though.

My main point was defending the use of the word phrase "creative deck builds" when viewing it from a different point of view. Rather than just looking at the overall design space and saying there's more room for creativity in a larger space (which is absolutely true), you can't also, in turn, then say the new RL doesn't also force people to think more creatively when they may have been stuck in a rut.

Yes, that's an external driving force and not an internal one and we can debate the merits of it, but I think saying we'll see more creative deck builds due to the RL is still an accurate statement.