Friday, July 11, 2014

Random break at work post ---- The Borg

Break time log.. stardate almost time to leave for the day. well closer than when i got here this morning.

At this point in the ST:AW "meta" game many players feel the borg are broken. I have not yet had a chance to play against them(won't play as them) but looking at the stats and then looking at what I have to fly against them I agree. Conditionally...

I always enjoy the challenge of trying to be able to consistantly defeat the undefeatable. But right now there are few borg countering abilities out there. And I would prefer that the other factions did not have to rely on card combo's alone to get it done. I have always loathed it when put into game situations that require only one specific counter forcing you to plan only for that situation. I have always preferred to make my fleets/armies/etc more general in their ability to handle opponents. I would rather rely on my skill as a player than on having the exact correct ability combo.

With that being said I think much of the issue surrounding the unstoppable borg has to due with a couple things. One The wave style release. We don't really know what the developers have to play with but its easily conceivable that they have way more ships and cards than the players and so may not even see the problem.

The other issue is lack of external testing of new ships and cards. I do believe that Whiz Kids is testing. I just question the amount or depth of those tests. When you are testing a game and you are the designer you have to consiously go outside the rules. As the designer you know how the game "Should" be played. You know what the "spirit" of the rule is as well as the "letter". Players only really have the letter of the law and have to often ask what a rule really means. If this were not the case then an official FAQ and Errata would not be needed.

When you allow regular players to test you game you will quickly discover holes you never knew existed. Players will find every loophole and quirk. because they think like players not as designers. they are only taking thier best guess at a rules intent. Sometimes they will break things unintentionally and others they will abuse it on purpose.

having external testers has its own risks. Disclosure early of material is the obivous one. But all to often testers will find a broken ability and not report it. keeping it to themselves so they can get a leg up on players for a few days until the rest of the world figures it out. Not the point of testing at all but it happens... a lot.

Point of all this is two fold.. one I would like to see more testing before releases. But two.. wait and see before the final verdict is rendered on the Borg being broken.  Of course NONE of that helps when you are getting thrashed by them over and over now :)

until next time... scan for life signs and load the torpedo tubes!

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