Hello everyone. Earlier I was thinking about auction style fantasy sports, and some mechanics in some other games that could be used to encourage off-meta playstyles, and creativity/experimentation that could freshen up gameplay, and how something a-kin to this could be implemented into a card game like TESL. The more I thought about it, the more that it seemed like a viable idea. So I figured I'd share it. It also doesn't necessarily have to be called "auction style".
For those who aren't familiar, in fantasy sports (or at least football to my understanding), auction style leagues start each player with a "budget", and every player has a cost attached to them based on their projected and theorized quality. This attempts to balance teams by limiting users to similarly valued teams.
Now, such a system likely doesn't translate so well into a card game, but aspects of it could work. Specifically limiting players to a certain amount of quality in their deck, and sort of standardizing it. Where cards would be given a sort of drain value on the deck.
How would such values be determined? Here I'm going to reference another game system, Warframes Riven system. A system that in simple terms, uses weapon usage data (give or take) to determine what weapons are underused, and in turn buff them in a way that will allow them to compete better with the more popular meta weapons, and produce a more diverse landscape. This could be applied in the circumstances of TESL. What I imagine this looking like, is by looking at usage stats for each card, more so in ranked/ladder play hopefully, and then assigning drain values to each card based on how popular they are. For sake of this hypothetical scenario to show the framework of my idea, I'm going to work with a 1-10 drain value scale. Where 1 represents the least popular cards, 10 represents the most popular, and the 5-6 range represents cards that are average play rates. These drain costs should ideally be readjusted on a monthly basis. I also believe that the popularity of cards within the "auction style" mode should have some bearing too, where they fluctuate by +/- 1 point (10%), just to further shake things up (maybe a semi-monthly adjustment?), however, this is not absolutely necessary. Whether or not casual play popularity should have any bearing on the drain values of cards is up for debate.
Now, how I imagine this being applied, is where all decks that can be used in this mode are subjected to a drain value cap. Where the value of you deck is determined by the mean drain value of all of the cards in your deck. For the sake of explanation, we are going to use 7 as the cap value here. So, the mean of all of the drain values of the cards that you include within your deck must equal 7 or less. If the mean exceeds 7, then the deck is not usable in the games within that mode. 7 does not have to be the cap, but its a value that I'm running with.
I believe that this game mode is something that can be achieved, and that the playerbase would enjoy. As having to build around this additional parameter would encourage further creative deck building, experimentation, and playing cards that would normally see much less play. Especially in an era of "good stuff" deck building approaches as seems to very prevalent currently. It would also hopefully provide a game mode where those who are very tired of the meta-of-the-week could escape to, as it could be more difficult to play such meta decks in that mode. While arena already fills the meta escape role to some degree, it is rather unpredictable, and hard to build around. Whereas this would still engage the players in a semi-freeform building mechanic. Casual also seems to fail to be this escape quite a bit of the time.
If you've made it this far, thanks for checking it out and let me know what you think!
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© Post "New Game Mode Idea: Auction Style Games/Ladder" for game The Elder Scrolls.
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