OKTAGON Q&A Session - February 2020 *UPDATE (03/04/20)

Oktagon_SupportOktagon_Support ADMINISTRATORS Posts: 1,296 Chairperson of the Boards
edited 9 March 2020, 20:36 in MtGPQ General Discussion

UPDATE*

Thank you all for your comments and feedback here. A special shoutout goes to @Volrak who even posted a detailed list with cards. This shows us how dedicated and serious this community is.
Adding Defender to several cards was inherent to the change to Vigilance. Therefore the Game Design team had already included this change but we are going to announce which cards will receive Defender in the next Pre-Release Notes, later this month.
We are also opening the Q&A Session Question Form for this month today. Access the link in the Q&A March Session HERE.

Q&A Session

1. Would it be possible to include pauper as a format in the future? Or have every event with pauper deck restrictions once in a while? Just to spice things up + it's new player friendly.
Answer: A lot of the team members here at Oktagon are long and vivid Magic the Gathering players and Pauper would fit well in Magic: Puzzle Quest, too. Sorry about not being more specific about how and when, but we have indeed plans for this format.

2. Have you considered moving the matches to be server side vs. user side.  Similar to Puzzles and Dragons and other games where even if your game crashes the match state is saved because it occurs server side and once you reconnect your match is at the same point.  This would get around the frustrations of many players that are driven by the game crashing mid-round.
Answer: Yes, we have. Unfortunately, the current implementation prevents us from doing this without a huge rework. However, we are planning to change how the event charges are handled in the backend in order to prevent any losses when a match is not ended as expected or when a crash happens.

3. Why are things that are confirmed to be "as designed" by Oktagon or D3 being changed without notice (in patch notes or otherwise) and then much later after bug reports are filed said to be "as designed" with the new programming?
Answer: We admit that there have been cases like this before, and even with the QA Testing phase during development, we still rely on player reports after the release. We apologize for stretching all your patience and thank you for being such a serious and dedicated player community. We are constantly working on improving the information flow and to not only get everything new in the Release Notes but also to update the Patch and Release Notes with the fixed and adjusted items.

4. I would like to express my appreciation for how you handled the Vigilance ability on the following cards from Throne of Eldraine:
     1. Questing Beast
     2. Realm-Cloaked Giant
     3. Faeburrow Elder
     4. Linden, the Steadfast Queen
I think this should be the standard for how the Vigilance ability is translated over from paper into Puzzle Quest. In paper magic, you only want to block with things under two circumstances: a) you know your blocker will survive; and b) you are desperate to prevent taking direct damage. The way this version of the Vigilance ability has been applied to these cards is a pretty close approximation to how it works in paper, because it provides the player with the opportunity to keep their creatures in play for maybe a turn or two longer than before. I say bravo to this decision. I also hope this can be applied to every creature that has Vigilance in the game.
Answer: These 4 cards were designed with the intent of playtesting an alternative version of Vigilance. Many cards with a different design serve this purpose: to playtest new mechanics, alternative versions of existing abilities, etc. Then, depending on player feedback, we may implement it as a permanent change or utilize the mechanic in later sets/releases.
After somes tests done with cards from Throne of Eldraine, Vigilance changed to better represent the ability and to give more value to the creatures that have the ability. Allowing them to survive against deadly attacks, when blocking.
The current Vigilance hint reads:
“This creature blocks your opponent's creatures but lets creatures with Defender or Reach block first.”
Therefore, Vigilance was changed to:

“This creature blocks opposing creatures with power less than this creature’s toughness. It allows creatures with Defender and Reach to block first.”

Take a look how these 4 cards will be changed on 4.1 version:


5. Why won't you give us all charges at the beginning of an event so people can play when they have free time?
Answer: We have plans to make events with different formats and charges, including this option.

6. Do you ever plan to put WAR vanguards (rare and mythic) back in the WAR booster pack where they belong to?
Answer: There are no plans for Vanguard Cards to enter the regular Boosters at the moment. Neither WAR nor any other collection.

7. Are there any plans to make the Exclusive Vanguard cards from War of the Spark craftable?
Answer: There are no plans for Booster Crafting to include Vanguard Cards.

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Comments

  • Mburn7Mburn7 Posts: 3,342 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 28 February 2020, 21:03
    3. Why are things that are confirmed to be "as designed" by Oktagon or D3 being changed without notice (in patch notes or otherwise) and then much later after bug reports are filed said to be "as designed" with the new programming?
    Answer: We admit that there have been cases like this before, and even with the QA Testing phase during development, we still rely on player reports after the release. We apologize for stretching all your patience and thank you for being such a serious and dedicated player community. We are constantly working on improving the information flow and to not only get everything new in the Release Notes but also to update the Patch and Release Notes with the fixed and adjusted items.


    This was my question (from like 4 months ago), and I gotta say it is still unanswered.

    The question is why changes are being made to to the way things work without notice.  The answer is "yup, that happened".  Not exactly an answer.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________
    The current Vigilance hint reads:
    “This creature blocks your opponent's creatures but lets creatures with Defender or Reach block first.”
    Therefore, Vigilance was changed to:

    “This creature blocks opposing creatures with power less than this creature’s toughness. It allows creatures with Defender and Reach to block first.”

    Now this change I very much like.  It will retroactively make a lot of useless cards very good (looking at you Djeru), and it makes much more sense with how Vigilance works in paper.
    Also, you'll note that this is what I was referring to in question 3.  If this change had been made without being mentioned in any patch notes or release notes you would have been flooded with bug reports about how Vigilance isn't working, which you would tag as "as intended", which would confuse the heck out of everyone.
    Instead, you're introducing a very nice change in a way that is clear to everyone here and should limit the confusion it will (inevitably) bring.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    The rest of the answers are the usual vaguely generic non-answers we've become accustomed to (plus a confirmation of our suspicions about vanguards).

    That being said, thanks for (finally) putting up another Q&A!  Here's hoping we get more!
  • CheeksMagundaCheeksMagunda Posts: 24 Just Dropped In
    As stated above, the Vigilance change is the only semi-useful bit here, and even that reeks of a retrospective "Well, we see that you like it, so clearly that's what we meant to create." Based on limitless previous examples I expect "New Vigilance" to be just another crash machine.

    Thanks for typing out a bunch of words, though. Better than the usual generic customer service emails.
  • TremayneTremayne Posts: 1,135 Chairperson of the Boards
    @Oktagon_Support - thank you for the Q&A though I hadn’t seen that coming.  :disappointed:

    Regarding item 4. I really like the new wording of Vigilance! 

    I must admit, I had no idea that your were in the process of testing out a new implementation of Vigilance. Have I missed some sort of announcement on this subject? 

    Because I must admit that I’m concerned I am missing the opportunity to provide feedback on other changes being tested. Who has and how have the testers provided feedback to the developers on vigilance?

    I do not understand your answer to item 3, but perhaps it is somehow connected to the answer to item 4? Are the changes that apparently seems to frustrate @Mburn7 (and many others) so much, a result of “hidden” testing which leads to i game changes, which is poorly communicated?

    As I have written in my signature (for too), I urge the devs. to write up a lot of the more basic rules regarding MTGPQ in a wiki format. The current page(s) are simply not sufficient and leads to to many unnecessary threads in these forums.
  • jtwoodjtwood Posts: 800 Critical Contributor
    edited 29 February 2020, 00:19
    Will some Vigilant creatures be redesignated as Defender? There are a few Vigilant creatures that want to block as often as possible. 
  • colditycoldity Posts: 42 Just Dropped In
    I'm not a fan of the "new" vigilance and I would like to disagree Q4 regarding this ability in paper. It says:

    In paper magic, you only want to block with things under two circumstances: a) you know your blocker will survive; and b) you are desperate to prevent taking direct damage (...)

    In my opinion that's not correct and it's missing something like:

    c) you know (as well as your opponent) that your blocker won't survive, but if that creature would die you'd get any advantage, your opponent wouldn't like to see at your side.

    Just to mention the kamigawa spirit dragons in paper. The player with one or more of them on the board applies pressure just by having them out.
    If any opponent would attack with any creature(s) nevertheless (bcs e.g. he has any instants in hand or whatever), it's up to the player to decide whether he actually wants to block or not, maybe suspecting a trap.

    I also wouldn't say it's a "close approximation", because the PQ vigilance is basically different from paper vigilance, even though the effect in the end is the same: In both games a vigilant creature is able to attack AND to block, indeed.
    The difference in paper is that the player has the choice whether his creatures are going to attack and/or block or not, while the non-vigilant creatures are going to lose their ability to block if attacking (by getting tabbed). In PQ just each creature attacks each turn (well, except for those with "can't attack") and that's it, while it needs a special ability to block at all. Also the status "tabbed" isn't even known in PQ. 

    With the new wording of vigilance it would be just logical to imply a new wording for all creatures as well, like "this creature is going to attack while it's toughness is greater than an opposing creature's power with an ability to block, while creatures with berserk attack first", also presuming you're going to attack only under just this circumstances as mentioned in Q4.

    I'm pretty OK with the current mechanics of PQ and if any creatures of further sets will have the same ability as Linden, kenrith's queen with even a new name for that, it would be also fine, but please just don't change the entire vigilance ability in general... @Oktagon_Support

    (Not even talking about the tons of new bugs that this kind of change most likely is going to cause)
  • ArielSiraArielSira Posts: 358 Mover and Shaker
    Like previous posters have said, wouldn't it be easier and cleaner to have Vigilance creatures simply give us a choice whether to block or not?
  • KinesiaKinesia Posts: 1,619 Chairperson of the Boards
    I like the Vigilance change, am glad it is being announced in advance, thank you.

    I am _severely_ disappointed by the Vanguard news. SOMETHING has to change with the way people get vanguards. There is so much dubious and misleading legality around the packs you get them in. It would be fine if they were just "extra" and a few "uncommon" ones were added each set...
    The ONLY good thing about the way they were introduced was that all the uncommon ones were given to everyone through the training for that set. This meant that they were a new item and everyone had access to some automatically, GREAT!

    But since then things haven't been addressed at all... If the current situation stands then, when standard changes next, there will be NO legal common/uncommon vanguards, only mythic and rare. For starters this makes all the labels misleading and illegal marketing lies because none of the words are being used in a way that matches the other ways they are used in the game. But it also means that brand new players will have NO VANGUARDS at all and no access to them in any easy way whatsoever.
    they are being kept as an elitest paywall feature and that is broken for a game where otherwise F2P players and brand new players can still join in and have things make sense.

    It's a very very bad long term decision. It hurts the future.


    (It also continues illegal labelling practises. Please have your lawyers contact me as I have asked numerous times. If I need to contact them through official channels things end up far worse for all of us.)

  • Michael_WCMichael_WC Posts: 65 Match Maker
    edited 1 March 2020, 00:34
    I'm on team pro Vigilance change, though I see the point a lot of people here have made and I think their concerns should be thought about thoroughly before the change is implemented. I don't have more to add on that subject.

    However, I'm with everyone else on the Vanguard announcement. This is EXTREMELY disheartening. Your dupe rates are horrible, this has been called out numerous times and also affects the Vanguard EPs. I'm perfectly fine with using pinks for Vanguards, but the lack of dupe protection is absolutely appalling (pulling for Rares should have this as well!)

    While I alone am not enough to prove a trend, I think many here can back up my experience and find that it is similar to their own. I've pulled roughly 15 times on ELD 120 Vanguards and I only have 3 of the rares available. I'm not even upset about not having the Mythics. If I wanted those I would have pulled the non-dupe packs, but 15 pulls and I still lack one of the rares is head-scratching.

    The way you've treated WAR is even more egregious. Sure they cost 100 pinks less, but with the alt art versions available from FibbleTBit means an increased chance for dupes from such a large pool of cards. Speaking of Planeschasing, without a clear understanding of your plans he has greatly benefited long term players, but those of us that are newer or returning have no guarantee we'll be able to get some of the more overpowered Mythics. Again, I tried pulling 5 times last night and wound up with mostly dupes of Mythics I already owned or Mythics I had the alternate art for.

    @Kinesia has pointed out already just how bad the situation is and I am here to echo his opinions.

    Not pulling any punches, you're really starting to piss off and alienate your player base....what's left of it anyway.
  • Bubbles_CSBubbles_CS Posts: 202 Tile Toppler
    I applaud this meaningful change to vigilance. I remember ages ago looking up what vigilance did and I was confused why this would even exist when it is so close to defender. This is part of a good plan that also includes updating some cards to have defender instead (right?). Not doing so would tarnish what could be one of the best recent updates to the game.

    By the way, I found that this new vigilance is today “block as long as at least one creature has power less than this toughness” which allows a large first creature to be blocked when there is a smaller creature behind it. Will this continue to be the case, or will v4.1 vigilance ONLY block smaller creatures?

    Vanguards are a whole other thing. If the decision is really to keep them in separate packs forever, fine. I disagree with that, but it is what it is. For sets that have vanguards that interest me, I buy two rares (after that I worry about dups and stop) and maybe a mythic or two, but these directly compete at the same price point for mythic / masterpiece packs, which are generally better.

     In my opinion anything that costs jewels should be a guaranteed non-dup. This currency is valuable enough that finally saving enough to buy something and pulling a duplicate is extremely disappointing and literally makes me want to take a break from the game just to get over that sense of loss. I don’t understand the desire to have this be a part of the purchasing experience, especially when this is the ONLY way to get vanguards.
  • PantagruelPantagruel Posts: 79 Match Maker
    I've been a programmer. I understand how it's more interesting for you to change Vigilance than it is to playtest events. And it's an interesting change for people to talk about, so I imagine they will.

    But playtesting events would serve us better.
  • Mburn7Mburn7 Posts: 3,342 Chairperson of the Boards
    Volrak said:
    More testing would be great.  That doesn't make other positive changes any less positive, or any less worthwhile to give feedback on.

    (I'm getting deja vu.  I'm sure a forum member from the past used to make the same kind of binary argument, and I used to make the same kind of response.)


    Yeah, we've all done this dance before. 

    The issue is the perception of where Oktagon's priorities lie.  They seem to be more willing to add buggy new things that we've asked for than they are to fix the buggy things that they just introduced.
  • PantagruelPantagruel Posts: 79 Match Maker
    Re: Vigilance

    The fact is that combat damage is mostly irrelevant in this game, and almost entirely irrelevant at median and high levels of play. In paper MTG, you can choose to block, you can choose not to block, you can choose to gang up with your blockers, and creatures and life totals have a far smaller varience. Blocking is very different in MTGPQ.

    The wrong amount of damage to deal to any creature is any finite amount of damage, because it might live. This is exactly the reason why MTGPQ effects that kill, exile, or even bounce creatures are better effects than those which deal damage. You need a very good reason to run Exquisite Firecraft in a deck; but you wouldn't think it at all unusual to run Final Payment.
  • Mburn7Mburn7 Posts: 3,342 Chairperson of the Boards
    The wrong amount of damage to deal to any creature is any finite amount of damage, because it might live. This is exactly the reason why MTGPQ effects that kill, exile, or even bounce creatures are better effects than those which deal damage. You need a very good reason to run Exquisite Firecraft in a deck; but you wouldn't think it at all unusual to run Final Payment.
    I don't completely agree with this, although I do see where you're coming from.

    Kill spells are usually better than direct damage spells for stopping creatures (now that there are dozens of <10 cost kill spells out there in all colors), but cheap direct damage spells like Firecraft are still incredibly useful since they can also deal damage to your opponent.  Having 4 final payments in hand against a creatureless (or mostly creatureless) deck is useless, but 4 Exquisite Firecrafts will do some solid work against just about anyone.
  • bken1234bken1234 GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 2,831 Chairperson of the Boards
    edited 2 March 2020, 16:39
    Re: Vigilance

    The fact is that combat damage is mostly irrelevant in this game, and almost entirely irrelevant at median and high levels of play. In paper MTG, you can choose to block, you can choose not to block, you can choose to gang up with your blockers, and creatures and life totals have a far smaller varience. Blocking is very different in MTGPQ.

    The wrong amount of damage to deal to any creature is any finite amount of damage, because it might live. This is exactly the reason why MTGPQ effects that kill, exile, or even bounce creatures are better effects than those which deal damage. You need a very good reason to run Exquisite Firecraft in a deck; but you wouldn't think it at all unusual to run Final Payment.
    Exquisite Firecraft is easily in 80% of my red or R/X decks. 

    My good reason is it exists and is infinitely useful with my playstyle. 
  • PantagruelPantagruel Posts: 79 Match Maker
    bken1234 said:
    Re: Vigilance

    The fact is that combat damage is mostly irrelevant in this game, and almost entirely irrelevant at median and high levels of play. In paper MTG, you can choose to block, you can choose not to block, you can choose to gang up with your blockers, and creatures and life totals have a far smaller varience. Blocking is very different in MTGPQ.

    The wrong amount of damage to deal to any creature is any finite amount of damage, because it might live. This is exactly the reason why MTGPQ effects that kill, exile, or even bounce creatures are better effects than those which deal damage. You need a very good reason to run Exquisite Firecraft in a deck; but you wouldn't think it at all unusual to run Final Payment.
    Exquisite Firecraft is easily in 80% of my red or R/X decks. 

    My good reason is it exists and is infinitely useful with my playstyle. 
    Yes, but as you repeatedly say yourself, you don't play competitively because it isn't fun.
  • bken1234bken1234 GLOBAL_MODERATORS Posts: 2,831 Chairperson of the Boards
    bken1234 said:
    Re: Vigilance

    The fact is that combat damage is mostly irrelevant in this game, and almost entirely irrelevant at median and high levels of play. In paper MTG, you can choose to block, you can choose not to block, you can choose to gang up with your blockers, and creatures and life totals have a far smaller varience. Blocking is very different in MTGPQ.

    The wrong amount of damage to deal to any creature is any finite amount of damage, because it might live. This is exactly the reason why MTGPQ effects that kill, exile, or even bounce creatures are better effects than those which deal damage. You need a very good reason to run Exquisite Firecraft in a deck; but you wouldn't think it at all unusual to run Final Payment.
    Exquisite Firecraft is easily in 80% of my red or R/X decks. 

    My good reason is it exists and is infinitely useful with my playstyle. 
    Yes, but as you repeatedly say yourself, you don't play competitively because it isn't fun.
    I say I don’t aim to play competitively. In my last 4 events I have finished 90%, 85%, 100% and 93%. 

    Just because I have fun doesn’t mean I’m not good at this game and don’t do well in events. 

    I resent you assuming otherwise. 
  • PantagruelPantagruel Posts: 79 Match Maker
    bken1234 said:
    bken1234 said:
    Re: Vigilance

    The fact is that combat damage is mostly irrelevant in this game, and almost entirely irrelevant at median and high levels of play. In paper MTG, you can choose to block, you can choose not to block, you can choose to gang up with your blockers, and creatures and life totals have a far smaller varience. Blocking is very different in MTGPQ.

    The wrong amount of damage to deal to any creature is any finite amount of damage, because it might live. This is exactly the reason why MTGPQ effects that kill, exile, or even bounce creatures are better effects than those which deal damage. You need a very good reason to run Exquisite Firecraft in a deck; but you wouldn't think it at all unusual to run Final Payment.
    Exquisite Firecraft is easily in 80% of my red or R/X decks. 

    My good reason is it exists and is infinitely useful with my playstyle. 
    Yes, but as you repeatedly say yourself, you don't play competitively because it isn't fun.
    I say I don’t aim to play competitively. In my last 4 events I have finished 90%, 85%, 100% and 93%.
    Cut Exquisite Firecraft from your red decks and you might find yourself with a win average above 91%.
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