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AaronHypetrainWilson

Losing friends from the tournament circuit due to "NPEs"

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Hey guys, to kick this off this isn't a please nerf farmer thread or anything like that, just wanted to write what i've observed over the last few months locally to me.

Yesterday a good friend of mine made a post on the GUBS page about he will no longer be attending events, due to a couple of things he found as NPE's (Mainly Farmers & Killing the ball). This has happened a few times in the last month with a few friends, who are enjoying GB less and less due to a number of things (Farmers, mentality of players at events, etc).

Just got me thinking about Guildball game as a whole, Guildball doesn't really have a off mode. Every game is the same scenario, with the same goals and same devices in place. Plot cards are an unknown factor but that's about it. More than a few of my friends have started to feel a bit distant from the game, feeling like the game has plateaued in the U.K. I can see where they're coming from, granted you can change up your guild but only so many times can you play X into Y before you feel you're just repeating yourself. I still love the game and I'm lucky enough to be in a position where I've played long enough and dare I say I'm actually okay at the game now so events are always really a positive thing. 

Another thing I've noticed is a lack of new players to myself locally, it tends to be the same people week in week out and new players really struggle to stick with the game, let alone go out and play events to get crushed. 

I know this year will have new excitement for the game in the form of minor guilds and probably an errata but what do other people currently feel about the game?  

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Well it's really rough to start as a new player for one. Also in my gaming group we've found there are some seriously horrible match ups in the game. We've not played a lot yet but we've played enough of Shark into Theron to realize it's not going anywhere and it's going to end the same way pretty much every game. Hunters take the ball, hide it, Fishers die trying to get it because they can't fight. Or you take Honor into Fishers and there's Corsair, you take Hammer into Fishers and there's Shark and vice versa. The seemingly very good balance that was hyped for and talked about a lot seems to be dwindling down the more we play. There's Obulus and Scalpel in the same faction and our Mortician player won't even look at Scalpel anymore.  

Also we've found it to be very weird how highly Guild Ball favors the snowball effect. You get 4 vp's for a goal, you get momentum and you get more influence. Meaning, you're already ahead 4 points which is the point of the game, why are you getting more resources to get even more ahead of the game? You get momentum for inflicting damage, killing models etc, meaning you're already ahead in victory points in the form of take outs, your opponent loses a model and you get momentum to ensure the first activation of the next turn, meaning the one who is already behind will be even more so. This we've found to be the most baffling part of Guild Ball. 

The game is so frustrating actually that my friend has declared he won't be playing for a month because it's too straining. Another one of my friends also said that "When did Guild Ball get so boring" after our last game but we came into the conclusion that it was due to the Hunters vs Fishers match up, so we're gonna move on to other Guilds and see if we can bring some sense back in to the game. 

My point is, the game is always the same, get goals or take outs and win the game. Another player takes a footballing team, another takes a brawling or denial team and suddenly the other team just simply "lost" because it's super easy to just deny them the ball and hide it and then it's free pickings. If you happen to start out with teams that you like the look of and they're not a good match up.. We'll you just lost money, either buy more Guilds or quit playing. 

Just a few thoughts we've encountered playing, but we are quite new to Guild Ball so keep that in mind. 

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I'm happy with how GB is at the moment. It is one of the few games that is pretty balanced. I almost never had an easy win or loss because skill level is important. Skill level is also something that requires some investment to improve but if you want you can improve it nevertheless.

In my group every game is unpredictable because everybody tries something new all the time. But I understand that if nobody feels the need to improve, after a while every game becomes the same.

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2 hours ago, ForestRambo said:

Just got me thinking about Guildball game as a whole, Guildball doesn't really have a off mode. 

It does, but people choose not to play them. Speed Ball, Dodge Ball, Multi Ball Mayhem to name a few. 

I have played a few games of Dodge Ball, and it acts as a great palate cleanser after a hard days gaming. It does seem that the community hasn’t really taken to these alternate formats and it can be hard to get a game, but they do exist and are good fun.

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1 minute ago, Jon Bucket said:

It does, but people choose not to play them. Speed Ball, Dodge Ball, Multi Ball Mayhem to name a few. 

I have played a few games of Dodge Ball, and it acts as a great palate cleanser after a hard days gaming. It does seem that the community hasn’t really taken to these alternate formats and it can be hard to get a game, but they do exist and are good fun.

Are those official formats or what? I've never heard of any of them. :D

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14 minutes ago, Furnace said:

Are those official formats or what? I've never heard of any of them. :D

They sure are. If go to the main Steamforged website and look for the ‘Mob Football Association’ document on the resources page, it has rules for a load of alternative formats.

Steamforged even set up separate events for them at Steamcon (including prize support), but the sign ups are normally quite low.

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32 minutes ago, Jon Bucket said:

They sure are. If go to the main Steamforged website and look for the ‘Mob Football Association’ document on the resources page, it has rules for a load of alternative formats.

Steamforged even set up separate events for them at Steamcon (including prize support), but the sign ups are normally quite low.

Oh wow thanks! 

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I think we need some better stickies or wikis on beginner players in GB. 

GB is not ‘that’ simple to get straight. Some things like ‘why does the game reward goals with so much stuff - isn’t that win more?’ are very good questions that new players ask. They also initially think goal scoring/beat down teams are too good and I’m also asked about how some teams always seem to get to go first. These FAQs should really get not only a sticky but perhaps also their own forum so players have somewhere to go for more general training rather than having to trapse through forums.

As to balance or NPEs, there are a few issues at the moment in my opionion (Ballista gunline sucks all joy from the game regardless of whether it’s balanced for example) but most of the old guilds are in a great place right now. I would take any of the original guilds into a tournament with a feeling of having a good chance. Farmers (and Blacksmiths the first time you play them because they look shiny before you learn the cracks) will bust people’s balls. I believe fundamentally their design is ‘off’ (immunity to conditions, good defence and extra hit boxes, etc) but they will get looked at.

if balance for new players is a worry I would very strongly advise them that the design team are good at addressing issues. 

So the best way to tackle all this (especially if you don’t have a local pundit to help) is look at forums here and ask questions. But I really think we need a better resource. 

And yep, try some variants or look at a different Guild to mix it up - even just swap guilds. Hunters vs Farmers is pretty even to me even without Corsair. Shark can lead but Snipe doesn’t really hurt them with high kick stats and Fish 2” melee hurts The mainly 1” melee Hunters. So it’s an interesting one. 

Also GB does reward more play - you get better and able to counter enemy moves. 

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Well, I’m happy to try and give newer players an easier time finding advice.

There’s a few ways it could be done, @EpicChris and anyone else who has thoughts on it, please get in touch: if there’s good threads that offer new players advice, tag me so I can look into them and maybe pin them (as long as there’s not so many that they’d block out all the other content). If a rookie training section for newer players to get general advice would be helpful, send me a message about it or something. I can make the forum better if I know what you want :D (although of course, as the song goes, you can’t always get what you want :P ).

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Before we reinvent the wheel - does anyone know if there is a GB wiki site like battle college for Warmachine or Pullmyfinger for Malifaux? 

I found both of those excellent for beginning to play. Something like that for GB?

here, I think a Rookie section is an excellent idea. 

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I also think a Rookie section could be very helpful... especially if there were a couple of stickied sections at the top that perhaps acted as a road map to many good sources of newcomer information .... links to as many active, and well respected, places for a newcomer to dig deep for info.

One of my very small frustrations when starting was that the information was, and still is, quite often scattered around multiple places. I would definitely have benefitted from having sort of a central hub. I think most may not be as diligent in information investigation as I was.

Having said all that, I also believe that the majority may mostly be unaware of the SFG forums and the wealth of knowlege here. Most of the players I have encountered in person, thus far, are more likely to be following a little bit on Facebook or perhaps other social media. My perception is that most of the "learning" is happening on local area gaming tables. If those experiences are positive then hopefully a desire for more knowledge is instilled in the new players and they seek out more.

Cheers!

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I would definitely like to see a wiki in the style of BattleCollege for this game - maybe something like that could be added to the existing Wiki (we could even steal their template)? It would be nice to have some tactical info readily available about each player for newbies to have access to.

 

Unfortunately, I am myself pretty newbish/terrible at the game, so any advice I have would likely be wrong, otherwise I'd start doing so myself.

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I am highly in favor of a rookie area. Though I'd flood that place right now as it is. Now instead I'm trying to read all the Guild forums but I find good stuff here, good stuff there but mainly arguing or outdated info due to errata, stuff like that. Not many pinned topics. For example, was it in the Alchemists forums there were two threads on both captains which had topics like "How to play Midas well?" those were among the best stuff I've read here and I was wondering why weren't they stickied. 

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I still enjoy events and I'm very much a 1 win 3 losses or at best 2 wins 2 losses player. I think Farmers kind of unsettled the tournament community a little and a lot of peeps get noticeably grumpy if they have to play Thresher... sometimes to the extent where they don't really play the game, just go through the motions until they lose.

A well known Alchemist player in the UK took on Thresher in a final recently. I was watching the scores come in on Longshanks and fully expected Thresher to win, but Smoke won it 12-11. I guess the moral of the story is don't give up before a dice is rolled.

(I can't talk by the way as I will totally sulk my way through a game if it isn't going my way ;))

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I'd love to see some of the 'casual play' formats get played more (Cage Ball would be great for demos/quick games and the version with mascots seems like a good laugh), but unfortunately there aren't enough players around where I am, so on the few occasions we do get to meet up we play standard matches as practice for tournaments as it's harder to get regular games. Good side is I don't get burnt out (want more Guild Ball!) but with my main experience being events, I am seeing a lot higher proportion of  'pros' - players who go to all events and take the game seriously, with not enough of the more relaxed players, or new ones. Events feel more tense and competitive. Need more events with the Battlehammer, and haven't seen Johnny C, Dan Garnet and Dave down this way for quite a while. Hopefully events like Wyldhammer and Vengeance (even though I missed out by 30 seconds on that one) will get everyone in for a mess about. Maybe just what you get for living out of the way in Norfolk, I suppose ;)

Talking of Vengeance, I did hear that a surprisingly large amount of tickets were pre-allocated to YouTubers, bloggers and SFG staff, contributing to the super-quick sell out. Contributes to the idea of Guild Ball being a bit of a closed system at the moment. Always got Deliverance in Yarmouth for an alternative.

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Another idea: The kickoff set came with a booklet that had some tactical tips on playing the models that came with it. Having one of those in each box would be a great help for new players.

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I am not sure if it is such a good idea to seperate beginners from experienced players. That could give an elitist impression. "You have no idea about that game. Go into that seperate forum." Now I know that is not the intent, definitely, but I am afraid this could happen. I'd rather say make a subforum within the guilds respective forum for beginners questions in general so you dont have to seperate yourself from the rest of the community that plays that guild. It could actually give newcomers more of a positive impression on the community and put them in the spotlight rather than backstage, if you know what I mean. (so they dont get the impression they first have to become more experienced before they can "join the rest of the bunch")

Problems could be created by errastas though. Everytime something changed, the sticky needs to change entirely depending on what's in it.

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Thankfully, in our community the numbers are still growing but we do see and want to address the possible NPEs.

Thresher/Farmers: experienced players voluntarily avoid taking the guild before that bunch of supermen finally get a well deserved nerf.

Event stress/frustration: in a bi-monthly base we split our players into two groups (according to ranking points) and hold two separate tournaments parallel. In that way, the not so good or less experienced players can swim in a nicer, more welcoming pond and even snatch a medal with their performance.

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4 hours ago, Csonti said:

Thresher/Farmers: experienced players voluntarily avoid taking the guild before that bunch of supermen finally get a well deserved nerf

Farmers guilt is definitely a thing. None of us are using them at the moment (except with certain line ups) for this reason and it's a shame.

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1 hour ago, Wynter said:

Farmers guilt is definitely a thing. None of us are using them at the moment (except with certain line ups) for this reason and it's a shame.

I have been the designated farmers practice player in our group and it makes me feel like I am cheating.... Grange line-up is fun and not as bad but Thresher an Co are the ones everyone needs practice against so I take them for a spin and feel dirty about it. 

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On 1/22/2018 at 7:40 AM, alopex said:

I'm happy with how GB is at the moment. It is one of the few games that is pretty balanced.

While it is more balanced than anything GW has ever released, it is definitely far more unbalanced than other games, infinity being the main one that comes to mind.

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44 minutes ago, Plebian said:

While it is more balanced than anything GW has ever released, it is definitely far more unbalanced than other games, infinity being the main one that comes to mind.

Since I played GB for the first time (like 1,5 y ago)  I basically quit Infinity.  Its mechanic is so random that it makes me sick. Is it more balanced? I think not. Tried playing French or Shasvastii? They sucked quite hard when I left that game.

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5 hours ago, THE_DOJO_MIKE said:

I have been the designated farmers practice player in our group and it makes me feel like I am cheating.... Grange line-up is fun and not as bad but Thresher an Co are the ones everyone needs practice against so I take them for a spin and feel dirty about it. 

I know how you feel as a Morts player pre-Obulus nerf.

 

For the NPE though and how to make the game better. Just relax about it and know it's just a game. If there isn't a tournament coming up that you are practicing for, play some weird line ups, try out new stuff and players you have never played or lineups that seem bizarre. I think the key to a community downfall is when it gets too competitive all the time. The Longshanks is a good resource, but in our group we have had a few players that have be so obsessed with being the best in the rankings playing them always seems like a competition vs. just playing for fun. 

 

As a Morts player, sometimes you have to play VGraves, Vileswarm, Silence and Fangtooth, and then laugh when you get demolished, or better yet, play pretty well.

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