Tuesday, December 6, 2011

State of V:tes

After the EC, I have thought a little about what I do not like at V:tes at this point. These things will be more from my subjective point of view, but I will try to do my best and try to reason my opinions.

1) RULES - I hate to say thing, that probably everyone knows, but V:tes rules are just total mess. The more I have tryed to have insight, the more confusing and strange things I found. Ok, there might be someone to completely understand interaction of all cards, but im am no amateur either. I am playing this game for some time right now, I am judging our local playgroup - because no one knows rule better (that does not mean that I consider myself expert). And huge part of my job involves working with V:tes cards, so I think that I know something. I was trying to learn as much rulings as possible and trying to refresh them, but after some time, some things vanished. And when I found rulings to some things, I got confused with reasoning of some of them and started to make mistakes at some basic rules and things. At this point I think that only person which is fully dedicated to learning all rullings etc, or having a laptop with internet connection at his disposal at all times. I can live with most of that, but I just hate giving a wrong rulling. Or to be given a bad ruling. These things happen even at larger tournaments and it is another proof of how complicated they are. After all of this, I have found out, that it is almost impossible to teach this game to a new player.

2) PLAY TO WIN RULE - I am getting more and more uncomfortable with interpretation of this rule. I mean I was pretty sure, that I know what it means at first, but the more I ran into it, the more problem arised for me - well basicaly just like any other V:tes rule. My interpretation of this rule is quite simple - try to go for GW and as many VP as you can inside one game without any relations to other games. What supported my interpretation was even forced dealbreaking when it comes to only two players. Getting GW and maximizing VP seems like a really simple concept and it makes sense. But there are other situations, where this rule does not apply in the way I imagined. Before we continue, let me say, that I have read all four topics on vekn.net, which have been about this topic and  pages of posts have ensured me, that I am not only one, who is confused or frustrated by this rule.

First of all it seems, that after you get your GW, you can do whatever you want, even self oust. This seems a little odd for me, since maximizing your VPs should be second most important thing for you. I do not consider this fair, because you can give free VP to someone who does not deserve it. Ok, I get it if there is close to zero chance, that you will oust your oponent an you do not want to play long and agonizing game, but I think even then it should be enforced to play for as much VP as you can get. Let me consider, that I have GW from the first game of tournament, in the second game I am facing really badly constructed deck, which have just barely stayed on the table. I have my finals ensured by my second GW and I will be pretty high seed anyway, so I choose to give that poor deck  VPs. In case he somehow wins another table with some lucky move / bad play of others or whatever, this deck may be put in finals no thanks to construction skills, or player, but thanks to my decision - I know that this is purely theoretical, but I hope you see my point in this.

Second of all - chance to win and self ousting. These are really tied together, so lets do them in one paragraph. If you believe, that there is no Reasonable chance for you to get any VP, you are free to get your  VP in any way you choose, even self-ousting. This is actually a huge statement. First of all, it seems that reasonable chance will be always up to that one particular judge. On many levels, this does not work for me.Still this is not as simply repairable as my second problem with this. More then once I was in situation when if one player self ousts, decides who wins the game. Again, even when two players clash so much with great skill, it is wrong, that the worse one decides, who will win. This is just wrong on every level. No matter how good player you are, there might be a moment, where someone decides to selfoust and you cannot do anything to prevent this, except talking to the guy and that does not always work. Second thing, which is wrong comes from "you are free to get your  VP in any way you choose" - I wanted to ask about this more. I was curious if, for example, I am free to kill cross table dude, because he pisses me off in a real life, because I will die anyway and this is how i choose to die. But then Pascal added, that you are free to maximize your TP. This is actualy encouraging for everyone, who wants to play this way. I am dying anyway, so I choose to take someone with me. In this case it will probably be my cross table buddy, because if I am in this situation, I am probably not in the place to hurt my predator or prey.

I really do not like this playstyle. Half of the time to be afraid if the dude behind me will transfer out, because he is too chicken to play or too stupid and/or fed up with the game to try at least waiting for some miracle, or at least time out. And secondly I should be afraid of cross table buddy, which I have supported all game and now he is dying and just wants to take another one with him? Ok I know that V:tes is multiplayer game and it involves a lot of skill with table balance, but these two things just do not fit.

3) SLOW PLAY - I have experienced this problem few times during the EC and I did not like this a little bit. And I heard from few fellow players, that they met some of slow playing guys too. I am not saying all of players are the same and everyone should be quick, but more than once, I have seen a player with two different decks. Both complicated and requing lot of thinking to play them. Still he was playing one of them very slowly on the edge of breaking the rules and he played the second deck very quickly. One of these decks was benefiting from this playing slowly and other one went for a fast action. I would never expect this at V:tes tournament, but I had to admit this after what I saw. Worst thing about this is, that it is very complicated to bring any evidence - I doubt that judge would classify this as slow play or stalling without seeing those two separate games - I would not either. I guess there is not much I can do about this, but it just destroyed good game for me.

4) FEW OF THE CARDS - OK, ok. This is the same topic once again, but some cards just do not work out for me. I will be as precise here, as I can. I am talking about combination of the cards on the table, not any of them in particular. Lilith's Blessing + Villein + Liquidation + Ashur Tablets + Heart of Nizchetus. I do not say, that these cards are ultimate unbreakable combo, bud people, games with them are loooooooooooooooooooooooooooong. And that is just not good. I have met a few decks using this combo during this tournament (no surprise for me) and they did not always win, some of them only survived until time out - this time out was reached with huge help of these card combinations. Combine this with previous topic and you should see, what I mean. I am not saying, that this is unbeatable or broken in some way, but in my opinion, it would requie extension of game time by at least 30 minutes, but more likely 60. Looking back at the V:tes, there were not as much good cards, which could also delay closure of the game this much. Now we can find lot more of them, especially combination, which I have posted before and we have formula for timeout here.

Well my rantig here is starting to be a little longer than I have planned, so I will stop it for now. I hope, that someone somewhere will find time to read this and maybe agree at least to some degree. I am not finished with V:tes at this point, but there are things, that are making me sad. Next time I hope I will return with something more motivating...