Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Problems With Quests

I'm happy to see Kripp speaking out on behalf of the free (and low investment) players lamenting the importance placed on legendary and epic cards with the release of Journey To Un'Goro. I agree that even the Hall of Fame bonus dust is unlikely to be enough for the majority of players, and perhaps doling out a random quest to everyone that logged in might've helped alleviate the problem somewhat.

However, I feel there's another issue concerning quest cards that's not getting nearly enough attention due to the above complaints, and it's perhaps part of that problem as well as an overall design issue. 

None of the quests are interactive, meaning your opponent cannot prevent or even realistically slow your progress towards completing them. There are some corner cases which essentially rely on the questing player to make huge mistakes (rogues not bouncing the same minion, not playing around Counterspell, etc.), but other than that, a player has no way to interfere with their opponent's quest progress.

Blizzard keeps saying how they dislike decks that have no interactivity or counterplay, then release a legendary card for each class that is non-interactive (short of perhaps a really bad or unlucky paladin) and particularly powerful. Um, what? Off the top of my head, I can think of a few quest prerequisites that are at least a bit more interactive:

  • [Warrior] - Damage X minions, maybe even in one turn. (damaging the same minions multiple times within a turn may/may not count depending on if they want opponents to counter by building spell-only/heavy decks)
  • [Warlock] - Destroy X minions through played spells.
  • [Priest] - Trigger X friendly Deathrattles. (Instead of summoning. Opponents can counterplay by including silence/polymorph effects.)

I purposely haven't provided an example number for the Xs, as testing and intention factor in pretty heavily, but hopefully you get the general idea. Allowing a way to slow your opponent's quest progress just a little at least provides some interactivity and deck-building/meta decisions, similar to secret-foiling cards or weapon-nerfing oozes. I feel Blizzard missed a huge opportunity in diversifying deck builds by not allowing for this, and I hope they heavily consider interactivity just a bit more in the future.

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