After much deliberation and discussion, the Advocates have reached a decision on how to proceed with the state of our game. We have considered deeply the course of action that we feel is best to keep Star Wars CCG fun and fresh, satisfy as many current players as possible while continuing to attract and retain new and returning players, and to continue improving the long-term viability of the game.
We also want to thank you for your patience during this time. These decisions have been difficult for all involved, and we know that we still have a lot of work ahead of us in the near future. We are grateful to everyone in the community for doing their best to be understanding and cooperative. Constructive ideas and criticism are always welcome, and we hope everyone joins in the discussion in the next few weeks as we flesh out the best options for progressing from this point.
One thing we took away from the player survey is that the majority of players are not happy with the current state of the game, or at least want to see some degree of change made. We feel that various problems exist with the current card pool and meta, and to keep our game as sustainable as possible, that some change is necessary if we want to keep the game alive and keep current players active, interested, and excited while continuing to bring in as many new and returning players as possible. Some reasons we feel this is necessary:
-1. Simplify design space for making new cards.
-2. Simplify the barrier to entry for new and returning players.
—-a. Cutting down on number of cards to learn
—-b. Cutting down on large amounts of text on various cards across the board that boost various stats, change text to “treat as” other stuff, etc
—-c. Cutting down on the overall time commitment that the game demands of you with respect to other time commitments
-3. Make things easier on our volunteers. Simplify playtesting, design and development, and proofing.
Because of this, the Advocates have decided to take a course of action that will bring our game back to a sustainable state that people are actively excited about, and will draw in new and returning players.
CLEANUP OPTION VS RESET OPTION
The two main options for dealing with the problems are either a cleanup or a complete reset. The cleanup option typically presented was a surgical strike of sorts that would clear away or errata problematic (NPE, OP, etc) cards. Resetting was usually presented as trimming the pool of Virtual Cards down to a small base set (50-100 cards per side) that would be meant to restore balance and define a new meta.
After weighing both options for months and many lengthy discussions, the Advocates unanimously decided to pursue a reset of the SWCCG virtual card pool.
We felt this was a superior choice for a few key reasons:
1. Simplicity – We decided against a mass errata, as it is much easier mentally to know that all the legal V cards and correct text are in one PDF. With a cleanup, there would always be memory issues regarding which cards were scrapped/changed, with different versions of old/new slips popping up at events. We didn’t want old/returning players to be confused about which text is the most current.
2. History – We have not had a great track record with mass-errata type changes. While the game has survived events like the Redux and the Revolution, there have been hits to the player base and design had to deal with additional problems that slipped through in the next few sets. Given that, the choice between deciding what stays and what goes in a “cleanup” is far trickier than in a “reset” since a reset can cut down to the essentials and remove fluff.
3. Opportunity – A more comprehensive change frees up a lot of manpower in terms of volunteer commitment and opens up Design possibilities. Additionally by virtue of a smaller card pool it also brings back some Decipher era decks that haven’t been around for a while. And of course, it cleans up a slew of cards that have been problematic for the past 10 years. With a fresh smaller card pool, the ability to help older classic decks in new and exciting ways becomes a reality. Further, any cards that don’t make the base set can always be tweaked or retooled to be re-released in a later expansion in a more balanced fashion.
4. Realistic – We feel that the reset option is more realistic for a casual player to keep up with compared to a cleanup. We want to craft decisions based on our player demographics and time commitments, and this is a more attractive option to the larger percentage of our player base that has a limited amount of free time that can be used to keep up with SWCCG.
5. Comprehensive – We did not feel that a cleanup would provide a sufficient advantage compared to the current card pool in terms of fixing the issues that many see in today’s meta; it would be a band-aid for a bullet wound, so to speak. While we could be in a similar situation in few years if we were to pursue a cleanup, a reset puts us in a position where the game will not need another major fix for a long time.
The base set is intended to be roughly 75 cards per side of the Force. The specific contents are being worked on by a dedicated task force, and we plan to have a side event at Worlds where it will make its debut. One of the primary rules for the base set is that all virtual cards that can be put into a reserve deck do not have any changes to their game text. If you know a card now, you will know the card post-Reset. You can expect a mixture of totally new cards and re-tooled cards in the first expansion set post-Reset, and we may decide to release a “Preview Set” of that first set in time for the Worlds or October events (see below for more details on those events).
All of that said, we realize that this is not the solution that some of the community wanted; however, each of you is still an essential part of the community, and we absolutely want to address your concerns in a fair as way as possible. We want you all to be involved in rebuilding the Reset card pool and to make the game the best that it can be. A “nomination” forum will be set up where players can suggest cards to be re-tooled, and if enough support is given for old cards to be re-released in some form, they will be considered by D&D for a future expansion.
Based on the survey results, there is a very large percentage of players who are against this idea, so we have no plans to implement set rotation in any form after the Reset is complete.
DECIPHER CARDS AND RULES
At this time, we also have no plans to touch any Decipher cards or to clean up any Decipher rules. We felt the card pool shakeup was enough of a change and anything else would complicate matters.
V9.2 & DESIGN INTERNS
We strongly feel there is a direct correlation between our aging player base and the level of satisfaction with the game. We get older and our priorities shift. We still like playing games of all sorts, but we don’t have the same time to invest in games that we once had. In Design, we have the ability to apply the lessons we have learned in 10+ years of PC stewardship and to start fresh by changing design priorities to more closely align with player priorities.
All said, here’s what you can expect from Design in this new era.
1. 9.2 will not be released in its current form. We are planning on releasing a mini, 12 card set for Worlds. Criteria for inclusion is that the card would a) be worthy of consideration in a Reset meta or b) address an immediate meta need. Ideally cards are a) and b). We don’t want to release a set just to have it deleted in some fashion months later. We plan on taking the ideas that the interns have been working on and releasing them remolded in future sets to fit the new meta as appropriate.
2. We are going to revise and publicly work on new design guidelines. There was an excellent discussion started on the forums that captured a good bit of “retroactive” wisdom that we can apply to new cards (and cards re-tooled for future sets). We very much would like community involvement here. We already have a few ideas that will help us to make fresh cards that are still clean and elegant.
3. We plan on reverting back to our single set format instead of “blocks” (the base set will be V0, then we will be starting over at V1), and we are making it a goal of V-set 1 to have mostly currently existing cards tweaked or re-tooled in some form. Our vision is for the community to drive what they want to see back in the game in this new format. This is where we really want to involve those who wanted a cleanup or for nothing to happen. We want people to nominate cards/themes that should be back in the game and for the community to discuss and vote. We could tweak text as needed and then release some old friends we can play with once again. It is our goal that by the end of the first V-set that people who were against a reset will look at the card pool and be largely happy with it.
4. The current plan is for the design interns to work in the new Reset meta. We will be extending terms as needed since some cards meant for 9.2 were cut through no fault of the interns.
As stated, we have a dedicated task force of people working on refining a base set list. This group of people was selected from trusted skilled players who all have an established pedigree of understanding the meta through consistent high level competitive play. D&D has some representation, but we felt it was essential to get some voices from outside the box. D&D has been focused on the current meta and has been dealing with a current v set, so to redefine their priorities and to double up their work (or more) was seen as undesirable. While the specific members of the task force will not be made public at this time, there will be an announcement in the future to give more transparency to the process, once completed.
We realize that one of the biggest drawbacks to the Reset will be the blanking of many player-created virtual cards from over the years. While we are keeping any current v-card designs that are in process or already awarded, we also plan to give all player creators whose card(s) don’t make the base set one new design going forward for each card cut. They can either try to retool a cut design of theirs for a future set or to work on a brand new one. It will be up to the players to contact Shewski and he will help set them up (we will announce when this is starting, so please don’t PM Shewski yet). Many players have earned the ability to add a card to the game, and we don’t want to take that away from them. In addition, we will create a permanent PDF that contains all of the pre-reset player created cards so that they are easily available for their creators to show them off in perpetuity.
The new Standard tournament format will consist of all post-reset V Cards. These cards will have a new graphical V-set icon to easily identify legal cards (though a new slip will not be necessary, and players may continue to use previous slips for cards that remain legal after the Reset).
With the introduction of the Reset, we also will create a new Legacy format for tournament events. We will continue to host all the pre-Reset V cards in one Master Legacy PDF on the site. Tournament Directors are welcome to run events in this format, which will consist of all pre-Reset v cards. It will be a fixed-cardpool format that tournament directors can run at their discretion. No cards will be added to or errata’d in the format, unless sufficient support is given for a Legacy card that needs added or tweaked to balance the format in the future, at D&D’s discretion.
WORLDS, ECs AND OCTOBER EVENT
We plan on beta-testing this Reset format at a side event (TBD) at Worlds in Toronto and the European Championship in September this year. We are planning on having the Preliminary Base Set list ready by the end of July, to give players a bit of time to prepare. We will then use the results from that event to help us make any last minute tweaks before the set is finalized and official (tentatively late-September).
Then in October (date TBD), we are going to host a large Reset format Majors event in Philadelphia (tentatively) with the set being officially legal, with significant prizes and other fun activities. The details of this event are still being worked out, and will be posted as soon as they are finalized.
A Reset format Holotable event for the Online Major Tournament Series is still planned for this later this summer or early fall as well.
As stated, we’ve currently got a dedicated task force working on establishing the Base Set list, after which point we will have our playtesting team start testing the meta so we can work out the kinks. We plan on having a preliminary Base Set list posted to the public by August 1. Again, thank you for your patience here and please continue to bear with us as we work to flesh out the best possible meta for the continued success of the game. Once a final list has been established, a Master PDF of the Base Set will be mailed out by the PC to any interested person.
We will be working with Holotable owner Matt Moseley soon on the best way to integrate new sets into Holotable in the best manner possible moving forward. For now, with no cards being tweaked for the base set, Holotable can continue to be used for casual and competitive play.
We would also like to ask everyone to inform anyone they know that might be interested in this news, that doesn’t visit the forums often (or at all), so we can spread the word as much as possible.
We will be setting up a Q&A thread soon where you can ask questions about this topic, and Shewski and the other Advocates will do their best to answer what we can at this time.
May the Force Be With Us All,
The Advocate Council