Tuesday, 2 December 2014

V Rants: Mechanics - Twin Drive is unfair!

Thank to a guy on pojo called TehNACHO for helping me realize something that I never really thought about before, despite the fact I know I've seen this bought up several times, I myself never stopped to think about it personally- that is until now.

If you were looking at balance in Vanguard you'd have to first work out what creates imbalance, then you have to realize, what is the thing which most people despise about the game?

Grade Stuck!

But why is this? Well the source of the problem comes from an ability All Grade 3's have. Twin Drive.

Let's just look at how many cards you'll have gone through after each turn in a vanilla 2 player game, that means skill are not taken into account here. Also for this I'm Excluding damage from the card count.
Player 1 - Player 2 (16 turns, 8 each)
6-5 (EDIT: Forgot to factor first attack bonus so everything after this needs to be reworked)
7-7
9-9
12-12
15-15
18-18
21-21
24-24 (Typically by this point the game is over, each player usually only gets 8-10 turns each, although games can last up until deck-out.)

Now what if either player gets grade stuck? Double comparison required.
6-5
7-7
9-9
12-11 (Beginning of Forth Rotation and already the affects are felt, Difference = 1)
15-13 (Draw difference = 2)
18-15 (Difference = 3)
21-17 (Difference = 4)
21-19 (Difference = 5, that's a full a hand ahead)


The longer you remain Grade stuck, or rather the longer the game goes on with only one player having Twin Drive, the more necessary it becomes for the player falling behind to throw reason to the curb and doing the impossible! TAGGEN TOPPA GURREN LAGGAN!!!!! style. If you get Grade have fallen behind and hit a permanent deficit.  Unless you can turn the tide using skill and exerting massive pressure, of course, if the opponent is also using a pro-active deck, or even using a reactive deck, this won't work. In a grade stuck game you'd be fortunate to make a comeback past the sixth or seventh rotation if you were unable to ride up.

Now, what if Grade 3's DIDN'T HAVE TWIN DRIVE?
6-5
7-7
9-9
11-11
13-13
15-15
17-17
19-19

Notice that at the start of the first rotation the first player will always have drawn one more card than the second player but this is balanced by player 2 having the first attack which counts as an additional draw, so theoretically

Sub-Conclusion: Grade Stuck isn't what screws you over, it's NOT HAVING TWIN DRIVE when the opponent does that screws you over, and the longer that lasts the harder the come-back becomes.

----

Point 2: Triggers

"Twin Crit 4 DAYZ!"

Triggers are unbalanced, and another factor that makes balancing Vanguard difficult. A Draw Trigger is +1 additional card.
Stand's are difficult to calculate, are they a -1, -2, or a -3 to the opponent? There's multiple factors to consider there, depending on the power of the unit they stand, and if that unit hits it's a theoretical +2.5 (Seen Heal and Critical next) to you, but potentially can also be a plus to them to if they need counterblast.
And what about Critical and Heal Trigger? Both these triggers generate relatively the same advantage difference to each other, and to work this out we have to calculate the value of damage. The value of damage is typically calculated, going by various sources as 2.5 cards, per damage. although quite how this works out I'm not too sure. 

In any case, going by that we can then assume that a 2 critical attack counts as a theoretical 5 card advantage difference. Meanwhile scoring 3 damage in once attack would count as 7.5 theoretical cards difference, which would have to rounded to 8 Cards of advantage difference. But this doesn't factor in Counterblast potential which to be honest skills aren't something raw maths can calculate for. 

Importantly to note when advantage difference reaches 8 cards or more, it's Taggen Toppa time.
You either concede accepting that you are logically highly improbable to make a come back, or push on knowing the only way you can win is by "throwing reason to the curb and doing the impossible!" if the latter, you have some serious guts.

Of course the same numbers used for damage also apply for heals, but in the favor of the one healing as opposed to the one dealing damage, and because of this a heal can cancel out advantage gain if it goes off, although it doesn't take maths to explain that, due to how obvious it is.

Sub-Conclusion: Twin Crit, when it occurs, more often than not will decide the outcome of a game, regardless of when it happens, unless heals negate the damage.
----

Final Conclusion: NOT having Twin Drive and/or being Twin Critical'd will ruin your game.

Does this count as a rant? Sure why not, I'm only complaining as ALL my games this past weekend were decided by Grade Stuck or Twin Crit. I'm still feeling bitter about it and I'm not playing as well as I should be as a result. And yes, I know I'm re-stating things that are said all the time, but how many of you have actually stopped to think of the numbers involved.

Oh and if you're Grade Stuck AND get twin crit'd. That a +9 the the opponent in that turn alone by which point they can be anything from 9-17 cards ahead depending on progression of the game, at a different of 10+, not even going all in, balls to the wall, Taggen Toppa style is enough, you are beyond screwed, beyond defeated, the fight is futile without anything short of a miracle to be able to push back. By this point you have been nothing short of annihilated. Good Day and sod the lot.

All of this highlights the need for G-Assist and also re-enforces that Vangaurd was NOT designed as a competitive game, but rather it was intended simply to be wacky and fun, which so long as you don't try to be overly competitive, it is.