Wednesday, December 25, 2013

SolForge: Tournament Changes

I mentioned on Monday that my brother told me all about going infinite in drafts but then my payouts didn't seem nearly as lucrative. Tournament payouts are random so I was chalking it up to some combination of Jamie being lucky and me being unlucky. I neglected to consider the other option which was that SolForge pulled a bit of a bait and switch. When he was playing at tournament launch the prizes were good enough to easily go infinite. When I was playing they were not. Because they secretly lowered the prize structure in the couple of days between when he got to start with his free tickets for being an early backer and when I finally decided to pay up to supplement my free tickets!

This is a little unbelievable to me. How do they not have someone on staff able to simulate the results of a given prize scheme? I used to do that at my last job for estimating the end result of a given sales contest and there I had to actually guess things. Here you know the inputs and you know the exact output function! Of course there is another option in that they DO have someone on staff and they knew exactly what they were doing and deliberately were trying to pull a bait and switch by priming the system to start and then lowering it to what they wanted. I accused Diablo III of trying the same sort of thing with their golden chest nerfs after the early adopters of act 2 inferno got enough weapons to prime the economy. I don't know if it's incompetence or nefariousness but both situations really make me angry because I know I'm smart enough to have avoided both situations if only I was in a position to stop them.

Anyway, they've actually gone and changed the prize scheme yet again which had me leaning more towards incompetence in this case. They completely removed the randomness of the prize split. 3-0 is worth 9 tickets and a premium pack, 2-1 is worth 5 tickets and a regular pack, 1-2 is worth 3 tickets and a regular pack and 0-3 is worth a full regular pack instead of the basic pack I got Monday when I went 0-3. Now you know exactly what you're getting yourself into when you sign up which is nice. Always getting a legendary card for going 3-0 is a big change as well and may well help deal with the constructed problem I ran into. Well, it may well let me get an optimal deck and smash people anyway.

They also gave all accounts a free 'draft coupon' which lets you do a draft for free. This seems like a really nice thing to do, even for people who haven't logged on in a long time. So if you played SolForge in the past you might want to log in and give a draft a shot because they're pretty fun. Drafts tend to be much slower than constructed and the level 3 versions of the creatures tends to be the important thing to look at. Well, level 2 also. I did die on turn 7 once but my opponent's deck was absolutely insane and he drew his aggressive legendary twice in the first 5 turns. (This was one of the games below...)

On the nefarious hand I noticed something from my free draft today... I got a legendary and 5 heroics. I hadn't seen a single legendary (mine or an opponent) in the 4 drafts I did prior to the free draft. I asked my brother about it and he said he's only had maybe 2 legendaries in his dozens of drafts. So maybe I just got lucky? Try this on for size... All three of my opponents in that draft also had a legendary. I then did another draft and didn't get a legendary but my first opponent did. I left after that to go visit my father and when I got around to finishing the draft out none of my opponents had a legendary. Nor in the next draft I did. Nor in the one after that.

My current theory is the free draft is rigged to feed people really good cards. Try to convince them to pay some money to draft for reals after the free draft only to discover that they can't actually have the absolutely sick decks they got in their free draft. Another bait and switch? Maybe! If you do log in to use your free draft coupon let me know if you get a legendary at any point in the draft.

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