I am finishing up thoughts on DDO the Card Game, but I am mentally spinning in circles over one specific thing. I don’t know what to call this thing – “burn through”? “seek rate”? So instead I will try to describe it.
A few cards in the game allow the player to seek through their Loot deck to find a specific card or card type and then reshuffle the Loot deck. A few other cards allow the player to go through the Loot discard pile to find and pull a specific card.
I like the idea behind this, it gives me more ways to differentiate cards. For instance, the Fighter card does not have the DPS of the Barbarian, nor the defenses of the Paladin. But it does have Feats. How to give the Fighter feats? Have level ups with text like this: “When deployed, search loot discards for any one feat and deploy it to this character.” Voila, now we can be assured that the Fighter will have access to more Feats than any other melee class.
So yes, the capability is a good thing to have. That is not the quandary. The quandary comes in when deciding whether I really ought to have both of these search methods (Loot Deck and discard pile) or not, and the specifics of how they will work.
It seems a straightforward question but actually has surprisingly many side effects.
- If I have discard search only, that will be not very helpful in the beginning of the game, as there won’t be many cards in the discard pile
- Later in the game, searching the Loot deck won’t be as helpful either, for the same reason
- If I let people re-use discards, will they be able to set up loops where they re-use powerful combos over and over?
- If yes, do I want that? Do I need to make other changes to encourage it?
- If no, how do I prevent it?
- If I allow both kinds of searching, memory comes into the game.
- Players with a good memory will know whether the card combo they want is in the discard pile or the Loot deck.
- Do I want the ability to remember what is in your discard pile to be a useful (or really, required) skill in this game?
- If I allow both kinds of searching, a card that allows the player to choose which pile to search will be really powerful.
- If I allow players to search the discard pile, do they need to keep it in order?
- Does it matter which discard is on top of the pile?
- Do I want the order of the discard pile to matter?
- If yes, what other changes do I need to make that happen? For instance, I could change the rules for drawing Loot to be either “Draw a Loot card or draw the top card from the discard pile”.
But it gets even deeper, potentially affecting the nature of the game:
- If I allow people to search the discard pile, that provides an incentive to discard cards. Is that good?
- Will this be the kind of game where you go through your Loot pile as fast as you can and then reshuffle the discards and use them as a new Loot pile? If yes, I need to add more ways to gain Loot cards.
- Or is it the kind of game where your play is throttled by the Loot pile, you go through it slowly, and may not even make it all the way through in a single game?
See? A simple question, but not at all a simple answer. And it has unexpectedly deep consequences.
I will come up with an answer. Writing all of this out helped me advance the answer, in fact. But I am very curious: what do you think? What will be the most fun?
Because fun matters.
🙂 😀 🙂