Welcome back to Playgroup Evolution! Delighted to have you. This week I’m going to discuss some changes to the point system that I have been brainstorming for East Coast Gamers (info here or here). I’ve noticed several achievements never being reached, which means one of two things:
- Their point values are not high enough to make it worth the effort.
- The they aren’t worth the points because they assist opponents too much.
If anyone remembers my early discussion about cooperation points… well… I was wrong. They suck. A lot. We are about halfway through a league run and one person in one game picked up a single cooperation point. Faced with a whole category of points that weren’t being used, I decided to abandon them to reward some things that I see happening in games.
The cooperation points were something that I liked on various lists I found while creating our point system. The objectives were simple:
- Quick Save- Save an opponent’s creature from another opponent’s removal
- Get Back in There- Save another player from being killed by another opponent
- Gift of Knowledge- Cause another player to draw three or more cards with a non-symmetric effect
- That’s My Spell- Copy a player’s targetable spell, then take out one of your opponent’s with the copied spell.
However, despite their simplicity they were never used. “Quick Save” and “Get Back in There” were supposed to provide incentive to keep the game interactive. Ideally, players would be able to use some political maneuvering to get an opponent to help them. “I’ll save your Zurgo if you smash Jefferson on your turn.”
But that didn’t happen. Instead people would try something like, “Save my Zurgo and I’ll attack Jefferson!” “Yeah… I need that off the board too. No luck.” This isn’t exactly what I was hoping to promote.
The award for giving cards was a bad idea. This only happens as a desperation move. When Jefferson is crushing Hamilton, Washington, and Adams, sometimes Washington throws a Hail Mary and gives Hamilton a ton of cards hoping to find an answer. Other than in this situation, giving opponents cards is bad, and the point to encourage it is not worth it.
The copy award is the coolest of the cooperative points, but it seems very metagame dependent. Games at my LGS rarely end with Invoke the Firemind or some Fireball effect. I am assuming targeted effects that can hurt players were much more common in the group I stole this point from. Sadly, it doesn’t work with my group.
I’ve noticed several interesting decks being played in my group that don’t generate a lot of points. I created the Pokemon Points (name subject to change) to reward more types of game play. Each of these points focused on doing one thing, and doing it well.
- Indiana Jones- Control five artifacts
- Sorcerer Supreme- Control five enchantments
- Reload!- Draw five or more cards in a single turn
- Heroes of the Storm- Cast four spells in a single turn
- Justice League- Control three planeswalkers
- Drop the Hammer- Cast a non-general spell for 10 or more mana
The hope is to reward people who are playing the game. Going big should be rewarded. It’s time to reward throwing those haymakers everyone talks about. Additionally, having several artifacts or enchantments out in the face of a sweeper-heavy group seems like something to reward, since it will take effort.
The other changes I’ve made a small. I’ve added “Phalanx”, which is awarded to the last player to be eliminated. I already have a point for the 1st player taken out, but I wanted to reward the people who get to second place in a pod. This reward is based on two things in my LGS. People often claim second place is the worst deck, and that the winner of the pod is admitting to just barely squeaking in a win. It is also based on a weird thing I’ve noticed where the winner and first two players eliminated tend to engage the point system more than the second place player. I hope that an award for their efforts in trying to win will promote more engagement with the point system in general.
I worry about simplicity. I think (and am hoping) that this new system will not cause any problems when I get my LGS to test it before the next league. But it’s possible I was a little over zealous. Since I am frequently tuning, updating, and just in general thinking about point systems in EDH, using them is relatively simple. But I worry that this list is approaching a “laundry list” of things to do in EDH.
Here’s the entire updated points list(East Coast Gamers Points v 3.0), so let me know how it looks. Do you lords, ladies, and everyone else not sitting on a cushion think I’m moving the right direction? Has anyone started a point system with their groups and updated it? As always hit me up in the comments or on Twitter.