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First Turn Advantage

AuthorMessage
Explorer
Apr 26, 2010
62
I agree with Veracity's last post in the "We need dispel shields, and fix stun spamming" post. But I wanted to talk more specifically about pvp and the first turn advantage which magnifies the issue of dispel spamming. First, in the sense that going second not only affects what you do, but what you do NOT do. Going second, you may hesitate to attack with an 'open' hit. What if the player going first bad juju's, efreets, set shields, dispels, ect. There is a strategy in predicting when to hit and when not to, but this added worry is something the first player NEVER has to deal with. They know when they are dispelled or when there is a shield up and they can play much more confidently. A player from second may choose not to hit even when the first player is not shielding. Simply the threat of the shield scared the second player into not hitting. The entire match, the second player can never be sure their move will have its desired effect. This is a very complicated problem as there is no real viable solution. Having 2 separate draw phases is the most popular potential solution, but that would double the match length, and then that same people who complained about 5 hour jadezilla matches would be complaining again. Maybe 2 separate 20 second draw phases for pvp would help. But who knows? Then, of course there is Team pvp which is even more broken than 1v1. The turn advantage is magnified. And that is why 4v4 pvp, my favorite type, is dead. So please, comment on potential solutions and the current problems of first turn advantage.

Survivor
Apr 05, 2010
25
Honestly the biggest issue with the turn advantage lies in 2v2 at Exalted level. A storm goes first with a shadow pip, he uses storm squall round 1 dealing somewhere along the line of 2600 - 5200. I myself have 113% storm resistance and this line up hits me for 1560 - 3020 damage right from the start. This means that my balance partner with 50% resistance to storm is now defeated before we got to play a single card. I am then left with 2000 health to try and swing us back from a major disadvantage which we could not have avoided. First turn advantage is more broken then ever with KI keep buffing storm. Where is the days that storm had low accuracy or where you could block them with shields.

Delver
Jul 15, 2011
290
Easiest fix is to make it so everyone starts with just one white pip and no shadow pip at the first turn. Well, it's not a fix, but it gives everyone a chance to get to round 2. I'm sure folk wouldn't spam dispels nearly as much if they didn't have to worry about being one shot killed in the 1st round.

Champion
Jun 26, 2009
415
I think there should be an initiative roll every turn to determine who goes first that turn.
I figure that the higher the pip cost of a spell the harder it is to cast that spell.
The total initiative could be determined by a random die roll minus the pip cost of the spell you are casting, whoever has the highest total goes first.
You're casting a shadow enhanced spell(-6) and your opponent is casting a tower shield(-0) you both roll and both have a chance to go first but the person casting the tower shield is more likely to go first. Not guaranteed to go first, just more likely.

I guess for teams it could be one roll + First wizards spell + Second wizards spell = Total initiative.

Champion
Oct 30, 2011
449
Mr Talon on Aug 10, 2015 wrote:
I think there should be an initiative roll every turn to determine who goes first that turn.
I figure that the higher the pip cost of a spell the harder it is to cast that spell.
The total initiative could be determined by a random die roll minus the pip cost of the spell you are casting, whoever has the highest total goes first.
You're casting a shadow enhanced spell(-6) and your opponent is casting a tower shield(-0) you both roll and both have a chance to go first but the person casting the tower shield is more likely to go first. Not guaranteed to go first, just more likely.

I guess for teams it could be one roll + First wizards spell + Second wizards spell = Total initiative.
The thing about this would be that, first, the game would become even more luck-based, which would probably make pvp even worse, and second, it would be possible to get 2 turns in a row, as is with any alternating turn system, giving an opponent even less time to react than if they were second.

Champion
Jun 26, 2009
415
First, you can't remove luck from the system. There must always be chance involved to make potential outcomes random. VS. less luck-based? Meaning guaranteed outcomes? PVP would definitely be different were it implemented. I can see people using lower level spells more often.

Second, having an opponent go first two rounds in a row is better then having them go first every round. Especially when you have the potential to go first two rounds in a row too.

Champion
Oct 30, 2011
449
Mr Talon on Aug 11, 2015 wrote:
First, you can't remove luck from the system. There must always be chance involved to make potential outcomes random. VS. less luck-based? Meaning guaranteed outcomes? PVP would definitely be different were it implemented. I can see people using lower level spells more often.

Second, having an opponent go first two rounds in a row is better then having them go first every round. Especially when you have the potential to go first two rounds in a row too.
You're misunderstanding me completely. I never said that luck should be removed from the system -- luck does make the game more interesting at some points, but as the game is currently, I believe that it is too luck-based, and does not need to be more luck-based. A much better solution would just be to split the turns as in chess or almost any other turn-based game.

I was not referring to a player going first twice in a row. I was referring to a player going second and then first -- giving them two turns in a row. It would make the player near-impossible to stop if executed correctly, even worse at that point than if a player went second the entire match.

Champion
Jun 26, 2009
415
Aaron SpellThief on Aug 11, 2015 wrote:
You're misunderstanding me completely. I never said that luck should be removed from the system -- luck does make the game more interesting at some points, but as the game is currently, I believe that it is too luck-based, and does not need to be more luck-based. A much better solution would just be to split the turns as in chess or almost any other turn-based game.

I was not referring to a player going first twice in a row. I was referring to a player going second and then first -- giving them two turns in a row. It would make the player near-impossible to stop if executed correctly, even worse at that point than if a player went second the entire match.
I guess that I'm stll misunderstanding you. From what I know about chess white always goes first and black always goes second. The turns remain locked that way for the entirety of the match. That's not a much better solution, it's exactly what we have now.

As for a player have two turns in a row (a player going second, then next turn going first) and then not being able to recover from a very well planned and possible 'if' situation. It is what it is.

I have faced unfair situations that I could not recover from on the first turn. Not even having the benefit of casting a spell (Glowbug squall). There is no system without drawbacks. What my suggestion does is provide a more fair opportunity by having a 'chance' to go first and not being trapped in a clear disadvantage (which I disagree with being worse then what we have now) of turn-based strategy from the start of the match.

I have played another card based MMO that employs this very system and it's been running just fine for years.

Champion
Oct 30, 2011
449
Mr Talon on Aug 11, 2015 wrote:
I guess that I'm stll misunderstanding you. From what I know about chess white always goes first and black always goes second. The turns remain locked that way for the entirety of the match. That's not a much better solution, it's exactly what we have now.

As for a player have two turns in a row (a player going second, then next turn going first) and then not being able to recover from a very well planned and possible 'if' situation. It is what it is.

I have faced unfair situations that I could not recover from on the first turn. Not even having the benefit of casting a spell (Glowbug squall). There is no system without drawbacks. What my suggestion does is provide a more fair opportunity by having a 'chance' to go first and not being trapped in a clear disadvantage (which I disagree with being worse then what we have now) of turn-based strategy from the start of the match.

I have played another card based MMO that employs this very system and it's been running just fine for years.
Sure, white always goes first and black always goes second, but the turns are separate, so black is not blind to white's move, unlike the turn system in Wizard101. Because of this system, in Chess, the first turn only really matters to advanced players. A player can easily win from either position -- it's not a huge advantage, which it shouldn't be.

As for the two turns in a row, with your solution, it would be completely random, and therefore could not be planned for accordingly. Therefore, it would be luck-based rather than skill-based.

Did I ever say that it was impossible to win from second, or that the system I suggested had no drawbacks? I'm simply saying that splitting the turns would be significantly fairer than the current turn system of Wizard101.

Hearthstone, Chess, card games for children, and just about every turn-based game I can think of, with few exceptions, use the a system where neither player is blind to the opponent's move at any time because of a turn advantage. It works well in those games, and would work well in Wizard101.

Geographer
Dec 14, 2009
874
While many may disagree on the solution, there is without a doubt flawed game mechanics here. When you, or your team can win on the first turn, before your opponent can even play, the system is indeed flawed. As I have stated many times before, pvp needs a complete overhaul top to bottom.

Explorer
Oct 10, 2010
99
Mr Talon on Aug 11, 2015 wrote:
I guess that I'm stll misunderstanding you. From what I know about chess white always goes first and black always goes second. The turns remain locked that way for the entirety of the match. That's not a much better solution, it's exactly what we have now.

As for a player have two turns in a row (a player going second, then next turn going first) and then not being able to recover from a very well planned and possible 'if' situation. It is what it is.

I have faced unfair situations that I could not recover from on the first turn. Not even having the benefit of casting a spell (Glowbug squall). There is no system without drawbacks. What my suggestion does is provide a more fair opportunity by having a 'chance' to go first and not being trapped in a clear disadvantage (which I disagree with being worse then what we have now) of turn-based strategy from the start of the match.

I have played another card based MMO that employs this very system and it's been running just fine for years.
Mr Talon,

Let's stay with the Chess example, where white always goes first. Because I think this could be
used to explain the real problem of the first turn advantage in a clearer light.

What we have now is this, in PvP, 1v1, etc.

White decides on their move, but they don't move the piece.
Black decides on their move, and they cannot change it once they have made the decision.

White makes their move, and then black has to make their move they decided on, without seeing
where the White player moved their piece, no choice.
The Black Chess player is blind to the whites moves, he cannot counter, he cannot adjust, he is
constantly moving in the dark.
White gets to see each move the Black player makes, but the Black never gets to see the white move,
until it's the White Chess player moves again.

Certainly not how I Play Chess, and I have played in many tournaments. Maybe you should try a game
of Chess this way, and see how easy it would be to beat the Black Chess player....

I know of no other game that does this, no other card game, no other PvP game, W101 is the only
game I have ever played that keeps one player in the dark for their move.

As you stated, someone has to go first, and that is fine, that is not the problem. The problem is
that the second player is blind to the first moves, and has no way to counter.

I agree with Team Yoloswag and others, this should be fixed, and there have been many, reasonable
suggestions on how to do it.

I saw another posting here stating, it cannot be done this way at level 100, I completely disagree with that
also. A few minor changes could fix that issue also, but left as is, there is no reason to play 3v3 or 4v4.
2v2 is also, not reasonable to play with the current flaws in the first turn advantage at 100.
1v1 is still playable, but even that at level 100 is so much luck, that it's becoming almost skill-less.

If we are paying to play a game, they should fix what the customer does not like.

Geographer
Dec 14, 2009
874
Iciclewar- "If we are paying to play a game, they should fix what the customer does not like."

In most schools of thought, that is true. Business is dictated by the customers likes/dislikes. It sounds pretty simple at face value, but there is a third school of thought that Is even more important, despite the simple preference of like/dislike, and that is "what is healthy for the game". Mmorpg's have reinforced the idea that despite a simple preference in certain areas, what is popular is not always healthy for the continued stay of members, and ultimate longevity of success for the game itself. It is a delicate juggling act to be sure. If the demands are always met, the game becomes too easy, and people leave for other, greener pastures. The reverse is also true. If the game is too hard, people will leave as well. It takes a lot of hard work, and dedication to the game, and customers to find the right mix of what makes a successful game. Overall I think KI does pretty well; my biggest complaint being they ignore problems for far too long before addressing them.
I am in no way disagreeing with your above analogy(which I thought was very insightful, and intelligent), but I thought it important to expand upon that last statement of yours. Far too many people get caught up in the simple argument of preference, and fail to see the bigger picture until it's too late, and the game they love has tanked. I love this game, as does many of my family and friends. I want people who feel the same to be able to see the bigger picture, and realize what they prefer, may not always be good for the game.

"Be careful for what you wish for, you may get it"- Aesop's Fables (Wolf in Sheep's Clothing)

Explorer
Oct 10, 2010
99
Intrepidatius on Aug 13, 2015 wrote:
Iciclewar- "If we are paying to play a game, they should fix what the customer does not like."

In most schools of thought, that is true. Business is dictated by the customers likes/dislikes. It sounds pretty simple at face value, but there is a third school of thought that Is even more important, despite the simple preference of like/dislike, and that is "what is healthy for the game". Mmorpg's have reinforced the idea that despite a simple preference in certain areas, what is popular is not always healthy for the continued stay of members, and ultimate longevity of success for the game itself. It is a delicate juggling act to be sure. If the demands are always met, the game becomes too easy, and people leave for other, greener pastures. The reverse is also true. If the game is too hard, people will leave as well. It takes a lot of hard work, and dedication to the game, and customers to find the right mix of what makes a successful game. Overall I think KI does pretty well; my biggest complaint being they ignore problems for far too long before addressing them.
I am in no way disagreeing with your above analogy(which I thought was very insightful, and intelligent), but I thought it important to expand upon that last statement of yours. Far too many people get caught up in the simple argument of preference, and fail to see the bigger picture until it's too late, and the game they love has tanked. I love this game, as does many of my family and friends. I want people who feel the same to be able to see the bigger picture, and realize what they prefer, may not always be good for the game.

"Be careful for what you wish for, you may get it"- Aesop's Fables (Wolf in Sheep's Clothing)
Intrepidatius,

I whole-heartly agree with your reply, KI has too often fixed
a problem, and we have been dis-hearted with the results.
That could likely be the case here, and based on the track
record, you could very well be right. So, I will agree,
we need to provoke KI and this idea with extreme caution.

The question you place before me is really the key.
Would changing the First Turn Advantage help or hurt the
game. I would very much like to hear players opinions
on what complications would be encountered.
Noting that what card you draw and how you use them is
directly related to the win.

As a misc note, I have done several mock matches with my son's, both of who
like to PvP. This was an attempt to pinpoint complications, that
would arise in a 1v1 match, if the first turn advantage was changed.
Was it harder to win, yes, but it was a noticeable fair match.

Of all the people that play this game, I have never found
anyone that knows the game as well as Nick of Duelist.
I believe it would be quite helpful to get his in-site into
this question.

A+ Student
Mar 02, 2010
1623
IcicleWar on Aug 13, 2015 wrote:
Mr Talon,

Let's stay with the Chess example, where white always goes first. Because I think this could be
used to explain the real problem of the first turn advantage in a clearer light.

What we have now is this, in PvP, 1v1, etc.

White decides on their move, but they don't move the piece.
Black decides on their move, and they cannot change it once they have made the decision.

White makes their move, and then black has to make their move they decided on, without seeing
where the White player moved their piece, no choice.
The Black Chess player is blind to the whites moves, he cannot counter, he cannot adjust, he is
constantly moving in the dark.
White gets to see each move the Black player makes, but the Black never gets to see the white move,
until it's the White Chess player moves again.

Certainly not how I Play Chess, and I have played in many tournaments. Maybe you should try a game
of Chess this way, and see how easy it would be to beat the Black Chess player....

I know of no other game that does this, no other card game, no other PvP game, W101 is the only
game I have ever played that keeps one player in the dark for their move.

As you stated, someone has to go first, and that is fine, that is not the problem. The problem is
that the second player is blind to the first moves, and has no way to counter.

I agree with Team Yoloswag and others, this should be fixed, and there have been many, reasonable
suggestions on how to do it.

I saw another posting here stating, it cannot be done this way at level 100, I completely disagree with that
also. A few minor changes could fix that issue also, but left as is, there is no reason to play 3v3 or 4v4.
2v2 is also, not reasonable to play with the current flaws in the first turn advantage at 100.
1v1 is still playable, but even that at level 100 is so much luck, that it's becoming almost skill-less.

If we are paying to play a game, they should fix what the customer does not like.
Icicle, again, I will explain why this won't work in Exalted PvP. I have explained in this post here. If you do not believe me, then allow me to give you an example of what your method would look like.

Go get a friend or a random Fire in a 1v1. Now if you go first, tell that person your every move. Let's say, for example, you use Fire Shield. That Fire wizard's move will obviously be Fire Beetle. Now let's say you shield again. Now, that Fire wizard will use a stacking Fire Beetle where both 35% traps stack. Unless you have 7000 health, you lose this match no matter what you do anymore. You tell the Fire wizard that you're attacking this turn, the Fire will immediately go for the kill with Fire From Above. Gg. Fire now reigns.

Another thing you could do is go ask a Balance to 1v1 you from second while telling the Balance wizard every move you make. Since the new pack wands give 6 wand attacks, Balance wizards have a large artillery of shield breaking spells. You tell the Balance wizard that you're using Tower Shield, that player will use a wand attack. Now when finding shields becomes more difficult as you begin to run out and the Balance wizard is hitting freely on you with no shields, this match has become nearly impossible, especially in the Exalted PvP meta where nobody can heal except Life and Balance.

And yet another example. Go challenge a Life wizard who uses Guardian Spirit and let that player go second. Unless you're Balance and you manage to Mana Burn constantly, that Life wizard will always use Sanctuary the turn before they die. Tell the Life wizard you're going to use Doom and Gloom. What happens? Sanctuary comes up that same turn, you're stuck being either forced to Doom again or just kill. One option is to run out of pips and not be able to attack, the other option is to attack and deal with another 6000 health.

This is a very flawed "solution" and isn't as good as it seems it is.

Explorer
Oct 10, 2010
99
PvP King on Aug 13, 2015 wrote:
Icicle, again, I will explain why this won't work in Exalted PvP. I have explained in this post here. If you do not believe me, then allow me to give you an example of what your method would look like.

Go get a friend or a random Fire in a 1v1. Now if you go first, tell that person your every move. Let's say, for example, you use Fire Shield. That Fire wizard's move will obviously be Fire Beetle. Now let's say you shield again. Now, that Fire wizard will use a stacking Fire Beetle where both 35% traps stack. Unless you have 7000 health, you lose this match no matter what you do anymore. You tell the Fire wizard that you're attacking this turn, the Fire will immediately go for the kill with Fire From Above. Gg. Fire now reigns.

Another thing you could do is go ask a Balance to 1v1 you from second while telling the Balance wizard every move you make. Since the new pack wands give 6 wand attacks, Balance wizards have a large artillery of shield breaking spells. You tell the Balance wizard that you're using Tower Shield, that player will use a wand attack. Now when finding shields becomes more difficult as you begin to run out and the Balance wizard is hitting freely on you with no shields, this match has become nearly impossible, especially in the Exalted PvP meta where nobody can heal except Life and Balance.

And yet another example. Go challenge a Life wizard who uses Guardian Spirit and let that player go second. Unless you're Balance and you manage to Mana Burn constantly, that Life wizard will always use Sanctuary the turn before they die. Tell the Life wizard you're going to use Doom and Gloom. What happens? Sanctuary comes up that same turn, you're stuck being either forced to Doom again or just kill. One option is to run out of pips and not be able to attack, the other option is to attack and deal with another 6000 health.

This is a very flawed "solution" and isn't as good as it seems it is.
PvP,

I am not saying that this is a solution, how I would like my post to be seen is, as a starting point.
That is exactly why I did Ten 1v1 PvP matches with our PC's right next to each other.
The same flaw that dog you in a regular match, being second, cards not showing, deck jam,
etc, show up either way. What I think it showed me is this, a lower tier school had a much better
chance, when they are second.
I see the system now with a flaw, that no other game has included, I ask myself why.

I agree with your points, they are valid and not only at your level, but at lesser levels too.

I cannot offer a solution at this point in time, I really need more time for the thought process to complete.
I would like some direct input from Nick at Duelist (or anyone with an idea) on this very topic.

A thought that hit me while playing one of the duels, would certainly need some work. What if the player
going first was blind every other round? How to do it, I don't have a clue, but it's a thought.

Anything is possible, we just need the right concept to start with.

.

Explorer
Oct 10, 2010
99
This idea is only in the Alpha stage, and certainly needs a good
deal of refinement.

The idea is to limit what Player #1 sees, which will lock them at a disadvantage,
that is almost equal to that of Player #2.

It could be, that this is only needed at Exalted or above, I'm still in the
Alpha stage of thought, on that particular matter.

I have listed the idea below, and I asking for help to see what needs to be corrected
or changed. I don't really want to know why it won't work, but how to change it to
get it to work. I'm looking for idea's to evolve this into something that could
improve the game, bring players back, and not push them away.

Round #1.
Player 1 and Player 2 select their cards.
The animation of Player 1 is played out, with damage being dealt, and so forth.
Player 2 animation is shown "only" if it's an attack that does damage.

Round #2.
Player 1 and Player 2 select their cards.
Player 2's animation from round 1 is displayed, if it was not an attack.
Player's 1 animaton is played out, with damge being dealt, shileds, etc, as it has been.
Player's 2 animation is shown "only" if it's an attack that does damage.

Round #3.
Player 1 and Player 2 select their cards.
Player 2's animation from round 2 is displayed, if it was not an attack.
Player's 1 animation is played out, with damage being dealt, as noted above.
Player's 2 animation is shown only if it's an attack that does damage.

The sequence pattern continues until someone wins.

In the above sequence, player 1 is oblivious to what Player 2 has done defensively.
Player 2 is oblivious to player 1 has done, both are unable to see
what the other had played, until after the round was over.

Example, if Player 1 plays a shield, dispell, etc, Player 2 can't respond.
If Player 2 plays a shield, dispel, etc, Player 1 can't respond.
Could an idea like this work in PvP?

Defender
Jan 18, 2013
198
Some of you have given the clearest and most understandable explanations of how the system is broaken that I have ever read. If people reading this still cannot see what the problem is then the issue must be outside their intelegence capability to grasp.
I won't give my own because I feel there is no need. However I will give my oppion on how I think this issue could be fixed. Team yoloswag and all seem to agree that a system of taking turns one after the other would be the most logical and fair way to fix the problem. This is the way that literally all turn based games are played and for good reason. By having both players see their opponents move before choosing their own the problem will seece to exist. KI tried to reinvent the wheel when there was no need to and ended up giving us somithing that wasn't as effective.

I have previously suggested this exact idea of playing PvP taking turns, but as Team yoloswag mentioned it would greatly increase the duration of the match. I also have a fix to this.

In a normal card game you would still have your hand in front of you when it's your opponents turn. So we do the same thing. While you are waiting for your opponent to choose, you can view your hand and think about what your next move might be. During this time even though you cannot choose your next play, you can still discard, draw TC and enchant to keep yourself busy. Because you have already been busy working on your own move during your opponents turn the full 30 seconds will not be required. I'm not going to claim to know exactly what the perfect time would be but 20 seconds should be about right. Also keep in mind that during your own turn the faster you choose your play the less time your opponent has to view and work their cards. An incentive to play fast and also speed up the game.

Explorer
Oct 10, 2010
99
Well it's easy to see that no one wants to give up their first turn advantage, even if it makes the
match, a much more even match.

I was reading on the KI Blog and was interested to find that in six years they have had 78 Million
PVP matches.

That would be 13 Million a year, and 35,616 matches a Day.

Which is 1,484 per hour, and about 25 a minute, every minute of the day.

Even with the big push to sell crowns, I would still think KI would realize how many still PVP.
Very disappointed to see so little being corrected in this part of the game.

Defender
Jan 18, 2013
198
Intrepidatius on Aug 12, 2015 wrote:
While many may disagree on the solution, there is without a doubt flawed game mechanics here. When you, or your team can win on the first turn, before your opponent can even play, the system is indeed flawed. As I have stated many times before, pvp needs a complete overhaul top to bottom.
Continuing from my previous post. Intrepidatius points out another issue. I also have a suggestion for solving this problem. With the current system being played as a round by round both players gain a pip between rounds. If we change the game to a turn by turn then I suggest that each player receive a pip when the triangle rotates to their side indicating the begging of their turn. As for the start of the battle I suggest neither player receive any pips leaving them only with their potential wand and deck pips. This means the player having the first turn will not receive a pip for that turn as the triangle started on their side instead of rotating there from the other player. This also means there is no chance for them to have a shadow pip for that first turn. After this first turn both players will start receiving pips one after the other and the game will continue on as normal.

What this will achieve is really simple. Given that we follow the "taking turns" system although much much fairer, we still need to have someone take the first turn. This is an advantage to them because they can put themselves in as advantageous position before the other player has had a chance to move.
Other card games such as HearthStone and Yu-Gi-Oh have dealt with this problem in their own way. The Yu-Gi-Oh method is the same as what I'm suggesting. We need to nullify the advantage given to the player having the first turn, and we do this by restricting it. In this case that player does not receive a pip for that turn, giving a gentle start to the game.

It will greatly reduce their ability to one shot their opponent while still giving them a chance to defend themselves. You will still be able to make productive use of the first turn as you will still have your wand and deck pips to work with. Even a low level player without pips will still be able to make use of this turn by casting zero pip spells such as shields and blades.