The things Poxnora has done right

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Phynixe, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. Phynixe

    Phynixe I need me some PIE!

    We've all given our criticisms on what Poxnora can do to improve itself. However, I don't believe we've had a thread that accounts for what Poxnora has actually done appropriately. This doesn't necessarily mean that the game itself in its current state isn't horrendous, because it is. Regardless, Poxnora actually has a wide range of positive elements that tackle certain issues other games have a tendency to fail at miserably without the slightest idea of how to fix them.

    Here's a list of what I think Pox has done right:

    1 - The concept of RNG. In a strategic, turn-based game that combines both table-top and a card game, Poxnora does a relatively great job at addressing this issue, making the game approximately 95% based on pure skill and strategy, rather than the sheer reliance on draw. Where does that 5% go? At the very beginning of the game where you very particular champions are drawn, or the map dependant "who goes first".

    2 - The artwork is flawless. I have never played a card game (Apart from Yu-Gi-Oh) with such astonishing artwork. The majority of the runes have had their time taken to be drawn, and as a result, are extremely polished and detailed. This is the type of artwork that always captivated me, and honestly, if it weren't for the artwork, I might have not enjoyed the game as much.

    3 - The lore. Sure, we could expand on the lore and perhaps integrate and involve a greater number of runes into the lore, but the currently existing lore is sufficiently interesting. Perhaps expand more on the backgrounds of more champions. Regardless, the lore is well-written and effective in providing a vivid residual image in one's mind.

    4 - The gameplay. There is no game that matches the gameplay of Poxnora in its genre. And games that have attempted the feat have failed miserably to replicate its persona. I don't think I need to expand on this much, it's the gameplay the majority of us have been attracted to for all these years, especially us old players.

    5 - The complexity. This is a double-edged sword that creates a sustainable environment for long-term players than it ever does for the newer ones. The complexity keeps every other game fresh, every game is different...I've never had the same experience in 2 games, even if I'm facing the exact individual thrice with the same battlegroup each respective time. Unfortunately, it may be the complexity itself that prevents the population of Poxnora from expanding and maintaining the newbs long enough for them to finally getting a grip of the game.

    6 - The Veterans. This is more community-based than it is Poxnora itself; but we are Poxnora. Most of us are poxholes, there's no doubt about it. Nevertheless, we're always open to spreading our wisdom, ideas, battlegroups and whatnot to everyone. We're always open to having conversation and arguments; the community that currently exists is rather engaging and fun to talk to, even when we're not playing the game. Having a community as interactive as the one Pox is, which is surprising with such a tiny population, is critical.

    7 - The Concept. I won't go into too much detail about this because this is rather a broad subject...but the CONCEPT of Poxnora is way too good. From the maps, to the champions, to the spells, to the deckbuilding, to the variety, to the gameplay...the combination of all these factors make for such a great concept. The themes that exist are all interesting; not a single one feels dull and unpolished.

    Is there anything else that comes to your minds? Also, criticism is always welcome, but we have plenty of those threads and I wanted to take a look at the bright side.
    Tweek516, Gnomes and Bondman007 like this.
  2. Baskitkase

    Baskitkase Forum Royalty

    The addition of the forge and adding gold. The richness of the art and story. That’s p much it. The rest of the game has been super ameture hour.
    profhulk likes this.
  3. badgerale

    badgerale Warchief of Wrath

    Yeah, this is really important. I'd add that the game doesn't feel like you get draw-***** anymore but it still feels like your initial draws and initial decisions are very meaningful.

    A lot of us will remember that for most of the games history there was little attempt to change the maps or champs with this in mind. A first turn draw on a lot of maps decided the game.

    If the work sok put into this had been done earlier, I wonder if it would have effected the direction pox would have taken.
    Tweek516, Gnomes and Alakhami like this.
  4. calisk

    calisk I need me some PIE!

    it's worth mentioning that while soko's efforts resulted in a number of things, I don't think they improved the game all that much.

    I find pox of today most akin to unflavored yogurt, it's sterile plain, very little stands out, it's hard to get excited about anything (before the game balance cycle ended) because nerf hammers hang over anything people use like a reapers scyth.

    I'll take board wiping borghas bombs over baby bumpers on our cliffes any day.
  5. badgerale

    badgerale Warchief of Wrath

    Well, I don't agree with everything about sok's direction - I especially would have liked bigger, stronger, funner, effects prioritised over safeguarding balance.

    But keep in mind there hasn't been an update in a year now, and before that there weren't much activity, the client was made worse not better... and yet...people are still playing. Not loads maybe but enough that I get games every time I queue in the evening.

    I think a lot of that is because of Sok's approach. A corpseE style cluster**** is not sustainable and would have died a long time ago.
  6. Sokolov

    Sokolov The One True Cactuar Octopi

    PoxNora, as a game, was always a bit multi-headed in the sense that it wasn't really just one kind of game.

    Fundamentally, there were 2 major "spheres" to the game:
    • Tactical, character based combat
    • Deckbuilding card game
    At one point it also had an "RPG" upgrading layer, but that got pushed aside by the desire to sell cards in an expansion based format and was eventually removed.

    Depending on who you are as a player, you might prefer big combos that was about how your deck was built, or you might prefer the tactical nuances of outplaying your opponent on a turn-by-turn basis.

    This tension is evident in the design of runes with some runes clearly intended for combos (Snowburst, which incidentally was my design), and other runes which ended up needing to be costed high because of combos (Barricade) but which also made it functionally useless outside of the combo.

    Personally, I think both paths are valid, and while I pushed the direction more towards tactical toward the end of the game's lifetime, I believe it still mainly preserves the importance of deckbuilding.

    I think for some, nostalgia plays a larger role than the actual merits of the game at any specific time. We all remember certain combos/ideas/games more fondly than they should be given credit for.


    As for "nerf cycles" that's always going to be an endless debate. Suffice to say that whenever a new "combo" showed up, forums and game chat would blow up with endless complaints until it was addressed, and you also saw the impact in terms of user numbers. Concurrency would tend to take a hit in 2 scenarios: the first is when there hadn't been a meta shakeup in awhile, and the second is when a new dominant combo started being played by more than a few players.

    And for better or for worse, Pox established the nerf cycle a long time ago as a means to maintain interest and variety in between content drops. This became especially important as the game's rune pool grew and each expansion added fewer and fewer playable runes as a % of all available runes.


    The challenge with Pox 2 (or any new game) is deciding on a specific direction and going for it. Which, in Pox's case, could be to attempt to ride the line again, but there's a reason MOST turn based games are heavily in one direction or the other because it's hard to get the balance right.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  7. Sokolov

    Sokolov The One True Cactuar Octopi

    Incidentally, in the last few years with DOG, I actually think I buffed more than I nerfed, but it's hard to say, and a hard count is hardly a valid way to evaluate that kind of thing anyway.

    Specifically, my goals for the game were mainly:
    • Increase accessibility by reducing unnecessary complexity (this involved consolidating similar effects, removing ranks of abilities which did little, consolidating AE ranges, etc.)
    • Create templates/guidelines for rune and ability designs that would limit future complexity and power creep (and push for variety in design rather than straight power)
    • Return uniqueness to themes and champions that got inadvertently bulldozed during the initial DOG revamp (this was an ongoing process that I consider unfinished)
    • Bug fixes (I'd estimate 50% of my time was in bug fixes, unfortunately, with how extensive the bug list is, it feels like I didn't even make a dent)
    The idea behind these goals were two-fold:
    1. If the game got more popular again, to try and retain players better by not having it be so overwhelming, while keeping the variety/interest
    2. If the game continued to decline, have a stable foundation that players could still continue to play even if no new content/updates occurred
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    badgerale likes this.
  8. aseryen

    aseryen I need me some PIE!

    Any chance you can share some of your templates/guidelines?

    Also, can we get a post mortem consolidated to one place? I don’t go on Discord but I would set aside some time if you make an event out of it somehow.

    I can get some questions together for an interview if you’d like to do that as well.

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