A while back I wrote about the #RallyAid movement, a silly idea to Tweet storm FFG to get a few changes to how FFG manages the game that I thought were critical to its success. Agent of Zion followed up with #ArmoredSupport and his own take on kit prizing structure that the game needed to succeed on a local and global level. And not to be outdone by Zion, I revisited #RallyAid in a follow up article.
So yah, now I’m doing it again – revisiting ideas that we have already covered three times before. Why? Because with the CM delay we are back into shaky times in our community AND I really believe that FFG isn’t deaf to our suggestions and that things can change if we ask for them enough times.
Here are the five things I’d like FFG to address to help the health of the game and to ensure Destiny has a long and fantastic life.
Commit To A Release Calendar
Destiny has been continuously marred by failed releases. Not enough product, missed release dates, staggered releases, releases too soon after the last set – we have pretty much seen it all at this point. Every FFG customer has been at the mercy of FFG manufacturing issues, but as I have written before these issues are tenfold worse for a CCG like Destiny.
CCG’s live and die by the quality of their metas, and no meta is so good that players will savor playing in it for six or more months. By the time Covert Missions releases we will have a noticeable change in the size of our player base – its just inescapable. The last time I wrote about release calendars I focused on its aid for tournament organizers to plan events throughout the year. But now I’m just begging for one as a sort of contract between FFG and the player base. The day we get a release calendar is the day we know that FFG is putting the proper amount of resources to producing Destiny on a regular schedule.
Improve Prize Kit Release Schedule
Since the last time both Zion and I wrote on prizing FFG has stepped up their game. We now have an expected 8 kits per year, 4 casual and.4 premium kits. And with pretty much any store getting the green light to host.a Prime we can add the Prime kit to the list of regular kits stores have access to. These are all huge wins and the right direction to take, but unfortunately for much of the community these kits have been slow to hit their LGS, with the Mr. Bones premium kit so far being non-existent on the West Coast.
Humans being human, the areas that get these kits late will have a lot less hype for them. FFG needs to get on the ball here and get their season kits out on a regular schedule AND released at the same time to the various regions. Once they can fix those issues I think we are at a very good place with the prize support offered at the local level.
Produce Real Starters
All the Worlds hype on social media has produced quite a few people asking “what do I buy to get into this game?”. I have stayed out of those responses, letting others jump in. Why? Because I don’t think there is a good place to jump into our game. Our starters are lackluster and not even tournament legal. The 2PG got a bit of a boost with Phasma coming off the BoTF, but it is VERY hard to recommend someone buy two of something just to make a tournament legal deck.
It is 2019, where are the 30 card 30 point starters? I really thought we’d see something like this for Triple Force Friday and it was a big disappointment when it didn’t happen.
I have beaten this idea to death, but if you haven’t read my reasons for wanting it here you go. If someone walks up to you playing Destiny in your LGS and asks how they can play, you could point to the shelf and say “buy that deck and sit down and play with us”. It is that simple. A deck that meets all the deck building criteria of a real deck and doesn’t play like wet paper against meta decks. Extra props if it uses characters that ANY Star Wars fan would recognize and love. This is the tool WE NEED to easily slip people into starting the game and growing our player base.
Bring Back Convention Play
I have a love hate relationship with Destiny at conventions. I think it should exist in a form like the now defunct (?) Galactic Qualifiers. I truly enjoyed traveling to GQs – they were a low stress way to play the game, earn some prizes, maybe get a seat to Worlds, and have a chance to meetup with friends throughout the year. It was a sad day when it came out that Cascade Games was no longer going to be running them – they did a great job and had a truly good relationship with the community.
We have waited quite a long time for Cascade’s successor to announce the GQ replacement – and it hasn’t come. If Yeti Gaming isn’t going to pick it up then I hope FFG opens up the option to the community to organize play at their local conventions. It isn’t too hard for players to work with convention organizers to secure play space – gaming conventions are setup for these requests. FFG just needs to create the prizes and structure for players to step up and fill the gap left by Cascade Games and unfulfilled by Yeti Gaming.
Now for the hate part. I hate that our premiere events are held exclusively at conventions. FFG has been firm on this stance, and have been closed to the idea of holding a premiere event outside of a convention. I’m not arguing that all our premiere events should be held outside of conventions – I just wish FFG was open to the idea of some of them being held outside of them. I have a whole rant on this I plan to publish in a future article so I won’t get myself worked up here. Suffice it to say I think convention only premiere play burns up a lot of our community’s money without much return.
Regularly Shake Up the Meta
Head Designer Jeremy Zwirn did the community a huge favor by releasing the balance changes after Nova and before Worlds. While it wasn’t a huge shift it did make it so that the three premiere events in America weren’t on the exact same meta.
Wouldn’t it be great if we had regular balance changes?
A powerful tool that we haven’t seen used nearly often enough is Balance of the Force, especially when it comes to giving characters negative points. You don’t need a spreadsheet to figure out that the vast majority of characters are just unplayable at their current point costs.
I think it would be incredible if FFG released a Balance of the Force at least once every set release. This would not replace FFG’s policing of overpowered cards or interactions. Instead it would be our regularly scheduled release of (finally) playable characters.
This idea ties closely into points I’ve hammered a lot before – getting FFG on a schedule and into a routine.
After a set has released and any of its trouble cards have been found by the community, FFG generally releases a balance update and rules clarification – this usually comes 2-4 weeks after release.
In my ideal world, two months after a release (about halfway through a set’s lifetime), we would receive a Balance of the Force that gives negative points to a grip of over-costed characters. Some care would need to be made to make sure FFG isn’t opening up the next cheap character to throw into an existing meta deck (I’m looking at you Droids!). Otherwise, the sky is the limit. Ideally I think the focus would be on characters that tie into an upcoming theatrical release, or characters near to a rotation, or characters in the least played color/faction combo. Really, just give us some negative BotF, regardless of rhyme or reason!
This is not a novel concept. Indeed it is a tool that is regularly used in competitive multiplayer video games – to take a set of unplaced characters and do balance changes to buff them up into a playable state – and I’d argue that any game that isn’t good at doing this fails pretty quickly in today’s market. There is no reason Destiny can’t steal this concept and run with it.
So what do you think? Are these 5 things worthy goals for FFG to work on or complete rubbish? Have better ideas? I would love to hear them in the comments, or you can join our Discord server and let me know there!
Founder and Crew member of Artificery, Sean has played CCGs since the mid 90’s when his friend gave him a starter and then destroyed him with a Millstone deck. After an-off-and-on relationship with MTG, Sean stumbled across Destiny during the pre-release event in a sleepy game store in Portland and fell in love.
Sean runs weekly Destiny events at The Portland Game Store and enjoys organizing Regional events at historic Portland venues. When not chasing wins at tournaments across the country you can find him in the Artificery Discord under the made-up-name Pearl Yeti.
About the Crew
The Artificery Crew is a top performing Star Wars Destiny team, that prides itself for its welcoming community, tier 1 strategy articles, fun podcasts, and engaging video content. If this sounds good to you, head on over to our Patreon to get immediate access to everything as we produce it and priority access to the Crew for playtesting, upcoming tournament strategies, meta discussion. The Crew also hosts one of the largest free access Discord servers for the Star Wars: Destiny community full of lively chat and the best rules discussion channel available.