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Confused about how box thinning will work? Read this!


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I've seen a bunch of posts from people who are dazed and confused about the box thinning system that will come into play once AD3 arrives. Obsidian did explain this clearly, but that was back in the closed beta forum, so I don't blame most people for not knowing.

 

First, some background for people who aren't familiar with the original Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. When AD3 begins, a new rule is introduced: cards with Basic trait, upon being banished, are permanently removed from the game -- not just put back in the box, but put away in a separate place entirely, never to be seen again. This is mandatory for banes and optional for boons (so you can tell that Potion of Hiding to **** off and die but let Cure stick around).

 

In the digital game, none of that is going to happen. Instead, here's the relevant text from this post by Stormbringer:

 

Once you get to the point in the game where you can cull cards the game will auto cull x amount (what percentage feels good here? 20%? 30%?) of those cards, basic or elite depending on where you are at in the game, before it makes the location decks for the scenarios. While this may seem like you have less control over what is in the box, with added difficulties and multiple parties it was necessary. Also we needed to make this work for online play. So the vault is dynamically created each time you play a scenario. If its time to cull basics it'll random cull some in the box for you, elites same thing.

 

I've seen a few repeated (yet wrong) complaints about this system. Here are the complaints and some more explanation (from me :))

 

Complaint: "One of the most annoying things about the physical game was tracking the permanently banished cards. This would be so easy to do in a video game! Why doesn't Obsidian just do that?!"

 

Response: Because it's actually not easy and is in fact borderline impossible. If party X merges with party Y, what do you put in the box? When multiplayer is implemented and 6 different people play together for the first time, what do you put in the box? The app would have to track a copy of the box for every single story mode character, which is prohibitively taxing. Generating a box dynamically for each scenario circumvents this issue.

 

Complaint: "One of the best things about the physical game was being able to pass on crappy boons and know you'll never see them again. Now that we can't do that, the game is ruined. Literally unplayable!"

 

Response: It's true that, yes, you won't be able to permanently rid yourself of those delightful Mendings and Burglars and Darts. But it's not all downside. In the physical game, when e.g. Lini encounters a Mace that would help her in the moment, she has to weigh the value of the Mace in that scenario against the future value of not having the Mace in the box anymore. In the digital version, whether you pick up or banish a boon has no effect on the future, so you're freed from the burden of making this annoying decision.

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Desperate stretch. You don't think 2x you banish that mace.

 

Desperate? Come, now, there's no need to insult my skill at the game just because you disagree with me. :) In my live game, the Lini player never took a card feat for weapons and was often running with just 2-3 combat spells. Using a weapon found on the fly was incredibly helpful, and I understood why he was doing it even as I cursed under my breath that the Mace wasn't going to go away.

 

I understand the limitations for online play but don't understand why that has to apply for solo play.

 

Since you don't understand, perhaps you'd like to hear an explanation. :) The solo play presents exactly the same problems as online play because characters can freely move around parties. If I play solo with Merisiel, solo with Kyra, and solo with Valeros, I have to store an instance of the vault for each of them. Then if I play a scenario with Merisiel and Valeros, I have to store another instance of the vault for that pairing, and another instance for my scenario with Valeros and Kyra, and another for all three together ... it gets prohibitive very quickly. Dynamically generating the vault at the beginning of each scenario bypasses the need to implement such a cumbersome system.

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It would be nice to have an option where you couldn't move characters around between parties (since I never do anyway), and things worked the same as the card game.

 

That said, I don't really see the big deal. The end result of this system is the same as the intended result of the card game system, the only difference is the side effects. Now as gamers, we're all about optimising our use of side effects, so I can see why we're aware of the difference, but at the end of the day they're both perfectly good systems to achieve the same goal.

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How does the physical game handle the instance where party A already have zero potion of hiding in their vault and then have a merisiel, with an indescribable fetish for potion of hiding and thus have copies of that potion in her vault, join them?

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You don't merge parties like that in the card game. If you add a character you are adding a new version of that character that starts with base cards. There's no deck merging because the new guy isn't coming from a different game. I've never had a player even suggest to use her Merisiel from another game in my game. If someone wants to play Meri in a different game, they just start up a new Meri.

 

Among other things allowing merging is what creates card distribution probs like having everyone farm their own deathbane crossbow and then sticking those characters together so that there's too many copies of the crossbow in decks. Which is fine if you want to have a quest mode multiplayer that allows this, but it would have been nice if story mode had remained the same as the card game to eliminate that craziness.

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Complaint: "One of the best things about the physical game was being able to pass on crappy boons and know you'll never see them again. Now that we can't do that, the game is ruined. Literally unplayable!"

 

Response: It's true that, yes, you won't be able to permanently rid yourself of those delightful Mendings and Burglars and Darts. But it's not all downside. In the physical game, when e.g. Lini encounters a Mace that would help her in the moment, she has to weigh the value of the Mace in that scenario against the future value of not having the Mace in the box anymore. In the digital version, whether you pick up or banish a boon has no effect on the future, so you're freed from the burden of making this annoying decision.

 

Sorry, Borissimo, but "being freed from the burden of choosing" is actually a negative, not a positive :)  more control rather than less.

 

But I understand why they have to do it given the amount of freedom that various vaults have.

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You can use the 'Mark Solved' button beneath a post that answers your topic or confirms it's not a bug.


The time that devs don't have to spend on the forum is a time they can spend on fixing the game.


(Thanks to Longshot11)

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Is it honestly going to matter? I am very sure most of you pass over over half the base cards anyways. Mostly by the time you start pulling these cards your deck is pretty set and these cards are just so much junk blocking you from your new loot.

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Is it honestly going to matter? I am very sure most of you pass over over half the base cards anyways. Mostly by the time you start pulling these cards your deck is pretty set and these cards are just so much junk blocking you from your new loot.

Yes, it matters. As you said, you want to get rid of as much Basic (and later Elite) cards as you can, but it's not true for every card. (for example many people don't remove Cure spells, even having the oppurtunity)

 

Also, it adds an additional layer of decisions in the tabletop game, as there are more ways to banish Basic cards apart from encountering them, and sometimes even weaker cards can be usefull during a scenairo. Best example for banish : closing locations.

 

So do you close 1-2 more locations permanently, so you take a few more turns before beating the villain? Could it mean you loose if something bad happens?

 

I'm ok with how the digital game dals with the issue, but it noticeably affects gameplay.

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Sorry, Borissimo, but "being freed from the burden of choosing" is actually a negative, not a positive :)  more control rather than less.

 

But I understand why they have to do it given the amount of freedom that various vaults have.

 

I don't think that choice is always a positive. Let's imagine that Obsidian changes their minds and decides to handle box culling in the digital game like in the physical game. Now, every time you banish a boon, a window pops up saying "Banish permanently?" and you have pick Yes or No. This doesn't only happen when you fail to acquire a boon you've encountered. When you close a location, the game has to show every basic boon remaining in it and have "Banish permanently?" pop up for each one. When you're done with the Pit of Malfeshenkor, the items don't just go away; you have to "Banish permanently?" for each one. When you banish a basic card to close a location, the game stops as you must "Banish permanently?"

 

Now I bet a lot of players -- not just me -- would get pretty annoyed by this. I gravely doubt that I'm the only person alive who, if that was how the game worked, would prefer that boons be automatically banished just so that I didn't have to "Banish permanently?" every Dagger that comes my way, even if it means losing some Cures. Now I know that not everyone would agree, but surely you can't dismiss as completely unreasonable a person who would like to be freed from the burden of choosing "Banish permanently?" 

 

As for my example with Lini and the Mace, I know that what I'm about to say is heavily subjective, but again, I doubt I'm the only one: I consider that choice a burden because it's (in my completely personal and not objective opinion!) a stupid choice. The idea that, "If I don't pick up this Mace, then I'll never find another Mace, but if I do pick up this Mace, then I might find more Maces in the future," just breaks all sense and logic. The decision feels "gamey" because the game is rewarding me with X for doing Y when X and Y have absolutely no natural connection to each other. I totally understand why some, maybe even most players enjoy this choice, but I love the idea of not having to make it anymore. When you hate making a decision, not having to make it anymore is indeed like being freed from a burden.

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Looking on bright side, there's every chance that laughable goblin is going to make a hilarious return when you battling in AP 6 . In between takes of taking out tough monsters they present a welcome breather I say !

 

Also it being a percentage cull, it doesn't mean the beloved basic cards you love are definitely gone forever. You just need to luck into a scenario when they are not culled .Unless their intent is a cumulative cull every scenario but since they expressly mention doing away with a tracked vault I can't see how that's possible.

 

For 'traditionalist' who wish to exercise resolute control on which goblins et al they like not to see down the line , maybe obsidian can patch up the solo story mode and introduce a mode that's closer to physical game . At the cost of disallowing characters to be swopped in and out of a traditional game .

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You could always do the Adventure Card Guild cull.  Remove all Basic AND Elite boons that are two AD#s lower than than the current Adventure...

 

Since this is a hotly discussed topic I just want to point out that this was only the case in Season of the Shackles. In Season of the Righteous and Season of Runelords, box culling works the same as it does in the regular adventure paths: starting with AD3, Basic banes always go poof and Basic boons go poof if you like, and starting with AD5, same with Elite.

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You don't merge parties like that in the card game. If you add a character you are adding a new version of that character that starts with base cards. There's no deck merging because the new guy isn't coming from a different game. I've never had a player even suggest to use her Merisiel from another game in my game. If someone wants to play Meri in a different game, they just start up a new Meri.

 

Among other things allowing merging is what creates card distribution probs like having everyone farm their own deathbane crossbow and then sticking those characters together so that there's too many copies of the crossbow in decks. Which is fine if you want to have a quest mode multiplayer that allows this, but it would have been nice if story mode had remained the same as the card game to eliminate that craziness.

 

So much this.  It's like they added their own complicated behind the scenes mess to what was already solved for them.   When playing story mode... that particular story should just have it's own box.  If you add characters, they should start fresh, with what is left in that box.   There shouldn't be any ability to bring characters from other campaigns.  It's not like the real RPG table top game where you are spending years on a character, with an endless amount of time to build the character up.   You have 30+ scenarios, that's it.  It's a card game.   Working with your luck within the confines of that is what makes the game fun.  

 

The ability to farm exactly what you need (while fun in other ways) is what is going to break this game.

 

The ability to farm what you need, then combine that character with other characters, at any time, is really really really going to break this game.

 

I wish story mode just was the card game... any everything else could be experimental, like quest mode. 

 

IMO, this all became a thing because they wanted more ways to do micro transactions, and have a "vault", gold, and treasure chests, and they couldn't figure out how to do both... and now we have something different, and lesser than the original.    They had more than enough content for F2P with 3 full boxes, 37 characters, and anything they wanted to add themselves.  

 

I also feel despite this... they could have added the vault and still had the same "box" concept.  The box would just be generated by whomever started the story and used their vault (for multiplayer)

Edited by wakasm
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Is it honestly going to matter? I am very sure most of you pass over over half the base cards anyways. Mostly by the time you start pulling these cards your deck is pretty set and these cards are just so much junk blocking you from your new loot.

 

Part of why it matters is it completely affects the gameplay.  In the actual card game... you take every advantage to cull things, meaning, you push more locations, you do things in an effort to cull cards.  Think of it like a press your luck mechanic.  There is a certain % of dead weight cards, and the more you push, the better your luck at getting better cards.  But then you also risk dying, or messing up, because you don't always know what is in a location.  

 

What this does is, by the time you get to Adventure Path 6, if you have culled cards correctly, you have a much higher chance at actually encountering and seeing Adventure Path 6 cards because you have removed 50-100+ cards from the game.   

 

Since you have, for the most part, a limited amount of time to get through the game (if you are not farming), being efficient in doing this is part of the strategic fun!  It falls into the same category as to why being able to not encounter boons is fun.  This game is only so deep, and when you remove mechanic after mechanic, at some point... the game is not as fun/deep anymore. 

 

With this new system, it removes all of that.  Your party has no impact as to what is available.  You might as well just finish as fast as possible, move on, because you don't have any effect on the culling anymore.  You also can't increase your odds at getting certain cards anymore either.  

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I honestly don't think the side effects of the culling system were ever meant to be a critical part of the game strategy. I actually think it's good that I won't have to think about whether to decline to get a card that I wouldn't mind having this game but also want to banish. It's quite immersion-breaking really, "Oh I've found a guide, I wouldn't mind their help exploring this area, but... If I decline their help, then they'll get so offended that they'll tell exactly half of all the other guides in the world to never offer to help me again, and that's good because it somehow increases the chance of someone more powerful offering to help me in the future, because those pesky guides kept pushing them out of the way or something".

 

We're all used to it, and people (like me) who play these games like nothing more than having a trade-off to make with a non-zero impact, even (indeed especially) when that impact is actually trivially small. But if you put it in perspective it's just that, a highly visible difference with a trivially small actual impact. Just remember that affecting the gameplay and degrading it are two different things.

 

One up side is it will mean less Blessings of the Gods, since they were quite hard to get rid of.

 

I think the only really noticeable impact for game play is the boons (e.g. Cure) which you would deliberately choose not to banish, now they're gone with the rest of them.

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One up side is it will mean less Blessings of the Gods, since they were quite hard to get rid of.

 

Uh, bad news, there.  You never remove Basic blessings from the box.  (Unless Obsidian decides to do something different.)

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"I need a lie-down" is the new "I'll be in my bunk..."

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I honestly don't think the side effects of the culling system were ever meant to be a critical part of the game strategy. 

 

It's Math.  Are we saying we can't consider simple Math now as an intended part of the game? There is no loot table in Pathfinder.  The loot table is literally... 

  • How many cards are there of said type = x   
  • How many cards are already out of the box of said type = y
  • Probability of pulling said card from box = (1 / x-y) * 100%

So every single card you eliminate from the box increases the chances of encountering something in your adventure path range.  If you culled 0 cards from the box by the time you hit Adventure Path 6... you will not see many Adventure Path 6 cards when you run your story, unless you farm for them.  Which I guess is their intended effect because they want people to spend money/gold.   Obsidian is now determining our chances with that, in addition to adding more cards into our pools from the Treasure Chests.  

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One up side is it will mean less Blessings of the Gods, since they were quite hard to get rid of.

 

Uh, bad news, there.  You never remove Basic blessings from the box. 

Why not ?!?

You can use the 'Mark Solved' button beneath a post that answers your topic or confirms it's not a bug.

The time that devs don't have to spend on the forum is a time they can spend on fixing the game.

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You never remove Basic blessings from the box

 

 

Yes, you can remove then when they are banished, as all boon. The main difference is that you cannot refuse to make a check to acquire a Blessing of the gods when you encounter one, so you have to take them. But a Blessing of the gods is banished for other reason (such a from closing a location), it can be remove from the box. 

 

Concerning the main topic here, i understand the arguments for changing the banish rule compare to the board version of the game, but i still find this quite disappointed. I was looking for removing definitly all basics from the vault, which you have required a lot of game played for each party. In this version, i will play less.

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One up side is it will mean less Blessings of the Gods, since they were quite hard to get rid of.

 

Uh, bad news, there.  You never remove Basic blessings from the box. 

Why not ?!?

 

Dad blammit!  I'd SWEAR this was a general rule, but it's apparently only for Season of the Shackles Guild Play.

"I need a lie-down" is the new "I'll be in my bunk..."

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