From: Emre Guzelsu, Doomtown: Reloaded, lead designer
David Lapp, Doomtown: Reloaded, community manager
After careful consideration, Pine Box Entertainment is making a change to this Summer’s tournament season. For purposes of transparency, we’d like to explain how PBE considers this ban the right decision for fostering a healthy tournament scene.
Per the responsibilities bestowed on us from Pinnacle Entertainment, PBE revised the FAQ, rulebook, and floor rules. We also made three errata changes to accompany the ones previously established by AEG. As an example, we believe that the change to Rico put him on par with other Grifters and addressed concerns regarding blitz decks. After reviewing more recent tournament data that includes all errata (PBE and AEG), one card continues to perform above and beyond the rest of Doomtown: Reloaded’s 600+ cards: 108 Worldly Desires.
108 Worldly Desires definitely provides a lot of advantages that most other outfits cannot compete with. Some of the concerns that we attempted to address include:
-Lowball wins for 108 WD become near-automatic if you can get the WD react to kick off. This becomes dangerously unbalanced as two equally stacked decks should split lowball 50/50, instead of one side always winning. Even loose decks have a tough time winning against moderately stacked WD decks. This has 2 effects. First, it basically means a 108WD player has an outfit production of +4 and the opposing player has an outfit production of +2 when including the GR impact of winning/losing lowball. This gives WD an incredible economic advantage over the course of the game. Second, it provides incredible synergy with cards that rely upon getting the first action (e.g. Legendary Holster). The consistency of always getting the first action, almost ignoring how stacked a deck is, causes severe problems in terms of designing a balanced game environment.
-When it triggers, the react also basically functions as having a +1 stud bonus during shootouts. This skews the risk/reward of shootout strength that posses bring to the table. Combined with Longwei’s +1 stud bonus, a WD player can go into a shootout with a +2 stud bonus without risking any of their big shooters. Even worse, WD winning lowball a disproportionate amount of the time pretty much takes care of Longwei’s 1 upkeep (while forcing your opponent to having only +2 production on their outfit). Thus, WD players can easily keep a +2 stud bonus at the ready for the entire game. WD players commonly stuffed their decks with disposable 1GR dudes who end up shooting quite effectively because of this the cumulative effects of these bonuses. In addition, the non-interactive nature of the stud bonus, causes frustration for players. Each advantage is powerful, but in combination, both give WD players an incredible amount of flexibility and firepower.
Looking at these issues, we conclude that WD has two overwhelming advantages that make this such a dominant outfit.
Unfortunately, with a short period of time between ending Tales From the Epitaph testing and finalizing dates for the upcoming European Championship, Epitaph Series, and GenCon events, we had to review Pine Box’s options regarding the outfit. Those options are to either: Leave it unchanged, attempt an errata of the outfit, or ban the outfit.
We eventually settled on banning the outfit for 2 key reasons. First, the logistics of erratas hinge upon getting revised versions of the cards to the players ASAP. The simplicity of the errata plays a large part in its feasibility to ensure that players do not end up with substantially different versions of the card which can lead to confusion. Unfortunately, any errata we could come up with that balanced WD either made it a completely new card, or changed it beyond what was realistically an “errata.” This basically took erratas off the table. While this means that 108 now has 2 legal outfits, we remain committed to expanding 108’s outfit options to equal that of the other factions. That said, the current version of WD also negatively interacts with design space. It’s very difficult to design cards that hinge on getting the first action when one and only one outfit drastically skews the winner of lowball. In addition, lowball is a key balancing component of the game where looser decks that have more challenges shooting get some support, making shooting decks more cautious about how to handle going second and having economic constraints. WD caused headaches by breaking this paradigm. Going forward, cards that cause lowball manipulation in terms of the probability of winning will be eyed with extreme caution. This also means we’ll take a critical eye to some other cards that fit this bill to see if any actions need to be taken. After considering all of these factors, PBE decided that banning 108 Worldly Desires was the appropriate course of action.
In conclusion, I hope you understand our decision to no longer allow 108 Worldy Desires into tournament play. We hope that by taking an active stance, we demonstrate PBE’s commitment to providing a healthy and fun environment for Doomtown players to enjoy the game. We intend to provide a replacement card, given the gravity of banning an outfit, to players in the future.