Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Brain Drain Occuring in YuGiOh

Before i start my post i managed to see Wind Up Zenmaines , a tcg exclusive card which is fucking fucking overpowered. The card is pure bad game design as it is 100000000x worse than Gantetsu, really frigging solid in so many ways since it has crazily high defence and decent attack too.

Level 3 is so easy to bring out, i can even see X Sabers being played more just cos of this. Plants can just Tour Guide into Tour Guide and drop this and stall and do shit.

Konami is printing more imbal cards =(

Which brings me to the current issue. The Brain Drain phenomenom

The brain drain phenomenom describes the situation whereby a country loses its human resources to other countries due to migration.

As many of you may or may not know, Malaysia is currently facing this crisis. Generally, migration is not a bad thing, because it has many advantages which i am not going into depth, but then the thing about migration is that when people migrate out of the country, there are also people migrating into the country.

So, if the rate of people migrating into the country exceeds the rate of ppl migrating out, the country is gaining advantages in the form of human resources and many more stuff, and the converse is true.

But if the very opposite thing happened, then that country is facing a loss. However, that loss, if its minimal can be mitigated by other external factors like increase of birth rate bla bla bla.

There is a funny saying written by Shaun Tan, the finalists of the World Bank 2011 Essay Contest that goes:

Smart Indians go to med school,
Smart Chinese go to investment banks,
Smart Malaysians go to Singapore.

Of course this is very crude and cynical and im not a racist, or an elitist who has no patriotism for my country (please do not misinterpret)

Now let us apply this into Yugioh.

There are many factors that cause Yugioh players to leave the game. Some leave because they have done enough or had enough of the game, some leave for work issues, and some leave to try another game.

However, this is all very healthy.

But i noticed lately that Yugioh is being sidecast more and more.

Let us first discuss the TCG. Since i am not a TCG player, my interpretations or analysis may not be accurate so i wish to inform you all of that.

I can see many players switching over to Magic because of its skill-based influence and and also because that the game is more prestigious and stuff (kinda agree)

However the main factors the players are leaving the game can be broken down and has been broken down by Michael Bonacini (Death Aspect blog) several times again and again.

Recently, Konami has taken a liking to printing incredibly broken wtf cards. It seems that everytime a card that is incredibly imbal is released, it is the TCG design's team fault. (or so it seems)

What better example then "Charge of Light Brigade , Darksoul , Tengu , Tour Guide and now Wind Up Zenmaines??? "

It is not any better when the company decides to print these cards in the highest rarity possible.

Tengu was different and made accessible to everybody but Tour Guide, Charge, Barrier, and Zenmaines (assumed) are printed in SCR rarity. Furthermore, they choose to reprint cards like Warning and Duality, which were all incredibly crucial for the last 2 formats with maximum rarity too. Even poor Glow Up Bulb was bumped up to Ultra/ Ulti version.

Seriously, Wind Up Zenmaines is surely gonna cost like $ 70 + at first release already and will surely skyrocket. Luckily it is not a card you need 3 copies of.

I mean the OCG design team is not entirely innocent either but the only thing broken that has been printed lately is Grapha and Rescue Rabbit, which the latter is not abused that much anyway. You can make Rabbit Ragia decks where you run the risk of drawing shitty and dead cards but the rewards are that you have a walking Solemn Judgment + beatstick on the field if successful which can change the game tempo.

The promotion and the release of new broken cards makes certain players sick of the game. Obviously, they want to reward players who are willing to pay more $$ to top the game. The game over in the TCG side obviously doesnt reward much skill anymore although it is much better than last format (which i should praise)

Furthermore its not like the game is like MTG whereby skill is much more prevalent there. Once my SPM exams have finished i must really make an effort to delve into MTG for awhile.

Now i will discuss the OCG part of the game =)

The game is still very much popular and well received in countries like Japan (i think), but i will choose more to focus on the Asian format, and ultimately Malaysia, my own country.

Here in the Asian format, we aren't allowed to use much promos. I have to be very thankful because i think the Asian format is the best format in the world because it rewards so much skilled play and there are no broken TCG promos floating around. Moreover, when cards like Recruiter and Dark Soul make their way to the OCG, they arent even broken anymore and the players who top Asian format tourneys are all consistent toppers.

I mean sure GK can be still good, but then there are risks to running it, such as DW. You can side Watcher or Imps all you want but the risk is still there.

As for Sabers , it is very stable and consistent and can just about beat every matchup if played properly, save for DW and Agents, which is also a huge risk. You can tune the deck or your side to match it, but again there are risks to that too like your matchups versus random decks or how the consistency will fare.

Now, what on earth would make the players here leave the game when it is so good here?

Firstly the price of the cards here are atrociously high , and hyped, and every Malaysian and Singaporean can tell you that the card prices in Msia are higher than Singapore's anytime, heck whoever takes a trip down to Singapore for a holiday will find himself in card heaven due to cheap prices everywhere.

Now this problem is caused by dealers and certain vendors. Malaysia is not big, and is actually very small, and due to that, the access between players and dealers between different states is large. Furthermore we have Facebook now as a communication device whereby several pages are set up just to discuss card prices and selling and trading.

The problem arises when these main dealers, who control the card market, suddenly decide to inflate the price. For example a SR Siroco could have been sold for RM 80 to Rm 100, but could be purchased at Rm 50 in Singapore last format. The prices will be spread out throughout the whole country very fast, which forces players to dish out their cash quick in order to but these cards.

However the problem doesnt stop there. Because these cards are not considered "market price", other vendors are forced to follow suit to this trend, because if they do not, they will be making a huge loss here and there. There are some good-hearted vendors who choose to sell the cards at a significantly lower price which lessens the burdens for some players.

Not to mention, when the demand increases, the price can hike by a large amount. Its pretty normal everywhere but whatever.

A whole lot of Yugioh in Malaysia comes down not to the playing but also to the selling/ buying involved. There are some players who have disregarded the game, and focused most of their time on the sales aspect instead.

Because of the price hike, some players have decided to leave the game or if they do stay in the game, they do so half-heartedly, knowing that they cannot afford to pay for these cards.

So, another reason for the brain drain in Malaysia's Yugioh is the introduction of a new card game Cardfight Vanguard.

I have never played VG nor been exposed to the game, so i took the liberty to ask certain players who have picked up the game about its prospects.

I asked 5 players and all 5 said that the game does not rely much on skill, and for now, all you can do is summon, attack, guard and stuff. (terms which i'm not familiar with)

Furthermore the price a Starter deck is cheap, but then the price of crucial cards are also expensive (about 50 to 80 per card) , and because the max number of cards in VG is 4 per deck, that makes the game slightly more expensive.

Please take note that I am not calling the game sacky or skillless, please do not feel insulted i am neutral about it, but the comments are feedback i have received from various players.

All 5 players i have asked are all decent players and they have been exposed to the terms "sacky", "luck-oriented", and are exposed to the blogosphere and are well aware about skill based games.

But if the game is sacky why do the players want to play it? Is it because they prefer to have fun and play games where any player has the chance to win? Or is it because they cannot stand the highly competitive Asian format?

Please take note again that i am not ranting merely i am just conveying about the current situation of Yugioh. Please do not say "if you cant take it, just quit the f**king game". I am not facing any of the problems above such as difficulty to obtain cards, financial problems bla bla bla. I am probably quitting soon due to college

Currently, we can place Yugioh in between Vanguard and MTG, whereby MTG is the most skill-reliant, followed by Yugioh and MTG.

IN ASCENDING ORDER in terms of skill reliance: VG, YGO, MTG

Yugioh now stands in the middle, so if any player wishes to play casually they will switch to VG, and if they choose to play more skill based games, they will go to MTG.

Just to show some data, i have found out that most of the players in my area are all taking up Vanguard, and they are playing YGO and Vanguard at the same time. In fact, aside from me , i only know 2 other players who do not play the game. At the same time, there has been a massive player rise in numbers for YGO over the past year, but the massive player rise for VG is so much more in just one or two months, whereas the increase in player numbers for YGO is only 2 players.

It has been a long and winding post and i congratulate you, the reader, if you have made it this far. Thank you for reading and thats all for today :)

It is sad that while everybody can play in tourneys, i am stuck at home with the burden of SPM public examinations.

[ edit- master sephiroth commented that the tcg exclusives were designed by ocg design team. now thats something to think about :D ]


MasterSephiroth said...

Fun Fact:

TCG-Exclusives were designed by the OCG Design Team. They were even drawn (like all the other cards) in South Korea. There is no TCG Design Team. So the same company (Konami Japan) that is creating balanced cards and balanced rulings for the OCG, create imbalanced cards and rulings for the TCG.

Rauzes said...

Having experience in all three of those games, i can say that vanguard isn't really dependent on luck as much as you think. In vanguard, cards are all relatively balanced, for the most part, so what matters is less deck building, but more playing.
What makes it seem easy is that the most basic of strategies is a very very very valid strategy in any level of play.

In yugioh, there is much more weight on deck building, but less on playing, because everything is searched left and right, and there are very few ways to build your deck "right". Frankly, very little on decision making, compared to he other two

Mtg on the. Other hand, puts much weight on both playing and deck building

mike said...

@ rau- good to hear from you again :)
+ thanks for ur insight. good to know ur still arnd the blogosphere!

@ sephiroth- really? well anyway it still points to Konami. konami in US or Japan is still Konami generally lol

LGQ said...

there are problem with YGO and we know it, yes. But doesn't overpowered cards and overpriced pieces of card board always part of the game. Its been here since the start of the game, and won't be leaving ... ever.

As for vanguard, I agree with rauzes. The game can be said to be depend on luck on 1st glance, but after playing for 4~5 months, thats not entirely true. I pull off the same win 7 out of 10 times, is that luck?

But the game as of now is still too young for real skill development. The deck building skills and when to play the cards are all based off my experience in YGO.

in conclusion, YGO is still a good TCG, but we need some good company like Wizards to print them. Konami are noobs in term of competitive card game designs

Jeffhokage said...

Is that true? cards in SG are heavenly cheap? What place is that in SG? So when i go there I'm gonna buy. LoL

mike said...

@ jeff- i dunno. contact baha. i have no idea. i'll only know if i head down there. which is possible next yr or end of this yr. i dono whr ur stayin but compared to malaysia it is cheap.

@ LGQ- yeah but constant overpowered cards entering set after set from the TCG all at once? abit crazy la tengu zenmaines tour guide all in 2 or 3 sets.

so ur deriving konami as the problem for this. well partially true in many ways.

is vanguard that young? which do u prefer, ygo or vg?

Rauzes said...

Bushiroad has much more experience in making card games, whilst Yugioh was one of the more ealier on card games, and thus had less time and experience to work on their inherent game system flaws.

Thus, as a card game, Vanguard is much more balanced. MTG has actually gone back and changed up their game system at times, and has a system in place already that gives everything pacing, thus its balanced not because it was designed with the future in mind, but because the sets work off the original rate of play and balance.

Michael Bonacini said...

Great post :) I didn't know that TCG exclusives were designed by OCG...

mike said...

@ michael bonacini- thanks :) yea i didnt know that either..

@ Rau- thx for ur info :) it all points to yugioh's flaws lol

JDAManson said...

While it's true the OCG artists draw the art for the TCG exclusives, I'm not entirely sure there isn't a different set of card designers for the TCG exclusives. The discrepancies with Tengu and Tour Guide are probably enough to assume that while obvious Konami knows what they are doing and acknowledges TCG exclusives, they might not actually work on them besides art.

Tengu was designed to encourage/break Xyz (I presume because Tengu with a Level 4, Xyz, search Tengu, detach, search another Tengu, Xyz again was the order of operations intended), but because of unaccounted rulings differences, this was, fortunately or unfortunately, entirely avoided.

I am just talking out of my ass though, I just think that such a huge misunderstanding is odd if the TCG exclusives are designed by the same as the normal cards.

Great post by the way, gives a lot of insight. Zenmaines is ridiculous t me primarily because it's is yet another generic for Tour Guide to target. I wish they would be a little more subtle about jacking her off.

mike said...

@ JDA manson- yeah thats what i initially thought too. didnt make sense that ocg design team would give tcg so many overpowered cards while we got few