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Frisco Del Rosario writes about chess960, women's basketball, minor league baseball, unsupported collectible card games, lettering in comic books, and Golden Age movies

South Park Phone Destroyer losing casual players for unfair matches, experienced players for too little variety 04/05/2018

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RedLynx is losing 20,000 Galaxy users per month. That’s just the Galaxy users.

You know how I know a game is dying? When I begin running out of things to say. I was NetRunner’s most prolific writer, but by 1998 —  well after Wizards of the Coast abandoned its product — I was writing wretched, bottom-of-the-barrel topics.

I was thinking about Dark Mage Craig. Great character in the cast, great card art, almost useless powers in game. What’s there to write about besides the same decks,  same buggy software, same questionable opponents. When I see positive development, love to write about that.

I thought to make Dark Mage Craig’s NK-reducing warcry helpful by sending fliers out, but my assortment of level 1, 2, and 3 cards didn’t live long enough against the rank 46 opponent to attempt the experiment. What fun.

It’s a primary flaw in the SPPD framework that it costs too much to try anything besides what you’ve locked yourself into. In terms of real cash, in-game currency, and in-game upgrade materials, it’s much too expensive to upgrade a level 1 card to usefulness.

RedLynx listened to users’ requests for unranked matches, so we might try new cards, but then they limited those matches to teammates. For the first three months of my four months in the game, I didn’t even have teammates.

They limited the unranked matches to teammates, but where’s the mechanism for notifying teammates that you desire one of these matches? It seems you’re limited to the team chat, and the communication tools are just crap. The team chat is the only communications outlet I’ve ever used in which I don’t try for correct capitalization and punctuation.

I think South Park Phone Destroyer is dying. It can’t be a good experience for new and casual players because there are sandbaggers at every level, with decks capable of wiping out an honestly-ranked opponent with one push. Experienced players are just bored as hell by facing the same cards again.

I think South Park Phone Destroyer is on its way out, but I’m thinking about putting some time into Hnefatafl. Like, learning to spell it.

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