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As a quick little preface, this post isn't really focused on the recent balance changes or the recent competitive meta as a whole (personal tl;dr: I was fine with it before and I'll be fine with it most likely after the patch update). Aside from enjoying balance updates as a competitive player, one thing that's always disheartening to me is when there aren't brand new (or old returning) modes announced, or even QoL updates for my non-competitive side! I always wanted to do an updated version of this feedback (since I've posted about it a fair while ago) and I realized I missed out on /u/Dan_Felder 's recent Airplane Ideas/Feedback thread. so now I want to make a whole dedicated post about it to make sure this feedback is heard. A bit of context about myself before I give some feedback, I absolutely love this game with all my heart. I've been playing since I received a beta invite and have never missed a Masters appearance in any seasonal nor have I missed a Seasonal Tournament since they began. I've also never missed an achievement in the old PvE modes and I haven't missed a daily for Path of Champions 2.0 either.

Symptoms/Feelings

Currently there are not enough unique/meaningful ways to play this game that I love! I mention this as my main arcing point in the original feedback piece I wrote over a year ago, but here are the main ways to play LoR (grouped into categories):
* Standard (either ladder/norms, gauntlet, or tournament)-PvP
* Path of Champions-PvE
* Lab of Legends that bend the rules (Ultra Rapid Draw/Welcome To The Jungle)-PvP
* United Front (separating this from Path since it's unique enough as two players versus 1 AI)-PvE

I always found it very disheartening as a player that I have tools to create a deck in a non-Standard format (Singleton) but I cannot *play** with that deck that I made, even in something like a Friend Match.* If I wanted to host a Singleton tournament (which I have wanted to in the past!), I simply cannot because there's no option to access the deck. As someone who loved the competitive side of LoR ever since it has released, and someone else who enjoys the casual side (Path of Champions) and creative side of the game (building non-Standard decks in varying format ideas), it makes me feel like I'm tunneled to either just ladder, or play single player, and I should not dream of more ways to interact with LoR. This becomes especially more exasperated when there's no Seasonal this expansion (understandable since Worlds is happening) since two of the ways to play competitive PvP (Tournament and Gauntlet) are effective unavailable or bugged (Gauntlet this season has been bugged in a few different ways).

When I feel these thoughts

When I think about LoR's history I think about all of the different modes/formats that existed but no longer do: like Expeditions (can't wait for that updated version next year hopefully!), the Commander-esque solo champ format that popped up once, Hexperimentation 101, etcetc. While a lot of these most likely had low play-rates, some of them were definitely endearing, and it'd be nice to be able to try them again every so often. I also think about these concerns when I think about how out of date some of the current modes can feel. As an example in my previously linked post years ago, I specifically talked in the past about how Gauntlet format felt outdated since it was tied to how the Expedition (rip) format was structured. Now that Expedition doesn't exist in the game anymore, I feel like Gauntlet can be get a slight touch up so it can be its own thing, like being turned into a Double Elimination format to better mirror how Seasonal Tournaments are structured (for those with 8-1 seeding that is).

What I enjoy

If I didn't think LoR had any upsides with all these concerns I would've lost interest a long time ago! LoR is still king with being the most consumer friendly F2P economy in the whole CCG genre (even if Path's collection system doesn't match it at times!), and the gameplay is still wondrous. I love competing in this game every single season no matter how many cards get added or balance changes freshen up the meta, and I imagine I'll aim to hit Masters in both the rotated format and eternal format once that is added to the game (especially since I've been itching more varying formats!). I just want more ways to scratch the creative/casual itch that LoR once provided. I reveled during the weekends when Singleton was the Gauntlet of choice, and I still make Singleton decks with all the new cards whenever a new expansion drops in hopes that there'll be a way to be able to play.

Potential solutions (and potential troubles with these solutions)

While the easiest thing to say would be "Just spend brain power to create new formats and open up new matchmaking queues loool", that would not be the easiest thing to do (and there would be easy problems to note before it even happens (like increasing queue times or creating barren modes due to more options). However, to avoid these potential complications, it'd be nice if players were given the option to either make their own custom lobbies that the community could search for themselves if they want to try something that doesn't automatically match them with a new player. If creating a lobby system is too ambitious, even limiting this to allowing players to challenge their friends could be a fun option (and allow a new avenue of non-Standard tournaments to open up!).

Conclusion

Firstly, Dan (and anyone else reading this) if you made it this far, thank you! I only want what's best for this game, and as someone who was there since the start of the game: I want this game to prosper and be the best it can be for a long time! If we can give players the tools to build their own lobbies/tournaments all in client, then LoR can have a dedicated playerbase for decades to come. If any of you enjoyed the feedback I provided here, I definitely have a ton more that I'd be willing to discuss (like how Path's collection system is incredibly punishing and leads to bad play patterns to optimize it, or how long time players are kind of in a rut where Wildcards/Green Shards have no purpose once you've played LoR for years).

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16 days ago - /u/Dan_Felder - Direct link

I made it this far. :)

Thanks for writing up such a great and detailed post. I’ll be mulling it over.