Jorge Zhang

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Adjusting Cards (Part Six)

August 7, 2018

Hello everyone! Here is another installment of the adjusting cards series.

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This card has been changed before recently, but I still wasn’t happy with the results. This card doesn’t do anything if the player who has the most clubs takes it. In addition, at +1 it was very strong, and at +3 it was way too weak. I think that the drafting mechanic does make this less of a problem, but I ultimately still wanted something that works well despite drafting, not because of it. The way this card works now, it always hurts the player in the lead. But the effect can be mitigated if the player playing it has some time in advance: for example, they can purchase some low-cost clubs and discard them instead of their high-cost clubs.

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The problems with this card became apparent with the resume point track. In the most recent playtest, one player had a large resume point lead due to being one of the only players to have a FUN chip, as well as having many clubs. Had he been able to draft this card, he would have won the game, but the other players craftily drafted it before the card got to him. Then, in the last few turns another player was able to take the lead through scoring highly on the FUN and getting higher grades. This shows that a 10 point lead is definitely not something that can’t be overcome.

At the same time, I do like the effect since it can reward someone who invested in grabbing a large amount of resume points quickly. In the new effect, Graduation creates an opportunity for the other players to respond to this rush to end the game, and create a high-tension end of game.

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This event was made with the intention of helping players get rid of their bad essays, so it was surprising when none of them took advantage of that in my last play test. The problem was that there was a large risk associated with this: even though some players had some mediocre essays, it could be replaced by an essay with a negative value that they could not get rid of. Thus, this small change makes it always in a player’s advantage to draw an essay since they can always just return the essay they just drew to the deck if it is really bad.

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There are only a few cards in the entire game that give you 5 or more actions on your turn, and they all occur Junior or Senior year. This makes this Essay extremely difficult to play, which was the intention. However, I wanted to make the card a little bit easier to play. At 4 consecutive relax actions, you still have to go out of your way to play it, but it can be done if you are determined to do so.

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I didn’t like the original card since it rewarded players for failing classes. I think that this is generally the wrong thing to reward players for because getting A’s is rewarding in of itself. All this being said, I like this card thematically because it is very funny. So I nerfed it a bit to allow players to play it and still get up to 2 (or 3 actually, if you are especially crafty) A’s in English classes.


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