Today I got to teach a couple new players Ophidian Wars and watch them put their skills to work. We started with a 3-player free-for-all which started off fast and bloody and then ended with 3 "tanks" trading pathetic blows at each other. It was amusing, but tedious.
We then played some 1 v 1 and I got to watch the more natural back-and-forth of the Flow, which made me very happy. Watching experienced players line up combos and manage resources was seriously thrilling. And I was learning tricks that I hadn't knowingly designed, something that will make anyone giddy.
The second 1 v 1 match ended in fantastic fashion, with a showdown between a hilariously augmented Version 9.1 (equipped with, get this, FIVE pieces of equipment!) against Macabre and Ryla and a very sneaky Supply Bot who kept bringing back junked equipment.
Here some other learnings:
1. Hightail is overpowered. Wow. Consider the nerf-cannon loaded.
2. Elli Tersa might be underrated. Her ability to lower opposing armor is incredibly helpful at bringing down tanks - which can be a real pain in the buttox otherwise.
3. A handful of cards are still a little too situational and/or suffer from being hard to use because they are (-). I'll be addressing those very soon. A good example would be Elder's Breath - great card, but a bit too painful as a persistent (-) action. Or Magnet Field, which was getting stuck in everyone's hand waiting to be hit by -piercing- damage.
4. The ability to "cycle" up to 2 cards after gaining Flow, is something I've heard from several testers as a suggestion. Seeing it in action today drove the point home. It's nothing but a positive play experience and very helpful for pacing towards the end of game when Adrenaline is typically low.
5. Sometimes harmless looking cards are brutal. The Taigon Shield was never designed as flashy but after seeing it being used today, it almost came across annoying. It never really goes away and just beefs up Defense which can slow the game down. It's on my revision list now.
6. Maximillian is a fantastic lead gladiator - definitely a fan favorite today along side Version 9.1, Hightail (even after we nerfed her), and Opac. Surprisingly, Freakshow and Scathe didn't get a lot of love but everyone has different tastes! Nicholai also was effective as a well-rounded and versitile character.
7. Mozier Mine was put to use a lot, and the predictable love for the Helix Storm Cannon was in full effect - just don't forget it LOCKS you in place, lol.
8. There are some feel-good maneuvers like Game Ball and Berzerk that got lots of play as well as really smart use of cards like Nano Recycling Grid and Focus Mod.
9. We tried a "gym class" draft in the last match and it's a nice twist - good way to mix up the game and set the competitive mood.
Can't wait to go back. I am going to make some edits and print some fresh decks.