Operatives?

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Tbiesty
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Re: Operatives?

Post by Tbiesty »

Corran wrote:
March 8th, 2020, 11:30 am
This is really the biggest reason I wish there was a way to make operatives playable. It would open up a half dozen potential platforms to try on each side without having to design a brand new objective for each one.
Would be cool to have a little temporary "fix Operatives design sub-committee" that players interested in the idea could come up with an option to have it work in a star wars-y that involves scrapping the special Operatives rules, and then communicate the possible solution to design, so design doesn't have to focus on it if they don't want to.


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Re: Operatives?

Post by Gergall »

sjacree wrote:
March 9th, 2020, 10:31 am
While I think they could have done something better than nuking operatives. Operatives do not feel very star wars-y, and I'd rather play with and against other decks.
What if this happened?

Step 1. Unnerf operatives (they will still be terrible due to the shields and general outdatedness of the deck with no direct help for 20 years)

Step 2. Release a thematic, Star-Warsy helper for a single planet, like something that only works for Kashyyyk + Wookiees. Maybe try to feature a main (Chewbacca in this example).

Step 3. Every v-set, repeat step 2 for another planet.
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Re: Operatives?

Post by Ardrra »

there is nothing at all "star wars" about operatives. it has no tie to anything that actually happened in the movies or EU books that I can recall, though please correct me if I'm wrong.

i'd rather D&D focus on bringing in more new content that actually ties to current things, rather than try to rehash something that was broken AF and already fixed 20 years ago.
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Re: Operatives?

Post by Corran »

I like both Gergall and Tbiesty's ideas.

As far as the flavor of operatives. It looks like they've shown up mostly in Role Playing Games. This is from Wookieepedia:

"Operatives were spies responsible for providing information, equipments or goods to a faction. While the term could refer to specialized combat troops, some operatives were non-combatants who used stealth or subterfuge to infiltrate a target. Some operatives worked in support services or were employees of corporations which supply ships or weapons. The Rebel Alliance, the Galactic Empire, the Sith Empire and the Hutts used operatives on several worlds."

I'll add that the idea of planets being under "Imperial Occupation" or having a "Local Uprising" is super thematic.
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Re: Operatives?

Post by Clayton Atkin »

Okay, I'll say it.......ARE YOU ALL OUT OF YOUR F@CK!NG MINDS?! (everyone that played back in 98 is thinking the same thing) They were killed off for a reason. Drain of 10 turn 2, drain of 14 turn 3.....the most NPR any CCG has experienced this side of Channel/Fireball. Everything having to do with Operatives has a bad memory attached to it. Put the shovel away, keep em 6 feet under. Don't try and virtualize them. They never have, and never will have anything to do with Star Wars.

Just keep using them as the under-card for full size v-cards. That's the only time they should ever see the light of day.
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Re: Operatives?

Post by Gergall »

Clayton Atkin wrote:
March 10th, 2020, 8:56 pm
Drain of 10 turn 2, drain of 14 turn 3
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Re: Operatives?

Post by Clayton Atkin »

I get it Greg....but then my first thought goes to shield busting. Which turns into everyone having to play extra shield pullers.

I have a better Idea, Let's revisit inserts! (partial sarcasm intended)

Someone else mentioned earlier, the bad memories attached to Operatives. To this day, I still dwell on playing Matt Potter at Worlds in 99. He wasn't having a good time, and was almost apologetic that he was the returning champion. I remember he mentioned that he had hardly played anymore, and I'm not sure if he played much longer after that. He didn't deserve the scrutiny. He was just the one who took advantage of the broken rules the best on that fateful weekend in 98.
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Re: Operatives?

Post by Madmanwithabox »

Clayton Atkin wrote:
March 10th, 2020, 9:25 pm
I have a better Idea, Let's revisit inserts! (partial sarcasm intended)
Nowt wrong with revisiting inserts - simply because they were broken at the time doesn’t mean they can’t be rebalanced.
Map and Shadows (not to mention ABR, LMFBM, etc) were pretty broken, have been changed, and are now mostly in line with other cards. I don’t see anyone demanding that they be blanked and never see the light of day again.
Cards should not be prevented from being played simply due to bad memories - if that’s the case, consider getting rid of your R3, Theed and Coruscant. I seem to remember those sets being considered overpowered.
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Re: Operatives?

Post by TheLuhks »

I would defer to Clayton and the people who experienced broken operatives on this one. The Operatives worlds is particularly terrible because of the missed opportunities for first generation Hunt Down, Hidden Base, Ralltiir, ISB, Jedi testing, etc. decks.

On the general subject of Overpowered cards: there is a big difference between losing 12 Force to a battle with Boba Fett, Bounty Hunter and losing 12 Force to an insert. Both suck, but the second sucks worse, because it is so anti-thematic that it has nothing to do with Star Wars at all: it’s only possible because it’s something that someone decided to write on a card. Losing to Boba Fett sucks but losing because the card designers were trying to fill out sets with quirky ideas that turned out to be terrible for the game sucks so much that it makes you not want to keep playing. Odds cards and Operatives, by all rights, should not exist.
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Re: Operatives?

Post by Corran »

Gergall wrote:
March 10th, 2020, 9:06 pm
Clayton Atkin wrote:
March 10th, 2020, 8:56 pm
Drain of 10 turn 2, drain of 14 turn 3
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You don’t even need the Operative shields to prevent this. Battle Order takes care of it. Shield busting is really hard when decks pull 4 shields plus extra shields from interrupts.
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Re: Operatives?

Post by arebelspy »

Battle order isn't hard to satisfy for drop and drain.

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Re: Operatives?

Post by Gergall »

Inserts are a flawed mechanic, too much monkey business with the shuffling and being able to eyeball where the insert card is, different sleeves being slightly different sizes, and so forth.

Operatives are not a flawed mechanic. They were just too strong once, 20 years ago.
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Re: Operatives?

Post by AncientTome »

This discussion highlights for me that things can be bad for the game for very different reasons.

Inserts are bad for the game in large part because they punish activating. In other words, they punish you for getting the resources you need to join in the game. They’re an innately unfun mechanic, and would be even if they were competitively balanced.

Operatives, by contrast, are bad because (a) they’re too good as printed and (b) they’re remembered for ruining the play experience for a while. (a) is clearly manageable. (b) is about the culture of the game, and is a much harder fix. A community that thrives on recruiting returning players might not want them to log onto GEMP and see Local Uprising being played.

For what it’s worth, as a NARP I think inserts should stay shielded into obliteration. Operatives could be OK—I agree with Corran that they’re a good way to represent, e.g., the events on Lothal in the Rebels series—but I think the whole card package of characters and objectives would need to be rebuilt from the ground up.

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Re: Operatives?

Post by Hazardville »

AncientTome wrote:This discussion highlights for me that things can be bad for the game for very different reasons.

Inserts are bad for the game in large part because they punish activating. In other words, they punish you for getting the resources you need to join in the game. They’re an innately unfun mechanic, and would be even if they were competitively balanced.

Operatives, by contrast, are bad because (a) they’re too good as printed and (b) they’re remembered for ruining the play experience for a while. (a) is clearly manageable. (b) is about the culture of the game, and is a much harder fix. A community that thrives on recruiting returning players might not want them to log onto GEMP and see Local Uprising being played.

For what it’s worth, as a NARP I think inserts should stay shielded into obliteration. Operatives could be OK—I agree with Corran that they’re a good way to represent, e.g., the events on Lothal in the Rebels series—but I think the whole card package of characters and objectives would need to be rebuilt from the ground up.
The returning player thing is a big point for me. I never played even pre-reset, so I have no experience with or against Operatives, but there is an association there that is going to leave a bad taste in people’s mouths even if they’re heavily reworked. Honestly, at that point I question why we’re bothering spending a lot of time and effort reworking something that much instead of just making something new.


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Re: Operatives?

Post by Gergall »

There might be more than 2 camps here.

1. Camp #1 - Never bring operatives back

2. Camp #2 - Rework and revitalize operatives as something that will be viable and balanced

3. "Camp" #3 - (Possibly only me) Quietly delete the operative rules because they aren't necessary to keep the deck in check. Whether you then go on to actually make the decks good or just leave them as "still very unplayable" is like an afterthought to me.
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Re: Operatives?

Post by Madmanwithabox »

I’m not sure it’s going to require a massive amount of work.
All that’s been suggested is to play test without the errata to see how they function.
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Re: Operatives?

Post by Corran »

arebelspy wrote:
March 11th, 2020, 9:27 am
Battle order isn't hard to satisfy for drop and drain.
If we're talking about a drain of 10 turn 2, that means 5 of the opening hand cards have to be operatives. Another card will have to be GHHHk(or something else to cancel the battle that costs 0 since you've spent all the force you've activated), because your giving your opponent at least 6 force(assuming you have a BG system) on their turn(11 with Ounee ta) and leaving your power 3-5, ability 1(+1 BD) characters alone at sites. That doesn't leave much for a space package on turn 1.
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Re: Operatives?

Post by Tbiesty »

Gergall wrote:
March 11th, 2020, 1:31 pm
3. "Camp" #3 - (Possibly only me) Quietly delete the operative rules because they aren't necessary to keep the deck in check. Whether you then go on to actually make the decks good or just leave them as "still very unplayable" is like an afterthought to me.
Yeah, I'm with you there. Less stuff to have to remember would be a nice roadblock to remove. Minimal investment up front.

Just because there like 18 different Operatives doesn't mean all 18 need to be even close to equally viable. Maybe a Wookiee-centric Kashyyyk deck or a Local Uprising (v) with much more of a Star Wars feel (and made limited use of these characters) to it would be an option in the future.
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Re: Operatives?

Post by Wokling »

Operatives were so broken. I'm with Clay, it's insane to bring them back.

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Re: Operatives?

Post by fungineer »

Tbiesty wrote:
March 11th, 2020, 2:30 pm
Gergall wrote:
March 11th, 2020, 1:31 pm
3. "Camp" #3 - (Possibly only me) Quietly delete the operative rules because they aren't necessary to keep the deck in check. Whether you then go on to actually make the decks good or just leave them as "still very unplayable" is like an afterthought to me.
Yeah, I'm with you there. Less stuff to have to remember would be a nice roadblock to remove. Minimal investment up front.

Just because there like 18 different Operatives doesn't mean all 18 need to be even close to equally viable. Maybe a Wookiee-centric Kashyyyk deck or a Local Uprising (v) with much more of a Star Wars feel (and made limited use of these characters) to it would be an option in the future.
Although I'm more in 2 than 3, I agree. I like the option to throw 1 off copies of an operative into a deck. However, i actually have more intrest in a new version of the <> sites than operives themselves as the no escape shield and mirror were killers to those sites and rops regardless of the operatives.
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