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Why Card Copying May Not Ruin Eye of Judgment

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the vigilant-eye-always-watching dept.

Sony 96

Last week it was revealed that the cards used in Sony's interesting new CCG/Videogame hybrid Eye of Judgement can easily be copied and reused. The large symbols on the cards that register with the game also make them prime candidates for counterfeiting. It may sound dire, but weizur writes with a link to a post on the Zen and Games site that theorizes this may not be the end of the world for the game. "Ultimately the rules of the game change. No longer is it a game about collecting and skill begins to play a much larger role in the game in the long run since personal wealth and ability to acquire cards becomes a non-factor. What Magic has taught us though is that this isn't really a bad thing and much fun can still be had when the game becomes a game of skill and less a game of chance, this is of course in theory as Eye of Judgment probably doesn't have the depth and finesse that Magic has and ultimately the game design of Eye of Judgment and it's ability to be a fun game will be the ultimate test."

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asdfasdfasdf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21157763)

fr0st pist

hot grits

Gimmick (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 6 years ago | (#21157797)

To me the game just seems a gimmick, I can't possibly see people wanting to buy a game then hundreds of cards just for the fun of it. Surely once you buy the game that's all you should need, instead this way you have to keep buying every few months or your cards are too weak and useless in such a cutthroat place like online gaming.

Re:Gimmick (2, Insightful)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#21157873)

Millions of Magic players (and the various anime-based TCG games, for the younger set) seem to be just fine with the idea. It just happens that the camera setup lets you play online (you can play just fine in person with real cards only)

Uh...that's what a CCG is. (5, Insightful)

apparently (756613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21157917)

I can't possibly see people wanting to buy a game then hundreds of cards just for the fun of it. Surely once you buy the game that's all you should need, instead this way you have to keep buying every few months or your cards are too weak and useless in such a cutthroat place like online gaming.

That's the CCG model, just updated for online-play. Having to buy the latest cards hasn't made M:TG die.

Having cards actually be rare is a good thing, if they could pull it off. Games get boring when everyone has access to the same spells and same powerdecks. Sure, the even-playing field means that there's now a skill-requirement (a good thing, as well), but only at the expense of variety. Too bad R&D didn't give the idea more than 2 seconds of thought.

Re:Uh...that's what a CCG is. (3, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158115)

even Magic "rare" cards aren't really that rare when the print run is millions. Magic R&D stopped designing sets for "rare" collectors a while ago. Now they design sets and rarity per "box" so that sealed pack play is balanced... the competition circuit will get whatever they want because they're willing to pay 100x cost to get it.

The better plan for an online game might be to use skill or exclusivity as short term ways of varying the game. Doll out exclusive cards by mail and balance them by zip code, it would take a few weeks before they spread to common play. If you used them for tournaments or such the time (to being copied) would be long enough to work. Or go to a WoW type thing where you have to play a "character" and build skill points online before you can use certain cards.... and like WoW as you gain specialization, you limit options to be "all powerful". Find ways to make play fun right NOW, and then release to collectors later after letting the cool factor of the players run it's course.

Re:Uh...that's what a CCG is. (1)

harl (84412) | more than 6 years ago | (#21160745)

Alternately you could use game design skills and create a game that is fun and balanced even if you have access to unlimited rares.

Or in other words. If rare staking matters more than skill then the game is broken.

Re:Uh...that's what a CCG is. (1)

bateleur (814657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21168933)

If rare staking matters more than skill then the game is broken.

Yes, assuming what we're talking about is victory percentages. But one of the properties one might want in a CCG is diversity of gameplay. If everyone has access to the same cards then the "everyone's deck is different" aspect is lost.

Magic the Gathering players often play "Limited" games to get around this problem in which each player may use cards only from a small number of (freshly opened) card packs or take turns to choose cards from a freshly opened pack. These workarounds are somewhat effective, but tend to introduce unwanted randomness.

Re:Uh...that's what a CCG is. (1)

harl (84412) | more than 6 years ago | (#21170227)

Yes, assuming what we're talking about is victory percentages. But one of the properties one might want in a CCG is diversity of gameplay. If everyone has access to the same cards then the "everyone's deck is different" aspect is lost.
This is exactly the problem I'm talking about. Magic has thousands of cards, maybe even tens of thousands. If everyone has access to this large volume and you don't see variety in decks then that means there are only a handful of possible winning combos. With such a large volume of cards there should be many ways to win thus you should many different decks even with access to any card you want.

If people have to resort to random distribution of cards to achieve variety in decks then the game design is broken on a fundamental level.

Re:Uh...that's what a CCG is. (1)

bateleur (814657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21170645)

No, not necessarily.

This is a difficult discussion to pursue, because Magic itself is quite broken in this respect. However, the problem will occur in some form in any game of this type.

Consider any pair of decks. Played only against each other, one of them is better in the sense that it wins over half of all matches played between the two. Therefore all that any CCG can ever achieve is a situation where a "metagame" arises in which the deck you choose depends upon which deck you think your opponent has chosen.

You might think deck diversity could therefore be achieved by simply having a metagame with a large number of (viable) decks in it, but this is not really the case. Why? Because there is no incentive to innovate a new deck in contention for a metagame place unless it will actually result in a higher win percentage than all established decks at the point at which you introduce it. This bar is set pretty low for the third deck in a given metagame, is sometimes viable for the fourth, but gets increasingly impractical after that.

Yes, it is very likely true to say that in real examples of CCGs the metagames are smaller than they could be with better design, but really not by very much. Compare this to "Sealed Deck" formats where if you play ten matches in the same tournament you will face ten profoundly different decks. No Constructed (the term for a format where players freely build decks) metagame for any CCG will ever look like that. Even if it should in theory (unlikely), the tendency of players to copy known reliable decks will prevent it.

Re:Uh...that's what a CCG is. (1)

harl (84412) | more than 6 years ago | (#21174077)

As you describe it card selection is more important than player skill. Any monkey can download a deck manifest, build the deck, and do well. You've just described a completely broken game design.

Re:Uh...that's what a CCG is. (1)

bateleur (814657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21174701)

Not remotely. I'm assuming perfect play!

Re:Uh...that's what a CCG is. (1)

harl (84412) | more than 6 years ago | (#21174919)

So?

Poker? IROC? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158205)

Having cards actually be rare is a good thing, if they could pull it off. Games get boring when everyone has access to the same spells and same powerdecks.
You mean like Poker, a card game where the players get cards from the same deck? What about IROC [wikipedia.org] , an automotive competition where every driver gets an identical car?

Re:Poker? IROC? (3, Insightful)

fistfullast33l (819270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158269)

You mean like Poker, a card game where the players get cards from the same deck?

While I'm not an expert in CCG, I think I would argue that randomness plays a larger part in Poker then in a game like Magic. How random is this game when you can choose the cards you wish to put in your deck before the game begins? That's like stacking a deck in Poker so you always get a flush...

Re:Poker? IROC? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158361)

It's not quite like that...It's more like stacking your deck so you're more likely to get a flush, and less likely to get 3 of a kind.

Ideally card games should be balanced to the point where there is no single card that's so powerful that possessing it is a game winner. WOTC has made a fortune, however, by making sure that people buy tons of cards, on the off chance one of those game winners shows up, and a lot of other card makers have followed suit.

I think the only good thing about this as far as EoJ is concerned is that it becomes all about strategy and none about collecting the damn cards.

Re:Poker? IROC? (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158587)

The only way I like to play Magic is with a big communal deck, originally built up from all the decks me and my friends bought and never turned into "power decks" (and now built up from pretty much all our cards). It takes a lot of extra "house rules" to compensate for the lack of coherence, but usually just allowing a bigger hand does it. In fact, every round tends to change the house rules around somewhat. As with most games, it's just so much more fun when it's not taken so seriously.

Well, I should qualify that ... it's been more than 6 years since I moved, left all my cards behind, and haven't played since. Heck, for all I know there's now official rules for communal deck games (but I doubt it, it'd threaten the CCG business model). I'm kind of happy that MtG's reemerging somewhat in popularity, but I think I'll be staying behind this time.

Not just IROC but all spec racing. (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21159785)

There are many classes where cars are as close to identical as possible. It is called Spec racing. It all comes down to skill and not money. The sad thing is that Nascar is getting to the point of being spec racing:( Back in the day the car makers would produce cars just so they could race them in Nascar. Cars like the Dodge Daytona Charger, Plymouth Superbird, and the Ford Talladega. Spec racing makes for some very exciting racing but doesn't really help advance the state of the art. Doesn't really come into play when you are talking about CCG.

Re:Uh...that's what a CCG is. (2, Insightful)

rev_dru (618154) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158351)

The rarity of cards has never stopped anyone from net-decking. It has just forced them to choose between spending money and losing. Typically, when you build a magic deck, you don't look at what cards you have, but what cards are legal in the current format. When you're done, you go out and get the cards that you are missing. Theoretically, if every player had access to every card in the game, they would probably still play the exact same decks.

In online games, casual players are mixed in with more serious players, so you play against tournament-style decks even in casual play. This will put pressure on the casual player to get the money rares. From my perspective, having all of the cards available to everyone will not change the decks people are playing at all. It will only make the game cheaper for the players.

Re:Uh...that's what a CCG is. (1)

tilandal (1004811) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158999)

The strategy in a game should come from choosing your cards correctly, not from buying tons of cards looking for a game winner. I will never play these "collector" games because they are only a gimmick to get you to shell out tons of money. Any good game is balanced so that when two people play together the game itself isn't biased towards one or the other. There are many hundreds of games like this and many have been played for hundreds of years. I see no reason to buy a game that is intentionally flawed in order to extract money from you.

Re:Uh...that's what a CCG is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21159367)

but if implemented correctly, a new player can have access to spells (for example) that a seasoned player has never heard of, and thus the seasoned player can't just play by the book. It's adding immersion into the RPing aspect of the game. Similarly, if cards go OOP, a veteran player that had access to them now gains an advantage, and is part of the history of the game.

Re:Uh...that's what a CCG is. (2, Insightful)

rkanodia (211354) | more than 6 years ago | (#21160121)

The strategy in a game should come from choosing your cards correctly, not from buying tons of cards looking for a game winner.

I used to play Magic, and this exact criticism is why I don't anymore. I have no problem with the idea of deck construction, but making 'rare' cards more powerful just allows the creators of the game to cash in on an artificial scarcity of their own design. The whole thing about 'rarity is designed for Limited play, where players don't bring their own decks' is a canard, because Limited and Constructed players alike use the same packs of cards to play. If rarity were really about making Limited a better format, you would just be able to spend $40 and get a big box with enough of each card to be able to make any valid deck for Constructed play, and then Limited events would use the same packs that they do now.

I'd happily play a 'CCG' based on slightly more 'traditional' board/card game economics (fixed price for fixed cards), but interestingly enough, there are none that are popular. I daresay that the thrill of opening a pack and finding out what cards you got is a big hook for new players, who are then sort of gradually introduced into additional levels of indoctrination as they become normalized to their previous levels. It's sort of like Scientology - just as no one would join the Church of Scientology if spending $10,000 to read 'OT 3' were the first step, no one would start playing Magic if the first step was to spend $400 on a 'tournament competitive' deck, which will require $100 of new 'tech' every two months or so for as long as you want to play. But you know, that first packs of cards is pretty cool, and then you start buying more cards once you see that your friends are able to do better by playing different cards, and then you read about this cool combo engine on some website, and then you learn how a deck full of dual-lands would make it so much more possible for you to add a splash of Blue, and then...

Re:Uh...that's what a CCG is. (1)

dosboot (973832) | more than 6 years ago | (#21163999)

$40 for a big box of cards for constructed would be nice. It's never going to happen sadly. I'd also like to see limited-esque play where you don't have to buy the damn boosters, i.e. you just don't get to keep the cards afterwards or some such. There are lots of people who obviously want a CCG without that the first 'C'. In fact, I'd wager 90% of people who quit CCGs do so because of the terrible cost. The market is there, but no one is bothering to target it.

Re:Uh...that's what a CCG is. (2, Insightful)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#21161067)

Having to buy the latest cards hasn't made M:TG die.
No, but constantly banning cards in order to FORCE you to upgrade your entire collection sure has turned away more than enough people that I know who were once into it. That is Wizards of the Coast though. They have an almost painful reputation of such underhanded tactics across a slew of gaming lines. It's really too bad that the Call of Cthulhu CCG changed to a non-collectible format, as it is the best I've ever played (even nudging past Netrunner by an inch or two).

Re:Gimmick (1)

Translation Error (1176675) | more than 6 years ago | (#21160691)

That's because you're looking at it from the point of view of someone who's into computer/video games. From the point of view of a trading card gamer, this is the first step in the ultimate dream of having the creatures on your cards actually come to life and do your bidding.

Re:Gimmick (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 6 years ago | (#21164071)

This post would've made sense if it had been made fifteen years ago.

For the record, I agree with your reasoning, but obviously a lot of people don't.

Rob

Re:Gimmick (1)

therufus (677843) | more than 6 years ago | (#21165069)

I've got one acronym for you:

WOW.

There are many sad individuals who enjoy getting ripped off in this world.

I would play it myself... (5, Funny)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 6 years ago | (#21157809)

but quite frankly, the eye scares the crap out of me. [penny-arcade.com]

Re:I would play it myself... (3, Funny)

FinchWorld (845331) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158237)

Sure [ctrlaltdel-online.com] does. [ctrlaltdel-online.com]

Did I miss something? (4, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21157813)

When did Magic become a game of skill instead of personal wealth?

Re:Did I miss something? (3, Insightful)

toleraen (831634) | more than 6 years ago | (#21157953)

Probably around 1998, for me at least. The group of friends I played with tended to use proxies for the more expensive cards. It was a lot cheaper, and more fun, to try out new deck ideas that way. No point in spending lots of cash on the real cards just to test out a deck theme, only to find that the idea didn't work as well as you wanted.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158847)

Wasn't that shortly after they spewed "Mirage" at us? Go figure... that's when I quit.

Wonder if my cards are worth anything these days...

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#21159015)

I think I quit slightly before that (I know that Homelands was the latest expansion when I quit). There were only about 5 people at school that I played the game with, and one of the parents heard on some evangelical radio broadcast that the game was Satanic (if you'd ever looked at it you'd no it wasn't close to any such thing, but far be it for an adult to trust the word of a 14 year old over that of the radio preacher . . .). The parents all called each other and forced us all to quit. Luckily I got to keep my card collection. All my friends had to either sell or throw away theirs. My father, being only semi-religious (a believer but not a church goer), refused to allow my mother to force me to get rid of anything that I'd paid for with my own money.

I have actually started playing again as of about a year ago, but I've now started playing online instead. Easier to keep track of cards, easier to build decks, and MUCH easier to find people to play with. I treat it kinda like an MMORPG subscription. I buy 2-3 "packs" per month and just play with those. That's fine for casual play, and I still win more matches than I lose (again though, I'm playing casually and not in any tourney's), so it isn't too bad.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158419)

Well, there's always this guy [wizards.com] (on the left in the first picture. Old high school friend. Biggest nerd I've ever known (in a non-tech sense). Nice guy, but don't expect him to speak about anything but MtG. His wife works at Wal-Mart, last I heard, and he's in a factory. Never had a lot of money, just a lot of time, and but in the MtG circles and what not he's a family name. Does very well. I don't know if he's been tournamenting lately. We get him out on the paint ball field once or twice a year and, thankfully, the card game/obsession rarely comes up during those excursions.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

daenris (892027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158459)

well, as one reply mentions you can always use proxy cards instead of the real cards. Alternatively there are several programs designed to allow you to play online for free... Magic Workstation and Apprentice are the two that come to mind.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

curunir (98273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21159695)

I don't know if anything has changed since I quit (1996), but back there was still a lot of skill back then.

Both type 2 tourneys and games/tourneys using a single starter pack and a few boosters were all about skill. My most successful type 2 deck (easily won 80-90 percent of the time) did not contain a single rare card.

I found type 1 boring, it didn't even take that much personal wealth to give yourself a chance of drawing the right hand for the first or second turn kill. I had all the cards I needed (my first magic cards were the alphas, so between selling alphas and betas and buying plenty of the unlimited packs, I had many multiples of the expensive rares), it just wasn't fun since the game play was so predictable and winning involved more luck. It was still fun to use the powerful cards (or, more accurately, well-marked photo copies of those cards once their resale value was realized) in concept decks that weren't meant for tournaments, but beyond that I never used those cards.

But like I said, I have no idea if this situation has changed in the years since I quit.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 6 years ago | (#21159807)

When did Magic become a game of skill instead of personal wealth?

Sad as it is, I like Yu-Gi-Oh better for online play. There are no uber cards (well there are banned cards) but they generally try to balance the gameplay to focus on deck themes rather than winning cards.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 6 years ago | (#21160617)

I think its the other way around. I think it became about personal wealth when they started pumping out expansions biweekly. When I quit there were like 14, now its like 50 or something. Type 2 feeds the wealth (its only the most recent X expansions), and unless you have a good group of friends you're going to meet dicks who won't let you use proxy, etc.

Generally speaking since people started talking about "power decks" thats when it went downhill. I blame Inquest. There would always be one person in the group who'd find a powerdeck list and build off it. Everyone else playing more casual decks would lose most of the time to it and they'd either push that guy out or do the same.

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

masticina (1001851) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166051)

Pretty much drains the fun out of it doesn't it! And I stopped M:TG 2-4 years ago and the cards nowadays are even at common level overpowering some of the more uncommon cards of the old. I mean old cards are just..flushed out!

Re:Did I miss something? (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 6 years ago | (#21166067)

Wizard DBZ'd Magic a long time ago, with each expansion massively overpowering existing cards rather than integrating into one cohesive game.

check out "the spoils" for a new and unique game that feels quite a bit like magic did back before it sucked.

Good For Players, Bad For Sony (1, Informative)

roadkill_cr (1155149) | more than 6 years ago | (#21157823)

I used to play Magic a lot, and this is certainly great for players on a budget. With my friends I used to play with proxy decks (i.e. cards with labels instead of the cards themselves) because I couldn't afford the hundreds of dollars I'd have to spend to get the right cards (either through getting rares out of packs and trading them or just buying the specific card I needed). However, this absolutely sucks for Sony, who is now only going to make money through the sale of the Eye and the game itself. Unless it comes up with some extremely clever way to entice people to keep buying the actual cards themselves. (Each box has a unique super card that can only be registered once or something.)

Re:Good For Players, Bad For Sony (2, Insightful)

AuraSeer (409950) | more than 6 years ago | (#21157965)

However, this absolutely sucks for Sony, who is now only going to make money through the sale of the Eye and the game itself.

Oh, how will they ever survive? No video game company has ever made a profit just by selling video games!

Re:Good For Players, Bad For Sony (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158095)

I couldn't afford the hundreds of dollars I'd have to spend to get the right cards
Wait, we're talking about a game played with actual, physical cards? Not cards on a screen, but rectangles of laminated paper? That would mean you'd have to be in the same time and space as your opponents! Yuck. You'd be able to smell them and talk to them and you'd have to wear clothes.

Wow, the kids these days... What will they think of next?

Wait, do these "cards" have arphid chips in them or something? Or UPC codes that are read by a scanner feeding data to a PC that keeps score? This will require research.

Re:Good For Players, Bad For Sony (1)

Joshwaa (1103819) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158327)

They're physical cards, and there are symbols on them that are recognized by the playstation 3 camera. The point of TFA is that the camera also recognizes printouts of the cards, so people don't have to spend money on buying the physical cards, they can just print them out.

Re:Good For Players, Bad For Sony (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158745)

What's keeping you from copying with any other card game? The players, copyrights, etc.
It's hard to believe WOTC or Sony hadn't thought of copying, and didn't balance the game mechanics appropriately. Very, very, very... hard.

All I see this really affecting are online tournaments. There probably wont be any. Big whoop, hold tournaments in meatspace like any other CG.

Re:Good For Players, Bad For Sony (1)

apparently (756613) | more than 6 years ago | (#21159535)

What's keeping you from copying with any other card game? The players, copyrights, etc

Takes a bit more skill to make copy of a card that needs to be physically identical (card stock, colors, etc). Try playing with an imperfect copy, and your opponent will very likely notice. But in the case of this story, you don't even need it to be a good copy for it to work in the game. Big difference there.

Re:Good For Players, Bad For Sony (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 6 years ago | (#21161993)

Try playing with an imperfect copy, and your opponent will very likely notice.
And he's going to say what? "By golly, you're playing with bogus cards. That means you automatically forfeit and must relinquish your Eternal Eye of the Cthulu Grand Master membership certificate, which quite clearly is also phony. I say, how dare you, sir? "

Why would you play a game with someone with that big a stick up his ass?

Re:Good For Players, Bad For Sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21163151)

Gee, I dunno, tournament-play? You should come on over for poker some night, you don't have such a stick up your ass that you don't mind if I play with an extra couple aces in my pocket, do you?

Re:Good For Players, Bad For Sony (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 6 years ago | (#21180281)

Except that in Poker everyone plays from an identical deck. Imagine if poker started with the richest guy having a larger pocket of cards. That'd sure be a fun game.

Anyone who plays CCGs with friends and doesn't print out rare cards is an idiot. The game as all about stacking the deck so that the people who spend more have better odds - anyone who doesn't like you copying cards is a douche who's relying on his large stack of rares.

Is the game all that great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21159009)

Maybe I am just showing my age, but I think the concept of this game is kind of weird anyway. I want to play card games when I don't want to play a computer game. When I am playing a computer game, needing physical cards seems like a cumbersome non-sequitor.

I suppose the idea was to sell a game that generates renewable income by requiring players to keep buying more components for it...but in order for the players to perceive some kind of value to their purchases they needed to have the cards be a physical product rather than just an electronic unlocking. The end result is a mixing of genres that is just outright weird.

Is it very popular? I really don't see the appeal, but that may just be a matter of taste.

no suprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21157995)

I've always said that MTG is just an MMO where the only method of character advancement is to buy from the gold farmers. If you take away the grinding aspect of an MMO, you might lose some strategic element (different character arrangements grind faster), but because you can always make it up with more time or by gold farmer purchases, it doesn't amount to much.

The situation is even clearer in customizable card games: There was never any strategy involved in the "leveling" (here card obtaining) process, just money. So when you eliminate it, you have't removed any strategic aspect of the game; its still about squeezing as much as you can into limited deck size constraints, and then playing that deck properly. The only people who lose when you take the second C out of CCG are the bean counters.

UID (3, Interesting)

Gunslinger47 (654093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158013)

Would it have been too expensive to print unique IDs on every card? Card copying is only an issue for online play, after all. Make the UID a hash that gets sent back to the servers, then you could have stopped all casual piracy.

To further reduce the problem, simply track hash failures and duplicate UIDs, then wait a bit for the cheaters to get confident before banning all rampant cheaters for a month, sending angry messages to all moderate cheaters and deleting all offending cards from the database.

Combined technical hurdles and fear tactics would wipe out practically all significant cheating, leaving only the soldering gun / hex editor crowd who you're not going to stop anyway. For them, as TFA says, there's only so far a hacked deck can take you.

Re:UID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21158079)

Card copying is only an issue for online play, after all. Make the UID a hash that gets sent back to the servers, then you could have stopped all casual piracy.


That's what I first thought, but then I realized that this would result in Cory Doctorow launching another anti-DRM crusade and insisting that Disney-themed expansion sets be created post-haste.

Re:UID (1)

chaboud (231590) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158427)

That could certainly work, but there's a trade-off between how many bits you can encode onto the card and how much range you have for the camera to read the card (unless you have some validation steps that the user has to go through).

You also have to consider that people might share cards to play with (legitimately), and any sort of banning might catch legitimate users out.

I think you'd do better with something that's hard to copy with printing (e.g. near-IR ink and a near-IR LED on the camera to do quick validation).

Re:UID (1)

Yosho (135835) | more than 6 years ago | (#21159161)

there's a trade-off between how many bits you can encode onto the card and how much range you have for the camera to read the card

The trade-off isn't really significant. A UPC barcode, which is the type printed on every single item at the store, is small, very easy to read, and can represent 12 digits -- about 1 trillion possible different values. If we space things out so that only one in every 2000 values is actually valid, that's still half a billion different values, which is probably far more cards than they will ever even print. There's no need to ban people who are legitimately sharing cards, but it's safe to assume that if you see a card being scanned by >30 different people on the same day, there's something fishy going on.

Re:UID (1)

chaboud (231590) | more than 6 years ago | (#21160339)

Take a look at the cards used in this type of application (lots of Siggraph history). The cards need orientation and recognition markers, and the code needs to be readable from very odd angles well outside of optimal focus. 2D bar-codes are definitely capable of carrying a lot of data, but these cards have more work to do with (generally) cheaper cameras.

They just don't have the space/bits for per-card UIDs.

Even worse than that, the cost of producing each card would go up for individual IDs.

Why do people speak as if EoJ is different? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21158019)

I don't see how this is any different from other CCGs. People can play those with fake cards just as easy, if not technically easier. The enforcement in those games is that other players won't want to play against people with fake cards (which, you can tell with the camera in this game, right?) and that some people simply enjoy the act of collecting the cards for investment purposes. The mechanisms are identical.

And I keep seeing people recommend "register once" cards. This would ruin the CCG model more than anything else. It gets rid of the ability to trade or sell cards at a later time.

Re:Why do people speak as if EoJ is different? (1)

Joshwaa (1103819) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158385)

You don't see what the other person's camera shows, the camera just registers the card and sends the info of what card it is along to the other client, at which point a computer generated 3d model is created on their tv, so no, you can't see who's got fake cards.

Re:Why do people speak as if EoJ is different? (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158799)

Do you have the game? I was kind of hoping they might have built in a "live video" toggle or something to quickly verify the opponents cards online or something.

I guess you just can't take online games with strangers very seriously then.

Another reason (4, Informative)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158025)

The guys at Penny-Arcade noted that there's a limited number of each card you can stack in your deck, anyway-- three for most, and some others are even more limited, so it's not like you're going to run up against a guy with a deck that's full of Fruitfucker Behemoths.

Given that Sony seems to be selling the camera separately (or at least making plans to do so), and retailers don't know what to make of it in the first place, the game is probably already doomed to being an odd little gimmick. If they really wanted to go with a collectible game, they would have been better served by something that was wholly online and digital-- the chance of counterfeits goes down substantially there, and the players are only a step away from the card store whenever they turn the console on.

Re:Another reason (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158581)

I think you're overlooking something. Card games are more fun to play in person, with friends. To me, that's the entire point of a console game that uses a physical medium like cards... to play with other people in the same room. If you don't want to do that, then yup, the whole thing could have been cold and digital.

It wouldn't be all that difficult for Sony to run a two way video feed of the two boards to verify obvious fakes, that is what the camera is used for outside the game. Is that necessary though?

Re:Another reason (1)

Saint_Waldo (541712) | more than 6 years ago | (#21160077)

They could certainly do this server-side if they wanted to. 2-way is a bad idea, tho; I wouldn't like to see the other person flipping me off every other move, however. And that's the least stomach churning thing I can think of that a 2-way feed would enable during a bad beatdown.

Re:Another reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21171357)

I can just see the flavor text on that Fruitfucker Behemonth:

"When you happen to be 50 stories tall, everything starts to look like a ripe, juicy orange."

Now all we need is an image of Tycho looking up in horror, in the shadow of one of those behemoths.

It does ruin the game.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21158047)

It ruins it for SOny and Wizards of the Coast.

The whole point of the game was for them to sell the collectable cards. There by making more money. Kinda like the subscription of an MMO, this game was designed so the developers will get more money after the initial sale.

Re:It does ruin the game.... (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158135)

Indeed. And this is where a longer term problem - one which affects players as well - is going to rear its head. While the original business model for the game still held true, Sony had a huge incentive to actively develop the game and continue producing new decks and the like. After all, from what I can see, they're probably not actually making much (if any) profit on selling the game/hardware bundle. The plan must always have been to pump the profits out of the card sales.

However... the golden goose has now been well and truly shot, cooked and served up for dinner with all the trimmings. The most significant side-effect of its rather premature demise is that Sony no longer have any real incentive to continue developing the game. I'd expect to see it quietly sidelined in a matter of months, or even weeks.

Re:It does ruin the game.... (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158527)

As much as I hate bringing up file sharing and the AAs, how is this really that much different than the situation with pirating music/movies/software/etc? People don't have to buy the cards/CDs/DVDs/etc, but people still do. Why are people assuming that now every single player will just used fake cards? As noted several times above, people have copied/proxied M:tG cards for over a decade, yet they still pump out more cards and people buy them.

Re:It does ruin the game.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21160861)

Copying a card gives you an edge over your important, i.e.: it allows people to 'cheat'. Copying CDs or DVDs doesn't affect a game...

Re:It does ruin the game.... (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 6 years ago | (#21161217)

Right, but this particular thread is about how the game is supposedly dead since the publisher has no more financial motivation to continue supporting it.

Re:It does ruin the game.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21161717)

The question you posed was "Why are people assuming that now every single player will just used fake cards?". So in response to that, a player is at a disadvantage if a potential opponent is copying cards. Since you have no way of knowing if your opponent isn't copying cards, you might as well do the same...

Re:It does ruin the game.... (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 6 years ago | (#21162195)

Oh, so that's why everyone uses aimbots in CS!

There's always a way to cheat in games, and some people will take advantage of that every chance they get. Not everyone is a cheater though, that was my point.

Re:It does ruin the game.... (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158275)

so the solution is to release content. Magic has had the CCG component tamed for years. There are very few high priced (in-print) cards anymore as everybody knows the market is flooded. The way to make this work is to cater to collectors by releasing variations, and to the current crop of avid players releasing often. Magic has an online game but it's 100% online and you can't mix cards between real and virtual. All the cards for online exist on their servers. Of course if it was a money maker Sony wouldn't be trying to have real cards play online... That's what people really want, not two separate sets. So you're left with release often, or use some online test of skill to unlock high level cards in the game... i.e. you can buy it or copy it, but can't play it until you attain so many battles online.. that's how Wow works even with gold farmers as you can't just buy high level stuff, your character still has to play to the required level or skills.

The key with CCG is do you want depth of skilled players or a short run of buyers with deep pockets that buy in as a fad then move on? you could alway add some cards as coded for online "payment" but make them not trade-able (like lands in Magic that you still need many of for real-space play)

Short-term? Great. Long-term? Screwed. (1)

FroBugg (24957) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158263)

Is the game still going to be playable? Of course it is. As mentioned, all the various rules and restriction keep it from becoming too unbalanced.

But Sony's market for buyers of expansions has now gone into the toilet. If you'd hoped this would be a game with lots of new and interesting cards coming out in the future, that's gone. The market just won't be there when piracy is so much easier.

The only chance for long-term expansion of the game is if Sony patches it to include some sort of unique identifier on future cards, so that they can only be uploaded once.

So... (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158411)

If the game is good, it'll be ok, otherwise it won't?

Or am I misreading the summary?

It's the end for retailers (1)

Fulminata (999320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158627)

For people who actually play the game it may or may not be the end, but for the people who sell the cards it's a disaster. Depending on how many cards were printed, there could end up being a huge unsold stock for ages.

While a good many gamers might care less about the problems of retailers, this also means that a game using the same sort of mechanics as Eye of Judgment is unlikely to be made in the future as it would be very difficult to sell the idea to retailers after getting burned. Especially if they can look in their stock room or on their shelves and still see unsold Eye of Judgment cards.

Re:It's the end for retailers (1)

Saint_Waldo (541712) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158909)

You obviously haven't tried to buy a booster pack this week. Retailers already dropped the ball by not recognizing that someone is trying to figure out how to tie card-crack to a console and failing to have theme decks and boosters in the store next to the game. They won't be hurt by honest players; they will make money off of those people, and lots of folks want to play with real cards against their friends. The real winner is the consumer, however, because if this DOES dry up and lose support of Sony/WotC, players will still be able to copy the whole set and play that way. But, I personally will only do that if there is no other choice.

Proxies didn't kill MTG, MTG Studio [pcdownloadworld.com] didn't kill MTG Online, so I don't think color copying will kill EoJ for real players. Anyone copying cards just doesn't get why you want cards anyway, so they will go away soon enough, I gather.

Re:It's the end for retailers (1)

Fulminata (999320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21159149)

I'm not talking about the video game retailers, I'm talking about the retailers that normally sell CCGs and other games. Those are the stores that stocked the cards, and are also the stores that are dropping them as fast as they can after learning how easy it is to trick the game into reading the same card multiple times.

Re:It's the end for retailers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21161345)

after learning how easy it is to trick the game into reading the same card multiple times
To be fair, it's not that simple. To register the cards for online play, all copies of identical cards must be scanned in one shot. You'd have to make physical copies. Then there's limits to how many of each card you can have in your deck, and for online play, your 30 cards are randomly selected from the pool of cards you scanned in. People are still going to buy cards to play with friends, unless they're OK with using obvious proxies.

I think people are underestimating how diverse these cards can be while retaining balanced gameplay. It's not like there's a big NUKE card every kid is going to copy and stuff their deck with.

Re:It's the end for retailers (1)

Fulminata (999320) | more than 6 years ago | (#21163947)

Given the prevalence of scanners, color printers and color copy machines I'd say it's pretty simple.

Re:It's the end for retailers (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21178427)

Actually, if it sells the materials need to play the game(camera, lights, eye of newt, whatever, you will see games like this and the entire deck will just be available via download.

I wonder when the new home brewed games will start to show up?

A different point of View (2, Interesting)

SailorSpork (1080153) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158657)

Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast will likely disagree with your definition of of "ruins the game." To be more specific, their definition will be "anything that prevents people from buying piles of our cards that we invested lots of money into at Sony's word that it'd be a good move." I'm not saying that people printing copies for use in the game is a bad thing for the reasons stated in the post, but Sony's business model was poorly planned if they didn't take this into account. It hasn't been ruined for the players, its been ruined for Sony and WoC.

On another note, the probability of them being motivated to release limited edition cards they may have developed will be close to nil. What is the value if high-res copies will be online the moment its released? And will they want to put money into creating and releasing infinite expansions that would expand the playability of the game, like Wizards is known to do? Nope. So it might be argued that any future potential this game had via expansions has, in fact, been killed.

Re:A different point of View (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 6 years ago | (#21180295)

Quake is a viable game even though everyone gets to use the same maps and weapons.

It's just a fact that anyone who plays CCG type games where the point is to have stuff the other people don't have, is a total prick.

The game would be more fun if they dropped this stupid expensive card shit and simply let people build decks out of everything that existed. What, they can't be money grubbing assholes that way? Well, damn. Breaks my heart.

Broken I-Win Button (1)

Saint_Waldo (541712) | more than 6 years ago | (#21158757)

I've been playing this game all weekend. I'm pretty sure I've only encountered one copied deck. At this moment, you can be pretty sure it's copied if every card has an interlocking mechanic. The guy I fought had a ton of mana steal/spring cards, and I'm pretty sure it's a net-listed deck. The guy didn't play a single card from the starter deck, which is a pretty big sign to me since the booster supplies have been constrained nearly everywhere. Yes, he won, but it wasn't an easy game, and in the end, he won more because of a misplay on my part than his hot deck. Even if it wasn't a copied deck, it really proved to me that even with a pocket full of cash and boosters, a good player will make you play 30 turns no matter what, at which point you haven't really gained much over the standard deck or playing fair and buying boosters.

That's what is really cool about this game, and it's something that Penny-Arcade mentioned as well. The game isn't like magic where having a string of beatdown will help you. You are trying to take and hold squares on the board; there are many ways to make a very low cost, common creature neutralize the advantage of a huge cost "I win" card. The fact is, a card copier will still have to beat their opponent, and so will a rich kid who bought a whole set and carved a "perfect deck". I've played some of the top ranked players (I'm in the top 100 myself), and they beat my ass with mostly un-boosted standard decks. This is a game of strategy and a struggle over the board, not a queue up of hp/def that you just launch at your opponent's dome.

So, I'm pretty much as regular a player of this game as can exist atm, and I don't really care about copying that much. The game isn't all about rare cards. In fact, I relish the notion that I have a good chance of beating a card copier and making his cheater heart eat itself.

Questions for someone who's played (1)

greyfeld (521548) | more than 6 years ago | (#21159095)

Is it possible to re-use a single card in multiple decks registered online?

Is there any mechanism online for managing your collection?

Is there any mechanism online for trading?

If you trade a card to someone else, can they register it?

Do you both then have the card registered online?

Could you just share your cards with your friends and all have the same cards registered? I ask because of my kids and if they could have their own accounts with the same cards.

How many cards do you actually get in the box with the game?

How many cards are in a booster pack?

How many boosters would you say you need to buy in order to be competitive online?

How does the game play offline vs. online? Is it as fun?

Don't you wonder why they didn't just do a Magic Online or use their existing IP?

Thanks for taking the time to answer!

Re:Questions for someone who's played (1)

Saint_Waldo (541712) | more than 6 years ago | (#21159939)

Great questions, man. I'm glad to answer them.

Is it possible to re-use a single card in multiple decks registered online?
Yes. Your deck is just an electronic list of cards you can show the camera. You can even start your next new deck by copying an existing one. This is what you do to put your first booster pack into your starter deck.

Is there any mechanism online for managing your collection?
Well, not online, that I know of. In game, off-line, you can look at your decks. I don't think there's an in-game list of all the cards you've shown to the camera, just the decks you've built. You can sort them by stats. If a "big list" exists I haven't seen it. I also haven't found a deck analysis tool like the one in the Marvel TCG for PSP. That would be handy. The fact that the game supports updates gives me hope that this will be in at some point.

Is there any mechanism online for trading?
No, unless you consider eBay an online mechanism for trading. Because you have to have the card in a physical form (real or copy) to play it. I suppose you could consider swapping pdfs "trading", but that's not real cricket, is it?

If you trade a card to someone else, can they register it?
If you mean physically hand it to them, then yes, they can now play it and you can't. There is no permanent online registration. You just have to show the card to the camera while building the deck or while playing the game.

Do you both then have the card registered online?
No. See above. My answers only apply to physical cards.

Could you just share your cards with your friends and all have the same cards registered? I ask because of my kids and if they could have their own accounts with the same cards.
Well, yes, two players who use the same PS3 but separate accounts can share a pool of cards for online play, since only one of them is playing at a time. When it comes to the two of them playing against each other in a live game, they both must have a physical copy of the card in an assembled deck to play. The necessity for possessing a real card in live head-to-head is what will keep this game going to a certain extent.

How many cards do you actually get in the box with the game?
You get a working starter deck of 30 cards, which is the same list for everyone, and a booster pack of 8 cards. The booster contains 5 common, 2 uncommon, and 1 rare or ultra-rare card.

How many cards are in a booster pack?
8 cards. See above.

How many boosters would you say you need to buy in order to be competitive online?
None. You can be competitive without even opening your first booster, as the starter deck is very well constructed. All you need is a grasp of what the real goals of the game are and how to achieve them. The boosters add variety and the ability to choose mechanics that you have an affinity for or have subtler interlock, but you don't need them to play and win online. However, it gets a little stale playing the same deck over and over, so variety and experimentation are the real reasons to buy more cards, IMO.

How does the game play offline vs. online? Is it as fun?
I'll let you know later this week when I get my first boosters and have enough cards for my roommate to play me head to head instead of trading games against the comp.

Don't you wonder why they didn't just do a Magic Online or use their existing IP?
A lot of reasons, number one of which is the need to limit the number of cards that need to be recognized by the camera. There are similarities to Magic; the colors (red, green, blue, white, biolith, uncolored) are familiar to MTG players. The attack mechanics are very similar. What's different is that it's constrained to a board and is a battler over territory and not a free form assault on the other player's dome. In MTG, I used to run a squirrel deck that could produce 16+ creatures. This would be difficult to track with the camera.

Thanks for taking the time to answer!
I hope I've helped you come to a decision, whichever way you decide to go.

Re:Questions for someone who's played (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21160389)

The "big list" (master list of all cards you've ever shown) is under Deck Builder > (select deck) > Edit Deck (NOT edit with the camera) > R1 to Card List.

Re:Questions for someone who's played (1)

Saint_Waldo (541712) | more than 6 years ago | (#21160779)

Excellent, I was certain I missed it. Thanks a bunch.

Re:Questions for someone who's played (1)

Jearil (154455) | more than 6 years ago | (#21160185)

Is it possible to re-use a single card in multiple decks registered online?

1) Yes

Is there any mechanism online for managing your collection?

2) Yes, you can manage your decks in a deck constructor area of the game. You can register a deck by just throwing cards in front of the eye (multiples have to be registered at the same time). I think you can also create decks out of any cards you've unlocked by showing them to the eye in the deck construction area.

Is there any mechanism online for trading?

3) No

If you trade a card to someone else, can they register it?

4) Yes. If they physically have the card they can register it on their system just like you could on yours. As far as I'm aware, the cards don't have serial numbers or anything (can only get so much data in those bar codes)

Do you both then have the card registered online?

5) Well yes.. but in online play you still have to physically have the card to use it. The game will draw your cards for you to prevent cheating, so when you to go to play a card you'll still have to put it down on the board. If you traded it away but are using a registered deck that uses that card (that you no longer have) you obviously can't play it.

Could you just share your cards with your friends and all have the same cards registered? I ask because of my kids and if they could have their own accounts with the same cards.

6) Yes, but you'll need the physical cards to play the game.

How many cards do you actually get in the box with the game?

7) A starter deck of 30 cards and a booster pack of 8 cards (booster packs contain 5 common, 2 uncommon, and a rare or ultra rare)

How many cards are in a booster pack?

8) see above

How many boosters would you say you need to buy in order to be competitive online?

9) It really is a strategy game. You could be competitive with just the starter. Additional cards opens up more strategies that you can use, but the choice is yours really.

How does the game play offline vs. online? Is it as fun?

10) Offline with another person is great. I play with my house mate and we have a great time. Against the computer is good if you don't have anyone around to play with and want to get some practice in or try a new deck. I've not played too much online. The only thing I can say about that is you have to be good at recognizing card art and working in a time limit (though it's like 3 minutes per turn).

Don't you wonder why they didn't just do a Magic Online or use their existing IP?

11) Couldn't really do MtG in the same way as the cards aren't designed to be recognized with a glorified web cam. EoJ cards have basically bar code like markers on the top and bottom to identify what card you're using, and green arrows on the sides for orientation.

Re:Questions for someone who's played (1)

greyfeld (521548) | more than 6 years ago | (#21169777)

Thanks to everyone that clarified my questions. As a long-time Magic and Magic Online player, it surprises me that they have not brought Magic Online to the PS3 or 360. They could certainly use the same program they already have and you could buy virtual cards just like you do now. I would really love to play Magic Online on my 50" plasma. Guess I'll just have to hook my computer up to it one of these days. Personally, this sounds too gimicky to last.

One last question. Do you need a starter deck to play or can you just buy some boosters and not worry about playing on the PS3?

Re:Questions for someone who's played (1)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21170483)

The whole idea of eye of judgement was to create a card game where you had physical cards, which triggered onscreen animations and attacks, as well as kept track of all the numbers and such. It's not really a gimick, just a more physcial, tactile version of something like magic online.

Re:Questions for someone who's played (1)

Saint_Waldo (541712) | more than 6 years ago | (#21174569)

The game can be played without a PS3. I doubt it's anywhere as fun, but you can certainly play it standalone. You don't need a starter deck, just enough boosters to make a 30 card deck (4 will do it, but it won't be a very versatile deck most likely).

Re:Broken I-Win Button (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21159181)

Dork.

Better than the barcode battler (1)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21159281)

Reminds me of the Barcode Battler [wikipedia.org] , where shops in Japan would report sudden shortages of less popular items simply because they created characters with unusually strong attributes.

Looking back, I wonder why nobody bothered trying to print out their own barcodes.

MtG had similar growing pains (1)

Deathdonut (604275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21160309)

If you think back to the beginning of Magic: The Gathering, the card balance was horrible and similarly lacked finesse. WotC handled this by banning cards and creating structured competitive environments.

Eventually, any collectable game can become popular enough that the 'top tier' collectors are not limited by availability. If you want to encourage them to continue playing, you have to develope the game into one that rewards tactics and/or strategy.

I personally am too lazy to copy (1)

pl1ght (836951) | more than 6 years ago | (#21160485)

I wouldnt cheat in the first place, and I have been enjoying this game immensely vs others online over the past weekend. But honestly? Id rather have the real cards because i am too lazy to download, print copies. I dont think and i hope that the majority of gamers will go the route of copying. As others have pointed out its not really the cheating that will hurt the game, its the lack of card sales that would hurt it. Maybe there will be some resolution in a future patch, although how it could be resolved I do not know. Perhaps later editions will have some anti-counterfeit measures that will at least make copying cards not worth the effort except to the extremely determined.

Cheating? (1)

JoshJ (1009085) | more than 6 years ago | (#21178341)

It's not "cheating" to copy the cards. It doesn't give you any sort of advantage- it just levels the playing field. Now, everyone's got access to every card regardless of how much money they've spent, and gameplay comes down entirely to skill (and the luck of deck randomization). This is a good thing.
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