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Old 01-07-2012, 01:22 AM
mwposse mwposse is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 170

One of the toughest things for me on this site is the clock. I am so uncomfortable with the controls that I don't want to pay to play in a tournament.

From all the discussion it seems that there are a few goals.

1. Prevent stalling when prizes are on the line
2. make sure games can be completed in 1 hour
3. Allow enough time to make complicated moves

For an experienced player (both strategy wise and with the controls of the online version) these 3 things can all happen.

For an inexperienced player, one needs to be sacrificed. From my point of view, it seems that #3 is currently being sacrificed. I feel pretty confident about coming up with my strategy pretty quickly but I repeatedly run out of time on the clock if my move involves TKing or Carrying. Several times I have run out of time while in the middle of a move and attack... so my character just moves right next to my opponent and then stops. I ran out of time because of the controls, I was not stalling. The answer: Stick to simple moves. But that is really boring so the real answer for me is to not play in tournaments.

Is there a way to prevent stalling while still allowing time for complicated moves? Or moves by complicated teams with multiple characters rather than 1 or 2 power houses? It seems like the real issue occurs when a player has no more possible moves. I would imagine it would be very frustrating if an opponent used up their actions, have no free actions possible and just sits there and lets the clock run for 90 seconds. That is clearly stalling. Can that be prevented? Could the turn automatically end when there are no possible actions left? Could a person get a certain amount of time per character on their team (a team of 5 characters gets more time than a team of 2)? What about stopping both clocks (turn and game) during certain complicated actions?

#1 is non-negotiable; there must be a way to prevent stalling. In my opinion, #3 should also be protected. That leaves #2. The length of the game. This format simply is not as fast as real life. If that is the case, why is the length of the game the same? Hair10 had a good idea to have 2 different kinds of tournaments. 1 hour games for experienced players or ones who run small uncomplicated teams, and longer ones (90 min game with longer turn clocks?) for inexperienced players or ones who like to run very complicated teams.

Unless they come up with a way to make complicated moves easier to pull off in this format (and I canít imagine howÖ itís pretty amazing as is) there should be a longer time option for tournaments.

I think the ultimate goal is to get this site to grow. This can only be done by attracting and keeping new players.

An obvious response to my arguments can be "stop crying and just practice using the controls". This is true of course (and it's what I'm going to do because I really love the game), but is that really a way to attract and keep new players?
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Old 01-09-2012, 02:03 AM
aqhoffman aqhoffman is offline
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 49

Originally Posted by mwposse View Post
One of the toughest things for me on this site is the clock. I am so uncomfortable with the controls that I don't want to pay to play in a tournament....
wow, great post and sums up issues well! Though there are still issues with overall game time, you're right about complicated actions needing to take less time (in other words, as much like the 'real' game). I was away form HCO for a few months, and it is much smoother and quicker in all areas except TK in my opinion. Some significant improvements that make for a much more postiive play experience. Let's face it, sitting at a table it is maybe twice as long to conduct a Mind Control attack or TK as it is to do a running shot or charge, etc. In this game it is still longer than that, but its gettign better.

I don't know how to balance the tournament timer rules for Heroclix. Snik and others are correct: its much harder to totally stall in a face to face game with a judge and audience than it is on here, protected by the anonymity of the computer. Be that from a judge or venue owner who tries to keep a positive play environment or by the peer pressure on a dude to not be a d'bag.

"Stalling" should not mean moving strategically in order to keep a figure safe, staying out of range of a much more powerful figure, etc. Stalling on here is literally doing nothing while clock runs down. Some may not like it, but moving away from direct confrontation when it isn't in your favor is a perfectly acceptable strategy.

What about a total timer (50 minutes) that is only visible at 50/25/10th minute, then with a buzzer for last action? Additionally, in order to stave off blatant stalling, if a player makes no actions whatsoever (no perplex or other free actions, move actions, anything) for 2 minutes, flash a warning on stalling. If it happens consistently (3, 4 times in a game? may take some tweaking), that player is DQ'ed or given some sort of adverse rating.
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