A Very Merry Christmas
Merry Christmas everyone! Hope you are having Happy holidays!
My name is Eiji Shishido, I am the CEO of FORCE OF WILL, It feels like it’s been a while!
Today I have something to tell you, thanks for your playing and supporting Force of Will every time! Before we go read any further…
I want to present to you, our WGP Video for 2017, please enjoy it!
Force of Will is a game about sharing the world. Players from all over the world share ideas and discuss the game we make everyday. We hold large tournaments in Europe, the United States, and Japan every week. There are many other countries hosting tournaments whenever they like. Our cards have the history of entire nations infused into them. Force of Will is a game connecting the world with your support!
Today’s article is going to be very special. It will give our players and community a much better idea of the direction we are going in the future. Today is only the first part, but we have lined up a bunch of articles starting after the holidays to get you excited for all the cool Force of Will things we have coming. We thought the best way to talk about all these new things is to point out some challenges that we have faced, and then after that we will talk a little bit about what we are changing!
Challenge #1 - Communication Between World Communities and FoWCo.
We know that there has been challenges in all areas of our game that the USA community has had many opinions on. Both positive and negative. For us, it is difficult to hear all the feedback, when we are so far apart from the majority of our players. This sometimes lead us to make decisions based on our local communities rather than the whole world's opinion. This has come to haunt us on some occasions, and for some time we weren’t sure what to do to bridge that gap. This is a really big issue that we are well aware of, and over the last few months have taken careful steps to consider our next move.
Challenge #2 - Reviewing our Beliefs for the Making of a Good Game
We also noticed recently that we did not have clear written beliefs that guided our game. We hadn’t told the world about how we handle our game. Ever since the days of Valhalla design we have had a soul for our game in our heart, but in our rush to keep up with our rapidly expanding game, we never had the chance to review it and explain to the world what we believe makes Force of Will so special. This has caused some players to question Force of Will. From time to time, we have not checked on ourselves to ensure we are following our own design beliefs closely. The challenges of success can take time to appear, and we have waited long enough to share them.
Challenge #3 - Being Accountable for Changes
We know that some people within our community were not happy because we had not explained ourselves very good, and we didn’t tell you why we made changes sometimes. That’s not such a good thing to do. We know that you want to trust us and we want to show you that we can be trusted. Maybe you know, FoWCo is a young company when compared to many other huge, super big companies in Japanese and American TCG market. We had to make sure we followed our own way to be special. But we want our players to trust us and that we have the games life in mind.
Refining Our Way
We had so many things going on, and we haven’t really talked so much about them. We decided that we should really help all of our friends in the USA and Europe understand a little bit more about us. Sure of course we can make card games, but we should explain why we are doing things. Sometimes we should focus on what makes us popular and take care of our card game family.
Before we talk a little bit on how we are evolving as a company, I want to explain a little about the Japanese idea of “道”. We read this kanji as “Michi” or “Dou” and we often understand it as “the Path” or “the Way.” Many of you have probably heard of 剣道 (Kendo - Sword Way) or柔道 (Judo - Gentle Way). We stopped recently and asked ourselves. “What is our path?” “What is the Force of Will Way?” We never talked about that openly with our family. We never talked about if we valued winning above all else (We don’t), or if there was much more to our game we wanted to share (There is!).
We will take the next couple weeks and we have a lot to share about all these ideas in our head. I can give you a short summary of what we will talk about. The first thing we want to tell everyone is our company's “way”. The “way” that is guiding FoWCo into 2018, and our new thinking way. We will show you our “Force of Will Way.” After that, we will show you the concepts that are built upon our founding beliefs. Our Planning, Development, and System teams are all built and developing new ideas based on this. We are going to make sure that the product we produce and manage follows our founding beliefs that we will share with you in the coming weeks.
By the end of our new articles, all of this information will be filled in, and we'll all grow together. Maybe you will be able to understand my thinking, and I will hear your thoughts and feelings as well.
Solution #1 Bringing a New Face to Force of Will
In addition to sharing our founding beliefs and our ideas going forward on our website, we also think that it is useful to find a way to have a voice to reach out to the community and share this information. We want you to be heard, and we want ourselves to be heard correctly. To do this we will assign someone who we think fits in our new roll.
He is going to be our “Force of Will Global Liaison.” He will be the one distributing information, writing some of these articles, and opening our company’s heart to the world. He will also be monitoring the community and helping us understand what the players want and are worried about. He should also understand the many complex differences between Japanese and Western culture. We strongly believe he will be very helpful for everyone.
Solution #2 Sharing our Founding Beliefs and More!
I said before, starting at the beginning of next year, we want to share our company’s heart with you. We think if you can understand our ideas, it is easier to trust us. We also think that if we can write our feelings down, it is kind of like a rule or a law, and something we can all follow. The United States had ten laws in the Bill of Rights. We will have ten ideas that will help the world understand who we are as a company. Please wait just a short time, because we will start talking about this in our very next meeting after the holidays!
Solution #3 Accountability is a Priority
We know that it’s hard to understand our changes if we don’t explain why we are making them. That can make our communities a little uncomfortable about what we are doing. So we decided from now on that when we make changes to our game, or to our rules, or ban list, or anything else, we will do our best to explain why we are doing that change. We want our changes to be for the health and benefit of our game. If we can explain and justify our changes, maybe it is easier for everyone to wrap their heads around it. Of course, change is always difficult. We like the way things are usually. But sometimes a little change can push us in a better direction. From now on we will explain what we are thinking the benefits of any changes we make are and how they will help our game!
We want all members of our community, from shops, to players, to judges, and distributors all over to know that we care about them very much, and we appreciate their efforts. I think you will be really excited for what is coming. One part that we also want to do is bring our communities together. For a long time the world’s FoW communities have been split up. We will have an announcement for how we are going to be changing that coming soon as well!
To make sure all these things are going to happen smoothly, and to show you our serious commitment to the changes, I will also be making more frequent appearances to let you know about exciting things coming to our game.
We have a lot to talk about over the next couple months and I’m sure many players will be excited about all the changes we have in store!
Alright, thanks for reading Rulers!
See you next time~
Ban List Update
Griphon, Racing Across Darkness , Pricia, True Beastmaster // Reincarnated Maiden of Flame, Pricia , and Captain Hook, the Pirate are all Banned in the New Frontiers format.
We will be doing Wanderer playtesting as well and make Wanderer a great format in the coming months as well!
From now on, we will announce ban lists when Prereleases happen! Even if there is no changes! We will talk more about this change next year, but keeping a closer eye on things will go a long way in keeping the game healthier. Here is our first explanation of a change being made. I hope you will find this information useful going forward.
Griphon, Racing Across Darkness - With a multitude of powerful cards in green and black, tutors, and nearly all cards using activated abilities rather than cast effects, there is very little ways to interact profitably with Lilias Petal’s Judgemented Nine Tailed Fox. While the concept of the deck is very fun, a monster that is a large flying threat, that ends games, on top of ramping the user ahead two stones, allowing for potentially multiple follow up Chimera’s with no cost outside of 500 life (400, if we could the life killing stone gains!) makes Fox a nearly impossible deck to race with all the value it can produce! That doesn’t include the quickcast speed discard and Lifegain/Destruction the other two Chimera’s provide the deck. Gryphon was chosen to be banned due to the excessive ramp it causes, pushing the Fox player far ahead, while also giving them additional resources and a large flying threat. We feel that with the addition of the Lilas Petal resonator, the deck more adequately fulfills the role we envision for the Ruler.
Pricia, True Beastmaster // Reincarnated Maiden of Flame, Pricia - An incredibly powerful aggressive ruler with all the makings of a champion. However, her ability to once again ramp Will with her effective “stone cycling”, in combination with the ability to share Swiftness and Flying with otherwise strong resonators AND a J-Ruler side that can easily kill players even in the early turns of the game creates a J/Ruler that is just too strong for the New Frontiers format. Many of the cards in Pricia have found effective homes in similar aggressive decks, but without game breaking addition of powerful resonators like Mariabella having flying and swiftness, their power is more in line with the rest of the format.
Captain Hook, the Pirate - One of the most popular cards from the first Lapis set, Curse of the Frozen Casket. At the time, this card was considered necessary to deal with many of the 5 color decks in the format and the incredible speed of the Alice Cluster format. However, with the introduction of Lumia, and the speed at which this card could be ramped into, it became a real threat. With the introduction of a ban list into Europe’s tournaments, Hook was banned to prevent the format from falling into a Lumia format. To keep the world in sync, for this one time, we will also ban Hook to ensure that the world is on the same page. Going forward we will however be using our own tracking data to determine when bans need to occur and which cards are deserving. Becoming “Hook Locked” essentially made the opposing player unable to play any spells after only 1 or 2 turns. Force of Will’s New Frontiers format should be about having fun, and enjoying the experience. New players being stuck forever at 1 stone while being pummeled by a 1000/1000 resonator were not having fun, and thus the combination of the EU list in tandem with the “Hook Lock” leads us to ban Captain Hook, the Pirate.
Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you enjoyed your presents. We will see you after the holidays for lots more new information!
Errata Update for The Strangers of New Valhalla
Some brief text changes for the release of The Strangers of New Valhalla!
Force of Will - USA - Level 2 Judges
The follow up to the USA judge program article! Here, we discuss Level 2 Judges, responsibilities, and the "Judge Council!"