Do you think timers should be removed?

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I mentioned this on the UI improvement thread, but I thought I'd try and get everyone's opinion on this as I really don't know what proportion of people would be in favour. 

My other personal opinion is this: Timers suck and cause more problems than the ones they solve, which they don't even solve properly.


I would like to see them entirely ditched, full stop. No timers for anything while making decisions, or when deciding what spell/ability to use. Proper priority with a simple button press to "pass" implemented, and no more jumping in when you don't have priority. I believe this would actually be faster (with regard to passing priority vs. waiting for timers), and would solve a whole heck of a lot of problems. Another digital CCG I play uses this system, and it works much better.

I know the timer is meant to be there to "hurry things along" but people have found no end of ways of stalling if that is what they are into. You just don't play people like that and move on, they will find a way to make things suck whatever system you have. If you need an overall timer to stop stalling, then a chess-clock style (as used in MTGO) would be much better. While I'm making a decision my timer counts down, while you're deciding yours counts down. But with sensible players you don't need any sort of timer. The current one doesn't achieve it's goal of stopping stalling anyhow since there are so many ways around it.

Please post with your opinions. Should timers be removed? Are they worth having in DoTP?

Thanks for reading
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Yup. It should be pass system and I prefer chess-clock style as you mentioned Smile

Agree with Stevolutionary.  Removing timers completely will ruin more games than it will improve.  Never underestimate a griefer's willingness to be obnoxious.  Remember, this game services far more people than are dedicated, serious Magic players.

I would be satisfied if the handful of artificially short timers (declare blockers, library searches, choosing effects) simply counted against your total turn time.  Let me take a full minute to tutor a card, with the knowledge that if I do, I might be sacrificing my combat or second main phases for that turn. 
A chess-type timer doesn't go well with DOTP at all, it would punish new players for not making decisions fast and give a disadvantage to decks that require more thought like Talrand.

A "pass priority" button would also be obnoxious if you didn't have the option to auto-skip priority at some steps. Getting prompted to click something every single maintenance, draw, end step and clean up step is annoying, since most of the times you'll only want to cast things in the opponent's end/maintenance steps but not on your own, unless something actually happens at those times.
A "pass priority" button would also be obnoxious if you didn't have the option to auto-skip priority at some steps. Getting prompted to click something every single maintenance, draw, end step and clean up step is annoying, since most of the times you'll only want to cast things in the opponent's end/maintenance steps but not on your own.



This is what settings are for.  MGO has settings that can be enabled or disabled for just about every step in a turn.  I'm not saying this should be implemented but, if it were, there's already a solution available.
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A "pass priority" button would also be obnoxious if you didn't have the option to auto-skip priority at some steps. Getting prompted to click something every single maintenance, draw, end step and clean up step is annoying, since most of the times you'll only want to cast things in the opponent's end/maintenance steps but not on your own.



This is what settings are for.  MGO has settings that can be enabled or disabled for just about every step in a turn.  I'm not saying this should be implemented but, if it were, there's already a solution available.


I know, I have an account on MTGO. Their system is good, well, it's perfect. It follows the rules perfectly, doesn't have flair where it isn't needed and you can see everything clearly.
I'm on the side that says the timers should stay.  Since moving to Steam, I've found the community much less obnoxious, but playing without a timer on PS3 and Xbox could mean I go days without a win because everyone decides that holding up the game to get a win for their leaderboard score is what feeds their emotional needs (despite, ironically, the fact that the odd leaderboard algorithms mean they probably won't even get the points they crave in many cases)
My only issue is the timer for bribery, it is not long enough to look through an entire deck and make a decision. On multiple occasions it has timed out and I get nothing
I am all for the chess style timer. As mentioned, the people who want to abuse will do so no matter what. However, they are the minority. A chess style timer will speed up the majority of games
If anything the time on the timers need to be cut in half. People take too long as it is. Also, in MTGO they did not have a timer. Then when someone was geting butt hurt and knew they were not going to win, they would just leave the game paused there. This way they would hope you would just quit the game.
Strangely enough, I've never had a game where the opponent paused the game in an attempt to make me quit. Maybe the Steam community is just that much better.

Never happened to me on MTGO either, but I haven't really played a lot there. 
My only issue is the timer for bribery, it is not long enough to look through an entire deck and make a decision. On multiple occasions it has timed out and I get nothing


Which is where Bribery itself should possibly be optimized.  Sorting the deck you're looking thru would probably speed up the process immensely.
I think for the most part the timers are about the right length, with perhaps the exception of the end step.

Sometimes you will have a difficult choice to make, particularly with yeva's deck. Take for instance a game I just played. I was reduced to 1hp by an exalted flier after my stingerfling spider had been sent to the graveyard, and the opponent had 2hp but enough blockers to block my attack and still swing for the win over my head. I have a wild pair on the board and an empty hand. I draw wood elves. My options were 2 elvish visionaries, another wood elves and gigantomancer. I chose one of the visionaries and draw a bond beetle. I play the bond beetle, use its ability on itself and summon an eternal witness, from the eternal witness I retrieve my stingerfling spider and choose a vengevine, I can now swing for the win. I was very lucky with my 2 card draws, and the fact that I had exactly the right amount of land to pull this off, but had I been hasty and gone for the gigantomancer for his ability (Which might seem the optimal choice) I would have lost. The above also takes a while to fully resolve due to all the triggers that needed resolving and the choices.

However the timer in the opponents end step seems to be exceptionally quick, especially when you want to quickly summon a flash(y) creature, or use portal on a creature, or various other instants/abilities.

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Will never buy games made by Arena Net again.

Will not buy Duel 2015 until 2HG reinstated.

 

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Nice to know removing content is a company wide policy.
I play a lot of friends online and an option I thought would work would be a disabled timer until your opponent gets tired of waiting at which point they could active a timer. So in friendly games if my buddy has to run to the bathroom he can. Having a constant timer gets frustrating when you're not using a familiar deck. When I'm using a deck I've got my strategy pretty much engraved into my mind it's easy not to have a timer. I just wish they would have given more options about the timer in this version of the game.
The timers should at least be lengthened in public games. On the other hand if you're playing private matches with friends they should be completely removed. There is no reason at all for timers to be enabled in private matches.

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Regardless, in 9/10 situations, the timer gives enough time. It only falls down during complex blocks or decisions such as in Nightmare Incursion. The solution is one that is already implemented in the game for some choices, but not unfortunately not all of them yet - that every time you make a choice, the bar gets 5% of its maximum back. This way you have plenty of time.



I have used nightmare incursion probably somewhere in the ballpark of 10 times and only once actually was able to pull the max number of cards with it.  Even that time I would have selected some different cards if I had more time.  It isn't a matter of knowing the decks, I have played them all quite extensively, it is a matter of prioritizing 5-10 cards, finding them, and then deciding on substitutes and finding them when you realize that something you were looking for must be in their hand.

At a minimum, I wish they would greatly extend the timer for cards like this.
My only issue is the timer for bribery, it is not long enough to look through an entire deck and make a decision. On multiple occasions it has timed out and I get nothing




Try it with Nightmare Incursion I have yet to be able to choose all cards without the damn timer running out.....
I agree with the above here.

The only common issues I have had are with Nightmare Incursion and some complex blocks. Haven't yet cast Bribry in this environment, but can also see how some would have issues with it. Sort these and the timer is fine.

Only other issue I've ever had (and it is a rare one) is sometimes losing my combat phase because the opposition takes too long pausing or making choices, etc, with abilites during your turn. In my opinion, enemy actions should not effect your timer on your turn.

Extend the timer for blocks and search, and prevent enemy actions from using your timer in your turn and it is fine IMO.

@doctorugs  - Hate to break this to you, but if you have never got the right amount of cards in time with Nightmare Incursion, then you have never actually cast it. Check the library total afterwards. If you fail to make all the choices in time, no cards get exiled. Frustrating!

I usually just keep half an eye on the timer, and at 10% left just spam selections to make sure at least the ones I wanted at the start still get removed.




I keep having an issue when playing multiplayer, and I respond to something my opponent does with a spell or ability. Even though I start by stopping the timer, I often watch the visual effects of the spell or ability go off and never actually get the effect of the spell or ability I just used.

Is there something the other person is doing to hurry the timer up to make sure my spells don't go through?

As for Bribery and Incursion, you kind of are supposed to think ahead before you cast it, and have some certain cards in mind. That said, I still screw up every now and then.

Timer running up during some complicated combat phase - that's what makes you lose the game every time it happens.The simple increase of blocking and library search timers seems very easy to implement (unlike total timer system overhaul) and can really go a long way here.

As a side note, I would really appreciate some analogue of MTGO F6/F4 hotkeys in DotP. Clicking through your phases gets annoying sometimes.
Disagree with your first point.  Who says I am "supposed to think ahead?"  If this were paper Magic and I was playing against someone with an unfamiliar deck, I would be taking my sweet time looking through his cards.

More importantly, the current implementation is terrible even if you know exactly what you want.  The cards are in random order, largely obscured on the screen except for the one being hovered over, and the hover over is sluggish and inaccurate (at least on the iPad version).  In a creature heavy deck, early in the game, I have had a hard time finding creatures I know are there --More than once I have failed to find a specific card, got nothing, recursed Bribery and played it again, and then found it on the second pass.  But this is of course idiotic.

@doctorugs  - Hate to break this to you, but if you have never got the right amount of cards in time with Nightmare Incursion, then you have never actually cast it. Check the library total afterwards. If you fail to make all the choices in time, no cards get exiled. Frustrating!

I usually just keep half an eye on the timer, and at 10% left just spam selections to make sure at least the ones I wanted at the start still get removed.




WTF!

I have never noticed this, but that is absolutely wretched.  I was hoping that it would random select the rest as if you were having to discard from your hand and ran out of time.  I never imagined that it didn't even get rid of the ones you picked.   
I agree that the timer's need to either be removed (a little risky) or extended in certain situations.  The game's can be a bit slow as is, I think putting in a 'pass' option for counters like watching the +1/+1 build up on a Lilianna's Shade,  or Exalted buffs, etc, where you just press 'Y' (or equivalent on non xbox versions) and it auto finishes the rest of the counters would go a long way to speeding up the game when the player knows what's happening and isn't going to do anything to stop it.  

For the Bribery, Nightmare Incursion, and blocking a large scale attack, I think the timer should be variable.  Just program it so that Timer = 3sec x total # of cards searching through.  So if you Bribery a library of 60 cards, you've got 3 minutes to look through them and find the one you want, chances are, you'll find it in 30-45s at most, but the time is there if needed, especially for something like Nightmare  Incursion.  Do it to a library of 10 and you've got 30seconds.  And then apply the same formula to blocking timers.  Timer = 3sec x # of attacking creatures, with a minimum timer of 20s or something.  So 1-6 attackers = 20s timer, 7 attackers = 21s, 8 = 24s and so on.  Perhaps alter that blocking one a bit, I'm not sure what the base timer is for it currently, but there's certainly been a few occassions where I ran out of time trying to block a massive scale attack. 
Timers should stay.  I like the faster paced style of this game and without timers, that would disappear.  More people will simply time out games to grief other players and game would take longer on average.  I enjoy playing MTGO, but I know that even with a chess clock style systems games take longer.   People take more time because they can.  The timer is plenty long as it is and the only time that I've ever had an issue is with picking blockers (I'm sure the nightmare incursion problem is legit, I just don't play that deck).  Timer should definitely be extended on declaring blockers because in a long 2HG game, it can become a problem, but honestly, in all the time of me playing these 3 games, I can count on my fingers the amount of times that I have not had enough time to adequately select blockers.  If there were no timer, I'm sure I would have run into more instances than that of people simply walking away from the game in a fit of rage to grief me.
Maybe it comes down to the various platforms people are playing on, but in roughly 300 online matches on Steam, I haven't had a single griefer trying to abuse timers.  More annoyed by the people who host a game and refuse to start it.

At least for Steam, I'd be all in favor of timer removal.
They definitely need to fix the clocks for Nightmare Incursion and Bribery, along with extending the timer when you have a combat phase with a ton of tokens or creatures to block/attack with.

I've had times where I had like 20 creatures to attack with (due to Rite of Replication), yet was nearly timed out just selecting all of them to attack, because for some reason when you're fighting someone online you can't just hit "A" (on the xbox 360 version) to quick-select all the attackers.  You have to select one...scroll with your analog stick down and up...select another one...scroll a few times...select another...all the while the timer is quickly counting down.  It can be really frustrating.
If they would implement a way to "auto-block all" and attack all, then be able to modify afterwards as Rob has suggested plus have a 5 second timer for each Swamp when using Nightmare Incursion, then there wouldn't be any need to have anything other than what we already have in terms of a timer for each individual turn.

I think these are a lot of changes to make so I doubt we'd see any implemented in a patch; considering what it seems like Stainless is capable of, I think we're more likely to see these type of suggestions in the next version.
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Actually incursion could probably get away with the time it had now if it would just display the cards better.  If it made rows divided by creature, instant and sorcery, enchantment, and land, then you would be able to zone in on what you are looking for much faster.  
Maybe it comes down to the various platforms people are playing on, but in roughly 300 online matches on Steam, I haven't had a single griefer trying to abuse timers.  More annoyed by the people who host a game and refuse to start it.

At least for Steam, I'd be all in favor of timer removal.



I have played at least 1000 games across Duels 09, '12, and '13.  I have only encountered one griefer.  The steam community is generally pretty polite.

Timers usually aren't a problem; except in certain circumstances, including: browsing libraries (bribery, nightmare incursion); and activating a large number of activated abilities (gigantomancer).

Activating Gigantomancer 8 times before combat is impossible.  If you try to do so it will usually skip your combat phase.  Is this the sort of "fast-paced gameplay" we want? 

Realistically I don't think there is a chance that timers will be removed, but I would like to see timers lengthened for browsing libraries and when multiple activations occur.
I agree with the above here.

The only common issues I have had are with Nightmare Incursion and some complex blocks. Haven't yet cast Bribry in this environment, but can also see how some would have issues with it. Sort these and the timer is fine.

Only other issue I've ever had (and it is a rare one) is sometimes losing my combat phase because the opposition takes too long pausing or making choices, etc, with abilites during your turn. In my opinion, enemy actions should not effect your timer on your turn.

Extend the timer for blocks and search, and prevent enemy actions from using your timer in your turn and it is fine IMO.

@doctorugs  - Hate to break this to you, but if you have never got the right amount of cards in time with Nightmare Incursion, then you have never actually cast it. Check the library total afterwards. If you fail to make all the choices in time, no cards get exiled. Frustrating!

I usually just keep half an eye on the timer, and at 10% left just spam selections to make sure at least the ones I wanted at the start still get removed.


I don't know how much online 2HG you play but the timers are a huge problem there. Two players playing multiple cards with the same amount of time a single player usually gets is already a bad idea. Add to that each player is coming up with strategies involving two different decks and you almost always get at least one turn skip due to strategy discussion. Timers often don't allow you to make the best decisions you can in 2HG and I think they're detrimental to the gametype. Now as I've said I'm not entirely onboard with removing them from public games, but I think we can all agree that private games should have an option to turn off timers.

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All I play is 2HG, and while I agree they are more restrictive than 1v1 and should possibly be extended by 50% or so, they are still necessary. It would be much worse without them, especially as on the 360, probably about 1 in 10 games has someone either letting the timer run down out of petulance or forgetting to end their phase.

The timer isn't a perfect solution, but it's there because we have an imperfect community.

You do agree that there should be an option to turn timers off in private matches with friends though right?

Whatever The Market Will Bear 2015 brought to you by Wizards of the Coast.

As I see it, the timer should be based on actions rather than turns. This would be different from the "does anyone want to activate something?"-timer.

Say, 30 seconds per action. As soon as you do something (activate an effect, summon a creature, selecting a card with Nightmare Incursion, etcetera), this timer resets. However, when a card effect lets you choose multiple cards, you get 30 seconds times the amount of card to choose. Also, cancelling something doesn't reset the timer, and you need to make TWO actions afterwards to reset the timer (afterwards it continues as normal). So, a cycle of cancelling + activating + cancelling + activating is impossible.

As an added bonus, dealing with AFKers is much better like this.
I don't know if this is the best place for this, but also a reminder button would be nice so we don't always have to wait out the timer for mistakes.  I don't always use a mic, but would love to be able to remind my partner or opponent to continue.  When the last person hits continure in a round, the avatar flashes; just let it flash anytime anyone hits continue (within reason) .It could be the equivilent of tapping a horn when sitting behind a parked car at a green light.  
Thanks very much for everyone's feedback on this. It seems I'm in the minority, although I think most people would agree the possibility to remove timers in private games and that a lot of timers aren't long enough.

I don't however understand how chess clocks could cause griefing?
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Actually incursion could probably get away with the time it had now if it would just display the cards better.  


Exactly.  I'd prefer if actions were made more efficient - so the game generally plays faster - than if they coded the game to be able to be drawn out longer.  I'd rather be casting Bribery in 15 seconds if the deck was sorted than be allowed 60 seconds to try to figure out what I'm looking at.

Timers need to be included. There are far too many griefers who would just abuse lack of a timer. Hell, you'd probably run into ppl who literally just switch their tv over to cable or something and wait til you quit to get free wins because we all know how important rank is over fun right?

Chess clocks would be interesting, but how much total time would it take a party to auto-lose? Then you're running into whole other problems. You take a particularly long time making decisions and now your opponent spams "next" to effectively kill you just by timing you out.
It depends on how long the chess clock would be, if implemented.

Even at 20 minutes, wouldn't it be terrible for your opponent to just drag out the last 14 minutes or so when he's lost?

If you go down to 15 minutes, now you run the risk of just simply running out of time and not getting to think things through.

The reason the "chess clock" works in MTGO is because those players are playing for actual stakes (packs, planeswalker points, tourney invites, etc.), so even if someone is out to grief you, waiting around is more or less worth it. In the world of Duels, all we're really playing for is leaderboard points.
How about a function for "my opponent is an idiot griefer, please disconnect me and have the AI take over the other side of this match so I can play it out". 
I think a chess clock is overkill, although you can imagine an implementation along those lines that could work.  

The thing is, if you ask me, the first order solution of doubling or tripling the "short timer" on combat phase and card search/selection would go 90% of the way to making the game much more playable, and should be a dead simple fix.  That timer is SO short right now.  I've never counted it, I'm guessing it's 10 - 20 seconds, but it feels like about 5 seconds when you're struggling to find cards for Bribery, Nightmare Incursion, etc., or negotiating a complicated combat step.  They could easily double that time and it would make things much easier without feeling too long.

In a lot of ways, I like that solution the most, because I actually do like that the timers keep things moving from a gameplay perspective, aside from the grief prevention.  I don't have a huge amount of time to devote to a single match, so I prefer that they move along fairly briskly.  If I game has gone on to the point where we've got two dozen creatures lined up against each other, I'm probably past the point of caring all that much about how it ends and want to move on rather than spending 5 minutes contemplating my blocking strategy.  But there is a lot of middle ground where there are some subtle effects and calculations involved that don't require a huge amount of thought, but more than the tiny timer we have now.
How about a function for "my opponent is an idiot griefer, please disconnect me and have the AI take over the other side of this match so I can play it out". 



Griefer submission would be kind of great.  When you think someone is griefing, you hit a button and if X amount of time builds up without the opponent making any decisions or cycling the same decision over and over again then they must enter Y amount of meaningless codes costing them personal time before they could play online again.  X tracking is cumulative, so repeat offenders face increasing penalties imposed not by a moderator, but by their own consoles.

Incorrectly hitting the griefer button could build a similar but lower penalty.  
My only issue is the timer for bribery, it is not long enough to look through an entire deck and make a decision. On multiple occasions it has timed out and I get nothing



This.

I must've wasted 10 Bribery cards the last 2 days on this, it's extraordinarily frustrating.
 
My only issue is the timer for bribery, it is not long enough to look through an entire deck and make a decision. On multiple occasions it has timed out and I get nothing



This.

I must've wasted 10 Bribery cards the last 2 days on this, it's extraordinarily frustrating.
 


and yet again I ask:  is the problem that Bribery should be given more time, or is the problem that Bribery takes far longer than it should?

Would it not be better to speed up Bribery itself by presenting the deck contents sorted by cost and/or name?