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Saikyo Cardfighter R
on Cardfight!! Vanguard
Free Online Vanguard Can Go To Hell
Everything about non-officially playing online seems to be geared towards pissing off as many good players as possible.
My local Vanguard scene isn’t exactly what you call daily. We have at best Saturdays to spend together and even then we are a small minority compared to the Magic players. There are enough of us for regular tournaments though, so at least it’s not really as dry as a Graham’s Cracker lost in the Sahara.
So on days where I don’t work I find I need to somehow fill the day. I don’t do social media because that’s dependant on the people I actually give a toss about also being on said social media, and there’s only so many sites on the internet I care to visit and even then they tend to be affairs that last but a few minutes.
So I found myself crawling off to play Vanguard on a sim that’s not made for profit. It was an abusive relationship where I couldn’t seem to leave the guy, because I’ve been dependant on him all this time and I know little else. It’s like freaking women. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. The perfect way to drive men bat-shit crazy, as the Greek god Zeus intended.
Nowadays, I just use the sim’s testing feature to try decks, because that’s basically all it seems to be good for. As far as I’m concerned, the rest of the tosspots online can go to hell.
I know that it may sound unfair for me to declare blanket-ly that everyone online is a tosspot, but that’s really only because I hold a higher standard of Vanguard than most others. And everything about online seems to be designed to piss off people who actually know how to play.
Whenever I am on my opponent is going to either be someone who abuses the mechanics of the sim to stack, someone who has no handles on the control at all, or someone who doesn’t even know how to play. And on the rare occasion when I find an opponent who is somewhat legit, I can all but guarantee that they will be the only guy I will finish on before I have to quit in sheer exhaustion. Either because it was too easy and I grew bored, or they sacked me to hell and back and I had to make an uphill climb, only getting a trigger at the last second.
When you’re competitive, you can never feel good about anything when playing online. Any victory you walk away with usually involves you banging on the chat explaining why an opponent can’t do what they want to do because rules. Fair play to you if you actually are fortunate enough to find a string of opponents who are not total noobs, but I don’t find sims fun. The number of idiots outweighs the actually clever people who just want to play someone who won’t be a constant headache.
What’s also stupidly frustrating about sims that are simplistic in design is that they are basically shoe-string in design, and that extends to the shuffling algorithm as well. While Cardfight Capital was around, the number of opponents who constantly got Grade-stuck was frankly abysmal, and it was all because the programmers used the simplest shuffling system possible. Pro-tip: it doesn’t actually fucking shuffle. It sorts and then attempts to randomise, but since it put everything in a specific order first it meant cards constantly clumped together. So it was worthless for actual controlled testing of decks or for actual fun games, which is the only reason people use them. Apart from a lack of real people to play, anyway.
It wasn’t like this at first. In the beginning, I played online to while away the time before night fell and the blessed relief of unconsciousness relieved me of my boredom. I figured a non-profit sim would be ideal. Alas, I should have picked up on the warning signs sooner. I found myself having to constantly stay online trying to find someone who didn’t suck, since I never want to leave angry, because that’s what I take away and it colours my judgment of it later. So I was sentenced to slaving away at the keyboard if either I lost, or I spent so long trying to use the chat feature to tell someone when they were screwing the rules.
Eventually it got to a point where even a win left me feeling extremely hollow. It took so long to wrap up a game that by rights should only have taken like 10 minutes, I found that I couldn’t get into it. Absolutely nothing about it appealed to me anymore because I actually wanted to play, and not click buttons like an attention-deficit squirrel with OCD.
This is why, when I received my key to play the Cardfight!! Online beta, I actually had more fun with that, despite the prototype layout and cards, and would be willing to part with some of my earnings regularly if it meant I could play to the same standards as everyone else. It would be built to support the mechanics in order to make turn flow a lot smoother, and because of that, any bullshit the opponent tries to pull will be recognised by the system as illegal. The big problem with being free to do anything is that there is no way for me to actually trust the opponent to not be a complete waste of a fight, or a cheater. CFA for example has nothing to differentiate stacking cards on the top or the bottom from each other by appearance alone so if I’m playing someone using G OTT that stacks constantly, I can’t trust them to not stack triggers to the top and kill me when I decide to no-guard on 2 damage.
Luckily, an epiphany hit me. People treat online like a dad would say “why don’t we just PLAY?” when introducing Charades to someone for the first time, hoping people will sort of get it. Maybe people could still have fun even when no-one had any fucking clue what was going on. When I realised that, it helped me become a better person.
Pfft, like fuck it did. I took the first step towards a better life, for both myself and the infernal programme that had made so much hell for me for months.
I deleted the sim.
Mail me a challenge that will just get swiftly deleted because of time constraints at firstname.lastname@example.org
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