2016 has come and gone, and we’re left to reflect on the events that transpired over the past year. This has been a great year for Force of Will, but it wasn’t without its hiccups. In no particular order, here is a review of the biggest events of 2016 for FoW:
The Reflect/Refrain ban.
In late 2015, the second Alice Cluster set, Twilight Wanderer, was released, and with it came what was universally considered the most broken card in Force of Will. It was a ruler with 6 free abilities and the ability to flip back to its ruler side for protection. Among the free abilities, the most notable were card filtering, bouncing resonators, and searching your main deck for a card. In its heyday, R/R comprised over 50% of the rulers in any given tournament, even making up 100% of the top 8 decks in a few tournaments.
The Force of Will community begged FoW Co for a banning…and they gave it to us in an erratum, restricting Reflect’s abilities to only be used on its controller’s turn. Change the World was added to R/R decks to make up for the magic counter deficit. While it wasn’t enough, the errata at least opened up the game for other rulers to have a small chance to compete.
In September 2016, much to the chagrin of a few of the more vocal community members, Reflect/Refrain was finally banned from both New Frontier and Wanderer formats.
World Grand Prix 2016
This year’s World Grand Prix was held in Japan (as always). The format was Lapis Cluster, meaning only cards from Curse of the Frozen Casket, and the L1 Starter Decks were legal. Aaron Miles (of Team Outer World) won the tournament with a Charlotte water/fire/wind deck to become this year’s World Champion. Congrats to Aaron Miles, and the rest of the competitors!
The top decklists can be found at the Mothership here: http://fowtcg.com/news/wgp-2016-top-8-decklists/
Force of Will Co decided to do cool (well it was cool in my opinion) promotion-type thing and updated three Alice Cluster Rulers (Pricia, Alisaris, Fairy Alice) for more competitive play. Each ruler got energize and a bump in their attack and defense. In order to obtain these cards, players had to mail a few copies of some of their related cards, in addition to the old version of the ruler, to Force of Will Co to be “fused” into the new, ascended rulers.
Now, while this was a really neat concept, the execution of the promotion was flawed and not planned well. Some of the cards that were required to be mailed in were super-rares (including some super-rares seeing competitive play, like Huang-Long and Bedivere), many players didn’t have the all the cards to send in. On top of that, online stores almost immediately sold out of all those cards, making it impossible to get copies (or at least get them at a reasonable price). Add the cost of international shipping, and the obtuse information about where, and by when, to send the cards, and we ended up with one frustrating event. Luckily, FoW Co was there to elucidate our concerns, and players have just begun receiving their Ascended rulers.
Fan Art contests
Force of Will Co has held a few community fan art contests this year. The holiday contest is currently in the voting phase. The most notable contest was the one won by Antonio Stewart in October with his Zero/Fiethsing/Kaguya art. Antonio is one of the most prominent artists in the Force of Will community, and was even commissioned to do the art for the GrinningRemnant playmat.
You can find more of Antonio’s work here: https://www.facebook.com/lewdpaws/
Will Power System prizes
Force of Will Co finally told us what the prizes were for the Will Power System phone app points. For those not in the know, if you scan in a QR code card you get in your booster packs, you get a point in the phone app. You are assigned a rank based on the number of points you accrued, and prizes are awarded based on that rank. The prizes this year were uber rare versions of the Seven Kings of the Land rulers, as well as Sylvia and Dark Alice cosplay variant cards. VIP ranked players got all 12 cards in a cool binder, while lower ranked players received a smaller, random assortment prize cards.
While we all did get our prizes in the end, the details around submitting your rank were hazy, and lack of feedback from the Mothership led the community into a bit of a frenzy.
Force of Will Battle Simulator
The Force of Will Online client had a beta release for the community to test. This was met with mixed reactions, as only the Lapis Cluster cards were made available to use. Additionally, online matchmaking has yet to be implemented into the client, so in order to connect to an opponent for a game, you must connect directly via IP address. The community somehow got it into their heads that giving out your IP address will get your computer hacked, and the dread of identity theft or something spread in the form of mass hysteria.
Again, and I’ve been telling you all this for months: Giving out your IP address is not an issue. Go get yourself a firewall, and you’re 100% safe. The firewall I personally use (it’s free), is Comodo Internet Security Premium. Trust me; it’s my job to know this stuff. Go get yourself a firewall and have fun with Force of Will Online.
The lack of an online matchmaking system has become a more glaring issue concerning Force of Will Co’s priorities with Force of Will Online. Multiple updates have been released since the initial beta launch, yet no apparent work has been done on online matchmaking. The larger issue is that we know FoW Co is trying to implement some kind of system that allows you to use the Will Power System app to get foil versions of cards on FOWO (or at least that’s what I’m interpreting information to mean), but they find implementing basic functionality to be of less importance.
A summer version of Zero, the Flashing Mage-Warrior was unveiled for July’s Ruler League promo, and the artwork was a bit controversial. You see, the card art depicted Zero in a thong bathing suit and prominently displayed her booty. Most comments were along the lines of “dat ass!”, but there was a large portion of players who expressed concern and/or disappointment, and rightfully so. The major complaint was that the artwork was lewd enough to be considered inappropriate to use in a public venue (e.g., your local game store, the mall, school, etc), especially in the presence of minors. Force of Will Co, knowing Force of Will already has an image problem, realized this could present our game in a negative light, and subsequently revised the artwork to have Zero in a skirt.
End of the story? No way!
The change in art was immediately met with backlash from the community due to “censorship” or “FoW Co revoking our rights”. While Force of Will Co could have ignored the backlash, or even responded saying “You apparently don’t actually understand censorship or rights”, they decided to compromise: Each store could decide which version of Booty Zero they wanted to give out as promos. In my opinion, FoW Co should have stood their ground and only released the skirted version. Either way, we’re lucky that Flashing Mage-Warrior is a relatively bad card, so it won’t see much play.
The Great Divide
2016 was a difficult year for the community, to say the least. Due to there being basically one central hub to discuss Force of Will on the Internet (the Facebook US group), and insufficient moderation staff to support such a large group, things tended to get a bit…”dramatic” isn’t a strong enough word. Fighting, trolling, “shitposting”, and whining were the theme of 2016, and frankly it was embarrassing. I’ve heard multiple reports of players quitting Force of Will due to how toxic the community had become.
2017 is a new year. Let’s start this one off right and grow up as a community.
- Water is no longer the worst attribute.
- The defacto attack/defense for 2 costing resonators is now 600/600.
- 1200/1200 flying resonators are everywhere.
- Vingolf 2: Valkyria Chronicles was released and was a major flop.
- This website celebrated its first birthday!
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