• CMT

I Do Not Think That Means What You Think It Means (or "Why We Need More Words in Keyforge")


Written by Carmelo Massimo Tidona

Crazy Killing Machine


One of the things I liked from the start in Keyforge was that the game felt (and still feels) fresh, it was easy to learn and easy to play, while still being a complex and multi-faceted game.

One of the things I did not like from the start was that I felt like there was a lack of consistency and coordination in wording and templates, some of which were… I guess I should not say sloppy but, there, I just did.

In time, some things have changed. Some, to be honest, have been made more complicated without any reason (yes, Stun, I am talking about you), but others have been simplified. You might have noticed, for instance, that all cards that once needed to be “sacrificed” to use them, now are simply “destroyed”. Which is good because so far we were using two different words to say exactly the same thing.

But there are at least two instances of the very opposite problem: the same word being used with two related but different meanings, leading to near-infinite conversations about templates where the specific meaning was not exactly clear.

If you follow the Keyforge group in Facebook, you might already have an idea of which words I mean, but let me spell them out loud…

Fight and Deal damage.

Let’s start a Fight.


We know that almost all creatures can Fight, and some of them even have Fight abilities. But what does Fight mean?

It means using a creature to attack an enemy creature.

It means being in a Fight with an enemy creatures.

It means, I am sure you guessed it, a moment in the game when two creature exchange blows, that is the aforementioned Fight.

So, as we were recently confirmed, I can use a creature to Fight but for some reason (Assault) kill the creature it is supposed to Fight before the Fight happens which means that…

- My creature was used to Fight

- There was no Fight

- Nor my creature nor the enemy creature were in a Fight

- My creature’s Fight abilities will not resolve, because it didn’t Fight

- Abilities that are triggered while Fighting or In a Fight will not resolve

- Abilities that trigger after a creature is used to Fight will resolve

- Abilities that trigger after a creature Fights will resolve… wait, didn’t we just say it didn’t Fight?

Am I the only one who is seeing a bit too many Fight(s) here?

Of course, using the same word to mean so many things can have consequences. Let’s take a look at the biggest offenders.


All of these cards cannot (or cannot always) Fight. Does it mean that they cannot be in a Fight? Surely they can, it would be pretty weird otherwise. Imagine Shoulder Id with its Taunt that forces enemies to attack it instead of its neighbours… except they can’t because it cannot Fight. That would make it a bit too powerful, wouldn’t it?


So what could be done about it?

Of course Fight abilities have to stay that way, too late to change their name now (even though “After Fight” would have been a better choice, but let’s not go there), but still a new word could be added to the rules. A word that, for some reason, has sort of been avoided from the start, while still appearing here and there.

ATTACK

See, I already used it earlier and I am quite sure nobody thought it was weird or out of place. Just replace the verb Fight with Attack, and let’s see what happens if again I use a creature with Assault and kill my target before the actual Fight:

- My creature was used to Attack

- There was no Fight

- Nor my creature nor the enemy creature were in a Fight

- My creature’s Fight abilities will not resolve, because it didn’t Fight

- Abilities that are triggered while Fighting or In a Fight will not resolve

- Abilities that trigger after a creature is used to Attack will resolve

- Abilities that trigger after a creature Attacks will resolve

Doesn’t it look a bit more logical?

So our good old Shoulder Id simply “cannot Attack”, but it definitely can Fight.

Sure, this would require a few Errata, but as a whole it would make the process more understandable without having to read a FAQ to see whether an “after this creature fights” ability works or not when the fight never happened.