Loop Prevention System - More Details *Updated (3/12/19)
Update: Thank you all for the insightful and constructive feedback. I just spoke with the team this morning, and they will be changing the 18 seconds per phase to 90 seconds.
This change will be a transitional adjustment, as the team will continue to monitor and work towards finding the right balance between solving infinite loop issues and maintaining player play styles following the 3.3 update. -----
With the announcement of the Loop Prevention System being implemented in the upcoming 3.3 build, players had many questions about how it will affect their games; specifically their combo decks. Oktagon was kind enough to take some time to break down and explain exactly how the Loop Prevention System works in its entirely. Check it out below:
"The Loop Prevention System (LPS) intends to solve problems related to loops that provide a negative experience for the player, such as infinite ones, where the player is forced to quit the game and forfeit the match due to the opponent never finishing their play or the player not being able to cancel a play her/himself made. Loops that work as active build up combos can still be employed to a certain extent, just enough to not turn the game into an idle experience. The time available is way more than 18 seconds, as we’ll explain below.
Our main goal is to enable fun, engagement, and improvements in quality of life to our players. We want to assure players that our team will keep track of the community feedback in order to adjust the system values if needed. At first glance, this might seem restrictive. So, we tried and tested reported loops, both infinite and build-ups, in order to construct this system.
The Loop Prevention System is not a turn timer.
It is important to mention that the LPS countdown doesn’t run while the game is waiting for any of the player’s inputs. It means that whenever a card pops up on the screen, a confirmation prompt is displayed or when the game is paused, the timer will stop until that process ends. Also, gaining an extra swap adds extra time to the remaining amount.The LPS acts once per step in four different steps, each with their own time limit (18s each).
At the beginning of the turn (where “At the beginning of your turn” effects takes place), such as many converters or some gem destroyers. Once these effects end, the player can make the first Swap;
No timer is active before a Swap is made. After the Swap, the casting step comes along. It’s here where the cards are cast and most of the effects are triggered. Gaining Extra Swaps can prolong this step, but gives diminishing time after each additional Extra Swap, if they are within the same turn.
When creatures attack (combat step) and some special effects take place, another timer runs. If the timer would end during this step, creatures will still attack normally but their triggered/delayed effects will not trigger;
Then there’s the last individual timer, at the end of the turn, when most of the discard and destruction effects trigger and some temporary attribute changes end.
The main step of the player’s turn, the one that happens after the beginning of the turn and before the first match, is not affected by the LPS, as this is a phase mainly consisting of the player’s inputs - meaning that players can arrange their hands, activate Planeswalkers, cycle cards and trigger other intentional effects without having to worry about time limitations. The main timer starts running only after the player’s swap of the turn.
After the player’s first swap, the timer will start running. Automated and non-optional actions run their course. If there’s an extra match, the timer stops, adding a little more time, but doesn’t reset, since the game is still in the casting step. If the automated actions pass the time limit, the step will end and start the next one - the step, not the turn. The combat step then starts and runs normally, until its countdown ends. The same happens for the end actions at the end of the turn.
How does the Card Visual Aid options affect the Loop Prevention System?
One of the main concerns about the Loop Prevention System is its interaction with the Card Visual Aid, the configuration that enables players to turn On or Off most of the cards’ animations.To answer this question, here are the rules and behaviors of this new feature.
When the Step-by-Step or the Auto modes are on, the timer will stop whenever a card, effect, or confirmation prompt pops up on the screen;
When the Visual Aid is turned Off, since cards don’t pop up on screen, the timer runs without interruptions, with the exception of when a confirmation prompt pops up.
We’ll continue monitoring the metagame as new loops become available, in order to identify those that are damaging to the player experience, and adjust accordingly when deemed necessary."
The team has also provided an example video which everyone can take a look at below. Please note that this one single player turn has taken up almost 60 seconds-worth of time.
We hope this explanation is insightful and helpful for players! Thank you for your patience and understanding, and we hope you enjoy the upcoming 3.3 update!