Fantasy Flight Games lays out their decision behind the introduction of the Hyperspace Format with 3 simple reasons.
Star Wars: X-Wing 2.0 brought about a lot of cool tweaks and changes to the game. Along with those changes Fantasy Flight Games has also introduced the Hyperspace Format into Organized Play which replaced the old Store Champs and Regional. But why? Players have been wonder asking that question and it’s brought up some heated debate within the community. Today, we look at the reasoning behind the change directly from FFG.
FFG laid out the three main reasons for the shift in their article “Jump To Hyperspace” which you can read on their website. So to kick this discussion off, here they are in order:
- The Hyperspace game mode introduces another means of refreshing and evolving the X-Wing metagame.
- With the Hyperspace game mode, players gain more ways to play X-Wing—additional game modes that receive the full support of Organized Play.
- The Hyperspace game mode will offer newer players easier entry into competitive X-Wing.
For each one of these points, FFG does a pretty good job explaining things from their point of view. I absolutely agree with the first point and the third point. But I think a lot of people disagree with the second point. Let’s go over each one in order.
The X-Wing Metagame
Anytime you have a competitive game you’re going to have some type of metagame. FFG defines this as “the unofficial set of rules governing the builds, lists, and strategies that players believe to be competitive at the highest levels.” X-Wing absolutely has a metagame due to the way the community interacts and the game functions. FFG intentionally left of points from the ship and upgrade cards so they could tweak points for those things in response to the game’s ever evolving meta.
The Hyperspace Format provides another way to shift the meta once again – list time by changing the available options within the seasons or Hyperspace game modes. It’s actually a really clever way to keep the game fresh because it allows them to make the game “feel” different without having to do massive rules changes or product releases – it just shifts the list building restrictions around and everyone is impacted equally.
Additional Game Modes?
This is probably the biggest point of contention among the community. The Hyperspace Game Modes do add different game modes that receive the full support of Organized Play. However, when FFG introduced this format, they also replaced the old Store and Regional Champs formats with the Hyperspace Trials, Hyperspace Cups, and Hyperspace Qualifiers.
Yes, there are more events in total but, because of the list restrictions, player can’t fly the ships that they might want to fly and instead have to use the ships that are restricted due to the format. That’s really why folks are taking an issue with the format. Stores can run their own tournaments and you can still play in the “Extended” game modes, but those game modes aren’t getting the same level of OP support they had in the previous edition. This really impacts Veteran Players who have been supporting the game the longest and have large ship collection – which is why it such a point of tension.
Lower Barrier To Entry
When you boil this all down, I think this is probably the real reason for the introduction and shift to the Hyperspace game mode. It’s a much better system for new players to get into. Suddenly, you don’t need to have that ship that was releases back in Wave 6 of X-Wing 1.0, you just have to have access to the most current ships that are available. And, if we’re being totally honest, FFG’s supply line for the older ships can be pretty spotty so even getting access to those older ships can be problematic.
The Hyperspace Format allows for new players to jump right in and play alongside the veteran players and have a shot at a level playing field. The Hyperspace game modes are designed to attract new players, that much is clear. But, they were introduced at the expense of the veteran players because they replaced the previous formats that supported all the other ships, too – at least in terms of OP support.
Solutions? Suggestions? Can We Fix It?
I understand that appealing to the new players with these formats is a great way to get them to join in the fun. However, at some point, those new players will also have a collection and they will feel the pain of not getting to use their once favorite ships in the format.
There are still open game nights and other events stores can run – it’s not like those veterans have been completely left out in the cold. But it’s strange that the Hyperspace game modes are the gate keepers for the higher tier of “competitive” play. FFG has the ability to tweak points virtually on the fly. And they have new ships coming out a regular intervals, too – so why not leverage that better to engage with BOTH new players and veterans.
I’m not saying I have the answer, but it seems pretty obvious that all FFG had to do was run the Hyperspace game modes with the OP support in parallel with the old formats, too. Logistically, this is much more difficult. I get that. But it would appeal to both player bases. Now you’ve got the newer players still able to play on a level playing field with the Hyperspace Formats and you’ve got support provided for the veterans who have been supporting your game all this time. The most hardcore and dedicated players are going to play in both already.
What do you think of the Hyperspace Game Modes? Let us know in the comments!