Spellweaver is a collectible card game set in an extremely generic fantasy world. I mentioned it in a previous post calling it my second favorite card game at the time of writing. Well, as I believe I also mentioned, the game has some serious balance issues (I have noticed that virtually all CCG’s do) and I used to spend a lot of time arguing on the forums, trying to convince people that the overpowered cards were so. I had appallingly little success; you wouldn’t believe how irrational people can be. For a while I wondered how it was possible to believe something so crazy as that Cataclysm is not overpowered. Well I’ve finally figured it out: they’re deluding themselves.

What had to happen for me to realize this was me getting matched a Wisdom/Dominion control deck called “Vamp Lamp” (two of its key cards are Vampirism and Lamp of Zaffir) some twenty times in a row and losing every single one due to Cataclysm. Eventually I realized that the game was just causing me more frustration than fun and decided to stop playing it until Cataclysm gets nerfed.

That was the insight I needed. When you are playing a game and get frustrated due to an overpowered card, there are three paths you can take: you can stop playing the game in order to stop being frustrated, as I eventually did; you can self-delude yourself into thinking that you’re having fun, as I did for a long time before that; or you can self-delude yourself into thinking that the game is fair so you won’t be frustrated. That’s what they’re all doing. People don’t like to be mad – it’s not comfortable – and so they’re tricking themselves into thinking that they’re being treated fairly. Emotional comfort over truth – that’s the principle this world follows.