X-wing: The State of the Game

 Hi folks! NoName1 here again to talk about my beloved X-wing, how close it is to (and far from) a perfect Meta, and where the game seems to be sitting right now in my opinion
 First off, while my love of the game has hardly tapered at all, X-wing is in a bit of an odd spot right now. A lot of players are experiencing wave fatigue, and it seems like there's an unprecedented game-wide drop in enthusiasm among long-time players.

 The way I see it, there are a couple reasons for this, and they've been floated all over the forums and various gaming sites already, but the biggest one for me personally was FAQ-mageddon. The FAQ did a lot of great things, and fixed some of the most unhealthy upgrades/ships in the game. The biggest rollbacks were Manaroo, Palpatine, the x7 Title, and Zuckuss Crew.

 These changes were dramatic, and they were needed. They represent a big step forward in how FFG wants to engage with the Meta, and makes it at least look like they see they have some fixing to do. But, at the same time, I believe strongly that these changes don't go far enough.

 X-wing as a game right now is only using a small fraction of the ships in the game. Even Casual play is feeling ripples from this, because even semi-casual players can see very quickly that some things are *so good* that they're overwhelming all the other options. The E-bay price for a K-wing is a strong indication of what some of those are.

 So, what's still broken, and how would I (your humble author) fix it?

 Atanni Mindlink - Is simply too good. I really don't know how to fix this one, but ultimately it's the ships it's run with that make it so nasty. The card itself is really not bad, and I'm still shocked at how powerful it's been. As it stands, making it more points is really the only change I can imagine making, and I'm not sure if that would fall under too much or good enough.

 Biggs Darklighter - Is a beast, single-handedly keeping the T-65 in play. His ability is both very powerful and very flavorful, but has badly warped the meta around Rebel lists.
 I had a couple ideas for how to fix Biggs, but my first instinct is to make his Pilot Ability an Action. That opens up Stress Control, Blocking, limits Token Stacking, and forces a player to make sacrifices/choices about how and when to use his ability. He's still a powerhouse, but slightly less auto-pilot than he is now.

 Fenn Rau - I have heard listed as another problem ship, and he is, but like Mindlink, it's the other damaging bits of the meta that make him so nasty right now. Without Manarroo or Mindlink, he's just another expensive PTL ace. But more to the point, I'm not sure there's any way to fix him without breaking him, as basic as he is.

 Jumpmaster 5000 - Keeps getting nerfed, keeps on kicking. It's such a good ship, mostly because it can do everything better than everything else can, cheaper (I mean, call it like it is, right?)
 The fix I would still do to this one is twofold - first, take away the EPT slot on the Contracted Scout. There's no reason for that, it's too powerful on a baseline ship. Second, I would tie the Barrel Roll to the Title, so only one Jumpmaster in a list could do it, and it would cost 12 points to "unlock" it. That leaves Dengar as scary as ever, while reining in some of the worst abuses of the ship.

 Kyle Ren Crew - Shouldn't ignore Shields. If a ship isn't going to take a Damage Card at all, the ability to give them a card AND pick the result through shields is potentially game-breaking. It's not winning Tournaments, but in general, it sets a bad precedent for the game. Either make his ability like Boba Fett's, or make him cost 10 points or something equally outrageous.

 Miranda Doni - Is, and should be, a top-notch Pilot of a great ship. Her ability lends itself to multiple abuses as is, all relating to secondary weapons or Sabine (more on that later). How to fix Miranda? Make her Ability Primary-weapon only. That removes TLT-regen, that removes Homing Missile abuse, that makes her still very powerful, but not able to game the game, as it were.

 Sabine Crew - Never should have added damage to Bombs. Adding a slot, or additional slot, to a ship is already very powerful and in line with what she should be doing, turning every bomb her carrier drops into a bomb + Seismic Charge is game-breaking. She is now, let's face it, the only way Bombs are run in any serious sense, and can be so abusive in games. Heck, drop her points cost even, but get rid of that bonus damage.
 A fix to Sabine is absolutely critical - and soon - because of the Scuurg. The Bomblet Generator Upgrade that comes with it already drops and unlimited number of double-damage Seismic Charges for 1 pt more, that can potentially do 2 Damage (or two Critical Damage) each. With Sabine, that goes up to potentially 3 to every ship at R1. That's a problem, and it hasn't even happened yet.

 Twin Laser Turret - Give back the R3 bonus on Defense for Turrets. For now, this only affects the TLT. But Turrets already pay the premium for 360-degree fire, they don't need to strip defense as well, especially not on the TLT. While this is a very minor fix to the TLT (and frankly may not be enough) it's some defense against ships that will just stay at R3 and pick away at enemy ships from behind rocks (etc).
 This is also somewhat pressing to fix because both the Scurrg and TIE Aggressor have access to Turrets, and the Aggressor especially can potentially abuse these.

 That's a short list of the ships/cards that are really screwing up the game right now, and were missed in the most recent FAQ clearing. These are things that stand out as way better than everything else, even as new Waves are coming out largely in-line with the rest of the game, but not competing with these powerhouses. Which is ultimately good, because it means the overall game playing field is much more even, once a few of the outliers are reined in a bit more.

 FFG is in kind of an awkward spot though, with this game on their hands that's exploded worldwide in terms of popularity and competitiveness. It must be hard to keep up with the expansion of the community, playtesting new Waves and content, and dealing with the Meta live.
 They sent a very positive message with the most recent FAQ. It was admission of some balance mistakes, and actual fixes to solve the problem. It set a precedent for taking a narrow/broken meta more seriously and acting to level the playing field.
 At the same time, they may very well also be working on X-wing 2.0, or wondering if their drastic FAQ stance was the correct choice after all.

 Only time will tell, but I hope they opt to dive in and curate the meta aggressively. Even as they try hard to keep new waves and new content relevant without pushing out the older ships.

 I expect these opinions will create the same amount of contention they have everywhere else, but please sing out if you do have an opinion on the matter regardless!