Have you ever played Scrabble?
Would changing the value of Scrabble tokens negatively affect the game?
First, Words With Friends changed these letter values:
L, U, N: move from 1 to 2 G from 2 to 3 H and Y from 4 to 3 B, C, M and P from 3 to 4 V from 4 to 5 J from 8 to 10
The rest stayed the same. Although K and V now both score 5 points, there is only one K tile and two more V tiles. There are now more than 4 S-tiles that you can get by doing regular Scrabble. There appear to be a lot of H and Y tiles.
A bingo has gone from 50 to only 35, which I really like because it is less important to play one. And I think that the biggest difference between the game and the possible tactic, and not the tile score, is what I think.
And of course the bonus square positions have shifted.
Many Scrabble players seem to focus on two letter words and the frequency of the letters in them, making 'C' one of the worst tiles since it doesn't appear in any (along with V). Learning the 3 letter 'V' words is useful and I used to have a rule to get rid of them quickly, even if they are just one letter. 'C' in longer words is useful when you have an open board and bingo facilities.
Compare that to the 'F' that appears in many short words but is not so good for longer ones.
Does changing the scores of the tiles have a big impact on the game? I would say not noticeably. The positioning of the bonus squares and the lower bingo bonus may have placed less emphasis on pursuit of a bingo than on better placement.
How this would affect negatively would only be real if the game were more dependent on being lucky enough to pick up high score letters than low score letters. Or if the increase of 'L' and 'N' here to 2 points meant that the relative weakness of a 'Q', for example, was not compensated for by its higher value when placed.
I think there are variations of the game that put less emphasis on being lucky enough to hold a balanced rack (vowels and consonants) and that there were 2 pockets, a vowel spine and a consonant pocket and the 2 empty tiles put aside were. When you draw you can choose which pocket to use and in a 2 player game each player can choose when to pick up the blank between their letters. As you draw, you see what you get before you see what to draw next.
Then the luck of letter drawing would be less of a problem.
And there's no point in saying "good players know how to balance their rack". How do I control what I record in bingo? How can I stop myself from drawing vowels after vowels or consonants after consonants no matter how I play them?
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