Posts Tagged ‘CCG’

Premature Evaluation: Smite Tactics

Every Monday Brendan prays to the gods of early access for favour, power and a winning hand. This week, the collectible card game battler Smite Tactics [official site]

Being a fan of Duelyst’s card-based lunacy, I was more than happy to dip my toes into Smite Tactics at Pip’s suggestion. It’s a spin-off CCG from the makers of the same-named MOBA, using their collected gods and mythical figureheads to get you collecting cards instead of pushing mid. Sadly, it’s as skeletal as an argonaut’s worst nightmare, in dire need of some fleshing out.
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The dumbest multiplayer fight I’ve ever had

I like Duelyst [official site], which is a surprise. The world of collectible card games is a giant skip full of broken stepladders and dirty blankets, but every so often you find a perfectly serviceable coffee table. Duelyst is my coffee table. I’ve been playing for 60+ hours, bullying my way up the ranks with questionable tactics and ugly monsters. But yesterday, at the stroke of midnight, I fought the dumbest, most spectacular multiplayer match I have ever played, not just in Duelyst, but probably any game. My trouble is: how do I explain this to someone who doesn’t fight in this sleazy free-to-play arena of monsters and microscopic maths? How do I communicate to you just how intractibly stupid this game was? Let’s try using words.
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Duelyst gets big changes, boss battles and free cards

If Hearthstone is the Pokemon of today’s free-to-play card battling, Duelyst [official site] sometimes feels like the Digimon – lesser-known but still beloved and popular enough to get by. Also: objectively better in every way. Some big changes are coming in the next patch though, including the addition of AI-controlled bosses who will change every week and bleed rewards when you defeat them. That’s good. Meanwhile, the daily challenges – small one-turn problems that are Duelyst’s equivalent to chess puzzles – are being put on hold. That’s sad.

Let’s have a more detailed look at the changes, and what else is good or sad.
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Have You Played… Duelyst?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I bounced off Hearthstone, and I couldn’t care less about Magic: The Gathering. If there was a Netrunner adaptation for the PC, I’d play that endlessly, but apart from that I tend to shy away from collectible card games. All that deck-stacking, all those tiny sums. It just feels dirty. So why do I love Duelyst so much?
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Faeria’s Core Set Removed “For The Greater Good”

The developers of fantasy card game Faeria [official site] are cutting a major pack of cards from the game’s shop. Until now the game had offered a Core Set with 256 cards for $50. But developers Abrakam are ripping that out for “the greater good”, saying that it gave too much power to those willing or able to pump the money into their card collections, while others were grinding to earn the same cards in random drops. They explain everything in a candid blog post where they admit that the community is likely to be split over the changes.

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Impressions: Duelyst

If this year’s E3 was anything to go by, 2015 may well prove to be the year of the collectible card game. All the big names seemed to have one, but none of them seemed to be able to tell you why theirs was the one you should play. For me, these johnny-come-latelys may have already been rather handily upstaged: none seemed to advertise anything like the ingenuity of the free-to-play Duelyst [official site], with its whip-smart mixture of card play and turnbased tactics, whereby you summon fantastical units to a gridded arena and duke it out until one general falls.

It’s in closed alpha at the moment, and I’ve been really enjoying it – though I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface of the strategies that are possible. Luckily, I’ve been able to pick the ample brains of Counterplay Games’ Keith Lee about Duelyst’s six factions, their varied tactics and the long-term ambitions to use the aggregated wins and losses of players to inform an ongoing epic narrative.

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The Witcher 3’s Gwent Comes To Tabletop Simulator

One of the best things about The Witcher 3 is its awareness that fetch quests are absolutely silly. The other fantastic thing is Gwent. I like Gwent. A lot. In case you don’t know what it is, it’s this in-game collectible card game that has two players take control of different armies and duke it out to see who is the better general-leader-hypothetical-head-of-army. While not the deepest mini-game I’ve encountered, it’s certainly fun and has, to date, consumed a worrying amount of my time in the Witcher 3. And now it is available as a mod for Tabletop Simulator [official site], which is similarly awesome.

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