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#0: 05-08-2013 @ 10:50:18 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=5596#5596

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

This comes from Penny Arcade, specifically a tweet from Gabe.  It sounds like this free to play CCG is pretty good, and I know at least one person here who would probably enjoy a free to play CCG or two.  I've not tried it yet, if it has some sorta vs AI practice mode I might try it.

Game Site

Edit: Gameplay video attached

This post was edited by machvergil on May 8, 2013, 1:52 pm


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#1: 05-11-2013 @ 10:18:24 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=5607#5607

BountyHunterSAxBountyHunterSAx

  • Real Name:Ahmad Rasheed
  • Joined:2011-06-29

Firstly, thanks for posting this machvergil :). This would probably have flown 100% below my radar otherwise and I'm really glad to say it didn't. I was originally planning to put off looking at it until after my exam, but then I figured "Ah, hell, let's see what it's like."

I've played Yu Gi Oh (GBA versions), Magic the Gathering (Forge, Shandalar, and real-life), Kongai, Battle Network Chip Challenge, Megaman Battle Network 3 (over 1000 hours), Mytheria (on Kongregate), and a couple other deck-building games in my time. This one has most in common with Mytheria both in terms of hp rather than toughness for creatures and resource usage. But it also integrates a tactical-battlefield feel like MMBN3 -though still turnbased- swhich makes for a really unique experience.

Enough yammering, time to explain. Assuming you're most familiar with MTG:

Gameplay:
-basic
You have a deck. It has creatures, instants, enchantments (or equivalent thereof). Each player has 20 hp/lives/health, you try to deal damage either via attacking creatures or direct damage means to reduce your opponent to 0. Pretty standard.

-resources.
All cards have two 'costs', a resource cost and a "power-requirement" in terms of might, magic or destiny. Every turn, your total resource available goes up by one. So, for example, on turn 4 you will have 4 resource. On turn 8, 8, etc. Further, each turn you have the option to raise either your total might/magic/destiny up by one, or use a different hero ability (so, draw an extra card  for 1 resource might be an example).
Say I have 3 resource and 2 might 0 magic 0 destiny.  I could cast a 2-resource, 2 might creature  and a 1-resource, 1 might creature on that same turn. Because resource depletes but M/M/D is just the 'required level'. It's a nice change of pace to not have to worry about mana-screw/mana-flood issues. Also, I've come across cards that grant you extra resource as instants and such already.

-  the field.
[A][M1][_][X][X1]
[A][M2][_][X][X2]
[A][M3][_][X][X4]
[A][M4][_][X][X4]

This is the most interesting contribution of this game to the genre, IMO. The battlefield has two columns on your side (similar to YuGiOh/BN3) and two for your enemy (marked as X's here). Here's the cool part: Creatures can, in general, *ONLY* attack across a row! So say I play a 2/4 creature on M1, my opponent might place a 4/4 creature on X1 to block. Or instead he might opt to place it on X2, to threaten an unblocked counterattack. There's a summoning-sickness equivalent to prevent same-turn attacking. Also, you can move a creature to a new valid square on your turn but you cant both move and attack.

But wait, there's more. Creatures in this game are frequently either ranged or melee. If I play a ranged creature (on the 'A' column) he can shoot without fear of being counterattacked! And if I stick a melee in front of him that melee can 'tank' for him :). Or I can move a melee from a different square there if i need to chump block in that manner, etc, etc. And of course, some enemies have abilities that interact with the grid system all the moree. Like, 'sweep' ability means if you hit an enemy you deal bonus damage to adjacent enemies in the same column.

-combat:
Next there's combat itself. MTG was designed from the beginning to be easy to play IRL, with less stat tracking and such. Since this game was designed with an iPad in mind they did not have that limiation. Instead of creatures having toughness and regenerating all their life every turn lke in MTG, this uses the Mytheria system where creatures' damage persists from turn to turn. If my 3/7 creature attacks your 2/1, it will still be a 3/7 since your creature will die before it can counter. If on the other hand it attacks me, i'll still kill it with the counter but now i'm 3/5 since I lost 2 hp. This prevents the dreaded 'dealock' scenarios that happen often in MTG and Yu Gi Oh where a single powerful creature or strong-defensive creature can basically forestall combat a long time.
PLUS there's the grid system. Just because you've got a 10/10 in one row doesn't mean I can't potentially chump block it and attack you from another. Or worse: use my ranged creature to peck at him without fear of his retalitation while throwing away a melee chump-blcoker.

All told, I've yet to purchase a card or create my own deck    - - still using one of the three defaults - -  and already I'm impressed with the possibilities posed here.

-other game mechanics:

Event cards. I haven't really understood these yet; but from what I gather these are a bizzare set of cards that are made from a partial combination of event cards you bring and those your opponent bring to the game. There are always two available on the board, and one new one is drawn to replace the old one at the start of each player's turn. They function as 'community' cards of sorts. Either player can play them as if they were in his/her hand. Thusfar the ones I've seen  have effects like: "Both players draw 1 card", "Next creature played gets +1 attack" but for a high resource cost, etc. I can see this being a potentially deep-strategy element as you might play such a card just to deny it to your opponent. But I can also see it just being a source of frustration. Will have to play more to get a real sense of it, but as of now it is something I have never seen in any CCG other than this game (props for originality!).

Hero Cards?:
Earlier I mentioned how you had a set amount of hp (20), and could level your might/magic/destiny each turn OR use your ability (2resource: draw an extra card). What I didn't mention was that these are all drawn onto your "hero card" at the left of the field and referred to as your "hero ability". Also, some (read: all) of the tutorial AI's had <20hp, and different champ cards. Maybe the Hero card you use is customizable as well (like in Battle Network Chip Challenge)? It certainly wouldn't surprise me, and if that's the case I wonder what other powers there are out there. How cool would it be to have a Hero card that had 8 life, but a 0resource: draw a card ability? Or a 30hp hero that didn't have a useful ability? I can definitely see LOTS of potential for this, and I sincerely hope that's what's going on though I haven't gotten far enough to be sure.


Bugs/Interface:
Nice interface, decent graphics. Smooth, easy to follow, easy to understand. Yadda, yadda. Gameplay is occasionally a bit too fast (especially when the AI just does its turn rapidly) but then, once i'm more familiar with the cards that will be a good thing, not a bad thing. There's a card-shop twhere you can spend your in-game gold to buy cardpacks. Or you can pay real money to get ingame gold instead of earning it through PvP / the campaign. I haven't encountered any gamebreaking bugs, though there are some IRRITATING ones. Like, if your hand-size is >=7 cards, the 2nd card is impossible to click on (it gets overshadowed by the first or third). But then, you can use the "detailed card view" to scroll to it, so really it's more an irritant than a gamebreaker. Free game, it happens.


Setup / Game Modes/ RealWorld:
There is a single-player campaign to this game. I've played the first 6 tutorial missions "Boot Camp" and started the first of two other mission sets that have been offered to me. I don't know how many more there are but it *seems* like quite a fair amount. Don't expect a fantastic campaign or story. It's more on the level of Puzzle Quest 2 -- a few snips of click-through linear conversation to set up the next fight. Serviceable, but nothing more.
There's also the PvP option, which I haven't so much as opened yet. What I do know is you can gain their ingame currency (gold and some kind of gem?) by playing hte campaign. Also your 'character levels up' - for whatever that means. I haven't seen any effect of this yet. They've got some kind of tournaments going in addition to general PvP as their third game mode.


VERDICT:
I dunno. It's fun, it's free, it's definitely balanced enough that you can play for the first hour or two of the vs AIand not be straight-up pissed off or feel cheated (looking at you, MTG:Forge). It seems like they've got a reasonable cardpool and they're already releasing more. Personally I've had a blast with it and am definitley going to be playing some more. I haven't seen  (or really looked for) a vs. AI outside of the campaign, and replaying old levels does not let you farm gold. Therefore, I fear that maybe when I complete the campaign I'll *have* to PvP to earn gold  and buy more cards . . . not a prospect I much care for. But then, the campaign is far from over so it's too ealry to think about that.

If you're into CCG's, giving this one a try is a no brainer.

If you like deckbuilding, ever enjoyed a casual game of pre-con MTG, or are just curious, still probably should give it a swing. The price is right: $0, it's a small enough download (~200MB was it?), and getting into the game is quick and painless.

If you dislike/hate MTG-style play though, I'm not sure this will be different enough to change your mind. For all the innovations and cool things they've switched this game *definitely* has that feel to it.

For my part? I intend to at least beat the campaign :). Cheers!

-AHMAD

This post was edited by BountyHunterSAx on May 11, 2013, 1:23 pm


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