HEX is a massive multiplayer online + digital trading card game, which is easy to say. But this is actually a whole set of new environment. Perhaps not an optimal analogy but I may even say HEX is like new gaming system. Within the HEX, you have multiple ways of playing a game. Since the actual game is not out yet, I’d rather not call these as 101 but rather more like pre-requisite courses. Let’s understand PvE and PvP first.
What’s PvE and PvP?
PvE stands for player versus environment. This is basically a single player campaign mode. We have seen various TCG had tried this in the past including Magic the Gathering, and many others. HEX appears to have equal to and likely superior to the best of those. As they call this is MMO, there are level up component, intense single player story line, and some of the challenges in the game uses card but may not even be a traditional card game battle. There will also be multiplayer team effort mode i.e. Raid. Think this as MMO part of the MMO/TCG.
PvP stands for player versus player. This is where traditional trading card game playing environment comes in. You can play against other player using your own constructed deck. There will be various format tournament, draft etc. Think this as true traditional TCG.
Cards in PvE and PvP
This is probably the most confusing part. So here are quick summary of the facts:
- PvE and PvP have completely separate sets of cards, 300 for PvE and 350 for PvP in the Set.1.
- You can play PvP cards in PvE mode.
- Generally, major tournament and PvP mode will not allow the use of PvE cards; however, there will be casual format that you can use both PvE and PvP card.
- You can only earn PvE card through PvE mode i.e. you won’t get these from booster packs.
- You can only get PvP card by buying booster packs, or trade through auction house. (Each pack will cost $2)
- Level up, equipment etc. will not affect PvP
What’s the easy way to think?
Essentially think such that PvP is like a real TCG against other player. So level up component, PvE cards (you acquire through playing campaign) are not fair to those who cannot spend as much time as others. Of course one can argue that PvP costs money but all TCG do, and $2/pack is not the cheapest but considering the quality of the game, this is good. Especially, Cryptozoic offers soft i.e. optional subscription plan so that for $4/month, you can get a free booster pack a week i.e. $1/pack. Also currently if you pledge King level, you can essentially get 80 cents per pack, which is unbeatable price when taking into the consideration that this is real deep TCG.
Also because they will be offering casual format that you can use PvE cards to play against other player, you can still enjoy a real TCG perhaps without even spending a dime. Just think PvP as separate format, and if you so desire not spending any money ignore it. I am certain how popular this game already is, you won’t have issue finding a player to play using PvE only cards.
This is probably the best true FREE TCG model that allows players to real enjoy the game rather than simple trial free, and real game requires money approach.
Alternative way to think
How about think such that you have a whole card pool for HEX. Within which you have PvP cards. These cards are highly regulated/balanced subset of cards that allows balanced competitive tournament environement.
This is essentially what it is. PvE cards, Equipment, Level up etc. give a real fun to HEX as you play campaign mode or raid mode. But if you allow those in the Player vs. Player competitive format, they are balance breaker. Hence, PvP cards exist.
Followings are from official forum (http://forums.cryptozoic.com/showthread.php?t=23180)
Q:Will it be possible to earn PvP cards or boosters by playing PvE, or will PvP cards only be available by paying for the boosters? I would find it disappointing if PvE would be a completely separate game that wouldn’t tie in to PvP at least in the form of rewards.
A:You can use any PvP cards in PvE, but you can only find PvE cards through PvE. You won’t find any PvP cards in PvE. That said, it’s important I mention that the relative power of both PvP and PvE cards is very close. We’re not promoting one over the other with “better cards”.
Q:Also, just to be sure, Equipment, Heroes and Talents are PVE only right?
A:Equipment, Heroes and Talents are PvE only. That includes going on raids with your friends, and there is a ‘wild west’ format, where you can play all that stuff against your friends. To maintain a good competitive environment, though, we want anyone to be able to jump in and play drafts immediately without having to “level up” their champion first.
Q:Heroes do you mean Champions? As far as I remember, those will be used in PvP as well, but your selfmade Avatar is limited to PvE.
A:PvP has Champions, which are heroes with specific stats and gametext that doesn’t change. There are also Heroes and Mercenaries, which are the guys who change as you level them up.
The only thing you can use in sanctioned PvP is cards from the PvP set and champions from the PvP set (we give you all of them for free). There is a ‘wild west’ format where you can play anything, but it’s more for casual friends and for people to have fun with their friends.
Q:What is the purpose of level in the game? How do we get PVP cards if the cards we get from PVE can only be used in PVE?
A: As you level, you gain new talents points to spend on acquiring special talents. It lets you customize your hero to pull off things in the game you can’t just do with cards alone.
PvP cards are all of the set cards. You get X boosters (depending on what tier you kicked into the campaign) to start, but you can buy boosters at $2 each in game.
Q: So there is currently no other way to get cards for PVP except through initial pledge and buying $2 each?
A: The only way to get PvP packs is through the KS rewards, at $2 each, or as rewards for playing in drafts/constructed tournaments. We will also have an auction house, and I’d expect that PvP commons can be easily picked up off there at budget prices.
Q: I believe it is 300 cards that you can obtain from boosters which can be used for both PvP and PvE. Then there’s additional PvE cards you can earn through PvE play.
A: The numbers are 350 PvP cards, about 300 PvE cards. There is no crossover between the two sets. It’s 650 unique playable cards. When I say no crossovers, I mean there isn’t any PvE or PvP cards that are in the other set. There are 650 unique cards. You can absolutely use PvP cards in PvE, though.