There have been a lot of questions related to PvE side of the game. As most people know how TCG works, once examples of cards are shown pretty much most of us came to quick conclusion that this game will have depth of what hardcore TCG players call “the real” TCG. But campaign mode using TCG is not something we see often, and if one claims it got quest/campaign, they are usually simplistic narration screen followed by repetitive AI duel. So let’s take a look at whether HEX is just another of those or something else.
How it navigates?
When I enter a dungeon I’m provided with a map, but I’m only shown the node I’m at and the paths leading from it. Some paths have special conditions associated with them, and I won’t see them appear until I fulfill those states. Others may only be available to certain classes or factions, and it can get even crazier from there!
So interface may be that of very simplistic PSP game i.e. map, and click, the presence of multipath based on the specific conditions/plays you made make this as a real game rather than click and go.
AI Specific cards
It’s good to see cards that you are familier with as part of the story/campaign but also it makes the game more exciting if there are AI specific cards i.e. keeps the game fresh with surprises.
Attractive real story
Its easy for low budget games to ignore stories, or perhaps come up with almost non-existent story such as there are good faction and bad faction, then fight. Now even worse enemy comes and so on. But if it was not a TCG, would you ever accept it as a story, or as a game? I won’t.
“The Human city of Portsmeare has been besieged by a mythic Kraken, with many tall fishing vessels lost and many hardy seamen dragged to the briny depths.
The Mayor of Portsmeare has called a ban on fishing and dry docked the city’s fleet. Luckily good king Gabriel has sent provisions for the small town and will continue to do so until the beast leaves the area to find more fertile hunting grounds.
This was all well and good, but the Kraken has allied with a coven of Sea Hags, and these foul creatures have raised a vile island off the coast of Portsmeare. From this island their evil magic has entranced the good mayor and forced him to do their bidding.”
Remember the game changes with faction/class you choose. Above case scenario was given when the player selected a human class.
Of all this is the most interesting, and important part that no other TCG had really placed their effort into. The PvE/campaign mode should have unique challenges, tricks rather than simply you defeat your opponent by playing duel, which of course fun for itself but for that PvP are always better because you can play against other people.
Check the lore
See the above card, Mayor Galway? It is wimpy of its own and easy to take out from the board especially early in the game (the card will start out to be on board from turn 1). If you were playing against some other player, card like it is something you try to kill immediately. But the lore says “don’t kill him.”
So if you don’t kill him and still win the game, you get some bonus from it i.e. either opening up a new path, or perhaps some loots.
Continuity of dungeon
What happens in RPG if one of your party member dies during a battle? Generally, you won’t be able to revive him until you get out of dungeon unless you got some special item. In TCG, such concept cannot be applied… Well could not have been applied until now.
This immediately becomes apparent, since the ship is attacked as it nears the beach. I’m forced to defend it or drown. I enter another battle, this time against a few tentacles that can grab my troops and throw them overboard! I’m going to want to be careful, because in this specific encounter if one of my troops gets grabbed and pulled into the briny deep, they will be gone from my deck for the rest of the dungeon! (Now, before you panic, let me make it clear that not every encounter works this way, normally when your troops die, you will get them back for the next encounter, but we will throw these curveballs at you from time to time to give the dungeon challenges variety and a sense of real danger.)
This is not for every game/dungeon, its just for the part of this particular dungeon but great illustration of campaign mode play. What you do really matters for subsequent games.
Supposedly, these examples are very basic ones and they have much more sophisticated, yet to be revealed mechanics. But even these examples make me believe in the game’s PvE content. This is a real game experience, not any other TCG have ever truly provided.
Is it perfect? Probably no. If anyone ever comes up with Skyrim graphics and interaction but TCG for battle part, then that’s perfect but that is highly unlikely to happen at least any time in near future. So for now this is the best we’ll ever see for what’s called TCG RPG.
Connecting PvP to PvE
I still think HEX is a platform rather than a single game. But they are still connected. We know we can use PvP cards in PvE world.
But also PvP cards can show up in the world of PvE as part of AI deck.
PvE got me excited what should I do?
Well technically the PvE part should be free to play for all, so you can patiently wait until official launch, or go to kickstarter and pledge to get into beta, which starts in September. If you really like PvE and got some money, then consider Dungeon Crawler Tier ($250). It is currently the most popular $250 Tier. Nobody knows how long the normal play will last, but with +100% loot bonuses, technically you should be able to complete the game in half time (if you are trying to collect items). These will be tradable through auction house and the actual value of them for trade is still unknown. It really depends on how popular PvE part of this game becomes. But being it Free with mobile support, I see very high potential on this.