This is the year of dTCG. There are many high quality dTCG releasing/prerelease this year. Among the all, three of the biggest names are HEX, Solforge and Hearthstone. I have not covered Solforge for a while, and there is a reason. It just is not my personal taste (for now). But now with the current pricing scheme, I am started to become a bit more tempted to give another try to the game.
It looks like $2 is the baseline many new dTCG are going to settle. This is probably a good start as technically it’s the half of what Magic the Gathering Online charges. However, the flat price comparison is difficult with each games have some special bonuses built in. For example, recently covered Infinity Wars have so many little perks here and there, which adds up and getting the actual cost of how much truly each pack would cost becomes hard. Similarly, HEX will have “treasure chest” where each pack can potentially give you another pack in it, or primal pack where all 15 cards are high rarity i.e. equivalent of you essentially got 15 packs by price of 1. Then, add VIP program which provides you $1/pack/week (with max 1 per account). So when the game launches, each pack will cost somewhere between $1-$1.50 on trading market.
The comparison among different dTCG are not so straight forward. But it is definitely less than $2. So when I initially saw Solforge charging $2/pack without much of perk, they just seemed quite bit overpriced. But for now, you can technically purchase a pack for $1 with max 100 packs per account. This is a promotional rate for those preordering the game.
For the starter who did not rode the bandwagon of the kickstarter, you can now get a beta access by going to steam and purchase the $19.99 early access, which will give you 20 booster packs when the game officially launches i.e. $1/pack.
If you own iPad, my recommendation is first give a try to this game for free.
Personally, $1/pack is sweet spot as I have collectors mentality i.e. if I am going to spend money I want to get complete set. But with my brief play on this game, I just feel a bit lack of the game’s depth. This is; however, just my personal preference. I like more complex game, which to me seems to allow the game to add more ground breaking new mechanics as the game continues to release new expansions, and hence keep the game fresh. For example, the controversial resource system mechanics is something I actually like to see in dTCG. Similarly, I like intercept dynamic play i.e. known as instant on Magic, quick action on HEX. But if you see these features/mechanics are more of the point of confusion, unnecessary part of the game, or even consider negative aspect of dTCG then Solforge is certainly a game that worth a try.
I would even go a step further. If you have not played TCG in the past, having too much complexity may be more of an issue. My first TCG was Eye of Judgment where resource system was automatic i.e. simple, there was no real intercept ability. I enjoyed the game a lot. It was easy to learn and felt good amount of depth to it. Then I eventually moved on Magic Online, but at first the game seemed way too complicated, and did actually not enjoy as much. Then went back to more simplified TCG like Shadow Era, but it quickly felt too shallow. So yes. I went back and forth, and still trying to find the good balance in terms of depth, and complexity. But for the starter, I think Solforge is not a bad game. In fact, with the price who knows I may end up grabbing the game again.