Faeria is not completely unique; however, it is relatively different from many others. It got new patch, and supposedly significant enough to affect overall game play. Remember this game is not microtransaction based i.e. you buy the game, and collect cards by progressing through the game. The style of art in this game is quite different from some other dTCGs. Personally, these arts remind me Miyazaki’s art style for some reason, and certainly that is a positive thing.
Faëria v0.2: new combat system, new game!07.February.2014
Patch V0.2 is now live! It’s the most important patch the beta has been through, it introduces some changes but they are very significant and the whole card base has been reworked to match them.
Now that the patch is out you can expect the server to recover a more glorious activity. There will be a lot more activity from our part too, we’ll probably get back to 1 patch per week.
What’s changing, in short?
- Global strike back: every creature now strikes back.
- Land rules: when a land occupied by a creature is destroyed, the creature has 1 turn to reach a land to survive. Same when the lake occupied by an aquatic creature is turned into a prairie, the aquatic creature has 1 turn to reach a lake or a water hex.
- Legendary rule: A legendary cards is now limited to 1 copy per deck.
The game features 2 new abilities and approximately 25 new cards. Some cards were also removed because they didn’t fit the new system or were flawed. The strikeback ability has now disappeared of course. Take a look at the changelog to get more details.
Another notable change is concerning the casting cost of cards which is really lower in general. The game’s pace is more intense in consequence. A game designer’s job is not limited to balance the cards’ effectiveness, in fact balancing the cards’ power is pretty easy to achieve, or almost achieve. People often don’t look beyond that aspect of balancing but in fact the designers are worried by:
- Balancing the amount of choice throughout a game
- Balancing the learning curve
- Balancing the randomness
- Balancing the pace
- Balancing the feedback loop
We’ve concluded that the two last points were wrong and that the game needed a change. And that the more we waited to fix, the more work there would be.
Note that when looking at problem the solution is certainly not in the extremes but is achieved through balance. You don’t want a too fast paced game neither a too slow one. You don’t want a totally predictable game neither a totally chaotic one. In fact there are really few aspects that you want in unlimited quantity, like variety (or depth) which should reveal day after day and not deliver all at once.
Back to the feedback loop. It was too positive, or said otherwise “the game was too punishing”. The least advantage was often deciding the winner. And the main reason to that was that creatures didn’t strike back as part of the core game. The combat rule was in fact a bit wrong because it said “the creature that advances first will also be the first to take damage and probably die, so it better not move”. The game could “freeze” until a combat trick unlocked the situation, or one of the two players be silly enough to make the first step, which happens a lot when you’re learning the game and that’s very frustrating. This is schematic but it’s almost true.
So now every creature deals an amount of damage equal to its power when attacked. The game has been totally adapted to that change:
- Protection only works when the creature is attacked.
- Haunt only works when attacking.
- Ranged attack creatures do not receive strike back damage when not adjacent to the attacked creature.
- Ranged attack creatures do not strike back.
- New ability – Faerialink: When this creature attacks, you gain as much faeria as damage done.
- New ability – Rage X: If you damaged the opponent’s orb this turn, this creature gains X power and X life when it comes into play.
With the introduction of this change, the real focus is no longer to make sure you control the board by destroying the opponent’s creatures. The focus is the strategic points: the orb, the structures and the faeria-collectors. Games are shorter on average which is cool. The life left in the orbs reflects who’s winning much more often.
Two useful tips if you’re used to the previous system:
- Most of the time it was a good idea to attack a creature if you could do so: it’s not necessarily the case anymore. You should probably attack a structure instead, a zero power creature or the orb, or collect faeria. Catch the strategic opportunities and force your opponent to pay 1 energy to do the combat.
- Use CTRL+Click to move without attacking. Sometimes it can be useful to improve your positioning without exchanging damage.
Generally we’re also looking to sharpen the rock/paper/scissors, make counters more readable. We want to have cards and abilities display clearly their strengths and weaknesses. For instance ranged attack creatures are very strong when paired with combat tricks because they can take off opposing creatures without suffering a strike back. But as they don’t strike back they are also perfect targets for charge creatures or haste ones. Of course we don’t want to take the rock/paper/scissors to an extreme because it would favor luck too much. Overall we just want to make it easier to think to of a counter when you’re looking at a particular problem.
Beyond the less punishing combat system, there’s another reason why it’s easier to come back in a game now: the cheaper casting costs. Cheaper cards make it easier to come back when you’re short on resources, you’ve got more chances to play something on average.
Regarding the Legendary cards, in fact it’s a whole redesign on the rarity and boosters:
- Rarities: Basic, Common, Exceptional, Rare and Legendary.
- Basic cards are the ones rewarded by the quests.
- Rarities were redistributed and there’s less Legendary cards than before, approximately twice less.
There’s now only 1 type of booster in the shop, instead of 4. Its content depends on your level:
- Level 5: The booster unlocks and contains 7xC
- Level 10: The booster contains 6xC and 1xE
- Level 15: The booster contains 5xC, 1xE and 1xR
- Level 20: The booster contains 4xC, 2xE and 1xR. One times over 15 the Rare will be a Legendary.
A booster now always costs 100 memoria and the number of memoria earned is, on average, 35 for a loss and 65 for a win. The exact amount of memoria you get depends only on your success and the game duration.
As said earlier, Legendary cards are limited to 1 copy per deck. Playing Legendary cards will obviously decrease your deck’s consistency but they are also going to create more memorable moments. Legendary cards will be more impressive and convey unique themes, they aren’t supposed to be stronger than the average card but the fact that they bring inconsistency is taken into account for balancing them.
About the ladder & collection reset and memoria refund
This how we’re proceeding:
- Every collection and deck are erased.
- The amount of memoria is erased.
- We give 65 memoria for each win (ranked or classic).
- We give 35 memoria for each loss (ranked or classic).
- We’ll do a manual operation to refund those who won tournaments.
- Then the rankings and ratings will also be reset for this new season.