dCCG dTCG started on the kickstarter campaign. This is another game that seems to have a great potential. In fact, at quick glance the game system in this game has a potential of depth to the level of Magic:the Gathering or HEX without notorious element of those games i.e. resource screw. In short, this game has a potential to be the best dCCG dTCG.
*Updated 12/7/2015 – Various changes from original time this was listed on kickstarter.
The game will be originally for Windows and Mac, Linux to follow. Android and iOS Tablet versions are also planned though these dates are not determined.
This will be online game. Here I am assuming the game will run on all the platforms as long as using a modern browser i.e. Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux, but such explicit statement is not made on the official site or kickstarter. So I had sent an email to the developer with multiple other questions. But for now, let’s assume it will work in any device but requirement is that you must have an internet connection.
March 2016 (after beta phases).
I know kcikstarter release date on these games are rather soft target and delay is almost inevitable fact. Developers here recognize that and made following promise.
If it’s true that normally artwork is an important cause of delays and we have already finished that, it’s also true that programming WoT is being a hard work. Specially because our programming team, although is capable, it’s reduced and has to work for many hours a day to make WoT real on time.
It is a possibility we find some difficulties in that aspect, although it’s not provided. In that case, backers will be compensated getting:
> 1-7 days: 1 WOT Booster for each day of delay.
> 7-15 days: 1 WOT Masters Booster for each 2 days of delay. Of course rounded up.
> 15 days- 1 Month: 10 WOT Masters Booster + A Hero card (not in basic deck).
> More than 1 Month: in that rare case, appart from our strong apologies, backers will choose a kingdom and get all cards of that kingdom unblocked.
This is not an ordinary slot based dTCG. Slot based dTCG are usually utilized to simplify the game play so there is maximum number of cards that can be on board, and attacking target is clear. Although nothing is wrong with such approach, those games tend to lack certain level of depth.
Warlords of Terra calls itself battlefield
collectible trading card game (BTCG). The basic goal of the game is similar or perhaps standard of dTCG/dCCG. You try to take opponent’s health from 20 down to 0. The somewhat unique element where the “battlefield” word comes from is the fact you will be moving your troops towards opponents area. These troops do not move only one way i.e. front, but rather can move in side way as well. So it’s like Chess/Shogi/Go type of tabletop strategy game using collectible cards. Yes. it is not something we have never heard but this game seems to have potentially put required element in right mixture.
Reviewing card types in a given game tells us how sophisticated the game will/can be.
Now a days, this may not be a surprise as HEX, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft TCG, Shadow Era etc. have it, but these are card that represent you with the special ability.
The game; however, takes this to a next level. Notice above example heroes both have multiple choices/special powers and each with their own cost. Furthermore, they have also a passive ability. Basically, I find these are more closer to Planeswalker cards in Magic the Gathering and can really effect a game play depending on which hero you choose.
There is no surprise here. It’s the standard troop/ally/creature card. These card have a familiar basic elements including attack, life, summoning cost. It has required basics for future potential of tribal deck i.e. card subtype.
In addition, rather unique parameter here is the speed. This parameter defines how much your troop can move. Again, it is not restricted only vertical direction but also horizontal direction.
Another standard card type. These cards can act instantaneously at the time of use and just goes into the discard pile right after its use, but what they did right here is covered the all the options.
Spell have two fundamental types: regular and sudden spell. Yes. you guessed it! This game has instant type card mechanics. For those of you who are not familiar with such system, it is basically cards that you can play even during your opponent’s turn i.e. you can surprise your opponent or basically provide a true feeling of countering opponents.
The game does not end here. It also has an enchantment type spell. This means basically instead of directly damaging or healing targets, you can attach the effect of spell to target card. As you can imagine, it can be negative effect on opponent like a curse or it can be a positive boost to your own troop. Subtypes are appropriately called Curse and Power.
I hope you are already started to see the degree of depth this game can provide.
In essence, these can be thought of cards that are not troop and not spell. So in other game they may be constant, artifact. How about equipment? Well all of those are objects in this game and they are subdivided appropriately to cover all of the things mentioned in above.
Attached objects can be three types: weapon, armor or accessory. These can be equipped to target troop but each troop can have only one of the type i.e. one weapon, one armor and one accessory. This alone is already a step up for many other dTCG/dCCG unless the game specifically emphasize this feature as the core element of the game. Guess what. Weapon and Armor have durability like in other games so more you use, you will lose/break them.
There is also non-attached objects. These are placed on the battlefield slot like troop but it won’t take up the space i.e. troops can go through the space. Interestingly the rule book states these object like in weapon or armor has durability and can be destroyed by attack but unlike health in troop, durability will always be lost 1 per attack independent of the attack power. Certainly seem to provide a new type of play.
Though it is not mentioned, with such level of detail this game has in design, I have no doubt, some of object can be a trap i.e. troop crossing the zone will reveal the trap and takes the damage/negative effect from the trap.
Type: Card Based Resource System (CBRS)
Followers of my blog must know by now, I care about the game’s resource system as it sets a fundamental design of the game and even tells the depth of the game by itself.
Not surprisingly at this point, this game uses the most sophisticated version of resource system, which utilizes dedicated resource card to represent resource in a game. Such system provides potential expansion of the game and build mechanics that purely based on the resource cards. It also provides the challenge and joy of resource management.
Innovative solution to resource screw
Unfortunately, CBRS has major flaw/challenge, which is the infamous resource screw. Resource screw means by a virtue of lack, you may end up getting too many resource cards in hand and have no playable card or alternatively, you get all playable card but no resource card to ramp the resource to play those card.
Magic designer said this system is to provide an environment where even inexperienced player can potentially win a game by chance of luck. It indeed provides variability in game play and no game feels the same. Having said all this, it is always a source of complaints. HEX tried to fix this by using threshold system, which reduced one of the three type of resource screw, color resource screw, but other shard screw or shard flood weren’t really affected and hence we still see the complaints every once and a while pop up on the official forum.
Some tries to defend the system saying it is part of fun, and if you design your deck well, it happens a lot less. Both true statement, but the chances are real and if you play enough game, it will hit you relatively frequently. When resource screw hit you during important game e.g. tournament, you will hate the game because it truly is not skill but pure lack.
But designers of this game took it seriously and came up with what appears to be really clever approach without dropping the card based resource system
Two deck system
Warlords of Terra separates resource cards (here they call building/place cards) into a separate deck than all the rest of card (called battle cards). At the beginning of the game, player draw 4 battle cards and 3 resource cards.
During own resource phase, the player will get to choose to draw a card either from building deck or battle deck. This alone seems to already take care of worst resource screw, but it’s not the end.
Double Resource System
In this game, resources are generated using place card. At first, it can be readily thought of as Magic’s land card or HEX Shard card, but it gets much more interesting than that.
The game contains two resource pieces/parameters, which are gold and mana. Yes. the game actually adds further complexity into the resource system!
Every turn during your resource phase, you gain automatic 1 gold and 1 mana. Based on my reading, I am assuming unused resource will carry over i.e. in theory you can continue to ramp up resources even when you don’t have resource card to play. This is yet another mechanics in the game to avoid resource flood.
Example above basically says Ancetral Valley costs 2 mana to place but later you will gain one green mana each turn. Whereas, Cathedral costs 3 golds and you gain 1 yellow mana and 1 gold each turn. So some card uses mana and others use gold, and for sure some uses both to play resource card.
You can also already see in a card like Cathedral has effect along with the card i.e. exact reason why dedicated resource card provide more depth.
Unlimited resource card play
Unlike in many other games, there is no limit how many resource card you can play. So in an event you get behind in resources, you can play multiple resource cards in one turn to catch up. Yet another way to avoid resource screw.
Dynamic Interactive Play
I have already stated the fact that this game has sudden type spell i.e. you can play during opponent’s turn. So not much to add here, but remember in general games with DIP system compared to purely turn based (PTB) system have more depth but also complexity.
As I always say, graphics are somewhat subjective matter. But I put this game’s graphics/art as the best in class. I love their art style.
The game states there are only 4 kingdoms in the game. This seems to represent types of mana, which most games have 5 types. Considering this game takes a route where all components of game are essentially deeper/deepest form of other dTCG/dCCG, I was initially a bit surprised they chose less number than 5, but if you look at the banner of the game there are six symbols. Four of which are symbol to represent kingdom. So my educated guess tells me two more kingdoms on its way.
There will be draft, which will have Hearthstone arena type style i.e. relatively cheap entry fee but you won’t get to keep drafted card. But of course you get to keep what you win in the draft.
There will also be two types of tournaments mode planned. One is fast tournament mode where once 12 participants are present, the tournament execute immediately. The other is over the course of 2 weeks the tournament happens with people accumulates point, and top 12 compete at the end of season.
No immediate plan for campaign mode, but there is deep story element behind the game. So if the project succeeds and does well, it is a potential.
I have not found a statement related to campaign mode. It is certainly not their primary emphasis, but it would be nice to see it especially considering how complex this game play can be.
With auction house, direct trade, and even free gifting, the game retains the in purchase values as long as the game remains popular. So all the values of Kickstarter investment have a real monetary value i.e. potential resell value. Considering this, the generosity of this kickstarter campaign matches up with the legendary HEX, which I thought no other game ever will come close to.
In respect to the game design, I am extremely intrigued by this game. This can be one of the kind that I have been looking for. However, just with some other games kickstarter reward value is not so clear if it is worth investment or simply wait until the game launches. Certainly, I do not yet see a value in putting high tier investment.
The game is now confirmed to have auction house, direct trading system, and even a free gifting option between players. This is a real digital trading card game.
One of the value comes down to the fact whether there is a way to trade card with other player. Without such system, all the money you put into the game is fixed i.e. won’t be able to get anything back in an event you decided to quit the game. In small one time pay game, which is totally fine. But in collectible card game, many of us may end up putting in hundreds or thousands of dollars. So it’s not even a risky, it’s simply a one time money drain without support of trading/auction house. Therefore, I highly caution anyone to put too much money in those games especially if it is kickstarter.
Warlords of Terra did it. It can be a potential choice of dTCG. The game’s fundamental design proves how deep the game can be. Its unique resource system appear to have a promising design to give players the all the fun of dedicated card based resource system game without the notorious resource screw. Heroes in this game are planeswalker in Magic with steroid. The game adds another layer of tactics with movable battlefield. Arts and Graphics in this game is gorgeous and top in the class.
With a game switching from original plan of dCCG to dTCG with real auction house, direct trading, and gift mode, Kickstarter value in this game is ridiculously generous. Only game actually matches up with the legendary generosity value of kickstarter, HEX TCG. Basically, there is even a potential we can make immediate money off of this game if the game becomes popular as many of Kickstarter tiers have 2-3x actual value than what you pay. I highly recommend this game.