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whythelastman
06-05-2013, 03:41 PM
I know it's impossible to predict the future. I know that speculation can do more harm than good at times. But I want to know what everyone else thinks about this: what kind of ceiling, or highest potential, does HEX have?

My realistic hope is that HEX can be MtG 2.0. To clarify, I don't mean something that will necessarily usurp top position as number 1 TCG, but a new TCG that can reach the level of success that MtG 1.0 has, a truly generation-spanning game. That 20 years from now, we won't be talking about that great HEX game that lasted X amount of years, but talking about the next dungeon expansion, the current metagame, the upcoming professional tournament. HEX's influence can be wide and far-reaching, initiating a chain reaction of new, true, MMO-mash-ups.

Some on the forum and in the KS comment section have said this game is exactly what they never knew they wanted. The same goes for me. If the game is self-sustaining, and can retain a core community, I dare say, I can't see the day I'd want to stop playing. And that's commenting on the game itself, without even getting into CZE and their excellent synergy they've established with the fans.

Just wanted to express my feelings during lunch break. Thanks for reading.

ForgedSol
06-05-2013, 03:52 PM
That's the dream. The fear is that since the mechanics are so close to Magic that Wizards' steps up and finally puts out an online client that is vastly improved, and their established playerbase is enough to draw a crippling amount of new players to that side and away from Hex.

Cryptozoic's weapons to combat this will be having no tie to the physical world and all the design constraints that it brings to card design. And Cryptozoic's headstart which will allow them time to build up an established, sustainable playerbase before that can happen. Tablet support is a huge boon in that area.

Edit: Oh, and cheaper prices.

Mr.Funsocks
06-05-2013, 03:52 PM
This game isn't something I just discovered I wanted. Like Cory, I've wanted this for years and been confused why it wasn't made. I think it will end up more akin to WoW than MtG in a lot of ways. The collectible nature I feel will drop off in significance compared to the playing part, the extensive PvE, as well as PvP tournaments and leagues. I actually think when its enabled, quirky player-made leagues might end up being more popular than the standard ones.

Regardless, I think it's going to last. Be it in the way WoW has, with endless reinventions and new PvE and PvP content, or just a fresh version of MtG that doesn't suffer from "all my friends stopped playing/I moved away so I had no one to play with and stopped", I figure it's going to survive a generation. I hope it will.

whythelastman
06-05-2013, 04:06 PM
@ForgedSol:

Piggybacking off what you said: I think that while WotC has the overall "experience" edge in terms of TCGs and might try to regain its foothold with MtGO, CZE will have a similar experience edge in the realm of MMOTCGs. As long as CZE remains devoted to their unique concept and doesn't slide too far to either side, I think we might get to a point where MtG(O) and HEX are just apples and oranges. Of course, players may want to keep HEX purely as a TCG and ignore the PvE-side, but I hope everyone comes in with an open mind and experiences it as the creators have built it up to be. And yes, tablets ftw.

@ Mr.Funsocks:

How awesome it must have been to come across the KS then :) Your take seems to balance the other, more TCG-oriented side expressed by Forged. From my personal POV, I really hope the game travels down a new path, MMOTCG, moving forward in that direction, rather than moving left or right back towards MMO or TCG. But your thoughts certainly make sense.

Vomitlord
06-05-2013, 04:10 PM
This is certainly the game I've been waiting for. already said elsewhere I think this will trump MTGO.

Reading between the lines I believe the makers of hex genuinely think so too.

MTGO is hamstrung by the existence of a physical game. Not least in its pricing. If magic boosters where $2 every man and his dog would play it.

In my time with mtgo I didn't draft once. I intend to draft every week on this game. I imagine there are many more of the same mind.

I also think the cards will retain value over time. Hopefully not too much though( $15 cards would be a good high I would say). Don't want to end up with a dead eternal format due to insane entry costs.

S

Refugee
06-05-2013, 04:13 PM
The problem with WotC making a good online client and drawing players back is that their game is not well structured for it. There are many mechanics in magic that translate to a digital game very poorly. Think of playing against a storm deck online. A good storm deck may cast 20 spells when it goes off, that's just not something you can do and still have it be "fun" (for both parties) in a digital game.

You really need to design something like this from the start to be digital if you want it to work out well.

ForgedSol
06-05-2013, 04:13 PM
Oh, and by Wizards' stepping up their game, I do mean also incorporating at the very least more unique single player ideas. The puzzles in Duels of the Planeswalkers is a good start. Wizards' can be inspired from Cyrptozoic as much the other way around, and they can try to build their own campaign with card modifiers and everything, and with the games being so similar, that's where the danger lies.

Mr.Funsocks
06-05-2013, 04:15 PM
I think it will be a new path, it'll be a MMO, but where the mechanics are TCG. I don't see the TCG, in terms of collecting, drafts, etc., the traditional MtG model, being as long-lasting. Simply because that's not as popular in the larger scale as the MMO idea is. It'll obviously still exist, I just see the more MMO-ey element as gaining more popularity, and eventually more development be focused on it.

But then, it may also depend on what Cory and the dev team want to play more ;)

grey0one
06-05-2013, 04:16 PM
Actually, it could be bigger than mtg and WOW put together. That requires a lot of things going exactly right, but posible. Why do I think so?

1. Get out of your head that it's limited to TCG. The PvE content may be what everyone plays, with drafts and normal tcg game types being passed over by the general public.

2. It's not limited to desktop. The tablet devices are about 5 steps away from a desktop killer. One of the big steps, making a battery that makes lithium look bulky, is a tough one. Even without tablets going into an epic tech growth, that's a huge market that has been only lightly tapped into. Could you poll a 100 housewives and have the come up with the same name in tablet games? Maybe not yet, but maybe this game does.

3. Lots of the single player content is pause-and-come-back. That really can make it the game that everyone can play, even if you don't have a lot of time. I have quite a few high school friends that can't come to the shop for 4 hours because they're raising a kid and going to work.

4. When Cory talks about how they're taking the blizzard mentality of investing so much back into the game, it makes me hopefull. The always-go-back-because-it-is-more-developed spirt of WOW can push this game to always kick the ass of it's competitors.

These are all things that can be leveraged for epic success. We could see this game on every device that's as smart as a smartphone. Could being the operative word.

ForgedSol
06-05-2013, 04:17 PM
The problem with WotC making a good online client and drawing players back is that their game is not well structured for it. There are many mechanics in magic that translate to a digital game very poorly. Think of playing against a storm deck online. A good storm deck may cast 20 spells when it goes off, that's just not something you can do and still have it be "fun" (for both parties) in a digital game.

You really need to design something like this from the start to be digital if you want it to work out well.

That doesn't mean they can't shift gears. Wizards is going full steam ahead with Modern as being the main eternal format. They could transition down the line to specifically create card mechanics that are more digital friendly (but still have to be physically practical) and where Modern will be the new Vintage, a "Digital" format can be the new Legacy if there are mechanics in Modern that don't translate well to MTGO. (I'm not quite sure if there are. I've barely played any MTGO at all.)

Mr.Funsocks
06-05-2013, 04:23 PM
1. Get out of your head that it's limited to TCG. The PvE content may be what everyone plays, with drafts and normal tcg game types being passed over by the general public.

I think that's the key. Not that drafts aren't fun, but that crowd is easily serviced by even MtGO. And while Hex may have the better interface, if they can capitalize on the audience unserved by MtGO who want a PvE TCG they probably have a much larger crowd, and can do it better than anyone else will for several years (unless there's another secret-in-development game out there).

Not that they'll ignore the traditional TCG world, just that the money for development is gonna be more in the MMO-style.

Tyrfang
06-05-2013, 04:26 PM
I think installed player-base is going to win the day.

Unless WotC allows people to send their physical MTG cards in for online cards, I don't see it mattering much if they release an improved online client.

ForgedSol
06-05-2013, 04:29 PM
I think installed player-base is going to win the day.

Unless WotC allows people to send their physical MTG cards in for online cards, I don't see it mattering much if they release an improved online client.

Hasbro has deep pockets and an incredible Organize Play system with massive prizes and perks. That's very important too. That's a huge advantage in the Wizards corner. But like I said, Cryptozoic has the head start in terms of taking on a new space, including the growing tablet space. It's definitely a risk, but one I'm willing to take.

Tyrfang
06-05-2013, 04:33 PM
Just because you have large amounts of funds, doesn't mean you have the necessary talent and expertise to deploy them.

Plus...really, MTG's lore and sets are piecemeal. A single block itself have some cohesion, but going between blocks is kind of weird. Not sure how they'd grow any sort of MMO experience out of it.

The most I can see coming from WotC/Hasbro is an improved MTGO client, but...I'll be amazed it that happens. WotC is a physical game company first, digital second, which kind of shows based on the way they handle the two mediums.

Also, I doubt the younger crowd that might be interested in TCGs, but never played MTG, would care about the MTG/WotC brand.

ForgedSol
06-05-2013, 04:41 PM
We're just going to have to agree to disagree there. I love the MTG lore, and traveling from plane to plane as a planeswalker with different environments to keep things fresh is fantastic. To me it sounds like a perfect way to mix things up and create all kinds of new storylines for a player to take part in. Instead of the giant clashes between races and alliances, you just shift the story to teaming up and fighting against other planeswalkers. Teaming up with Jace to chase down Liliana, only to find yourself working with Liliana down the line. That would be something special.

Kilo24
06-05-2013, 04:44 PM
Hex has a number of advantages over MTG, and not just from a gameplay perspective. It allows solo and cooperative play against the AI, permits play all over the world at any time, and also is free to play in a way that (if things go as planned) still permits players a great deal of flexibility. Those are major areas that MTG cannot touch.

From a personal perspective, I know how to play Magic, but I don't own any cards for it or for any trading card games. I don't have nearby friends to play with, so I don't really like the idea of spending the large amounts of money I know I would to make decks that will never get played. But I still find myself poking at cards on Gatherer for deck ideas and chatting with a Norwegian friend about it frequently, and quite enjoyed the single-player Shandalar even though the mechanics outside of the central MTG game were lackluster.

So, when Hex came in, I saw an opportunity to play Magic with a number of improvements in a massive PvE setting and with my remote friend. Hex breached the thin line between me spending $0 and hundreds on a large trading card game. Even though it's still in development, the careful design of the Kickstarter, the pedigree of the developers, and the massive community response have persuaded me that this is a worthwhile investment.

I'm standing at a Grand King and two Kings. I'm insane in spending that much, but I think that this may be the first major MMO that can maintain my attention for long. I find the basic gameplay far more attractive than most MMOs because there is so much room to experiment with the basic mechanics in a TCG and the developers have displayed that they're willing to do that. Playing the end-game content requires three people, not 25, and offers a challenge rooted not in coordination or reflexes but mainly in deck design. And I've always liked thinking through problems much more than executing them.

The business strategy is also well-picked. It doesn't require a subscription and will never take away what you have. But, the tournaments, the constant addition of new card sets, and Kickstarter response creating a community makes me comfortable that this game will exist for a very long time. The guarantees they've offered on what they will and won't sell also are motivating; if these Kickstarter-exclusive benefits or similar ones were offered after the game release I'd be worried about the game degenerating in a pay-to-win or a pay-for-convenience quagmire. They're adamant that they won't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, and that's very encouraging.

So, in regards to it being a compelling gameplay experience that lasts a long time, keeps innovating with new modes and new dungeons, and makes great wodges of cash? The ceiling is pretty damn high.

Still, there are major limitations that I really don't like. Mainly, I'd like the story, setting and characters to be deep, interesting, and heavily entwined with the gameplay. I really don't see any of that in either of its parents. TCGs have far too much abstraction to craft a story from them. MMOs are the single most effective way I know of to murder the depth of any story elements: it's very hard to write dialogue that will hold up the 25th time you repeat the raid and even harder to keep it up for the massive stream of content that a successful MMO demands. Not only that, but synchronizing the gameplay with the writing such that they work together and are both high quality is also extraordinarily difficult. Not to denigrate the lore for Hex, but I just don't see any writer managing well under those restrictions. In that respect, the ceiling is quite low.

whythelastman
06-05-2013, 05:46 PM
Enjoying the insight on this thread. :) It's important to me that others are looking at HEX beyond "investment" or "next big thing". Not to make it sound sappy or weird, but I can honestly see myself playing this game for the majority of my life. One thing that Kilo touched upon that I think is really important is the unique game experience being a huge, sustainable draw. I've always been fascinated with deck building, even when I sucked at it, and collecting things is in my blood. I got into RPGs and MMORPGs relatively late, but the thing I loved about them were the levels of customization. The art/science of crafting not just optimal _____s but also finding the ______s that fit my tastes is something I can do seemingly forever.

MtG(O) will always have deck building, competitive play, and collectible elements. The story universe seems hit or miss for some people, but I generally have enjoyed it (started with Revised, stopped with Alliances, jumped back in with Urza's something or other, played online for a little bit). HEX has the advantage in that I can play from the comfort of my room and not have to deal with cost of travel or anxiety of meeting strangers.

MMORPGs will have the customization I crave, but not the card play. Which I love just as much as the customization. But I can get tired of the "same old thing" over and over.

The cool thing is, the "freshness" of this experience can be self-sustaining, even if you have the cards you want--and I'm not even counting new sets. Little tweaks here and there mean exponentially more in the advanced stages of expertise. Drafting the same cards over and over is something I won't get sick of since each draft is unique because of the ever-shifting variables.

As long as there is someone to play with, I think I will keep playing PvP. As long as there are dungeons / raids I have yet to conquer or chasey equipment pieces I desire, I think I will keep playing PvE, especially if the leveling process for my champion (among multiples) is not cheaply obtained.

Avedecus
06-05-2013, 06:00 PM
MMOs are the single most effective way I know of to murder the depth of any story elements: it's very hard to write dialogue that will hold up the 25th time you repeat the raid and even harder to keep it up for the massive stream of content that a successful MMO demands.

What exactly is your complaint here? That MMOs can't tell a good story? Or that they can't tell a good story that can be enjoyed twenty five times over? In regards to the former: for all its many faults, SWTOR proved that statement to be entirely false. And the latter is just expecting the impossible.

Talreth
06-05-2013, 06:04 PM
What exactly is your complaint here? That MMOs can't tell a good story? Or that they can't tell a good story that can be enjoyed twenty five times over? In regards to the former: for all its many faults, SWTOR proved that statement to be entirely false. And the latter is just expecting the impossible.


It helps if the good story comes with a good game though. And the only interesting storyline imo was the main quest line (I played BH).

panzer
06-05-2013, 06:16 PM
I think that's the key. Not that drafts aren't fun, but that crowd is easily serviced by even MtGO. And while Hex may have the better interface, if they can capitalize on the audience unserved by MtGO who want a PvE TCG they probably have a much larger crowd, and can do it better than anyone else will for several years (unless there's another secret-in-development game out there).

Not that they'll ignore the traditional TCG world, just that the money for development is gonna be more in the MMO-style.

I couldn't agree more. To quote one of the producers this game came out a want to play and if one already existed HEX likely would not have become what it is. Magic is a fun game but I think its behind the times and HEX fills and improves those gaps.

I, like most of you are betting that HEX will become a contender in the TCG world and hopefully take the title from MTG.

It is odd to invest in a completely digital TCG but thats seems simpler compared to carrying around huge books of cards.

Kilo24
06-05-2013, 06:50 PM
What exactly is your complaint here? That MMOs can't tell a good story? Or that they can't tell a good story that can be enjoyed twenty five times over? In regards to the former: for all its many faults, SWTOR proved that statement to be entirely false. And the latter is just expecting the impossible.

My precise complaint is that the MMO experience and a strong narrative are difficult to integrate with eachother. In an MMO, the fact that you have other people waiting on you if you want to sit back and enjoy the story makes it hard to enjoy it in groups. That means that since half the players will skip through everything they can to keep playing, having anything important and subtle in the story is likely to be missed. Knowing that, having a constant stream of content to write for, and knowing that the writing in games is usually subservient to the gameplay, it's rather hard to have good writing under those circumstances.

I haven't played The Old Republic myself. From what I've heard of it it is not an exception, though; I think that it sacrifices the MMO experience for the narrative instead of the opposite as is usual for most other MMOs. It's a Bioware RPG grafted into a MMO format; correct me if I'm wrong, but my experience with Bioware RPGs suggests that there are a lot of shallow choices that are attached to a linear cutscene-laden plotline that results in lots of bored players waiting for loot and combat. I personally like Bioware RPGs decently well, but I really don't see their narratives working well in MMOs.

I think that Hex does have an advantage here over many MMOs in that writers can exercise more control over the dungeons: it seems like the dungeons and the rest of the game will primarily be dealing with static art and abstract game mechanics. Not needing to synchronize designing 3D environments with the writing offers a good bit of freedom. I hope that I'm wrong in my pessimism, and I will say that some of the lore as presented on the website has atypical and interesting elements to it. But I still am quite doubtful that the constant stream of content being added will permit a coherent and compelling narrative.

Tyrfang
06-05-2013, 06:52 PM
I just kind of picture the story in this game is going to be along the lines of Fire Emblem-style, which isn't bad by any means.

Kilo24
06-05-2013, 07:02 PM
The Fire Emblem games were written to have strong characters, a coherent story, a beginning and an end. Each game was designed as a whole with the story in mind. MMOs tend to be much more piecemeal in nature; even if they have those elements, they rarely can afford to make them high quality for the new content when the major attraction of players is towards new gameplay content (especially with all the creative twists that Cryptozoic has) and new loot. I just think that a lot of the writing is going to be justifying weird mechanics instead of focusing on character interactions.

Tyrfang
06-05-2013, 07:06 PM
The Fire Emblem games were written to have strong characters, a coherent story, a beginning and an end. Each game was designed as a whole with the story in mind. MMOs tend to be much more piecemeal in nature; even if they have those elements, they rarely can afford to make them high quality for the new content when the major attraction of players is towards new gameplay content (especially with all the creative twists that Cryptozoic has) and new loot. I just think that a lot of the writing is going to be justifying weird mechanics instead of focusing on character interactions.

The dungeons can have strong characters and story, but not necessarily your story.

Anyway, I should sell my copy of Fire Emblem. It's worth like...60 bucks.

Kilo24
06-05-2013, 07:09 PM
The dungeons can have strong characters and story, but not necessarily your story.
They can. I just doubt that they will.