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View Full Version : Hex vs. Hearthstone vs. Scrolls vs. SolForge



nicosharp
06-16-2013, 09:01 PM
Micro-transaction digital TCG's are flooding the market right now, and I wanted to provide some distinctive comparisons between the most popular digital TCG's recently released, or that will be available in the next few months. I will also add quick comparisons to MTG:O.

Why digital TCG's, why now?
The rise of free-to-play micro-transaction games, like League of Legends, fosters an era of gaming where large communities and casual players have easier access to games. Micro-transactions have found their place in many social games, like Farmville and a lot of games in the broader iOS market for quite some time now. Casual gamers tend to feel more comfortable jumping into these games with no need to invest $50 or $60 in a boxed or digital game.

To make these games popular, the hook is to give a little early, and make the rest available through gameplay. The problem is after the initial early gifts, the gameplay required to earn a bit more begins to take considerably longer. To unlock more, you need to play more, or alternatively, spend more.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2013/05/09/expect-free-to-play-games-and-micro-transactions-from-both-ps4-and-microsofts-next-console/

This is where terms are loosely thrown around like: Play-to-Pay, or Pay-to-Play are mentioned. Most of these games narrowly avoid the Pay-to-Win bucket of gaming that is heavily frowned upon, although some people may feel the games should still be labelled that way.

TCG's fit in because they have always been a collectors game, and obtaining what you play with is the largest part of the game. Where many games are limited to features to enhance your play, or items that change the way you can play, TCG's are all about the cards you collect and play with. Every aspect of a TCG encourages the trading and purchasing of cards.

Creating TCG's in a digital space for free, move them out of a niche market, to be something everyone can play and enjoy with money not being a limitation to entry. Like the genre MOBA (which was a niche market for many years as a Mod-Map of a Real-time strategy game (Warcraft3)), competitive TCG's can have a large place in the gaming industry if introduced in the right way. Because this has not yet been explored thoroughly, there is a frenzy to releasing these type of games now, and releasing them as well thought out as possible.

Digital TCG's - Everybody wins.
The developer / publisher: Make income based on the games popularity and the value or wow factor of the free content they provide. They make a unspoken pact with gamers to listen to them and continually improve the game, as that is the only way for them to continually make revenue from the game.

The hardcore gamer: Has the opportunity to play skilled players at the highest level to win prizes and notoriety. They also have the opportunity to profit off their accumulated wealth and ability to min/max and understand the intrinsic value of a card. The strategic opportunities TCG games present by turn-based play also allow these players to enjoy a less stressful gameplay experience as opposed to macro and micromanagement in real-time games.

The casual gamer: No investment needs to be made by the casual gamer. It is all a matter of preference to a casual gamer, but they are the largest audience, and the audience most likely to spend money. This is where easy to learn, and fun to play become core concepts for designers to appeal to these social gamers. The hook developers create for casual gamers is once they do play, learn, and enjoy, they decide to spend a little money. As they invest in the game, they become more attached as they want to get more value out of content they purchased.

So, What the hell does this all have to do with this posts Subject?
Well, Everything.
Here is a simple break-down of the 5 games presented (MTG:O added as a benchmark):
http://imageshack.us/a/img211/499/56g.png
direct link: http://imageshack.us/a/img211/499/56g.png

You may notice there are a lot of similarities and a lot of differences between the games. Most of the games have varying game lengths and game modes. All games have deck building modes as a main part of the game experience (this is not listed in the above chart). There is no best or better game. It comes down to your personal TCG preferences and whatever resonates with you more.

What I like about Hex is that it is being developed with substantial content and game modes in mind. This adds a level of complexity and replayability to Hex that all the other games listed do not even come close to offering at this time. The MMO aspect, is a big draw to me, not because I want to play another MMO, but that I am able to have a social connection to a specific group of players, and that it provides a support grid in game to give it personality, like playing in a local card-shop may provide.

I hope everyone is happy with their choice in Hex. Don't feel like that needs to stop you from playing these other TCGs. I know I will enjoy Hearthstone a bit when it is out, and already enjoy the SolForge and Scrolls beta as casual and quick TCGs on the side. They just lack the strategic depth and versatility I am looking for in a TCG.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Originally posted on our Guild Forums here: http://forum.cornerstoneguild.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=61

Added Card Hunters. May add Infinity Wars. Not planning to expand past that. Thank you for your interest, please understand this was for illustrative purposes, and not meant to be a expansive reference sheet. If you would like to use this and expand on it, I would be happy to share the excel file.

Special thanks to: Credendo, hmdrake, Random360, Punk and everyone else that contributed to comparison updates.

Aradon
06-16-2013, 09:09 PM
This is a good post, thank you for compiling this information! I've had my eye on all these games since I've heard about them. Scrolls failed to capture my interest, but I intend to play Solforge and Hearthstone when they're released as well, though I'll be playing Hex mainly.

Gorgol
06-16-2013, 09:33 PM
thank you for this

fitzle
06-16-2013, 10:35 PM
that's a pretty good comparison based on what we know so far! It will be interesting to see how things go once all these games actually get released and full featured!

Random360
06-16-2013, 11:03 PM
I thought you had to pay 10 dollars for a MTG:O account?

Punk
06-16-2013, 11:05 PM
You have the Purchase Price for MTG:O as "Limited F2P." Here is what it actually is:

http://i.imgur.com/zd3b7Ny.png?1

nicosharp
06-16-2013, 11:12 PM
You have the Purchase Price for MTG:O as "Limited F2P." Here is what it actually is:

http://i.imgur.com/zd3b7Ny.png?1
Thanks guys. I'll update. I didn't have to pay for my account. There may have been another reason why that was so, however, I can not remember that far back.

Fireblast
06-16-2013, 11:20 PM
The developer / publisher: Make income based on the games popularity and the value or wow factor of the free content they provide. They make a unspoken pact with gamers to listen to them and continually improve the game, as that is the only way for them to continually make revenue from the game.

I disagree with that statement as it is the main reason for why those games usually suck after a short while.

I hope CZE never listens to the community about balance and doesn't make things easy to please the vocal minority.

Also MTG:O is not a digital TCG, it's an emulation of a physical TCG, which the 3 other aren't.

~

nicosharp
06-16-2013, 11:22 PM
I disagree with that statement as it is the main reason for why those games usually suck after a short while.

I hope CZE never listens to the community about balance and doesn't make things easy to please the vocal minority.

~
Listening to someone, and doing what they say are two entirely different things.



ask my wife.

Showsni
06-16-2013, 11:27 PM
Nice info! How about throwing in some of the other similar games when you get a chance? Ones I've played are Might & Magic: Duel of Champions and Pokémon TCG Online.

Using your headings:



Game Name
Pokémon TCG Online
M&M: Duel of Champions


Game Type
TCG
CCG


Combat Type
Turn Based (NP)
5 lanes, 2 rows Turn Based (NP)


Average Game Length
? (Time limit of 25 mins per player, but you can get turn one kills)
? (I'm no good at guessing averages...)


In-game Trading
Yes; Public trading house and private trades, with options to mark cards wanted/for trade, etc.
None


Purchase Price
F2P
F2P


PvE Currency
Tokens (free, easy to earn) (Boosters also earnt in game; 1 every 5 log ins, and 45 for Trainer Challenge)
Gold


PvP Currency
Booster tokens (redeem codes to get one, codes found in real life booster packs), Gems (pay for, currently only available in Canada), Tournament Keys (not yet implemented)
Seals


Pack Prices
One online booster free with every purchase of real life booster (many places also sell just the unused code cards seperately for much cheaper, average is probably about 40p per booster in UK or 35 cents in America)
About $2?


Draft Entry
N/A
N/A


Third Party Trading
Many third party companies sell booster codes, promo card codes and deck codes
None


Players Simultaneously
2
2


PvE Content
Can play AI in any quick match, also Trainer Challenge mode simulates going through three leagues, with prizes for repeated wins
3 Campaigns currently, more presumably planned


PvP Content
Beginner/Expert constructed in both Limited/Modifed formats
Ranked


Extra Card Type
Foils, Reverse Foils, Full Arts, Secret Rares
Foils


Resources
Energy attached to each Pokémon, one per turn, to power up attacks
Gain a resource each turn, and each turn can choose to gain in Might, Magic, or that other one.


Unique Mechanics
Pokémon evolve, Energy is attached to Pokémon rather than general use, 6 Prizes set out at start of game that must be taken to win
Heroes have powers, different starting levels of Might/Magic/Other one, can only play cards of Hero's faction in deck


Compatibility
PC (Windows or Mac)
PC



Heh, some of that might be slightly off, and some data I wasn't sure about/didn't know.

nicosharp
06-16-2013, 11:30 PM
Thanks Showsni. I appreciate the added effort. I feel like the 5 games I reviewed give a pretty good spread of the new games coming out compared to the elephant in the room (MTG:O), which mechanically is probably the closest to Hex in TCG terms. Some of my information was slightly off too, but it is mainly there to help illustrate.

AstaSyneri
06-16-2013, 11:56 PM
There a several issues from a producer's view that I'd like to add:


Producing a TCG for online use eliminates printing cost. While printing is relatively cheap, the random collating is not and only a few printers offer this (mostly Cartamundi - afaics they pretty much bought up the other printers that could)
Since the advent of WoW (the online game) and Facebook games the distribution chain for TCG has suffered immensely. Getting a new TCG to be placed on store shelves is extremely difficult. You need to set your scope really high to achieve this AND stay there. Many would-be publishers don't have the chance for a huge investment there
Offering a TCG online eliminates the lag between finalizing a set and having it on the market. The ability to fix typos and issue Errata is an obvious plus as well

EdwardBishop
06-17-2013, 01:33 AM
For the record, I absolutely love this thread. This is basically what I've been saying to all my possibly interested friends, in a neat chart!

as a self-described digital-TCG Connoisseur, I've played MtG:Online for years and years... and am truly a Collector. I have full sets of all "Modern" blocks, though I stopped collecting Core sets after they made the (I understand it from both a commercial and competitive standpoint but I personally feel more offended by this than anything else WotC has done to MtG) move to print cores annually instead of biannually... but I digress.. I'll probably continue to collect blocks and maybe play prerelease sealed (my favorite limited format), but probably won't be spend much more time/money here after Hex comes into full swing...

I expect that Hex is most likely going to be my Main dTCG in time; most excited for its PvE content, which has been lacking in all other dTCGs I've seen...

But to tide me over until Hex's own beta, I've been enjoying Scrolls. it's different enough that I probably will continue to follow it.

For the record, Mojang has said they will be trying to develop a card crafting system from other cards, though what exact form it takes I know not, and judging by Mojang's track record to support their products with content and quality, I am more hopeful for it than any others further down on my list...

I was never really a WoW fan but Hearthstone looks interested for a very quick casual game when I don't have the time to sit down to a game of Hex or MtG:Online...

SolForge, has been, so far, a big disappointment. I was so hopeful after the kickstarter (I'm a kickstarter addict as well); and I realize it's still in early beta, but it just hasn't captured me like I'd hoped it would when it was on kickstarter... that said it's not entirely negative, my favorite aspect is one of its unique points - the card evolution... I know we're getting some of that aspect in Hex but those are very specific and few cards... it's what Heroes of Might & Magic: Duel of Champions - should have done...

Speaking of HoMM:DoC, I do enjoy a casual game there as well, but it was more disappointing to a longtime M&M fan than SolForge as a kickstarter backer... can't leave it out though because I consider it one of the pioneers in the dTCG field, and hope in time it will improve..

TexArcane
06-17-2013, 02:08 AM
Nice comparison! I would have like to have seen Shadow Era and Card Hunter compared as well. I would never buy into MtGO but I will drop 10 bucks on Duel of the Planeswalkers 2014 no problem.

KnowingCrow
06-17-2013, 02:21 AM
A correction: Scrolls has 4 resource types, they just cut one prior to Beta as it wasn't up to snuff and are re-releasing it soon (Decay).

TexArcane
06-17-2013, 02:34 AM
A correction: Scrolls has 4 resource types, they just cut one prior to Beta as it wasn't up to snuff and are re-releasing it soon (Decay).
Mojang needs to do something quick to get a couple of more resources/factions in play or they're going to find themselves struggling to maintain interest very soon.

WSzaboPeter
06-17-2013, 04:41 AM
Mojang needs to do something quick to get a couple of more resources/factions in play or they're going to find themselves struggling to maintain interest very soon.

First they need some balancing. I mean Growth is by far the best resource (or growth splashing 1energy for potion) all over the place. I used to be top20, until I got bored by growth-energy deck, now I fell, because of experimenting.

(My name is Wyr there, but CZE forum does not support 3 character names.)

mudkip
06-17-2013, 04:54 AM
After seeing the Hearthstone preview, I worry for Hex's success. The UI, effects and cards are just so beautifully done in Heartstone, compared to the cold, bland look of the Hex Alpha.

Hopefully the Hex card format will either be tweaked, or even better they allow modding.

Izhim_ur-Baal
06-17-2013, 05:02 AM
Listening to someone, and doing what they say are two entirely different things.



ask my wife.


You can ask my wife about it too!

If i remember right, HS have 1$ per booster.

MrSeriousBsns
06-17-2013, 05:37 AM
Definitely an awesome comparison chart. Great work!

I also agree that Scrolls feels like its in pretty bad shape right now. The $20 price tag and the limited card pool might not have been the best way for it to start out.

Arbiter
06-17-2013, 07:10 AM
After seeing the Hearthstone preview, I worry for Hex's success. The UI, effects and cards are just so beautifully done in Hearthstone, compared to the cold, bland look of the Hex Alpha.

Hopefully the Hex card format will either be tweaked, or even better they allow modding.

Hearthstone is not an issue, it is not that it won't be good, but it targets a very different audience. No card trading and no chatting (only in game emotes), plus much more simplified gameplay and deck construction means it is aimed at and will attract a different target audience than Hex.

Dralon
06-17-2013, 07:57 AM
Great post. Very good summaries. It's a good time ( though bad time for my wallet) to be a FCC fan.

FranzVonG
06-17-2013, 08:19 AM
After seeing the Hearthstone preview, I worry for Hex's success. The UI, effects and cards are just so beautifully done in Heartstone, compared to the cold, bland look of the Hex Alpha.


That's interesting. Pretty much the opposite feeling I got, it felt childish and overboard in most (if not all) the effects, animations and cards art to me... :D

ssg13
06-17-2013, 08:27 AM
Which of these games are playable right now?

RuthlessSqueak
06-17-2013, 08:57 AM
I'd like for this to include Kingdoms CCG (http://wiki.kingdomsccg.com/) mainly because I think its a relevant intermediary (it includes Champions/Heroes with charge abilities, a full though not excessively long PVE campaign, PVP play, but no draft format, lane combat style play).

CoolGrayAJ
06-17-2013, 09:22 AM
Which of these games are playable right now?

Solforge, Scrolls and MTGO are all playable right now.

I'd like to include Card Hunter into the mix as well. It isn't widely available yet, but it's got all the components necessary for a solid dCCG.

nicosharp
06-17-2013, 09:26 AM
Solforge, Scrolls and MTGO are all playable right now.

I'd like to include Card Hunter into the mix as well. It isn't widely available yet, but it's got all the components necessary for a solid dCCG.

Hey AJ,
I know nothing about cardhunter but will gladly include it if you want to send me the list. Not sure about expanding it past that, kind of want to focus on the newer stuff.

Thanks everyone for your reply's. When making the comparisons there was a lot to think about. I intentionally left a few things off, and unintentionally left off others, or unknowns to me. Remember that MTG:O is there more as a benchmark, and not as a reference to a truly digital TCG.

I'll update the list a bit later today when work slows down and update the OP.

ZeroCool
06-17-2013, 09:30 AM
Nothing about Clash of the Dragons?

Aradon
06-17-2013, 09:34 AM
Hearthstone seemed like it wouldn't have the depth that Hex does, to me. It looked designed for sitting down for a quick game, but lacks extended PvE content. They say they'll include 'quests,' but from the look of the game, I'd expect those to be "Beat 3 different classes" or "Deal 10 damage in one turn" as simple daily bonuses. Also, the deckbuilding for Hex looks a lot deeper. You get class cards for Hearthstone, but you have equipment, sockets, and more ingenious cards in Hex. It seemed like 90% of the cards I saw in the Fireside Duels were just damage variants: do 3 damage to a creature, kill this creature, deal six damage to this creature, do two damage to all creatures & draw a card, etc. The classes had slightly different cards, but mostly filled the same roles.

I think Hearthstone will be a lot of fun, especially if you play a lot of WoW, but its going to occupy a completely different space than Hex will.

Zomnivore
06-17-2013, 09:52 AM
Went looked at hearthstone, and didn't feel like touching it.

weeew

majin
06-17-2013, 11:08 AM
@nico: great thread and you didn't even have mention all the good stuff for people to see how Hex stands out (arena, keep defense, the trading house, double back features, etc). looking forward to the updated post in case you'll add more games on the table

nicosharp
06-17-2013, 11:44 AM
@nico: great thread and you didn't even have mention all the good stuff for people to see how Hex stands out (arena, keep defense, the trading house, double back features, etc). looking forward to the updated post in case you'll add more games on the table
Thanks Majin. Happy to add new dTCG's or dCCG's (I like this new abbreviation and will update the game types based on them).
If anyone wants a "New" dTCG or dCCG added, just send me the break-down. I am primarily interested in adding two more now: Card Hunter, and Infinity Wars.

parallacks
06-17-2013, 12:07 PM
Couple points:

1. I think the major thing OP didn't go into is visual and art style. IMO, it does look like Hearthstone might be the game with the highest production value, which makes sense given Blizzard's pedigree. MTGO is obviously the worst, with a decade-old client and no (actual) improvements coming in the future.

For card art, on the other hand, MTG seems to be clearly the best. One of the reasons I'm excited for the new Duels of Planeswalkers is the insane card art detail which is sadly missing from current MTGO client. Hex's card art hasn't impressed me too much on the other hand, but maybe that will improve if and when it gains popularity.

2. Even though I am excited for Hex, my biggest gripe with it is that it's SUCH a clone of MTG. Everything from turn structure, to combat, to colors + artifacts, to even starting life total is straight-up copied. The only ways they change it up are with the mechanics that are only possible from a digital standpoint. These mechanics are cool and all, but I just don't see why they couldn't have changed the foundations a bit more.

If you have to have five colors, why not change their identities a bit more? Why not start at say 100 life and scale up? Why not even stray farther from traditional fantasy theme with the lore?

I mean you know people are going to use the MTG terms instead of the Hex ones (e.g. "Troops" will be Creatures, "Exhausting" is tapping, etc.)

Don't get me wrong Hex is such a cool concept but it just seems to me they designed it to be more of MTG+ rather than giving it it's own identiy.

nicosharp
06-17-2013, 12:14 PM
Couple points:

1. I think the major thing OP didn't go into is visual and art style. IMO, it does look like Hearthstone might be the game with the highest production value, which makes sense given Blizzard's pedigree. MTGO is obviously the worst, with a decade-old client and no (actual) improvements coming in the future.

For card art, on the other hand, MTG seems to be clearly the best. One of the reasons I'm excited for the new Duels of Planeswalkers is the insane card art detail which is sadly missing from current MTGO client. Hex's card art hasn't impressed me too much on the other hand, but maybe that will improve if and when it gains popularity.

2. Even though I am excited for Hex, my biggest gripe with it is that it's SUCH a clone of MTG. Everything from turn structure, to combat, to colors + artifacts, to even starting life total is straight-up copied. The only ways they change it up are with the mechanics that are only possible from a digital standpoint. These mechanics are cool and all, but I just don't see why they couldn't have changed the foundations a bit more.

If you have to have five colors, why not change their identities a bit more? Why not start at say 100 life and scale up? Why not even stray farther from traditional fantasy theme with the lore?

I mean you know people are going to use the MTG terms instead of the Hex ones (e.g. "Troops" will be Creatures, "Exhausting" is tapping, etc.)

Don't get me wrong Hex is such a cool concept but it just seems to me they designed it to be more of MTG+ rather than giving it it's own identiy.
I intentionally avoided #1 - as it is really personal preference and subjective.
That said, the look and feel of Hearthstone seem the best to me, but I've always been a fan of the cartoony WoW style.

#2 is true, but it doesn't mean this game will be poorly done. MTG has a good mechanics structure, that is fairly easy to understand, but has a high level of strategic depth. Going with a more independent design might have brought on more design challenges and potentially weaken the games strategic depth in play, and ease of entry.

ossuary
06-17-2013, 12:19 PM
parallacks, keep in mind that Hex is pre-alpha. I imagine most if not all of the art will be updated before final release. Some of the cards outright say "placeholder art" on the pictures. :)

Hmdrake
06-17-2013, 01:09 PM
I'll be tossing nico some card hunter info in the next couple days, got my beta key last night.

chuckdeg
06-17-2013, 01:10 PM
most people here are biased but yeah most of my casual friends have no clue about Hex until i spoke to them about it but they knew about Hearthstone because of Blizzard...so yeah Heartstone will probably be more popular when it comes out but in the long end those players may want to try something more hardcore as Hex.

Killer.Mutant
06-17-2013, 01:43 PM
If you're going to include lane games, it's actually a pretty crowded marketplace though a lot of them are flash/Facebooky games:

Clash of Dragons
Legacy of Heroes
Kingdoms
Kings and Legends
Tyrant
Elements
Mytheria
Kongai

There are also online versions of games like Dominion and Race for the Galaxy which don't have the collectible element but which are well worth mentioning. And here's a shout out to Spectromancer as one of the early lane games.

nicosharp
06-17-2013, 01:45 PM
If you're going to include lane games, it's actually a pretty crowded marketplace though a lot of them are flash/Facebooky games
Not going there. Included Scrolls because it has a dTCG built around the lane game, and it is something I am personally trying out right now. The last thing I want is people to pull out magnifying glasses and to be overwhelmed by simple comparisons for illustration.

Rydavim
06-17-2013, 02:01 PM
Very helpful. Thanks for the resource. +1

Credendo
06-17-2013, 02:05 PM
I can add the info for Card hunters for you. I got in the beta a little while ago and have enjoyed it immensely.

Game Name Card hunters
Game Type TCG
Combat Type Turn based tactical RPG / TCG hybrid
Average Game Length 25 per map, hour per campaign
In-game Trading No
Purchase Price F2P
PvE Currency Gold / Pizza (Premium currency)
PvP Currency Gold / Pizza (Premium currency)
Pack Prices Varies, Treasure boxes come in multiple ranks
Draft Entry N/A
Third Party Trading N/A
Players Simultaneously 2 (PVP)
PvE Content Campaigns consisting of 3-5 maps per campaign
PvP Content 1v1
Extra Card Type Cards are not individually manipulated, instead certain cards are bound to certain items which are equipped to the character in the traditional RPG style
Resources none, Cards are played out of the hand until both players pass, then a new hand is drawn
Unique Mechanics Deck building is done by equipping items to the character, and cards are used to move on the board, attack, and assist other characters.
Compatibility flash based so, PC MAC

Agent-Smashing
06-17-2013, 02:06 PM
Dude you forgot the Pokemon online TCG client o.o

nicosharp
06-17-2013, 02:06 PM
I can add the info for Card hunters for you. I got in the beta a little while ago and have enjoyed it immensely.

Game Name Card hunters
Game Type TCG
Combat Type Turn based tactical RPG / TCG hybrid
Average Game Length 25 per map, hour per campaign
In-game Trading No
Purchase Price F2P
PvE Currency Gold / Pizza (Premium currency)
PvP Currency Gold / Pizza (Premium currency)
Pack Prices Varies, Treasure boxes come in multiple ranks
Draft Entry N/A
Third Party Trading N/A
Players Simultaneously 2 (PVP)
PvE Content Campaigns consisting of 3-5 maps per campaign
PvP Content 1v1
Extra Card Type Cards are not individually manipulated, instead certain cards are bound to certain items which are equipped to the character in the traditional RPG style
Resources none, Cards are played out of the hand until both players pass, then a new hand is drawn
Unique Mechanics Deck building is done by equipping items to the character, and cards are used to move on the board, attack, and assist other characters.
Compatibility flash based so, PC MAC
Perfect! Thank you! I'll update the OP graph very shortly.

Dude you forgot the Pokemon online TCG client o.o
Intentionally.

Killer.Mutant
06-17-2013, 02:10 PM
Not going there. Included Scrolls because it has a dTCG built around the lane game, and it is something I am personally trying out right now. The last thing I want is people to pull out magnifying glasses and to be overwhelmed by simple comparisons for illustration.

Fair enough. They're all really just placeholders until Hex comes out anyway :)

nicosharp
06-17-2013, 02:43 PM
Updated the OP. Edited the Title.
Thanks everyone for your feedback!

ossuary
06-17-2013, 04:02 PM
Still waiting / hoping to get into the Card Hunter beta. Jerks. :)

Crystalis
06-17-2013, 04:09 PM
There is another F2P TCG many seem to forget about, maybe because it is tied into EQ2 (but it does have a standalone client), Legends of Norrath. Ive tried most of the ones listed in this thread, that are already released, and it holds it's own pretty well. My primary complaint is how you are locked into your starter deck of choice unless pay. although I have cleared a few campaigns using it. Not bad on potential strat options either, even with the starting deck I can play it a few ways.

Personally my favorites of the current f2p are Clash of Dragons and Legends of Norrath, although what is upcoming is looking better than both. I do hope HEX has flavor card/gear text as good as the writers for Clash of Dragons/Legacy of Heroes make though. Can be entertaining just reading them on the wiki, and occasionally gives crafting recipe hints.

Thank You for the upcoming game comparison.

nicosharp
06-18-2013, 09:15 AM
I'll have to check out Clash of Dragons and Legends of Norrath. There are so many games out there. This post is trying to capture a spectrum, but not obscurity.

negativeZer0
06-18-2013, 09:53 AM
Since this thread has kinda already devolded into this I'll throw another game in the list for peopel to check out:

One of my favorite games that's arguably in the same genre as all of these others is Pox Nora.
Its a TCG where your creatures in your deck become miniatures on a board so it adds a level of depth to the game.
Only downside is they priced the game too high. There is F2P but in a very limited fashion and packs are quite high in price. The upside of their pricing is that for those that do play good cards actually have real $ aftermarket value.

Yubar
06-26-2013, 09:13 AM
Wow is it true the avareag game time in hex will be 25 min? Thats a lot coming from Kingdoms CCG where the average game length is closer to 5 lol

Diesbudt
06-26-2013, 09:22 AM
Wow is it true the avareag game time in hex will be 25 min? Thats a lot coming from Kingdoms CCG where the average game length is closer to 5 lol

I have never played a TCG/CCG that didn't at least have an average of 20min battles... What kind of TCG/CCG was Kingdoms???

Vorpal
06-26-2013, 09:37 AM
Good resource. I also agree that it's worth throwing Might and Magic, Duel of Champions up there.

Realistically, a digital trading card game without trading is not going to hold my long term interest. Hearthstone looks like it's not really a competitor to Hex, being much more stream lined/quick.

I was an early KS backer of solforge, and the game looks extremely promising. I'm just disappointed at how slowly it is progressing.

Vomitlord
06-26-2013, 09:39 AM
I have tried nearly every game mentioned in this thread, most are terrible and that's putting it mildly (kingdoms gets a special mention for tedium) .

Was excited for scrolls and hearthstone. Scrolls is hugely disappointing, everything about it is bland and sub par.

Hearthstone will find an audience but probably a different one from this game.

CZE need to make some terrible mistakes from this point on to not dominate the digital tcg market for years to come.

nicosharp
06-26-2013, 10:14 AM
Scrolls is keeping me entertained, but the resource system and card draw system allow for some very jank decks to dominate other decks. I've always loved hexagon based combat games, and the simplicity and game play balance feels a lot cleaner than something like a Kings Bounty or Heroes of Might and Magic. The major thing scrolls has going for it now, is that the limited cards in the game and trading make the collecting easier. You can develop a lot of decks with marginal play time and experiment.

A lot of Cornerstone guild has been playing Might and Magic: Duel of Champions lately, but it feels like a grind fest for unknown rewards. The gameplay is fun and great, but the lack of trading makes this game another disappointment to me. The fact that they have constructed tournaments with very small prize payout, requiring purchasable tickets to play is really sad. People new to the game have no chance there, and there is no competitive mode in DoC that makes sense unless you own every card in the game. Still a fun casual game, but I'd advise anyone trying it to avoid dropping money on it.

I do look forward to Hearthstone, but do fear it will feel grindy like DoC. There is no trading there, which is a micro-transaction move that punishes compulsive casual gamers (obviously the market they are after). For the most part, I am going to be staying away from dCCG's that do not allow trade.

Hex makes the most sense to me because of the number of game modes, the low price for competitive play, the magic resource system, that promotes balanced deck design, and endless replayability through extensive PvE modes. The social aspects are another huge plus.

Yubar
06-26-2013, 10:18 AM
I have never played a TCG/CCG that didn't at least have an average of 20min battles... What kind of TCG/CCG was Kingdoms???

Its just a lot more fast paced, which is why I like it, I don't have to sit around 20 minutes to complete one game. 5-10 minutes is a fairer statement. Its lane based also so there's a hard limit of 3 creatures on the field.

CoolGrayAJ
06-26-2013, 12:53 PM
Card Hunter has no "s" in Hunters. :)

Svenn
06-26-2013, 01:10 PM
Good write-up. Honestly, Hex is the only one of these games I'm even that interested in. I just feel like it blows the others away. I have the SolForge beta and it's decent for a lane based game, but it's too simple for me.

One of the main draws I think Hex has (for me, at least) is that it has the trading, collecting, and money aspect of a physical game. I stopped playing MTG back around 2000 and I've missed opening boosters, collecting, and trading things with some value.

I am actually pretty excited for Ascension Online (which I also backed on Kickstarter). It's not a TCG, but it is a digital card game based on a physical card game (a deck-building game ala Dominion for those who haven't played it).

As someone who is a general gamer but leaning towards the video game side... it's actually kind of weird that 2 of my most anticipated video games this year are actually just digital card games. ;)

ramseytheory
06-26-2013, 03:29 PM
I want to like Duel of Champions, I really do, and the game itself is good, but... only ranked constructed play? With no trading? And no crafting? And an untweaked RNG that will cheerfully give you seven of a trash legendary and none of the one you're after? I could live with having to buy cards to play competitively, but not with having to shovel a large but indeterminate amount of money into a furnace in the hope that it will deign to award me the one card I actually need. That's just vile.

Hearthstone looks like an amazing gateway TCG, though, and I can see myself sinking quite a few hours into it if it comes out before the Hex beta.

newwen
06-26-2013, 09:30 PM
Almost all of your information about MTGO is incorrect. Others have pointed out some of them, but game length is wrong, max players is wrong, and real world currency trading is wrong. MTGO doesn't have set limits on casual games, tourney games are set at different levels. Max number of players in a tourney is 128 right now, but there are many many options. Finally the biggest error is the real world money support. THERE IS NONE. In fact MTGO actively squashes anyone trying to post card on ebay. The best you can do is sell to a dealer and cash out but that is completely 3rd party and if you get scammed, you will LOSE EVERYTHING.
I sold my collection in MTGO and haven't looked back since backing Hex. To me it's an investment in making a quality game. MTGO been around for 12 years and is nothing more than a glorified spreadsheet with a gambling foundation that allows kids to enter. I love magic, but I can't support that company.

nicosharp
06-26-2013, 10:12 PM
Almost all of your information about MTGO is incorrect. Others have pointed out some of them, but game length is wrong, max players is wrong, and real world currency trading is wrong. MTGO doesn't have set limits on casual games, tourney games are set at different levels. Max number of players in a tourney is 128 right now, but there are many many options. Finally the biggest error is the real world money support. THERE IS NONE. In fact MTGO actively squashes anyone trying to post card on ebay. The best you can do is sell to a dealer and cash out but that is completely 3rd party and if you get scammed, you will LOSE EVERYTHING.
I sold my collection in MTGO and haven't looked back since backing Hex. To me it's an investment in making a quality game. MTGO been around for 12 years and is nothing more than a glorified spreadsheet with a gambling foundation that allows kids to enter. I love magic, but I can't support that company.

Your interpretation of the MTG:O content is incorrect. What is written in the TOS only applys to the online game. The fact that you can turn their digital cards into actual cards flips everything on its head regarding 3rd party trading. I appreciate your criticism, but for what I am providing at face value, the content for MTG:O is correct, and the glaring flaws already pointed out have been corrected.

nicosharp
06-26-2013, 10:16 PM
Almost all of your information about MTGO is incorrect. Others have pointed out some of them, but game length is wrong, max players is wrong, and real world currency trading is wrong. MTGO doesn't have set limits on casual games, tourney games are set at different levels. Max number of players in a tourney is 128 right now, but there are many many options. Finally the biggest error is the real world money support. THERE IS NONE. In fact MTGO actively squashes anyone trying to post card on ebay. The best you can do is sell to a dealer and cash out but that is completely 3rd party and if you get scammed, you will LOSE EVERYTHING.
I sold my collection in MTGO and haven't looked back since backing Hex. To me it's an investment in making a quality game. MTGO been around for 12 years and is nothing more than a glorified spreadsheet with a gambling foundation that allows kids to enter. I love magic, but I can't support that company.

Your interpretation of the MTG:O content is incorrect. What is written in the TOS only applies to the online game. The fact that you can turn their digital cards into actual cards flips everything on its head regarding 3rd party trading. I appreciate your criticism, but for what I am providing at face value, the content for MTG:O is correct for generalizations.

Real world money? - I don't remember that being a category? It does however lend itself to 3rd party trade.
Players in a tournament? - It was players simultaneously...not in the same queue

Game length is arguable. I am going by countless draft games I've played there. Which is normally longer than constructed games.

AstaSyneri
06-27-2013, 12:36 AM
One game that hasn't been mentioned (AFAICS) is Urban Rivals (http://www.urban-rivals.com), which also just did a beta release for its spin-off, Fantasy Rivals (very similar system).

In your deck you have 8 cards of limited power (usually 25 starts all in all, cards rate from 1 to 5 stars, also depending on their individual cards as you level them up through experience). For each battle 4 of those are selected randomly.

You play the game in four rounds, and in each round you need to "bet" 0 to all of your 12 beads, which acts as a multiplier.

Example: You have a character with attack value 4 and bet 3 beads. Your final attack value is 4 * (1 + 3) = 16. You opponent has AV 3 and bets 4 beads, he ends up with 3 * (1 + 4) = 15, and therefore loses. The winning character then does damage to the opponent as per his damage value. You win if you prematurely "kill" the opponent (IIRC you have 12 or 15 life points) or if after 4 rounds you have more life points left than your opponent.

It's F2P, but if you get into it you sink some money into it to get more characters. There is a very efficient auction house, so if you limit yourself to just one of the 20+ factions, you'll do fine. Games usually take around 5 minutes, if not less. And yes, being able to do quick calculations in your head is a plus.

The biggest drawback for me is that it's 95% PvP and I simply don't have the free and unmolested time anymore to play it (hence my PvE focus for Hex). :(

Setcamper
06-27-2013, 10:18 AM
Was unaware of Hex until I saw it mentioned on the Scrolls board. Honestly, it looks like what MTG online should have evolved into by now- and I think that's a great thing. As far as competitors I've tried:

Duel of Champions looks and feels great for a couple days, and then you realize what a grind it is to collect cards for free or throw good money at the random wheel of luck. I like the champion model, but it's frustrating that you can't play or create a different deck without having the appropriate champion and have to luck into finding one. I don't like including a powerful legendary rarity into a CCG either, it makes fielding a competitive deck all the more grindy/pricey.

Loving Scrolls, but games are starting to take way too long and the limited card pool is making a fairly stale Meta. Community is great. $20 price point is ridiculous if any of the other big FTP CCG's were currently playable- kind of doing the Torchlight/Runic model, give people the kind of game they're waiting for Blizzard to finish. So far it seems like Mojang has a decent system to discourage botting yet still allow trading- issues DoC and Hearthstone don't want to address.

I love the idea of Hearthstone, but I'm so worried about not being able to trade and it turning out like DoC. I like quick matches, iOs compatibility, but I don't want a game to feel boring and limited because "need" to grind to improve my deck.

Just gonna throw Hex in the back of my mind and be pleasantly surprised if I get a Beta invite in a few months.

ramseytheory
06-27-2013, 10:40 AM
I'm actually not particularly worried about not being able to trade in Hearthstone, since they've unveiled a new crafting system that looks like a pretty good substitute. Basically you can destroy your cards at will for arcane dust, and use dust to craft any card you want at a price depending only on rarity. The prices for selling/buying are 5/40 for commons, 20/100 for rares, 100/400 for epics and 400/1600 for legendaries. Given that you can only include one of any given legendary or two of any other card in your deck, this seems pretty reasonable to me. The big questions are how rare the epics and legendaries are going to be, and how hard it will be to earn the 5-card booster packs in-game.

That said, Hearthstone looks like it's going to be more a(n extremely fun) gateway game than a serious competitor to Magic or Hex in strategic depth. So you should probably play both. :)

Setcamper
06-27-2013, 07:24 PM
Just gave Kingdoms CCG a shot, was having a great time until I stepped into the beginner arena and quickly realized it's just a bot farm. I guess I'll stick with Scrolls and pray Hex figures out how to stop the FTP CCG bots.

MaximumSquid
08-18-2013, 03:11 PM
From a Free-User stand point (this includes what is available right now without paying to get into a beta) I'd say Sol Forge is the best available right now

I've bounced around a number of Digital Card games recently and thought I had found a home with Duel of Champions till I saw all the bots and how slow progression was

You can easily get 100 cards a week in SF and will likely hold my attention until I pit it against Hearthstone (which I'm no longer excited about) and Hex's cooperative modes which could be really fun even if done poorly

Stok3d
08-18-2013, 06:38 PM
@MaximumSquid: Please don't necro topics.