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View Full Version : Hex Card Art, Scale, and Concepts: An Issue



Disappointment
04-29-2014, 05:18 AM
One of the most important things about card games is the concepting of cards. I know you guys at CZE are working hard on making the Hex world its own living thing, and I wanted to point out a few things in this thread.

One of the major things that That Other Big Card Game does very well, is to create a sense of scale, and keep it consistent. If I see a standard issue bear, I know it's going to be a 2/2 or somewhere there about. 5/5 is an average size dragon. 8/8 is where we start getting into the gigantic dragons, sea serpents, and other such terrifying monsters, and very rarely does this rule get broken.

Hex lacks this internal consistency. There are several that really just don't work. Let's start with the large squirrels.

Mammoth/Crazed Squirrel Titan should have their art switched.

So, judging by the art, these two are both approximately the same size. However, one is a 4/4 CIP-fight (http://hextcg.gamepedia.com/Mammoth_Squirrel_Titan), and the other a 6/6 crush (http://hextcg.gamepedia.com/Crazed_Squirrel_Titan).

Why is the smaller one BREATHING FIRE? If two similarly sized squirrels fought, I'd probably give the edge to the one with fire breath. But no, it's actually two points smaller in front and back. So, fire breath makes you less dangerous in Hex. And why does this trigger a battle? Is something so angry at fire breath that it runs straight at it to fight?

However, if we look at Fire Breath Art in the context of a 6/6 Crush, it makes a lot more sense. Fire breath gives it +2/+2, and defenders less solid, justifying Crush.

For Angry Squirrel, if we look at it with the other card text, we actually get a neat little story from the card art: A hostile Cerulean Mirror Knight is patrolling the forest, as he comes across a large pile of nuts. Naturally, he is taken a bit aback, as this pile of nuts is nearly as tall as he is. Suddenly, a titanic squirrel drops from the limbs of the tree, and screeches, before charging directly at the him, images of the squirrel reflecting in his armor. No one knows what happened to the Knight, but passers-by sometimes find shards of incredibly reflective metal scattered across the landscape.

Also, slightly unrelated note: Crypto, please make the flavor text for this art "He doesn't like anyone touching his nuts."

Avalanche Giant: Pretty Much a Wimp

My second issue is about the size of Avalanche Giant (http://hextcg.gamepedia.com/Avalanche_Giant). Look at how big this guy is. The fog stops at his knees. The viewing angle makes him comparable to those frosty mountain peaks. Do you see the size of that hammer? I bet he flattens hills with that thing. But, as it turns out, he's only a 3/4. In fact, unless he generates you some hefty card disadvantage, he gets straight up punked by a pacifist insect (http://hextcg.gamepedia.com/Manti_Elder_Druid). It's a little bit bizarre.

A Concept From the Past

One of the few cards that made me laugh out loud was Stone Giant from M:tG (http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=2306). I remember sitting there as a kid, trying to work out the awful 4th Edition rules text. When it finally clicked, I just started laughing, because it was amazing. He gives a creature with toughness lower than his power flying. He just grabs and goddamn hurls dudes at your enemy. I loved it.

What the digital format gives you is the freedom to make this card even better. Give it a grunting throw sound effect when it does it's ability, maybe something like a "HUP". Maybe a small animation where the Stone Giant card hops beside the targetted card, and gives it a bit of a toss.

There's a lot of potential for this kind of small gag in the game, and I really hope you guys will take advantage of it.

Patrigan
04-29-2014, 05:31 AM
First of all, I would like to thank you for using the wiki!

Secondly, I agree with the squirrel points. Your explanation does make sense.

I disagree with the giant explanation though. Giants are big and slow, one speedy mantis could be able to beat him. The attack value signifies more than just brute strength, just as the defense value signifies more than how hard a punch you can take. It could be accuracy and dodge respectively that are explained through the stats.

The giant hits hard and it takes several hits to take him down, but the Manti is capable of pin pointing the exact weakness (back of the neck? ;) ) and is quick enough to evade the slow giant hammer.

Love the story on the Stone Giant and I also hope CZE will do many similar powers.

Mejis
04-29-2014, 05:33 AM
Interesting points, but for me I'd rather the art just looks great and fits the theme of the card, which it does, rather than the apparent size of the creature in the artwork reflecting its stats.

As I say, I still want the art to reflect the idea of the card, but I don't think it has to necessarily translate to just its attack/defence.

Indormi
04-29-2014, 05:49 AM
Avalanche Giant: Pretty Much a Wimp
My second issue is about the size of Avalanche Giant (http://hextcg.gamepedia.com/Avalanche_Giant). Look at how big this guy is. The fog stops at his knees. The viewing angle makes him comparable to those frosty mountain peaks. Do you see the size of that hammer? I bet he flattens hills with that thing.


I never gave too much though to the art of the giant, I though the white on the bottom was snow...yeah that thing is huge

ossuary
04-29-2014, 05:57 AM
Well, to be fair, the "giants" in early MtG were pretty misrepresented size-wise as well. Hill Giant, which was shown towering over the POV on the card as though he were 20 or 30 feet high, was a 3/3. And the Stone Giant you're referring to was also only a 3/4. It wasn't until much later in Magic's life that the creature sizes started to get more uniform. If you look at the approximate size of the Hill Giant towering over the trees in the corner of his picture, he looks as large as many of the Eldraazi would eventually be drawn, and those dudes were WAY nastier than vanilla 3/3.

Art is art... and remember, Set 1 in particular was commissioned on an extremely tight budget. They had to take what they could get, basically. I'm sure the art is going to look even better and a little more consistent as we move forward, now that CZE has a better budget to work with.

Zomnivore
04-29-2014, 06:22 AM
Eh. the ability and the card art translate into different things.

a 4/5 that breaths fire is pretty massive. A big dumb dude who just fights every turn, has a bigger body, but is stupid and walks into anything....so stat wise things fudge out to be alright imo.

The 4/5 is way better then the 6/6 just because the mechanics work differently in conveying their advantages as creatures...doesn't make it bad.

ossuary
04-29-2014, 06:42 AM
FYI, he's a 4/4 now, not a 4/5. Just sayin'. :)

Tinuvas
04-29-2014, 06:55 AM
I remember when the Stone Giant was running around when we had the Thallid cards in the Fallen Empires set of MtG. One common tactic with our group combining the two was referred to as "Tossed Thallid". Them days were awesome!

Zomnivore
04-29-2014, 06:56 AM
Eh...still.

The power of the body doesn't necessarily scale to size, he's better then the 6/6 because of factors that include being removal, not having a negative ability attached to em. etc.

Those coalesce into an abstract sense of superiority over the 'bigger' 6/6 who has to attack each turn (and because bigger is better, and its not better, its therefore not 'bigger') creating a nice contrast.

Disappointment
04-29-2014, 07:12 AM
I'm not here to argue every "oh he can just jump on his back and run up it" justification, because we can all come up with something passable, but it remains a bit awkward on both the size if the giant and how strong the mantis is. If you prefer, the example works as well with Captain of the Dragon Guard (http://hextcg.gamepedia.com/Captain_of_the_Dragon_Guard), or any other 4/4 that's just a single guy. I'd give a bit more credit to named characters, like King Gabe.


Well, to be fair, the "giants" in early MtG were pretty misrepresented size-wise as well. Hill Giant, which was shown towering over the POV on the card as though he were 20 or 30 feet high, was a 3/3. And the Stone Giant you're referring to was also only a 3/4. It wasn't until much later in Magic's life that the creature sizes started to get more uniform. If you look at the approximate size of the Hill Giant towering over the trees in the corner of his picture, he looks as large as many of the Eldraazi would eventually be drawn, and those dudes were WAY nastier than vanilla 3/3.

Art is art... and remember, Set 1 in particular was commissioned on an extremely tight budget. They had to take what they could get, basically. I'm sure the art is going to look even better and a little more consistent as we move forward, now that CZE has a better budget to work with.

Not discounting budget at all. I assumed this was the case. I'd rather have a working game with functional art than one that's broken, but has very good attention to minor art details.

How Magic ties mechanics, story and art together is one of my favorite parts of it, and I'd really like Hex to do even better at it, especially since CZE wants to have a plausible PvE world.

GPrime
04-29-2014, 07:46 AM
but the Manti is capable of pin pointing the exact weakness (back of the neck? ;) )

In before Survey Corps alternate-art Manti Elder Druid.

Avaian
04-29-2014, 07:57 AM
I think one thing to keep in mind is that size, isn't the only factor, there are other factors such as magic, or intelligence.

The Crazed Squirrel Titan vs Mammoth Squirrel Titan makes sense to me. In the pictures the both look about the same size to me, the only difference is the trees however the deer are roughly the same size.

The Mammoth Squirrel Titan most likely lives in the Feralroot Woods because of its connection to the Elf champion. That connection to the Elves could explain it being stronger, or it could be the fact that there is more Wild magic there.

The Giant on the other hand is harder to define its attack and defense compared to its size. The reason could be because the Giant is too big, and it is exceptionally difficult to hit the smaller targets. The ability added to the card means it can kill many of the other cards currently. If I had to put a guess at the size of the Giant I would say ~25 meters tall, the mountain throws off the perspective but I don't think the trees are more than 6 meters.

On the other hand the Manti is an Elder Druid, so it could have speed, intelligence and magic to explain why it could beat the Giant. Just because something is pacifist does not make it weak. The Manti however are peaceful it doesn't really say they are pacifist, like the Coyotle are.