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Tinfoil
01-29-2016, 09:42 PM
Hello, here are my impressions after having played through almost all of the campaign, most of it with a starter and also having tried a few alts for comparison.

I have been playing Hex since alpha, but I decided to do a play through of the campaign using only starter cards and rewards. I didn’t finish the Wormoid optional quest, the Killipedes lair, the Piranhas and the last dungeon with my starter as that would have been extremely difficult and time-consuming. I brought in my collection to finish those. So, here is my impressions without too many spoilers.

Let me start with a few notes...
It seems all racial starter decks are the same, no differentiation between classes.
Some races and classes are a lot easier (better with the starting cards) than others. Mages are seriously more difficult in most cases. Warriors are the most aggressive and their talent in this first PvE chapter has the most impact on their playstyle it seems. Clerics are more defensive and will probably be the safe choice with several races (though I can’t speak for all). Coyotle have a relatively strong starting deck and from what I hear, so does humans, necrotics and elfs. Dwarfs starter is weaker and needs filling to be effective and so does shinhare from what I hear.
You have deck limitations, so you can’t bring in your strongest cards from the beginning and I think that is super genius, though it might be contentious for some people. It gave me a sense of progression.

First Impressions

I chose a Coyotle cleric, which was fortunately one of the better/easier race-class combos. First thing I notice is that I can’t have spaces in my name which is unfortunate for Coyotle though a minor thing.
The introduction does what it does and introduce me to the world and game with no great fuzz. You get some basic information, but very much if you are into lore. You are then send into the world with only a vague sense that you are searching for some shards.

The first quest is fun and give some extra cards. Unfortunately, I stopped talking like a Coyotle. The dialogue is filed with standard responses, so you don’t speak very much „in character”. But things seem to be going well.

Later On

The world starts to open up with more story. The narrative becomes more interesting, though not great. In many MMOs the stories are pretty thin, but since I’m playing alone it feels more like a TCGRPG – so I’m not completely sure how to set my expectations in that area.

But oh, the challenges themselves are really good. Interesting, creative and varied – there is clearly a lot of development going into showing off the potential of digital card games. And the random elements works really well. You don’t win every fight, but most are not that difficult and even in the hard ones where you have to get lucky, it is the sort of calculated luck, that you know will happen once in a while. This is really well done. Also, some of the tougher challenges (for the starter deck) are optional, which is a smart move.

The AI is generally good, but not great. I did win a few hard matches because of a clueless opponent, but I was mostly thankful to move on. For those with bigger collections, there are still cards it doesn’t understand like living totem and Mystic Spiritwalker, but again, that was a bit of a relief in some of the tougher boss fights.

The dungeons work really well and have a good amount of challenge and don’t feel grindy. It is hard to figure out what your choices mean, but that is part of the fun and you can always try them again.

End game

Towards the end-game I really started to feel my lack of options with my deck. Yes, I had won some cards and made some improvements to my deck. I had also sided in a few of the 200 free cards that were not in my starter and I could make minor tweaks, but nothing major. Especially, removal was scarce. I could still win most fights, but as mentioned I gave up on the end-game content. This is where I startet to crave more cards. I really hope there will be good guides for new players, because even with all my Hex experience I am still not sure how I would create the most synergistic Coyotle cleric deck with the deck limitations that we have. In short, very well designed end-game!

Overall

Challenges, dungeons and progression is really well designed and show off the potential of digital card games.
Races and classes are interesting and work well. We have only seen the the beginning and there is going to be some extremely powerful interactions down the road. Note, that not all starters are equally balanced, but if you have the cards it can easily be fixed (and the reason is understandable imo).
The narrative RPG elements feels rushed and a bit cheap. There is some good stuff, but much of it isn’t that exciting or interesting. The focus has been on the card game, not the storytelling.

Now the next challenge begins – to investigate the possibilties with using my full collection :)

All the individual classes, races, dungeons, cards and features deserves a lot more individual attention, but here I wanted to give an overall impression.

Thanks for reading.

seashell
01-29-2016, 10:58 PM
Nice review :). I agree that the no space is a bit annoying for coyotles. I gotta say though personally i really enjoyed the coyotle mage dialogue and found it to be quite flavorful. (also it would be pretty cool if someone made a video of beating entire campaign with Cory's suggestion, though i doubt it is possible (including wormoid queen and aom lvl 6.))

kaiizza
01-29-2016, 11:53 PM
Do people really expect to be able to clear the end game content after a few hours with starter gear? Thats how you should be thinking about this. Your upgrading your deck every time you find loot. Some loot is garbage or for the wrong character and some loot is just what your looking for. I see person after person complaining that they cant defeat the hardest encounters with intro common and uncommon Coyotle cards as an example. You mentioned that you were going to start using your pvp collection. Great you had some nice backup armor you had farmed from another area of the game. Thats how I am thinking about it. The starter decks will not beat worms, or the piranhas, or the late game bosses. i meant this is only a third of the level progression and a fraction of the story we will be getting.

frychikn
01-30-2016, 12:22 AM
I think there is a problem though. Maybe im just unlucky but dungeon loot is pretty much adventure pack... it doesnt feel like you can farm dungeons for awesome cards.

Gryffe
01-30-2016, 12:46 AM
I think there is a problem though. Maybe im just unlucky but dungeon loot is pretty much adventure pack... it doesnt feel like you can farm dungeons for awesome cards.

Dunno... The two packs I got from the Tranquil Dream dungeon gave me a Dream Bear and a Dream Spider, so... I think we might need more spading on that.

Unspecified
01-30-2016, 02:43 AM
I think there is a problem though. Maybe im just unlucky but dungeon loot is pretty much adventure pack... it doesnt feel like you can farm dungeons for awesome cards.

There are cards you can only get from dungeons. As mentioned above the Dream Bear, Dream Spider, Dream Eagle, Dream Skarn, and Dream Turtle can only be received from the Tranquil Dream dungeon.

I'm fairly certain Ancestral Ire, Spirit of Retribution, Inferno Goliath, Soul of Raqqar, and Ghost Sentinel are from the dungeon with the Inferno Goliath as the boss. I could be wrong about some of these being unique to there and there may be others.

Conquest of Romor and Romor's Reckoning are from the Fort Romor dungeon (I think you have to be underworld to do it).

frychikn
01-30-2016, 10:13 AM
my problem with the dungeons(well with the first 1 i havnt cleared the other ones enough) is that there are only 6 cards exclusive to it, the dream creatures and the 8 drop green legendary. NOT ONLY are there only 6 cards, they are pretty focused on being used in a dream deck. except for the sapphire and blood cards with equipment. if I was a brand new player theres a good chance this dungeons loot doesnt help me in the slightest bit, that seems like a let down for a first dungeon.

Vorpal
01-30-2016, 11:22 AM
I feel in this challenge you need to be able to buy common/uncommon cards you need off the AH with the gold you earn.

sukebe
01-30-2016, 03:04 PM
I feel in this challenge you need to be able to buy common/uncommon cards you need off the AH with the gold you earn.

I still feel that this is what is intended by cory. he said to use only the rewards we got from the campaign and gold is part of that reward. The AH is an integral part of the game and I doubt cory did not want it used. Even new players without a single card to their name beyond the campaign rewards has access to the AH after all.

Zurai
01-30-2016, 03:12 PM
Do people really expect to be able to clear the end game content after a few hours with starter gear?

End game? We aren't even out of the Barrens yet, to put it in MMO terms. This is literally the first zone in the game; we can see five zones on the world map and there will surely be more. We're limited to 9 levels out of 30. In no possible way can Adventure Zone 1 be called end game content.

Tinfoil
01-30-2016, 03:21 PM
My point was that I think they have balanced the content very well. You have a chance at most of the content without buying anything, but for a complete run or for easier and faster runs, you must improve your cardbase and invest either some plat or gold. That is what keep the economy running. Nobody (should) expect to get a complete game for free. That you can feel constrained toward the endgame and know there are hundreds if not thousands of cards and equipment out there is a really good thing if you want players to invest more, so it was a complement. Sorry if that was not clear.

The question of how and where to farm the best cards and equipment is standard MMO business. Finding some legendary pieces and getting a new idea for a deck is central to the TCG experience.

However, looting is one thing. A hundred other threads will discuss that. But is the game fun? What experience can you expect to get? That is what I tried to focus on here.

(And sorry if the wording is a bit poor at times, I lost my first draft and finished this one late at night)

Lafoote
01-30-2016, 04:52 PM
I'm playing the Coyotle Cleric as well. Overall it's got entertaining options in the talent tree, and Cleric synergy is fairly high. If you're not sure what to play, I recommend this combo.

Like I noted in another thread, I agree with the OP assessment the 'starter' Arsenal was completely unqualified to compete with the Wormoid encounters. Even games where I got a huge jump on the AI it's incredible worm spam both wiped the board and bludgeoned me to death.

Since that time I'm playing with an upgraded revision, but still thematically appropriate. I'm impressed that many of the encounters are not pushovers even with an improved deck. With Wild/Diamond I'm still not sure if I'll be able to beat piranhas, even if I started the game with a Filk ape in play. That's going to be an interesting puzzle.

frychikn
01-30-2016, 05:42 PM
i must be the only person who thinks the first dungeon needs more and different loot. especially for new players.

Xenavire
01-31-2016, 05:15 AM
i must be the only person who thinks the first dungeon needs more and different loot. especially for new players.

Crayburn? It's preset so that new players always get cards they can upgrade with once the training wheels come off.

sukebe
01-31-2016, 02:09 PM
I'm playing the Coyotle Cleric as well. Overall it's got entertaining options in the talent tree, and Cleric synergy is fairly high. If you're not sure what to play, I recommend this combo.

Like I noted in another thread, I agree with the OP assessment the 'starter' Arsenal was completely unqualified to compete with the Wormoid encounters. Even games where I got a huge jump on the AI it's incredible worm spam both wiped the board and bludgeoned me to death.

Since that time I'm playing with an upgraded revision, but still thematically appropriate. I'm impressed that many of the encounters are not pushovers even with an improved deck. With Wild/Diamond I'm still not sure if I'll be able to beat piranhas, even if I started the game with a Filk ape in play. That's going to be an interesting puzzle.

I disagree on the wormoids. Even if you assume that the cory challenge does not include the purchase of commons from the AH/trade list (which I believe is not the case) you can still beat the wormoids using just the cards from the campaigns. I know this because I did it...

The key to wormoids is to not play any more cards than you have to (including shards). If you have copies of adapatron you are in an even better position...

Chinane
02-01-2016, 05:36 AM
One method that's definitely sufficient to beat wormoids (left path) is a combination of swiftstrike with +x/+x buffs and flying.
You can definitely get (as a minimum requirement for that condition) the 2/2 swiftstrike fox, the delphin buff for +1/+1 +flight and various methods to increase att/def in normal campaign mode, so you have all the tools necessary in theory and with a lucky draw.

Things get a LOT easier with mettle, though and I'm not sure if you can randomly find that.

Tinfoil
02-01-2016, 06:02 AM
One method that's definitely sufficient to beat wormoids (left path) is a combination of swiftstrike with +x/+x buffs and flying.
You can definitely get (as a minimum requirement for that condition) the 2/2 swiftstrike fox, the delphin buff for +1/+1 +flight and various methods to increase att/def in normal campaign mode, so you have all the tools necessary in theory and with a lucky draw.

Things get a LOT easier with mettle, though and I'm not sure if you can randomly find that.

You can find Mettle, I have found at least 2. And yes, swiftstrike is good against many encounters and works as substitute removal.

frychikn
02-01-2016, 07:27 AM
If they ever actually improve the AI do you think that would work though?

Quantius
02-01-2016, 07:31 AM
If they ever actually improve the AI do you think that would work though?

This is actually something that new players should take note of. In most games when the game is patched, they generally make it easier. HEX AI has progressively gotten better with each major patch. I remember when Frost Ring Arena AI would stop attacking if it was at 10HP. You could just get it to 10 life and do whatever you wanted. How far we've come.

So don't be surprised if at some point what deck(s) used to work for you, no longer do after an AI patch bump.

Tinfoil
02-01-2016, 08:09 AM
If they ever actually improve the AI do you think that would work though?

It is a good point! AI can figure out single troops with swiftstrike, but not that multiple troops can combine their swift attack when defending.

But...swiftstrike + buff + steadfast works quite well if the opponent doesn't have direct removal. Add flying and other utility/protection as you please. You don't have to actually kill opponents troops, just make it impossible for him to attack you - that is actually what I meant with substitute removal.

Vorpal
02-01-2016, 08:16 AM
End game? We aren't even out of the Barrens yet, to put it in MMO terms. This is literally the first zone in the game; we can see five zones on the world map and there will surely be more. We're limited to 9 levels out of 30. In no possible way can Adventure Zone 1 be called end game content.

It's the toughest content in the game *right now*.

They can tune it down later if they want.

If their AZ1 was no more difficult than your first MMO 'kill 10 rats' quest, we would all be insanely disappointed.

Vorpal
02-01-2016, 08:19 AM
The AI used to not even be able to handle single troops with swiftstrike.