One of the things we’ve heard several times over the last few weeks is “I want to know more”. So, for today’s blog post, we’re sharing a little more info on the big picture. And, we’ll be going into deep dives on each of these areas in the coming weeks!
We’ve already talked a lot about the game play, and you can check out our game play summary for more info on game play.
One of the things we’re always looking at is how we can make the game play even more fun. Right now, we’re testing out some adjustments to the combat system that might really amp up the fun – we’ll keep you posted as we do more playtests.
In casual play, the matchmaker makes games based on the overall experience level & overall level of success of the players. It’s designed to keep seasoned pros apart from new players. If you’re a new player, you’re matched with other people of a similar skill level.
The matchmaking system also does another neat thing: It checks what deck your opponents are playing, and makes sure you’re not facing the same deck again and again and again.
Our shuffler prevents energy screw by first shuffling the deck to get a random selection of cards, then looking through the deck and breaking up large clumps of energy or non-energy cards. This removes a lot of the worst possible hands from the equation – no more hands with 0 energy, or 7 energy.
Our deck building rules are simple: Build a deck of 60 cards, with no more than 4 of any card. You can mix and match aspects, and play any card in any deck. At the start, we’ll have one format available: “Constructed”. This allows all cards that are currently released. As we release more sets, we’ll add more formats – and at some point we will rotate sets out of the base constructed format to keep it at a manageable size.
The first card set will be a little over 300 cards. It will include 4 types of cards: Resources, Units, Powers, and Items. You’ve seen how the first three work, so let’s talk about Items.
Items are cards that hang around in the Arena (like Units), but don’t have Attack or Health (so can’t be attacked or killed like Units). They have abilities that have an effect on the game – many will change how the game works in significant ways. Because they’re harder to remove, you can rely on an Item to be there for you when you need it. Each Item is part of one of the five aspects, so when you pick your aspects, you’re also picking what Items you can use.
Each pack is 12 cards, for $2 (or the equivalent in other currencies). Packs contain 8 common cards, and then a mix of rare, epic, and legendary cards that works out to roughly 3 rares, 0.75 epics, and 0.25 legendaries (though the contents of any given pack can vary).
Also, every pack is a Smart Pack, so you can decide what cards are in the pack when you open it – it’s not locked in beforehand.
Each time you draft, you’ll open four packs. You’ll pick a card, and pass the pack on, and then receive your next pack from the player who’s feeding you. This is much the same as an in-person booster draft, but with one key difference: The player who’s feeding you has already completed their draft (unlike an in-person booster draft, all 4 packs are passed to you by the same person). This means that you can draft as quickly or slowly as you want – no waiting for an 8-player pod to fill up, and no waiting on a slow drafter.
Drafts cost $10 each (or 4 packs and $2), and pay out 1 pack for every win. You play until you lose 3, so there’s no cap on the number of wins you can get. And of course, you keep all the cards that you draft.
Our tournaments work a little differently to those in other games. We’re committed to keeping you in the action, so we don’t want you sitting there waiting for the next round. Overall, each tournament will last 2-3 hours total, so you’ll be able to play one in an evening. Tournaments use the Constructed format.
When you join a tournament, you start playing immediately. Every time you finish a game, you can jump right into the next game, so you can stay in the action. You can keep playing until you lose 5 games, at which time you’re out, and you can collect your prizes immediately. And the more games you win, the more prizes you win.
Tournament entry fees will vary – we’ll have normal tournaments that run a few times a day, as well as larger tournaments occasionally.
Our trading system is a marketplace system – there’s no direct trading between players. You can post your trades on the marketplace, and they’ll execute automatically for you. Each trade is a card for in-game currency
We chose a marketplace system over direct player-to-player trading because it’s a better experience – you just search for the card you want, and then grab it. We also chose it because it provides less opportunities for unscrupulous players to cheat honest players, or cheat the system.
We want to go into much more details on all of these areas. So, let us know in the forums which areas you most want to learn more about, and we’ll post on those topics next week!