Tobold's Blog
Saturday, March 28, 2009

So this week Battleforge was released in retail and online. Battleforge is an online real-time strategy (RTS) game with trading card elements. Before a game begins, you build a "deck" of cards, each of which represents a unit in the RTS part of the game. But to build the units you need power, gained from capturing power generators, and orbs, gained from capturing monuments. Lose power generators and your power goes up slower, lose monuments and you lose the orbs and can only cast less powerful cards. So you go on various missions, alone or with friends, capture generators and monuments, and beat computer controlled armies for some reward, in the form of new cards. Besides co-operative PvE mode, the game also has a PvP mode.

If you want to gain cards faster, you can buy boosters from EA for 250 Battleforge points, that is $2.50. The retail version of the game for $50 already contains 4 decks and 3,000 points, enough for 12 boosters. Boosters contain a random mix of cards, in different rarities. You can also trade cards with other players online, chat, or form groups for missions with up to 12 players.

I'm a big fan of trading card elements in games, and Battleforge looks very nice, and will undoubtedly make EA a bundle of money. Just not from me, because I don't like RTS games. I tend to get too focused on what is on the screen, and get my ass kicked by the computer in some areas off screen. And just like in the recent post about The Chronicles of Spellborn, I was again disappointed that in Battleforge you always have access to all the cards in your deck (provided you have enough orbs and power). There is no random draw. :( That makes building good decks relatively simple, as you don't need to account for randomness.

If you are unsure whether this could be a game for you, you can get a free demo. Or just watch the well-done tutorial videos that explain how the game works. Just be careful how much you end up spending for the game, trading card games can be an expensive addiction.
I am 10% interested, but then again I revolted against MtG:Online when they charged the same price for virtual cards as they did for real cards. I would of spent hundreds of dollars on MtG:O if the pricing hadn't been stupid. Same with BattleForge. But since they decide that I should pay $2.50 for a pack of virtual cards, they've lost my business.

Anyone remember when baseball cards were 99 cents a pack?
If I understand correctly the more you pay the better you can play. I thought we had moved on from this. Even the rmt mmo's seem to be moving away from a "pay to pwn" business model.
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