Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
 
Yes, I've seen the Hex Kickstarter

Over the years I have repeatedly on this blog proposed the idea of having a game that mixes MMORPG and Trading Card Game elements together. So when Cryptozoic did a Kickstarter for a MMO Trading Card Game called Hex, I got several mails and comments of the "have you seen this?" type from readers. Yes, I've seen it. But no, I don't believe in it. As much as I did like the "we'd do anything for funding" video, I couldn't help but notice that all what they have right now, both in terms of experience and in terms of presented gameplay, is the TCG part. There is next to zero information about the MMO part. And I don't believe you can create the MMO part for half a million dollars.

Basically my impression of Hex is that it is a Trading Card Game *only*, or at least first and foremost. In many aspects it looks like a clone of Magic the Gathering Online. Whatever else they might add to the game, it will never resemble anything you and me would call an MMO. I mean, how would a classic MMO gameplay even be remotely possible when the combat is turn-based and on a separate screen? My Shandalar idea is for a game that is a MMO, and plays like an MMO, with combat taking place in real time in the 3D virtual world, only with cards replacing the current static abilities on the hotkeys. Cardhunter, turn-based as it is, is still a lot closer to my idea than Hex will ever be.

Ultimately Hex is a competitor of Magic the Gathering Online or Hearthstone, not World of Warcraft or Guild Wars 2. And as Azuriel already remarked, you can't call it a Free2Play game if the only way to earn cards is to buy them. To me Hex is just a case of deceptive marketing. I haven't seen anything in the material that was shown which would suggest an innovative merge of TCG and MMO gameplay.

Comments:
There was some (not explored in great details) talk about group PvE, where you can team up with your friends to "raid" a PvE target. I'm not a TCG person but I guess that would be the sort of thing they're talking about?

So not actually "massively multiplayer" gameplay, but the sort of "non-massively multiplayer" gameplay that MMORPG players spend a fair bit of time on?
 
I really liked the WoW TCG that they designed previously, which is why I'm happy to throw in a bit to support this one.
 
It looks like a MtG clone. Seems to me they would be better to do a new Shandalaar-type game to dip their feet in, then think about a MMO later.

I watched the vid and I did worry about balance issues: seems like bunny could have wiped the orcs early if he had just played his second Evolve...
 
Seems they hit their Kickstarter target anyway, so we shall see what we shall see.
 
Think of it as a digital WoW TCG with basically two pools of cards. The PvE 'MMO' cards you can earn via adventuring and the PvP cards which are basically just like MTGO and WoW TCG.

The game play is closer to MTG than WoW (20 health, creatures attack heros) with some WoW elements (heros with abilities that also signal the deck type).

As a long time wow tcg player, I'm quite happy enough to have a digital game to play by CZE with tournament support Hopefully the PvE game will be entertaining enough to kept folks like yourself interested as well.
 
> I mean, how would a classic MMO gameplay even be remotely possible when the combat is turn-based and on a separate screen?

Atlantica Online shows how that works. While Nexon as provider has horrible service and an even more horrible item mall, the game itself has very interesting concepts. It is the only serious turn-based MMORPG I know of.
 
Yeah I agree that it's really just an online TCG layered with community features and an AI that you can team up against. 'MMOTCG' is just marketing flash, to me at least.
 
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