Tobold's Blog
Friday, August 09, 2013
Card Hunter beta key promotion

A lot of readers of my blog already play or are interested in Card Hunter. So when Blue Manchu gave 3 beta keys to every player and I posted about giving away mine, I received not only lots of interest for those keys, but also lots of beta key donations from other readers. I ended up handing out around 30 keys, and still had more interest in them. So on the suggestion of a reader I contacted Blue Manchu directly and asked for more beta keys. And they gracefully sent me a batch of 30 beta keys!

So as the last time I am handing out Card Hunter beta keys to the first 30 people requesting one by e-mail. Don't ask for a key in the comment section, I have no way of privately replying to comments and wouldn't be able to make sure you get the key there. Note that this is still beta, and there will be at least one more reset before release. But if you purchase pizza (and I have suggestions on what to do with it), the Card Hunter currency for real money you will get that pizza refunded on reset.

As I am still actively playing in the beta, I was also planning to write more about Card Hunter (there is no NDA). And I would like some reader participation here: What is your feedback on Card Hunter? Do you have any questions you want me to answer? Do you have any suggestions on Card Hunter subjects you think I should write about?

[UPDATE: I'm out of beta keys. Thanks to everybody who participated.]

How do you handle "Party members have 1 health" quests? :-)
How do you handle "Party members have 1 health" quests? :-)

Hehe, you need to ask about the most advanced stuff there is in the game. For those who don't know, "Quests" in Card Hunter open up *after* you finished playing through the campaign once, and are some sort of hard mode to play through the same adventures again under more difficult circumstances. And the 1hp quests are the hardest of those quests.

Basically I would say you can't do these with a "regular" party, you would need to design a party especially for that. One possible way (which might not work for every adventure) is having a group of 3 wizards with resistant hide armor and lots of firestorm cards.
Been playing card Hunter since you gave me the key and I really like it. I've even replayed a bunch of the stuff just because of how fun they were. So far I've made it to level 7 and finally I'm running into situations where I feel the cards I have are a bit underpowered. The problem is not that I don't have good cards its that the really good stuff I'm getting now all requires power tokens and my party only have one Each of those to spare.

I check the gold shops daily for better normal cards but can't really seem to find much that seems better then what I already have. Any suggestions?
What do you think about cards balance early in the game? I am not familiar with the genre, but on level 7 I was still using a club with 10 damage attack received from first or second adventure, and I dont think this is a good thing, cause I already sold some lvl 5 weapons that were worse (IMHO).
Very good question, I think I'll make a longer post about this at some point. But here is the short version:

There *are* "better" cards out there, but they are the rares, epics, and legendary cards which you are unlikely to receive frequently. It takes a lot of playing before you could equip all your characters in epics.

Fortunately you don't have to. What you need to do instead is to get rid of the idea that your party can beat every adventure with the same set of gear. The better method is trying an adventure in your standard gear, and if you lose to analyze WHY you lost. Usually you come up with some observation like "I can't beat those mobs because they have too good armor" or "I can't beat those mobs because they keep their distance from me" or something like that. And based on that observation you change your deck: For example by putting a lot of penetrating attacks against heavily armored enemies, or spears and blue/red move-plus-attack cards against the mobs that keep their distance.

Card Hunter is like Magic the Gathering in that it is very much also a game about deckbuilding, and building the right deck for each adventure is a major part of the strategy.
I think it's actually pretty common to use the Kobold Crusher club for quite a few levels.
Any thoughts on longevity of the game? WoW has spoiled me, and I get disappointed if something isn't fun for years. I'm up to level 10 now, and I feel like once I see every single player encounter I'll be done playing it. But I'm not sure about the level cap or how big the game is right now in general. I doubt the vs. mode will do much for me.
I started playing Card Hunter pretty much on your recommendation. However on my first play it did not click with me. I returned when I got sent a few beta and keys and handed them out to friends. I thought I should give it another shot and boy am I glad I did. Whatever mood I was in first time round had clearly stopped me from seeing the charm and excellent game mechanics of this game. I was charmed so much, I dropped $20 (I’ve too many kids to justify $99!!) & used your $20 starting guide (which works a treat by the way). As soon as I did that I felt even more invested.

Look forward to reading more of your thoughts on the game from a mechanics perspective but also on the F2P structure. Personally I’m on the fence on the monthly sub they offer as a value proposition. Without it, it feels pay to win, with it I’m not sure I get the value...its a little strange. I know though at half the price I would just drop the cash on it. Maybe I’m just cheap?

Interested to hear about different and quirky party setups. I don’t have time to try many combos and there seems to be very interesting options.
Excellent game for a bit of quick fun.

I liked your ideas for the $20 investment, but as the game is not finished for levels 21 and up, it would be good to see what you have to purchase at that end before throwing away pizza on the membership, as you may need it to unlock more adventures that are higher in level.

So I'll wait for production v1 to invest, but I will probably invest. :-)
At level 13 or so and I found the higher level quests require really fortunate card pulls. With only three characters and four cards there's not a lot of space to breathe; the adventures also keep getting longer and longer due to higher HP of monsters. I enjoyed it but haven't gone back to it after playing for two weeks.
So far (I'm doing level 14 dungeons) I don't have the feeling it's about the gear or the cards. The only reason why I fail certain dungeons is because I make a tactical error. Often you can get away by just having one character survive, and then doing hit-and-run for long periods of time.
I was one of the people who got a beta through you Tobold and have been playing it over the last week or so. It's an engaging game but not fun for me. I've spent hours at a time playing it but only for the sense of completion when I beat a adventure line rather than fun during the adventure.

The combat feels drawn out, with it taking 10 or more minutes to finally draw just the right combination of move and attack cards to kill off a final opponent on a lot of the levels. This is especially a problem with armored opponents or worse yet, full block opponents who retain their full blocks after use unlike the player. It comes down to if you're lucky enough to draw a discard force card or enough attacks to get a lucky hit in.

I found the strategy and deck building aspect at odds with your inability to tailor your gear before an encounter. If I just finished fighting a bunch or armored opponents, how am I suppose to know to switch to movespeed for the next fight if I'm not warned till it's too late to swap gear. Why can I only change my gear between fights if I fail?

That kind of quality of life issue is present is a lot of the game play. Why can't I cancel a move command once started if this isn't realtime? I can can cancel some attacks. And why do a lot of encounters rely on me getting just the right cards to beat a certain opponent?

Overall it was an interesting experiment but not for me. I hope it finds a following because the writing I got to read was quite funny and enjoyable but it lacks the in the moment fun that I look for in my games these days. I made it to lvl 9 champs.
group of 3 wizards with resistant hide armor and lots of firestorm cards

It's kind of obvious (I'd say elven mages for longer moves), but won't work vs. ranged mobs (trees, flying monkeys), anyone with Cave-In card (Melvelous, dragon), arcane imps (arcane damage goes through Resistant Armor), adventures where you start surrounded (oozes, zombies, gnomes) and battles where time is limited due to enemy holding victory squares.
Feedback on Cardhunter

1) One can notice the monsters dont always play all the cards they have. Even when they have attack cards they can use. Archer simply doesnt shoot and passes turn. Its probably some sort encounter leveling Blue Manchu uses so that player doesnt loose encounters too often. However if feel cheated like a child who discovers that father is loosing intentionally in a chess game. Even more - i feel that its a clever trick to keep you hooked on the game ensuring you win enough encounters to keep our reward/pleasure system in our brain ticking.

2) System of lighting tokens makes deck building so much hassle, i simply refuse to rebuild deck between encounters. Plus i have crap load of useful items i can not use.

3) There's no filter system which is based on cards not item slots/levels etc. I.e. i cant ask the filter to display all items which have terrain attachment spells on them; or ranged attack spells. System of "show me 10 boots half of which i cant use because im short on tokens" doesnt work out really well.


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