Last week I wrote about Keyforge and its intriguing attempt to “fix” Magic. I want it to succeed, but it won’t. Nothing will ever supplant Magic as the grindy, pay-to-win king of the CCG genre. It’s got too much market share and the pay-to-win stuff is a feature, not a bug, for the most committed players. There are ways to create something better than Magic though.
I’m committed to Dead Parents Dungeon right now—
—shut up, I am—
—and even though I’m too lazy to do any actual work on it, I take that commitment seriously enough that I’m not getting into it too deeply.
Only a little bit.
Ideally, it’d be electronic. A lot of the bitch is based on real, physical cards, so why electronic? Electronic cards can be changed. A card that costs 5 to play today can cost 4 tomorrow. Imagine grouping cards by seasons and shifting their power up or down four times a year (if by some unlikely chance a Magic developer is reading this, you’ll have to imagine it with a lot of aspirin). Is this card valuable now? No. But it could be.
Good ol’ Lightning Bolt
Magic believes in bad cards. I believe in cards that are good in certain contexts; Lightning Bolt is a solid card when your opponent starts with twenty life and you can put 4 of them into a 60-card deck. In Commander, when your opponent starts with forty life and you have 1 Lightning Bolt in 99 cards, it’s garbage.
So Richard Garfield and Fantasy Flight Games are releasing a card game called Keyforge, colon no one ever gives a damn what happens after the colon.
It’s your standard, proto-Magic: the Gathering game. I guess when you invent the Customizable Card Game genre, people will care about what comes after the colon.
You play creatures and artifacts, tap them to attack and work to get enough points to win the game. It’s not a knock-off and I don’t want to leave you with the impression that it is. Creatures tap for points(amber) and they attack one another to stop your opponents from getting points. The rock/paper/scissors interaction of Magic removal is one of my complaints with it and I like this system. In the Battletech CCG, anything could be attacked—even ‘event’ cards.
Here’s all the tokens and accessories. Man, I hope that’s all of them.
You use amber to forge up to three keys—hence the name—and the third one wins you the game. It’s similar to Magic’s life system, but it’s probably a bit more interactive; the rules extensively cover creatures temporarily stealing amber and some cards’ effects depend on which of your keys have been forged. I prefer the card-based progress systems of Pokemon and Duel Masters, but that interactivity is good.
Gaming Dudebro: Man I loved games when they used to be hard.
Gaming Dudebro: *Plays Undertale* Why do I have to do this thing several times? Why doesn’t this game tell me what to do!? Where am I supposed to go?
Me: When you said “they used to be hard,” did you mean, “when I subscribed to Nintendo Power and lied that I didn’t?”
For the past few weeks, I’ve been idly speaking about artifacts (and lands) in Magic’s history that give mana of any color. Some give a few mana up and then sacrifice themselves, some convert generic mana or life into the color of mana you need, and others can produce mana of any color, but usually don’t, or restrict how you can spend it.
Because generating mana of any color is so powerful and because lands are so cheap, the drawbacks and conditions for those types of lands are widely varied and quite unpredictable. Almost wild, really.
In each Magic game, you have a total amount of mana you generate between each of your untap steps. If there’s a land that isn’t tapped when you start your turn, it’s wasted potential (mostly). The goal is to have a progression of mana that you’ve used every turn until you’ve won. If you stall at four lands, that total for the first five turns looks like 1+2+3+4+4. By that fifth turn, your first land has given you five mana. Continue Reading