HEX: The now and the future

    • HEX: The now and the future

      So, with @HEXCoryJones finally giving us some vital signs, I think I can finally start to lurk around here more often. I would like to simply say some things about what I think this game could be in the near future and what could become later, and finally, what things I think could be done in the actual scenario. Hopefully other people will come and say their things, and slowly, start to build again some actual discussion into the game. Also, I would love that whoever remains at HXE, read this and use it as a sort of "focus group", besides the best wishes we all have with this game.
      As this is a long thread, I will make your life easier and try to summarize the main points:

      1) Why I left Hex? Because it appeared that no one cared for the game. You should fought that common view. Now it might be too late.

      I'll start by saying that I left Hex shortly after I noticed that the devs were gone and transitioned to MTGA. I think that what expelled me wasn't actually the feeling that the game was dying, but instead, the lack of honesty regarding the current state of the game. The non-friday Updates, the feeling that no one was working or even remotely interested in finding a solution, the full abscence of Cory, the bad management of the crisis generated by the finantial situation, etc... My thought was "If they threw the towel, why should I keep playing this game?" Everyone appeared to be signed on the other card game... at the end, the feeling was that there were no one here managing the game.

      I want to point this: I think we all had and have this feeling. What we discussed were some gradients on it. But overall, the feeling was, and is, the same: If the game continues like this, it's doomed. I would say that after a year of a game in intensive care, this feeling now is more brutal than ever. How to rebuild a community that is gone? A game with low activity numbers? And with strong competitors all around that took fully advantage of the whole year Hex lost? It actually seems impossible.

      The thing is: Maybe we all were wrong with what we thought about Hex. But in a crisis management, you can't let us take our own conclusions. When we needed MORE communication, you gave us radio silence. That's like saying "ok, you're right, we're dead". Don't do that again now, that is my main fear. I know there're things that can't be discussed with the community, but that's not the only thing you can do.

      2) What I 've learned from MTGA, the good (it's fast!) and the bad things (it's boring and repetitive)

      But, and here is the thing: (Some) people still play the game. That's a starting point. The other point should be rebuilding the community, and more important, the desire in us to keep playing it.

      Now, if I left Hex to play MTGA, why am I here? Because I don't play MTGA anymore. And actually, when I played MTGA I missed Hex. This is the funny part, as a PVP player, I should love MTGA. But I quickly left. Why? Because I didn't liked their business model: mtga is kind of generous for free if you play it all day and grind it. Grinding is boring. The meta gets boring after a few matches. And making a collection is actually expensive: either in time or with money.

      Also, the competitive side of MTGA is boring as well. The ladder is, or was when I was playing, bad designed. The tournaments are boring and qualifying to actually win some money or to feel some kind of competitive side, requires you a lot of time AND money.

      Eventually, MTGA becomes repetitive and tedious. It's very limited on what you can do. I think it's not MTGA fault, but actually how limited you're with only cards. Is difficult to remain interested, that's why MTG drops a set every three months, which for me is awful because if you don't play for six months you have to basically learn the game again, and also, it's a system designed to exploit our pockets. I can't cope with it.

      Hex has some advantages here:

      1) It has PvP and PvE. So, there're more varieties of things to do.
      2) The game it's itself designed to be digital, so there're more things that can be done to avoid this.
      3) There're a lot of funny modes in PvP, like the merry melee ones, which make things different and exciting.
      4) I still think that the Hex metas are (or were) better than MTG. I don't know who are left to design new cards and sets, that kind of worries me.

      But also, MTGA has one thing that is good and Hex should try to emulate if possible: Games are fast! Playing Hex again after playing MTGA is like playing at a different pace. Games are slow, a lot of clicks are involved. Hex should try, if possible, to automatize more things: auto-passing priority if there's nothing to do (and having the option to disable that only if you want) is a good start. Making the first rounds of the game faster will enhance the experience a lot. Once we're immersed in the game, we can wait for the rival to do stuff. But in the first turns waiting for the pass when there's nothing to do it's pointless. Specially with a lot of PS4 players.

      3) I don't know what Hex 2 should be, but Hex 1.5 should be all about playing for fun. Let us just play the whole game and not only standard. And yes, PvE should be the focus, but later (right now there's no money to develop it).

      Let me say this again: Hex is a great game, even in it's current state. But to be a better game, and to attract old and new players, it should quickly turn things, and with Merry Melee now free, let me say this: Enhance the challenge mode and you have a whole new game. Let us play the wild format, or any merry melee format, directly from challenge. Let us use the chat to search players, as people is doing now for other modes. There's no more bucket theory as there're almost no players playing the game. Just let me challenge a friend to play how we want. Keep me playing the game, and it will pay off eventually. Rotate the drafts and make them cheaper. Or even free some times. Our collections have no values right now, let us have fun.

      The Keep system should also be fixed somehow to be more f2p friendly.

      I don't want to give so many suggestions, because I don't how many devs are there to do things. But in order to survive, this game needs players and a community, and what it needs it to highlight the best part and not the worst: Right now Hex is only playing standard, some drafts with an old set. So it's running at a 20% and we have a lot of cards for basically nothing.

      This will also should engage with PS4 players. Hopefully, the challenge mode for them will come somehow and they'll be able to also experience the full history and not just a small part.

      I want to stress this again: PEOPLE RIGHT NOW ARE PLAYING ONLY A SMALL PART OF HEX: Standard. That can't be good in the long term.

      4) Hex needs money? Rethink the economy and the VIP system. Make it worthwhile and people will pay. Give us packs, tickets and more. Let's devalue the platinum! Take risks, the game is already dead, what can be worst?

      I think Havoc is a big adherent of this. In my business, the best clients are the ones who pay me every month. Hex should make the VIP something cheaper (remember, we don't trust you yet) and valuable. Now, there's a legit question: If everything in the game should be free, why people will pay for it? Well, because the VIP had to be something that didn't devalue our collections. Now our collections are worthless. Let's use the platinum as an in-game currency only. If a VIP package gives me evo tickets, draft tickets, and even boosters, I will consider paying a small monthly fee for it.

      Eventually, if the game stabilizes, the economy will also stabilize at new prices. Ok, maybe a digital expensive card shouldn't cost $20. That's ok. You're making money from us paying you monthly to just play drafts and evos.

      Finally, what we need is to start to move the wheel again. Make me want to play again, and invite my friends to download the game and just play it. Let's be casual and fun, and keep the competitive queues as we stand. Try to slowly integrate the PS4 to all of this if possible. Talk more with us, and make the game more enjoyable to us and to you. Once this is accomplished, we can start to think about Hex 2, Hex 1.5 or whatever.

      Let's think this: How many money per month does this game needs to be alive? Divide it by the amount of players that realistically can pay a monthly sum. That's your goal for now. I need that X players feels the need to pay us Z dollars per month, how can we accomplish that? Once you have that, you can start to think again on advertising, reaching to old players, etc. But first, you need to give us a sign that playing Hex is actually fun and worthwhile.

      I am scared of this quote from the letter: "With our latest patch, we have added content that should keep things up and going for over a year." If this means that for the next 365 days we wont' see any novelty in game, just shut down everything. There's no coming back for a 2-year hiatus on a digital game.

      If I'm writing this long post it's because I still think there's a solution for Hex. A solution that keeps us playing with almost no new sets for a while and makes slow steps towards normalizing the game. If I feel that in the next weeks we're in the same situation as before the letter, I will just uninstall everything and never look back again.

      And one more thing. As I've said before, I work as a digital consultant for small business. While it's not the same for a game, I'm more than willing to provide you Cory with some advicing for free if it helps to improve communication. I'm willing to sign a NDA and have a private skype chat if you will, so I can have a realistic scenario of what can and can't be done. If you feel that this could help, just reach out to me. I want to help.
      Twitter: @Plotynus
    • They said "This will not be in the near future, but it IS our goal, and we want to assure you that if and when we launch HEX 2, everyone’s collections and KS rewards will come with them to the new game. Even if we have to change the core gaming system, we will transmute your collection into its equivalent in HEX 2."That seems like their going to ditch the entire magic the gathering themed mechanics..? I really like it be sad to see us have to learn an entire new system with Hex Art.,..
      Lore Hound: Self Proclaimed Expert to Hex Lore (and right 80% of time with theories)
    • "New sets" is probably the most important thing imo.
      I have played some MTGA, but it seems the only thing I'm interested is:
      1.When a new set coming, you can play sealed/ranked draft/traditional draft on MTGA, through draft with bots.
      2.You can prictise T2 decks on it.
      3.They said there'd be more features including other formats.
      One of the biggest advantage of Hex is the trading part.
    • Taqo wrote:

      Vroengard wrote:

      I wonder if they're entertaining the notion of using crowdfunding for the revamp/relaunch/Hex 2.0.
      I'd back that! Even if it meant we would just get another 1-2 year of pve content, if say hex 2 would eventually fail too.
      Hey can someone besides me have some semblance of positivity? :s
      Lore Hound: Self Proclaimed Expert to Hex Lore (and right 80% of time with theories)
    • OzawaWanderer wrote:

      Taqo wrote:

      Vroengard wrote:

      I wonder if they're entertaining the notion of using crowdfunding for the revamp/relaunch/Hex 2.0.
      I'd back that! Even if it meant we would just get another 1-2 year of pve content, if say hex 2 would eventually fail too.
      Hey can someone besides me have some semblance of positivity? :S
      Wasn't mean't as negativity, just stating that I LOVE THIS GAME and would back it EVEN IF it would fail again, not saying it would but IF. I'm dying to play some new hex pve content.
    • OzawaWanderer wrote:

      Taqo wrote:

      Wasn't mean't as negativity, just stating that I LOVE THIS GAME and would back it EVEN IF it would fail again, not saying it would but IF.
      I hope it does com back I love Hex.
      The game is still around. And the focus should be on it, rather than a vague Hex 2 idea. There are a lot of things that can be done to make something with what we have.

      How on Earth will HXE release a new game in 2 years and have a minimum of people wanting to play after all of this? It's just unrealistic, unless a new publisher with tons of money appears. Which is also very unlikely.

      Start small, do the small things that keeps the people wanting to play, and start from there. Hex won't reinvent the wheel and throw us the best game of our lifes in Hex 2 or whatever Cory has in mind. It's not negativity, it's realism. With more money, a better brand name and a more active and healthy community, they ended up here.
      Twitter: @Plotynus
    • Plotynus wrote:

      The game is still around. And the focus should be on it, rather than a vague Hex 2 idea. There are a lot of things that can be done to make something with what we have.
      How on Earth will HXE release a new game in 2 years and have a minimum of people wanting to play after all of this? It's just unrealistic, unless a new publisher with tons of money appears. Which is also very unlikely.

      Start small, do the small things that keeps the people wanting to play, and start from there. Hex won't reinvent the wheel and throw us the best game of our lifes in Hex 2 or whatever Cory has in mind. It's not negativity, it's realism. With more money, a better brand name and a more active and healthy community, they ended up here.
      You know what I meant :s

      But anyway I'm curious what they plan on doing.
      Lore Hound: Self Proclaimed Expert to Hex Lore (and right 80% of time with theories)
    • This forum post reeks of things I suggested a long time ago, but people only cared about card value. I'm glad it only took a game being in a comatose dying state for people to change their opinion. A lot of KS features should've been VIP features, but people thought it devalued their KS'er package.

      Said hey maybe give them more loot from PVE, to help get F2P players to move to the sub. NO BUT THAT'S A KS BONUS
      Said hey maybe give them more gold from PVE, to help get F2P players to sub. NO, THAT'S A KS BONUS
      Said hey maybe give them a daily PVE card, kinda like the acorn (I suggested seedling which was 2/0 + draw to not even step on their toes). NO, THAT's A KS BONUS
      Said hey maybe give them a free draft ticket per month sub, to help get their moneys worth. NO, THAT's A KS BONUS.

      It only took people waiting for pro codes to go for around 100... glad I sold them when they where 1000USD. I mean I would have rather given them to my friends and played co-op and done drafts with them. But one thing i quickly realized with our unlimited draft code was I felt like i was stealing profits from HEX with grey market trading, after spending 750$ for the three codes and then selling my account and codes for 3000$ then all the cards for a lot around set4/5 (aka the big, yeah we're not working on PVE all that much post). I feel the code was so borked for this game, because so many things needed fixes quick like the Auction house still would need a tutorial to understand, likewise with the plat <-> gold exchange.
    • I have some concerns tbh

      1: Will Hex keep the lore or reset? I can understand resetting (and this time actually have a page for lore what's on site now doesn't even have links to the four Factions of Frost Heart.) But I can accept resetting what I can't accept is ignoring what lore they've established. Yes reset but the colors are tied to three branches of magic three 'styles' of one branch are from crystals. The races seem all over the place at times I feel Hex has completely forgotten what they've already established as canon for the races. The Necrotic are the worst of this...

      2: Will Wizard sue again for breach of settlement..? I mean they sued cuz Hex got too popular but Hex while settling out of court did manage to keep the Magic The Gathering inspired (and cooler) mechanics but I'm mildly worried Hex 2 will be forced to create an entire new tcg system...
      Lore Hound: Self Proclaimed Expert to Hex Lore (and right 80% of time with theories)
    • Whiteyzz wrote:

      This forum post reeks of things I suggested a long time ago, but people only cared about card value. I'm glad it only took a game being in a comatose dying state for people to change their opinion. A lot of KS features should've been VIP features, but people thought it devalued their KS'er package.

      Said hey maybe give them more loot from PVE, to help get F2P players to move to the sub. NO BUT THAT'S A KS BONUS
      Said hey maybe give them more gold from PVE, to help get F2P players to sub. NO, THAT'S A KS BONUS
      Said hey maybe give them a daily PVE card, kinda like the acorn (I suggested seedling which was 2/0 + draw to not even step on their toes). NO, THAT's A KS BONUS
      Said hey maybe give them a free draft ticket per month sub, to help get their moneys worth. NO, THAT's A KS BONUS.

      It only took people waiting for pro codes to go for around 100... glad I sold them when they where 1000USD. I mean I would have rather given them to my friends and played co-op and done drafts with them. But one thing i quickly realized with our unlimited draft code was I felt like i was stealing profits from HEX with grey market trading, after spending 750$ for the three codes and then selling my account and codes for 3000$ then all the cards for a lot around set4/5 (aka the big, yeah we're not working on PVE all that much post). I feel the code was so borked for this game, because so many things needed fixes quick like the Auction house still would need a tutorial to understand, likewise with the plat <-> gold exchange.
      I admit that I felt onto the "our collections have value" trap. Actually, it was one thing that drove me to Hex instead of other CCGs. That worked on a different situation, in which Hex is not since at least 18 months. The thing is that at least this should means that any new business model for Hex should try to be more generous for everyone.

      OzawaWanderer wrote:

      I have some concerns tbh

      1: Will Hex keep the lore or reset? I can understand resetting (and this time actually have a page for lore what's on site now doesn't even have links to the four Factions of Frost Heart.) But I can accept resetting what I can't accept is ignoring what lore they've established. Yes reset but the colors are tied to three branches of magic three 'styles' of one branch are from crystals. The races seem all over the place at times I feel Hex has completely forgotten what they've already established as canon for the races. The Necrotic are the worst of this...

      2: Will Wizard sue again for breach of settlement..? I mean they sued cuz Hex got too popular but Hex while settling out of court did manage to keep the Magic The Gathering inspired (and cooler) mechanics but I'm mildly worried Hex 2 will be forced to create an entire new tcg system...
      There're good reasons to keep the lore, both on the story side, and in an economic sense (you've already have most of it written, there's art out there, etc). But again, we don't even know if Hex 2 will exists. For now, it's only on Cory's mind. :)
      Twitter: @Plotynus
    • Vroengard wrote:

      I wonder if they're entertaining the notion of using crowdfunding for the revamp/relaunch/Hex 2.0.
      I can't see them getting anywhere close to what they got in the original Kickstarter. I've already laid out in the other thread what I personally would need them to do in order for me to be comfortable giving them money for a new product.

      However they do still have a functional product and the fact that none of our collections have any real value at this point may be oddly freeing for them in a way as far as monetizing stuff goes. They're willing to bring back all the old sets now for instance. If they did a VIP sub that got you unlimited drafts (even just phantom drafts) and allowed you to select all the previous draft formats I'd probably pay $5-8 a month and be playing 2-2-1 drafts non-stop.

      I don't think cards having value was a trap. A lot of the people who put money into the Kickstarter probably wouldn't have done so if it hadn't looked like a potentially great value. Now that that ship has sailed though, there's no reason for HXE not to embrace it.
    • I wish people would stop trying to shift the blame from the developers to the people who wanted their purchased cards in a TCG to hold value.

      People wanting their cards to retain value were NOT the problem. The problem was HOW the developers approached that goal. Stop with the victim blaming.
    • Let's be realistic.

      The Esports Tournament thing was way too dang soon and hurt hex a lot... (imo I donno if it was actually a factor)

      Not talking to us was a horrible idea.

      Wizard of Cost is kind of a mixed situation in an odd way it's a bit of a shock that WoTC of all things would CARE to sue somebody so in a way Hex kinda has badassery points for at least getting big enough for Wiz to do that... But realistically it was terrible and god knows how much was forced to spend on Wiz to shut up about it...

      I donno if it's a factor but The Campaign is a mess... A lot of the lore was kinda ignored and every quest led same place which is fine there is a plot but...

      A lot of lore is completely missing... Why have authors spend hours writing and discussing stuff if there are no links to recent lore posts? You have to dig through every news article to check what talked about lore...
      Lore Hound: Self Proclaimed Expert to Hex Lore (and right 80% of time with theories)
    • Plotynus wrote:

      Whiteyzz wrote:

      This forum post reeks of things I suggested a long time ago, but people only cared about card value. I'm glad it only took a game being in a comatose dying state for people to change their opinion. A lot of KS features should've been VIP features, but people thought it devalued their KS'er package.

      Said hey maybe give them more loot from PVE, to help get F2P players to move to the sub. NO BUT THAT'S A KS BONUS
      Said hey maybe give them more gold from PVE, to help get F2P players to sub. NO, THAT'S A KS BONUS
      Said hey maybe give them a daily PVE card, kinda like the acorn (I suggested seedling which was 2/0 + draw to not even step on their toes). NO, THAT's A KS BONUS
      Said hey maybe give them a free draft ticket per month sub, to help get their moneys worth. NO, THAT's A KS BONUS.

      It only took people waiting for pro codes to go for around 100... glad I sold them when they where 1000USD. I mean I would have rather given them to my friends and played co-op and done drafts with them. But one thing i quickly realized with our unlimited draft code was I felt like i was stealing profits from HEX with grey market trading, after spending 750$ for the three codes and then selling my account and codes for 3000$ then all the cards for a lot around set4/5 (aka the big, yeah we're not working on PVE all that much post). I feel the code was so borked for this game, because so many things needed fixes quick like the Auction house still would need a tutorial to understand, likewise with the plat <-> gold exchange.
      I admit that I felt onto the "our collections have value" trap. Actually, it was one thing that drove me to Hex instead of other CCGs. That worked on a different situation, in which Hex is not since at least 18 months. The thing is that at least this should means that any new business model for Hex should try to be more generous for everyone.
      I feel the issue is you get hit so hard with the collection has no value, when the game dies. I feel TCG's digital ones have to find a way to profit off not the boosters/cards but give benefits to those who subscribe, and give cosmetics. IMO I feel the best way to do a TCG is...

      Make boosters/cards only use gold, the currency people use in game.

      Have the Ranked PVP dictate the Gold Per Match on average. Make it so the tiers give you more GPM.
      The higher tier you are the higher GPM you get, the lower tier get lower GPM, but put a cap per day and make it so it's essentially when you complete it for the day, you just get an average per minute played. So good players get rewarded with quickly completing their daily (but have to play well to keep their rank). (Let's say max rank players have to play 5 matches, and lowest rank would have to do 10 matches)

      Have PVE work on rewards system, give less rewards, less gold per minute on average but getting rare equips/pve cards give greater return in gold if they're valuable.

      Add a platinum <-> gold exchange ala Guild Wars 2 and other f2p games.

      Have the AH use the Gold/Plat and stay as is.

      Make the platinum shop, the subscription bonus and cosmetics.

      Give a very low chance for any card made to be full art, otherwise you have to pay platinum to full art a card (instead of gold)

      Make play board and decks leeves platinum only and more expensive, again cosmetics like Path of exile but no one complains since they don't give you an advantage. Heck even make the league of legends epic or dota epic skins kinda deal where you spend lets say 40$ and you get a play mat/card sleeves that come with a bunch of special effects. Ah but here is the catcher have buffs on them, so they're more of a deal to the player

      Have Card sleeves give 10% more exp (global account and character)
      Have Boards give 10% more gold

      It's doesn't break balance and makes people want to spend money on it.

      Then with the more expensive epic skin ones when combined together give 15% each. Also having cool effects for your side of the field, lets say there is a plant deck I'm making and there is a garden themed decksleeve/decks. With custom effects now on the field like having a plant vine pull cards from my deck into my hand or move them onto the field. Have my plant cards in a little playful planter under them... push them to go oh this was worth my 40-50$

      Have subscription give a lot of the KS features
      weekly draft for free
      bonus gold/exp
      bonus loot
      guild/party leader bonus.
      Acorn a day (Have a sub have to login daily for this, KS backers automatically get one)

      You might go that devalues your account. No you have an account the longer that exists acts like a 12$ subscription for FREE, anyone who didn't KS. You will never have to Sub for those bonuses. Just make everyone who KS 250+ get it (since party/guild is just acting like pro player now with free weekly drafts). I feel the issues of party leader bonus, might have to be changed from it's base concept to not be as broken. Heck make it so if these player sub they get 2x bonus if they do both and (making their account have TRIPLE value, if they're a constant spender)

      Another cool concept could be just like PoE, make it so people have card storage per-say. Allow the players to essentially hold onto a play set of 4 cards/1 equipment, but once you go over that limit. You get a bank storage that stores extra equipment, and have it so cards only leave the inventory slot when sold. AKA people who have low storage might want to just sell the cards right away for a lower price, and players with more space might be fine with holding onto more and waiting on people to buyout. Have people start with something like a 25/25 slots (25 extra equipment/25 extra cards. Have any card from a booster get mailed to you once you have space, loot from dungeons/pve can be switched out with current equipment). Again this is for anything above a play set of cards.

      Honestly I feel like you look at the good F2P Cash shops and translate it into card games for TCG. Especialy for TCG's you have to make it so the cards aren't the dosh maker because it will just turn off every f2p player.

      Not saying this is perfect but we needed something to help keep f2p players stay. A playing player is a possible spender.

      The only other successful TCG's essentially is Wizard 101 which is big player base + sub, and MTGO which has the name of MTG behind it.