Hex TCG: The Eulogy

    • Hex TCG: The Eulogy

      At one point, this was my favorite online TCG. I'm by no means a whale, I actually didn't have a lot to spend every month on video games, less in the past than right now, but I still managed to spend a fair amount of my monthly gaming budget on packs and a few tournaments. PVP wasn't exactly my favorite game mode, no what made me love this game was looking forward to new pve maps and using cards in a grand adventure, something no other card game has bothered to try as of yet. I joined just before the Alachian sea release and was fully on board the hype train, greatly enjoying adding pve cards to my collection and getting my ass whomped by the Heart of the Phoenix. Unfortunately this game also decided to focus more and more on PVP rather than pve and my grand deckbuilding RPG adventure never got past chapter 2.

      I never felt that this game was particularly unfair to me as a near F2P player, while I might not have dominated the PVP charts with a high value vampire deck or anything I felt I could excel with the PVE cards in Frostring Arena. I went from fearing the mode to conquering it to farming it. It really felt like an accomplishment the first time you beat it even if the later patches introduced some overpowered jank that I'll get to in a little bit. I did like the fact that I could farm and grind my way into buying certain cards to fill holes in my collection if I needed to, although I now wish that I had been able to do that in a more direct way.

      This game should truly be remembered for how it tried something no other card game seems to wants to attempt, an honest to god storyline that arcs from set to set and ties into the pve mode. This game went deep into the worldbuilding and lore and took great pains to flush out its world and its races and factions and drew you in by making you play through bits of the war in the campaign storyline. At least, that's how I'm going to remember it, thank you.

      I'm going to end this post with a list of things I think this game did well and things it suffered at, maybe in the vain hopes it could help in the making of the sequel.

      --The Good.
      -The art.
      The art in this game Is gorgeous and every piece fits both the card and the setting incredibly well. I loved how the art in this game gave a little bit of everything, a little bit of silly in Hawkturn, a little bit of sexy cheesecake like in Spellsong Sweeties, a little bit of drama in Wrath of Brosi, and a bit of atmosphere like in Insidious Exchange. I hope in the future they'll continue with this kind of art direction if a sequel ever comes, and its my sincere hope that after the dust has settled we'll be able to find a high res pack of all the card arts.
      -making use of the medium
      The way this game actually took cards and made them take advantage of the fact they were digital was amazing. the way Enders pulsated and glowed gave me shivers first time I saw it. I still get a little endorphin rush every time I see my AAA Matriarch of Flames light up. I think you guys touched on something with a whole hell of a lot of design space here guys.
      -Sockets and Equipments
      Being able to customize your cards to fit your playstyle was excellent. being able to tag on new abilities based on equipment slots for PVE opened up how you played the game
      -extended arts
      There should have been more extended arts. Dust should have been more common, there should have been dust that you could get that could unlock special card boarders. The way you could personalize cards you REALLY liked really gave a personal touch to your collection. To this day I marvel at some of the card arts that I used dust on and having a full deck of extended art cards really showed that you really REALLY cared for that deck.

      --The Bad.
      -FRA and sometimes outside of it was often balanced around endgame players
      Which is great, I get a challenge sure but when you do like you did with the last FRA update, you absolutely CRUSH the little guy. the new player. The friend I was trying to get into the game who got effin curbstomped by Dooombring Kha to the point of abject frustration. If in the future you do a mode like this I hope when you add new bosses to it you add them as a 'next level to the tower' kind of thing so new players don't have to climb two mountains to join me in the peaks.
      -Seige was kinda weird and was never adequately explained
      I never touched this game mode. Actually that's a lie. I started it up, was given two options, "attack and defend" I pick attack and am met with insanely huge gold costs to attack that tell me to go kick gravel. Ok. I choose defend. It tells me to pick decks for defending. I pick 3 of my best. alright lets do this! I hit defend. Nothing happens. I click it again. Nothing happens again. I poke around in the UI to see whats going on. Apparently the game mode works because there were people under "attack" but nope it didn't work. Oh well. F it. I back out and never touch it again.
      -never got the card leveling up system and card stat system
      I remember when cards were supposed to have stats and basically an achievement system to unlock new abilities. This would have been amazing and I'm sad we never got it.
      -Dupes
      Take ALL my dupes and throw them right into the dumpster big daddy. especially equipment dupes.
      -Equipment
      Having the opportunity to change your cards with equipment was great How I ended up obtaining most of them was definitely NOT great and not an experience I would wish on my hated enemy in a blood duel over food. Whats that? You need boots for a card? can you get it from a chest? Not in the 2 spins you can afford? oh then I guess you better buy packs. Oh they don't sell that pack anymore I guess you better buy the equip from the auction house. Whats that no one is selling the equip at 7pm on a friday? Lol enjoy buying the packs chest off the AH in bulk and wasting gold pulling for it! I guess you're boned, bozo!
      -Wheel of Kismet
      I love the goddes but for the love of god no more opening a pack of cards to get a random chest that offers a random draw at a random loot pool that may or may not have the equipement you need for your deck. I love that the game had an in game way to get AA but I kinda also wish the pve cards were kept pve thank you.


      --Things that aren't good or bad but just are
      -Random packs
      Sure, this is a staple of card games, a hallmark, a bit of gambling that I've enjoyed since I was cracking my first Urza's saga packs in M:TG back in the day, but seeing as we just went through a period of every game having random lootboxes, every mobile game being a gacha game that offers you the chance to pay thousands of dollars for a jpg of your waifu, and now a certain costal wizard selling bootleg Walking Dead cards and fake not real lotuses of a darker pigment out of the trunk of his '78 station wagon I can't help but feel this kind of monetization is a bit pay to win. Even the League of Legends guys are like "Card games are pay to win" and they're owned by Tencent! I tend to feel like a living card game system like ffg's netrunner would probably fit Hex a lot better, seeing as you can have smaller sets with more of a focus on storytelling which is something you guys relish doing with your card sets.
    • Agreed fully about the focus: You need to lean heavily on PvE or PvP, but you can't straddle back and forth and expect to find success. HEX should learn from Night of the Full Moon and invest entirely in to singleplayer, or go the way of Magic and go entirely in to multiplayer. If they do choose to focus on the PvE side of things, they should rethink the lootbox ideas. The game I mentioned there, Night of the Full Moon, has had great success just straight up selling content. Here's a new class, it costs "x". Here's a new mode, it costs "y". Their community effectively drops money without question every time they launch content, because they know what to expect.

      One other thing I did want to congratulate HEX on is its lore, especially the earlier stuff. The factions in particular seemed so very unique from any other setting I can remember, especially the evil factions. I would've happily dropped $20 for a new pair of factions to play with and learn about. I would've dropped $20 to buy more story chapters. I would've dropped $20 on so many things, but HEX just never bothered selling anything to me.

      That's something I hope they fix if and when they do a HEX 2.
      Never shift in to reverse without a backup plan.
    • I appreciate you sharing your thoughts, but I have to say as far as PvE goes, the campaign was in its infancy - the "end game" we saw for PvE was the early game we just don't have the rest of the grind yet and no actual end game content. FRA was better IMO too when you could fine tune any deck concept and clear it perfect every time, but for all we know the rewards in later campaign would allow us to again trivialize the arena. There was also plans to add equipment to every card, some powerful cards see arena play even now that have no equips, even making them marginally more viable than they are would make clearing it easier, not to mention cards that have transformative equipment could introduce all new deck types and more playstyles :) As it stands you're completely correct, just noting the incompleteness of what they had in mind making PvE.

      Also no need to separate single player (PVE) and multiplayer, 2-4 player raids would have been so fun.
    • SaintVicarious wrote:

      I would've happily dropped $20 for a new pair of factions to play with and learn about. I would've dropped $20 to buy more story chapters. I would've dropped $20 on so many things, but HEX just never bothered selling anything to me.
      That's something I hope they fix if and when they do a HEX 2.

      I agree. I feel this game had a lot of untapped potential in selling customization options. Like sell me custom frames, custom battle boards, let me use my pve character as an avatar and let me customize them and use them as an avatar in multiplayer games and sell me costumes for them. One thing I think they could have done more of is run some pve events, like how mobile games run events for a week. Just give me a 5 node small pve map I can run and grind for 2 weeks that gives me a bit more story and background about the world and characters. you can set that up so they rotate and rerun and have plenty of time in between developing chapters.

      I once suggested and would have loved to have different faction themed card frames, given the medium there was so many ways you could have customized and mutated the cards. Why not big fat round cards? or hexagon?

      Artifaction wrote:

      but for all we know the rewards in later campaign would allow us to again trivialize the arena.
      There already were pve rewards that let you trivialize FRA *cough*terrormill*cough*egghunt*cough* the problem was that when FRA was updated, the new content was mixed in with the old at the same levels which made FRA kind of a mess. Those of us who had already been farming FRA already had resources from FRA and could hold our own against the new bosses, but newer players or players who skipped FRA before the update faced a stronger FRA that paid out less of the materials they would need to conquer the new FRA, not to mention that some cards used to make just beating it an obtainable goal were seasonal event cards and some event cards were only run once in a gencon event 4 years ago and never reran or were reprinted. Not that I'm super pissed about not getting those rare gencon elemental cards or anything.

      Artifaction wrote:

      There was also plans to add equipment to every card, some powerful cards see arena play even now that have no equips, even making them marginally more viable than they are would make clearing it easier, not to mention cards that have transformative equipment could introduce all new deck types and more playstyles As it stands you're completely correct, just noting the incompleteness of what they had in mind making PvE.
      This is one of the things that makes me sad about this game, Originally every card was to have equipment, every card was to have statistics and achievements, but its hard to track that when the player has 38 copies of burn and its hard to give every card a piece of equipment when there's 250~ish cards every 3 months. and its also really hard to do any tracking when the cards get traded in the auction house. I think these ideas would work better in a hearthstone like game where you get 3 copies of a card and dust everything else or a LCG netrunner type game where you pay 20 bucks and get a smaller set focusing on your faction and get all the cards you need for a playset in that pack.