Why am I
talking about this? A digital version came out, and it's of a place near to my
hard cold heart. So I gave it a download.
really going to give myself any accolades. I did well in school, did
exceptionally well on standardized tests. I'm a published writer. I've done
computer programming, I can play guitar, I graduated college with a bachelor of
Arts in Art. I'm a smart enough man to pay attention to smarter people and see
what they are doing. I've been playing games for too many decades.
I spent over
an hour playing the tutorial on how to play this game and couldn't figure it
out. Then I googled for answers and couldn't figure it out. Finally, after
watching a 90 minute introductory video, I understood the basic mechanics
enough to play.
Keep in mind,
the basic mechanics are the card game war.
people who don't like me (of whom their are more than a few) are out their
snickering. For them, this is my favorite example of someone providing a helpful tutorial
about the game.
The faq has
over 100 questions and and is 18,000 words in length.
through all that, played the rise of the runelords basic adventure, and around
40 hours of quest play in the digital game. I'm currently getting level 1
cards, and in another 20-30 hours I can finally reach the level 2 cards in the
quest mode. There are 6 levels of cards.
You have an idea,
now. Let's talk about specifics.
There is a 30
card deck used as a timer. Each time a character takes a turn, one of these
cards is discarded.
There are two
10 card stacks +1 per character. If you run one character you have three sites made of 10
card stacks to explore. Thirty cards. If you have 4 characters, you have six 10 card stacks to
explore. Sixty cards. If you have 6 characters, you have eight 10 card stacks to explore. Eighty cards.
You have the
same 30 card timer. With six players, after everyone takes one turn, you'll
only have 24 cards left on the timer.
Yes, the game
varies wildly in difficulty with the number of players. It also matters what
class they are, because the optional classes are of course more powerful
than the base classes. The sorcerer is clearly superior to the wizard in play.
When you flip
a card, there's a difficulty number on it. You roll dice depending on the base
stats of your character and what cards you want to spend from hand to
A dagger has
a difficulty of 4, and you roll your strength or melee. 1d4 for the wizard,
1d10+2 for the fighter. A bunyip has a difficulty of 9 combat. Roll your combat
dice + your weapon or spell to beat the bunyip! Your reward? Your turn is over.
If you lose, you have to discard. Once all your cards are gone, you are dead.
closed when you beat the mini-boss and then succeed at a roll. If you find the
main boss, they will run away if their are any open stacks and they lose. They
also reduce your turn count by the remaining number of open stacks.
The game is
highly, highly, luck dependent. One could say very random.
See the lines of composition?
The strong curves that lead you back into the art?
you're a fan of Wayne Reynolds. Or maybe you really, really, like buckles and
pouches. There isn't anything wrong with either of those things. And perhaps it
works well for the tabletop version of the card game.
But one thing
about the work of Wayne Reynolds is that he's very focused on composition. Each
of his artworks have strong lines of motion that move throughout the picture.
happens with a compositionally busy piece of art that is covered with no less than six
overlays, with art either by Wayne Reynolds or inspired by his style?
looks like a hot mess is what.
The game just
isn't very good. It's not bad. It's a lot like solitaire.
Can you play
solitaire with 4 other people? Welllll, yes? You can?
Have you ever
played solitaire? Are you counting down the minutes until you can again?
Wait, what if
it cost 60$ for just the base solitaire box! And what if you could only really
play that game of solitaire six times before needing to buy a new deck for 60$?
It has the
same problems as all cooperative games. If the game lacks a random factor, then
no one is really taking their own turn. You all work together to find the best
move. If the game has a random factor, then success or failure is heavily
dependent on luck. You can't win every game of solitaire.
So why did I
play so many hours? Well, it's effectively the card game war with a
pseudo-renaissance fantasy skin, which, as we already know, is near and dear to
my hard, cold, heart. And the digital version only costs 24$, as opposed to the
60$ the boxed set will run you. And it has quest mode, which randomly generates
adventures from the available cards. So
if you often find yourself with a lot of time to kill, it is an enjoyable
albeit pricey game of solitaire. It tracks your progress, gives you nice shiny
things when you win, and you could grind out the in game purchases for free. Also, it automatically takes care of the management of thousands of cards for you, without having to try to fit it all in a box.
are all around level 15 in quest mode. It should only take me another 20 or so
hours to get them all up to level 20, at which point I can access the level 2
hold my breath on that happening anytime in the near future.
Postscript: Xaos, a reader wrote in and asked if I'm ok. Yes. I'm doing fine. Things were and are in fact up, and they did affect my productivity. So did finishing Perdition. I didn't go anywhere. You'll see more of me in the future. I'm lucky to have the readers I do. (Points blatantly at flashing Patreon link). Also: if you're reading this in a feed, the site has been redesigned for the current decade.