Posts Tagged: CCGs

To Northrend! : Blizzard announces new Hearthstone expansion

Clad in the purest shimmering samite.

Clad in the purest shimmering samite.

The last big expansion for Hearthstone was Goblins vs. Gnomes, released last December. Since then there’s been Hearthstone news with the Blackrock Mountain solo expansion as well as the introduction of Tavern Brawl mode. Today, Blizzard announced a new big expansion for Hearthstone called The Grand Tournament and it’s coming this August.

The Grand Tournament will offer over 130 new cards including new murlocs, dragons, pirates, and ogres. Of course, there will be more spells and other characters as well, but it’s good to see some of these card types getting a little more love. Unlike any previous expansion, this one is brining in a new keyword: Inspire. The Inspire trait on a card will trigger if you use your hero power while that card is in play.

Like GvG, cards from The Grand Tournament will appear in Arena mode even if you haven’t purchased any of the cards yourself, and you’ll be able to choose between Tournament, GvG, or classic cards as your Arena rewards. For the first time, Blizzard is also offering the chance to pre-order cards for a discount. Starting next week you can pick up packs of 50 cards for $50.

Check out the Grand Tournament trailer after the break, but be ready for the usual Blizzard trailer silliness.

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Red mana at dawn: Magic Duels arrives on iOS

Wait, is this the new one or last years? Or 2013's?

Wait, is this the new one or last years? Or 2013’s?

Tradition has it that Wednesday is the night when the big releases get together and storm the App Store at midnight. Wizards of the Coast doesn’t believe in tradition, apparently, releasing the new Magic: The Gathering app for iOS Universal this morning. It’s called Magic Duels and, from the little I’ve played so far, doesn’t feel much different than the previous versions of Magic on the iPad. It still has that pseudo-3D, tabletop look which makes the cards pretty damn hard to see and requires a lot of zooming if you’re not super familiar with Magic. Also included are the timers between phases which makes the game seem to crawl. That said, it’s Magic: The Gathering on my iPad, so complaining about it makes me seem like an ungrateful jerk.

The campaigns in Duels involve telling the stories of five Planeswalkers, doing battle and earning cards along the way. There is also a Battle Mode which lets you take on your friends or AI with crafted decks. Wizards is promising continual updates with new cards and other content, but the game already ships with a ton to do. There are quests and achievements to hunt down as well as different play modes, such as Two-headed Giant.

One thing that might come as a surprise are the requirements for this one. It will only run on an iPad Air or later, and if you want to play on a phone you’d better have at least a 5S. I will say that it’s sluggish on my iPad Air, with animations occasionally stuttering, so it was probably a good call.

Obligatory deep-voiced trailer after the break.

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Scroll down: Mojang puts an end to Scrolls

Does this give anyone else the urge to go play Heroes of Might and Magic?

Does this give anyone else the urge to go play Heroes of Might and Magic?

When you have created one of the seminal video games of all time, I think you’re allowed to have a couple misses. Thus it goes with Minecraft developer, Mojang, who announced this week that their foray into CCGs, Scrolls, is being put down. No new content will be developed for the game and the game servers will remain open until at least July 1, 2016. Any money the game makes between now and then will go towards keeping the servers up longer.

I only played Scrolls a couple times on PC, and it was a pretty good game combining CCG elements with more tactical, board game style play. The only thing holding me back from playing more was the expectation of an iOS version, a version that is almost certainly not going to happen now.

Still, you can pick up Scrolls on your Android device for free if you want to give it a try. Check out the trailer after the break to see what’s going away.

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Mind your elders: Bethesda entering CCG wars with Elder Scrolls Legends

Not pictured: a card game

Not pictured: a card game

Along with yesterday’s surprise reveal of Fallout Shelter for iOS, Bethesda Softworks also announced a forthcoming customizable card game set in the world of Tamriel, otherwise known as that place you run around in the Elder Scrolls games. The game is called Elder Scrolls Legends, and thus ends everything we know about it.

Seriously, the title is really the only thing they gave us. Oh, and that it will be coming to iPad and PC. I’m assuming it will be a lot like every other CCG, particularly Hearthstone which kind of rules that roost in the digital realm right now. Actually, if the trailer is any indication, it will be a Hearthstone clone; it bears a striking resemblance to the Hearthstone trailers, albeit with a more dour voiceover.

Legends should be out sometime in 2015, and we’ll pass along information as it rolls in. After the break enjoy the Hearthstone Legends teaser trailer.

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Time for a little blood: Hearthstone introduces tavern brawl mode

There's either a brawl going on in that tavern, or it's the Azeroth remake of Caligula.

There’s either a brawl going on in that tavern, or it’s the Azeroth remake of Caligula.

There’s a major Hearthstone patch on the horizon, which is normally pretty exciting news. This time, not so much. We’re not getting any new cards or cool solo adventures to go through, instead there’s a bunch of cosmetic changes coming as well as a new play mode. Now, I am kind of excited about the new mode–more on that in a minute–but I think we’ve already covered how the cosmetic changes seem like a complete and utter rip off. Of course, I’m talking about the new heroes, which are merely a new skin over the existing heroes with new animations and dialog, that are being sold for a staggering $10 each. There are some other cosmetic additions coming as well, such as the ability to customize your decks with different card backs, rather than having all your decks use the same one. In a shocking move, it sounds like that ability might come gratis. I’ll believe it when I see it.

So, that leaves the one interesting aspect of patch 2.7: Tavern Brawl mode. This is a new play mode which will pit you against another player, but there will be different rules in play than a regular match. You may have to use preset decks, or construct a deck using a certain number of Murlocs, or offering buffs to certain card types, etc. It sounds like the brawl rules will change on a weekly basis, and you will win a free card pack when you win your first brawl. Unlike Arena Mode, Blizzard has confirmed that Tavern Mode is free to enter.

In usual Blizzard fashion they haven’t given us a concrete date on when the expansion will go live, but they have said that Tavern Brawls will start in mid-June, so I would expect this to drop next Monday or Tuesday.

Wish I could say there’s a trailer after the break, but there’s not. Actually, considering how goofy and pointless most of the Hearthstone trailers have been, I don’t think we’re missing much.

Mind if I roll need?: Hearthstone finally proves that Blizzard hates you

Seems fair.

Seems fair

When I picture what Blizzard HQ must look like, the first image that enters my mind is Scrooge McDuck cannonballing into a monstrous pile of gold coins. I must be wrong, however, because their latest announcement makes it seem like they’re desperate for cash. It’s like they need to come up with that gambling money now, or Tommy’s going to show up and break their legs.

Yesterday, Blizzard announced a new add-on for Hearthstone: new heroes! Before you get too excited though, realize that what they’re selling is a cosmetic-only reskin of the existing heroes. You’ll get a new animated portrait, new animations for the character power, and new dialog options, none of which alter gameplay in any way whatsoever.

I’m not going to lie, they do look pretty cool, and I’m guessing that the hardcore–and not so hardcore–will gobble these up. I haven’t mentioned the cost yet, however. Blizzard is expecting you to shill out $10. That’s not for all nine heroes, that’s per hero. So, if you’re a completist, it’s time to break into the kid’s college fund. Don’t feel bad, Timmy, daddy can now say “Good Game” with a different accent!

No word on when these will hit the streets, and so far we’ve only been introduced to the Warrior replacement, Magni Bronzebeard. The big question now, will you buy any of these?

Hearthstone is free to download for iOS, Android, and Kindle. See Magni’s introduction video after the break.

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Stone on the go: Hearthstone arrives for iPhone

Not different enough to make me a better player, apparently.

Not different enough to make me a better player, apparently.

Love it or loathe it, there’s no denying that Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is hugely popular. Today’s announcement from Blizzard Entertainment isn’t going to hurt that popularity at all. Blizzard released Hearthstone on iPad almost exactly one year ago and it didn’t make Android tablets until December, but today the game has opened up and can be played on both iPhone and Android phones.

The game has been given a facelift for the smaller screen, but otherwise it’s the full game that you’ve come to love (or hate). The major difference that I can see during play are that your cards are kept off to the side during play instead of being enlarged in the center of the screen like on the iPad. All you have to do it touch your hand to bring it to the center, however, so it’s not a major change. The only other difference I’ve noticed so far is the main menu, which is in a different configuration than the iPad or PC version.

The rollout of the update may take a while, so if it’s not showing up in your App Store yet, keep trying. That said, you should be able to snag it here for iPhone and here for Android devices.

Uncharacteristically, Blizzard hasn’t posted a corny video for this announcement yet, so we’ll post the corny trailer for the Blackrock Mountain expansion that launched nearly two weeks ago instead. Look for it after the break.

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A new gathering: Magic starts over with Duels: Origins

Kytheon? So, no one in the multiverse is just named "Bob" I'm guessing.

Kytheon? So, no one in the multiverse is just named “Bob” I’m guessing.

In the physical world, no CCG tops Magic: The Gathering. It was the first CCG and has crushed its competition to stand alone as a juggernaut among hobby gamers. In the digital realm, specifically on mobile devices, Magic has been less successful. For each of the last few years, Wizards has released an annual version of Magic for iPad called Duels of the Planeswalkers that offered a less-than-perfect Magic experience. Prior to last year’s version, the deck building was extremely limited and some year’s apps have been plagued with crashes and other bugs. Starting this year, Wizards is dropping the Duels of the Planeswalkers title and replacing it with Magic Duels: Origins.

This new version will launch with the cards from the upcoming Origins set, and will include the first-ever playable Planeswalker card. Also coming are an improved deck builder with a step-by-step deck construction guide, solo play vs. multiple AI opponents, new multiplayer options including Two-headed Giant mode, and a quest system with new challenges each week. Also changing is the annual nature of Magic. Instead of a new app released each summer, this app will remain and be updated and expanded via downloadable content.

Magic Duels: Origins will be, like its predecessors, free-to-play. Wizards is claiming that everything in the game is earnable, so you shouldn’t have to drop a dime into the game unless you want to speed things up. How much grinding that will entail remains to be seen.

Expect Magic Duels: Origins on you iPad this July. Trailer after the break.

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