Pathfinder Adventure Card Game is free-to-play. How is that shaping up?

06 Apr 2016 7

If the world was fair, we'd all be playing Pathfinder Adventure Card Game on our iPads and I'd be able to charge my kids rent. Neither of those things are happening, which reaffims the fact that life, often, sucks. As you're probably aware, we were supposed to have PACG on our tablets over a week ago, but Obsidian jumped in at the last minute and pushed the release back to late April. Still, I can't stop thinking about it and a tip from an equally curious reader pointed me to the Obsidian forums where things are real. 

Apparently, Obsidian doesn't care what the closed beta testers chat about on the forums, leading to some interesting insights into what we can expect on April 26. The biggest question concerns the cost of everything. At this point we knew it was free-to-play, with the three introductory adventures and two characters coming gratis. The other adventures and characters would cost dough, either real or imaginary but we weren't sure if grinding would be a reality. Beta tester Borissimo has a lengthy post in which he quotes the costs of future packs as well as characters:

Adventures and characters are bought with gold. When you download the game, you get Perils of the Lost Coast, Merisiel, Kyra, and 0 gold. Gold is earned as follows:

  • Beating scenarios:
    • Normal: 100
    • Heroic: 200
    • Legendary: 300
  • Within scenarios:
    • Kill a monster: 1 gold
    • Kill a henchman: 2 gold
    • Close a location: 6 gold
  • Adventures and extra characters can be bought with gold:
    • Base set characters (Valeros, Lem, Harsk, Ezren, Seoni): 2000 gold each
    • Deck C characters (Amiri, Lini, Sajan, Seelah): 4000 gold each
  • AD1 (Burnt Offerings): 750 gold
  • AD2-6: 4000 gold each

From these numbers it seems that there will be much grinding to get both all the new characters as well as the first adventure path, Rise of the Runelords. True. If you prefer to spend cash, you can unlock the entire adventure path and all characters by purchasing the season pass for $25.

If you don't want to pay, you'll have to play through those free scenarios over and over to unlock the new material. Or will you? Tester LunarWolf mentions something I wasn't aware of: random scenarios.

It might also be important to mention that you don't need to replay the same scenarios in order to earn gold- you can also play the quest mode, which generates random scenarios and is worth more gold the higher difficulty you play on.

Ok, now I want the game even more. Not because I can play and get it for free (I plan on buying the season pass on day 1), but knowing I can setup random scenarios after I've completed Rise of the Runelords and am patiently waiting for Skull & Shackles to arrive means there will always be something to do.

Of course, this is all from the mouths of testers and not developers (except the pricing on the season pass), so things could change by the time we get it in our hands. Still, talking about digital PACG makes me happy, so expect more of it in the weeks to come.

 

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