Collectible card games have been around for a long time. From time-honoured classics like Magic the Gathering, the Yugi-Oh is my childhood, or a more recent and accessible game like Hearthstone or Duelyst, this particular genre has no shortage of variants. Games are (relatively) short, allowing for a quick break, and the player is in complete control – you and only you control your cards.
However, one of the most notable problems with the CCG world is the advantage “awarded” to the game’s veterans. Even in the more accessible titles like Hearthstone (going to pick on it because it’s the only one I played), there still exists this barrier. Quite simply, a player that has played for longer will have greater progress, therefore a greater quantity of cards and therefore a deck that is most likely to be stronger than the player who has played for less time. At least Hearthstone can claim it is semi-Free to Play, with a free pack per week and quests that can award a pack every 2 or so days, sometimes shorter.
Another shock came to me just in the sheer price of some cards, a fact that I just wasn’t exposed to in Hearthstone. For example, a few weeks ago, I accompanied a friend to a local Wal-Mart to pick up some stuff. We stopped in the games and toys section and he picked out a pre-made Pokemon CCG deck. This deck alone was $20, but what of other CCGs? The most expensive card I could find? (there may be more expensive ones out there)
Image and price from ABUGames
Just a mere $12 000. Probably USD as well ($15 000 CAD). Yikes.
Those two reasons were some of the things that pushed me when I was developing a side project, Servants and Spells. Personally, I have a friend who plays Hearthstone, but very sporadically, as he has always played casually. As a result, his card collection in game is pretty lacking. Myself, having played for about 2 years consistently and then another 2 on-and-off, my card collection is quite a bit better. But what happens when a new expansion is released, or another expansion rotated out?
With Servants and Spells, this problem doesn’t exist. There is always a fixed deck of cards to draft from (as of this writing, 36 cards) that each player will have access to. No more worrying about needing to pay for the new expansions, or not having enough cards, everything is in that one deck. There may be a little disadvantage if one player knows the cards well, but hey, that’s just the nature of games. Sometimes, it’s all skill.