Everything you need to join the DDO the Card Game beta was published yesterday. But that is all about how, there was no time to talk about what you can expect, so let’s do that now.
#1 You can expect to lose
The game is cooperative; it is all of the players working together against the game itself. The game has to be a fearsome opponent or winning won’t be as much fun. I don’t want the game to be so fearsome that no one ever wins, that is too far in the other direction. Personally, I think winning is more fun than losing, so I’d like people who play my game to win more than they lose.
But lose they will. And like all things that are random, some results will come in clusters. Meaning that if you play long enough, you will encounter a streak where you lose a lot in a row. If you are unlucky, you might encounter that streak right away.
I hope not. Losing is not as fun. But it is going to happen, so expect it, and don’t fret overly when it occurs.
Looking at that last sentence, I wonder if I would have ever used the word “fret” before moving to the South? But I digress.
#2 You will lose Quests too, and have to run away a lot, especially in the beginning
Heroes grow in power along a predictable path: the longer the game goes, the more powerful the Heroes become. From lesser to greater. It is supposed to work that way.
Monsters, on the other hand, and also Quests, do not follow that path. There are easy Monsters and there are hard Monsters and they are all randomly jumbled together. You might get the hardest Monster on the very first Quest. Or the hardest quest boss. Or some other equally deadly combination, long before you are ready to deal with such things.
Expect to lose Quests. Expect that there will be times when you will look at the Quest boss and decide to not even try. It is normal.
If it happens too often in the same game, you won’t have gotten enough Loot to be able to stand against the Raid, and will lose. See point #1.
But the point is to not give up/be discouraged/fret if your position starts out slowly. Sometimes very slowly.
#3 There is power in teamwork
Many of the abilities that your Heroes will acquire are powerful all by themselves, but others are best in combination with other Heroes. You should see your Heroes being able to build combos to deal with Monsters that would otherwise be too tough; times when one Hero taps the monster to protect another Hero, or when everyone does a little damage that adds up to enough, or when one Hero draws Monster Focus so another can use a special ability, or other times when teamwork enhances Hero power.
Even when soloing you should see this in the Raid (if you have more than one Hero).
#4 There should not be one obvious, optimal strategy
This one scares me because I wonder if there in fact is one way to play that, once identified, is so clearly superior to other methods that every other strategy becomes obsolete. I hope not, that ruins games, but part of the point of the Beta is to find out.
The biggest strategic decision is in how many Heroes a player may use.
If you use one, you can put all of your loot on that one guy, building her up into a near-unbeatable superhero. And you will have less opponents when you reach the Raid.
If you use more than one you get the team work advantages discussed in point #3, and in multi-player games are more likely to have a Hero available to go on Quests when other players are the Party Leader.
So … trade off. But I am not certain it is an even trade off. I expect the Beta will find out one way or the other.
#5 The importance of feedback
If you are going to play, please please please tell me how it went.
How did your experience compare regarding the four points above?
Here are some questions you might want to answer while playing:
- Were any parts of the rules hard to understand, or hard to find, or just hard? If yes, which ones?
- How often did you win or lose?
- How many Heroes did you use, and how did you feel about that?
- Were any cards hard to understand, or hard to use, or just hard? If yes, which ones?
- Which cards did you think were the most powerful, and why?
- Which cards did you think would never make it into your 60-card loot deck? And why not?
- How would you adjust the balance of power between Heroes and Monsters?
- How would you adjust the balance of power versus the Raid and Raid boss?
I want Afflictions to matter, but have had to make several changes to ensure they occur at all, let alone happen often. I’m still not sure they matter as much as I’d like:
- How often did the Heroes or Monsters get Afflictions?
One more: I found it pretty easy to keep track of who had how many remaining hit points, but I could see that maybe having mini poker chips or something to use as counters might be a good idea.
- Do I need to include hit point counters in the game?
And some questions specific to combat
- Did the Quest Combat Board make it easier to keep track of which cards could do what? Or harder?
- How difficult was it to figure out what each Monster would do?
- Did you feel like you had options in combat, choices, things to do which could affect the outcome?
- Did you find yourself wishing your Hero could “pass” and take no action? Do I need to add “Pass” as a combat action?
And a few big general questions:
- Are there any other parts that seem to be missing or would make the game easier?
- Is the number of quests before the raid too low? Too high? About right?
And one more. The most important one. If you only answer one question, make it this one:
- Did you have fun?
Please don’t be shy, or worry about hurting my feelings, or any of that. Multiple brains are better than one. I want you to tell me what you think. Really, I do.
🙂 😀 🙂