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General: Blog Spotlight: Card Games

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member Common

Every Week, Community Manager Laura Genender takes a look at one or more of the entries being created in our blogs. This week, she looks takes a look a blog that mulls over the idea of card games and MMORPGs.

Digging through the blogs this week, I uncovered user Fansede and his interesting ideas about a card based MMO. With Eye of Judgment hitting the console market, and EverQuest and WoW hitting the card games, Fansede has a point - where is MTG Online?

"When Guild Wars was launched," Fansede begins his first blog entry, "I thought the door was cracked open and it would be a matter of time before we saw a plethora of card type games. Imagine a Magic the Gathering MMO...I was excited to see skills converted successfully into 'cards' for an thinking more and more about it, I wondered why hasn't Wizards of the Coast tried to get into the market?"

Fansede admits that he sees drawbacks and obstacles to such a project. For example, card games are traditionally set up for 2 players - how would multiple players engage in combat? "Guild Wars has a reasonable starting point," Fansede states. "Many of those MtG cards can by used as skills that could be used by the avatar. Sorceries, Instants, Enchantments are all spells that can be converted to skill sets."

Read the whole column here.

Jon Wood
Managing Editor


  • LucifrankLucifrank Brooklyn, NYPosts: 355Member

    I for one have zero interest in card games being translated into MMOs. My personal opinion is that if I wanted to play a card game, I'd do so around a table in RL. I was tremendously disappointed when V:SoH diplomacy was unveiled to be little more than a card game. A bit of the fun of MMORPGs for me is the computer doing what previously was the work of the 20 sided dice or the pack of cards in a tabletop environment. I don't see the charm or fun in bringing those devices that move the action along in pen-and-paper to the screen. That being said, I'm sure these things could work as minigames. Going into a tavern or saloon in an MMORPG and being able to gamble with other players might be fun, but that's where my interest would end. Perhaps I had a bad experience with "Go Fish" as a child.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 8,172Member Rare

    The only thing I see that comes from these card games is more money for the Corp that owns the game.  Why would you play a card game when you can play the game instead?  Most of us don't have unlimited leisure time as it is, so when we do get time to play, we are certainly NOT going to do it with cards.

    The only success that I have seen these card games garner is they offer in game items that the item hounds covet.

  • Jimmy_ScytheJimmy_Scythe Macomb, ILPosts: 3,586Member Common

    Actually, there are already quite a few CCGs online. ChronX, Star Chamber, Sanctum, Auto Assault TCG, Yu-Gi-Oh Online, Pirates, and of course Magic: The Gathering Online (soon to have a new client program) among others. All of these games are free to download and play. All of these games support themselves through micro-transactions. But the blog in question isn't really asking for a straight up online CCG. What's being hinted at here is a combination of MMORPG and CCG game mechanics.

    This poses a design problem on a couple of levels. The first being that CCGs are turn based and MMORPGs are "tic" based. For those of you that don't know, "tic" based refers to a style that is semi real-time due to the fact that certain actions are automatically processed periodically forcing the player to plan and time his / her actions according to the metronome of the game cycle. CCG are purely turn based, so a turn can last as long as it takes for one player to take all of his / her actions. In order for this to work, we have to consider how to integrate CCG mechanics into something more like an RTS. A tall order to be sure.

    The second problem is scale. M:TG is a game of almost God-like battling wizards. The scope of the game is epic with a capital "E" and the players are the movers and shakers of the vast warfare that goes on over the course of a game. MMORPGs are generally smaller scale from a given players point of view. You control one character that is a very small player in the grand scope of server events. The closest thing that I can think of to a CCG in an MMORPG is the card pet system from Rappelz. This is kind of a cheap ass'd way of approaching the problem since the result feels more like a standard summon spell than a M:TG card play. A similar system was used in the GameCube game Lost Kingdoms. Again, this doesn't quite feel right.

    Another option is to make it all a kind of endgame monster play. Let's say that characters of a certain level can remort as immortal patron saints for whatever faction they were a part of. While these characters wouldn't have any direct influence over the world, they would have a deck of cards that they could use to offer support (or adversity) to mortal player characters within a set of rules. Think of a Dungeon being run by a powerful wizard. The wizard has full knowledge of everything in the dungeon and can place monsters and traps within it at will. The wizards power is limited (cards in deck, amount of mana, etc.), but his / her goal is still the elimination of any party that comes snooping around. Likewise, a party of gamers may draw on the all seeing eye of a guild patron if their mission is vital enough for their faction or guild. The patron would have the exact same limitations as the wizard, but could help the party out of helpless situations. This kind of gods and heroes interplay seems custom built for integrating CCGs into MMORPGs. The problem is that only a very small number of very hardcore players would ever get to experience the CCG endgame.

    While I do think that it's possible to integrate CCGs into MMORPGs, I'm not quite sure how you could do it and still maintain the spirit of each genre respectively.

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