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I stumbled across this gem of a game called Might and Magic: Duels of Champions completely by accident so I thought I'd take a few minutes to share in case, like me, you haven't ever heard of this game.
First here's the website: http://www.duelofchampions.com/en/index.aspx
The game is a free-to-play, turn-based, collectible card game in some ways similar to Magic: The Gathering. You select a Hero which determines which cards (creatures and spells, along with events and fortunes) you can use, build a deck, and then battle your deck VS other players.
New cards are purchasable for in-game currency which you earn from PvE and PvP and also with IRL money. Card trading is not enabled or allowed, although you can destroy cards you don't want for extra currency to buy new cards with. There is a very large variety of cards, including 6 factions, 6 schools, 3 sets, and dozens of heroes, I think about 1000 different cards in total at the moment, with regular expansions.
Gameplay options include PvE, practice matches, ranked matches, and tournaments. Ranked matches and daily rotating tournaments are the focus of the game. The ranked matches give you a persistent ELO score (like LoL or WoW arena) and global ranking, while tournaments vary and might be bracket-based or ladder-based and reset each day.
The game is polished, looks and plays well, is a small download (200 MB), and is free. Any fan of turn based games or card games would do well to check it out.
Bonus: Here's a link to get a bunch of free cards and currency when you start the game - http://www.penny-arcade.com/static/duelofchampions
1) Is this an MMO?
- It isn't a traditional MMO, but it does have progression, PvE (limited) and PvP (extensive). Think of it more like a lobby-based game (World of Tanks, MechWarrior Online) rather than a traditional MMO like Everquest or WoW.
2) Free-to-play.....or pay-to-win?!
- Paying players and free players have access to the same things, but paying players can get them significantly faster. There is a "grind" of sorts for free players to collect enough currency to unlock cards, but it isn't a traditional grind of "kill 10,000 rats" or "run this dungeon 4000 times" - rather it is more like leveling up and unlocking runes and things in League of Legends. In other words, if you enjoy the gameplay then the "grind" here is actually fun. And if you don't enjoy this type of game, then even if there was no grind or levels it still wouldn't be fun.
- There is PvE in the game but it consists of about 20 missions basically to teach you the game. It is a PvP focused game for sure.
4) Easy to learn?
- If you have experience playing other similar games like Magic the Gathering it will help. The basics of the game are quite easy to learn and the tutorial does a great job introducing them step by step. More advanced tactics, and especially good deck-building might take some time if you are new to the genre. So yes, it is easy to learn, but as the saying goes, hard to master.
If anyone has any questions about the game, or would like some help getting started, feel free to leave a reply.