For the last few years I have been thinking to myself that I was very much done with my trading card games – mostly Magic: The Gathering, to be honest. You have probably heard me rant before regarding the way the game has changed and how Wizards of the Coast’s strategy of milking their customers and destroying the game through their exhausting power creep and extensive new releases that to be frank do not seem to add anything other than rather lame hype to the whole thing. I also find it rather annoying that every set requires a new random ability that tends to create a new set of rule issues that force you to play with new cards constantly. Same problem that we have these days with Yu-Gi-Oh, right? Like how ridiculous it is that for those of you who wanna play competitively, unless you play 3 very specific variant of a deck, you are essentially done and dusted. I am fed up of having to spending a fairly copious amount of money fetching cards, the same cards everyone else is after. I am done having with new sets every 3 months that unless purchased will make me an obsolete gamer, so on and so forth. Instead, I have decided to give a go to LCG’s: living card games as the cool kids in the industry like to call them. Why have I opted for this approach? Well, probably for the same reasons than many other people, but here are my thoughts.
If you’re ever stepped away from your favourite competitive or collectable game for a while, only to be demolished by the new expansion content when you return, then you’ve felt the sting of power creep. Or maybe you were always bad at the game? But for today we’re going to assume it was power creep.
So what are we talking about when we use these dreaded words? For many the term has simply become a way of accusing developers for not keeping an eye on game balance, frequently seen between Massively Multiplayer Online games (and more recently, the MOBA epidemic) and more traditional card games. Is it really just every new axe that’s better than your old axe? Is it every card in a block that uses that broken new mechanic? Actually before it became a catch-all term the phenomena of Power Creep warned of a very specific problem that occurred usually over years of development on a particular game. The idea that as time goes on the ‘power curve’ that carefully maps out the value of something with its power will skew higher and higher, making low-cost tools even stronger and completely negating the more balanced content that came before. Continue reading “Power Creep – Why MMOs, MOBAs and TCGs Die Early”
Being a geek implies many things. You still like cartoons even though you pay taxes, video games are a qualified form of art, and lords have mercy if you try and discuss your hobbies at the water cooler. You’re also required by law to think Star Wars is cool or they come and take your badge away.
Being a geek from the 80’s or 90’s also has one more commandment. When you were growing up you played trading card games! These things were everywhere, you couldn’t visit the supermarket without being awed by the colourful shiny wrappers for things your parents KNEW were a waste of money but you couldn’t be talked out of it. My younger days, like so many, were surrounded in the most addictive drug sold to children… cardboard.
But man did we love it. I played anything I could get my hands on and (tried) to be a collector. Of course having no disposable income at the time did make that a damn sight harder.
Why did I get so hooked? Well a part of me blames that on my fascination with toys and board games. Another part of me thinks back to that first pack of cards I ever opened, and just so happened to pull out a Shiny Charizard card. Which I still have to this day packed away somewhere.
So the real question for today; Which IS the best collectable trading card game? Continue reading “What Is The Best Trading Card Game (Ever) ?”