1. Post #1
    cccino's Avatar
    August 2011
    1,471 Posts
    www.shadowera.com posted:
    Shadow Era is an online, multiplayer, free to play collectible trading card game. It features deep strategy, easy gameplay, and gorgeous card art.



    Collectible Card Game
    Current version: 1.603, Call of the Crystals (200 cards) - digital foils are now available
    Multiplayer: Quick match, tournaments
    Single player: Training vs premade AI decks. Possible campaign mode in distant future
    Business model: Freemium
    Platforms:

    * Web browser. Easiest way to play, unless you can't run the Unity plugin/player.
    * PC download
    * Mac US App Store
    * iOS US App Store
    * Android Market
    * Physical card game (first run currently being printed and distributed).





    Useful Stuff

    Basic gameplay rules: http://www.shadowera.com/rules.php

    There is a decent Getting Started guide here: http://shadowera.gondorian.com/artic....php?id=000001 (possibly out of date)

    List of all 200 cards in the game: http://www.shadowera.com/cards.php

    A sort of wiki, hero guide, and etc: http://www.a1-alliance.org/A1/?page=...e=ProjectOmega

    Guide from some guy who built 18 viable decks for $20: http://www.shadowera.com/showthread.php?16069. Even if you don't want to spend that much, it might be worth reading for any tricks to get the most bang for your buck

    Test server: http://test.shadowera.com. Not always up, but when it is you basically have free access to all the cards.





    Acquiring Cards

    There’s no player-to-player trade of cards at this time. Instead you buy and sell cards via a ‘merchant’ - with card prices and availability determined by some arcane behind-the-scenes mechanic. Buying and selling individual cards uses the in-game currency, gold. Gold can be earned by playing games (you can grind against AI opponents if you prefer) and selling unwanted cards.

    Using real money you can buy either starter decks (hero + 30 specific common cards), or booster packs (15 random cards including 3 uncommon and 1 rare/epic). As usual in these sort of freemium games you have to buy a chunk of in-game premium currency first, in this case called ‘crystals’. A starter deck or booster pack costs 100 crystals. It'll run you in the order of $2 = 220, $5 = 600, $20 = 2700, etc. If you’re using the iOS client you can use that unwanted iTunes gift card someone randomly gave you for Christmas.

    To get the cards you actually want in your deck, you would normally buy starter packs and sell the unwanted cards (at half the nominal price) to the merchant for gold with which to buy other cards. Aside from occasional temporary ‘shortages’ every card in the game is easily available so there isn’t any power-hoarding or impossibly rare cards. You are not expected to spend hundreds of dollars gambling on booster packs in order to build the perfect deck. (IIRC their forum estimates maybe $40-$50 to get 4x every single card in the game.)

    So why would I buy booster packs when starter packs are better trade-in value and every card is available from the merchant? Well, two reasons: if you're aiming to collect a complete set (4 of every card), or lucky enough to get the cards you want, getting rares/epics in the boosters could be better than selling cheap cards (at half cost) to buy expensive cards; and secondly, it's the only way to get digital foil cards.

    When you create the game you get a playable deck for free, and as you play you get (small) amounts of gold and crystals (plus the offer below), so it’s entirely possible to build a competitive deck for free. However if you want to run multiple decks or screw around a lot buying and selling indecisively you’ll probably need to buy crystals.

    --> It's worth noting that while you can currently only save 1 deck per hero, you can 'reuse' your cards between decks, so you never need to own more than 4 of any card (the max allowed of a single card in one deck).

    Free Crystals

    Official giveaway of 100-200 (random amount) crystals: http://game.shadowera.com/bonus.php
    You can also do the dodgy email spam/survey offers but I don’t recommend it unless you’re extremely hard up.

    Physical card booster packs will include redeemable codes for 100-200 crystals.





    Random Cards, Screenshots







    Physical Cards







    Comparison to other CCGs (shamelessly copied and pasted from their blog)
    Resources and Deck Construction

    MTG - Magic uses a colored resource system. Specific land cards are used to generate colored mana, which is needed to play cards. There are no fixed deck construction rules, although the colored mana effectively restricts your deck to one of the 5 specific colors. It is also possible to combine colors if you want to risk not having enough of one land type when you need it. The drawback of this system is that many times you will be stuck waiting to draw a land card.

    WoW TCG, Shadow Era - WoW and Shadow Era lets you sacrifice a card of your choice each turn to convert it into a resource. It can sometimes be difficult to choose which card you don't need, but you will never be "land starved". Deck construction in both games is limited by the Hero's faction and class.

    Attacking and Blocking

    MTG - In Magic, you send all your attackers over to the enemy, and the enemy can choose the blocker. Some cards have special abilities, such as Flying, than can only be blocked by other special cards that also have Flying or Reach, for example. If there are no blockers, then damage is done to the enemy player.

    The control over the battle is evenly split between the player choosing attackers, and the enemy choosing blockers. You can imagine this system as your army sitting in their castle, watching attackers charge the gates, giving you time to choose who will go down to meet them.

    WoW TCG - In WoW, you can choose a specific target for each attack, either an ally or the Hero directly. The enemy can only change the target if they have a special Protector card that can step in to block the attack.

    Most of the control over the battle is with the attacker, with only a small percentage with the enemy if they have special Protector cards. This system can be thought of as warriors fighting on a battlefield, with the Hero right in the mix of things. Attackers can run up to any enemy that they want.

    Shadow Era - In Shadow Era, the focus is online multiplayer, and so there is a need to speed up the attacking round. That means that 100% of the control should be with the attacker, requiring no confirmation or input from your enemy that would slow down the game. Like WoW, you pick your target which can be either an ally or the Hero. Shadow Era adds strategy by controlling which targets can be chosen to attack. For example, Stealth cards cannot be attacked directly, while Protector cards will block attacks to anyone else. Many ability cards will also change which cards can be attacked, such as "Cover of Night" that will make all your allies safe for 2 turns.

    Attack Damage

    MTG, WoW TCG - Both Magic and WoW have a system where damage is applied simultaneously. When a card with 4 attack and 1 health goes up against a card with 1 attack and 4 health, both will be killed. Cards that survive will heal all damage at the end of the turn. This system depicts a single attack round as a summary of a drawn out battle, with the result being either they are dead, or they are alive and already healed up for the next battle.

    Shadow Era - In Shadow Era, I made the choice to have a more traditional RPG style damage system. The attacker applies the damage to the target first, and then only if the target survives will they be able to strike back. Like the Hero, damage on allies is also persistent in Shadow Era. This helps to avoid some of the "cold war" games on other systems, where each side is just building up their forces until it is safe to attack. It also fits better with the theme of the game, where you are playing a single battle with each fireball and swing of the sword happening in realtime. A lot of strategy is actually involved with this type of system, as you can now have cards that heal allies, or weaker cards can team up against stronger foes over several turns to bring them down.

    Interrupts

    MTG, WoW TCG - Both Magic and WoW have cards that can be played at any time, even during your opponent's turn. The recent computer adaptation of Magic, "Duels of the Planeswalkers", attempted to speed up multiplayer games by introducing countdown timers, but you are still waiting for the enemy for a few seconds every time you play a card, which greatly slows down the game.

    Shadow Era - Again, in the interest of quick multiplayer, interrupt cards were done away with completely, requiring no enemy confirmation during your turn. Some people will ask "Where is the strategy? Where is the surprise?" And the answer of course is that it is still there, but all contained within your turn.

    The classic example from Magic is that you think you can attack a weak opponent, but suddenly they play an instant card that buffs it, and your attack backfires. In Shadow Era, the reverse is true. You think you have a good defense against the weaker enemy allies, but on the enemy's turn they cast Inner Strength and suddenly that weaker enemy kills your best card. Or an enemy mage casts Supernova to kill all allies. Or the enemy uses Portal so that their allies can attack immediately after being summoned. There are so many cards that add surprise and strategy while keeping with the strict turn-based gameplay.
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  2. Post #2
    Gold Member
    Asgard's Avatar
    July 2010
    3,633 Posts
    Those cards look a LOT like the WoW TCG

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  3. Post #3
    cccino's Avatar
    August 2011
    1,471 Posts
    Those cards look a LOT like the WoW TCG
    Apparently it plays very similarly too.

    I don't have a lot of experience with TCGs so I can't really judge this game in terms of balance or whatever, but what I can say is that it is a very competent software implementation, certainly the best card-based game I've played on iPad, web browser or PC (vs things like Ascension, HoI TCG, MtG DotP respectively. DotP is very nice but the 3s delay after every action really hinders smooth gameplay).

  4. Post #4
    Gold Member
    Zanarias's Avatar
    September 2006
    594 Posts
    Those cards look a LOT like the WoW TCG

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  5. Post #5
    Gold Member
    BeardyDuck's Avatar
    September 2009
    15,403 Posts
    i don't understand the whole thing with online tcg's, i mean, you're paying money for virtual cards. i would rather spend the money on the actual card so i can actually hold it in my hands and keep it without ever worrying about the game shutting down and all the cards just disappearing.

  6. Post #6
    The Amazing
    DeandreT's Avatar
    April 2009
    4,932 Posts
    i don't understand the whole thing with online tcg's, i mean, you're paying money for virtual cards. i would rather spend the money on the actual card so i can actually hold it in my hands and keep it without ever worrying about the game shutting down and all the cards just disappearing.
    But what if you lose the cards.

  7. Post #7
    Gold Member
    ghosevil's Avatar
    September 2005
    2,814 Posts
    first thing i saw, heh.

    Edited:

    But what if you lose the cards.
    Caring for a deck is like second nature, amigo. That point is negligible.

    (I've never lost a PC game's jewel-case, either)

  8. Post #8
    cccino's Avatar
    August 2011
    1,471 Posts
    i don't understand the whole thing with online tcg's, i mean, you're paying money for virtual cards. i would rather spend the money on the actual card so i can actually hold it in my hands and keep it without ever worrying about the game shutting down and all the cards just disappearing.
    Some people use the same argument against buying from Steam ;)

    I don't see the harm in spending say $5 on it, especially if you get more than 5 hours enjoyment. No different from TF2 hats or virtual tanks, really.

    As far as the physical product goes, they have printed and are starting to distribute it right now and I expect it'll be sold in stores by August. The booster packs have a redeemable code for like 100-200 crystals so when you buy the cards you basically get the digital equivalent too. (I don't know if it's limited to the first print run or not.)