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Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game» Forums » General

Subject: Expansion thoughts rss

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Jimmy theCritic
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I have had Civil War for a couple of days now, and there are many things to like. There are a few things to dislike too, and the number one gripe I have right now is that there are too many awesome characters we seem to have missed the boat on, especially in light of the apparent rejection of an alternate Civil War box with the Anti-Regs master-minding the Pro-Reg heroes...I say apparent because I am Australian and we are always treated as though we don't exist by Games manufacturers, but that's another story for a different time.
Anyway, moving along. The point of this post is to propose the idea that it is probably time for Legendary to consider alternate release methods, than simply the Big Box/Small Box. This might be the way for us to get our hands on a War Machine, or Adam Warlock or Mockingbird (to name but 3 off my wish list).
All Legendary has to do (other than design them) is consider the fact that there is probably a large enough fan base now to release new heroes in a 14 card foil pack...I mean, it is Upper Deck for crying out loud. Alternatively, a 15 card Villain Pack (5 Mastermind cards, 8 villain group cards & 2 Scheme Cards) would help maintain balance there. They don't need to even have anything new in the way of keywords or anything...and if you want to release another Wolverine, it gives the customer the choice of whether they actually want it ir not...

Who's with me?
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jack delavert
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So long as no random sets
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Leigh Hathaway
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Agree, I'd love to have the choice of which hero's to pick up. Personally I'd love to have all the minor hero's and not bother with 6 different Cap's or Spidermen.

I wonder if there's more risk for Upper Deck doing them individually, perhaps there'd be some hero's that wouldn't sell well on their own?
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Jimmy theCritic
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I'm fairly sure that they could limit the print run to suit certain heroes...the ability to sell out shouldn't matter.
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Jimmy theCritic
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heretek wrote:
So long as no random sets


It took me a few hours to figure what you meant, and now that I have I 100% agree. The pack would have to be labeled, not have random character card...
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Mike Runnestrand
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I think this is a great idea, and most importantly from Upper Deck's perspective, potentially MORE profitable than the current model. They could easily sell a hero pack/Mastermind+Always Leads pack for around 5 dollars. Currently we get 5 heroes, 2 masterminds, and 2 villains for 20 dollars (MSRP).

We've seen a lot of people on these boards start to talk about burnout, or overload. There is a TON of content for this game and it's long been impossible to play with every single combination of cards. As the game progresses, there are going to be fewer and fewer players who buy every single expansion. Games like this have a shelf life. It becomes too overwhelming for a new collector to break into the game, and a new casual player might just buy the base game and 1-2 expansions.

So how do you keep people buying that otherwise would move on? Sell them exactly what they want! I recently made commments on another thread that they'd never make an Alpha Flight or New Warriors boxed set, because there simply isn't enough demand. But if they sold those characters individually? The die hard fans would HAPPILY pay 5 dollars per set to get the heroes they love, and everyone else can ignore them. Because you'd be looking at around 40-50 dollars for the equivalent of a "small box", it could still make financial sense for Upper Deck to take the time to design and print these cards.

"50 dollars for a small box?? Outrageous! I'll never pay it!" Maybe you won't, but some people will. Not to mention that this gives you the option to JUST buy that Scarlet Witch/Ant-Man/She-Hulk you've been clamoring for, without also having to add Forbush Man, D-Man, and Ultra Man to your collection (although for someone like me, I can't WAIT to add all of those guys to my collection.) Plus, while it would be more expensive overall for completionists, it allows you to spread the cost out over time, which is a proud Western tradition for buying things we can't afford!

I love this idea, and would like Upper Deck to explore it. The 3D cards are the most obvious place to start, but as I already own those, I'd love to also see some additional content. The Runaways, perhaps?
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Jerome Nowak

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I really dont want to start buying packs of this shit. Small box expansions are enough. Just come out with MORE of the small boxes, and just do one big box per year. Maybe take a year off and add 2 more small boxes than normal.
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David A
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Something tells me that individual production costs and packaging alone will make this option untenable for UDE. Another thing to consider is that when they release an expansion it means that everyone gets the same cards and decks, thus ensuring a standardized collection across the board.

That last part is key if/when they ever get around to supporting organized play.
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Scott
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I'm very much on board with this idea. Like the White Wizard Star Realms/ Epic model, I'd more than likely buy everything anyway at some point. The point is, a 5+ year wait for a playable She-Hulk, and other classic variations of characters, does make me a little salty.
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Dog
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Thud105 wrote:
Something tells me that individual production costs and packaging alone will make this option untenable for UDE.

Or they'd have to charge something like $10 for it, and no one will pay half the price of a small box for one character. Or, at least, not enough people will.

It's not that they can't fit those characters into regular releases. It's that this is a continuing venture and you need to give people reasons to buy the new releases. The reason we haven't gotten all the most requested characters isn't lack of space or ways to get them out there, it's because the developers' kids need to eat for the next several years, and not just tomorrow.

Quote:
They don't need to even have anything new in the way of keywords or anything...and if you want to release another Wolverine, it gives the customer they choice of whether they actually want it ir not...

From a business perspective, you NEVER want to make something skippable. I would think; I'm not actually in business. But it seems like a terrible idea to say, "Buy it or don't" instead of, "You NEED every single thing we produce!"
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Michael Green
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DiggetyDog46 wrote:
Thud105 wrote:
Something tells me that individual production costs and packaging alone will make this option untenable for UDE.

Or they'd have to charge something like $10 for it, and no one will pay half the price of a small box for one character. Or, at least, not enough people will.

It's not that they can't fit those characters into regular releases. It's that this is a continuing venture and you need to give people reasons to buy the new releases. The reason we haven't gotten all the most requested characters isn't lack of space or ways to get them out there, it's because the developers' kids need to eat for the next several years, and not just tomorrow.

Quote:
They don't need to even have anything new in the way of keywords or anything...and if you want to release another Wolverine, it gives the customer they choice of whether they actually want it ir not...

From a business perspective, you NEVER want to make something skippable. I would think; I'm not actually in business. But it seems like a terrible idea to say, "Buy it or don't" instead of, "You NEED every single thing we produce!"


Whether or not it is a terrible idea from a business perspective depends on the consumer. If consumers are willing to buy big boxes to get one character that they like then it is a terrible idea, but if customers will not buy big boxes and are willing to buy individual packs then it is a great idea. Whether or not this works for Upper Deck really depends on their customer base and whether they have can make more from the latter or the former type of consumer.
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Jake Finnegan
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While Im definitely on board with the "buy on demand" idea, I just don't see how it is feasible for them. The amount we'd have to pay for these cards just isn't economical for anyone. And I think it would create a barrier to new players. "Wait, I've got to pay 60 bucks for the base set, and then shell out $10-$12 dollars a character?"

While I don't know for a fact what it would cost, I really wouldnt be surprised if it was in that range. Sure they are a trading card company and can sell a pack of baseball cards for $3 or $4, but the volume of those sales is going to be significantly higher than individual character packs for a game 75% or more of their customers have never even heard of. For better or for worse, that was the point of Marvel 3D, to try and rope in some of their customers that didn't even know they made the game (or any games for that matter).

And I'm not sure how it would work for the international guys. If the local gaming store has three customers that play, and there are 24 character packs in a box (lets say 8 packs each for 3 different characters), what do they do with the remaining 15 to 21 packs? Doesn't make sense for them to buy them. And, if you guys bought them straight from the States, all y'all really gonna pay that much shipping on a 14 card pack?

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Dog
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There's also the huge problem of individual SKUs. In a booming market, everything has to fight for shelf space as it is. I doubt a lot of stores would stock a bunch of lower value items.

Again, not in the business, just echoing what I've heard others say.
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Mike Runnestrand
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They could release them in boxes like trading cards, as one SKU with 36 items per box. Each pack would be labeled who was inside. They could have different numbers per box based on expected demand. They could short-pack certain characters like toy companies do, making them higher in demand, but if they did it to more obscure heroes, supply and demand would probably even out. So your box breakdown could look like this:

Avengers Assemble Expansion

Scarlet Witch x8
Quicksilver x8
Ant-Man x8
Wasp x8
Dr. Druid x4

Or to get a little nuttier:
Scarlet Witch x8
Quicksilver x8
Ant-Man x8
Wasp x8
Dr. Druid x3
Alternate Art Base Set Captain America x1

Adds a collectible aspect without stepping on non-completionists' toes.
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Eric Sanner
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runnestrand wrote:
They could release them in boxes like trading cards, as one SKU with 36 items per box. Each pack would be labeled who was inside. They could have different numbers per box based on expected demand. They could short-pack certain characters like toy companies do, making them higher in demand, but if they did it to more obscure heroes, supply and demand would probably even out. So your box breakdown could look like this:

Avengers Assemble Expansion

Scarlet Witch x8
Quicksilver x8
Ant-Man x8
Wasp x8
Dr. Druid x4

Or to get a little nuttier:
Scarlet Witch x8
Quicksilver x8
Ant-Man x8
Wasp x8
Dr. Druid x3
Alternate Art Base Set Captain America x1

Adds a collectible aspect without stepping on non-completionists' toes.


I don't know yet if I would be on board with buying a single hero pack. Probably not, since I haven't bought the 3d heros from ebay. But if the boxes were as you describe here, I would HATE that. You still have chase/rare items that would go for high amounts on the secondary market.
 
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Mike Runnestrand
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For completionists, this model would be more expensive. But as the game grows, there are going to be fewer and fewer completionists. If the character packs were 5 dollars each, you could spread the cost around, which might lessen the pain of paying 25 dollars for 5 heroes. Heading to Target? Pick up a new hero. And as for the "rare" hero, I honestly think supply and demand will take care of that. As long as they don't make She-Hulk the rare hero, and instead stick with someone like Slapstick, I think you'll be fine. Now, for a 1-per-box alternate art hero, those would be valuable. But again, they wouldn't be necessary to play.
 
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Cooper Christian
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I like this idea. It closely matches the mini expansion releases for Sentinals of the Multiverse. And they manage to keep those at/under $5 each. Those are 15, 25, and 40 card packs that include their own custom printed dividers so it is doable.
 
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Adam Steele
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A big problem with comparing this game to Star Realms or even Cards Against Humanity is the weight this game has. Star Realms can expand with packs the size of one hero, and all of those cards will significantly impact each game by adding to it. This game is much more about customization. The size of each game remains relatively constant. Each type of card cannot be represented equally, either. You don't need many different henchmen, for example, and I would contend it is very difficult to continue making reasonable small enemies that are unique. I could stand perhaps to pay $5 for something that will affect all of my games, but not for a little thing I'll only occasionally use. I could get all the little expansions for Cards Against Humanity, throw all of them together, and only get bits of them each time. Those bits will always make a good impact when they do. She-Hulk, I might include in my games if I want She-Hulk, but with Marvel lore so huge as it is, who knows how often that would be, especially if my interests conflict with my friends.

No, I think small boxes are ideal, as long as they contain solid themes. If anything, all the focus on big boxes is harmful to this game. Paint the Town Red is a great love letter to Spider-Man, and I'm not even a Spider-Man fan. I don't know enough about GotG or F4 to know how effective they are to the lore. Fear Itself, while definitely outside my lore experience, still contains itself very well. Lately, Secret Wars & Civil War have been very large events that necessitate many characters. If more iconic, yet also isolated stories could be made into more small sets, we'd be able to piece together the larger conflicts ourselves. I've been pining for Phoenix, others have asked for Asgard and Cosmic. These things have combined with others, but still keep the focus on something central people would love.

My point I'm ultimately making here is that, if we want to keep driving new people into the game, we should do it by introducing thematic elements without overwhelming players. I love Black Panther, and would've loved to get a set themed on him. I do not love having to choose between tolerating Black Panther's company in Secret Wars (a lot of alternate universe characters I don't know, let alone love) or fundamentally tying him with Storm. Although I did buy Cap75 to be a completionist, I'm not a fan of the series, so I would love the ability to skip it. I like that in small sets, not only will I get a small selection of heroes I like, I'll also get their rogues gallery. Taking this "booster pack" approach removes all that flavor.

Ok, I'm talking way too much.
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Erik Hatinen
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Dog's already expressed my thoughts, and every bit as well as I could. I'm not in the gaming industry, either, but did pretty well in my Business classes.

One thing that might help us answer the feasibility of small packs is to find out how well similar ideas worked in other games. In that Star Wars miniature game (Rebel Assault? I don't recall the name because I'll never be able to afford it) has a big Base Set and a few mini packs for different characters, like Hand & Chewie and something for the Empire (I want to say the Scout Walker).

Obviously they're not the same game, but if Probably Rebel Assault's expansions are doing all right this is feasible. If game shops never have enough sets of Han and 400 copies of Ewoks or Speeder Bikes, it probably wouldn't work.

For little packs that might work, a few people here have expressed love for getting some replacement SHIELD Agents and Troopers, and Twists and Strikes. That idea sounds great to me.
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Adam Steele
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I'm all up for availability of the basic, evergreen cards. Dominion makes them available, and for me, it would at least temporarily be better than multiple thousands of sleeves.
 
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Erik Hatinen
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I forgot one rather important part of the evidence against small packs.

We probably can't expect anything like a pack of 50 cards to be half the cost of a small box expansion. A big part of the price of expansions is packaging and components other than the cards. Dark City has more cards than the Basic Set and Villains, yet it's $20 cheaper. Civil War also has over 350 cards but is also less expensive than either base set. Just a big box and game board are probably expensive items, but things like marketing also matter, as well as when Upper Deck places orders to get the cards printed, and all those are easier and less time-consuming in big orders versus multiple little orders.

 
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Tommy Brownell
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Could they not go the POD route? Seems like Fantasy Flight Games has done that for their card games.
 
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David A
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Tommy3Count wrote:
Could they not go the POD route? Seems like Fantasy Flight Games has done that for their card games.

POD? Paid on Delivery?
 
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Tommy Brownell
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Thud105 wrote:
Tommy3Count wrote:
Could they not go the POD route? Seems like Fantasy Flight Games has done that for their card games.

POD? Paid on Delivery?


Print on Demand.
 
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Erik Hatinen
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They could, but I assume price would be hiked. Places like Sam's Club give consumers big discounts for buying a bunch of something; I imagine businesses get discounts for ordering a lot of something, too. Wal Mart is/was notorious for raking other companies over the coals in pursuit of better prices for their products.

A printing company has to get the designs programmed into their printing presses before they can produce an order. This takes time and by extension money. Large orders reduces the number of times the programmers would have to program in the designs, confirm everything's correct and move on to another order. These costs would be passed on to the consumers.
 
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