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Subject: Convince me to buy this game rss

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Kevin Eastwood
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I've been looking into Serpent's Tongue for a while, love the artwork, idea of the game, gameplay, etc. The only thing I think is an issue is it's essentially a TCG, which requires over time significant investment in the game. I've gone down that path in years past with Magic the Gathering, and don't wish to repeat that. I actually like LCG games because they're all inclusive and doesn't have the same element of rarity to be able to compete. So, even thought it's highly interesting to me, I'm reluctant to purchase because of this fact. Does anyone have additional insight on how the TCG element (and rarity) can affect the gameplay?
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Nathan Morse
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Re: Was really interested in this game, until...
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Ken

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[Deleted by author. Moderator feel free to remove]
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Jeremy "Flare" Scherer
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Nathan's post was actually a link to another thread where this same issue was discussed, not necessarily a statement of his reaction to the OP.

OP, if you'd like more information than what's in the linked thread, please post again! The TCG model is one of Chris's pet peeves, so we've done a lot to mitigate the "Chase that card!" system, and the Mr. MoneyBags scenario that goes along with it.
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I'm no expert on the game, so I'll give my unbiased opinion. My feelings on this have swayed both with support for and against (however that's a different story) So here's a wall of text!

For starters if you buy the 50 dollar Magi’s Chest than you and everyone that buys one will have the same core set. Unless someone can chime in, from what it sounds like every core set is identical down to the six starter specializations that you receive and the 108 starter cards. I call them starter cards because these cards are said to be of different varieties - mostly between the six "spheres" of spells.

Keep in mind a magi's spell book can only contain at maximum 27 spells
108 divided by four is...well twenty seven. So at the least it tells me that you should have at least four complete builds. HOWEVER the six different specializations included tell me that there will be more than one way to sort and select twenty seven of the 108 cards. What are the best twenty seven? Only the theory crafters will know for sure...and even than that's not saying you couldn't put a spell some would say you shouldn't into your spell book. At it's core the game really is about how YOU design and make your book work. Most importantly if you only stay at just the core - than you really hit what I consider the only LCG portion of this game.

So lets get to the TCG portion - first of course you are going to have rares, but we shouldn't even call them "rare" for according to the creator all cards will be purchasable by the Avak'shar redeption ranks you get with each inscription pack. So what does this mean? for every two to four packs you buy if you don't find a card you want, you go onto the website, redeem some ranks and get the card you want sent to you.

Since it sounds like no card is truly unchasable, in theory it means that if a webpage were to be created to sell every available card on a secondary market of sorts - the value of all cards should be about or close to the same. I'm also willing to bet that if not on their website, on a future fan forum or even here on BGG someone will start a "trading thread" because chances are even if you were to go ahead and jump into the TCG portion of the game, unlike when Magic was first released - communicating with others as far as who has what extras and who wants to trade, will probably be a lot easier than it was nearly two decades ago.

Than you have the 25 plus different specializations that aren't included with the base game. Chances are you'll create a different deck with each specialization and again...each one of them are redeemable for Avak'shar ranks - which means if you see one you like...you should be able to buy it with ranks.

Now the only portion of the game I'm still curious about are the "whispered" Avak'Shar only and Promotional only cards. Apparently there was talk where you can get a certain specialization...but only if you use ONLY Avak'Shar - which means if you see one of these Specializations and it sounds like what you want and discover it's Avak'Shar only...than your buying cards to...buy points...to use to get points only cards. Is this still the case? To be honest, I don't know and considering how much the "Final Contents" have changed since what was announced even just months ago versus to what was released at Essen, I'll keep treating these cards as just "whispered" rumors.

Finally, just because you start finding level threes and fours of spells doesn't mean that you'll want to use them. A lot of the lower rank spells are designed to have a certain cost. As you go up in rank with a spell, the spell becomes more efficient. On the Serpent Tongue forums there was a thread about a spell called Universum Negation. The basic premise is, I have two copies of "Universum Negation" (think Counterspell in Magic) do I use rank one or rank four and why? It goes into detail as to how different they both are. Why do I bring this up? Remember you're limited to the amount of cards you can put into your spell book. I believe it's only one rank four, two rank threes and the rest are a mix of rank ones and twos. Which means that even if you find a rank three or four of a spell, it may not be something you're using - it might be the stepping stone for something new, but even than it will boil down to spell book construction, how well they synergize and most importantly practice. The one PLEASING aspect of this game is that if you do play this game as intended ("speaking" spells and making the correct gestures) in theory, you will be the better player than the guy who ebays his cards from the night or week before. For part of the game is being able to read the serpent's key or even being able to recognize the symbols - someone who doesn't or won't practice will probably fumble the spells a bit as they won't be as familiar and all that does is produce more resonance (I think) which just fuels the spells of the other player(s) playing.

TL,DR: Core Set = LCG. All "Uncommons and Rares" can be saved up for and purchased with points from booster packs. Nothing is really Uncommon or Rare. Worse case scenario buy or trade online - chances are value of all cards should be equal. Only real concern are cards bought with points. Just because you get a rank 4 spell doesn't mean the rank 1 isn't viable and vice versa. You really do have to Play to Win versus Buying to Win.
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Kevin Eastwood
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Tegre wrote:

TL,DR: Core Set = LCG. All "Uncommons and Rares" can be saved up for and purchased with points from booster packs. Nothing is really Uncommon or Rare. Worse case scenario buy or trade online - chances are value of all cards should be equal. Only real concern are cards bought with points. Just because you get a rank 4 spell doesn't mean the rank 1 isn't viable and vice versa. You really do have to Play to Win versus Buying to Win.


The underlined statement above is interesting because it goes against what they claimed originally in one of their videos, which is that the rarity factor would increase value of the sets, almost like an investment. I know from selling my dual lands from MtG that the value of the rarity is based on the usefulness of the card, and how hard it was to obtain. If most of the level 3-4 spells can't be played in your deck, isn't there little incentive to seek them out? If that's the case, why didn't these just be offered as separate expansions ( I know that was already discussed in the linked post).

Fact is I tend to play most games solo, and trying to best one of my friends at the game would probably not be my primary mode of playing. This also means I have little incentive (other than being a completioninst by nature) to gain the other cards - other than if I wanted to "practice" more spells.

Anyways, the additional information that everyone has taken the time to post has really helped me make the decision to stay away from this game, despite all of the positive aspects I could find.
 
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Alicia
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I'm not sure if this is the same as Avak Shar points that are to be used in ST but WoW (the Trading Card Game) used a very similar model. There model gave out crafting cards as well as UDE point cards to players via booster packs, special events and tournaments. Essentially you would collect "elements" needed for a "recipe" that would in turn allow you to purchase rare and epic cards. I do think your model suggests a very similar marketing of special cards. In WoW these cards (the crafting and point cards), like in your model, were also available at FLGS, sponsored events, and tournaments hosted by Upper Deck. Unfortunately the system failed and no longer exists. In fact Wow the TCG is no longer a part of Upper Deck and was picked up by Cryptozoic. Already slated for the circular file trash it is doomed for sure now.

Oh, I have a stack of these silly cards if anyone is interested.

Yep, in those days people would even trade for crafting cards just to fulfill their "recipes" so they could obtain a rare or epic card. Here are some images:



The statement below is from a now defunct website that was once used for the redemption of said Crafting Cards and UDE points...

"The Crafting Redemption Program that allows players to accumulate crafting materials from booster packs from the TCG and turn them in for special cards. These crafting cards mimic the in-game crafting materials such as [Primal Air] and also contain redeemable UDE Points."

I do want to see ST succeed but I think they will need to step FAR away from this model.
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James Wright
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Remember also that you don't have to buy anything but the core set and will still be able to earn Avak-Shar
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Alicia
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Sadonis wrote:
Remember also that you don't have to buy anything but the core set and will still be able to earn Avak-Shar


that is the same as the WoW tcg. You could get started at any level, booster, starter (core), tournament, game store and other events. Same thing, collect points and then redeem points for cards. Not interested, been there, done that and bought the shirt cards. gulp
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Troels Rohde Hansen
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Hmm this game could be really good solo, as there are PvE encounters in the box. Also, you won't need anything else than the core set then, and I am pretty sure you would love the contents of just a single pack if you ever felt like.

Of the Inscription packs I have opened until now, there has only been level 2 and above spells. don't think there will ever be more lvl 1.

Can you use it all? but I don't think you have to buy as many boosters.



...Troels
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how many "duplicate" spells have you seen in your packs, Troels? Are you seeing a good "Randomization" or have you hit many duplicates so far?
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Troels Rohde Hansen
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I only opened 3 packs, and one duplicate spell. One I would probably like to have yet one more of. It is a spell that can be cast to interupt my opponents offensive spell casting and deny him Resonance(mana) for 2 turns - this is going to be hated! and three times is better than two. Three is maximum number in co-deckx.

Also it is a level 2 spell of which you are allowed 20 of your 27 spells.

If I have one critique, it is that after 3 packs I have 4 level 4 spells... twice as much as I am allowed in the codex. I imagine your level 4 spells are going to pile up, like your magic commons. Maybe not quite like, as they are still useful, so using them sometimes might be interesting.

Favorite card so far: Atomic Strike, level 3 spell, damage to everything at the table.


...Troels
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TroelsR wrote:


Favorite card so far: Atomic Strike, level 3 spell, damage to everything at the table.


 
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Team Ski
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ricky2002 wrote:
TroelsR wrote:


Favorite card so far: Atomic Strike, level 3 spell, damage to everything at the table.




Powerful, but look at that glyph!! I really like the idea that you cannot just stuff your codex with powerful rare cards, you have to KNOW them. This will keep those big spenders from dominating the game. A GOOD thing most definitely!

-Ski
 
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Bob Allen
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There are many ways to earn ranks
http://www.becomemagi.com/avakshar-ranks/

The point of the game as I see it is to build community and get drawn into the world of magik. The more involved you are in the community the more rewards you get. This game can blur the lines between fantasy and reality.

For the game to be successful it will require folks to buy inscription packs. No one can remain in business without sales. The cards you buy are more for variety and RPG than for power. Plus the art is amazing.

Back to the OP's question. Why should you get this game vs. the multitudeness other new games shown at Essen.

Serpent's Tongue is a skills based game versus a luck based game. Deck Building in MTG requires skill. The random drawing of cards from your deck pushes it well into the luck based game category.

ST is more similar to chess as you can react to your opponents actions. The only luck component is the amount of resonance generated in each turn. All players get the same amount.

ST is a big game. You can practice at home alone or with your friends in the PVE campaigns/encounters. You can challenge your friends in one on one battles. You and your friends can challenge others at game stores. You can participate in the ARG aspects of the game.

The game is quick to pick up and play (level 1 spells are fairly easy to cast) while at the same time will provide challenges for years to come.

Bob


 
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Stuart Holttum
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ricky2002 wrote:


Waaah! Pretty cards! I want my game!! cry
 
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Stu Holttum wrote:

Waaah! Pretty cards! I want my game!! cry


No doubt! The cards in Serpent's Tongue are the most beautiful I have ever seen. It is going to look gorgeous on the table!

-Ski
 
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