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City of Heroes CCG» Forums » General

Subject: I finally figured out what turned me off rss

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fightcitymayor
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"This is a really weird game, and you’ll find that most people will not want to play this."
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As much as I wanted to like this CCG, and to an extent I do, it was always missing that one element that would make it irreplaceable come gaming night. After a few games I think I've put my finger on it: not enough characters means not enough character.

Maybe I'm expecting something I shouldn't, but think about it: this game forces you to build a deck around ONE character, perhaps with a sidekick. This means that the basis for the main game action revolves around often-redundant actions for your ONE character instead of interplay between characters themselves. This gets tedious when your Tanker has a dozen variations on the "smash" theme. Honestly, one could simplify the game further by calling them "Smash 1," "Smash 2," and "Smash 3." This is exemplified deliciously by melee specialists who have "Slash," "Jab," and "Uppercut" as actions. Wow, three different ways to punch... wake me when I lose. snore

As if the redundant actions weren't enough to fail to ignite interest, the one avenue for character development, sidekicks, has basically failed among those that play. If you bother using a sidekick at all, it will likely be Glitterdance (purely as a meat-shield because she can re-route damage from the main Hero,) which renders hoards of other secondary characters useless. And to add to the gripe-list, the Base Set edition uses art straight out of the panels of the comic, which often isn't exactly awe-inspiring. It could be worse, the CPU game's 3D-effected models could form the basis, which would be markedly worse. The Secret Origins expansion resulted in a change of artists, so the art gets more card-related instead of the, "hey, which panel best typifies this card?" approach.

People point out the fairly efficient-flowing game mechanic, and that is a strong-suit. You don't need to take a nap while your opponent taps 10 cards, plays 3 others, brings out Slappy The 10-Hit Wonder-Beast, etc. CoH gives you a few different options, but if you choose to Draw then that's your turn, now the other player goes. That keeps things lively, though laying down 6 different cards for "fire" kinda douses that enjoyment (pun intended).

So if the hero theme appeals to you then maybe you'll be able to overcome the tepid, redundant, colorless gameplay. But I can't help but think how fun this game could have been with a half dozen heroes per side, duking it out with separate powersets flying around. Heck, even the World Of Warcraft TCG allows you to have meaningful allies. But hey, if character development isn't your thing, you might be in for a nicely flowing game. But I'll continue to thumb through the cards, thinking of how cool the characters could have been if the game actually let you use them.


 
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Ryan Hackel
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I was more miffed that the only option to win the game is to play aggresively. Many of the CCGs I've enjoyed in the past have more paths to victory than that. MtG has a near-infinate number of strategies. Doomtown can be won without ever leaving home. Mythos can be won by combat or by storytelling. PotSM lets you sink the enemy or win by finding gold faster. Netrunner is a balancing act between hunter and hunted, won on the battlefield of deception rather than by the cards.

But in CoH.... you must attack, attack, attack. Even defensive heroes will have to do this at some point. It's the only way. The guys who taught me to play CoH admitted this to be true. It's disappointing to me, since the whole fun of CCGs is variety. Gimme alternate victory conditions any day!
 
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Bwian, just
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Now, see, I thought the single character point of view was a strong point. Most CCGs are geared around marshalling a group of character cards as you describe, with only one or two modifiers applying to each card. CoH allows more character development (much as that is an oxymoron when applied to CCGs), not less. If you want multi-hero play, go for a multi-player game--the game works just fine with more players, and you aren't stuck with a hand full of controller characters and tanker powers. I've tried up to 5 players, but the game's fast enough it might be able to handle more. You might even be able to play multiple decks per player, although I haven't tried that.

The sidekicks are a little disappointing, but only because Glitterdance so predominates. I've seen decks use different sidekicks to good effect, but everyone loves Glitterdance. And I'm afraid I just don't see how your "Smash1", "Smash2" complaint can't be turning into a "Tanker1", "Tanker2" complaint (or "1/1 creature", "2/2 creature", or what have you). If you don't like the CCG format, that fine, but complaining about individual cards being two-dimensional caricatures is a little odd to me.

I agree with the "attack at all costs" complaint, though. Secret Origins introduced a way to win through Missions, but it seems awfully convoluted to me. I'm not sure how to fix the problem, however, without handing an immense advantage to Controllers. Or allowing you to deck people, but too much relies on being able to cycle your deck. (And I like that you can't deck people...)

Which brings me to my main complaint about the game: Controllers. I understand they're a hero archetype, and they are probably even necessary to game balance, but they cause the game to... bog... down... to... a... ludicrous... degree. They may have even managed to finish off the game around here: we had a decent, if slowly shrinking, group until we did a sealed tournament for Secret Origins. 3 Controllers, 2 of them Illusion Controlers, out of 6 players. We normally play best 2 out of 3, but after two hours only one game (not match) had been won out of the 3 matches. (A constructed tournament would have allowed the non-Controllers to try to find a killer combo, but in sealed we were SOL.) The kicker is they don't actually seem to win that much more often, the games just take 5-20 times as long to play. This only applies to the more meta-gamey Controllers, though; Ice or Gravity Controllers use status effects rather than the annoying Mind and Illusion Control powers, so the archetype isn't completely hopeless. I'd just love a way to bring these guys back in line, other than conceding every time I see another Mind Control deck.
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