Willifred Lewis
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Alright, I made a post a while ago and have meditated on it, reading it over and over again and now bring this question:

Could there be a successful CCG with no rares? If so, how would you run it?

The game would still be sold via randomly distributed packs.

It would significantly reduce the barrier to entry found in other games, which is a pro. I think on the side of making more money it hurts the designer, because they won't sell as many cards.

I still want idea's as to how it would turn out or work. One idea I was given was to make the "chase" or the "thrill" of opening cards still included, would to make "rares" full fledged art cards, so that "high paying" decks could still have "bragging rights". The only other idea I had was to make one or two cards per pack foils. Your thoughts?
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Chris Stanton
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All 'common' cards can work as it's the thrill of getting a card you don't already have rather than the thrill of getting a 'rare' that drives it (it was just that rares were more likely to be a card you hadn't seen before).
To add to this- No spoilers. No master list of cards anywhere prior to release. Let the players figure it out between them.

For me, a lot of what made Magic good was lost when the internet got involved. Up until then, you tended to see certain cards & decks being played in one area, go to another area & you'd see different cards & decks. Plus, everyone had to build the deck on their own, no simply copying the latest netdeck.
Eventually the information would get out there but it could be a few months after release- rather than 2 weeks before.


I'd go with 'full art' over Foil. If you want a reason beyond personal preference: cost.
You're already going to have to get the art done so there's no additional cost for the full art cards. There would be for foiling them.

You aren't going to sell as many packs without chase rares as the secondary trading market will take care of players needs- trading being simpler when all cards are 'worth' the same (with local variations due to distribution) but that just means having a smaller print run (unless you want to create Homelands 2)
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J Sinnett
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Couldn't it be argued that an LCG is a CCG with no rares?

Though, it also doesn't have the random-distribution. But you get the high-paying players who buy multiple sets so as to get duplicates of the cards they want.
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Dixie: American Civil War Card Game is (or was) pretty much like that.
 
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Sounds like including all the bad parts of a CCG distribution model, while taking all the financial upside away.

I don't think this would be any better received than a new CCG.

I think the future of new CCGs is right here:Shadow Era - start online, build a community and convert to physical cards at some point.
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XXXenophile has a flat distribution. Don't know that it counts as successful, though: I've never seen the sales figures.

I don't see why a CCG couldn't be successful that way, though: Xxxenophile was clearly designed for a...niche...market. People like CCGs for the large deck design space, but nothing about that requires rares. It is a little harder for casual players to get a consistent deck, since it's harder to get full play sets without commons, maybe?
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HikariStarshine wrote:
Couldn't it be argued that an LCG is a CCG with no rares?

Though, it also doesn't have the random-distribution. But you get the high-paying players who buy multiple sets so as to get duplicates of the cards they want.


Beat me to saying this.

Although a different and intriguing idea...it is arguably too close to being a LCG in my opinion.

Also, I would recommend Dixie.
 
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Johan Haglert
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HikariStarshine wrote:
Couldn't it be argued that an LCG is a CCG with no rares?

Though, it also doesn't have the random-distribution. But you get the high-paying players who buy multiple sets so as to get duplicates of the cards they want.
An LCG is also a CG with no waste.
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Willifred Lewis
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aliquis wrote:
HikariStarshine wrote:
Couldn't it be argued that an LCG is a CCG with no rares?

Though, it also doesn't have the random-distribution. But you get the high-paying players who buy multiple sets so as to get duplicates of the cards they want.
An LCG is also a CG with no waste.


Both points have truth, but I think the lesser barrier to entry is a strong point. The economy isn't amazing, so a game where you can get a decks and boosters cheap, with a more even playing field from the "all common" standpoint MIGHT work.

Quote:
Sounds like including all the bad parts of a CCG distribution model, while taking all the financial upside away.

I don't think this would be any better received than a new CCG.

I think the future of new CCGs is right here:Shadow Era - start online, build a community and convert to physical cards at some point.


I agree quite a bit with this, other than there is some psychology to holding physical things. One sever error, and my money investment is GONE. I know that barely happens, but the risk is still there. I also like the social part of gaming, so all internet isn't for me personally. Making it so it can be played online though is DEFINITELY a must.

 
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Willifred wrote:
Could there be a successful CCG with no rares? If so, how would you run it?


Besides LCGs, during the later part of the CCG glut, publishers finally sold fixed Starters with random Rares and Uncommons. So you bought the Starter so you could actually start playing the game, with the Rares as more of a bonus.


Willifred wrote:
The game would still be sold via randomly distributed packs.


Ugh. If you take out the "ooo... shiny" aspect of rares, you now need another reason for them to buy random packs. Drafting would be an example. Another would be if, say, you had an Adventure boardgame CCG where the players made their own character decks, but a gimmick was that you opened a new random pack for the Encounters they'd face. But, again, rares would make this more cool since this model uses surprises. Another way would be a "Risk: Legacy" style of opening packs that change the game. Components wouldn't necessarily be destroyed.
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Willifred Lewis
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Sam and Max wrote:
Willifred wrote:
Could there be a successful CCG with no rares? If so, how would you run it?


Besides LCGs, during the later part of the CCG glut, publishers finally sold fixed Starters with random Rares and Uncommons. So you bought the Starter so you could actually start playing the game, with the Rares as more of a bonus.


Willifred wrote:
The game would still be sold via randomly distributed packs.


Ugh. If you take out the "ooo... shiny" aspect of rares, you now need another reason for them to buy random packs. Drafting would be an example. Another would be if, say, you had an Adventure boardgame CCG where the players made their own character decks, but a gimmick was that you opened a new random pack for the Encounters they'd face. But, again, rares would make this more cool since this model uses surprises. Another way would be a "Risk: Legacy" style of opening packs that change the game. Components wouldn't necessarily be destroyed.


The reason to buy cards? Other than collecting, to get the cards you need for your deck, just like any other game. A game doesn't have to be based on "whoever spends the most money on the strongest cards wins" lie many CCGs, it can be based on "the strongest deck building to my strategy, and the best use of cards in game" wins. Wouldn't that be more fun, a more even playing field where challenging an opponent took skill, and predicting what an opponent may do to win? (The basis of Yomi, I know.)

And the rares you get with starters? Not that exciting. You get one or two rares that aren't the kind of thing people are trying desperately to buy. o they aren't that big of a boost into playing. Walking into a tournament with a starter deck in most games in laughable. In this game, it wouldn't be advisable, but you could still play AND win against decks if you played your deck to perfection. (Almost impossible, but you could still win some games by playing well. Not always able to be done in other games with rare based money decks.)
 
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It would certainly be an interesting experiment!

One problem I see is with the power curve among cards. In most CCG's I've played rare cards are always more powerful than uncommon cards and uncommon cards are more powerful than commons. If you make all cards equally common you'll have to make them (roughly) equally useful too or you're going to cut into your sales even more.

Assume your CCG has:
* 60 bottom tier cards (FKA common)
* 60 middle tier cards (FKA uncommon) and
* 60 top tier cards (FKA rare)

With the traditional model a complete playset requires:
60 (rares) * 4 (max copies per deck) / 1 (rares per booster) = 240 boosters

If you make everything equally common a complete playset requires:
180 (cards) * 4 (max copies per deck) / 15 (cards per booster) = 48 boosters

If you only need the top and middle tier cards that cuts it even further down to 32 boosters.

All your development costs (art, gameplay, testing, print setup) must be compensated with a lot less cards. In the first scenario you need to break even with a fifth of what a normal CCG would sell. In the second scenario you need to break even with 2/15th.

The last CCG I extensively played had a lot of bread and butter common and uncommon cards. Practically every deck discussed included some of those cards. Now because they were C/UC most people had plenty of them so they were rarely a focus of the discussions. Also most of those cards while essential for a smooth progression were not cards that would decide the game for you. I think that was very well done and if you were to attempt an all-commons-CCG then you'd have to take that to the extreme. Of course how popular a card is going to be is very difficult to estimate since 10000 players can quickly come up with a lot more deck ideas than a 10 person design team. You'll have to make every card useful somehow. But you'll also have to make every cards vulnerable somehow. You can't hide behind "Yeah this combo is really strong but what's the chance someone can actually get all those cards?" because now they easily can. You'll probably have to integrate some kind of Rock-Paper-Scissor design or you'll soon be busy crunching out silver bullets against some obscure combos...

As for buying cards I think it'll be difficult to make them buy more than what is required for a full playset. Some would probably want to maintain more than one deck at a time, others might want an album set and play set but beyond that there's not much more you can get out of the players. Even with a lot of drafting games - since all cards are common the players can just shuffle their spare cards together and use that for boosters...

You could do foil cards (1 per booster). That would be another 180 boosters per collector but not everyone is gonna go for that.

Assuming your game is fun and similarly priced to traditional CCGs I'm pretty sure people would buy it. The question is: could you support the game with such a drastically reduced sales volume?
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T Worthington wrote:


I think the future of new CCGs is right here:Shadow Era - start online, build a community and convert to physical cards at some point.


See, I find this a huge turnoff, no matter how good the game actually is. I want something substantial,and physical for my money. I can play The Spoils or loads of other CCGs (dead or alive) via OCTGN or Lackey, but I don't really enjoy it much. I like the physicality of card games and looking at my opponent while I play. Besides, what if the company quits the game? What happens to all my "online cards"? This happened to a Facebook "CCG" which was sold to Zynga. Zynga killed the game and people who had invested real money lost everything. I can understand the need to build up a following, however, I think this idea would only appeal to certain types of gamers and preferably if run by a well-known reliable company.

To the OP: What about variable/alternate artwork? Say have some of the cards have multiple art options, but the cards themselves are the same? It would cost more to get extra done, but it could provide something extra.
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David
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queen_mabb wrote:
T Worthington wrote:


I think the future of new CCGs is right here:Shadow Era - start online, build a community and convert to physical cards at some point.


See, I find this a huge turnoff, no matter how good the game actually is. I want something substantial,and physical for my money.

But on the other hand the "cards" are much much cheaper than any physical CCG out there. I've only invested 10$ so far and I'm not even halfway through those points yet. So even if they were to go belly-up in a month and shut down their service I'm pretty sure I have wasted 10$ for a lot less before. Sure it would suck but TBH it wouldn't hurt.

What I found so great about Shadow Era is that not only are they bringing together practically every platform out there but you can play Solitaire games too. Sure it doesn't compare to a great face to face game but it's a good consolation price when the former is not feasible.
 
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Willifred Lewis
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Quote:
"Yeah this combo is really strong but what's the chance someone can actually get all those cards?" because now they easily can. You'll probably have to integrate some kind of Rock-Paper-Scissor design or you'll soon be busy crunching out silver bullets against some obscure combos...

As for buying cards I think it'll be difficult to make them buy more than what is required for a full playset. Some would probably want to maintain more than one deck at a time, others might want an album set and play set but beyond that there's not much more you can get out of the players. Even with a lot of drafting games - since all cards are common the players can just shuffle their spare cards together and use that for boosters...

You could do foil cards (1 per booster). That would be another 180 boosters per collector but not everyone is gonna go for that.

Assuming your game is fun and similarly priced to traditional CCGs I'm pretty sure people would buy it. The question is: could you support the game with such a drastically reduced sales volume?


There would have to be a LARGE volume of cards in the first release, so that it would still be difficult for people to get every card they want, simply because there is so much to be randomized from. And some cards will be "worthless" to certain decks; I'm not going to play a (just for example) blue card in me red/black deck. At least I'm extremely unlikely too. The game I'm hoping to design, can also have decks based on style. You like samurai and such? (L5R fans?) make a deck based on that. But for those who don't, here are some mages too. A game where your style, likes and dislikes can also make a deck; show your uniqueness! (Hell, a unicorn deck lol.) But also, you can combine ninjas, samurai, space men or whatever to make a very formidable deck based on strategy. Maybe I should post the (rough draft) story line here? It might explain how I can have a lot of variety in character choice, without killing game flavor.

I think the "sexier" artwork would come in the form of full art cards (like in MTG, they have the iconic or particularly powerful cards with JUST gorgeous art, and you must know the effect.) There are problems to this; a new player who just bought a pack might not know what (insert card here) does. I would need a solution to figure that one out for sure. (Maybe inserts?)
 
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queen_mabb wrote:
To the OP: What about variable/alternate artwork? Say have some of the cards have multiple art options, but the cards themselves are the same? It would cost more to get extra done, but it could provide something extra.


WotC did this with Magic's Fallen Empires expansion, and it didn't go over well with players. The set also had no cards designated "rares" but the uncommon cards had greatly varied rarities, and one of the commons was more rare than the others.

Wizards learned a LOT from that set - mostly what not to do when designing a Magic expansion.
 
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Willifred Lewis
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EitherOrlok wrote:
queen_mabb wrote:
To the OP: What about variable/alternate artwork? Say have some of the cards have multiple art options, but the cards themselves are the same? It would cost more to get extra done, but it could provide something extra.


WotC did this with Magic's Fallen Empires expansion, and it didn't go over well with players. The set also had no cards designated "rares" but the uncommon cards had greatly varied rarities, and one of the commons was more rare than some uncommons.

Wizards learned a LOT from that set - mostly what not to do when designing a Magic expansion.


Could part of that failure be because they changed a long running franchise? People don't like change, but if it started a certain way it may not bother some as much.
 
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Willifred wrote:
Could part of that failure be because they changed a long running franchise? People don't like change, but if it started a certain way it may not bother some as much.


It wasn't long-running at this point. The game launched August of 1993, and this expansion came out in November of 1994.
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Willifred Lewis
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EitherOrlok wrote:
Willifred wrote:
Could part of that failure be because they changed a long running franchise? People don't like change, but if it started a certain way it may not bother some as much.


It wasn't long-running at this point. The game launched August of 1993, and this expansion came out in November of 1994.


Fair enough. I just plan on making larger sets to make "rareness". If there are 300 cards to collect, it's not going to be as easy to get what you need just like rares. I'm trying to lower the barrier of entry as much as possible.
 
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Willifred Lewis
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