Hex: Shards of Fate

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Darlingng01
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Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 09:52
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Hex: Shards of Fate

Postby Darlingng01 » 31 Jan 2017, 22:27

I'm curious if anyone in the LRR community plays Hex. I quite enjoy it and am always looking to find new people to talk with about it.

For those who don't know but are curious: It's basically Magic the Gathering if it came out exclusively as an online product. That's a pretty crude simplification but it's what you're going to think if you give it a try. The major factors in its favor are the single player content and price point. The single player content is huge and free, taking several hours to run a single character through with 32 class/race combinations which can be fairly different from one another. The price point is hard to argue with in that it's free. Free PvE, and if you're willing to put in the leg work in single player and the market place, free PvP as well. I've put in probably $10 (Can) and been able to do over 100 pay to enter events, and currently have a backlog of $60 pay currency and over a dozen packs.The $10 was mostly because I felt guilty for not giving them anything.
If you just want to pay money and jump in drafts are $7-$2 per pack you bring, sealed is $14-$2 per pack, and "Evo Sealed" is $5-$2 per pack. Constructed is free for random matches and most tournaments, except the once a month "members" event, and a competitive deck will cost you around $20 up to $100. My current constructed deck holds a 2:1 record and runs up about $18, up from $12 when I built it.
New players looking to build a collection should play Evo Sealed. It's $5, the price of 2.5 packs, to get 5 packs worth of commons and uncommons, and 2 rares/mythics(using magic terms). If you win 1 game before 3 losses you get an additional packs worth of cards, another for 3 wins, and at 5 wins you get a sealed pack and have completed the event (good job!).

IGN is Venma if anyone wants to say hi, and if you're new I probably have some stuff I can share. I'm interested to see how many people have heard of it in a community with such heavy ties to MtG.
MetricFurlong
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Re: Hex: Shards of Fate

Postby MetricFurlong » 01 Feb 2017, 05:13

Darlingng01 wrote:For those who don't know but are curious: It's basically Magic the Gathering if it came out exclusively as an online product. That's a pretty crude simplification but it's what you're going to think if you give it a try.

It was also what WotC's legal department thought when they sued them over it (Hex's makers settled out of court, iirc) :P

I gave Hex a reasonable spin a while back, but personally was not impressed. Granted,I'm not an MtG fan (and Hex is about as much of an MtG clone as you are ever going to find, even moreso than Eternal), but even if you were I'm not sure if it really offers all that much. It doesn't seem to play that much faster than MtG's other digital interpretations, and while it's UI is serviceable, it's nothing much to write home about.The fact that, in addition to the core rules, Hex also copies MtG's sales model doesn't help things either. It's the one of the very few Digital CCGs that lacks any form of card crafting system: the only way to get cards is opening boosters or using the in-game auction house to buy single cards from other players (frequently with Platinum, i.e. the real money in-game currency).

I was also rather underwhelmed by it's single-player PvE mode. While it's fairly extensive, it imposes some really awkward deck-building restrictions (limiting copies of an individual card by the card's rarity - even commons are limited to 3-ofs to start with). Later encounters also frequently come down to hoping you draw better than the AI and/or go first, as after a while it starts attempting to compensate for limitations of the AI by giving the decks stupidly strong cards, hero abilities* or just letting them start with things already on the board.


If you're enjoying it though then more power to you, I'm not trying to get you to stop playing it or anything :wink:



*special mention goes to the Killipede encounter, which pits you against a deck that can spawn 1/4s with haste speed and a deathtouch lethal effect that can hit players, and as such can kill you on turn three if it draws the correct removal spells and goes first.
Darlingng01
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Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 09:52
First Video: That was years ago...

Re: Hex: Shards of Fate

Postby Darlingng01 » 01 Feb 2017, 13:46

Honestly I think the court case with WotC was ultimately good for the game, was it resulted in them making some real changes to the system that helped the game grow. WotC was pretty clear that they had no ill-will for the game, they just wanted it to be its own thing (and they have to protect copyright because copyright law is weird).

First and foremost, this isn't an angry reply, I'm just glad to have the chance to talk more about a game and genre I'm interested in.

As someone who just loves TCGs in general I can assure you that it does offer some things over Magic.
- The card crafting system is actually a giant middle finger to the consumer, resulting in people thinking they are being given a gift when in reality they're having things taken away. Buying any random common in Hex will generally cost you 1 common, as apposed to the 40 required in Eternal. If we assume that 1/6 rares are unplayable trash (which would be horrible game design) then the 1 for 1 of general quality rares in Hex still makes up for it. If you're willing to put in the effort of trading (the T of TCG) the marketplace system is just better. Anything you can get for the pay currency can be obtained with the free currency because there's a constant demand for both.
-The deck building restrictions in the campaign are actually one of my favorite parts. Each race has different restrictions that open up as you level that character. Because of this playing through with multiple characters of different races requires new strategies which evolve as you continue to play.
-The killipede fight was supposed to be one of the "I've done everything else, give me a bullshit challenge" encounters. Even with the seemingly unfair advantages most seasoned players with well crafted decks can crush the campaign, so it's reasonable for them to try and give those people something to do.

On more tangential notes to your comments:
- The new account leveling system allows you to earn your first draft and evo sealed for free by playing in any mode, making it even easier to "go infinite".
-The UI is so, so much better than MTGO. It'd be hard to be worse, but it's really quite nice in its own right. Better than Eternals current UI in my opinion (though it's in Beta, who knows if it'll improve the UI)
MetricFurlong
Posts: 195
Joined: 24 Sep 2011, 10:13
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Re: Hex: Shards of Fate

Postby MetricFurlong » 02 Feb 2017, 17:00

Darlingng01 wrote:First and foremost, this isn't an angry reply, I'm just glad to have the chance to talk more about a game and genre I'm interested in.

No worries, as I said, I'm not here on a 'this thing is bad and you are wrong for liking it' angle. In fact, on that note I'd be interested to here what aspects of Hex that are distinct from MtG you like, or prefer to the latter's implementations. As I said in first post, I don't care for MtG so I'm curious to see if/where someone who does would point to things that they felt were improvements.



There are a couple of points I do want to address though, mainly in regard to the sales model issue.
To be honest, given the CCG industry's reliance on the random packs and artificial scarcity in the form of card rarity as a business model - already about as weighted against the buyer's best interests as it's possible to get without making it a literal lottery - criticisms of them of being bad for customers already come with the turf :P
It's true that games with crafting systems don't allow for 'reselling' of cards, so remove a potential possibility of recouping investment costs, but from my own experience with digital CCGs* I've generally found that those with crafting systems tend to lend themselves more towards building a useful collection than those that don't (incidentally, it should be noted that Eternal's craft exchange rate, as it were, is unusually high: the average tends to be more around 4:1 for cards of the same rarity, although this can vary by game and rarity involved.).
The thing with Hex and its reliance on an auction house secondary market is that, while it may be the case that one chaff common will be at around a 1:1 rate with another chaff common, once you start comparing low-end cards with higher-end ones of the same rarity that ratio goes out the window. For instance, going by hex.tcgbrowser.com's average auction house prices, the common card Incite Fury goes for about 45 gold (the free currency, for anyone not familiar with the Hex), which is not an unusual price for a 'chaff common'. High-end commons, like Cremate or Royal Herald, go for more than ten times that. Kill, the currently most expensive non-mercenary common, is at time of writing sitting at 3,600 gold, a price point I can recall it having been within the vicinity of back around 5 months ago.
This kind of disparity is present at all rarity levels,(ignoring cards which currently are only being bought and sold in the premium currency - as while they do exist there aren't a lot of them), and can often lead to cases where rubbish cards of one rarity are at well below the usual asking price for good cards of a lower rarity. Meaning that even if you're able to find a buyer for your unwanted or excess chaff - which, because it's an auction house system is be no means guaranteed - it still may not be very effective for 'trading up' into cards you actually want.

Now whether this is actually going to be relevant will depend on individual player preference. Everyone has different criteria for what they consider to be a worthwhile use of spending money, so the fact that I find Hex's model to be suboptimal is by no means guaranteed to impact your own usage of, or appreciation for it. If you play a lot of draft, for instance, this is unlikely to be of particular relevance at all since those sort of modes aren't generally impacted by it to begin with.



Okay, that went on a bit longer than I'd initially thought it would. In regards to the campaign stuff, I'm aware The Killipede's an extreme example, but there is a general trend of encounters that come down a lot to luck of the draw/shuffle - which the lack of consistency caused by some of the deck resrictions don't help with - which I, personally, don't really find all that enjoyable but again, that's just me. I did find the character skills system interesting however, although actually unlocking enough points to start playing around with it took quite a long time.



*which besides Hex includes: Shadow Era; Hearthstone; Duelyst; Shadowverse; Infinity Wars; Faeria; Astral Heroes; and a few others
Darlingng01
Posts: 14
Joined: 22 Sep 2013, 09:52
First Video: That was years ago...

Re: Hex: Shards of Fate

Postby Darlingng01 » 02 Feb 2017, 23:07

When comparing games it's common for people to get defensive about things being "stolen" or "copied" from other games, so before I go into it to much I'd like to say that it's not an inherently bad thing. If one company figures out a way better solution to a problem it's in everyone's best interest to take note.

Overall I think Magic is the better game, however Hex does have some advantages.
-The threshold system for example was a huge improvement, to the point the developers of Eternal have opted to follow the example.
-The balancing permitted by resources having colour, temporary mana, and charge as apposed to just colour and temporary mana is also very nice, allowing them to make much more interesting and balanced 'lands'.
-I'm a fan of the champion system, as it encourages different kinds of decks, and the fact each champion has health, ability, ability cost, and ability colour requirements allow them a lot of fine-tuning and variance.
-The use of the digital medium to allow for more interaction with hidden information is very nice. Being able to modify cards in hand for example.
-Being given a place to do all the dumb stuff you want in the form of PvE is a big advantage for me.
-The fact exile (the void) in Hex doesn't also have to serve as a general hang out for cards doing half a million things is also nice.
-The introduction of the opening hand modified algorithm is super neat and something impossible for a physical game like Magic. This is a more recent introduction so as a brief explanation: the system knows all possible combinations of 7 cards you could start with, and removes a small portion with the highest and lowest number of resources. There's a lot of complicated math going on behind the scenes but basically your chances of drawing the worst hands are lower, but if you build a deck with 2 lands you're still in serious trouble.

I think preference for the crafting or market system might be a reflection of the type of player. I enjoy playing with the random weird cards I get, and so hate deconstructing anything that I don't have a full playset of. Because of how deconstructing cards works, I also then feel bad if I make a card and then obtain more than a playset shortly after. However for the people who just want their deck and that's it, this might not be an issue.

But the fact a person of reasonable skill and persistence can play in paid events as much as they want without putting in money is something only possible with the player market. As someone reaping the benefits of that I may be biased however.

The campaign was recently expanded to include a second location, and introduced the "mercenary system" which allows you to have up to 3 other decks you can choose to use before going into a game. Each mercenary has their own restrictions and properties, but in general have a much more open deck build. I feel like the mercenaries help a lot by giving you the option to play with dramatically reduced restrictions, and also allowing you to select your best deck for a given encounter.

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