Friday, October 4, 2013

WynnCraft and SolForge

I've been looking around a bit to see what games are available, because let's face it, I'm not just an MMOaholic, I'm a gameaholic. While watching some youtube, I discovered a free to play online card game in open beta called SolForge.
The game was initially funded by Kickstarter, as a collaboration between Stone Blade Entertainment (makers of Ascension) and Richard Garfield (originator of Magic: the Gathering). You get a team like that to work on something, and people are going to want to see the result!

I've been playing around with SolForge a little bit each day for about a week now (there's daily rewards), and it's worth taking a look at. The gameplay differs from traditional CCGs a bit by taking advantage of the computer environment (as opposed to physical cards) - I'll explain.

At the beginning of each game, spells and creatures in your deck all start out as rank I. As you play them, the next rank of the card gets shuffled into your deck. Currently, cards can get up to rank III (and I'd doubt you'll see more ranks right away). This allows for greater card complexity, as the difference in power between rank I and rank III varies a lot between cards. A great example of this is Chrogias, who starts as a measly 1/1 at rank I (probably one of the worst rank I cards ever), but turns into a mighty 40/40 with extra abilities at rank III. Conversely, other cards are strong in the early game, but not as super-powered at rank III.

Another big feature of SolForge is the absence of a resource system. MtG players are all too familiar with having to include the right amounts of mana-generating cards in their deck to play anything, and many CCGs feature a similar mechanic (including Hearthstone, which is also currently in beta). In SolForge, you normally get to play 2 cards per turn. While it feels limiting at first, you realize it's the tradeoff for not being "mana screwed" (though mulligan-type hands ARE still possible). I'm sure the 2-card limit also helps to keep crazy infinite combos from popping up as well.

I'd like to go into more detail on SolForge, but I'm already long into the post and have something else to talk about, so perhaps I'll have more on this game at a later time.

I've been keeping an eye on Minecraft as well, and with the current set of update woes, it's hard to get too excited over mods. It seems all your favorites are only working in certain versions, and you have to make decisions on what to keep and what to remove.

That's where something like WynnCraft comes along and changes it up. WynnCraft is an MMORPG-styled world built in Minecraft, and you need no additional mods to play (not even Forge)! You choose a unique character class with its own set of special abilities and equipment, then go adventuring about the land. You can complete quests, find random loot chests, and brave carefully-made dungeons.

Unlike normal Minecraft, you don't spend time doing a lot of mining or crafting as you can't break blocks. Think of it as an adventure map on steroids, with a big ol' realm to discover full of monsters, towns, quests, ruins, and of course epic loot.

WynnCraft has a number of nice server features like friend lists and such, but it also includes a party system. You can create a group and invite people to join you - which gives increased XP gain among other incentives.

I've only dabbled in this for a few hours earlier, but had a good deal of fun. I met some people in the game, went out adventuring, and had a blast. We started out by dying a few times to mobs way too tough for us (in all fairness they were guarding a chest), then leveled by killing easier stuff. Soon we were exploring the map and going on quests.

I should also add that while not needed, you can utilize some clientside mods as well. Here's a direct quote from Wynncraft's twitter:
So, if you're tired of having to put together a working mod list or just want to try something different, check out WynnCraft. All you need is a legitimate, updated copy of Minecraft (currently 1.6.4).

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