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TIGSource ForumsPlayerTable TalkLet's talk about collectible card games
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Silbereisen
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« on: August 20, 2017, 02:41:00 AM »

Like I imagine a lot of people here, I grew up in the "golden age" of collectible card games in the mid 90s to early 00s. Pokemon TCG and a bit later Magic the Gathering were my gateway into "nerdier" games. I also bought several starters of various licensed CCGs like Star Wars or the Simpsons, but never collected most of them.

The CCG hype seemed die down around the mid 00s with Yugioh (which I've never played) being the last really notable one. I stopped collecting Magic because it became too much of a money sink and turned to board games instead.

So anyway, some potential discussion topics for this thread

1. What CCGs have you played, and did/do you collect any?

2. What makes a good CCG?

3. Why did the CCG market die and why did Magic the Gathering survive?

4. Is the same going to happen to the current wave of digital CCGs like Hearthstone?

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Alec S.
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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2017, 07:24:05 AM »

Had pretty much the same path.  Started with Pokemon, then got into Magic the Gathering a few years later.  Also played some of the Harry Potter TCG, which, iirc, was just a MtG re-skin.

Also, I was recently fairly surprised to find out that The Kids are still playing Yugioh, as well as (a bit more rarely) Magic the Gathering.

As for why the marked died, while some games survived, is because the TCG market is kinda similar to the MMO market.  It's something you have to continually invest in, and which you also need to have friends playing in order for it to be worthwhile.  What that means is most people can only really support playing one, and all their friends need to also be playing the same one, so you get one or two successful games and a bunch of games that maybe people try out for a little while, but fail to make headway.


As an aside, one really interesting game I remember playing was a cross between a trading card game and a miniature wargame.  You'd buy booster packs, but in the booster packs where flatpacked miniature pirate ships, which you would put together. 
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Raptor85
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« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2017, 07:49:38 AM »

1. I play MTG, mostly through the digital client (Magic 2014/Magic 2015) but I do own some cards, when you travel a lot though hard to constantly find groups to play. I WOULD use the new "Magic Duels" client, though I've heard it's hit or miss, but it's iphone exclusive....which is dumb and needlessly split the online community.

2 and 3. A solid ruleset, with enough complexity to make for interesting matches while not being so complicated it's hard to play. Magic nailed this, that's why it lived when so many others died. Anyone can learn magic in minutes but mastering it can take years.  The financial backing of WOTC, which also owns D&D, has also meant that they have access to phenomenal artists and the ability to rough the "tough" times.  Most of the other card games died because they simply weren't fun, either through overcomplication in the ruleset leading the game to only have the "hardcore" fans and never any new blood, or being too simple that every game pretty much ended up the same way without any depth of strategy.

4. I have mixed feelings on hearthstone, the core game is...actually pretty fun.  It's at it's base like an EXTREMELY simplified MTG boiled down to just the combat phase, and no mana colors to worry about.  The problem is they did the "blizzard" thing with each expansion and the paid booster decks, to make sure people bought they they make more and more OP cards in each one pretty much making useless all the strong stuff you had before, this way if you want to stay competitive you HAVE to keep spending more money on it. And I'm not just talking cool new cards like with MTG, i mean they literally release exclusive new cards you have to  pay for that replace the functionality of old ones but at half the mana.  In casual play you don't run into it that often where it's an issue, but try ranked, as you get higher you literally cant compete without buying newer packs
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Raptor85
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« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2017, 08:13:00 AM »

Also, just wanted to point this out, a good show of how WOTC has (mostly) kept up with what their playerbase wants....the official MTG tournament on the WOTC channel is on the twitch frontpage right now with over 6k viewers

https://www.twitch.tv/magic
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Silbereisen
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« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2017, 08:53:43 AM »

I think many CCGs from back then had the problem of the actual gameplay either being too shitty or too good (that's not counting the ones that were simply MTG clones).

Let me explain: There were lots of crappy licensed CCGs that were basically just a slightly more complex version of rock paper scissors (the Digimon CCG comes to mind (yes I played that)) and where the only "interesting" part was deckbuilding. Deckbuilding is cool but if it's a pretext to playing 30 mins of a really shitty and dull game, then most people aren't going to bother. Others like the original Netrunner had a problem where the core gameplay was too rich and you could get a lot out of just the starters, limiting the incentive to collect the game. There were also CCGs that were clearly intended to be board games but got shoehorned into the format to cash in on the hype. Examples would be the Age of Empires CCG, the Babylon 5 CCG and the Heroes of Might & Magic CCG.

I think MTG kinda strikes the perfect balance where the gameplay is fun (and accessible) but is going to get boring in the long run if you don't build decks.
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pelle
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« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 07:07:52 AM »

I always tried to avoid CCGs because of the business model (and trying to keep my gaming budget within some reasonable limits). I can't really answer most questions here since I never played Magic (I do own a few thousand Magic cards though, because together with sleeves they are perfect backing when constructing print'n'play games and for my own game prototypes, and Common MTG cards are very cheap/free).

I collected some Pirates of The Spanish Main because of the cute little plastic ships you got (some of the cards were thick plastic like credit cards with ship-parts die cut that you pushed out and made little ship models). Irresistible.

Got into Star Wars Miniatures 5 years after it went out of print. That was a good thing because I have made up a nice collection pretty cheap buying old minis/cards without having to be tempted by boosters. Very good game and you get quite nice pre-painted miniatures to go with each card.

Collected a bit of Dice Masters because the superhero theme in the Marvel/DC decks work for my kids, and I collected some of the D&D cards. It is a good game, but I am only interested in it as a casual game. Unfortunately the theme and rules are better than the non-collectible related game Quarriors, or I would just get a few boxes of Quarriors instead and be happy with that.

Bought some Pokemon cards because my kids of course started collecting, and I wanted to play with them, not just see them collect lots of cards without using them for anything. So I bought some cheap singles just making up a small deck so I can casually play with my kids, and we have played a few times, but not as much as I hoped to. It is somewhat entertaining as a game at least (much more interesting than the combat systems in any of the digital Pokemon games I have seen).

Recently bought some Star Wars: Destiny because I tried the game and it is an excellent game. Very good design and bonus points for theme. I hate that it is collectible and have tried to get a reasonable casual collection to play with, but they did a really good job I think at making the game frustrating to play casual unfortunately.

OK, I guess every collectible game I got into had something more than the cards, like miniatures or dice, not only dice, except for Pokemon. Also never thought of playing competitively, just trying to get small decks for casual play.
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Capntastic
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2017, 04:06:13 PM »

I played MTG on and off for a million years and every time I think about it these days I remember that if I want to have any real chance at competing at local events I would need to spend a lot of time learning about "the meta" and then dropping lots of cash on a deck tuned to work with it. Playing MTG at a "play and compete on the weekends" level requires you to be aware of market forces and trends.  It's absurd.

It's a real unfortunate situation because maintaining a sort of current type-2 deck to play with friends used to be a joy until I realized that re-tooling it cost money.

Now the only time I play is when friends organize a private booster draft and it's more of an excuse to get together than to play the game itself.
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Silbereisen
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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2017, 04:28:28 PM »

i mean you don't have to necessarily compete at events. with the exception of 1 small scale tourney, i only ever played with friends and we were collecting and trading among each other, so there was no need to get into the tournament meta.

tbh the real reason i quit in the end was because i figured out that playing 1 game forever isn't my thing. i also quit playing all other "lifestyle games" like warhammer 40k around that time.
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Capntastic
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2017, 04:39:42 PM »

Yeah but when some of your friends really only play at weekly tournaments and you know the people there there's a weird social obligation that becomes exploited by Big Card

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ProgramGamer
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« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2017, 05:00:42 PM »

I think they have events where you build decks from fresh boosters at the time of the event. That sounds really interesting and I'd be willing to give it a try.
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Capntastic
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« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2017, 05:04:05 PM »

I think they have events where you build decks from fresh boosters at the time of the event. That sounds really interesting and I'd be willing to give it a try.

Yeah that's a booster draft and those are fun
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