So today I learned Cryptozoic, makers of the World of Warcraft TCG, are going to release an online-only TCG on their own. It’s called HEX: Shards of Fate and, at the time of writing, still needs around $220,000 to be funded on Kickstarter with 29 days remaining.
In short, I’m intrigued. I have always wondered why there is no online version of WoW TCG – which there will be now, although severely limited – but this looks like a much better idea. Including PvE content could be a genius move, and it’s probably not even that difficult considering they could more or less take the raid mechanics from WoW TCG and build on them (and, if I interpret the website correctly, they did). Gems, equipment, guilds, auction house all sound like very cool things and I can’t wait to see this game in action.
That being said – I’m a bit afraid as well, because I know Cryptozoic. The game will be even more pay to win than WoW TCG or Magic, simply because there are more factors to it than just the cards. You’ll need to get the gems and items as well, and even without knowing exact specifics (although equipment is apparently PvE exclusive), I can already imagine Cryptozoic has some ideas how to monetize the hell out of these things. Looking at WoW TCG, the distribution of the rarest cards got a bit out of hand lately – 12 epics in a set instead of 10, greatly overpowered, but exceedingly rare epics in all-foil sets with premium booster prices … all great methods to get people to buy more boosters, but it certainly doesn’t help the game.
We’ll see. I’ve backed this with $50 as it definitely looks great on paper and is supposed to already be released in September 2013, but I would not be surprised if I’m spot on about the “hidden cost” aspect.