Thursday, April 20, 2017

SolForge - 4/20 hours

I guess this game is pretty good, considering I've played for four hours already and it seemed like the time just flew by. Unfortunately, I think multiplayer is going to be a bust. I successfully connected for one match in a draft tournament (I hear the constructed format is pointless for newbies, given how essential having the best cards can be). I completely got my ass handed to me, which I should have anticipated, given I haven't played the game in years and had no clear idea about how to build an effective deck, but I enjoyed myself.

The only reason I do not anticipate participating in more online games is because of the frustrating connection issue I ran into in my second game. I had a match lined up, but then the game seemed to freeze in the middle of connecting. Apparently the tournament interpreted this as me forfeiting the match and I was bumped from it entirely (you're allowed to lose twice before you wash out).

I mean, I seriously underestimated the skill of my opposition in the first match, and would almost certainly have been eliminated anyway, but I would have liked to at least play the game one more time. Still, it wasn't a total waste. I got a booster pack and I got to keep the cards I drafted for my tournament deck. I will almost certainly join another draft tournament before the end of my twenty hours, for the cards if nothing else, though I will probably wait until I get a little more practice on single player (I'd get my practice in the tournaments, but each attempt costs you four "event tickets" and I only have eight, though as I was checking the price I found that they also accept a "draft coupon," which apparently I had without realizing it, so I'll be able to get at least one more tournament in as well).

Though I'm unlikely to have a great time with multiplayer, I don't think single player will be all that bad. I've been tackling the campaign and while the tutorial missions are trivial and the proving grounds missions are barely challenging for a novice, the mastery missions have so far been incredibly satisfying to beat (though sometimes demoralizing to play through).

Basically, there are four "factions" in the world of SolForge and each faction has its own strengths and weaknesses. The "mastery" matches are played against powerful enemy decks, but more than that, each one has an extremely unfair special ability that activates during the course of the match. Your foe in the Uterra Mastery mission spontaneously heals about 100 hit points (you start with 120) during the course of the match. In the Nekrium mission, every time your creature does damage to the enemy, it dies. Needless to say, these missions demanded my utmost problem solving abilities, and while I can't say I was always smiling when I played them, when they were over, I respected the puzzles they presented. I'm really looking forward to (slash-dreading) the last two missions.

All-in-all, I expect SolForge to be pretty diverting. My next move is to wash out of the tournament I accidentally entered myself into. Then I'll probably play random AI decks for awhile. Then I'll tackle the remainder of the campaign, and only then will I use up my last draft tournament entry.

I don't anticipate any great problems along the way, but there may be unpleasant wrinkles to the game I have not yet encountered. I've got my fingers crossed that this will go as smoothly as every other digital card game I've played so far.

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