With the launch of Doombringer, we’re bringing one of the largest swaths of new cards to the game since our first set.
While we’ve been putting out spoilers for everyone to enjoy over the past few weeks, internally, we’ve been busy making sure that the set is in the best shape it can be when it launches in the next few days. Sometimes, this late testing reveals cards that don’t interact intuitively or may be unbalancing for the game. As always, we want to give our players the best experience we possibly can, so with that in mind here are two changes we’ve made for the release of Doombringer:
Mysteres de l’angoisse, or as it was referred to internally “The Book”, is a very strong card, and as a part of the story we wanted it to feel like an item of great power. However, from an engineering perspective, this is the first time that we allowed players to pay for cards in the choice zone. In the past we’ve generally just put the card into your hand or allowed you to play the card for free, and it turns out that paying costs for cards in the choice zone came with a set of technical problems that couldn’t be solved easily.
The idea behind Mysteres de l’angoisse is that it allows you to access power right now, so we didn’t want you to just stack up a bunch of actions in your hand. So, to resolve this issue, we’ve changed it so that cards you reveal are played for free. However, we’ve increased the cost to activate the Book’s power from 1 to 3 in turn to account for this change.
Our other change to a revealed spoiler is to the Major Sapphire of Vanishing. Making gems for HEX is one of the most challenging parts of design as you aren’t designing one specific thing, but instead you’re designing for a wide variety of socketed cards. Thanks to cards like Mordrom’s Gift and Destined to Lead, what you put on a gem can end up interacting with thousands of different cards.
When testing this gem further, we found it allowed players to protect their socketed troop for a very low price of simply discarding a card at any time. This proved to be difficult for other players to interact with. One of the most important aspects of our game is to allow for counterplay, and this gem was just a little too good at shutting that down. That said, we did want it to still have the same ability to protect your troops, so we’ve added a resource cost to the activation of the power. This small additional cost creates valuable windows where your troop is vulnerable to opposing removal, and thus a superior gaming experience on both sides of the table.
Finally, we have a last-minute addition to this section that’s a little different. This weekend there was a version of Bestitched spoiled that instantly started creating a lot of buzz. Unfortunately, it was not the version of the card that made it into the final file. The version that was spoiled was six cost and a combined two troops from crypts into an Abomination with the combined / and powers of the combined troops. It was one of my favorite cards in the set and meant you could “fuse” any troops in the game together, letting you make things like Aegilus – Gargalith giving all of your troops Invincible and Spellshield. Or you could make a Rune Ear Hierophant – Vampire King.
Unfortunately, part of working on a game with finite resources and a timeline means that sometimes we need to make hard choices. We couldn’t get that version into the game in time for the launch of Doombringer. Since we hand never copied “powers” before, the card needed its own engineering. We kept the old version in the file hoping that we would be able to squeeze in that engineering time, and apparently that old version got sent out to some friends of HEX as a spoiler.
The version that made it into HEX is a lot cheaper, but a lot less bonkers. That said, at some point in the future I suspect I’ll be making room in a set for a card that looks an awful lot like that old Bestitched. We are a game with a timeline, but that doesn’t mean that we will stop pushing boundaries. We will, however, be working harder to make sure that the only cards that leak into the wild are the final versions of those cards.
That’s all for now! We can’t wait to get the set into your hands, and we are looking forward to all your exciting new brews.
See you in the Battlegrounds,
Ryan Sutherland | HEXRysu
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