A Massively Multiplayer Online Trading Card Game? Tell Me More.

A Massively Multiplayer Online Trading Card Game? Tell Me More.

For the past couple of years, the folks at Cryptozoic Entertainment have been making a lovely array of physical trading card, board and deck-building games, everything from the official World of Warcraft TCG to The Big Bang Theory: The Party Game. Now they’re going digital with Hex: Shards of Fate, the first free-to-play massively multiplayer online trading card game for PC and Mac, and my wallet’s already getting itchy.

Hex is an MMORPG, with all of the social interaction, player-versus-player battles, adventuring and raiding such a game entails. It’s also a trading card game, where combat is waged with a deck built from starter decks and booster packs — with more than 350 cards in the starter set alone.

Cryptozoic is using the game’s digital format to do things that normal paper trading card games could only dream of. Equipment that changes card appearance and stats, complete with set bonuses; socketed items, similar to Diablo III‘s runes; achievements that unlock extended art versions of each card — these are the sort of features I’ve always wanted in my online trading card games.

Plus there are rabbits…

A Massively Multiplayer Online Trading Card Game? Tell Me More.

…and the strangest Kickstarter video I’ve ever seen, in which president and chief creative officer of Cryptozoic Entertainment, Cory Jones, robs a bank, gets a tattoo, snipes a clown and then dresses in drag and sells his body in the street.

Yes, it’s a Kickstarter, and they are looking for $US300,000, but most of the reward tiers include digital card packs, which I was going to be buying anyway.

Check out the game’s official website for an exhaustive overview of Hex: Shards of Fate, and then join me in the fall when I complain about how much I am spending on fake cards.


  • There is something about virtual trading card games that really does it for me. I’ve been playing the hell out of that Prime World: Defenders early access on Steam, which is scratching a lot of itches. Tower defense with currencies used to buy talents for game improvements or booster packs of cards which happen to e your towers and spells, which can be evolved into upgradable versions of themselves with duplicates, or fused with other cards for persistent stat bonuses… I’ve lost many hours to this already.

    Weird thing is it’s just the box price, but the way the currencies and boosters work in-game, they’re earned through battles and achievements but I could totally see it getting ported to tablets and implementing micro transactions. I claim prescience points if that’s what ends up happening after PC launch.

    Hm? On topic? Oh yeah, this looks good, will buy.

  • What’s the monetisation like for Prime World: Defenders? Anything with ‘online’ and ‘trading card’ makes me immediately terrified that the waves of enemies will be heading directly for my wallet.

      • No worries! It’s a one-off purchase. On sale for $12 AU for the next week and a half, by the looks. Edit: On Steam, that is. ‘Early access’, so it’s in beta and you’re technically getting a preorder with beta access. Since I was being all informative I thought I’d do my homework and see if you can buy it from the devs direct, but it looks like that just redirects you to the Steam site. I guess they didn’t want to go through the hassle of running a storefront or something.

        There’s no microtransactions, which surprised me. It’s kinda like… I dunno. You know those iOS card games which nickel and dime you to death? Imagine it’s like playing one of those, except instead of spending cash for their supercurrency and regular currency, you just fight battles in the world map, puzzle-quest style, and earn it. It’s a game which feels like it COULD have gone the microtransaction route, but didn’t. Feels good.

        …Like I bought the entire fucking game of something for once. Doesn’t happen often these days. 😛

  • looks cool, I hope they can still make the game if they don’t get the kickstarter backing.

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