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Posts with tag magic-the-gathering

World of Warcraft's Rob Pardo designs Magic: the Gathering card

If you play Hearthstone, there's at least an average chance you've heard of, if not played, Magic: The Gathering. If so, then check out this card designed by none other than Rob Pardo, Chief Creative Officer at Blizzard Entertainment. I haven't played Magic in years and I was never very good, but that seems like one heck of a card. It'll be part of the Magic 2015 set, and was previewed at this year's E3.

Now I want everyone at Blizzard to design a card. Let's see Samwise's card. At least get him to do the art on one. It's funny, because Xathrid here reminds me a bit of Lilian Voss, who some say is a reference to this M:tG character (Blizzard says no.) Which is too bad, because it would be hilarious if we ended up with some kind of circular back and forth transfer between M:tG and WoW.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Hearthstone Insider

Wizards of the Coast sues Cryptozoic over Hex TCG


After Cryptozoic stopped producing the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game -- and around the time Blizzard announced Hearthstone -- the company turned its attentions to its own digital card game, Hex: Shards of Fate. Hex wound up with $2.2 million in Kickstarter funding and is currently in alpha testing. But the game's success hasn't been missed by the biggest player in TCGs, and Wizards of the Coast has sued Cryptozoic for willfully infringing on its intellectual property -- which is to say Magic: The Gathering. Wizards accuses Cryptozoic of copying cards, plot, elements, circumstances, theme, mood, creatures, pace, play sequence, and flow from Magic.

Hex is markedly similar to Magic -- though many trading card games draw their inspiration from that base -- and even the community has commented on it. In fact, the body of the lawsuit copies substantial material from a blog post on Threshold: The Hex Podcast comparing the two games as well as quoting forum posts in which commenters have noted the same. If this seems like a weak source of evidence to you, then you're in agreement with Cryptozoic, which has come out stating that the lawsuit is meritless and it intends to fight.

If Wizards wins this round, we have to wonder what it means for other card games like our recent favorite Hearthstone.

Filed under: News items

Four ideas Hearthstone should borrow from Magic

Faceless manipulator card art
I've been playing Magic for almost 20 years. In all that time, Hearthstone is the only other collectible card game that has ever really won me over. Hearthstone is a very different game from Magic, despite some obvious similarities. I want Hearthstone to remain a very different game. Even as wildly successful as Hearthstone has been, however, Magic and other card games have some great ideas that I think Blizzard should borrow to make their own game even better.

1. Format variants

Magic has many fun variants, most of them multiplayer: free-for-all, Commander, Two-Headed Giant, Star (or Color Wheel), Planechase, etc. Some of these were invented by players and later adopted and supported by Wizards of the Coast. One of the joys of Magic is how flexible its formats can be.

Compared to that, the single format of one-on-one battles in Hearthstone is less exciting. (Of course, Hearthstone is limited by its technology in a way that real cards aren't.) Sure, we're getting a raid in Curse of Naxxramas, which could shape up to be a fantastic single-player variant. But an online game like Hearthstone, with millions of available players, begs for multiplayer formats. They could be competitive or cooperative, playing against other teams or "bosses."

A Planechase variant could be adapted quite easily by using the different game boards, once Blizzard adds a few more. Multiplayer variants will be more tricky due to the game's current layout, but I have faith that the developers can make it work.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

How Hearthstone won over a skeptical Magic veteran

New Hearthstone card backs
I started playing Magic: The Gathering in 1995. I've loved the game ever since a friend introduced me to it. I've played both face to face and online, in one-on-one tournaments and in 12-player free-for-alls. It's the only collectible card game I've ever committed myself to playing.

Then along came Hearthstone. I received an invitation to the closed beta. I gave it a few hours and then I dismissed it. I had a long list of reasons. The game was too simple. I felt helpless during my opponent's turn. I couldn't protect my most valuable creatures by keeping them out of combat. I didn't have enough interesting cards to develop the quirky strategies that I prefer in Magic.

A few weeks ago, on the advice of a fellow Magic player who had been playing Hearthstone nonstop since open beta, I gave it another shot. I tried to approach the game without my Magic prejudices. I soon discovered that Hearthstone has a lot more to offer than I first thought.

Here's how Blizzard won me over.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Hearthstone Insider

Guest Post: Getting into the WoW Trading Card Game

This article has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Are you someone who plays World of Warcraft and purchases booster boxes of each World of Warcraft Trading Card Game expansion in order to get its loot cards? Do you know how to play the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game? If not, then you are one of many online gamers I've heard of who help make the trading card game a hot property but have not discovered that those cards you are packing up and burying in your apartment or house are actually a lot of fun to play with. For those of you who haven't taken a look at the trading card game at all, I'd highly recommend it.

I have been playing card games since 2003, and the WoW TCG is no exception. I spent over a year writing about the game, as well as playing and working at some of its biggest events (with a short break in 2008 to finish school). It was because of WoW TCG that I ended up getting into the WoW MMO in the first place!

The WoW Trading Card Game has been around since fall 2006 and has continued on through a transition from one company (Upper Deck Entertainment) to another (Cryptozoic). Organized play has had its ups and downs, but the game is starting to get more popular and attendance is once again picking up at events everywhere. However, a recent addition to the weekly tournament at my local comic book store mentioned that he knows plenty of people who buy the cards but never learn how to play.

Why is that?

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Filed under: WoW TCG, Guest Posts

Call for Submissions: All about WoW TCG

We're more than a little surprised that there's so little talk around these parts about the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. After all, players who've been around the gaming scene for very many years tend to have dabbled in card games like Magic: The Gathering. WoW itself would be a very different creation without the influence of games like MTG and the games that inspired it -- so let's talk about WoW's own collectible card game!

WoW.com is accepting article submissions from experienced WoW TCG players. What does it take to get started? What's the gameplay like? How do the loot cards tie in, and what's been available so far? Is the game part of the tournament scene? Your article will give readers who've never played WoW TCG a peek into the game and the world of card games.

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Filed under: WoW Insider Business, Guest Posts

Rumors of WoW TCG's demise greatly exaggerated

Rumors have been swirling around the Internet this weekend, reporting that the WoW Trading Card Game was ending this year after the release of the upcoming Scourgewar expansion set due to mishandling of marketing by the Upper Deck team. The rumor apparently started at Rawrcast, where it was attributed to a "reliable source".

Apparently not that reliable! Catching wind of the rumor, Upper Deck responded through its Senior Director, Scott Gaeta, saying that not only was the TCG not "over," but that it was steaming along right on schedule. Said Gaeta:
"Plans for future sets have been moving along as normal and we even announced a good chunk of the 2010 product schedule a week ago. Just recently the Upper Deck team was at Blizzard to discuss plans for 2011 and just today we were at Blizzard to get a sneak peak of Icecrown Citadel, to help in the development of the 2010 Raid Deck and Treasure Packs. We have lots of great plans for 2010 and beyond and look forward to another great year for the WOW TCG. Thanks for your enthusiasm and support! "
Good enough for me. Interneterati who heard the rumor attributed the TCG's purported demise to a myriad of culprits, including Blizzard's new microtransactional Pet Store, Activision grand poobah and laser-precise IP exploiter Bobby Kotick, or even the iron tabletop gaming fist of Magic: The Gathering. Of course, none of those ended up being the case.

Me, I'm glad to see that the TCG isn't going away, but let's start seeing some of those cool vanity loot card items attainable through other means, yeah? And the rocket mount an Engineering item.

Filed under: Fan stuff, News items, Rumors

Breakfast Topic: Have you played those other games?

One of the things I got to do at BlizzCon 2009 that ended up being a whole lot of fun was sit down and play a few rounds of the World of Warcraft TCG at the Upper Deck Booth. I actually plan to write a bit more on that later, but for now, my main thought on it was that it was pretty fun. As a former Magic: The Gathering Player way back in the early 3rd edition days, I've always held a soft spot in my heart for a good solid card game, and I've been meaning for the longest time to check out the TCG as something more than a silly thing that refuses to give me a mount.

I have to say, if anything, that I probably enjoyed it too much. Not only did I catch onto the rules pretty quickly, but I was transported back to the old magic days, and I'm halfway tempted now to perfect a good solid deck and go out to my local gaming store in a couple weekends to see if anyone else plays. On the other hand, I'm trying to avoid that temptation, because I just know it'll eat up my life like Magic did back in the day.

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Filed under: WoW Social Conventions, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, WoW TCG

15 Minutes of Fame: WoW's new wave of new gamers

15 Minutes of Fame is our look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes – from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about at 15minutesoffame (at) wowinsider (dot) com.

When I received a news tip from from Rainnajax of US Uldaman-H about being an "older female gamer," I admit that I rolled my eyes. Please, not another one who thinks having two X chromosomes makes her the most special snowflake ... Not another one who thinks being over 30 years old qualifies her as one of the Ancients ... When I read her entire email, though, I realized Rainnajax's experience was actually intriguing – but not for the reasons she thought.

While Rainnajax may perceive herself as something still a little unusual among WoW players, I see her as the type of player who's becoming the new norm. She's less remarkable for being female or "older" – or even for belonging to a well known gay and bi-friendly guild -- than she is for being among the new wave of players who'd never imagined themselves playing a video game ... until they tried WoW. MMORPGs are no longer the province of a single type of player anymore. Rainnajax is here as an example of today's new-to-gaming, non-gender- or age-specific player.

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Filed under: Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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