Archive for category News

Crown of the Heavens Loot|Krone der Himmel Beutekarten

The Crown of the Heavens Loot Collection!After more than 2 years, WoW TCG Sneak Previews came back to Europe! Cryptozoic's European representative Matthias organized a fun event in our city of choice Berlin where 67 players showed up – most of them from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland! Not surprisingly, my team, the Bootcamp L.E., made a strong showing and we were able to claim 4 of the top 8 spots.

I was the luckiest guy of the bunch as I took down the whole event, winning an Epic Collection as well as a Corrupted Hippogryph Loot Card! All of these items are now up for sale at tcgmarket.eu. If you're interested, go check them out. If you have any questions, feel free to send them my way.

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Testing Carte in the OnNet Europe Headquarters|Test von Carte im OnNet Europe Hauptquartier

onnet-europe-logoLast Monday, OnNet Europe was kind enough to invite me over to their headquarters to take a look at their upcoming Online TCG Carte. The game has a lot of potential as it combines the advantages of a traditional TCG with the elements of a MMO. Let me break it down real quick for you:

Carte

  • Gameplay:

    If you ever played a TCG, especially something resource based like Magic: The Gathering or the World of Warcraft TCG, you won't have any problems understanding the core concepts of the game. Over the course of the game, you place more and more resources in a designated are to play stronger cards. This means games often start rather relaxed, but quickly pick up pace and culminate in exciting and game breaking turns a little later!

  • The Resource System:

    There is no “Mana Screw” in the game, the most disappointing feature of Magic, as you can place every card as a resource. However, there's a special card type called “Shards” (I only know the German name, so don't blame me if this translation is a little off), which can be compared to Quests in the WoW TCG. You can place them face-up in a designated zone and they allow you to draw a card right away. The downside? They won't generate resources right away – you'll have to wait until the start of your next round to gain this benefit. Still, it often makes sense to place Shards face-up to draw into fresh cards even if it means you have to underdrop. They give the game a nice and unique feeling and might as well be the best solution to the typical problems resource systems have to deal with that I've seen so far.

  • The Playzone:

    The client is looking great and making it easy for you to understand what's going on!You can play creatures either in the Attacker or Defender Zone (once again, I'm not entirely certain about the English names for these zones). You can only attack with them if you play them in the Attacker Zone. You can choose freely what opposing creature / hero you want to attack, however, all creatures in your opponent's Defender Zone can be used once per turn to become the Defender of your attack. So things can get tricky in no time and depending on if you play your cards in the right zone, you can have a lot of influence on the outcome of the game.
    There are also ways to move creatures from one zone to the other, so don't rely too much on your creatures sitting in the Defender Zone.

  • Damage:

    Unlike Magic, damage on creatures is permanent in Carte. That means even if your opponent is playing that 5 / 5 fattie, you can take him down with 3 2 / 1 creatures. This won't always be the best possible move; maybe you should slam them right into the opposing hero to win the game fast before your opponent can gain the upper hand on the field. I prefer this concept as it always made for exciting games in the WoW TCG.

  • Heroes:

    The artworks are up on par with the industry leaders!*You* are not some imaginary being in Carte. A hero is representing you and he can also play a major role in the game. Every single hero comes with 2 built-in abilities that you can use once per game (only one of them, not both). They also have different Life Points, so deckbuilding will be quite interesting with so many things to consider.

  • Double Mulligan:

    Carte features the most interesting Mulligan that I've ever come across. Twice (!) per game, at the start of your turn, you can shuffle your hand back in and draw as many cards as you added to your deck. While your hero takes a point of damage if you do so, I would always prefer this to a dead hand that doesn't provide you with some viable outs to turn the game around.

  • Tarot Cards:

    Without Tarot Cards, I think Carte would be missing out on something. They are there to cause some chaos in the game as they represent the “randomness factor” of it. Every deck features 4 Tarot Cards and you'll pick one at random before the start of the game. You can use this card once during the game; as soon as you can afford it's resource cost. They all have rather powerful effects, so it's a good thing that you can never rely on any particular Tarot Card – you simply don't know if you'll pick it at the start of the game (you can't add the same card more than once to your deck). Without Tarot Cards, the decks I've seen so far might turn out way too consistent, making it almost impossible for starting players to stand a chance against more experienced players.

Impression so far

One of the beefier creatures in Carte!The developers left me with a very positive feeling. They made it perfectly clear that the game will be completely free2play – you'll never have to invest a single Cent to unlock some item in the game. On top of that, they don't believe in new players having to grind forever to stand a chance. So the starter decks will be quite useful and you won't necessarily lose all of your first 50 games.

I think Carte holds a lot of potential. It brings enough new and unique features to the table to attract experienced players and with its dramatically low price tag, it should get picked up by plenty of interested TCG players and grow in no time. I'll definitely give it a try once the game is out, so head over to the Carte website and become a fan on Facebook to follow the latest developments.

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WoW TCG Worlds – here I come!

FINALLY! THE SOUL … HAS COME BACK … TO WORLDS!!!

(if you really don't get the reference, shame on you and watch this video)

For the first time ever, I'll attend the World of Warcraft TCG World Championship as a player this year. On the one hand, I'm really excited and look forward to the event, on the other, I still haven't played a single game to prepare for the big event come Friday. Fortunately, my teammates of the Bootcamp L.E. have found some time to playtest and from what I heard, they have a pretty good idea what's playable and what isn't. I'll take yet another trip to Leipzig to learn everything there is to know about the format tomorrow and will then start my preparation.

If you've been following the blog, you already know that I'm quite busy these days. My company nexTab and the new project TCG Source are keeping me extremely busy and while it's rewarding to see both taking off, it's also depressing to not find any time for my favorite hobby.

Well, I guess in the worst case, we'll just throw a big party in Rotterdam. Best case would be several Bootcamp L.E. members rocking the Top 16! Keep your fingers crossed for us and hopefully see you in Rotterdam!

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A new project, Unter den Hut geschaut & Coverage|Neues Projekt, Unter den Hut geschaut & Coverages

Wow, it's Friday already. The last week certainly flashed by in a hurry. I was constantly busy and worked 10+ hour days on 4 of the 5 days this week. Plus, there's a coverage just around the corner, so no rest for me this weekend. But let's start from scratch.

At the beginning of the week, I kickstarted my new project TCG Source. It's a new website where I try to collect all the important news about the Yu-Gi-Oh! and the WoW TCG – the two trading card games that are most dear to me. I already published an article there, trying to explain what the site is about. Basically, you simply need to visit it once a day and you'll (soon) know exactly what's going on in Yu-Gi-Oh! and WoW world. It's as simple as that! One great example is the info page about the YCS Brighton. After you've read over it, you won't have any questions and you'll know exactly how to get there, how much it costs and where you can spend the nights.

The site's still in Beta mode, though. I need more staff to update it regularly and there are also some more sections that are supposed to go live in the upcoming week. Until then, you may want to already become a fan on Facebook or follow its Twitter feed!

Then there's yet another weekly column which went live just a few minutes ago on eTCG.de: The Plus Community. In it, I'm trying to draw a few connections between card prices and some weird ways in which the Yu-Gi-Oh! community is acting.

I also spent all Wednesday trying to break down Yu-Gi-Oh! into as few words as possible. So if you don't know what the whole buzz about this exciting game is about, check out this article on GameHead.com: Beginner's Guide: Yu-Gi-Oh! (I just realized the good people running the site were so happy with the article it made it all the way into the featured slider on the main page. Guess it paid out to invest so much time in it).

Still, tomorrow's gonna be the busiest day of the week (that's a Spanish proverb, by the way), as I'll be doing coverage of the “Battle of Cards” in Hamburg. It's a gigantic 2 day tournament and thank's to some prizes sponsored by tcgmarket.eu, it will draw in quite a few players. You can follow all the action on eTCG.de: Coverage Battle of Cards Hamburg.

Did I mention I have to finish another article for a website that's gonna be relaunched in a few days? Well, that concludes this blog post, hope you guys will enjoy your weekend!

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The Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2011|Die Yu-Gi-Oh! Weltmeisterschaft 2011

Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2011The past weekend, I was busy doing coverage for the Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2011. It was the second time I've been at Worlds (after I head judged the 2008 World Championship) and it has been a very rewarding experience again! (I'd also like to point out that both times I've been there, a Japanese player won – if that ain't reason enough for the Konami headquarters to fly me in for all future World Championships, I don't know what is!)

Given the special nature of the event, we couldn't generate some of the most sought-after content (e.g. Feature Matches) – we didn't want to put even more pressure on a player who was already fighting on the world's highest stage by exposing all of his plays to a huge audience. This led to some negative feedback as expected, but I think that PJ and I were still able to provide you with a great live impression of what was going on on site, even with the restrictions in place.

I really had a blast in Amsterdam and am very happy to have been part of this special tournament! Granted, there were a few disappointments (lack of cocktail bars in Amsterdam), but all things considered, I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on the event.

World Championship 2011 Playmat showing Utopia!Speaking of memorablia, I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of the exclusive Utopia playmats that have been given out this weekend. It's the exclusive Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2011 Playmat and it's already changed hands on eBay for more than 400,- €. I considered keeping it, but I honestly can't pass such an opportunity and put my playmat up for auction. Go check it out and send me a price suggestion, here's the link one more time: Worlds Playmat.

If you've been to Amsterdam and / or enjoyed following up on the coverage, leave a comment below and let me know what you thought about the event / the coverage!

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Off to Madrid!|Ab nach Madrid!

Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship Qualifier: European ChampionshipAlright folks, I'm off to Madrid. Gotta catch a plane to arrive at the hotel in time for some pre event briefing and other preparation stuff.

You can check out the live coverage of the World Championship Qualifier: European Championship on the official Konami website. Additionally, there's a chance I can keep you posted on Twitter, but don't count on it!

For feedback regarding the coverage, you can reach me via ICQ (#44734926), the aforementioned Twitter, maybe Facebook (guess I won't have the time to be active there), even less likely Google+, but most certainly on eTCG.de (although I might not reply immediately, I WILL read your feedback there)! See you in Madrid!

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soulwarrior on Google+|soulwarrior auf Google+

Google+Google learned from their past mistakes with Google Wave and Google Buzz – both products that never took off as people were simply not able to use some of the cool features of those products – and launched a new product that seems to be destined to take the social world in a storm: Google+.

Not surprisingly, I wanted to be one of the early adopters, so I joined the network. After all, I'm rather active on the various social media sites floating around the web. If you're interested in my first few thoughts about Google+, check out the blog post on nexTab.de. If you simply want to add me to your circles, head over to gplus.to/soulwarrior.

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