Posts Tagged Sammelkartenspiel

Carte Shutdown|Carte wird eingestellt

Earlier this week, publisher OnNet Europe announced the Shutdown of their online TCG Carte. Despite the fact that they discontinued the Affiliate Program that my company managed back in February, this came as somewhat of a surprise to me.

In case you want to dig a little deeper and learn more about the matter, I recommend Björn Hornemann's blog. He used to be the Head of Marketing and Business Development back when Carte launched in the US and Germany, so his insights are rather interesting.

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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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