The year 2018 was full of ups and downs for Digital Card Games with the release of Artifact, Valve’s Card Game and the release of Gwent with Homecoming. There are also other updates, releases and news for Digital Card Games.
With the first month of the year already come and gone, here are some of the biggest updates!
Hearthstone still holds the top spot as the casual Digital Card Game with the highest number of registered users around the world. Rastakhan’s Rumble is the latest expansion released by Blizzard for the game and it came with a variety of new cards. The developers have started to occasionally balance the cards based on feedback but the game is still full of its RNG.
An update was already slated this month for balance changes and to celebrate the Lunar New Year 2019. Professionals like Toast still play the game but the professional scene is still small compared to other Card Games.
Magic The Gathering: Arena
MTG: Arena Open Beta was launched last 27th September 2018 and, as expected, was successful with a high number of new user registrations. It has gone through its up and downs mainly with the Vault system, the Fifth Card issue and the rewards of certain events, but the developers have been listening to the players’ feedback.
The last set for the game was the Ravnica Allegiance set which was released on 25th January 2019. Wizards of the Coasts, the developer of the game, has promised a 10 million dollar prize pool for the year 2019 which has pulled in a lot of players, streamers and competitive professionals. The developers have promised an update to solve the issue of the Fifth Card and the Vault system soon but no exact date was mentioned.
Gwent was finally released with its Homecoming on 23rd of October with new Visuals, Cards and gameplay. The core of the game stays the same but the deck building, strategies and each card differs greatly from the Open Beta Gwent. Jumping back into the game is equivalent to relearning the game as it is vastly different except for the core game-play.
Gwent has also seen its ups and down since its official release with the balance of the cards and the content of the game. New Leaders for each faction was released on 31st January 2019 and CDProjek Red, the developers, have revealed that a new expansion set is slated possibly in March. Hopefully, with new cards being added, the game can grow into a serious contender for Digital Card Games.
Eternal: Card Game
Eternal: Card Game was also released and left Steam Early Access last year on 15th November 2018. Thus, the developers, Dire Wolf, have started promoting and advertising the game even more to grow its player-base. The game has been smooth sailing so far with the occasional balance patches for certain cards. The game Mulligan system was also further expanded with the Desperate Mulligan to go down to 6 starting hand cards to help the players smooth the start of their game.
The latest set to be released by the Developer is the Defiance set which was released on 13th December 2018. Dire Wolf has been consistent with the release of their sets as well as promo cards and have been rolling out a lot of events for the players to get into. The card base has been getting too big with 5 Main Sets and 4 Story Sets totaling to 1722 cards in game. Hopefully there will be a rotation or cycle of cards in order for a fresh state of the game.
Valve decided to announce a card game during The International 2017 for D.O.T.A and was finally released on 28th November 2018. It is the only Digital Card Game that is as of now Buy-to-Play as other card games are Free-to-Play but with in-game purchases.
The hype surrounding this Digital Card Game was huge with streamers, closed beta players and professionals promoting and advertising the greatness of the game. The game was then released with a huge success in terms of the amount of buyers of the game but soon died off as more and more players left the game. The game instead of growing from its hype suffered in its player-base as people were disappointed with Valve’s view on the game and lack of communication.
Valve has since then changed their view according to feedback and have released a few balance patches, lowering the entry fee and giving certain free in-game rewards. As of now, there are no news regarding the game as there is still a lack of communication except that they are in it for the long haul. There are still players but the amount is getting smaller and smaller as the days goes by.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends
The Elder Scrolls: Legends went through a turbulent time in 2018 as they exchanged developers moving from Dire Wolf to Sparkypants Studios. The new client changes was also announced during last year’s E3 at Bethesda’s stage. The new client update went out on 25th September 2018 with the same card pool and the same in-game contents.
Unfortunately, the developers were under fire for the new client which was full of bugs and the games not being able to be played properly. They have since then fixed most of the bugs and the game runs, at most, smoothly. They have also released a Story Set, the Isle of Madness, last 24th January 2019 and promises to release even more content. Although the game had a rough re-release, it seems to be in a good place right now.
Shadowverse has always been a strong contender for Hearthstone and is one of top Digital Card Games in Japan. So far, other than balance issues, the game had a smooth running with the developers, Cygames, being one the most generous developers to give in-game free rewards and free packs for new players to catch-up to the game.
The last expansion for Shadowverse is the Altersphere set which was released on 26th December 2019 making the legal Rotation Format of cards to be from Chronogenesis, Dawnbreak/Nightedge, Brigade of the Sky, Omen of the Ten and Altersphere. Cygames also announced a Fate/Stay night [Heaven’s Feel] II cross-over event and promises more events for the 2019 year.
Those are some of the Digital Card Games that are either at the top or well-known to card game players. I am sure that I’ve missed others like Fearia, Duelist and Spellweaver but I hope to be able to try them out and bring their news to you in the future.
So till next time, keep on slinging those spells!