Hello everybody, welcome back to Geek Generation. Today, i’m going to do my first game review. In my game reviews, i’ll generally talk about the game as a whole, the things that i like or do not like, the viability of free to play competitiveness and the hungriness of cash shop.
In this review, i’m going over a collectible card game Nightbanes by Diviad, the company that brought Ghost Trappers to ask via Facebook. Well, i assume it’s by Diviad since it uses the lore from one of Diviad’s games. At some point in the post i might be comparing it with Duel of Champions, also a free to play collectible card game but developed and published by other companies.
The game does not have any form of mana and each turn, the player can play only one card. It appears that the player cannot choose to not play anything in a turn. The speed of different cards are determined by the pips of bloodlust in the top of the card. Each creature fill a pip of bloodlust at end of turn and creatures can attack if they enter combat with all pips filled (meaning creatures cannot attack on the turn they’re summoned unless they do not have bloodlust pips or some other effect fills their pips).
The game complexity is rather simple, there are no lanes in the game. Or rather, there’s only one lane for summoned creatures to queue up in. Creatures attack the enemy hero during combat unless there’s another creature directly opposite of it in the enemy’s queue. In that case, the opposing creature is attacked instead.
Turn order of the game is as follows. Draw 3 cards (initial), play a card/hero ability, enter combat automatically, clean up phase + draw a card if a card was played. It seems that the player cannot choose not to play anything in a turn. Which kind of implies that mechanics like entire board clearing effects and disruption of cards in hands are not present in the game. Actually there might be cards that deal some damage to all enemy creatures, because i saw atleast one card that goes something like heal 2 to all creatures you control.
The mechanics in the game does seem a little limited. I’ve never managed to struggle to a win once the initiative was lost. Perhaps this is not the case in higher levels of gameplay with pools of rarer cards.
The game has a large variety of currency. There’s PVP tokens, blood pearls, blood rubies, blood diamonds. Quests gives pearls when completed and rubies when the quest level ups. You level up a quest by completing it a number of times.
As always, different currencies have different value. By value, i do not mean currency conversion. The shop sells a booster at 15 rubies or 30 diamonds. While this puts the conversion rate at 1 ruby to 2 diamond, diamond is still the more valuable currency since it’s a cash currency (bought with real cash). For some unfathomable reasons, there’s a cap on the amount of PVP tokens and rubies you can have in storage. I guess, possibly at a later stage, that there might be items for sale at a price higher than the cap and a way for players to unlock higher caps with diamonds, thereby generating more sales. I’m not sure if you can still earn rubies once you’ve hit the max levels for all your quests. There’s a daily login bonus that gives rubies though. Rubies are used to purchase boosters. So rubies are kind of the bread and butter currency for free to play players.
I played a PVP match and was paired with someone who’s deck doesn’t look like a starter deck. Perhaps i need to lose ELO rating to get paired with other players with starter decks. I lost the game, and earned a total of zero PVP tokens. Apparently i need to win a match to earn PVP tokens. That effectively puts PVP reward cards out of reach until i get the deck in order through the slow process of accumulating rubies.
Looking at the cash shop, i see the starter deck that i began with on sale for diamonds. You can’t even get other starters for in game money! In another section of the cash shop, labelled premium, i see cards sold for diamonds. And these cards have a logo that’s not part of any of the boosters. Does it mean that free to play players can never hope to own any of these cards?
In the end, comparing Nightbanes’s cash shop to Duel of Champions’s cash shop, Nightbanes has a very hungry cash shop. With exclusive cards and pvp reward cards locked away until later, competitiveness for a free to play player does not look optimistic.
Last but not least, the game has an energy system. A legacy adopted from facebook games. It could be used to limit the players from earning too much in game currency from the quests. This depends on whether rubies can be earned once the quests are at max level. If rubies can’t be earned from max level quests, then the energy system only serves to limit pearls, a currency that is much less valuable compared to rubies.
Edit: The issue of pvp matchmaking could be due to the game not having alot of players. I don’t have the numbers, but it is a possibility.