Hex: Shards of Fate: TCG / MMO From Cryptozoic: Too Many Colons


Incidentally, not clear if guilds will be in at PvE launch or not, but whenever they do come around I’m a Grand King backer and get the Guild Leader tier benefits for anyone in my guild. Doesn’t sound like those benefits will look quite like they were projected at time of KS since the PvE has evolved quite a bit since then. But there’ll obviously be something.


time to fire this back up, been waiting for the pve patch


Looks like the patch is up. I have to go to work, but I am eager to hear impressions from anyone that has a chance to play in the meantime.


Don’t think the servers are back up yet. I’ve downloaded the patch, but everything hangs at login.


I must be missing something. The promise of a single player campaign got me to finally install this. I went through the tutorial and then played a game against the AI. I thought it was supposed to be deeper than MtG, but other than a slightly different resource system and cards, I don’t see much of a difference.


You’re not missing anything. It’s a Magic clone with a threshold mechanic for resources. Not that originality particularly matters if a game is executed well, but there’s very little difference between them.

I’m trying to sell off my remaining boosters (Set 1) if anyone wants them, cheap!


There’s not a great deal of [I]rules[/I] difference between them but I think the threshold resource mechanic, the champions, equipment in PvE, and the dramatically increased card design space mean the two games are profoundly different in practice. And, IMHO, Hex is substantially more enjoyable. Deeper, eh. I don’t know how I would measure that.

What I mean by increased card design space is that they’re taking full advantage of the purely digital nature of the cards. So there are effects that can permanently (for that game, at least) change a card’s traits, stats, and rules text (in fact, the vast majority of game effects are permanent); tokens can go into hand, deck or discard; cards can be created either randomly or directly or turn into other cards entirely, etc. Some examples:
A card called Pack Raptor that gets stronger in numbers, not unlike a number of Magic creatures, but also creates additional copies of itself that are shuffled into your deck whenever it enters play.
A card called Jank Bot that enforces a deck construction rule that requires far more cards than are efficient but, if you can get it out, plays the top three cards of your deck for free irrespective of thresholds every time it deals damage.
A trio of human leaders that in addition to being powerful cards in their own right can combine into a fourth exceptionally potent card called The Triumvirate if they are all in play at the same time.
A Death Star like artifact that can activate to instantly destroy any one target card and costs something ridiculous like 12 resources, but can be revealed once a turn from your hand to have its cost permanently lowered by one.
A direct damage spell called Ragefire that deals 2 damage to a target and then, because of a keyword ability called Escalate, shuffles itself back into your deck and increases the damage value of every copy of that spell you control by 2.
A creature that was just revealed that when it enters play converts your entire crypt (graveyard) into copies of Ragefire and then adds them to your deck.

Etc. I have never yet played a game of Hex where I didn’t feel like I was doing cool, powerful, synergetic things even though I’ve nearly universally lost my games against actual humans. And because of the resource system, I’ve only had one or two games where I felt like I was screwed by having too few or two many resources and pretty much none where I didn’t have the shard thresholds I needed. I think the game would have been better off with almost any other resource system (nearly every TCG/LCG I’ve tried other than Magic has a more elegant, less problematic system), but it’s still loads better than Magic’s, which screws me far more often.


Took a whack at campaign. Seems like the servers are being hammered because loading various areas and fights took way longer than it should and occasionally dialogues would reset on me. I’ve also had a couple of crashes. Still, despite technical issues I managed to build a Shin’hare Cleric, which is a neat set of combinations. Clerics’ charge power is a 2 cost one that puts multiple Blessing cards into your deck. By default they’re zero cost 2 health and draw a card, but talents can increase their healing, give them a buff effect and presumably more at higher tiers; and/or you can potentially give them a chance of becoming Blessings of Immortality which play a card from your crypt at no cost in addition to the usual effect. The Shin’Hare get more dungeon lives (the number of losses you can take before failing the dungeon and having to start over) and more starting health, and the Shin’hare racial cleric trait is every time you play a Shin’hare you have a 25% chance of spawning a Battle Hopper (0/1 Shin’hare). That, honestly, was what I was banking on. The Shin’hare are all about wave tactics and sacrificing their expendable troops to wreak various sorts of havoc, so a free rabbit every couple of troops is really nice.

I then completed the introductory dungeon, which for the Shin’hare involves fighting a couple of Coyotle enemies including a pretty nasty boss that’s built around the Prophesy mechanic that buffs future troop draws and gets 3 health and a charge every time they play a troop that’s been affected by Prophesy. It took me three attempts to down that one and the third time I only won because the AI picked the wrong troop to block (the temporarily 2/1 Battle Hopper instead of the 8/6 Abominated banner carrier.). It’s conceivable I might have won anyway - I would have hit them for at least 8-10 and might have been able to survive another turn or two and finish them off somehow, given that I’d managed to thin out many of their defenders and still had several bunnies - but all it really needed was one or two good draws. Got a pack including a card for my narrative NPC companion and some decent gold and exp. Levelled up and was trying to figure out what I wanted to take as a trait in a really tempting tree and then the game crashed. So I think I’m done for tonight. I think we’ve got a winner here, though, especially once launch pains settle out.

Honestly, my biggest complaint is that you don’t get access to your card manager in the campaign until you’re out of the first dungeon, far as I can tell. So you’re stuck with whatever semblance of a deck got built out of your freebie 200 cards for the first few fights. Not sure there’s even as much cohesion as the starter decks they sell in the shop. They’re mostly not super hard because the enemies have severely reduced health for most of them, so you don’t -need- a tightly tuned deck. But it can be a little more frustrating than it will hopefully be now that I can salt my deck with some of the power cards I have out of my boosters and drafting. That said, you also can’t just buy your way into a mega-fancy deck because you’re very limited as to how many cards you can swap around out of the gate. I think just one rare and one legendary of each of your faction’s predominant shard colors and artifacts, and only a couple of commons and uncommons. That does relax later, apparently.


I’ve been trying to give the single player campaign a fair shot but haven’t even been able to start it. Either nothing happens when I press the “play now” button or I log in but nothing happens after selecting my character. I understand that the servers may be overloaded, or even down for maintenance, bu I would expect a message to that effect at least. As of this writing I’ve had the launch menu staring me in the face for 40 minutes with no response when I try to start the game.

So far the whole thing smacks of amateur night.


Did you sit on the character select screen after selecting them? I found it took some time to even show the “now loading” screen. Obviously that doesn’t help if you can’t get the game to run, but if you do.

Edit: Actually, I’d probably just recommend holding off until the rush dies down/they get a few technical issues sorted, if you’re trying the game for the first time. No sense having your first experience spoiled by lag and crashes and such when it’ll probably be a much smoother ride a little ways down the line (I didn’t have any of these problems prior to today). Also, when you do, probably don’t pick a Shin’hare character just yet. Sounds like their campaign starting deck is notably weaker than the others.


Yeah, I played through the first Coyotle dungeon, but I’ll be taking a break for a bit until their server issues are worked out.

Not sure I’m crazy about the new UI, not so much about the utility but the aesthetics. Everything seems to be running snappier (while in a match, that is), which may be why some of the change were made. But so far, I think I prefer the resource gauge, placement, and animation that they had previously. Same thing for the hero displays. And does anyone know how to turn off the chat icon badge notifications? The constantly rising number bugs me.


They patched it. Campaign lag seems basically nonexistent now and it’s been more stable as well. I didn’t get much further in the campaign though since I decided to use up my Pro Player weekly draft for once (next one pops tomorrow) and, to my great shock, managed to win 2 out of 3 games with my first round opponent (who had an eerily similar account name), thus passing on to round 2 and, since someone apparently raredrafted and quit, coming in 4th overall even though I handily lost both round 2 games due to shard screw.

I drafted a blood/sapphire deck that had two main themes: Chaostouched mill cards (multiple copies each of Lunacy, which is a milling quick action, Psychic Torment, which is a constant that mills for every damage you do to an opposing champion, and I think one or two other things), and Vennen Spiderling Eggs. There’s a whole bunch of different cards that do something or other and then pop a certain number of Eggs into the opposing champion’s deck, where if they’re drawn or dumped to the crypt, they spawn a 1/1 unblockable Spiderling for you and then get replaced by the next card from that champion’s deck. Needless to say, if you can put ten or twenty Eggs into someone’s deck (not unreasonable since many sources spawn 3+ and I had a couple of quick actions that made a troop unblockable and add Eggs equal to the damage they dealt to an opposing champion for that turn) and then mill a few times, you’re sitting pretty. And the unblockable Spiderlings make a pretty great source of damage for Psychic Torment. I lost that first game to a 6/1 unblockable orc charging me with a quick action applied that gave it double damage, Crush and something else nasty, at the cost of that troop dying afterwards. But no need to worry about that if it’s the finishing blow, and 12 points of unblockable damage is a pretty freaking good shot at a finishing blow. I certainly had no answer. The subsequent games I won thanks to an early drafted rare, the Demon of Dusk, which is a 5 cost 6/6 flier with the notable downside that it starts slipping 7/7 flying angels into your opponent’s deck every turn and those angels can’t be blocked if you control a blood flier (like the Demon). But a couple turns of hitting for 6 damage (or 8, with the buffing artifact I had) and you stop having to worry about that pretty quick unless you’re real unlucky. especially if you’ve got Psychic Torment milling for 6-8 each time.

The second round I didn’t have the resources to contend either time, but I did get surprisingly close to milling him with Psychic Torments thanks to an early Spiderling in the second game. Not close enough. But surprisingly close given that I drew a whole 2 shards all game. Another two turns and I’d probably have had him. Maybe less.


Yeah, we’re pretty confident the issue with latency should be fixed at this point.

Man, Vennen egg decks in draft. I hate those guys.

Chris Woods


The latency does appear to be improved but I do have some wait time after finishing a battle. There are some difficult parts in the campaign (can anyone say piranha). :)

I do not believe the difficult parts are a major stop, i just go do something else until I want to tackle it. They seem to require changing the deck for certain special encounters. Than you can go back to your normal encounter deck. The one grief I have is that you can not save different decks to use in the campaign. Which means if you need to use a special deck for a special encounter you have to switch all the cards out and then put your cards for your regular deck back (this is just in the campaign - in the PVP and Arena you can grab different saved decks). This is just stupid as far as I am concerned.This might be due to the advanced ruleset used in the campaign (only allowing so many commons, uncommons, rares, legendaries - but I really think they need to solve saving a deck in the campaign versus only one deck you use most of the time).

There is plenty to do so far; I am playing about an hour a night but then I find myself going back to it for just one more encounter before i go to bed.


Well, the lag went away but unfortunately now I am regularly crashing or hanging, with usually no more than two battles between client restarts if that. I barely made it through my weekly draft tonight, although I ended up in 4th place anyway because one person quit immediately and then my opponent timed out both matches without ever picking starting player (maybe they were crashing too?). I drafted a Diamond/Ruby deck with some direct damage constants (Playing with Fire, Ember Tears) and some big guys/fast offense and unfortunately that just didn’t end up working out against, go figure, a Vennen egg deck. Who managed to nab way more egg production toys than I did in my last draft and although I almost burned him down in the first game with a strong resource ramp and a prophesied Lifedrain on my 7 cost dwarven Demolisher (I forget the full name of the card), his Vennen Infiltrators and Psychic Torment pushed me into a major run of eggs and I got overwhelmed. The second game went substantially worse because I never drew past four shards and he immediately locked down the Spirit Eagle I did manage to get out with Incubation Webs. When he chained out about 10-15 eggs worth of spiderlings I conceded.

It’s still a really cool game when I can get it to work. The crashes being fixed and the ability to save campaign decks are my main “want ASAP” items - I found out pretty quickly that the campaign absolutely will not support just building one deck and trying to apply it to every fight. Indeed, all three of the battles I was up against with my Shin’hare cleric were resistant to my battle hopper spam strategy - one powers up every time opposing troops die which means it’s a really terrible idea to confront it with wave tactics and sacrifice spam, one is Piranhas (I’m still not sure how to deal with them), and one was a dino-spam combatant which ramps into nasty offense pretty quickly…but you also get a free guaranteed Comet Strike, a card which I originally did not see the utility of. Well…I don’t know what crazy tricks you might be able to pull with it as a part of your deck, but as an automatic freebie it became clear that the correct course of action was to turf all my cheap cards out of my deck and fill it full of expensive rares and legendaries. Slap down enough wild/blood thresholds to get on with, Comet Strike (void everyone’s hand, playfield, and crypt; add 10 permanent resources and 10 Diamond, Ruby and Sapphire thresholds to both sides), and voila, everything you draw is immediately playable and powerful, and your opponent may have the resources but he doesn’t have the deck!


I don’t know if it was me uninstalling and reinstalling or upgrading my computer, but I’m not having crashes anymore. I went ahead and opened the rest of my set 1 and set 2 packs since they’re not limited-legal anymore and got some nutso legendaries (and rares, for that matter). Some are clearly the sort of thing you’d have to build around (Gront the Infinite, a goblin who every turn gives every other troop a permanent -1/-1 and gets a permanent +1/+1 whenever any troop dies, 6 cost), some are just…nuts. I now have I think two or three High Tomb Lords, which are a 5 cost 0/0 that get +1/+1 for every card in any crypt - the scaling gets real crazy real fast, especially if you’re running, say, Psychic Torment. And 3 Vampire Kings, which seem to be a really popular pick for Blood decks that I was afraid I was going to have to pay top dollar for at auction. And so much other loveliness. No dragons, alas. Oh, and I was really happy that, in my very last few set 1 packs, I did manage to score a Lord Alexander, The Courageous. I have both of the other Triumvirate members and would have been sad if I’d managed to miss out on the third.

Also ran up a Vennen Cleric and a Human Warrior through the first dungeon to get Ardor Day drops (two cards, no equipment so far) and while the untuned Vennen deck was frustratingly chancy and poor at egg-gen, pushing some rares and legendaries into it (not to mention some milling) and pulling a few dead cards has made it a hilarious, lovely deck with horrifying combos. I had a game, for example, where I had out a Vile Eremite (damage to the enemy champion whenever a Spider enters play), an Arachnomancer (optionally draw when a spider comes into play), a card whose name I forget that mills the enemy whenever you draw cards, Psychic Torment (mill the enemy whenever they take damage), and Darad the Scourgeblade (who mills the enemy whenever he attacks and is mostly unblockable). Combine that with a few egg generation methods and a Hatchery Cultivator or two to pump the amount of eggs and I had routine turns where I’d mill them some, generate spiders, hurt them and draw cards and mill them more from both of those, get more spiders, hurt them, draw cards, mill more… the combo was much heavier on damage and milling than eggs, so this wasn’t a one turn win of a loop, but still. beautiful.

Looking forward to seeing what I can do with the human deck now that I have a bunch of their leaders.


Crap. I thought the reward cards were for playing the campaign, not just the dungeons. I did the former for a while, and then stopped at the beginning of one of the latter. Oh well, guess I need to work on my reading comprehension for next time.


It’s for completing a dungeon. Any dungeon. But doesn’t count as a boss drop so Dungeon Crawler tier backers don’t get two, alas. Easiest way for me has been to run new characters through the starter castle because it’s short and immediately accessible. Haven’t made it to any other dungeons yet and it ends today so I don’t know that I will in time.


I’ve been doing all the quest encounters on the main map rather than the dungeons. In fact, I think I just hit my first post-tutorial dungeon when I quit. I think it ended a few hours ago, so too bad for me.


Just started messing around with this game, I’ve put perhaps 3 hours into it. It’s good so far and no crashes. Fingers crossed that it stays good.

Still, UI is clunky at times, some of the mechanics are not exactly slick, like when you play a resource and then immediately a card, the card won’t register because the resource wasn’t added to your pool yet. It also feels unnecessary with all the different phases, why have two main phases in the same round? Stuff like that feels raw too me, but I might get used to it / understand the design better with time.