The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game goes offline in a good way

I’m not sure why either, it is definitely harder in the digital version to prevent damage to your heroes and there is also less synergy between cards in a deck for combinations. They’ve also changed the “travel” rules quite a bit for location cards which makes some locations much harder to work around (imho). On the other hand a power point is a power point is a power point, no longer do you track them separately by type which makes deck building much easier (and less interesting imo)

Also the turn sequence is different now with player actions interspersed with ai ones rather than having whole turns with the actions lumped together (which presumably makes scenario design easier since none of the scenarios are copied across they are all new designs as far as I can see)

It’s actually not a terrible game design at all but it’s definitely different to the board game in enough ways to make playing it a very different experience.

There’s a lot of comments here, I just want to point out that you can get direct answers on the LOTR ACG Discord:
This digital adaptation does indeed differ from the physical game, it follows the content and cards but has balanced them to suit the system. They’ve discussed at length that the original card game system would have been possible to directly translate to a digital version, but that it would not play well compared to the physical version. As such, they worked instead to adapt it into a format that borrows heavily from the source but adjusts for the digital transition. (More info/discussions of this are found in their AMA streams and their Tabletop Fest Panel.)
Difficulty is by default Standard, with any higher difficulty settings only rewarding you more currency (which you can earn quickly enough thanks to the new economy)
There’s a lot of expansions for the Physical Card Game, which became the inspiration for various content in the game.
The Gamepass version is currently not updated with this content, but it shall be alongside all other platforms by the end of November (sooner depending on Platform Approval)
The game has Fate and Resources, while Spheres are what you get from the Heroes you choose.
These answers hopefully clear up some confusion, but I do hope you check out the Discord where your questions will get quicker and more accurate answers from active community members and Antihero Studio Employees too!
Also, that 2021 date is fortunately wrong. The Fords of Isen content arrives before the end of the month, it had to be isolated from the last update due to oversights. It’ll be rolling out soon, either today or tomorrow.

Thanks for the link to the Discord. I’m checking it out now.

I’m playing the Gamepass version, and I don’t see a way to spend all the currency I’m earning. I suppose they’ll be used for the new expansions you mentioned? Can I use currency to buy cards?

Edit: I visited the Discord and a very helpful moderator answered all my questions. You can buy cards by browsing the card gallery; I hadn’t noticed because only cards not heroes, are available by default. You can also buy cosmetics and emotes. There are also interesting Hero Awards, sort of like achievements.

Okay, I fired up the Xbox version to see how well it ran before it falls off of Game Pass. I haven’t finished the tutorials, but just from poking around and based on what I remember from the Steam version, I believe if you go to “Decks” and then “Cards” you’ll see that some of the cards are grayed out. You can buy these with the in game currency you earn from finishing quests.

I think the Steam version used to also have some new Player Characters you could buy as well with in Game Currency but I don’t see them here on the Xbox, and it looks like I’ve already unlocked everything on Steam, so I can’t quite tell what the mechanics are or were for unlocking.

I don’t see any DLC on Steam (other than purchasing the Soundtrack), so I think that may be way it’s now labeled “The Definitive Edition” since I think they had some extra campaigns they were selling which now look like they’re now included. The Xbox version at least has a “Add Ons” which goes to the Microsoft Store but nothing is there. So it’s possible if the Console version does well, they might make some more expansion campaigns.

One thing the game definitely doesn’t do (which I’m actually pretty happy about) is that you don’t buy packs of random cards. Back when they were selling campaigns, if you purchased the campaign, you got all the cards included with the campaign.

I’ve played a bit more; I’m now through 4 of the 5 quests in the first main campaign. I like it. I don’t know if I love it. There are interesting gameplay and deckbuilding decisions. But each quest feels long – they all seem to have at least three stages. I’ve never beaten a quest on anything other than the easiest difficulty, which I guess is a good thing, but when I peruse the cards available for purchase (with in-game currency), I’m not sure what would make me stronger.

I’m on the fence whether I’ll buy it after it leaves Gamepass. I’ll finish that campaign today and see how I feel about it.

I think the main thing about getting new cards is playing around with different synergies. This ties in with the hero system, where each of the heroes falls into a specific sphere — Tactics, Lore, Leadership, Spirit. Some of the better or more interesting cards require having two or even three heroes from a specific sphere. There are also race bonuses on some cards, so you might have a deck that does better if you have all elves, or a deck that has all dwarves. So it’s not just about one card being stronger than another, but which ones work with which decks.

The PC game also tracks which quests you’ve completed with each hero (I assume the Xbox one does as well). So you can play around with “I know I can beat this with a fighter heavy build, but how can I beat this quest using just hobbits.”

The campaigns are a bit long. I haven’t tried them, but in addition to campaigns, there are a bunch of “Encounters” which I think are shorter, but harder. Poking around on Xbox, I noticed these are now marked “Warning: An Encounter is mean to be very difficult! Do not attempt until you’ve honed your skills on the Tutorial Campaign.”

It looks like the hero cards actually have alternate art as well which can be bought with the in-game currency.

Thanks for your comments. I finished the first campaign today; it was fun! I’m at least figuring out which cards don’t work with my current deck. E.g., the Wandering Took, which gives a resource to Sauron, never seemed advantageous to play. Whereas there are some cards I always seem to play the instant they appear in my hand. I’ve also been playing with the same 3 heroes a lot. I probably should mix them up more.

I kind of like figuring out deckbuilding myself, so thus far I’ve resisted the urge to peek at netdecking resources for this game, even if there are any. First I need to decide whether I’ll be playing after the witching hour tonight! (I.e., whether I’m going to buy it before it leaves Gamepass.)

It sounds like you’re enjoying it. Is there a sense of progress as you play more? I have lots of currency but have hardly bought any cards yet. I did just unlock my first hero-ability card.

I really enjoyed it. I’m not much of a card game player, so I found the campaigns pretty rough going and the first time I managed to just get all the way through I considered a pretty big victory. There was a pretty rough battle late in the first campaign that kept on getting me killed. I do know that they were still working on tuning back then, so I’m not sure where things ended up. I know at one point they were talking about only having two difficulties and getting rid of the middle one, I’m really glad they didn’t end up doing that.

I did enjoy playing around with the different characters and spheres. I think the game plays quite differently depending on what you’ve got in your deck.

So I think the sense of progress comes in a number of ways. 1) for me, just getting through the campaign. I remember there was one fight I played over and over again, trying to tune my deck just to get passed it. You can also try to get through on the higher difficulty levels. 2) trying to get more and more heroes through each campaign.

Looking over on Steam I see 8 different decks I built including multiple versions trying to get thorough with Gimli, Legolas, and Aragon — one of them labeled “Gimli and Legolas (Success?)” followed by another one “Gimli and Legolas 3” which suggests “Gimli and Legolas (Success?)” was not in fact a success.

They do seem to have completely changed the PC interface and possibly reset progress. There’s a “Progress” tab which says “Coming Soon”. The old interface looked basically like the Xbox interface. Steam achievement does say I’ve completed the Shadow’s Reach Campaign back in January 2019 and that I’ve completed 24 quests and made over 9 custom decks. I was hoping to see which heroes I’d gotten through that first campaign though.

IIRC I played it fairly obsessively for the better part of a month. Which does match my Steam achievements which shows achievements from December 16 2019 up through January 10 2020. So for me at least there was a month of play in it.

Thanks for those thoughts. Yep, there is a sense of accomplishment just getting through the campaigns. Like you, I’ve failed quests more than once, and I’m playing on the “Narrative” (easiest) difficulty level. I’ve tried quests on the middle difficulty but never won one, though I do get through the first couple levels. I like that level of challenge.

I’m going to buy the game right now. I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed, but for now it’s my go-to computer game. (My go-to game overall is a board game, “World in Flames,” which does have me obsessed.)

Also, to return to a theme raised earlier in the thread, I think I prefer this videogame version to the earlier tabletop version. I played the tabletop co-op once or twice and lost interest. I’ve now had a dozen sessions with the video version and I like it more now than when I started, which is sort of the opposite of the Chick parabola.