Saturday, July 18, 2015

Magic Duels: Origins iPhone 6 Plus Impressions, useful links and a tip (Update post with comments on Story Mode, Duels Subreddit link and a link to decks)

I've played for quite a bit and unlocked all the game modes but I don't know if I want to continue more, especially on the iPhone 6 Plus. The game seem designed for a bigger screen like perhaps should be played on at least a tablet screen because even with the bigger iPhone, the 6 plus, the cards are just way too small on the screen. It is a very bad experience while playing, viewing the collection   and creating decks. My phone also got pretty warm while playing and the battery level also drop quickly. These are all common points raised in forums when talking about the game.

I've also read some complaints on forums about having to play skill quests which are like tutorials to earn more gold when the players probably already know the game rules and mechanics. However, I didn't mind them as I treat them like simple puzzles to solve and free gold is always very welcomed in a freemium game. The only issue for me is that they seem to pop up out of nowhere so you don't know how to go about "triggering" them, making you think you've somehow still missed out on some free gold.

With all the issues on iPhone aside, I think it is the best digital version of Magic that I've played so far. (Disclaimer: I never tried Magic Online) It is a good implementation of the free-to-play model with no cards gated behind a paywall that I know of so far. The game can probably last for a long time as long as more card expansions gets added and that definitely won't be a shortage of them because the CCG has tons of them. If you are a Magic fan, I definitely recommend trying out the game... but just don't try it out on iPhones.

App Store link
(Compatible for iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, iPad mini 2 and above, iPad Air and above. Check out the App Store page for compatibility information.)

Useful Links
- Here's the Magic subreddit thread where people are discussing about the game.
5eNintendan brought up 3 interesting points about the game:
"Just so people know what they are getting into.

  • There will be no Cross play/buy from IOS, Xbox, or PC. If you spend money on one and want to play on another, get ready to start from square one.
  • There's still card limits, you want more than two of the same rare, welp sorry can't happen.
  • The game doesn't have the full Origin set and might never have it. If you had plans to look at or test every new Origin card, well that won't be possiable. I remember reading only 80% of Origins cards made it into the game. Many of the other cards added are just fillers for more deck options."

- Full album of Duels: Origins cards from Lexx20 from the Magic DotP subreddit. A comment by Lexxx20 in the opening post:"I'm pretty sad we don't get Demonic Pact, Dark Dabbling or Dark Petition. No Eyeblight Massacre, Nightsnare, Touch of Moonglove and Tormented Thoughts. Was looking forward to try them." I googled them all and they are quite interesting cards but also all black... I wonder if other colors also have interesting cards that are not included in the game...

- I don't have much tips to provide but I think it is a good idea to play through the entire story mode first to build up gold and buy as many packs as possible to expand your card pool before attempting the daily quests/other modes with logically better decks because of increase card choices. The story mode decks are provided so you are basically limited only by your skills and luck with card draw. Of course if you are IAP-ing to buy packs, your experience might differ...

I initial thought I will stop playing after completing the story mode but I'm now at Lilliana's second part of the story but will stop there. Starting from Jace's story, I've began to get reminded of the frustration of Hearthstone Adventure Mode Heroic Mode matches and that is definitely not a good sign. There are complaints over at the new Magic Duels: Origins subreddit:
- "Stuck on Lilliana's story pt3"
- "Is it just me or are the campaign battles basically a game of..."

I also started noticing that the pop-up choice for spell targeting has very bad unintuitive color choices. While waiting for the player to choose a target, the "confirm" button is dark grey while the "finish" button is white which makes the "confirm" button look disabled and "finish" button looking like the button to tap. When the player taps a target, the "confirm" button remains dark grey with only a highlighted border around it. I missed some initial targeting on the phone screen and wasted some spells because of tapping wrongly, adding to the overall frustration when playing Story Mode.

- petercal with sample decks you can build using the starter pack cards you get initially from the No Goblins Allowed forum thread. Other posters shared are a few more other deck lists there too.