BattleForge takes place in the world of Nyn, where the sun has died and the world has been taken over by twilight. After the mortals of Nyn made an agreement with the Giants to forge a new sun, the Giants betrayed the mortals and they were forced into exile underground. After a year, the mortals resurface to a world recreated in the image of twilight. Since the Gods have disappeared from the world, you are the last hope for Nyn.
You take on the role of a Skylord, a once mortal hero that was given immortality and a place next to the Gods in the Forge of Creation, a fortress that hovers over the world of Nyn. With the Gods gone, you must call upon the elements of fire, frost, nature, and/or shadow to end the Age of Twilight and bring peace back to Nyn.
Players will experience the story both in-game and through a tome that details many aspects in the world of Nyn. These range from your own personal profile stats, legends status from upgrades you have applied to cards, general ongoing plot, locations, characters, and more.
BattleForge's gameplay relies heavily on a real-time strategy model. While there is no base building in the game, players use virtual cards (i.e. Magic: The Gathering) in order to summon units and defensive structures onto the battlefields. In order to call cards out on the battlefield, players must obtain two things per match - power and monuments.
The first way to obtain power is a unique feature in BattleForge called "void power". A constantly replishing well of power, void power is refreshed every time a unit dies or combat becomes heated. After a unit dies, 90% of the unit's cost is put back into the void power pool. This power is given to the player in a general calculation of 1 power every 2 seconds per 50 power in the void power pool. The second way is by claiming power wells that are located on the map.
A monument is a structure that carries an elemental orb on top of it. These orbs are necessary to call out units, as each card features an orb count as well as a specification of what kind of orb that card may require. As an example (indicated in the top right hand of the card):
The first monument on any map is given to the player for free, and it will match the element of your first card played on the map. Subsequent monuments increase in cost based on how many you already have. The second will cost 150 power, the third will cost 250 power, and every one after this will cost 400 power. No cards in the game currently support more than 4 orbs to be needed at any time, but some PvE scenarios require you to obtain a fifth monument (i.e. The Soultree) as an objective.
A 120 unit limit is present in BattleForge just like in many other real-time strategy games.
Cards, Decks, and Tomes
BattleForge features four elemental powers to build decks with:
Each element offers different play styles. At the beginning of the game, players are offered four base decks for each element, but they may mix and match cards in order to build their own decks. Decks of cards consist of twenty card types, and each of these can be upgraded individually. Doing so will increase your overall "deck level", acting as an indicator to other players of how powerful their opponent/ally's deck is.
Card are also based on grades of rarity: uncommon, common, rare, and ultra-rare. All of the rarities are indicated on the bottom right hand corner of a card by the color of the icon showing which edition the card is from. As an example of each rarity:
Obtaining New Cards
BattleForge uses "BattleForge Points" to purchase new virtual cards. Retail copies of the game ship with 3000 BattleForge Points for players to spend. Players can obtain more points by purchasing them via the EA Online Store or by selling their own cards through the game's Auction House for BattleForge Points.
With BattleForge Points, players can buy either Booster Packs and Tomes, buy from the Auction House, or use them as currency to purchase cards from other players. Booster packs cost 250 BattleForge Points each and contain eight cards. Tomes cost 1250 BattleForge Points and contain six booster packs, which means the player gets a 250-point discount from buying six individual booster packs.
Cards can also be traded straight up between players via an in-game mail system.
By completing PvE and PvP scenarios, players can upgrade their cards to become more powerful. Each card has two tiers of upgrade, as well as the ability to have a charge upgrade applied to it if one is applicable.
Through PvE scenarios, upgrades are given as loot after victory is achieved. The rules of how loot is distributed to players is chosen by the creator of the match (random, need/greed, or assign), and all loot is based on a loot table system. Therefore, players will need to play through scenarios multiple times in many cases to get the upgrades they want.
Through PvP scenarios, players will gain victory tokens and battle tokens, as well as PvP rank. These rewards can then be used to purchase upgrades to cards.
In order to apply upgrades to a card, users will also need gold, which is obtained from doing PvE and PvP scenarios. The amount of gold a player can gain increases with the difficulty level of PvE scenarios, as well as whether they achieved victory or defeat in a PvP scenario.
Creating Tome Collections
A player has the option to create a tome collection to use for PvP play by combining six unopened booster packs (the equivalent of buying a tome) and "sealing" them. These cards cannot be interchanged out of the tome collection until the seal has broken. Tome collections can then be used for more advanced PvP gameplay through a separate option in the PvP match makeup menu.
Forge of Creation
When BattleForge is launched on a player's computer, the first area they will find themselves in is the legendary Forge of Creation. In this Forge, users are given infinite ability to call out any cards they would like and generally just play around. Not only can the player call out his own cards, but he can also summon enemy units to fight against. Players are limited by the 120 unit limit, as well as limited to only calling out cards that they personally own. The Forge of Creation is also where you can edit your decks, check your profile information, access the world map and marketplace, and more.
BattleForge features PvE scenarios that range from 1-12 players within a given match (in denominations of 1, 2, 4, and 12 player scenarios). Each scenario features multiple objectives that must be achieved before the player is deemed victorious.
PvP scenarios in BattleForge allow players to face each other in ranked or unranked matches, and all maps in PvP matches are symmetrical, giving no inherent advantage to either side. There is a 25 minute time limit on matches, and score is given to players depending on many factors - power wells and structures built and destroyed, units built and destroyed, and more. At the end of the match, whoever has the highest score is deemed victorious and gains a hefty reward of Victory and Battle tokens, as well as gold. The player who suffers defeat will still receive Battle tokens and gold, but not nearly as much as the victor. PvP matches can also be won by destroying all of your enemy's structures.
The Dueling Grounds are a ranked PvP area that allows you to gain PvP rank, which is based on an ELO rating system. Matches can be fought in either 1v1 solo play or 2v2 team play.
The Sparring Grounds are an unranked PvP area that allows players to fight against each other in more casual matches to hone their PvP skills, as well as build a good PvP deck. Matches can be fought in either 1v1 solo play or 2v2 team play.
Additionally, players can choose whether they want to play a Collection or Tome match. Collection matches allow players to use any cards they have built into decks with upgrades applied to them. Tome matches force the player to use a Tome Deck, which has no upgrades whatsoever applied to the cards. The rewards from Tome matches, however, are much greater than Collection matches.
PC Required Specs
- OS: Windows XP (SP2), Vista
- CPU: 1.8 GHz or faster
- RAM: 512MB RAM XP/1 GB Vista. 2GB recommended.
- Disc Drive: 4x DVD
- Hard Drive: 7GB of free space or more
- Video: 128MB Nvidia GeForce 6 series/ATIRadeon 9500 or better, DirectX 9.0c compatible
- Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible
- Internet connection of 512 kbps or faster is required to play
EA Store Pre-Order and Post-Release Bonuses
Players who pre-ordered BattleForge via the EA Store were offered five additional promotional cards along with the 3000 BattleForge Points featured with their copy of the game. In-game, these cards featured full Tier 2 upgrades as well as slightly different designs than their normal counterparts.
Players who ordered BattleForge post-release via the EA Store were awarded with 500 additional BattleForge Points to purchase cards with.
Play 4 Free Status
In May of 2009, EA announced that BattleForge would be free to download for anyone who wished to play it. The game can be downloaded from EA's BattleForge website.
This "expansion" adds two new factions in the form of Bandits and Stonekin, and players are treated to 60 new units to call into play, as well as 120 new cards available for purchase. Two new character types are also introduced for regular play: the Bandits and the Stonekin. The biggest change is that cards featured in the Renegade campaign are dual orb colors, with Bandits using fire/shadow mixtures and Stonekin using frost/nature mixtures.
Lost Souls Edition
This "expansion" adds two new factions in the form of Lost Souls and Twilight, meaning that the player can now control units, buildings, and spells from the faction that they had been fighting in the base game. Like the Renegade set, there will be 60 new units that players can call out, as well as 120 new cards available for purchase. Lost Souls cards will use the elements of shadow and frost, while Twilight use nature and fire.