BattleForge: The First Week

In my last blog, I outlined some of the basics about BattleForge, a new game from EA that has completely captured my attention.  After purchasing my own personal copy on Monday, I've been playing pretty hardcore for the last week, and I figured I'd offer some updated impressions for anyone who might be interested in the game.


To start, I tested my own theory of whether buying cards straight from the AH would in fact be cheaper than just dropping your 3000 BF Points from the retail copy on booster packs.  To build the deck that I wanted, it only cost me about 1300 points, leaving me with a ton to play around with.  I bought three booster packs, which didn't give me much...but I did get a couple of rare cards that I was able to sell back on the AH for about 700 points total.  Therefore, you could ABSOLUTELY end up never spending more than your initial 3000 BF Points and still keep your deck decently updated.  Whether the same can be said for the game later down the line is another story.

The language barrier is still proving to be quite an issue, as my nighttime adventures in-game usually mean I'm greeted by nothing but German language in the chat.  I'm really really REALLY hoping that EA will work out some kind of a European server setup and an American server setup, because this language barrier really DOES prevent you from seeing the higher end content of the game unless you can convince your friends to play the game.  I have yet to do any 4-player or 12-player scenarios, and it's getting a little pathetic at this point.  So EA, if you are listening, help your damn community!!!

On to the game...

The game is still fresh to me, as every new upgrade for your cards really makes you that much more powerful.  I'm starting to understand the elemental types a bit more, and it's really making things a bit easier.  I've started going through the single player scenarios on Expert now (the last of three difficulties in any given scenario).  Each time you ramp up the difficulty, it really gets brutal.  Wave after wave of enemies will slam against you, and you'll really have to start using the map and a tactical mind to start approaching all these scenarios.  Despite the fact that it's basically the same thing as you did before...just with more enemies and stronger versions of them...you quickly find out how much the resources available to you need to be carefully thought-out.  In Standard, you'll just blow through resources like it's nothing.  By the time you get to Expert, you realize just how much 50 power is worth on a map.  It can easily be the turning point that gives you a win.

Also, Expert difficulty starts giving you your Tier 2 upgrades to cards, which has me super excited.  I feel like I've got a pretty strong fire/frost deck right now, and I can't wait to make them more powerful.

Then there is the PvP.  MY GOD!!!  If you are looking for some seriously intense RTS PvP action, BattleForge is the game to play.  There is NEVER a dull moment, and you really have to think on your feet.  When you first play PvP, you'll think "oh, I'll just pop out a ton of units and overwhelm them".  That's cool and great, but that's not how PvP is won in BattleForge.

Basically, it's a points battle.  The more you kill, the more buildings you have, the better you defend, everything will lead to you getting points.  Whoever has the highest points at the end of the timer (which I believe is 25 minutes by default, so don't expect short matches) is the winner.  Now, you CAN go out and destroy all of your opponent's "buildings" (read: monuments, power wells, etc.).  However, the chances of that happening are usually pretty slim unless you are just bad at the game.  From what I've seen, a LOT of people use Nature-based decks, and they have sound strategies (if not relatively CHEAP strategies) with them.  However, I can safely say after beating a handful of those Nature decks that you can easily play the PvP with whatever setup you like.  It really IS all about strategy, placement, tactics, and resource management.

I'm still thoroughly impressed with the package that EA has put together with BattleForge...to the point that I don't understand a lot of the lukewarm reception that the game has gotten from the gaming media.  There's a lot of originality in this title, while still borrowing from really great influences to make a pretty fluent experience.

If you plan on checking it out, throw me on your friend's list and we'll do some PvE stuff.  Character name is Finlee.
10 Comments
11 Comments
Posted by jakob187

In my last blog, I outlined some of the basics about BattleForge, a new game from EA that has completely captured my attention.  After purchasing my own personal copy on Monday, I've been playing pretty hardcore for the last week, and I figured I'd offer some updated impressions for anyone who might be interested in the game.


To start, I tested my own theory of whether buying cards straight from the AH would in fact be cheaper than just dropping your 3000 BF Points from the retail copy on booster packs.  To build the deck that I wanted, it only cost me about 1300 points, leaving me with a ton to play around with.  I bought three booster packs, which didn't give me much...but I did get a couple of rare cards that I was able to sell back on the AH for about 700 points total.  Therefore, you could ABSOLUTELY end up never spending more than your initial 3000 BF Points and still keep your deck decently updated.  Whether the same can be said for the game later down the line is another story.

The language barrier is still proving to be quite an issue, as my nighttime adventures in-game usually mean I'm greeted by nothing but German language in the chat.  I'm really really REALLY hoping that EA will work out some kind of a European server setup and an American server setup, because this language barrier really DOES prevent you from seeing the higher end content of the game unless you can convince your friends to play the game.  I have yet to do any 4-player or 12-player scenarios, and it's getting a little pathetic at this point.  So EA, if you are listening, help your damn community!!!

On to the game...

The game is still fresh to me, as every new upgrade for your cards really makes you that much more powerful.  I'm starting to understand the elemental types a bit more, and it's really making things a bit easier.  I've started going through the single player scenarios on Expert now (the last of three difficulties in any given scenario).  Each time you ramp up the difficulty, it really gets brutal.  Wave after wave of enemies will slam against you, and you'll really have to start using the map and a tactical mind to start approaching all these scenarios.  Despite the fact that it's basically the same thing as you did before...just with more enemies and stronger versions of them...you quickly find out how much the resources available to you need to be carefully thought-out.  In Standard, you'll just blow through resources like it's nothing.  By the time you get to Expert, you realize just how much 50 power is worth on a map.  It can easily be the turning point that gives you a win.

Also, Expert difficulty starts giving you your Tier 2 upgrades to cards, which has me super excited.  I feel like I've got a pretty strong fire/frost deck right now, and I can't wait to make them more powerful.

Then there is the PvP.  MY GOD!!!  If you are looking for some seriously intense RTS PvP action, BattleForge is the game to play.  There is NEVER a dull moment, and you really have to think on your feet.  When you first play PvP, you'll think "oh, I'll just pop out a ton of units and overwhelm them".  That's cool and great, but that's not how PvP is won in BattleForge.

Basically, it's a points battle.  The more you kill, the more buildings you have, the better you defend, everything will lead to you getting points.  Whoever has the highest points at the end of the timer (which I believe is 25 minutes by default, so don't expect short matches) is the winner.  Now, you CAN go out and destroy all of your opponent's "buildings" (read: monuments, power wells, etc.).  However, the chances of that happening are usually pretty slim unless you are just bad at the game.  From what I've seen, a LOT of people use Nature-based decks, and they have sound strategies (if not relatively CHEAP strategies) with them.  However, I can safely say after beating a handful of those Nature decks that you can easily play the PvP with whatever setup you like.  It really IS all about strategy, placement, tactics, and resource management.

I'm still thoroughly impressed with the package that EA has put together with BattleForge...to the point that I don't understand a lot of the lukewarm reception that the game has gotten from the gaming media.  There's a lot of originality in this title, while still borrowing from really great influences to make a pretty fluent experience.

If you plan on checking it out, throw me on your friend's list and we'll do some PvE stuff.  Character name is Finlee.
Edited by Arkthemaniac

DUDE!


How the fuck did I not hear about this!?! This sounds awesome!
Posted by jakob187
Arkthemaniac said:
"DUDE!

How the fuck did I not hear about this!?! This sounds awesome!"
I personally enjoy the hell out of it.  I haven't been on WoW in weeks because of this.  The nice thing is that some of the scenarios can take upwards of an hour (depending on the difficulty setting), so you can play one match and be like "I'm satisfied for the day".  You never feel like you are having to grind for stuff until you get into the PvP, and even then, you'll be taken away from the grind since losing still garners some gold and Battle Tokens.

If you have an iGames sponsored gaming center near you, there is a showcase going on nationwide for the game right now.  Check out http://www.igames.org for any participating centers.  That way, you can go in there, buy an hour, check it out and see if you dig it.
Posted by jakob187
dcpc10 said:
"I'm glad to see your enjoying it :DIt looks like you took my advice (I wrote that beta impressions blog awhile back)"
Absolutely, man.  It sounded like something I might've been interested in, but I had wanted to hear about it more first.  You definitely helped me in making my decision...aside from the fact that I work at a gaming center and we're showcasing the game.  lol  Got to check it out for free before I bought my own copy.
Posted by MC_Izawa

Are the players (well, at least the ones you can understand) whiny bastards?  That's all I get when I play Company of Heroes, people who bitch and complain.

Posted by jakob187
MC_Izawa said:
"Are the players (well, at least the ones you can understand) whiny bastards?  That's all I get when I play Company of Heroes, people who bitch and complain."
Actually, quite the opposite.  People are extremely helpful towards one another, and especially in learning PvP tactics and tips.  I have yet to see any chat channel in that game be a clusterfuck of mental retardation.  There are also a good handful of sites that are being worked on and updated regularly to help BattleForge players get better at the game.

http://battleforge.wikia.com
http://www.bfcards.info

I will say that when you FIRST start PvP, you will more than likely rage quit quite a bit...but it's solely because you aren't used to the PvP.  After a few matches and understanding what your "build order" should be, it starts becoming a fascinating experience.  What's better is that you can be behind in a match in terms of just being assaulted constantly, and yet you could still win a match based on your strategy and tactics.
Posted by GamerGeek360

That game does seem really interesting. The language barrier thing seems really annoying though. I hope for your sake that they fix it.

Posted by jakob187
GamerGeek360 said:
"That game does seem really interesting. The language barrier thing seems really annoying though. I hope for your sake that they fix it."
Well, I've heard word around the campfire that they may be putting a translator into the game to help ease it.  Otherwise, it's something that has to be dealt with, since the game is still fairly new and they need to populate as much as possible.

I just went through and revamped the Wiki page for the game as a way to (obviously) help people understand the game a little better.  It's amazing how little information is out about the game.  The page is very much a work-in-progress still, as I'm pretty sure it's going to be the page that busts me over 5,000 points finally (since I got 1,000 off of it last night alone!!!).

Also, anyone with the new issue of Game Informer, there is a review of the game in it.  The main review gave it a 6, but the second opinion gave it an 8, so as you can see, it's really tough to judge the game.  The main review pretty much led me to believe that the dood played maybe two matches of single player, tried to get into a 2 or 4 player, got frustrated, and decided to ream the game.  Sure, the game features pretty basic level RTS elements, but that's not the point!!!  The point is that you'll never be fighting against the game kind of opponent.  I've played PvP matches against SOOOOO many different kinds of decks already that it's not funny!!!


Posted by MC_Izawa

Heh, a translator.

deutsch1986 says: hello join up with cat?
starcraft1992 says: no thanks for my friend did
hamburger1989 says: what the fuck is going on here?
deutsch1986 says: what about mother?
starcraft1992 says: rude american

Posted by addictedtopinescent

I tought it looked cool when I first saw it but now I really want to play it after reading you post.

It reminds me a lot of Magic : the Gathering, which I play and love.
Edited by jakob187
MC_Izawa said:
"Heh, a translator.deutsch1986 says: hello join up with cat?starcraft1992 says: no thanks for my friend didhamburger1989 says: what the fuck is going on here?deutsch1986 says: what about mother?starcraft1992 says: rude american"
Yeah, that's kind of the same thoughts that I had.  Personally, I think they just need to offer European and American servers, much like WoW does.  However, the way their servers are set up is a bit more reminiscent of Guild Wars than a traditional MMO game.

What I will say is this:  language barrier or not, those Europeans stomp ass at that game!!!  lol  I played the Crusade scenario on Advanced earlier with a dood from Germany, who spoke a very very VERY small amount of English (to the point that he understood "hi" and "thanks" basically), and he was rockin' a deck level of 36 to my deck level 18!!!  He tore through that match, and I could barely keep up.

@Addicted - it IS a lot like Magic: The Gathering, except in a very very stripped down Dawn of War II way.  There is no base building, much like DoW II, and you are just basically calling out units the whole time.  It's a very action-paced game when you start an assault, but there are still times when you need to sit back and wait for your resources to build up to get a good assault going.  There is a fair amount of strategy in the higher levels.  How much?

Well, the first single player scenario, Encounters with Twilight, took me close to an hour to finally beat it on Expert...and that was after I had already rage quit the match about 13 times...

On Advanced, it took me about 40 minutes...

On Standard, it took me about 25 minutes...

That's all after many rage quits and figuring out how to handle it.  Encounters with Twilight has me DREADING getting to Defending Hope on Expert.  That shit is going to be fucking B-R-U-T-A-L!!!