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.