The WoW TcG: Cardboard Computing

World of Warcraft had a TCG for a while there. About seven years, passed from developer to developer. The original game was outlaid by a fairly interesting set of people, including Brian Kibler, and had some novel, if not incredible card design ideas to it. It betrays at its core, the beating heart of Magic: The Gathering design. There are land drops and a mana system, albeit a slightly wonky one. I played it for a bit, with a friend, and it was honestly kinda cool. It did have that early-TCG problem that lots of them do, where the learner experience wasn’t really as fun as it could be – where you were sort of expected to live with only one interesting card in your whole deck.

While the game was basically Magic-in-Azeroth, it differentiated itself by having a non-competitive multiplayer element. The game had Raid Decks; that is, decks that were special, full of cards that played themselves, to emulate raids from World of Warcraft – with layered boss monsters, boss phases, and even trash. The raids even paid out gear, gear you weren’t meant to put into your deck until after you bested the raids! They were interesting because they had to be able to emulate a player’s behaviour without a player to act.

With the launch of Hearthstone, obviously, this TCG, which was already not particularly high-value towards the end, stopped production. This put us in a rare situation: the game is now a closed cardpool. You can actually have decks optimally designed to take on those raids, in the context of the limited cardpool. This means you could, hypothetically, acquire these decks to be a sort of campaign.

Sadly, the cards with rare, in-MMO-redeemable codes have created a value floor for the game, though. It’ll be very hard to acquire the raid decks cheaply.

Shame. Interesting little exercise.

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