There are few card games which do or did that already: "Eternal the card game" (played that game for a while), "Artifact" (didn't played, but saw the modes and how they work and some do that)… actually I know just those two games, but I feel like there are at least few more which do that.
Essentially whenever you pick a card, you get that card to your collection and you are forced to run it in this arena run. Sounds simple enough. Well… there would be few issues…
Now runs where you have no epics and legendaries would feel even worse because of this since now you are drafting best cards of those rarities or have chance to get copy of cards you already own (how do you implement legendary protection there? You really can't or else you make it so people would "tutor" out specific high tier legendaries in arena).
Also another issue would be cards from stories. Normally you can't get those cards outside story, and now with this would create opportunity to collect those specific cards. It's either guaranteed soul gems, or if you are really lucky, ability to completely skip buying stories. Doesn't sound quite right, doesn't it?
Solution for that would be to add just another raffle style game mode where you collect cards that way, and just don't include story based cards in it.
In Artifact, for this kind of run you had to pay with ticket AND packs. You had less cards than with packs alone, but you could choose more rare cards from each packs, and when you had already good collection of cards – choose cards better for run and then go for reward for wins. The problem with that game is the fact that you have to pay for nearly everything in this game to really accomplish anything in terms of growing your collection. You have I think one or two free game modes where you don't need any cards and play with premade decks, but part of the fun with card games is building deck itself. Not even mentioning the fact you had to PAY to even play it.
Eternal did it better in my mind (I stopped playing it for other reasons tho):
There was no separation between "arena but no gained cards from deck we drafted", and "arena + you get the cards you drafted". Any "arena" run you did gave you also cards you picked. After drafting you then could edit your deck and exclude few cards you though didn't fit or were too weak to include (you could pick cards from all attributes, but each attribute require you to run also power cards – in short, there was good reason to go with less attributed decks).
This make it so you either go for arena to rare draft your packs (cost was in gold and was slightly higher than amount of cards you could get from packs), or just draft good cards for your deck disregarding rarity because you could go for rewards form win-rate instead.
Also worth noting is that the panel where you choose cards was essentially one where you open packs and you could choose literally cards from packs one of each until you had enough cards to make a deck.
The thing is: in this game the limit of card was at minimum 50 cards… where you could include up to 4 of the same card, including legendary cards and there was no such thing as "unique legendary". So to keep up with collecting cards, this looked like actually good idea to not make this game such a grind fest.
It's actually more than 50 cards minimum, but that minimum includes power cards which are free and are required to run in order to play some cards.
If we wanted to introduce this game mode, considering we started the arena mode with no cards gathered from runs we chosen for decks, introducing new mode would probably make more sense.
Then there is issue with price: how do you pay for the arena? Gold? makes the most sense, but how about tickets?
Maybe gold/tickets + packs? Sounds fair if you are keeping cards, but how are you going to define which packs you can get cards from? Cards always from newest expansion? You can't then tutor older packs for cards from there, but if you end up with more packs than you needed (have full collection from that expansion), this let you save some money on buying more packs, recycling your older packs for newer packs.
How about ability to choose which pack you are opening for this game mode? Let's say you pay 5 packs from mix of expansions and you will get cards only from those expansions? Then someone would determine the best packs for arena and every top tier player would choose to pay with only those packs to have the highest chance to win in arena… not necessary bad thing since it would encourage making better fillers for new expansions… but if that means more power creep then I don't know how that would possibly be good…
Alternative would be buff for weak cards no one is currently playing to make them more relevant in this new game mode… that also would buff experience of new players who mostly starts with limited card pool… but there is so many weak cards that making them playable would take time you could spend on developing new cards.
Okay, so what players gain if this new draft game mode would be introduced to the game and somehow avoids all problems we mentioned on the way there?
– more Soul gems to craft new cards, if you decide to play game for wins form draft
– ability to rare draft packs making it so even if you are weak player, you can at least get something out of this game mode
– thanks to rare draft – easier ways to filling your collection
If we let open specific packs:
– ability to tutor specific packs from specific expansions making it easier to catch up and collect mostly cards we don't own… if we want to draft packs for that reason
– adds another layer of metagame to the game where you can prioritize specific packs from specific expansions – which rewards more experienced players with knowledge about expansions
It sounds all nice… but keep in mind that this drastic change of rule set would cause on itself issues with balance of draft. For example:
– Shouts are extremely powerful cards but only if we play 3 or more copies of them… however since they are all common (excluding Dragon Aspect, but this one is from adventure, so probably it wouldn't appear in this game mode anyway), collecting at least few of them won't be an issue, so that would potentially force nerf on those cards in order to not break the game mode.
Then add on top of it Word Walls and Young Dragonborns which grows with shouts… and small chance to catch one or two Paarthurnaxes to finish off the game…
All of those reasons are what would make Skyrim set potentially broken in this game mode. Regardless which attributes you are playing;
– relatively newly introduced epic cards in AW which rewards playing cards with the same name over and over again (the ones with more benefits when you have those cards in discard pile), altho that to less degree since Epic rarity;
– triple attributed cards, which are stronger than dual and single attributed ones but don't have downside of running bigger deck… that could make HoM and AW potentially powerful choice too;
– core set have the most of dual class cards, but also have the most understated creatures in low rarities, so it's very risky to open those packs;
Keeping all of that in mind…
What you guys think about this idea?
I hope I included at least most of the points going for this idea, as well as against it so it's truly neutral.
My opinion is that I would love something like this being introduced to the game, but seeing how much issues there would be implementing this, I can understand why this would be difficult to do in satisfying way.
Also this would cut out of that game mode a lot of cards introduced into the game from monthly rewards, special collections and stories… since you can't encounter those cards form packs. Perhaps you could do something about Monthly rewards, maybe you could be able to pick one of them between packs for guaranteed epics? But Stories and Collections seems like they won't fit in draft where all cards you pick also endup in your collection. You could also ignore that and include them anyway for more soul gems, but that creates potential to skip some collections if you are patient enough…
Feel free to share your comments there!
Have a wonderful day and thanks for reading this behemoth of an post.
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© Post "[LONG READ] [IDEA] What if in arena players collected all cards they picked during arena run?" for game The Elder Scrolls.
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