So, here it is, my first entry as the official “blogger” of the new Warlord design team working under Phoenix Interactive.
Warlord has seen two different environmental resets in the past, Campaign Edition and Epic Edition. When Campaign Edition came along I was on the sidelines, an active AEG Bounty Hunter and a tournament player of budding renown. When the reset for Epic Edition came along I was recently installed as the Technical Editor, so I had a preview of what was to come, but no part in the decisions made that would define the Epic Edition world. Now we are poised to reset the environment once again, and this time I am in a spot to say something about what is to come.
This will be a reset unlike any that have come before though. It is a fundamental flaw of “double bugging” cards prior to a reset – the power level just isn’t quite right. Prior to a reset, a game’s environment is robust, developed, and … crowded. In order for cards to get noticed they need to really stand out, and thus cards designed right before a reset make you stand up and take notice, either for what they do (No Prisoners! or Halo of Fire) or for what problems they help you answer (Rough Road or Infinity’s End). Then these cards became ‘must haves’ in the reset that followed, and the whole subsequent design plan is ramped up to compensate for the set that didn’t entirely have a reset in mind. Fast forward a few years to the Epic reset – this time the reset was being done with two full sets “double bugged”, as well as a set of Warlords (and supporting cast) from the Champions Boxed set.
Mind you, I know that going into the eve of a reset without “double bugged” cards is either a way to dramatically tank sales of a set or enrage your purchasing fan base, but speaking strictly in terms of Design, it is a bad move unless you have the entirety of your reset already mapped out and playtesters dedicated to testing such a “double bugged” set in its new environs.
It is our design intent to bring no such baggage into the reset to come. As such we as designers are being given the freedom to bring you a version of Warlord that will be everything that the property can be – easy to learn, full of strategic depth, and, beyond all else, fun. If you happen to know Oliver, Florian, Jeremiah, Tommy, or myself, then you know that we have a pretty good grasp on fun while supporting a certainly respectable showing in the competitive arena. While it may be hubris to think that we can come up with the most balanced Warlord environment ever, it is certainly a target worthy of aiming for.