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Faeria In-Depth Early Access Preview

Faeria In-Depth Early Access Preview

As a well versed player of digital CCG’s Faeria is a game that instantly feels familiar to me. Upon launching the game up for the first time I find myself looking at the cards and even before I play my first game everything makes sense in terms of understanding the mechanics of the cards, which although under different names are shared with other digital CCG’s I’ve played in the past. What’s different about Faeria is the use of an environmental board on which the cards in your collection can be played and can move around before entering combat. This simple addition adds a whole new level of tactical thought to a game which already has all the layers of a normal digital card game. The combination works so well that I found myself sinking 4 hours a day over the first weekend of playing.

A typical game starts with an empty board and hexagonal shaped ocean pieces on which you place your land. Depending on which faction you build your deck from you can either place mountains, lakes, forests, deserts, neutral land called prairies, or a combination of any and all of these types. You can then place your creature cards onto these lands. Your creatures can only be placed on your own lands although they can be moved onto opponent lands after they have been on the board for 1 turn or more.

From here it’s basically a game of chess with your creatures facing up against your opponents. It’s important to note there are also four Faeria wells at the corners of the board. Faeria lets you use your cards and abilities and controlling these wells can sometimes be critical to winning either long games where your opponent will run out of Faeria if not managed properly, or rush games where you will be placing a lot of creatures and using a lot of event (special ability) cards within the first few turns.

Matching your card choice to your play style is also a large factor of success and it’s important to know what all your cards abilities are and how you can best play them. This of course takes time experimenting and refining your deck when you think something’s not quite right, or not exactly how you want it to be. Whether you play defensive, rush, or go for a deck themed around a particular feature like ranged combat or a focus on efficient trades it’s important to have a game plan.

Once you’ve had a good look at the cards and have drafted a deck you’re happy with, it’s time to get into the thick of the action, and there’s a few choices of game types to be made. Firstly you should be focusing your time in solo mode, where you unlock all of the codex cards (basic game cards) by defeating AI opponents from each of the factions; water, desert, forest and mountain. Once you have done this and refined you deck with any of the new cards you should head into battle mode. Here you can play against other real players in ranked or un-ranked play. Un-ranked is a good way to test new or experimental decks you have been creating, while ranked mode, going from 25-1 and then onto God rank is the ultimate test of your deck crafting and playing skills and stands as a mark of your commitment and skill with the game. Pandora is another mode players of CCG’s might also be familiar with and is also known in other games as draft mode, or arena. This has yet to be implemented in Faeria but is very near and from what I’ve heard will work much in the same way that it does in other games.

Faeria Booster Pack

As you gain ranks and level your character there are certain awards that can be picked up. Gold for buying booster packs, card crafting material and avatar pictures. There is also a shop in which you can buy all these things and booster packs, but the good thing about Faeria is that in this early stage with not too many cards it’s strikes me as not very pay-to-win, which is of course a great thing. As the game progresses (as with all CCG’s) the struggle will be in keeping up with all these new cards and the change of the meta game towards these cards. That moment is not upon us yet and if you wish to get into Faeria I would say get in early and try to keep on top of the cards as much as you can.

At the moment Faeria costs £17.99 on Steam and with this you get 20 booster packs, 10 entries in to Pandora mode when it becomes available and exclusive aesthetic item for your god. Eventually it will be free-to-play but then the bonus for supporting development during early access will be gone. Assuming that Pandora entry is about 100 gold and ignoring the exclusive avatar items, this would have cost you 3000 in game gold, which takes while to farm though quests, so to get this quick boost as soon as you start the game feels worthwhile to me.

The Good and the Bad of Faeria
So you’ve probably heard enough about the in’s and out’s of Faeria to decide whether it’s your kind of game or not, but as a whole is the game worth playing or not? Let’s start with the positives.

Positives – The beautiful art style, familiar feel, smooth gameplay, the fact that it’s not pay-to-win, is easy to pick up and hard to master and lacks in RNG compared to other CCG’s are all great but fairly small reasons why you should play this game. The main three points for me are that: 1Faeria already has a great community of players who are all willing to help you understand the game and craft better decks and can chat to you thanks to the forum link you find in game. 2Faeria has a uniqueness about it in that it has an almost board game feel but it actually a CCG. The mix of evolving environmental board and chess game of your cards on this board is brilliant. 3Faeria even in this Early Access stage receives regular updates to balance the cards that people are playing every day. This is a great way to keep the community feeling in touch with the game and the changes that are happening whilst also receiving all the normal bug fixing and so on you would expect for a game in Early Aceess.

Negatives – Considering this game has only just entered early access on Steam there are actually very little negatives about it. This is probably in part down to the community and the open communication the developers have with the community, allowing them to suggest feedback and directly send screenshots or reports of bugs to a live developer and a team of moderators. However in the spirit of fairness I feel it would be unjust if I didn’t mention the minor negatives I have found with the game so far. 1 – There is a running battle log at the side of the screen, this is helpful but only has a history of a few turns. It would be nice to be able to scroll down this list and see what happened previously as occasionally your opponents turn can be comprised of several different moves, attacks and spells and the log quite often doesn’t even go back a full turn. It could also do with a little more explanation. Sure a creature attacked, but who did it attack? Quite often the target of spells and attacks are not shown. 2 – When opening booster packs and finding new cards, there is no indication of where these new cards are when you go back to the drafting stage. It would be nice if there was some kind of highlight that showed where these were for new players who were not acquainted with all of the games cards yet. 3 – There is currently no player interaction while in game. No emotes, no chat between friends, nothing. While some players may enjoy the silence it would be nice to have the option to chat to friends if you wanted. 4 – As the player base of Faeria is just taking off, matchmaking can be a bit unfair at times. You can be placed with an opponent five ranks above or below you, or even face the same opponent twice in a row. I assume this is because of the smaller player base and I’m sure it will be rectified in due course. It’s not like it happens all the time anyway!

If your interested in checking out Faeria further I’ve included a gameplay video below where I detail a couple of strategies for playing and talk about some other aspects of the game.

Faeria can be purchased for £17.99 on Steam, but will become free-to-play in September.

Gaming Crowdfunding Weekly – Dead Synchronicity, Duelyst, Chaos Reborn, The Red Solstice, Bizenghast

Gaming Crowdfunding Weekly – Dead Synchronicity, Duelyst, Chaos Reborn, The Red Solstice, Bizenghast

Steph wont be here again this week so it’s fallen on me to take the reigns for this instalment of crowdfunding round-ups. With so many indie developers and so much opportunity these days to fund your project in various ways, it’s important to stick out amongst the crowd, have some individuality and above all provide a pitch that shows quality and professionalism (at least that’s what I would look for), so for this weeks pick I have been looking for just that. Admittedly I have already been following three of these games through development but the others show just as much promise.

In Progress

Dead Synchronicity

Dead Synchronicity Screenshot Fictiorama Studios PC Steam Kickstarter

Goal: $45,000
Deadline: April 12th
Outlook: Will need a strong second half if it’s to reach the funding goal.

Dead Synchronicity developers Fictiorama Studios certainly know their stuff when it comes to adventure games. Their developer blog frequently mentions classics of the genre and well known modern games when talking about influences and reasons for making the choices that affect their game. Dead Synchronicity has a strong art style and mature and interesting theme, coupled with old school 2D style visuals.

Fictiorama Studios are comprised only four members, three of which are brothers and two of those brothers whom play in the band Kovalski that provide the music for the game, the fourth member of the team providing all the art for the game. It’s clear that these guys have a passion for their creation and it’s great to see that they hold all the control and can develop freely. There’s currently a demo available for the game here, it’s worth checking out for yourself.

Chaos Reborn

Chaos Reborn Screenshot Kickstarter Crowdfunding

Goal: $180,000
Deadline: April 17th
Outlook: Optimistic. Although it’s a high target, there are big names behind an impressive pitch.

I’m sure many of the people who contributed to this Kickstarter stopped the pitch video around the sixteen second mark (where you may recognise a certain someone) and instantly offered wads of their cash for Julian Gollop to make this game as fast as possible. If the fact that Ken Levein is a fan of this game is not enough for you then you may notice that the game resembles another recently released turn-based rpg by the name of Blackguards. Julian Gollop, the original creator of X-COM has been working with strategy and RPG games for many years and while Blackguards was a valiant first attempt at a genre, it missed out on certain aspects that Julian and his team would no doubt be able to implement.


Bizenghast Screenshot Kickstarter

Goal: $125,000
Deadline: April 18th
Outlook: Things don’t look hopeful.

Despite the impressive team behind this game the vision of the game itself isn’t clearly portrayed in the pitch video with a quote from the funding page going so far as to say “Ten years after its start, Bizenghast is back… as a possible video game”. Perhaps this is why Bizenghast has been doing so poorly with it’s Kickstarter, or perhaps not enough people know that the game actually stems from a graphic novel series with a cult following and a novel spin off series. Either way developers Cosmic Forces are going to have to up their game in a big way in order to hit that lofty goal.

The Red Solstice

The Red Solstice Kickstarter Screenshot Crowdfunding

Goal: $50,000
Deadline: April 20th
Outlook: Poor start.

Despite already being greenlit on Steam (is that easy these days?) the Kickstarter campaign for The Red Solstice has gotten off to somewhat of a bad start. Almost all of the 230 backers have contributed at the second lowest bracket, which doesn’t shock me as the RTS genre is already packed with great games such as Star Craft and Total War. To succeed in this area you need to bring a game of immense quality and proficiency and while The Red Solstice may become this in the future, it seems people would rather leave it alone until that time comes.



Duelyst Kickstarter Crowdfunding Screenshot PC

Goal: $68,000
Deadline: April 10th
Outlook: 12 days left and already $27,000 over their target.

Deulyst is a turn-based strategy game in which two teams face off against each other on a grid based arena with the goal of killing each others General to win. There are multiple different types of units with varying abilities, different game play modes and a beautiful art style that make this game a very attractive prospect. Stretch goals includes more content and support for PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game, although the goals for these might be a little too high to be manageable in the given time frame.

The pitch video is simple but shows the basics of gameplay and some more of the beautiful art. From what I gather about Duelyst from the Kickstarter page and pitch video, it seems like the kind of game that would be easy and fun to pick up but would take a great deal of thought and time to master properly. It plays into the hands of the game that there are industry veterans behind it that have worked on such games as Diablo 3 and World of Warcraft. This is definitely a game to watch in the future.