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Author Topic: Magic The Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 - Impressions  (Read 815 times)
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Larraque
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« on: June 16, 2011, 01:56:23 PM »

So I jumped in last night and grabbed DotP 2012. I was a huge fan of the first Duels of the Planeswalkers game, so I was really curious to see how they would improve it. I do play a fair amount of real magic, and as such I have fairly high expectations as to what a magic game should be. This game comes as close to meeting those expectations as any magic game I've ever played.

I'll be linking any card names to the WotC gatherer site, so you can reference them as needed.

I had a few reservations but they were unfounded. This game is a good deal better than the old version, and if you have played magic before - don't worry, you've got some pretty interesting cards to play with. There's still some downright terrible wall of wood like cards out there, but they don't have to remain in the deck anymore!

Right off the bat, you're given the choice of two decks. A white weenie deck with equipment, and a mono-green stompy deck. Mono green typically gets outclassed by pretty much everything - stompy is one of the most basic strategies - so I stuck with the white weenie deck.

Right off the bat, I'm seeing cards like Serra Angel and Stoneforge Mystic - halfway decent cards? In the first deck??? That's a nice way to start!  The mystic didn't really have too much goodness to search up so I grabbed a Strider Harness but then started falling behind as my opponent started peeling earth elemental after earth elemental, and played some red spell that looked like pyroclasm... and I fell behind and never caught back up. Restarted the duel and he kept a one lander and my weenies overran him. Sweet!

Progressing through the single player game, I was impressed by the quality of the decks. The fourth deck in the game is a green/blue concoction featuring a lot of fast mana, coiling oracles, ramping into big things like Lorthos the Freshmaker and Kozilek, Butcher of Truth. Keep in mind, this is less than an hour in. I'm really impressed with these decks. I'd be curious to see how much newer players may struggle, but this is way better than playing generic 2/1 with no abilities into a generic 3/3 for 4, with a lightning bolt and a lava axe thrown in for good measure. This should keep more dedicated magic players in for longer.

I ran with the blue/green deck after unlocking it, and didn't see anything I liked better come available.

I was only able to play for about two hours last night, and had to tear myself away.

Of the decks I've seen:
Mono White - Weenie / Equipment
Mono Green - Stompy
Mono Red
Blue/Black/white - esper artifacts  
Blue/Green - eldrazi ramp
Mono Blue
Red Black - Goblin tribal / Dragons

There is allegedly ten decks available total. I suspect as with the last game, there will be one deck that you don't get to play.

The unlockables are pretty good too. After winning my first game with the esper deck, I unlocked three Golem's Heart - you'll remember these from the old game if you played it. However, unlike in the old game, where you'd unlock one at a time, this time if you get multiples of the same card, they unlock at the same time. Very cool! No more wading through the crap to get the good cards in the deck active.

And as previously mentioned, the deck builder is much improved. You are forced to have a minimum of 60 cards in the deck, and you can't take cards intended for other decks to build whatever you want (which is kind of unfortunate, but it should stop the online play from becoming degenerate). Cards you unlock are automatically put into your deck. Decks are sorted by converted mana cost, and you can get some basic statistics (cost, color quantity) while determining what to add / cut from your deck. So when you unlock those Assault Zeppelids, those Giant Octopuses get stuffed into the never going back into the deck again pile --> Where they belong.

I did try to play a game of Archenemy - but with two computer players, it wasn't very much fun. If anyone is interested in trying out some archenemy this weekend, I would be down for joining in.

I also hope the puzzles get more challenging. The first few were extremely basic puzzles such as 'understand how to regenerate your creature' and 'block this trampler with two creatures, and then swing with your flier for the win'.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 05:54:04 PM by Larraque » Logged
Jumangi
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2011, 03:24:54 PM »

I like this version of the game. While big fans of MtG won't since the deck options are limited I don't mind it at all. It gives a nice interface with a good selection of decks without having to get into the endless rat race of booster packs and special cards that has always eventually turned me off of CCG games in the past.
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Larraque
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2011, 04:03:31 PM »

Quote from: Jumangi on June 16, 2011, 03:24:54 PM

I like this version of the game. While big fans of MtG won't since the deck options are limited I don't mind it at all. It gives a nice interface with a good selection of decks without having to get into the endless rat race of booster packs and special cards that has always eventually turned me off of CCG games in the past.

If you like playing magic, this is way better than no magic, that's for sure. And it costs less than a draft on modo / your local FNM.  I played the crap out of the first DotP game (58 days according to my 360voice profile) - and I play a lot of paper magic too. It's a good compliment, and a great way to hone your skills. I also found myself enjoying the metagame - as limited as it was.

Keep in mind, most metagames for tournament formats devolve into only a handful of cards and decks being playable. If you played the old DotP you know that certain decks (the original five decks with mono for example) weren't anywhere near as competitive as the other decks you would unlock. Some decks could not win at all against Vampires or the blue/red Niv-Mizzet concoction (if the other decks didn't get mana screwed). Now that we can remove cards from the deck, some decks should be more able to compete.

I am really looking forward to unlocking all the cards, and then figuring out optimal builds for these decks.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 04:10:40 PM by Larraque » Logged
skystride
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2011, 04:44:44 PM »

I don't know wtf Larraque is talking about (weenie? stompy?) but as someone who never played Magic besides the last version of this game, I like it.
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Larraque
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2011, 05:17:59 PM »

Quote from: skystride on June 16, 2011, 04:44:44 PM

I don't know wtf Larraque is talking about (weenie? stompy?) but as someone who never played Magic besides the last version of this game, I like it.

I play a lot of magic
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Bob
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2011, 05:47:42 PM »

I knew what he meant. Yay! I'm an insider. Of course, my fellow insiders are a bunch of smelly nerds, but whatever, I belong!
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2011, 06:16:24 PM »

Quote from: skystride on June 16, 2011, 04:44:44 PM

I don't know wtf Larraque is talking about (weenie? stompy?) but as someone who never played Magic besides the last version of this game, I like it.

I, uh, recognized Serra Angel and Wall of Wood.  silly newfangled cards.

* CeeKay strokes his Shivan Dragon
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Larraque
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« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2011, 06:42:46 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on June 16, 2011, 06:16:24 PM

Quote from: skystride on June 16, 2011, 04:44:44 PM

I don't know wtf Larraque is talking about (weenie? stompy?) but as someone who never played Magic besides the last version of this game, I like it.

I, uh, recognized Serra Angel and Wall of Wood.  silly newfangled cards.

* CeeKay strokes his Shivan Dragon
Hence why I tried to produce a link to all the cards. There's quite a few spoilers for the new core set in there too.
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« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2011, 06:52:32 PM »

Thanks for those. I was more commenting how out of touch I am with the game after being a die hard fanatic back in the day than anything else.
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Bullwinkle
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« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2011, 07:32:41 PM »

As someone who liked the last game a lot, I'm finding the new one to be a pain in the ass.  I know die-hards complained about the dumbed-down aspect of the last one, but as someone who likes the idea of MTG, but never really got to play it more than a couple of times, I enjoyed the mellow difficulty curve. 

I've played the first level of the new one three times on easy.  Twice with the white deck.  Once with the green deck.  I got stomped every time.  On easy.  At least with green, I was able to get a few early hits in.
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skystride
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« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2011, 07:46:41 PM »

I think it's mostly luck.  I got beaten badly the first 2 times with green and white.  The third time I beat him easily with green and finished with 25 health (healing).
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« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2011, 08:01:53 PM »

Quote from: skystride on June 16, 2011, 07:46:41 PM

I think it's mostly luck.  I got beaten badly the first 2 times with green and white.  The third time I beat him easily with green and finished with 25 health (healing).

I agree.  It's not like the AI is using some kind of new fangled strategy.  If you know how to play the last one, then you should be fine with this one too. 
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Larraque
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« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2011, 08:11:48 PM »

Quote from: skystride on June 16, 2011, 07:46:41 PM

I think it's mostly luck.  I got beaten badly the first 2 times with green and white.  The third time I beat him easily with green and finished with 25 health (healing).

I'm not too sure how hard the Koth duel is meant to be. My first time through I fell way behind when he played removal spell after removal spell. It certainly does feel like an uphill battle though.

The white gideon (white weenie) deck certainly feels like it's on the lower end of the power level curve.

Quote
I know die-hards complained about the dumbed-down aspect of the last one, but as someone who likes the idea of MTG, but never really got to play it more than a couple of times, I enjoyed the mellow difficulty curve.  

I was concerned about that when I started playing. MTG is not the simplest game to explain to people. Off the top of my head, the first game involved equipment, flying, instants, vigilance, haste, and forestwalk. That is a LOT to throw at new players. If you run with the green deck instead of the white one, you've got hexproof, reach, trample, regenerate....
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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2011, 12:23:12 AM »

I bought the game last year (pre-ordered I think) and I saw last night after I played it on Steam that I've played it for about 2 hours.  Not really great value for the money.  Still I like the game enough.  I'm wondering if I should double dip and get the new game but as someone who obviously isn't going to get into it that much (and will never play online) is there anything new that would make it worth it for me?  I know you can now remove cards from decks as well as adding them.  That's nice enough I guess but I never really fooled around with the deck making part of the game last go around anyways.  Are there any other new additions that would make me want this latest itteration?
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« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2011, 01:34:41 AM »

With DotP 2012 they have lite deck editing - so when you win a new card, you can remove any card ( except for the basic lands ) to keep your deck at 60 cards.  They also have a new coop multiplayer format called Archenemy which pits you and two others against an AI foe, this foe will have special cards in their decks that allow them to do some nasty stuff ( think of it like event cards ).
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EddieA
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« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2011, 07:03:01 AM »

I played the demo, and in the campaign menu, they have three options.  I know what the first two are about, but how does the "Revenge" campaign work?
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« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2011, 10:57:41 AM »

Well I played the demo and I think I'm going to pick this one up.  I've got the 1 month of PSplus so I can grab it for only $7.99.
I think the game feels a lot more streamlined (presentation-not gameplay) than the last on did.  I didn't like the menus of the game last year and the deckbuilding seemed a lot more confusing.  I can see all the individual decks that are available and I can see exactly how many cards I need to unlock.  That really excites the OCD in me.  I couldn't care less about fine-tuning my deck-I just want to unlock 100% of the cards! Curse these Pavlovian rewards! biggrin
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« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2011, 12:33:57 PM »

I gave Koth one more go last night, before washing my hands of the whole affair, and of course I stomped him.  I got two of those "2 extra life for every land brought in" elks or whatever they are and I had nearly doubled my health before the end.  So, yeah, luck is a factor, as it should be.  I just know the last game didn't frustrate me right out of the gate like this one did (I think I liked the play fields better, too, IIRC).

Liking it better now, though.
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« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2011, 12:37:33 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on June 17, 2011, 12:33:57 PM

I gave Koth one more go last night, before washing my hands of the whole affair, and of course I stomped him.  I got two of those "2 extra life for every land brought in" elks or whatever they are and I had nearly doubled my health before the end.  So, yeah, luck is a factor, as it should be.  I just know the last game didn't frustrate me right out of the gate like this one did (I think I liked the play fields better, too, IIRC).

Liking it better now, though.

Green deck against that red deck is just making it harder for yourself because of the Forestwalk creatures he has.  I tried it on green myself and lost a bunch of times.  Went to white and won right away.
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Larraque
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« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2011, 12:56:40 PM »

Quote from: EddieA on June 17, 2011, 07:03:01 AM

I played the demo, and in the campaign menu, they have three options.  I know what the first two are about, but how does the "Revenge" campaign work?

Revenge is against improved versions of the decks from the regular campaign. Not sure how you could improve on Koth's deck though.  finger

Game was a blast until I had to face off against Karn's pile of bullcrap.

My first game he went turn 3 tinker for Darksteel Colossus. I didn't have an immediate answer. Good game Karn.  

Second try - This time, he plays (on the play no less) turn one island, TWO Mox Sapphires, Show and Tell... revealing ...... Darksteel Colossus

I hadn't even had a turn yet. Mox Sapphire is limited to only a one of in Vintage (the only format you're allowed to play them) as is Tinker, to stop people from having turns like that. Playing against really overpowered decks is not fun when you're playing cards like Sengir Vampire.

I did eventually beat him with the blue green deck after about 6 attempts (where he didn't get a show and tell or tinker off).  I had to get a combination of Lorthos the Tidemaker (attacking, tapping 8 permanents including his icy manipulator, steel hellkite and wurmcoil engine...) and kozilek --- but it still didn't feel like a fair match.

I also tried out some Archenemy last night and I quite like their implementation. I do find it unfortunate that the computer controls the enemy while playing online though. While playing with two computer controlled AIs, I found myself wondering why they were playing so badly. You don't rush out four creatures on your turn - you're just asking to get them all killed.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2011, 01:46:52 PM by Larraque » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2011, 01:15:20 PM »

Quote from: The Grue on June 17, 2011, 12:37:33 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on June 17, 2011, 12:33:57 PM

I gave Koth one more go last night, before washing my hands of the whole affair, and of course I stomped him.  I got two of those "2 extra life for every land brought in" elks or whatever they are and I had nearly doubled my health before the end.  So, yeah, luck is a factor, as it should be.  I just know the last game didn't frustrate me right out of the gate like this one did (I think I liked the play fields better, too, IIRC).

Liking it better now, though.

Green deck against that red deck is just making it harder for yourself because of the Forestwalk creatures he has.  I tried it on green myself and lost a bunch of times.  Went to white and won right away.

I tried white two or three times first and was crushed every time.
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« Reply #21 on: June 17, 2011, 01:52:14 PM »

Ahh Christ of course I deleted the demo and then I find out that if you buy the game it's essentially the demo plus a 6kb unlock the full game file! Now I got to download the whole 700MB file again on Sony's SLOW ASS netowrk!!
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« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2011, 03:47:24 PM »

I don't remember deck names but that green fairy card that has the ability to place creatures seems seriously OP.  By my third or fourth turn, I had a legendary creature out that costs 12 land.  Absolutely slaughtered the summoner who was previously pwning me with his/her enchanted creature lineup.
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« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2011, 03:49:30 PM »

Quote from: Canuck on June 17, 2011, 10:57:41 AM

Well I played the demo and I think I'm going to pick this one up.  I've got the 1 month of PSplus so I can grab it for only $7.99.

Can you still play the game when the sub is over?
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« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2011, 04:38:30 PM »

Quote from: skystride on June 17, 2011, 03:47:24 PM

I don't remember deck names but that green fairy card that has the ability to place creatures seems seriously OP.  By my third or fourth turn, I had a legendary creature out that costs 12 land.  Absolutely slaughtered the summoner who was previously pwning me with his/her enchanted creature lineup.

Elvish Piper, it's a strong card but not OP.  4 mana for a 1/1 is the balance.
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« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2011, 07:41:15 PM »

Quote from: skystride on June 17, 2011, 03:49:30 PM

Quote from: Canuck on June 17, 2011, 10:57:41 AM

Well I played the demo and I think I'm going to pick this one up.  I've got the 1 month of PSplus so I can grab it for only $7.99.

Can you still play the game when the sub is over?

Yes - If you buy a discounted game on PSN+, it's yours to keep.
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« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2011, 07:42:02 PM »

Quote from: skystride on June 17, 2011, 03:49:30 PM

Quote from: Canuck on June 17, 2011, 10:57:41 AM

Well I played the demo and I think I'm going to pick this one up.  I've got the 1 month of PSplus so I can grab it for only $7.99.

Can you still play the game when the sub is over?
Anything you pay $ for while on ps+ is yours even after the sub is over
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