Eternal: The Card Game

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Prof. Amy Lupin
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Eternal: The Card Game

Post by Prof. Amy Lupin » Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:27 pm

A friend of mine introduced me to Eternal, an online collectible card game, while I was recovering from surgery. Even a month down the line, I still try get a few games in each day, mostly to try earn prizes from the daily quests (more on that in a bit).

There are five factions: Fire (Red), Justice (Green), Primal (Blue), Shadow (Purple) and Time (Yellow). Your cards typically belong to one or more factions, although some are neutral and can be played with any faction. When you first register your Eternal account, you're automatically given a pre-made deck from each faction as well as at least one dual deck (I got a Primal-Time deck, but I'm not sure if this is standard).

There are several modes of play. You're first taken through a tutorial campaign that pits you against an AI opponent and gives you some idea of the mechanics and the nuances of each faction -- but it's normal for it to take a while to get the hang of gameplay. Players start with 25 health points, and you'll need to whittle down to 0 or a negative value in order to win the game - alternatively you need to make the other player's deck empty (I've only seen the latter happen once). There are several types of cards: units (which are your main way of causing damge to opponents),

Upon completion, you're free to go up against other players or AI opponents. In PvP, you can partake in Casual games, which have no penalty if you lose. Casual games are especially great for trying out different decks or combinations of cards (that you own). There are also Ranked games, which net you rating points if you win games. However, if you lose or concede a game, you lose rating points. Neither mode requires in-game gold (or gems). The other two PvP modes (which I haven't explored much) are Draft and Forge, which have you creating a deck of cards from a limited pool and then playing with that deck against a random opponent. You get to keep the cards afterwards. There is also the ocassional Event that vary in structure and have prizes based on your performance.

When playing against the AI, there's campaign mode (which sees you playing matches against specified AI opponents within the context of a storyline), Puzzles (which focus on learning how specific unit abilities or card combinations interact with other aspects of gameplay) as well as Gauntlet (which pits you against increasingly difficult AI opponents).

One thing I really like is regardless of which mode you play, there's always the opportunity to earn sort of prize (be it in-game gold, individual cards or packs of cards). There are also 'achievements' that one can work towards such as playing 100 of a particular unit type. Additionally, each time you play with a particular faction you can earn XP, and with most levels, you earn some sort of reward. Each day there's a new challenge (or quest), which typically encourages playing certain cards or factions. These rewards are potentially quite good, so it can be worth trying to complete them.

When I first started playing Eternal, my favourite factions were Justice, followed by Time then Primal. My preference now tends to be a Fire-Justice or Fire-Shadow deck. I did go through a period of tweaking the cards in the various decks as I got more cards or came across interesting combinations, but there is a very delicate balance between the cost/power of cards especially because there are certain restrictions with decks, so I haven't been as into this aspect lately (in fact, I have accumulated several unopened packs of cards).

I really respect the game developers because even though there are microtransactions to get additional packs, upgrade campaigns (so that the prizes are better) and get custom card backs and so on, there's plenty of content one can access without spending a cent (and in fact most of what you can use gems to purchase, you can use in-game gold instead).

If you enjoy card games or have fond memories of Trading Card Games (such as Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon or Yu-Gi-Oh), you should definitely try out Eternal. It is available on Steam, Android and iOS (and soon coming to Xbox).

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