ETA: To see an updated breakdown with the stretch goals, please head here.
Kickstarters, like many things in life, seem to come in threes. While I’m still on the fence about how much I want to spend on Robotech Tactics, I have already thrown money at Luke Crane’s Torchbearer (if you are a fan of roleplaying games and you don’t know that name, shame on you), I am definitely in for Cryptozooic’s phenomenal looking TCG/MMO crossover game HEX.
With solo PvE play in a variety of dungeons, group PvE play in dungeons and raids, and the standard PvP fare, along with guilds and crafting and creating and leveling your own Champion (or enlisting the aid of mercenary champions when your skillset ain’t quite right), it looks to be incredible. I stopped playing Magic: The Gathering years ago when the game stopped being about two planeswalker’s dueling – in other words, when it lost its RPG elements.
Reading the details about this game brought all fun crashing back down on me, but with improvements I could only have dreamed of. Equipment for my Champion, playing with friends in a group setting…we tried (and invented a few) variants to squeeze these things out of M:tG, but it never quite seemed to work. HEX works in spades, and I’m very interested. The question as with all things is how much to go in.
Kickstarter is a dicey proposition to me. I have backed four projects to date. Three of those projects have promised me delivery of some or all of what I pledged for by now, and only one has delivered, and it delivered only a small slice of what was promised. And this has been big projects and small alike, so Crypto is not exempt from that. Even diving in now, I am mortgaging my current gaming allowance for something I won’t get to touch until this Fall, even if they are on schedule.
So, my strategy these days has become to buy in a little bit to help out and keep the project running, but not to overplay my hand – not to invest *too* much in something sight unseen. So I do a lot of looking for diminishing returns and “bang for buck” deals. I’ve left out anything at the $250 or above tier for two reasons: 1) There are a lot of rewards at those levels that are hard to pin a value on, and that are widely varied. The Pro Player gets 3 free boosters a week for the draft games, but there is some question as to how and where he can use those. And what if you don’t play one week? Etc. 2) If you are spending that much money, for the sake of your sanity, don’t listen to my advice. Except maybe this: If you’re gonna spend $250, just spend the $500 and get the perks of all five of the $250 level rewards. That’s some serious value right there.
So basically that leaves us in the price range most of us are used to anyway when picking up a new game or Collector’s Edition. Anyway here’s how it looks (in my mind’s eye) for HEX:
The Value Ratio is simply how much money you are spending versus the eventual cost of starter decks and booster packs,
and accounting for the fact that all new accounts will receive one starter deck for free. [ETA: Just found out from the comment thread that the free starter is not the same as these starters, which must otherwise be paid for. I adjusted the Value table to account for the new numbers, but the overall conclusions/results are the same] PVE cards can only be used for PVE, while PVP cards can be used for both, so there is a little breakdown of that as well. For someone like me, who will mostly be a PVE player, I’m more concerned with the total card count, but YMMV. I also included as the last line, in italics, those lucky few who got the Early Bird reward tier, which was the King level at a heavily discounted rate.
So as you can see, on a pure card count, your best bets are the Warrior ($35) and King ($120) level. Warrior has the added bonus of being the first level to give you a Mercenary card (which works a little differently in that they can replace your Champion in PVE contests) and that it gets you exclusive sleeves a nice trophy piece to let players in the future know you were there one Day One. And the King level finds its real value in the huge number of booster backs assigned to it, particularly for those lucky early birds…
Your worst choices are probably the Champion tier (where you can get more cards, but not at a value rate any greater than the previous tier) and the Squire tier (where you are really only getting bit of value for what you put in).
You could argue the Supporter tier is, but giving a Beta Invite in exchange for a bit of support for the KS is really a smart idea. I get to help your project and test drive the product before I really commit. Sounds like a win win. If Pathfinder Online (or maybe even Camelot Unchained) had offered such a small ante, I might would have taken them up on it. So if you are on the fence, or just curious, this is the move for you.
Of course, I can’t account for your desire for individual cards. The Scourge Knight and the pistol-wielding Dwarf Artificer Mercenary are particularly attractive to me, so I may find more value in those tiers ($50 and $65 respectively) than you do. Or maybe the Digital Art Book is right up your alley and worth the $15 upgrade over the previous tier, with the extra cards just being gracy. This is just to get a handle on the basics of things and show you my thought process.