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  Mechanic #207 - MMO CCG Sets
Posted: Jan 8, 2015

A collectible card-driven massively multiplayer online game, where you trade in sets of cards in order to collect rarer, more powerful cards.

  MMO CCG Sets

This idea is a replacement for the typical advancement you see in massively multiplayer RPGs. Instead of levels, skills, money, and equipment, you just have a collection of cards. Everything is a card. Money is a card. Monster drops are cards. Equipment? Cards. Skills? Cards. I think you get the point. But this game is built around collecting cards as much as it is using them.

You get basic cards the same way you get the normal MMORPG stuff. You kill monsters, they drop cards. You finish quests, you get cards. You can trade in money cards to buy new cards. Packs of randomized cards are replaced with loot tables. To use a card, just apply it to your character and boom, you've got whatever weapon, armor, or skill the card represents. Cards can not be traded between players and can be used as many times as you want. Like CCGs, cards have rarities where some cards drop more often than others, and of course the type of monster and zone will affect what cards you can potentially get.

In addition to the cards that you use, there's also cards that you just collect: prestige cards. They more represent baseball cards than Magic the Gathering cards, and they represent people and places around the game world. For instance, do five quests for Lormak the Barbarian King and he'll throw in a prestige card with his face on it. Do another five quests for him, and he'll give you another one.

(Since cards can't be traded with other players, this isn't a strictly multiplayer idea. But the general game structure of something like World of Warcraft with open worlds, quests, and what not is the important thing).

  Set Traders

Cards are not one time things. You can keep gathering them. It just takes time (or money). The reason for this is that progress in the game is made by trading your cards to NPC vendors called Set Traders.

Each Set Trader will ask for a set of cards from your collection and give you one or more cards in exchange. For instance:

- An entire set of one of each card in the basic set.

- A set of 12 Lormak the Barbarian King prestige cards.

- A set of prestige cards for all the female NPC quest givers in an area.

- 100 cards of any type and value.

- A complete set of every weapon in the basic set.

- A complete set of monster body drops for a particular monster.

- A set of money cards that equal or exceed a specific value.

And so on. The idea is that each set is united by a particular attribute, theme, or collection, and trading these cards will yield you better, more advanced cards. These advanced cards can then be used to trade to another Set Trader to get even more advanced cards. Ultimately, getting the best cards in the game involves finding Set Traders and trading up.

For instance, a trash collector will take 100 cards off your hand and give you 10 uncommon or rare cards in exchange. You can use this offset the farming costs of rare cards. Once you have a complete set of, for example, weapons in a particular collection, you can trade that to a guy which will give you a set of advanced weapons (and a prestige card of his face). Another trader will build you Elephant Armor if you bring him a trunk, two tusks, and four elephant stompers. That armor can be traded, along with other armor, to a set trader to get Elephant Armor+, which can then be traded up for Mammoth Armor.

Many of the sets overlap, as do many of the rewards. So if you are looking for a particular card, there could be a dozen different traders with a dozen different trade requirements. Some may make you do quests for them, while others will want cards. Some of the more remote and difficult to get to traders may require fewer cards, while another may require less cards, but higher rarity ones.

  Super Rare Foil Edition

In addition to the cards themselves, they can have different attributes to them that also affect what sets they can be traded in:

- Quality - Cards can come in used or mint varieties, with certain collectors only dealing in mint cards. When you play the cards on your character, they eventually change from mint to used after repeated use.

- Foil - Cards have a rare "shiny" version which not only works as a mint version of that particular card, it can also be traded in sets that require foil cards.

- Signed Cards - Some cards can be signed ("Keep on Trucking - Lormak the Barbarian King"), which makes the card more valuable to specific traders, but makes it used to others.

- Misprinted/Alternate Art - The card text is printed upside down or same card, but with a different picture. Basically works the same as the regular card, but there are some traders that specialize in unique card versions, or want to collect very version of a specific card.

- Forgeries - Gained from less reputable traders and quest givers. Looks ALMOST like the real card, but there are typos and other mistakes. If you catch it during the trade, you can force the trader to give you a correct one. If you miss the forgery and make the trade, you are S.O.L. once another trader notices.

- Cheating Cards - You can create forgeries yourself by changing the number values on the card, giving you a more powerful card but at the risk of becoming disreputable. While disreputable, respectable traders won't trade with you. You must accomplish some difficult task to lose the "cheater" reputation... or you could just deal with black market traders exclusively.

- Proxy Cards - Black and White versions of cards that can be gained with less effort. Basically, photocopies of cards. You can use them as weapons and armor, but you can't trade them. Also, they fall apart once they reach used status.

- Foreign Language Cards - The same cards, but the text is written in one of the game's fictional foreign languages. You can use the cards, but can not use the special abilities if your in-game character doesn't know the language. These cards are more easily traded on their own soil (cards from Lormak's Barbarian Kingdom are written in the barbarian language, so Lormak will trade for them, but the traders in Londonium won't want them).



Copyright 2007-2014 Sean Howard. All rights reserved.