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An in-depth look at 'Might and Magic: Duel of Champions' from PAX East 2014

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When it comes to digital CCGs, "Might and Magic: Duel of the Champions" is one of the best out there. At PAX East, they were in attendance showing off their completely revamped system and newest expansion set. Boston Games Examiner caught up with community manager Jason "Paradise" Kuntz to talk about all of the latest changes made to the game.

If you haven't logged into the game, chances are, when you log back in, it will look very different. The game has re-launched a new user interface, a new engine, there are new daily quests, and a new base set.

To start off, there are five campaigns with five missions each, and you can play each one with each faction. When you complete a campaign with each different faction, players will receive an additional reward. Players will also unlock a puzzle mode by finishing the campaigns.

Another change players will notice is the economy has been reworked. For playing the game, you can only earn gold. Seals are exclusive to those who complete achievements or pay with real money. Do not fret, playing for free is still very possible. Gold has seen an increase in value. Now when players level up, they will receive 20,000 gold instead of 10,000 gold. Packs are now worth 15,000 gold. This means whenever a players levels, they will always be able to afford a new pack of cards.

Changes have also been made in the ranking system. Gone are the days of the ELO. The game has now introduced a tier system which is something similar to what you may find in a MOBA where the more you play, the higher tier you will be. Players will only be playing with those who are around the same tier as themselves. When asked if it was possible to go below your ranking, Paradise replied, "You can only be demoted if you're consistently losing, and you can only be demoted one tier per month."

Players will now start as a "recruit" in the new ranking system. Every time a player wins in a ranked duel, they will earn percentage points. Once they reach 100%, that player will go on to the next ranking. The higher tier a player is, the more rewards they can earn after each match. Eventually, players will reach the tier of "champion" where they will begin to earn champion points. There is no word on what these points will be used for. Could it be possible that they will be used as ways to qualify players for high ranked tournaments?

Deck building has now become easier. Added filters will now allow players to easily distinguish between each card. Cards are a lot easier to view, and a new feature has been added to the viewer. When you hover over cards, no longer will you have to double click and enlarge the card to read its text. The text of the card will now pop-up and hover near your curser.

While there have been many cosmetic changes to the game, the game itself has seen a few changes. There are now various formats to play the game. These formats include Standard, Open, and Weekly. Standard play will be the newest base set and newest expansions. This is very similar to that of "Magic: The Gathering." The weekly format is a format that changes every week. During the weekend of PAX East, the rules for the weekly format were "Base Set II only with no expansions." Remember, the rules change every week. So players will also need to see what the current week's rule set are. Some other examples of the weekly format are "commoner" where players can only play with common cards and "spell user deck" where players would have to play with 30 or more spells in their deck.

The Open format is a format where any card from any set can be used. The revamped deck builder will also be able to show you which cards are legal and not legal in the weekly format.

Jackpot and Swiss tournaments will be offered every day now. However, the format used to play them will change frequently.

Daily quests have also been implemented. Players can now complete things such as playing 30 spells throughout the day, winning two duels with Stronghold, or winning five duels with Academy. The prizes earned can be anywhere from 6000 gold for one quest and three wild cards for another. Check back daily for new quests.

During our meeting with Paradise, we asked him if the game would ever introduce a way for players to trade cards with each other. His response was, "You know, that's something that a lot of people have asked about, and we're kind of a little bit scared to do it just because we don't want to offset the economy. We give so much away for free with the gold, every level, and there's no level cap. So that's something we are still very cautious about. It's something we might approach at some point down the line, but, right now, I'd say there are no plans to do that just because it could potentially throw the game way out of loop and we don't want to have the problem where people start smurfs, and those few level ups where they get things really easily on that gold and then they could just trade it to another account and keep doing that. That could be a little bit problematic. So it's something that if we could find the right system we would not be opposed to it, but at the same time it's something we [have] to be very cautious about."

"Duel of Champions" is currently available for download to play on PC or Steam.

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