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`Legends of Norrath` Interview

21 Apr 2008  by   Paul Younger
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`Legends of Norrath` is a Trading Card Game that is based around the lore of the `EverQuest` games. With new art, game cross overs and a whole new way to play, Gunner Petzäll talks to the SOE-Denver based development team about the way in which Trading Card Games are played and received on the net.

Can you explain what a general Trading Card Game (TCG) is for someone who might not have heard of them? What is the difference between a TCG and Poker, for instance?

A Trading Card Game differs from typical card games in that a player relies on the player“A digital card library is much more appealing”purchasing cards, usually in randomly packed boosters or starters, and creating a deck to use in face to face play with an opponent. The cards will often represent creatures or characters from the licensed property (or unique world, if non-licensed), items or weapons, environmental features, locations, and immediate actions. A TCG usually offers many different ways to build a deck even though the “win conditions” might be narrowed to one or two objectives.

If you want to compare it to Poker, imagine being able to take 4 copies of each card and build your own 52-card deck that only you can draw from. It sounds easy but you have to consider that your opponent has the same opportunity. Thus, card advantage (having the right cards at the right time) and creative skill are key requirements to play TCGs.

What time scale does it usually take to play a game of ‘Legends of Norrath’?

Your first game of ‘Legends of Norrath’ might take around an hour as you work through the choices you have available to you. After a couple of rounds of play, you should be able to knock out a good game in 20-30 minutes. The nice thing about ‘Legends of Norrath’ is that as an online game, all of the rules are taken care of for you, and the game even highlights the cards you can play and actions you can take at any given time. It actually teaches you as you play.

I know that you can play other TCGs online, what makes ‘Legends of Norrath’ a better online TCG game?

Many of the other online TCGs that you can play today were also developed by our Denver studio. That said, ‘Legends of Norrath’ and SOE’s other TCGs are built on the most stable and robust online trading card game infrastructure available. Combine that with the fact that ‘Legends of Norrath’ is just plain fun. We have an extensive online tutorial, up to 4 player “raid” play where you can team up with your friends to take on a computer “boss”, fantastic art, and a rich, monthly tournament schedule with great prizes!

Part of what makes ‘Legends of Norrath’ special is that its lore and content draws from of the rich fantasy background of ‘EverQuest’ and ‘EverQuest II’. Plus, each new set adds dozens of new “loot cards”. Loot cards have special codes that allow players to receive special loot in ‘EverQuest’ and ‘EverQuest II’ like potions, illusions, items, familiars and even incredibly cool mounts!


Will the client use a lot of resources from the PC it’s played on?

No. ‘Legends of Norrath’ was designed to be run a consumer inside of ‘EverQuest’ or ‘EverQuest II’, as well as on its own. The system requirements are very light.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of only having digital cards?

When digital card games first appeared on the market, consumers were hesitant. But the genre has come a long way in just a few years and digital transactions for games, music, text messages, is available everywhere now, and the convenience of a digital card library is much more appealing. Library searching and deck building become a different story altogether in a digital world. Imagine a card that universally goes in all of your decks. If you have 4 physical copies, you are only going to be able to build one deck. With digital cards, you can build as many decks as you want containing those four cards.

Storage and transportation also become a non-issue. If you have a laptop, you can play ‘Legends of Norrath’ anywhere and anytime you can access the Internet. And you can find an opponent any time of night or day – there is always someone lurking around the game lobbies looking to play!

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