“HeroClix Online”

[NOTE: This post has nothing to do with the attempt by WizKids to turn HeroClix into a 3D computer game years ago. I’m just co-opting the name.]

Another attempt….

So, a rickety, strained Analogy:

  • “Operating System” of the game: the HeroClix “Core Rules” (the basline rulebook and the companion “Powers & Abilities Card”
  • ‘Hardware’ of the game: {a} The ‘clix figure’, consisting of the character’s sculpt, the ‘base’ the sculpt is afixed to (which also happens to display information related to the game), and the ‘dial’, which contains the ‘clicks of life’ stats/game info. {b} Maps. {c} All necessary ‘peripherals’ (dice, terrain markers, object and/or character tokens, etc.)
  • ‘Applications’: This is how I think of “Character Cards”.

WizKids currently has a blog at heroclix.com for articles about figure previews, rules and rules changes, and tournament news. They also have the WizKids Info Network (for organized play activities for all of its games), and the WizKids’ Rules Forum (providing errata, clarification, et cetera, for many WizKids games).

What I keep hoping for — and have posted requests to this blog for — is some sort of ‘subscription service’ for the game of HeroClix that would help support upkeep of rules and characters cards. Something that combines the rules forum and a ‘figure gallery’ (and map gallery, and objects and tokens, etc.), with better utility and presentation.

I’d heard rumors that WizKids was no longer going to add the character cards for figures from recent HeroClix sets to its “Print and Play” section of it’s HeroClix blog. Had to do with licensing from the intellectual property owners, like DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and all the other video game licenses. Something about the way WizKids’ PDF copies of character cards — an element of the game — crossed some sort of ‘publishing line’. As an outsider looking in, I still don’t understand the whats and wherefores.

I believe they should start hammering those licensers. Say, hey, we need keep the game evolving. That means making and upgrading certain elements using the online presence as a resource.

I’ve often wanted to see WizKids crowd-source some character card ideas for figures originally produced and push out prior to the ‘character card era’. It’s not like WizKids is making any more physical product for INFINITY CHALLENGE or COLLATERAL DAMAGE or CLOBBERIN’ TIME; the figures already exist, out there being played and changing hands in the ‘secondary market’.

Designing and issuing character cards for them would open up opportunities for players. Yes, those are old, old designs. Many are not very ‘useable’ stats-wise in modern play, considered ‘weak’. Character cards, though, could be used to introduce other gameplay effects, useable only when playing the figure along with the card. From as simple as tacking on another standard power or ability, to more elaborate, thematic effects.

I’m to the point where I’m slowing my collecting of physical figures (but still buying), and want my older stuff to still be playable, but in a way that’s ‘official’ somehow. Has WizKids’ “approval”.

If done right, with frequent updates, with plenty of interaction via the official forums with fans, I’m willing to pony up $9.99 per month for that. It’d have to be *open* to everyone, but ask for ‘subscriptions/donations’.

(Can you tell that I’m both a public radio listened and a fan of D3Go’s “Marvel Puzzle Quest”?)

I used to think an app for smartphones or tablets was the way to go, but now I think it needs to be a curated website. Players/Collectors need access to original character card docs as well as later revisions.

Trying to do it while making it clear to licensers that they can’t kill it by trying to extract huge licensing fees is the hingepoint, I think.

 

 

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HeroClix Tinkering: Defend (v1.1)

2014 PAC Defend

Just doing a bit more of my amateur “HeroClix Tinkering”. Playin’ with some stuff.

HCT-2016 “DEFEND”: Any adjacent friendly character may replace its defense value with this character’s unmodified defense value. Give this character a power action. UNIQUE MODIFIER: This character and one adjacent friendly character may modify its defense value by +1 against close attacks until the beginning of your next turn.

Really wondering what WizKids Game Design is up to with the “Core Rules”. We’ve been seeing glimpses of possible tweaks and streamlining via language on character cards of certain recent releases, plus the changes to Carry and various size-related rules prior to the release of the DC Comics HeroClix WORLD’S FINEST set.

Although they aren’t including whole power or ability definitions, known changes can be found here — WizKids’ Rules Forum: Powers And Abilities Errata & Clarifications

“DeFeats”

Favorite Discontinued Elements? – HeroClix Realms: http://www.hcrealms.com/forum/showthread.php?&p=8549591#post8549591

Fun thread.
I don’t mis Feat cards. I do wish they had optional “Feat” effects available on character cards (said that here before).
Battlefield Condition cards: I miss the effects, not the way you had to use them. Love what WF9 and Avengersman89 came up with, a new “sequence”. (Have said before on this blog, though, about printing a selection of optional BFC effects on maps, appropriate to the maps, numbered for a random die roll. Would prefer that.)
Definitely agree about standardized language for Alter Ego and Morph and Weapon Swap effects.  And Web mechanics. And Grenade mechanics.
Ah, Event Dials.
Good discussion.

HeroClix OMG: DesignInsight article on “size matters” (v1.3)

WONDERFUL article on heroclix.com. — http://heroclix.com/errata/design-insight-size-categories/#axzz3qRuNKLTq  Concerning streamlining of the game. OMG, I love this stuff.

Pirating WKGameDesign’s graphic:

HeroClix-Size-Chart

EDIT: Changes to Plasticity also make sense. Very good stuff, WKGD.

EDIT II: If they make any further changes, I do hope Transporters recieve no penalty when using Carry.

HeroClix “Old News”.

Just working my way backwards through the various WizKids’ posts on the heroclix.com blog —

http://heroclix.com/design-insight/design-insight-sebastian-faust/#axzz3pa9LO0yI (Faust preview.)

DC17-Faust-056

http://heroclix.com/announcements/new-heroclix-rules-possession/#axzz3pa9LO0yI (Official post about changes to the “Possession” game effects, and reference to the Rules forums.)

http://heroclix.com/design-insight/design-insight-equipment-linking-and-standard-characters/#axzz3pa9LO0yI (Cool preview, along with “Equip” mechanics, and examining the concept of “Linking”.)

DC17-Eclipso-055

http://heroclix.com/heroclix/dc-heroclix-supermanwonder-woman/dc-heroclix-supermanwonder-woman-the-atom/#axzz3pa9LO0yI (Rather crappy resolution preview picture):

DC17-The-Atom

http://heroclix.com/heroclix/dc-heroclix-supermanwonder-woman/dc-heroclix-supermanwonder-woman-unboxing/#axzz3pa9LO0yI

http://heroclix.com/heroclix/dc-heroclix-supermanwonder-woman/dc-heroclix-supermanwonder-woman-first-born/#axzz3pa9LO0yI

DC17-First-Born-037

HeroClix Tinkering: Close Combat Expert & Ranged Combat Expert (v1.1)

HCT_CCE_RCE_PRX

Was ruminating a bit last night bout two completely different games: WizKids’ HeroClix (a tactical/startegy game using miniatures with a “combat dial” system; my favorite themes involve the superhero genre, particularly the Marvel Comics and DC Comics brands) and D#’s “Marvel Puzzle Quest” (the version I play is a mobile app-based “Match 3” puzzle game, with “role-playing game” inflections using characters from Marvel Comics).

Was marveling (ha-ha) at how D3 is able to revise/update characters. Characters like thier version of Doctor Octopus, for example: There’s a “story event” coming up that involves him, so I took some time to re-read his character’s powers. I’ve had the character in my inventory, but have only used him when required to do so. He’s one of those characters who’ve been continually revised by D3, and now appears to be much more useful than when I first added him to my “collection”.

This invariably got me thinking about HeroClix, how the game ages, how vital continued stream-lining, additions, and other refinements are so necessary. (It also prompted me to look up a certain competing game called “Golem Arcana”, seen here — http://golemarcana.com/. Check it out. I’m not buying into it, but it’s got some cool stuff that could be applied to HeroClix via mobile-based apps.)

WizKids Game Design Team has done a great job over the years refining/reengineering the system. It shows up in changes to the “Core” rules and the Powers & Abilities Card, plus supplemental documentation. It also shows up in the figure design, which is where I get annoyed. I hate it that stuff I spent good, hard-earned money on is near-useless in the modern game.

And it’s mainly centered on the statistical values representing Speed, Attack, Defense, Damage, and to a much lesser extent, Range. A lot of the initial designs have very low stats, and the progression of the stats down the dial for the inaugural sets meant stats values dropped rapidly. There was also the “psychology” of low numbers. And trying to figure out “what’s it all mean, really?!”

Over the years at least, stats over the length of the dial have “steadied”. Dial lengths have shortened, though. And, I assume< some of the common stat combinations are influenced by an almost “pen-&-paper RPG”-like attempt at discerning “What’s *normal*?” Speaking just to Attack and Defense values, 8/16, 8/17, and 9/17 are in the “average healthy human with some combat training or experience” range. Going higher, you progress through “exceptionally skilled”, through “peak human”, and then into the various levels of “superhuman”.

IMHO, anyway. YMMV. Still not sure what the “normal/baseline” should be for Speed or Damage.

“So, what in the heck does this have to do with your thread title, GZ?” Well, the “stat modification” game effects. I like to routinely go back through the PAC, think about efficacy, simplicity, and applicability. How the game can continually be advanced with changes to the “basic” or “core” powers and abilities. Trick is making the changes make sense. They have to “scale” well, to the type of characters and the types of powers they represent.

Been considering a lot lately, as a fan of the game and an amateur “designer” [NOTE: I’m not a game designer; just a schmuck on the sideline]. Some players think every standard power should have both a “passive” effect and an “active” effect (that requires declaring some sort of action). I used to think that, but am no longer sure *every* standard power should have such.

So, let’s get into Ranged Combat Expert [RCE] and Close Combat Expert [CCE]. I only bring up Perplex for the “baseline” its effects have helped to set. Feel free to try these “homemade tinkers” to your home games, see if they seem balanced. —

RANGED COMBAT EXPERT Give this character a power action. It makes a ranged combat attack against a single target character; before making the attack, you may modify any one of the following combat values by +2, or any two combat values by +1: Attack, Damage, Range. Instead, give this character a double power action. The above targeting restrictions apply, but the character may modify any two combat values by +2; the character then modifies its defense value by -2 until your next turn.

INTENT: The character is off to the side, focused on the target. This attack is “specialized”. The character gives no thought to close threats, and may accidentally make itself vulnerable.

CLOSE COMBAT EXPERT Give this character a power action. It makes a close combat attack against a single opposing target character; before making the attack you may modify any one of the following combat values by +2, or any two combat values by +1: Attack, Defense (effect lasts until the beginning of your next turn), Damage.

INTENT: The character is pushing its melee expertise to its limit, hoping to either stay in the fight as long as he/she/it can (the “passive” Defense effect), or putting the opponent down quickly.

[For Reference: PERPLEX Give this character a free action to modify by +1 or –1 any combat value of a target character until the beginning of your next turn. A character using this power must be within range (minimum range 6) and line of fire to the target. If a target character is damaged or healed, the effect of Perplex on that character ends immediately.]

What do you think?

Brewing similar stuff up for Phasing/Teleport, Stealth, Energy Shield/Deflection, etc.

EDIT (2015-09-27): Looks like I didn’t make one of the points I was trying to make. Allow me to try again.

I’ll try by way of analogy: Consider the HeroClix “figure” to be the “hardware.” Consider the Core Rules as the “operating” system. The Character Card for the figure as an “app”…?

Once a figure is “published”, it’s what we deal with. Updating Character Cards — or creating Cards for previously uncarded characters — can help older figures retain play value.