HeroClix: “Fatigue” & “Oversaturation” versus a Desire for “Variety in Character Selection” (v1.1)

Even as a fan of the game of HeroClix and a multiple-times-daily visitor to HCRealms.com, I tend to restrict my movements largely to four areas of that site: the UNITS section, the “Rumors” forum for “news” on upcoming sets, the Frontpage (for Articles), and the U.S. Politics forum.

I did stumble upon a recent thread pining away for another Silver Surfer clix, and saw another them emerge: players wanting a set devoted to the Fantastic Four. I thought, “Yeah, I can get behind that.”

Today, I ventured into the “Dear Wizkids” forum, started two “Wish-List” threads: one for the FF and one for Captain America (just because). Links:
http://www.hcrealms.com/forum/showthread.php?t=519204 & http://www.hcrealms.com/forum/showthread.php?t=519201

With WizKids pumping out sets, there seems to be a lot of kvetching about “oversaturation” of certain characters and more “power creep” in the designs to entice players to buy.

Idea: WizKids,…
(1) Stop putting out a CTD (“Counter Top Display”) single-figure booster “primer” with each regular booster expansion.
(2) Once a year, for the Marvel Comics and DC Comics brands, put out a 12-character, 24-count, flat-rarity CTD of the most popular characters that are most in-demand for Modern Organized Play. [But, no gimmicks, like the 10th ANNIVERSARY sets had with the “Battlefield Promotion” effects.]
(3) Make great, powerful representations of these characters.
(4) In the “regular” booster expansion sets, sure, have those characters, but as Rare level or higher rarities, and make them “quirky”. Not “less powerful”, but very different in play.
(5) The “regular” booster expansions are where the “generics” and the broader selection of characters needs to be, the obscure and C through Z-List characters.
(6) Keep the Fast Forces as they are now. Good stuff coming out lately.
(7) I assume the “Storyline Organized Play” Tournament sets could remain as is. (Don’t know; I don’t chase those much.)
(8) With Fast Forces out there,  such CTD sets could render a need for “Starters” irrelevant.  Have suggested before that WizKids might want to make “Starter Packs” instead, that just have the Core Rulebook, Powers & Abilities Card, terrain markers, object tokens, a “generic team abilities card”, and maybe something special like Special Object Tokens or generic Bystander Tokens.
(9) Hope they keep the Quick Start two-character packs, but, maybe add the brand’s specific Team Ability Cards? (Or, could those be sold separately, with their own special items? Universe-specific Bystander Tokens and/or Specific Objects? )

My whole thing is getting characters as-yet-“UnClixed” into the game, and get some characters that have appeared in the game before the era of Character Cards “ReClixed”.
I do think some of the “flagship” characters are getting too many representations each year, the “oversaturation” causing problems from “power creep” to “character fatigue”.

Just a suggestion.

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Wizkids has new Rules Forum for HeroClix. (v1.2)

WizKids has created a “rules forum”:
http://www.wizkidseventsystem.com/bb/

EDIT: discussion over on HCRealms.com about appearance of WizKids’ rules forum: http://www.hcrealms.com/forum/showthread.php?t=517161

Reserving this space for comments later.

EDIT (2014-08-10): I like that it is very strictly “policed”, that posts have to be read and approved by a moderator before they get posted.

But,…..

Have been pining for WizKids to take another approach for awhile now.

Most recent “iteration” of the idea is as a low-cost “subscription service”, to help encourage upkeep, make it self-sustaining, possibly *marginally* profitable for WizKids.

I liked the structure of the old HCRealms.com “Final Word” forum. I like HCR’s UNITS section. I like seeing comments on strategy for a piece.

There isn’t some way to combine all of that?

There’s got to be a way to have a combination Forum/Unit’s stat gallery/Rulesbook/Powers & Abilities Card/Player’s Guide that’s “alive”?

EDIT (2014-08-10), part 2: I am also still of a mind that we need some sort of “gallery app” for “Character eCards”. Such eCards would be legal for play on the device they are stored on. Such eCards would be kept up to date with errata, having current wording and a revision number.

WizKids releases HeroClix Watch List info. (v1.2)

Well, WizKids released something late enough in the day yesterday that I totally missed it: http://heroclix.com/uncategorized/heroclix-watch-list-upcoming-changes/#axzz2iUGEpEP9

The general rule changes addressing damage and multiple attacks were unexpected, but understandable and welcome.

Vehicles rules changes: about time they addressed “size”.

Spiral’s changes were what took me. Wow. No objections. “Alpha Strike via Portal” threat has been neutralized. As someone who wants to see “Portals”-like powers appear on other characters in the future, it’s a great fix. I couldn’t imagine anything other that the “treating portals as adjacent terrain” kind of thing. Requiring an action of some sort to “step through” reminds me a bit of the old Teleport Pad special objects, and the ability for an opponent to “put a cork in it” (attempting to keep someone from coming through by occupying the Portal square) is thematically cool, too. Just, wow. Always amazed.

It will be something to see how the changes to Team Bases shakes out.

I really should get back into playing. it’s been so long. Maybe attend a tournament?

EDIT: Wait a minute, so when exactly IS the new Player’s Guide coming out that will cover this?

I still say I’d gladly pay like a $3.99 upfront fee and a $0.99/month subscription fee for a “living heroclix rules app” for my mobile device. The Game really needs it at this point.

HeroClix: “Power Creep” versus “Unique” (v1.1)

I like Special Powers. I like Trait abilities. I really like the various Improved abilities.

What I get worried about is the “Power Creep”.

And I worry most about one particular version of Power Creep: When the character may have a powerful dial, but is below 100 points and a non-Unique.

If I recall correctly, WizKids’ Design Team still considers the 300-point force build for tournaments as a “baseline” when they design a character. Then they kinda work with what game mechanics are available, what combination can be a reasoned/reasonable representation of a character based on its comic book (or other media) appearances, and then consider what role that piece will have on a force.

The silver “Unique” ring is a way of reining things in a bit. It’s a limitation, a restriction. And I’m looking at the new Melter they just previewed, and started thinking about how he can tear up the terrain and opposing forces. For *just* 86 points. Melter? Potentially a “Shredder”.

Not that anyone would do it, but you could fit 3 of these Melters on a 300-point force. That’s 258 points, plus 15 points to apply the Additional Team Ability to them, totalling 273 points, 27 point left to round out. Something about that not sitting well with me.

Intuition is that WizKids needs to apply that Unique designation more often, and should probably do so when using a lot of Improved abilities on a character.

Just a thought.

EDIT (2016-05-24): Can’t belive this post got traffic recently. Plopping in the mentioned preview, for reference —

034-Melter

Kickstarter, HeroClix, & Character Selection (v1.1)

One of the complaints of the past few years that crops up again and again in the forums over at  HCRealms.com: “We just got {character x} in the last {y} set(s), where is {character z, who still hasn’t had a “first appearance” in HeroClix yet}?!?!?!?1? {Angry Face}”

Yeah, one of my pet peeves as well.

I get it. I get that WizKids has to design sets and pieces a year to two years in advance. I get that re-publishing some of the most-marketable characters is necessary to sell the sets.

And, I’m talking about the “comic book superhero genre” of sets, here. Setting aside all the movie/TV and video/computer game releases, which are smaller. Even the movie and video game sets that use characters from the superhero comic.

Speaking strictly of character from the Marvel and DC Universes.

Question to WizKIds: Is there a way to use Kickstarter for players to “vote with their money” for specific characters? Run multiple “Kickstarters”. You put your money up for X amount, you will receive two copies of the character, in the mail, shipping already included.

And the way Kickstarter works, nothing happens if the goal isn’t met; you get your pledge back.

We could cobble together a whole “set” like this. “Player’s Choice.”

Still have to leave design of the character up to the WizKids Design Team, obviously.

I’m getting burned-out on the rapid releases, and the rarity scale, and seeing some of the same “faces” over and over again, all while waiting patiently for some of the “odd ball” characters.

Just tossing that out there.

And, YES, this request and post is a result (partially) of the whole GOLEM ARCANA Kickstarter thing.

ClixWatch: WizKids-created Super-Characters. (v2.8)

So, I wander into a section of HCRealms.com and stumble into this thread — http://www.hcrealms.com/forum/showthread.php?p=7522295&posted=1#post7522295 — and mentally go completely ape-shit over these pictures:

InstantAccessBannerWKOriginalStarterSet-1

Holy shit and shine-ola! WizKids, creating its own super-characters! Apparently only for the HeroClix Online game. Almost makes me want to jump into HCO, but that would mean pulling out of the physical table-top game. So, “almost”.

Maybe WizKids will do next year’s Starter Sets with these? Or a CTD? Could be coooooooool.

If it’s not a hoax, anyway.

EDIT: And you know what? I loved the “City of Heroes”/”City of Villains” figures they did back in the day, when those two PC game properties were hot. And now BIOSHOCK: INFINITE has raised a bar for non-superhero comics-based generics. This could be a really good thing!

EDIT (24 AUG 2013): Some industrious posters over at HCRealms.com in the thread linked to above managed to code the HCO dials, so I incorporated them into a “collage”. —

NuWK_Characters

Other posters on that thread who also want to see the characters (which are currently available “virtual only” on HeroClix Online) made available as “physical clix” keep emphasizing a full-on Starter Set.

I think maybe they could go a different route: A “truncated” Starter, consisting of a Core Rulebook, Powers & Abilities Card, dice (optional), the obligatory terrain markers and object tokens, and…. (wait for it)…. Two characters and maybe 6 “Bystander Tokens”. (Geez, I hate the term “Bystander Tokens”.)

The two clix characters could be Von Grussom and one V.I.L.E. Soldier, and the BT’s some mix of V.I.L.E. personnel that make the two clix a viable 200 or 300-point team. Or maybe instead of or in addition to BT’s, some sort of “Doomsday Weapon” Special Object Token.

Then release the others as non-blind two-packs: One “hero” or “villain” character per pack, and one V.I.L.E. Soldier per pack.

Could be fun.

Meanwhile, another person on that thread mentioned WizKids might want to look into purchasing the old “City of Heroes”/”City of Villains” computer game intellectual properties for *cheap*, work them into HCO and physical HeroClix as their own characters. Sounds good to me. Loved the designs of the old COH/COV pieces, as I said above. Would like to see more.

COH_COV_Mash-Up

EDIT (02SEP 2013): Just wanted to say, I think the characters seem inspired by Marvel Comics. (A lot of detractors are saying they “look DC”.) That “Reincarnator”, he may have a look similar to DC’s The Spectre, but he also seems like Marvel’s character The Vision. But his power set doesn’t say “modern era android Vision” but “Golden Age other-dimensional Vision”.