Upgrading Cards - Choose Your Path!

We’ve been thinking for while about how upgrading cards will work. We want a system where you will be able to grind your excess cards to upgrade your favourite cards. We didn’t want it to be a simple improvement in damage, cost, etc. Instead, we want to add flavour and strategy to the game. So, what we’ve come up with is this …

Each card will have 2 options for upgrading, both which will be the same “level” and cost the same, but will have different effects in the game (and potentially on you as a player). One card will be Righteous and the other will be Corrupted.

The Righteous heroes have been drawn closer to the light side to destroy the Blight, whereas the Corrupted heroes have been corrupted by the Blight, drawing power from darkness. The dark powers will be more powerful, but they will come at a cost and involve risks to use. For example, the Corrupted Mage (upgraded Gnostic Mage) could use his power more often, but has a chance to kill his target or turn them into a zombie. The Corrupted Noble (upgraded Cowardly Noble) would generate more gold, but you would lose valour every time you deal with him.

We’re thinking we might also push this idea through to the player’s profile/levelling, clans, and team games. As a player, based on your cards and stats, you would start heading towards the Righteous or Corrupted side.

We’re also thinking that grinding cards would give you a resource that you could use towards upgrading any card (rather than have to grind 5 Enchantresses to get a Righteous Enchantress). You’ll be able to grind any unneeded cards towards upgrading your favourite cards.

We’d love to hear what you think about these ideas and if you have any great ideas for new powers!


How has no one responded to this, yet? Yeesh.

This sounds amazing and thematic and potentially HUGE! I’m in favor on balance, but could you add a little bit of detail?

What do you mean by “grinding cards?” Is this something that will involve Hero Coins?

Thanks Praetorian! It won’t require any hero coins to upgrade cards. It will be a new resource, like “dust”, where you will get different amounts for grinding common, uncommon, and rare cards. Likewise, it will cost more dust to upgrade uncommon and rare cards.

We are still in very early stages on this system, but we wanted to get some feedback from you guys. We’ll let you know some more details soon. Hopefully, we will be able to start releasing some of the new cards in the next couple of weeks.

I’m still not clear what you mean by “grinding cards.” Is this a way to spend excess cards of one type to make your remaining cards more powerful? Is this only during a certain scenario, or is it a meta utility that is useful across all games?

Oh, gotcha … it’s a permanent, meta thing. When looking at your Collection in the Menu, you will be able to permanently destroy selected cards to gain dust. You will then be able to spend dust to permanently upgrade chosen cards to Righteous or Corrupted. You can then use these cards in any future games that you play!

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That would be huge and a LOT of fun. Would give me a reason to keep buying cards.

Yeah, that’s the whole point.

Nobody wants 50 of the same card. Our first idea was that you could convert 10 of the same card to an upgraded version of that same card, but when we thought about it some more we thought it would sux that it would be basically impossible to get 10 rares to upgrade the rare you want.

So to make it easy we are going to let you choose which duplicate cards to destroy, and choose which card to upgrade.

If you decide you hate elves you could grind up all your elf cards an upgrade your orc cards.


So, you can grind across races. Okay, cool. Does it correspond to rare to rare and uncommon to uncommon? In other words, if you want to upgrade an Orc rare you would have to grind rares from other races? (I guess this would lead to different types of dust… uncommon dust, rare dust, common dust…)

Or would different rarities give you more it less dust? So, grinding an uncommon would give you more dust than grinding a common?

This would be a really neat aspect to the game.

Want. Now. :slight_smile:

Yep, you would get more dust from uncommon and rare cards.

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One suggestion that might be useful for upgrading ALL cards? An additional XX% saving throw. Make it small, something like 2% or so… something that can be routinely (and repeatedly) upgraded over a period of time.

Another suggestion: Allow us to add text to a card. Perhaps a slew of options – pregenerated quotes the player can select from in order to do a fun bit of customization. Wouldnt have any gameplay impact – just a way to make things a bit more personalized.

Something like:

Turtle Warriors:

Option 1: Oi! Off the armor, hey?

Option 2: Dig in, lads!

Option 3: I dont wanna. My feet hurt.

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Heh. I read this and started thinking of the pikemen(?) in Lords of the Realm II. I love that game.

I really like the idea of upgrading cards in different paths. I was going to write what I thought, but I realized some math is needed. See why.

The chance of finding cards are: 1/10 for rares, 3/10 for uncommons and 6/10 for commons.
I can ‘see’ three cards at a time, so the chances of getting cards out of a draft are respectively 3/10, 9/10, 18/10.

That means the average cost of a card is 6.67 coins (rare), 1.11 coins (uncommon) and 0.56 coins (common).

Not really tough, because in the meanwhile I get other cards, so I would need to subtract that. This matters only if I also want common and uncommon cards. If want only rares, each costs 6.67 coins. If I want only uncommons, each costs 1.11 coins, and so on.

Anyway, if I want to get a rare I need 4 drafts (can’t make 0.67 drafts). Out of four drafts, picking always the highest rarity, on average I would get 1 rare, 2 uncommons, 1 common.

So if I spent 192 coins, I would have 4 copies of all 6 rare cards of a race.
I would also get 48 uncommons and 24 commons, totalling 4x of all commons and 8x of all uncommons.
Tangle Rainbowfilter’s guide shows 10x of rare cards, although some rare cards are not used.
In that case, I would be spending 475 coins, having 10x of each rare, 20x of each uncommon, 10x of each common.

Now, let’s say the average player gets 12 coins a week. It will take 4 months to get 192 coins, 10 months to get 475 coins. Half the time for premium players.

No one is going to play only one race: personally I am fine with two, so that doubles everything, and it’s a lot time:
-4x, 2 races, premium: 4 months, not premium: 8 months
-10x, 2 races, premium: 10 months, not premium: 20 months

As it stands, players have already the need to buy coin packs!

Coming to my considerations, a player would have at least 60 uncommon cards that are in surplus. If the cards upgrades for a race could be bought for the dust amount of 60 uncommons, then it would be fair.
Otherwise, the gap between players that buy coins or have premium and those who don’t, will increase; that’s not something that I like.

Grinding cards could be used to get other cards, by buying them with dust instead of coins. This would remove the card surplus and while not increasing the gap.

Having players levels actually do something would be awesome: maybe the ‘path’ could be implemented as skills that a player can pick when levelling.
Same goes for clans.

this deserves a far longer answer than I feel able to give, but let me point out a few of my concerns and try to give a better grounding for future conversation. Also as background I care little for the ccg part of the game, the deckbuilding and the like can be fun but to be honest I don’t care about the collecting part too much.

my personal concerns are these

  1. the coin payout seems heavily in favor of massive multiplayer matches, in particular the single player makes it near impossible to get enough coins to do anything.
    2)it is exceedingly hard to get a particular rare hero - I would like to try a game with a stack of 4+ wolf pups (at a minimum), at the moment that is ~160 coins
  2. if in order to improve a rare card you need 10 of any rare cards you will need 74 coins per card - that seems a lot

at the moment I personally feel for when I have been playing the rate of seeing new cards has been good. It may be as i’m somewhat fanatical and have been running 10 games at once. But I feel like i’m going to hit a brick wall to actually play with the rare cards given I cant get enough of them together make taking up a slot viable. This may link link into deck building problems with the cap of 6 slots. I would find this a shame as a large part of the interest to me is building unusual combination of things and seeing how they work, this will limit that massively.

summary of the math 92 coins per race on average to buy 1 of all the cards (at least 1 copy of each, all via the dealer) 7.4 coins for any rare 2.56 coins per uncommon/rare 40 coins per desired rare 14 coins per desired uncommon
now onto the math. Honestly I cant make sense of where you have got your numbers

should be a warning sign - there is no way to get a card for less that 1 coin

The thing is the card is a random thing so you cant say you would have all copies of a card without saying 50% of the time spending x hero coins you would have 1 at least 1 copy of all cards of the race (or something to that effect).

Because I would like to know wtf is going on I created a program (if anyone wants to see the source to spot bugs is welcome - its in common lisp) it calculates the chance of getting 1 copy of all cards vs hero coins with the dealer

or to put it another way to get all hero coins at a % chance (assuming bought from the dealer)
10%=54 coins
25%=68 coins
50%=92 coins
75%=124 coins
90%=164 coins
95%=192 coins
99%=256 coins

chance of a rare card from the dealer - 100-(90%^3)=(100%-(72.9%))=27.1% meaning 200 coins gets you 100 deals, gets you 27 rares for an avarage of 7.4 coins a rare

chance of a uncommon or rare card from the dealer - 100-(60%^3)=(100%-(21.6%))=78.4% meaning 200 coins get you 100 deals, gets you 78 uncommon/rare cards (2.56 coins per rare/uncommon)

trying to get a particular rare - chance of an individual rare=10%/6=1.6666%, 98.3333% per card of not being what we want - in 3 deals 95% chance of not being what we want - 40 coins per desired rare

trying to get a particular rare - chance of an individual uncommon=30%/6=5%, 95% per card of not being what we want - in 3 deals 85.7% chance of not being what we want - 14 coins per desired uncommon

I think Vesuvium made some math mistakes, though it would take a better mathematician than me to explain :smile:

I quite like the idea of upgrading cards. One question though: Will Righteous and Corrupted cards be more expensive than the vanilla version? Because if they cost the same, it sounds like the Righteous is a straight upgrade from the standard one.

It should also be noted you can get more hero cards in-game, which will have a significantly better coin-to-dust ratio, as you can pick and choose the higher rarities if you want, and they always cost 1 coin.

Yep. Definetely. I felt something was wrong with my numbers, obviously a card has to cost at least 2 coins. Some wrong setup and approximation occured also. :scream:

Using a binomial distribution, The average number needed to have 6 rares is 20 deals (40 coins).
The average number of deals needed to have 24 rares is 80 (160 coins).
starry’s number are indeed correct.

Hey Guys,

Thanks for the math here. This is a really big subject and still very much a work in progress like the rest of the game.

When I was setting the card rarity and coin costs, I didn’t approach it from a maths point of view, instead I looked at what other similar games are doing and generally tried to be more generous. The uncommon and rares are more common that in other games because I want players to be able to get the cards more easily and enjoy the features.

The Righteous and Corrupted cards will be harder to collect, but we will be trying build content for players who really love the game and might play for years. We have Neptune’s Pride players who have been playing non stop for over 5 years. If there are Blight players that enjoy the game that much, we want to have something for them to work towards and find new in the game.

Penny and I are doing a bit of a review of our prices with the upcoming release on steam, and we are leaning towards boosting the amount of starting coins you get when you buy a premium account.

We are also thinking we need to be more generous with single player, and we are considering a variable amount of coins for an SP mission based on how big it is. A small 15-30 minimum map might stay 2 coins for premium, but the larger maps might reward you with 6 or 8 or even more. I also think we could pay an extra coin or two for hard and nightmare difficulty.

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I assume the games you are comparing it to are built as collectible card games, There is a bit of a risk in that approach that you end up overlooking the way as you have said before that you are building a combination wargame & ccg.

I can easily say as a sample size of one I don’t care about the ccg part of it - the cards can be useful in other ways like making sure that players aren’t overwhelmed, keeping the rules transparent etc. From my perspective I can say the collecting part means nothing to me.

tl;dr I am not sure there is a fair game to compare to in the first place as you are creating something different in the first place.

slight side note, have you considered letting player use dust to create cards not just convert them into Righteous/Corrupted cards?

That would somewhat solve the I would love to try a bunch of wolf pups but have to get hundreds of coins to do so element I talked about.

I would like this. I would also like to decrease the payout a little for easy difficulty.

I also like this. I have no problem with the timeframe Vesuvium gave (even if it is a little off?); I like slow builds (as long as it is possible and the microtransactions to speed it up occasionally (mostly to support a good game) are actually micro ($0-$3)).

I like this too. I like being able to go laterally also, instead of only going up.