With Hex’s announcement on their new PvE game mode “Siege”, players have an opportunity to interact with each other without having to grind ladder or enter tournaments. I won’t go over every detail as the article on the mothership does a great job explaining the system, but I will discuss some of thoughts I have on problems we might need to understand and overcome and the exciting opportunities their hoard system brings.
- Your three selected decks will be piloted by AI – this most likely means no Hideous Conversion, no complicated control decks that hinge on complicated decisions, etc. Most likely, the best decks will be linear in nature and utilize extremely efficient and powerful cards that don’t require intricate combinations to get value. We’re looking at Wakefield Wild ramp decks, Ruby Deck Wins, and the like.
- High-level Siege play will be figuring out the best way to maximize the AI’s play skill – while Psychic Ascension is an extremely powerful deck, it might not be in the hands of an AI opponent. Through trial and error, we will need to discover the best way to optimize our AIs plays through deck design.
- Newer players will have more chances to play with cards from older sets – Hex has stated that ALL cards from ALL sets will be made available for defenders, which means newer players will be enticed to dig through previous sets for powerful cards to play. While Immortal participation is growing, it is still one of the least populated formats. Building decks for defense could reinvigorate some of the stagnant markets for older cards.
- Putting up both gold AND platinum brings exciting opportunities for competition – if you can wager platinum in this Siege mode, we might eventually see platinum queues for PvP play such as pay-to-enter gauntlets like MTGO, 1v1/8- man queues that payout from the entry fee, or daily events like the MTGO of old (set amount of swiss rounds with payout based on record at the end of the event). Having a daily, on-demand way to play for something other than spots on the ladder would bring another level of competition to the game. While the current tournament system is great, free-to-play tournament models severely restrict the prize payout and ultimately the EV when you compare time lost to the value of wins. Having tiered entry fee queues would provide ways for beginners to pay very little to compete for something, while still allowing the more competitive players with built-up currency pools to find value in the higher stake battles.
Siege mode is an amazing addition to an already amazing digital TCG. I am very excited to tinker with deck lists and to try to discover the most efficient builds for defending my hoard. Beyond that, I’m excited for the possibilities this brings to Hex as a whole from a competitive standpoint. I hope to see you all out in the defense queues soon!