Following a huge day of important announcements, charismatic President & CEO of Hex Entertainment Cory Jones – with the help of the passionate Community Manager Dinotropia – was once again kind enough to answer the questions of Hex fans going through the past, present, and most interestingly the future of the game we love. Below are the take-aways, organized into sections. The VOD of the full session can be found here.
- There are going to be 3 PvP sets, PvE updates, Kismet Reserve Packs, Battleboards, Quality of Life stuff, new Tournaments, Events, etc. “Something going on every week”
- Nothing has changed. Number one priority is still Sets coming out on time.
- Set 6 is about 3 weeks delayed due to the server transition from Gameforge to HXE (which has been the focus for the past few months).
- PvP sets every 4-4.5 months will remain the goal and the team is in a really good place to continue making it happen.
- Customer support and translation services are in motion.
- Message board and website migration also happening. Custom ranks and posts will not transfer over to the new Hextcg.com forums due to German privacy laws.
- Buying Platinum currency will be handled by a live tool that syncs all currencies up to the current exchange rates (always same prices no matter where you’re buying from). Credit Card, PayPal, Stripe, and Steam are the ways to purchase Platinum and is being fully managed by HXE.
- Next PvE patch is being worked on.
- Pretty big improvements coming soon to the interface of the game, specifically the deckbuilding interface – a preparation to potentially move on to other platforms (which is in turn part of Hex’s growth strategy).
- Another 100k tournament is not in the plans because being the publisher, they need to be more careful with every dollar spent. For example, running smaller tournaments which everyone can have access to: Hex Clash, Cosmic Crown, Platinum Plunder, and other versions of these that they will start rolling out. “Always something competitive to do”.
- Streamers and content creators that expose other TCG communities to Hex are a big help.
- Now that HXE is the publisher, Cory will concentrate more of his efforts to grassroots and guerilla marketing as there are still tons of people who would love it that have still not heard about Hex.
- Hex is still not as big as they would like but it has grown in every month of its existence and is in a healthy spot earning pretty good money.
Cosmetics Sold in the Store
- Certain type of consumer is willing to spend for cosmetics.
- Originally saying that it was not going to happen at all was a little short-sighted.
- While they are always willing to accept their mistakes and not be afraid to make changes to correct them, people’s collection having value is still their top priority and lots of consideration goes into it if a change has a chance to effect this.
- The plan was to have them bound to accounts (like Sleeves) but it’s possible to make them tradable in the future.
- Nice to have more things that can be given out that don’t affect gameplay as these can be given out a lot more and make all game modes more exciting as a result.
Potential Cosmetic Additions
- They are thinking about having common Dragon shards with their own graphics and animations.
- More things can be done with Champions and Animated Alternate Arts, and cards that create other cards, etc.
Hex Clash Tournament Series
- The format is best of 3 games.
- This tournament format is aimed for skill-based competitive play whereas the Gauntlets (Sealed, Evo Sealed) are for chunk-sized entertainment and for those that may not have as much time to play.
Auction House Upgrade
- Will be in the same update as the Deckbuilding UI changes.
- Some additions that will significantly change how you buy and sell cards which will make everything much easier and much more intuitive.
Campaign Character Slots
- There’s a current plan to unlock more Character Slots.
- It’s coming with Deckbuilder UI upgrade patch.
- Will probably be a gold sink.
- There’s a pool of Alernate Art cards form the Chinese Garden that they are thinking of using in Hex. But for the most part, what is made in the Chinese Garden is meant to stay there.
- Some quality of life stuff, such as Observer Mode, is being worked by both sides – but it isn’t as simple as taking their code and plugging into Hex.
- Farmable Constructed PvP in the form of a Gauntlet will not return. Instead, some time this year, a tier above Cosmic Rank on the Ladder will be created.
- Cosmic Coins (tradable) will be earned by playing other Cosmic-ranked players.
- The Chark Mart (in the Store) will have cool items that are only purchasable using Cosmic Coins.
- Everything that was promised in the KS will still make it into the game – except Foil which just does not look good (Animated Art is taking its place).
- Completely designed and partially implemented but it didin’t make it into Adventure Zone 2.
- It is now pretty far along.
- It’s going to have everything that has been talked about and even some that hasn’t.
- It’s basically several management systems put together (one for collection, one for communication, etc).
- Smaller “Teams” with their own PvP scores, etc that will exist separately from larger “Guilds” both having their own banners and customization etc.
Double Back Feature
- The biggest redesign has been the Double Back feature and figuring out a way to keep the spirit of what it’s trying to accomplish while doing something that isn’t insurmountable (which the original idea ended up being) has been a challenge.
- Multiplayer vs Raid Boss has been the most difficult KS feature to implement and is expected to be the longest of the leads.
Dragon Blood Deck
- It will come out with Set 7 as a new Uruunaz will come with Set 7.
- The Animated Alternate version Uruunaz, an Animated Sleeve, a Scion of Uruunaz Mercenary (Uruunaz in his human form), and some PvE cards will be exclusive to the Dragon Blood deck.
- Trying to stuff as much value as possible into it to make up for the long time it took to deliver.
Alternate Game Formats (Wild West, EDH, etc)
- Queues that open up in rotating basis a possibility, making sure there are enough players to fill the queues and get them to fire.
Support for Other Formats (Rock, Pauper, Silver, etc)
- Not hard but even easy implementations add up to take more resources. Optimization – like Min Maxing in an RPG – is necessary.
- The health of the F2P market is tied closely to Gold so gotta be careful.
- More gold sinks coming in the form of Kismet Reserve Packs, character slots, and a couple of more to bolster the Gold value for the F2P players to help them transition to competitive play.
- Redesign of the interfaces – which will enable eventual move to mobile platforms – are in the works.
- The hope is to have something to talk about by June 2017.
- Some languages are being looked at and may not be continued as $10k for very few people playing the game (who might already prefer English) is not worth it.
- Translating the game into Japanese is a possibility as Japan is a huge TCG market.
- Korea might also be an option but the expectation from Korean publishers is for card games to be available for mobile – so in the end Korea might be covered by HXE themselves.
- WoW TCG used to be translated to 9 different languages so the process isn’t very difficult for HXE.
Hex Branded Goods and Licensing
- A brand has to be a certain size before such activities make sense and Hex is not yet there.
- Hex’s international community and the associated shipping charges just didn’t make selling Hex merchandise seem fair.
- They did think about selling Hex-branded art sleeves in hobby stores that come with a code that can be claimed online.
- Limited apparel runs can still be done but hard to find the time.
Linking Steam Accounts
- Regaining the ability to link old accounts with Steam is being looked at.
- Playful suggestion was made not to go through Steam as Gabe Newell (Valve President) doesn’t need 30% of HXE’s money.
Card Power Levels
- Card balancing happens all the way until release and if something is on the bubble, it will stay on it until the end where they have to make a call one way or the other.
- The EVO Sealed format contributed to how loud Diamond Ruby became in Limited play. They have since evolved their testing to ensure something doesn’t become too loud in a specific format.
The Buffalord Mystery
- HXE will go back and put “Buffalo” into the Trait line of all the Buffalo cards printed until now.