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"The Heroclix Comparison"

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I've got a couple of different posts in the works right now, but I feel like I should do something short and quick to talk about something that's been bothering me a bit lately. It's what I'm going to call "The Heroclix Comparison".

Now, I've been playing casual and competitive games of different sorts for a fairly long time. Not as long as some of the older folk here on The Reserve Pool, but well over half of my life. These have been mostly card games like Yugioh!, but I also had a few year stint into playing video games (first person shooters) on a somewhat competitive level. Now, what do they all have in common? They are different types of games, with different sub-types of games within them. In first person shooters for example, you can have the same level design, and players, but a slight mechanic change can create a completely different game. Strategies that work well within one type may be completely invalid in another.

So what's the point?

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For the past few weeks, I've seen aspects of Dicemasters compared to Heroclix a lot, and the conversation is growing. This is not a bad thing by any means, both Heroclix and DIcemasters are produced by Wizkids, so speculation on future sets and IP's, Promo kits and characters all make sense. However, there is one thing I'm not really sure I agree with, and that's saying that something will or should happen because Heroclix does it. This is not to call out individuals or to say that they are wrong, because they aren't wrong. They've been valid statements (to a degree) and they make sense. The question here all boils down to one thing for me: Should this game do things the way Heroclix does them? I personally, would say that no, they shouldn't. Others, might say yes. That's up to you to decide.

The purpose of this post is to draw attention to the fact that maybe we shouldn't be alright with certain things happening just because Heroclix does them.

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Recently you may have seen discussions about the hotly debated Iron Fist and Batmobile cards, which many believed to be variant arts or even exclusive versions of character cards that would be released in upcoming expansion sets. Many people were hoping this would be the case, because while the cards aren't incredibly difficult to get a hold of, the difficulty of getting the dice due to the Rainbow Draft Weekend only being available (at the time of writing) in the United States and the United Kingdom allowed people to increase the price of the participation rewards quite drastically on the secondary market. We now have what appears to be the entire set for the Amazing Spider Man, and it looks like Iron Fist will not be making an appearance, effectively shutting out a very large portion of the playerbase from reasonably obtaining these cards, just because they don't live in either of the two aforementioned places. In discussions, some brought up the notion that this should be expected because Wizkids has done it many times before, with Heroclix. This is a fair point, because they have done it before with Heroclix. You can't argue with that point, because it's a fact.

However, Dicemasters is not Heroclix. Even though it is produced by the same company, it is still a different game and I believe it should be treated as such. For example, there has been a lot of discussion lately, especially on social media, about set rotation in Dicemasters, and how it will probably happen soon because Heroclix does it on a similar timescale. Now, I'm not against set rotation. However, I do think it's something that we need to have a serious discussion about, and whether or not it will have a positive impact on the game. Something shouldn't be done because Heroclix did it, it should be done because it will make the game better for everyone. I will stress once more, this is not to say Wizkid's shouldn't do these things, but to point out that they might not have to apply to Dicemasters, because Dicemasters isn't Heroclix. The Iron Fist/Batmobile controversy and now the speculation about set rotation should be telling us that now is the time to have a conversation about what's best for the game moving forward.

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  1. vonVile's Avatar
    I believe HeroClix has already corrupted DiceMasters with its influence with the addition of. chase zombies and new sets coming out and over saturating the market. I quit HeroClix because there was no way to keep up with the product spending $200 every 2 months. I wish for the good old days where there was only 3 sets a year and wish DM would do this release schedule. It would alternate yearly with DC or Marvel getting 2 sets and the one that didn't 1.
  2. timbowyer's Avatar
    I'm fine with chase rare so long as they're just alt/full art versions of other existing cards. The minute they become unique characters..... well I just hope that never happens!

    Set rotation I am mostly in favour of. I think it solves a few issues, particularly for newer players and also forces people to experiment with the newer sets which I don't feel is a bad thing. For my local group set rotation would be significantly less of an issue than say splitting the game by property I. E. D&d specific events (20% or less of our group collect d&d) and marvel/dc/superhero specific events. And this doesn't remove the option of unlimited, it just gives us more variation.

    I'd hope (and it is a big hope) that we see no more than 4 superhero sets, ideally spaced out 1 per quarter. With at most 2 other sets, and maybe up to 2 stand alone sets ala turtles. The fact we have 1 stand alone and 2 collectable sets scheduled for the first 3 months of 16 makes me think it won't be any less than I suggest but any more and it really becomes ridiculous.

    The move to 8 super rares has also had a slight negative impact from my personal Pl!aying/collecting perspective but can see why this appeals at a business level to wizkids.

    I think dice masters future will hopefully settle down. Regular, periodic releases, reasonably spaced out would be my big request. Sets coming out each month puts too much pressure on some quarters of the customers and could lead to a greater fragmentation between property players.
  3. IsaacBV's Avatar
    Good points, I also think that with all the "retiring sets" conversations we have to remember like you stated that it is nothing we know for sure yet. I hope they find the things that work well and port them to DM.