Seven year ago a team produced a game called PoxNora. That same team has returned to bring us a new free to play online game, Conquest of Champions. Kihon Games have joined the ranks of Blizzard, Cryptozoic, and Stone Blade in producing an online card game, but this one come with a twist; Conquest is also an asynchronous turn-based strategy game in which the cards become pieces on the map. Online card games could become quite popular next year with some big names on the scene, and Kihon have found a way of differentiating themselves from the competition.
When registering, players have a choice of three starting decks. Each deck belongs to a faction in the game, though other decks can be purchased later. A deck typically comprises of soldiers, spells, and enhancements and a single Champion. The ultimate goal of the game is to destroy the enemy champion and the shrines that belong to him. Each turn a team will generate a number of resources equal to the amount of mines they control, though a mine can be upgraded with the right spell to produce twice the normal amount. Cards have a cost, and playing them will deduct the amount form the total resources the player produced that turn. Unspent resources are not wasted, because all champions have a epic form that can be unlocked once a team accumulates ten unspent resources. Epic forms grant champions extra stats and new abilities.
Soldiers have stats, like you would expect from units in a strategy RPG. These are attack, defense, movement range, health, and attack range. Each soldier may also have one or two abilities they can use use once deployed onto the map. Spells have a more immediate effect on the game, such as damaging enemy soldiers or giving the player some sort of bonus. Enhancements are similar to spells, but have a longer lasting effect on the game. Despite the name, enhancements can have a detrimental effect instead of a positive one and are playable on friendly and enemy units alike, but soldiers can only have one enhancement on them at a time.
Conquest is totally free to play, but is supported by a premium currency used to buy additional booster packs of cards. As the game is still in Alpha, the pricing of the currency has yet to be finalised, but Kihon is looking at charging roughly $5 for a new Champion and an accompanying deck, a pack of 5 cards for $1, and card pack with an extra rare for $2. Cards can be earned through competitive play, but not friendly matches. At the end of each turn in a ranked game, the player is awarded either faction experience, gold, or maybe even a card. Conquest employs an Elo rating system, also used in StarCraft 2, to match players of similar skill levels. This will help match players who choose not to purchase cards against others who have made a similar decision.
Decks have a twenty-two card minimum, but no maximum; only two of each card (with exceptions) is allowed in a deck. With card pack purchases or regular play, a player will slowly build up a collection of cards they cannot use. Conquest has a card fusion system that allows the player to strengthen soldiers they own at the cost of duplicate cards they have. The amount experience awarded to the card being fused depends on whether the material cards are of the same faction, and bonus experience is award if the material is the same as the card being fused. With enough experience, a card levels up increasing its stats slightly. A card would need to gain several levels for the increase to have meaningful impact on the game, but the ability use up extra cards is a welcome addition.
When a player accumulates enough gold, they can open a reward crate. This awards the a mix of cards, faction experience, gold, or crafting components. Having the right components allows the player to craft cards that are unavailable by any other means (dragons!). Kihon have other plans for the future that will use the faction experience a player accumulates to climb a talent tree for extra bonuses, guilds that will allow like minded players to group together, achievements, and quarterly card packs to expand the game later on. The upcoming Beta will also introduce single player campaigns, as well as synchronous play for real-time PvP matches.
Conquest is nearly into Beta and has no more milestones to go before they get the game into players hands, but Kihon Games have chosen to crowdfund extra money through their own website to deliver the extended features they have planned. Early adopters can get discounts on future card pack purchases, early access to new crafted cards, or even help in designing an entirely new card. The public Beta kicks off on December 10th, and anyone who participates in the funding will automatically get access.