Brawl of Ages: Early Access Thoughts – The Grind is Real
By Jason Parker
By Jason Parker (Ragachak)
I don’t really play this style of game very much. The last time I did willingly was the now-defunct SMITE Rivals. That was truly a free-to-play without the pay-to-win concept, something that Hirez Studios has perfected. I think a lot of other studios could probably learn from it, but that’s neither here nor there. Brawl of Ages is a CCG+Arena hybrid, a lot like Minion Masters, which I reviewed not too long ago. You set up a deck of creatures, and you do battle in a MOBA-style map, with two towers and a base. Each time you destroy a tower, or their base, you get a Medal, and Medals can be used to spin the Bronze Big Brawl Board. That’s a lot of BS… I’ll come back to that later. But you can use those to spin the Board, which can give you Valor [used to unlock cards] and card pieces (either the whole card, or an amount of pieces – think Power Rangers: Legacy Wars). Even if you lose, as long as you take a tower or two, you can get access to two seals, max. The winner has access to 3, but the matches are mercifully short. A couple of minutes, max, and in the last minute, “Mana Mania” activates, which makes your mana meter charge at a ludicrous rate. It’s their way of “balancing” the game I think. If you’re behind, this is your chance to come back. You know, in theory. It’s happening to the other player too, who, if they’re ahead, is likely to stay ahead.
In Brawl of Ages, you build a deck of 10 cards. They give you cards to start with, and thankfully, most of those cards are actually not terrible. There are better versions of them which you can upgrade to eventually. Example: Brawler Guards [5 cost], then you have Brawler Brigade [7 cost]. The Guards has 4 creatures that spawn with it, while the Brigade has 15. They are weaker, but come in greater numbers, so I guess it balances out. There’s also a common Brawler, Brawler Knight [6 cost]. It’s a solo rider, but it has pretty good stats. One critical thing that bothers me are the casting cost for these cards. I understand that they can’t be too cheap, but the average cost seems to be 6-8, with an occasional 4, and a lot of 10s and 11s. I have not been able to get a deck that’s useful below a 7.1 cost. There are so many factors to keep in mind for deck building, too. I feel like you should have at least one attack spell [Rocket Barrage, Missile, etc], possibly a defense item [something to ward off attacks like Noxious Tower], and a good variety of attacking creatures. A more aggressive tower is also good, because they can spawn constant streams of attacking creatures. Instead, there are also creatures who do the same, but those walk towards the other base, so …read more