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GDC 2016 Hands On Preview

Garrett Fuller Posted:
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Yesterday at GDC we got an in depth look at RuneScape’s CCG Chronicle. The game brings in a new element to the MMO world that has spanned almost fifteen years now. As a CCG the game offers a very different play style which is not anywhere near the likes of Hearthstone or HEX. Chronicle is definitely its own concept which really sets it apart. Here is how it works.

So you draw a deck of thirty cards and choose a Legend to play, your legend is the character. All of the names are iconic to RuneScape fans, but each plays out in a class like: Tank, Mage, Rogue, and even interesting choices like Blacksmith. The way the game works is that you take cards which create a quest for your character. You then run your quest against your opponent. The cards you choose to play act as the monsters and challenges you face on your quest. You can also get buffs and attacks to use against your opponent as well. So as it begins with a card game, Chronicle quickly morphs into an intense board game racing against your foe to complete the quest.

This quest mechanic really brings a lot of strategy to the board. You can start out by killing easy monsters to buff yourself up and save for the big win, or you can go big trying to down larger foes and gaining more treasure, however, that may leave you weak for the fight at the end. The card design is fairly simple with attack numbers at the top and reward numbers at the bottom. As you go through your encounters you are watching the opponent do the same. There are even tricks you can play to fight monsters which damage them as well. This mix and match of styles and what cards you face in the deck creates a unique angle of competition.

The Legends all have their own styles of play. With the mage lashing out on damage. The warrior playing more of a tank role. The thief is really interesting because it allows you to interact with your opponent’s gold leaving them broke on resources to fight in the last rounds. The blacksmith relies on weapons and armor to get through the quest. Last of all the vampiric legends can manipulate health between you and also leech off your foe. The team plans to add more legends into the game soon.

The quests are broken out into five turns or pages in your legendary book. These quests take place over the classic boards of the RuneScape world. The user interface is quite unique and brings the card game and board game styles to life in a great blend of art and action. Chronicle will have rewards and soft currency to get items in the game. It will also offer customizations and titles to players as a bonus for their winnings.

Chronicle will also feature a draft mode called Dungeoneering. This helps to get an understanding of the game and offers quick battles on the fly if you only have a few minutes. What is great about this mode is you get dungeon keys each time you win. As you build up keys you go deeper into the depths and it becomes a huge risk. If you lose, you will lose all of your keys at once. However, collecting all twelve keys yields some pretty epic loot. The team said they did not think anyone had gotten all twelve yet.

The great news for RuneScape fans is the game will be out in early access today. It is moving towards open beta on March 23rd and will then work with the community to refine play and fix any issues that may come up. Jagex praised its strong community for being so active in their games and helping to make them better all the time. So, if you want to check out a CCG with a great twist in style and played the long standing popular MMO RuneScape, Chronicle is right for you.


Garrett Fuller

Garrett Fuller / Garrett Fuller has been playing MMOs since 1997 and writing about them since 2005. He joined MMORPG.com has a volunteer writer and now handles Industry Relations for the website. He has been gaming since 1979 when his cousin showed him a copy of Dungeons and Dragons. When not spending time with his family, Garrett also Larps and plays Airsoft in his spare time.