What do you like the most/least about poxnora?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by EnigmaXIII, Mar 4, 2019.

  1. EnigmaXIII

    EnigmaXIII I need me some PIE!

    What do you like the most about poxnora?
    What do you like the least?
    What elements do you see being beneficial to keep in other games in the genre?
  2. JazzMan1221

    JazzMan1221 Better-Known Member

    I love the way it effortlessly blends the most appealing aspects of the TCG and TBS genres. I love the strategic depth of deckbuilding, the massive assortment of runes to mix and match, and the tactical variability from game-to-game. I love how the devs were always engaged with the community and active on the forums, even during Pox's darker days.

    I hate that incompetent ownership and poor decision making ran it into the ground. As far as the game itself goes, I never really cared for the large-scale champion stat update back in the Octopi days. I really liked being able adjust the attack, defense, speed, etc. of individual champions to suit my needs. I adapted eventually of course, as we all did, but I feel like a part of the game I fell in love with was lost that day. The CorpsE-era powercreep spike was really off-putting as well.
    Tweek516, 19madfox95 and Fentum like this.
  3. EnigmaXIII

    EnigmaXIII I need me some PIE!

    You mention the appealing aspects of TCG and TBS, could you elaborate? Would you like the game less if it wasn't a TCG and was instead CCG?

    Also, never have I heard of this stat update during the Octopi days, please enlighten me
  4. Morfeas

    Morfeas I need me some PIE!

    The art.

    The client.
    19madfox95, Gnomes and EnigmaXIII like this.
  5. EnigmaXIII

    EnigmaXIII I need me some PIE!

    Rune art or in game sprites?
  6. JazzMan1221

    JazzMan1221 Better-Known Member

    Poxnora blends the extreme diversity of a TCG with the immersive tactical depth of a TBS very seamlessly. Its business model has historically been borrowed from the TCG model: you buy a pack of runes containing a random assortment from a designated box set, each one guaranteed to contain a rare quality or better. Powercreep is gradual but steady, keeping the game fresh and the money flowing. Maybe it's because I played a lot of Yugioh as a kid, but I just loved the thrill of opening a few packs hoping to get the cards I needed, while simultaneously knowing that even if I didn't, I could trade the ones I didn't want for ones I did. This is where the social aspect came into play, and I got a few of my real-life friends into Pox back in the late 2000s. TCGs are notorious for bringing people together moreso than any other genre, and I enjoyed having people I could share my interests with.

    At the same time, I loved being able to spend an entire weekend afternoon simply browsing the rune checklist doing the math on stat efficiency, or creating thought experiments to determine the best choice of upgrades. This is what really kept me attached to Poxnora: the extreme level of detail one would have to know in order to get better at the game. There was a real sense of accomplishment that came with winning a game back in those days, and it's this aspect Pox borrows from TBS games. I don't believe Pox ever was a true CCG, nor could it be. That would require that the runes/cards were owned by you and could be kept indefinitely. I suppose you could technically "collect" them, but virtual data and physical cards are two completely different mediums. Consider the state Poxnora is in right now; all that time and money you spent on runes is never coming back, and the runes themselves will soon disappear forever. But my old Yugioh cards will be sitting in my attic until the day I die (and maybe pass them on to my children). Those are true collectibles.

    Back in the early days of Poxnora, the game was owned and managed by a company called Octopi. I started playing around 2008, and at the time, champion stats (including range, if the champion was naturally ranged) could be upgraded point-by-point. Each time you upgraded a stat, the champion's nora cost would increase, and the more you upgraded a stat, the more expensive it would get to do so. Each stat costed a different amount of nora to upgrade; upgrading range costed the most, followed by speed, while upgrading HP costed the least. There was also an additional stat called Attack, in addition to the Damage stat. The attack stat increased a champion's damage by a small percentage per point of attack when damage was calculated. For example a champion could have an attack of 15 and a damage of 9. The damage was the base amount of damage done before damage calculation. The target's defensive modified that base number negatively, while the attacker's attack modified it positively (IIRC, the base was increased by 1% per point of attack, and reduced by 2% per point of defense, and this was all before a champion's abilities came into play, most of which were also percentage-based).

    Of course upgrading abilities was still a thing; champions still had traditional upgrades like they do now, but there were a lot more negative upgrades to choose from, like vulnerabilities and Lumbering and such. These would decrease the champion's cost proportionally, much like they do now, so that was basically the same. But the stats thing was really intensive. Speed worked differently then too: instead of granting a flat amount of AP equal to the champion's speed, it would grant half the champion's speed, rounded up, +1. Thus, the magic number people would shoot for when upgrading was usually 9 speed (9/2 = 4.5, rounded up = 5, +1 = 6 AP generated per turn). After that, ability upgrades were usually prioritized, but it all depended on the champion. Every champion was unique in that way; aside from standardized speed upgrades (which also sometimes varied between champions, if you wanted a faster or slower champion), stat lines and upgrades were extremely versatile, and everyone upgraded differently. You might see one person running Dwarven Kings with 11 speed and 70 HP with no upgraded abilities, or you might see them with 9 speed and 50 HP with Melee Specialist 3, Divine Favor 3, and Warcry 3 all upgraded (Warcry had ranks back then).

    It definitely sounds complicated explaining it all now, but Poxnora used to be a very math-heavy game. They eventually simplified it by getting rid of the attack stat along with individual stat upgrades altogether, and that was around the time Octopi lost control and SOE came onboard. We could still choose stat upgrades, but the upgrade paths were set and limited, very similar to the system in place now. The previous system definitely had its downsides, and not everyone had hours upon hours to spend calculating upgrade efficiency for every champion in the game. But for those of us who DID enjoy that kind of thing (*cough* me) it was rather disappointing to see it go. The new system brought new challenges in upgrading though, and we all adapted well enough. The game was still relatively healthy at that point, though a lot of the old guard were suspicious of SOE's intentions (rightfully so, as it turns out, since that era marked the beginning of the end for Pox).
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  7. poxrooster

    poxrooster The Pox Chameleon

  8. EnigmaXIII

    EnigmaXIII I need me some PIE!

    That's interesting. I was around during the Octopi days, but not early enough for this stat business. I mean, your upgrade paths could include Defense 1/2/3, etc. or Augment: X but nothing like what you are describing. I've also heard many players complain about the whole leveling champions thing, and I would say I was one of them.

    I'm not sure if all players share this with me, but I think the games I enjoy the most are the ones that allow for creativity, and that is why I enjoyed card games. I love mmorpgs where a particular build, or knowing where to go, or what to kill, or how to kill it actually means something. I find most games now are extremely linear, everything feels predestined and predictable. Before I play the game I can just imagine what I will be doing for the next 100+ hours in my mind, and as weird as it seems, that to me is enough and I don't even want to play it.

    Coming back to card games, I do not see technical complexity or heavy math as necessarily improving the opportunity for creativity or fun. I also think the trading aspect, and making money from packs makes it pay to win for early and free to play players (though obviously not a factor for pox veterans that own everything).

    If I were to make a game, I would use a different funding model where the single player is where you collect packs (bought with real money or gold), where you can purchase certain campaigns/missions, and in multiplayer, everyone has access to the full collection. I would also add cosmetic options (card skins, avatar/shrine customization). I would try to limit complexity and retain creativity. The question is what can you shed, and what should you keep, which is why I created this thread.

    This is all hypothetical obviously, I do not have the capacity to create a game, and as much as I love games, I would rather create something more beneficial to society with my time.
  9. badgerale

    badgerale Warchief of Wrath

    I don’t know if it’s the thing I like most, but I really appreciate the fact that the game can be played while doing other things.

    You can run the windowed mode without losing anything over playing full screen. This means you can wander the internet, chat on discord, even watch videos, all while you pox.

    It also helps that it is turn based, and the pace of the game isn’t such that you need to concentrate on it every second - especially early game.

    I think this is a bigger thing than people give credit for - it allows that community feeling as people talk about games as they are played.

    What I like least? Apart from the existence of ST, I just think it is sad that it couldn’t successfully reinvent itself. I don’t blame anyone for that, sometimes things just don’t work out.
    EnigmaXIII likes this.
  10. Fentum

    Fentum I need me some PIE!

    Been playing since 2007 so have seen most versions of Pox.

    I love that it’s a tactical fantasy board game come to life. Themes, combos, cool races, plenty to think about. Encourages creativity.

    I love the turn based nature so it’s ‘thinky’ not ‘trigger finger’.

    I hate that it was random purchase, so I really appreciated Pox Box.

    I hate that very few people play it.

    I love the enduring commitment and integrity of @Sokolov

    I love the commitment, videos, and friendly natured commentary of @Gnomes

    I love this game!
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
    Tweek516, 19madfox95, Gnomes and 2 others like this.

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