Eternal is an incredible digital card game. The complexity and depth in all of the different archetypes and different play modes keeps players coming back, while the ease of access and the liberal ability to build one’s collection quickly entices new players at every turn. Eternal is fast approaching its 2nd birthday and is seeing incredible promise with casual and competitive players alike. What started as just another free CCG is now growing into a competitive tournament game with the Ranked Ladder and private tournaments that are being organized. It is only a matter of time before frequent prize-supported tournaments are commonplace and the player base explodes by orders of magnitude.
For Eternal to continue to grow and become a part of the elite pantheon of digital CCGs, there needs to be a new paradigm in material and coverage. One of the reasons (outside of the obvious developer support) that games like Hearthstone are so popular is because of the plethora of fans, material, and coverage the games get. While there are MANY other reasons for these other F2P and CCG games to be so popular I cannot stress how important it is to build a unified community and coverage around Eternal to ensure its continued strength. Enter the pocket communities and teams, such as Team Rankstar.
The first thing for many new players to a game are the impact players in a community. The players who post articles like this one that you are reading now, the streamers and vloggers, even down to the discourse-based groups like you find on Discord and Reddit. We live in an age of over-saturation and exposure, oftentimes the vocal minority cry out over the silent and content majority. “The RNG system sucks!”, “There is no real mulligan system, I lose only to game mechanics”, “This [one card] ruins the game and should be banned” and many other things are sometimes the first exposure people have to the community and it is a turn off. Then, six months down the road, those same vocal few will cry out that the game is stale, the same people make decks and the rest of the bleating masses just spend money and win. While I cannot fix the toxicity with a single write-up, or even a whole slew of them I can offer some advice: Find a community, or a group of communities that you turn to to get the most enjoyment out of the game when you aren’t playing yourself.
Team Rankstar, as well as other teams or groups within the community like RNGEternal and Seek Power Gaming, bring a lot of good to the table. ThatResolves is a writer and Vlogger for Team Rankstar that breaks down decks that see real traction in the upper echelons of the Master Tier of ranked play. The community Stevercakes has built within Eternal Warcry to provide browser-based deck building and sharing solution for us all. Streamers like ThePlatypusKing and MakDaddy mix an air of fun and lightheartedness with competitive, play-by-play dictation, of every thought on their top ranked streams nearly every day. Masters players such as Aphelion, Dunkelwerk, and myself interact with the community on Reddit, in our own articles, or on a personal basis through Discord or even in-game chat. Sure, we will lose a game and rant in the salt channel in discord, or we will show strong feelings about getting a bad streak of RNG. Rarely will you see any of the Team Rankstar boys hold a grudge or disappear from the leaderboards because of it. We will keep coming back and bringing you soft takes, weak plays, and most importantly good times.
My goal is not to say you have to follow every article I put out. I’m not saying that I, or any of my team members, are always going to be the best or always right. What I am saying is that for you, YES YOU, Eternal player, whether you stumbled across the game in an app store, or have been following Dire Wolf Digital from their early days, you have a responsibility to bring something more to the table. First and foremost, bring yourself. If you have to be the best, break that top 10 Masters barrier every month, brew up new and terrible ways to stifle rush and chalice decks, and encourage the change you want to see in the meta. Secondly, you have to step out of that silent and content majority and have a voice. Tell your friends and other players not just about the bad cards and stale meta, but about the sick combo you found in draft and the crazy deck that knocked you out of top 8 at last week’s ETS. Finally, and this I cannot stress enough, you should support the people that expand the game in a meaningful way. Spend a couple of bucks on your favorite streamers, link to articles that resonate with you and make you think differently, and engage in intelligent discourse about things that you would like to see in the future.
If we are playing Eternal today, we want to be playing a better Eternal tomorrow. While a lot of that relies heavily on the developers to bring us a worthwhile product, a big part of it is bringing a community together and to the developers and new players so that the game is encouraged to grow. I encourage you to find a team to support, find a content site to check on daily, find a streamer that makes you laugh and teaches you to look at a card differently. I implore you, from a pile of 0-3 drafts and 0-4 tournament drops, to be a part of the community that will ensure the growth and prosperity of this great, new game. If it is with Team Rankstar, you made the right choice. If it isn’t I’m okay with that, may you forever be in Bronze III, but at least you found a place to call home and can say you did your part to keep the meme dreams alive.