Milos Izalio, Marisen the Eldest, Marshal Ironthorn, and of course my personal favorite Icaria. A few of the many Heroes to the land of Myria and key players in the ever-expanding lore behind Dire Wolf Digital’s acclaimed CCG, Eternal. An announcement posted by the developers has confirmed now that many (if not all) of these character’s in-game cards will be marked with the “Hero” tag in the upcoming Enemies at the Gate update. While this will not provide any mechanical change to the game at this time it does leave some questions open for us to consider.
With the advent of the tribal systems entering the game earlier in the year we saw new mechanics such as Bond that play off of a unit’s type. There are also cards like Slushdumper and Valkyrie Spireguard that play off of units of a similar type as well. The first thing that comes to mind with the advent of the Hero marker is the ability to create new cards that gain bonuses from being “led” by a hero on the field. Something along the lines of a 2/2 for 2 that has text reading “[this unit] deals double damage while you control a hero” is not outside of the realm of possibility. The threat that most of these hero cards already bring to the field will indeed be exacerbated more by bringing additional synergy, but in my opinion a hero should be a big threat for multiple reasons. The con side to this is that there is already a stigma in the community that removal is so prevailing and adding more threatening units would just increase that. It will be interesting to see what comes of it.
Secondly, this announcement of the hero tag brings in the promise of at least one new hero each and every month, or Chapter, as they are now called. This past month brought us Dizo, Cabal Chairman, who in my opinion is lackluster. That being said I am sure ThePlatypusKing or HeyWhyYou will quickly prove me wrong with some combo in the coming weeks. Eternal has never gone long without having some kind of event or promo card released, so this promise is not really adding a ton to the table outside of a guarantee that this will continue, but the prospect of having a bomb promo show up half way between sets or campaign releases is something that will get the deck builders in the community excited I am sure. Another thing that this new approach gives us is consistency in player-base. Having at least one new card added every chapter ensures that every player who wants to stay relevant will likely play at least four days out of every month to unlock the play set.
Finally, the chapter system as a whole. DWD has said that the monthly reset cycle of leaderboards will no longer be called “seasons”, but rather “chapters”. They will focus not only on the reset of the boards but also in continuing to develop the story. Dizo was a dry run for this as well and was successful for a lore nut like myself. While my opinion of the card being lackluster stands currently, the lore he was followed with was juicy. Dizo and his Cabal were playing both sides. Providing food and supplies to Rolant and his followers while at the same time building his own wealth and armies right under Rolant’s nose which ultimately resulted in his imprisonment and death at the hands of Jekk. If every new chapter brings a new character into the story and expands upon all of the questions the players like myself have we could be in for a wild ride and an incredible, ever-expanding world.
The advent of Chapters, Heroes, and the upcoming League system bring even more weight to the argument that Eternal is poised to be a longstanding figure in the digital CCG market space. Keeping the deck builders, competitive players, and lore junkies happy in parallel is not an easy task, but my hat goes off to Dire Wolf Digital and the team working on this game because it seems they are on the path to do just that. Team Rankstar, as well as the community as a whole, is really embracing this growth and we hope that new players do as well. Do not get me wrong, there will be growing pains, new players will have more cards that they have no choice but to buy outside of special rewind-style events, but that is the price you pay for waiting to get in on such a good thing. Overall, I am very impressed with these new steps and I am excited to see what comes from the continued growth and evolution of the game.