Since I didn't see any topics about this game yet, I thought I'd bring this game to your attention. Swords Girls is a Korean MMO Trading Card Game (TCG OR CCG) developed by Zeonix that is being translated into English by ChangYou.com Limited that has several things I think all of us here like: strategy (how you build your deck and how you play it during PvE and PvP), it's free, lots and lots of professionally drawn anime girls ranging from cute to sultry, and did I mention it's completely free? The Open Beta for Swords Girls starts at 11am PST on March 28 (There is a clock currently counting down on their website).
If you completely hate TCG/CCG games, then at least do yourself (and me) a favor by going to their facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/Swordgirls
) and liking them. They are currently running two contests. The first one is for a Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 10.1, but for every 1000 likes they get after 14k, they add another tablet to the pool, so the more people who like, the better the odds of getting one. The second one is called "everybody wins" which is exactly how it sounds. If a given task is completed, everybody who signs up with an account gets free crafting materials (I'll explain these later) and/or tokens. Right now, the current goal is to get another 400 likes before Friday 9am PST, so please help out a fellow NISA/JRPG/anime fan and like them on Facebook!
I won't go into detail about how to play the game because most questions you have can be answered here http://www.swordgirlsonline.com/game-info/
much more clearly than any attempt I could make. However, I will point out some of the benefits SG has over most other CTG I've seen/played.
1. It a browser based/flash enable mobile device game, so no downloads. This means it should work on any browser and most recent smart phones/tablets/etc. This is nice because-
2. Games are short. I didn't get to play the closed beta, but the people who have played it say that each match only takes 3-5mins, so it's a perfect for getting a few matches in on a smart phone if you have a little time to kill. This is great because I'll still have lots of time to play the new NISA games coming out.
3. It is completely free. You get a starting deck (one of the four here in the wiki: http://swordgirls.wikia.com/wiki/Deck_Shop
) and you can immediately jump in and play. All episodes can be accessed and nearly all cards can be crafted. They do have an optional online shop where you can buy booster packs, other starting decks, card sleeves, increase your changes for training a card (described down below), and maybe a few other things, but all of these things can also be obtain through playing the game and earning crafting materials. This seems like it will be a fair balance between cash and time (e.g. those who have plenty of cash, but not much time will still have roughly the same as those with a lot of time, but not much cash), which brings me to point 4.
4. Card crafting and gaining materials. This is one of the most important aspects of the game. Nearly every card can be crafted, but depending on the rarity of the card, the amount of materials needed starts to greatly increase. You gain materials either from beating monsters in the dungeons or from PvP. What's nice about the PvP is that you don't have to win to gain materials, so you can still work towards building a better deck even if you lose. Also, if you have cards that you no longer need, or ended up getting cards that you didn't want from booster packs, you can use the alchemy lab to break these cards down into components and use those to craft cards that you do want, so nothing is ever really wasted.
5. PvP match making. Depending on a card's strength and rarity(points are usually 1,3,5,7,13,33,50,100), it is assigned x amount of points. When looking for PvP matches, the game will match you with people who are playing decks of similar points (DP) and w/l ratios. If you have a very strong deck and win a lot, then it will start to pit you against people with stronger decks, so you should almost always be playing against an evenly matched opponent. It also means that free players don't have to worry as much about pitting their starting decks against people who pay2win, because of the DP difference between them.
[EDIT]: 5.5 Dungeon crawling. Dungeon crawling is where you'll probably spend most of your time. Every enemy you defeat in a dungeon will give you some crafting materials, and at the end, you can fight a boss. If you are the first person to defeat the boss, you get that boss's card. Even if you aren't the first, you still get a bunch of crafting material, and you can still get the boss card by clearing the dungeon 10 times. After 10 times, the rewards for clearing the dungeon substantially increase, and you get a huge reward for the 100th completion. [/EDIT]
6. Anime girls. With swords. Need I say more?
7. The wiki and swogitools. These are two of the main reasons I'm looking forward to the OBT and then gold for sword girls. The wiki link is here: http://swordgirls.wikia.com/wiki/Sword_Girls_Wiki
. It contains information on all the cards from episodes 0,1, and 2. OBT will contain episodes 0,1,2,3, and EX1. It also has other basic information about the game.
The real winner, though, is the swogitools, here: http://www.swogitools.com/?
. This was the work of several fans of the game and contains every card, every ability translation, and every flavor text for all the cards available in Korea. It lets you build a deck to see it's synergy, and it even has an analyze function that can help you see how well your deck works together. With this, you can create as many decks as you want and pretend test them without having to use a single crafting material. Also, if you click on the card's faction symbol (upper left), it'll show you what materials you need and how much of each to craft the card. This is one of the best resources I've seen for a CTG.
8. Community. If you are new to CTGs and you find your deck isn't working well, there is an entire subsection dedicated to helping you figure out how to play it better and what cards you should pursue to make it stronger. Also, most of the people on their forums just seem like nice, good, helpful people.
9. Lots of new content. When OBT begins, there will be just under 400 cards. Looking at all the cards Korea currently has, there are over 1100, all of which will eventually make their way over here. This allows for nearly limitless combinations and deck styles for you to choose from and play.
10. The art on each card is great.
11. The cards and flavor text fit together to tell a story of what is going on in the Sword Girls world. The developers have written down the first parts of the lore and one kind fan translated and posted it here on the SG forums:http://www.swordgirlsonline.com/forum/showthread.php?865-Episode-storylines-%28large-images%29
12. Card training. If you have an extra card, you can send it to school to get training points (TP). Then, if you have extra copies of that card and enough training points, you can try to train it to a higher level, giving it better stats without increasing the DP or anything else on the card, but using up the materials whether or not it succeeds. Cards can be upgraded 5 times, but each time cost more cards and TP, and reduces the chance of success. You can spend cash (tokens) to increase the chance, or maybe buy an item that doesn't use up your extra cards during training.
So in case you couldn't tell, I'm looking forward to this game. It's been a long time since I've played a good TCG game, and I've been having some fun playing around with different deck combinations. So is anyone else here interested in this game?