Just How Does Card Hunter Keep Improving???

By Jeff Francis
How Card Hunter keeps improving

Card Hunter is one browser mmo that took me totally by surprise. When I read that the game had first launched, the visuals of the game really hooked me as it definitely harkened back to the very beginnings of pen-and-paper role-playing games. I grew up playing old school rpgs, like Dungeons and Dragons, Traveller, and Palladium, when artwork was not polished and rulebooks were pretty thin and bare-bones. Card Hunter took that nostalgic feel of those golden days of early gaming and merged it with card mechanics of games like Magic: The Gathering. This was no coincidence as Richard Garfield, the creator of Magic: The Gathering, is a member of the development team. I've spent many an hour going on adventures in Card Hunter, and the game just seems to keep getting better. Let's roll up some new characters as we examine how Card Hunter keeps improving.

Card Hunter Caverns of Chaos

The basic Card Hunter features were definitely sufficient to make me an addict for quite some time. The basic premise of the game melds together board games, old school rpgs, and collectible card games, all wrapped up in an extremely amusing storyline featuring the DM and his brother, and is just plain fun. I really love that each piece of gear has cards associated with it, so players could swap them out in order to deal with specific monsters or situations. Then there's the fact that players could go toe-to-toe with some PvP action if you felt like it. So, Card Hunter keeps improving in what manner?

The first reason is the no download mmorpg keeps putting out new content. While basic Card Hunter features such as balanced gear and tweaks to multiplayer are great, nothing beats a regular infusion of new content. There have been several expansions for the game, such as Attack of the Artifacts and Expedition to the Sky Citadel. These expansions add new adventures to the game as well as new boards, monsters, and cards. The latter expansion added some sci-fi themed monsters and items to the game in the spirit of the Expedition to the Barrier Peaks module for AD&D. In addition to the expansions, Card Hunter keeps getting better with the occasional release of the Mauve Manticore, which are periodic updates that add new adventures. To me, the biggest factor in any online game is content, content, and more content!

Another factor in how Card Hunter keeps improving is leagues. The Attack of the Artifacts introduced leagues to the game, and it hasn't looked back since. The game has tweaked the overall mechanics of leagues over time, and one popular change has been the introduction of Quick Draw leagues, where players draft cards before a match. This really does remind me of playing Magic: The Gathering back in the day using the draft format and is definitely one of the Card Hunter improvements that has grabbed some players.

One of the initial Card Hunter features was that the player originally adventured alone, but that has now changed. Players can adventure with friends with the game's co-op feature that was introduced later on. The mechanics of the co-op feature is that the first person on a team can play a card or pass. Once a player plays a card, the team's turn ends. To ensure that everybody gets the chance to do something, the first player on the team will rotate each turn. If only two gamers are playing co-op, they are at a disadvantage number-wise, but they are compensated by being able to draw an additional card per round. Being able to play co-op with friends is one of the best Card Hunter features as it's enabled me to hook my friends on playing the game. After all, the entire background of the game is based on old school rpgs, so it makes perfect sense to allow gamers to party with one another to go on perilous adventures.

Card Hunter adventures

Another of the Card Hunter improvements that makes the free no download mmorpg better is the introduction of the replayable and randomized Caverns of Chaos. While getting new content is always a blast, the particulars of that new content doesn't change as you play it over and over again. The developers decided to throw some randomness into the mix with the Caverns of Chaos. Featuring monsters pulled from the entire game, the Caverns of Chaos feature ten randomized battlefields that also have the party's makeup and abilities being shuffled as well. The payoff is the powerful Crown of Chaos, but this is a difficult prize to win as there are retries. Once a battle is lost, the party is expelled from the caverns. What makes this even better is that once a player finishes this dungeon, they unlock a special adventure called Return to the Caverns of Chaos, which features the same ten battles but allows the player to use their constructed party.

Lastly, another way that Card Hunter keeps getting better is that the game is now also found on Steam. Any way that increases exposure to the game and draws in more players is a good thing, in my opinion, as this is a game that deserves the widest audience possible. It's refreshing to see that the developers have worked hard on improving the various Card Hunter features since the game first launched. In the space of two years, several expansions have been released, co-op has been added, a number of Mauve Manticore updates have been published, leagues have been improved, and the randomized Caverns of Chaos has been put into the game. No matter how you slice it, Card Hunter keeps improving. Now grab some snacks and start slinging some dice!


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