Dire Wolf Digital’s Test tournament: My Experience
Hello, my name is Mitch and I am an Inked Gaming employee as well as an Eternal Card Game player in my free time (screen name is Magikarp, feel free to say hi in game after we play!).
Eternal is a digital card game with aspects similar to Magic the Gathering, Hearthstone, and other card game battlers. It can be found for free on the Steam store as well as iTunes for download. With the busy pace of life, my time to be able to travel to Magic tournaments has dwindled over the years. Previously, I was a fanatic – traveling most weekends to an event either locally or in another state. I had always loved the grind, and the amazing competition that comes with it. After finding Eternal, my love for competing in card games has awoken again.
I originally downloaded this game looking for something to play while I was on a trip abroad. Well, I played it almost every night before bed when I was there and became addicted almost immediately. The ability to receive rewards for battling other players at a rate this high is second to none with other online card games. Within days, I was able to start building a mono Justice aggro (aggressive) deck (green faction) and start ranking up through their ladder!
Months went by, I’ve competed in the ETS and ECL tournament series, as well as playing a TON of constructed ladder, draft ladder, and sealed leagues every month. The game keeps growing and my interest has never really waned in almost a year and a half of playing this game. Which brings me to the point of this article, and overview of the most recent test tournament that Eternal ran. I was lucky enough to top 64 the tournament coming in….64th! Here it goes!
Direwolf Digital has created an in-game tournament structure, specifically for the upcoming Eternal Card Game World Championships and its qualifier stages, as well as unknown tournaments for future use. This tournament structure is set up so that you enter a 7-game series and play out all the games, no matter your win/loss.
-After 7 games, you claim your rewards equal to how well you do through that run.
-You play in 3 more of those runs, and your combined win/loss record will place you into the overall ranking ladder.
-The top 64 rankings will be displayed to everyone, including all the players running win/loss.
-It’s not uncommon to see many players finish their runs early or wait until a few hours before the timer expires on Saturday.
-Once the in-game timer expires, all top 64 players are sent a notification that they have qualified for the second stage of play and are placed into a 64-person bracket, 1st playing 64th, 2nd playing 63rd, and so on.
-You are sent an email to confirm your placement and can fill out a questionnaire for the Dire Wolf Digital coverage team to get to know you better.
-The next morning, Sunday, all you need to do is log in and wait for a prompt. The client will notify you, and you will have 5 minutes to accept the game challenge. You’re matched into your opponent, you play a best of 3 games, rinse and repeat until a champion is crowned!
My take on the tournament:
Overall, this was a very good experience. The ability to play my own qualifier games on my iPad while sitting on my couch watching Netflix is something that another card game doesn’t really provide right now. The casual nature of the tournament, while at the same time having high quality opponents, awesome prizing breakdowns, and insightful Twitch.tv tournament coverage by some of the designers really takes the cake for me.
-Play at your own pace. Play some games when you get off work, play some before bed. Wake up, play in another heat of 7 games, and by Saturday afternoon you’ll have finished your runs.
-Good rewards. Awarding prizing after every run as well as awarding some at the conclusion of the event allows for players to be able to figure out how many runs they really want to do, how much gold they’ll need, and gives less “feels bads” of sitting in an event for days or weeks waiting to get your gold and pack rewards.
-Twitch tournament coverage including Twitch drops. The top 64 is covered by Eternal Card Game designers usually including LSV and someone else that’s an awesome card player (Patrick Chapin, Patrick Sulivan, etc). Getting your games analyzed by some of the best card players of all time brings a lot of enjoyment to many of Eternal’s players, including myself. Each match is randomly selected to be on coverage, so if you do make it, there’s a chance you won’t make it on screen. But keep qualifying and you’ll make it there eventually! Link your Twitch account to Eternal and receive awesome prizes just for watching!
-They listened to the community. After the first few test tournaments, many people that were hitting very high win rates were still not making the final Sunday cut. So, they changed how the bracket system works and increased the number of players that qualify. This means that the tournament will last a little longer but include many more people from the community in the final day.
Some people didn’t make the top 64 with the same record of people that did. Making this event top 64 doesn’t mean that everyone that has a good record will make it. Notably, many people that finished 19-9 this run didn’t make it, while some people that did achieve the same record did. No matter how large Dire Wolf Digital makes the final cut, there are always going to be people experiencing missing the cut. Top 64 seems like a good sweet spot from my experience.
Tiebreakers are not displayed to tournament players. While I qualified with a 19-9 record, MANY others did not. When you finish your runs, you are placed in a seemingly arbitrary point within the players of the same win/loss as you. This brings in a lot of unnecessary questions from the community and could be remedied if the tiebreakers were shown.
Some have voiced their opinion that 28 games are too many for a lot of people in the community for this qualifier. While the runs do take quite a while, I feel like the rewards from the event as well as the opportunity to make top 64 outweigh these cons. Another thing to note – this event isn’t for everyone! At the end of the day, you don’t have to play in these if you do not have the time to do them for the weekend.
Creating a competitive tournament like this will bring in the riff raff! Get off my digital card game lawn! From my experience and many other experiences, most tournament players are extremely nice people, just competitive. From what I’ve gathered in Eternal so far is a community that’s very passionate about the game because they see the potential of what it could be. Dire Wolf Digital is taking it to the next step and it is going in the right direction. People coming from other games is AWESOME for the game. This means more features, more lore, more support, more tournaments, the list goes on and on. Don't be afraid of people coming in from other games. Embrace them and show them how awesome this community really is.
All in all, the in-client tournaments are a HUGE step in the right direction for Eternal to be able to compete with the likes of other established games like MtG and Hearthstone. Many others and I have passionately supported this game in many ways over the years. We hope that you’ll give this game a try if you haven’t already. If you have, I’ll see you on the servers!
For upcoming information on the first Eternal World Championship Qualifier, look here!