What's up, it's ya boy Shadows, coming at you with the freshest of Fan Creations news. Don't worry, in typing this I have made the promise to myself never to do so again, you have nothing to fear.
Conversation this week will feature another fun ramble from yours truly, covering a range of topics all about art.
First Person Card Game
Firstly, congratulations to the winner of the WCDC this week, linkblade91 with his Counter Strike!
The next theme will be up to him, and I'm sure it will be legendary.
Colour Me Impressed
The inspiration behind my rare but fun rants can come from anywhere - this one, for example, has a couple of roots. One of them will be covered in the next section, but the first one was an off-hand comment from fellow Fan Creations enthusiast Demonxz95, who said this:
Honestly, I don't believe Team 5 is ever going to outright remove a card from the game. They did that in various pre-launch stages of them, but they haven't done it at all since the game's release.
This was in response to a discussion I was having about the Rogue and Paladin Core Sets; last week's competition was all about Secrets, and it had gotten me thinking that, if I were to redesign other Core Sets beyond Priest, I'd remove Secrets from Paladin and give them to Rogue. GoliathTheDwarf, our resident lore expert, was concerned that I'd remove Paladin Secrets from the game entirely, to which I assured that they'd merely be Hall of Famed, and prompting Demon's quote above.
It got me thinking about the idea of removing a card from the game. While what Demon said was technically true, there's grey areas there.
Warsong Commander is one such grey area. While a card named Warsong Commander still exists in the game, her nerf so drastically changed the card that it's hard to consider it the same card as it was before. They could just as easily have removed her from the game and brought in a replacement card with the new effect.
Change her back but with Rush, Blizzard!
The grey area that prompted this meandering ramble, however, was those controversial art changes we received a while back.
You get an art update, and you get an art update... everybody gets an art update!
From left to right we have an escalation in changes: Secretkeeper, like most of the cards changed, received updated art; Queen of Pain takes it a step further, altering the name slightly as well but still being recignisable as the same card; Felstalker is the most bold of the changes, removing the Succubus association entirely.
I'm not here to argue for or against the changes, but it got me wondering about what would constitute 'removing' a card. I'd say that Succubus, for example, was removed from the game; replaced with a card with the same gameplay, sure, but a completely different aesthetic. What about Mistress of Pain, however? The name changed, sure, but the overall idea of the card is the same. At what point does a minor change become the tipping point into 'new card' territory; when do you stop repairing the ship and start building a new one?
It's an interesting concept for Hearthstone, a game which has yet to reprint any card into Standard again as part of a set (and not a limited time event like Doom in the Tomb). When they do - and I think it's almost inevitable that they'll do so in some fashion down the line - will they retain the original art? What about the original name? Could you use a copy of the card which you already own from a previous expansion in Standard, making the new versions merely cosmetic for some of their players? There's so many variables to think about.
Magic: The Gathering has done this many times, of course, but as a primarily physical game it needs to for many reasons, such as in order to maintain a steady supply of some cards or to shape their Limited and Standard formats to their desires. Here's a few of the arts they've used for the card Cancel, for example, as well as a couple of the variations on the idea they've done over the years.
Many arts have been used for Cancel, and there are several strictly better versions of the card - including Thought Collapse and Didn't Say Please, a core of my degenerate UB Mill deck back when Eldraine launched and completely identical cards, apart from the fact that them being named differently meant I could include 4 of each of them in my decks.
I don't know that I really had a point or grand statement to make about art when I started this little jaunt. I guess I just wanted to get you thinking about the art that you use when making a card. Although it can often be overlooked, the art is one of the most crucial pieces of a card; numbers can be tweaked, abilities toyed with, but its the art of a card that really stands out in a player's mind. Picking the right piece for your card is one of the most important steps in a Fan Creator's process.
Practice Makes Perfect
The other thing that got me thinking about art was the resurgence of one of our forum games, the aptly named "Here's some art, make a card!".
The premise is very simple. The previous contributor will give you a piece of art to use for your card and potentially some idea of what kind of card they want to see, such as a Warrior Deathrattle minion or Legendary Mage spell (though this is optional). Then you simply take those directions and design a card! Post your card, along with the art and instructions for the next one, and the train keeps going.
It's a very simple game, and it's a fun way to hone your ideas and help you look at art pieces in new ways. You might never have considered using a piece of art in the way the person is asking, for example, or you might never have considered using that art piece at all!
I linked the first page of the thread above so you can see how it started, but here's a link to the latest page (as of writing) if you're looking to jump right in.
I Like Your Deck... I Think I Will Take It!
We're following in the footsteps of everyone's favourite Supreme Archaeologist in this week's WCDC and messing with our opponent's deck! Don't worry though, there are plenty of ways to do that without having to steal it. Click below to find out more!