Last month I hinted at a new/old feature’s (re)appearance in CrysCo. Spoiler alert: it’s not ready yet! But don’t despair–this month was packed with progress (but of course you already knew that because you’re following along in our Discord community). New cards, updates, and fixes abounded in February and into March. And some of us are improving at actually playing the game as evinced by this tasty “S” rank (though double S’s have been reported, they have not been substantiated with photographic proof).
Game Changes and Quality of Life Updates
The game is evolving at a rapid clip! You can get your own Steam key and play along by joining us on Discord (link in intro), but here are some highlights from this month:
- The marketplace feature has been standardized and is now available at any point in a skirmish
- Crystal is now generated at a lower rate but can be acquired in new and interesting ways, including through investments and in the environment
- Individual hexes can be selected and now have specific characteristics (terrain at this juncture is merely aesthetic but could take on additional properties in the future…)
- Outlines delineate active from passive abilities, and icons have been applied in a more coherent way across the board
- And much, much more. In fact, there was not one but two significant updates over the past month.
Card Updates and a Word (or several) on Lore
The initial set of cards in CrysCo has seen countless iterations, and it is still evolving–the beauty of a dynamic card game is that this will always be the case to some extent. However, revision is being supplanted by a solid foundation in many cases. Here is a brief overview of the current state of each available crystal type and the cards aligned with them:
Representing a fractured northern kingdom and aligned with the crystal strain known as “seplaem,” the Hochraun remnants, Old North clans, and Menhiran Order band together for team-oriented gameplay.
- Creatures work in tandem to overcome an opponent; keystone abilities include “faithful” (disseminating boons to nearby allies on ally entering the skirmish) and inspired (which works on the same mechanic but is a self-buff)
- Spells augment clusters of creatures’ ability to survive (healing, protection, overshield, toughness) and act quickly (i.e. zeal, agility, and move range).
- Banners are spells unique to spirit that can only be played around a creature
- Structures are few and far between in spirit, meaning that population capacity is a major concern for such a creature-heavy style of play
Alom is the currency crystal of Masteria, the primary setting of Crystal Companies. The Alomian Isles–so named because of the mines and commerce this confederacy is known for–are rife with pirates, mercenaries, and rogues, each with their own style of fighting and deceiving. This confederacy provides a rich tapestry of individual cards from which to choose–just don’t expect them to be individually balanced or come with a lack of risk to the battlefield.
- Spells are scant in wealth, but unlike spirit, siege units augment the reliance on creatures–population capacity remains a resource to balance as siege is affected by it
- Speaking of creatures, wealth consists of ranged gunpowder units, fighters that vary in ability based on attacking, and units with inherent zeal (movement on first turn in play). Wealth’s creatures are explosive–literally and figuratively
- Siege and traps give wealth an edge in allowing them to clear the battlefield of enemies, albeit in a fairly risky fashion (usually involving blowing things up)
The Stadian Empire controls most of Masteria, including a vast walled city networked with Zligen crystal energy hubs that enable the deployment of defense mechanisms and transportation via warp-portals. Domination is an exercise in strategic thinking for the Stadians.
- Structures and spells make up the majority of an intellect-based arsenal.
- Turrets are immobile but provide support, visibility, and act as a deterrent to enemies in an area
- Spells act to disrupt and immobilize enemies, and also enable the creation of temporary fighters in the form of zligen constructs
- Creatures in intellect are typically utilitarian–building structures, scouting new areas, and capturing waypoints
- Siege in intellect is a minor element but a formidable one–the siege zeppelin is a prime example
The Forestal region of Masteria is a semi-autonomous region that is defined by its sprawling wilderness. Different regions in nature represent individual strengths, but the commonalities across the cards–from the Deeproot jungle-dwellers to the Terran resistance fighters to the protectors of the Grove–is that they are adapted to environments of all kinds.
- Plants are a unique sub-type in nature that can be structures or creatures. Plants can be food, materials, or even fighters
- Creatures are diverse in nature too: humans fight alongside reptiles, arachnids, birds, and more. Native is a core mechanic of nature creatures, and flying is also a common trait. Poison plays an outsized role, as do abilities like territorial and evolve (wherein creatures act when enemies move in range and when creatures change in size and abilities over time, respectively)
- Spells in nature play a mid-sized role, by and large serving to boost the vigor of plants and creatures alike
In the future, we hope to offer a glossary of lore and game mechanic terms as well as a complete card list. Currently, you can look up in-game cards by using a command in our Discord channel, which is also where you can access the game and discover new cards through playing the game itself.
On the Horizon
The functionality of Crystal Companies will continue to develop in the coming months. We invite you to join our Discord server to help with testing, give feedback, and hang out. New features will also be appearing/reappearing in the near future, as previously hinted at. So keep an ear to the ground! Or something like that.
P.S. Here’s a sneak peak at some new concept art coming soon!