Here’s a fun fact for all of you computer enthusiasts:
I’ve been using the same MacBook Air for everything since late high school. A MacBook Air that I inherited from my Dad.
That he got in 2010.
Needless to say I’ve been in the market for an upgrade. That laptop may have served me well, but it was getting long in the tooth. Slow processing to the point of freezing, difficulty running complex programs and video games… You name it.
When I graduated, my parents asked what kind of gift they could get me to celebrate. I asked if I could get a new laptop, something to benefit my workflow as I transition out of academia.
Dad managed to snag this 2016 MacBook Air that was coming out of circulation at work:
2016 may seem outdated for a lot of you that prefer to keep on the razor’s edge of technology, but for me it’s a ridiculous leap forward.
Writing and uploading the photos for this blog post has been the smoothest process in three years, for instance.
The background image changes depending on the time of day.
That appeases me in a deep-rooted, giggly kind of way. Like jangling keys in front of a baby.
And I have at least five times the storage space on this machine:
I don’t know how I’ll ever fill 500 Gigabytes.
While I’ve only been using the new laptop for about eight hours or so, it has more than justified itself. Which is good considering how much of a pain it was to set the damn thing up.
Dad and I tried to directly transfer all of the information from my old machine to the new one, that way I wouldn’t lose files or progress on anything going on.
We started up the transfer when I went to work with him yesterday, as I would be joining him later that night for poker at his friend Don’s house.
You can see my whole Twitter thread on that experience here because…
My Dad invited me to a poker night with one of his best friends in Burbank and as soon as I get here
There were a good six or so hours spent at his office in Beverly Hills before we went to poker, and we set up the computers early hoping to finish before leaving.
Nothing really panned out the way we expected.
Some combination of not cleaning the old machine’s data enough, the hubris of assuming we could have both laptops connect to my iPhone’s wifi hotspot or who knows what else led to an extended transfer time.
We spent a whole lot of time watching the time estimate fluctuate between 20 minutes and 37 hours.
As a result I wasn’t able to spend any of the time at Fandango doing things on my computer, such as work on my novel. Plus my phone was less useful than usual because I couldn’t wear headphones when we plugged it in.
The transfer wound up taking so long that we carried both computers out of the building while they were still open, and I looked like a nut during our drive with two laptops open while I played on my phone.
I only had to moonlight as a technophile hacker for a bit of the drive before the process finished, luckily enough.
Because of poker I couldn’t play around with the machine until this morning.
But now that I have, I think it’s time to use the improved processing power to finally make good on returning to a few things from my youth.
Starting with a little browser-based game called:
Hopefully tomorrow, assuming I don’t get too caught up playing this game I just bought with my friend Sam.
Yet I have plenty of experience collecting Pokémon cards as well! Looking back at my most recent room renovation, you can actually see a Jirachi card hanging out with my other mythical wish-granter merchandise:
But that and the Gardevoir set I keep under my desktop keyboard for good luck…
… is only the tip of the iceberg.
My parents like to tell the story of how they had original card packs for one of the first sets in the Pokémon TCG, which would have been amazing collectors items today. However, I had no interest in them at that point.
So they got rid of them.
Hilarious considering how much I wound up getting into collecting the cards:
Back when I collected most of these, it really did just amount to collection. Like with my physical Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, I never actually played the game.
Watching it get played again inspired me to jump in. But this time I didn’t go back to my 3DS.
I re-downloaded the official Trading Card Game online.
I say re-downloaded because I did have a brief attempt at playing the game before (as you’ll see from my cringe-worthy screen name based on some half-assed character), but it didn’t stick quite as well as my recent deep dive.
For those of you who have never played the Pokémon Trading Card Game, I figure a very brief synopsis of how it works is in order.
Each player starts with a 60-card deck, out of which they draw seven cards for a hand and six prize cards. There are two primary win conditions in the game. You either draw all of your prize cards by defeating a Pokémon, or you defeat all of your opponent’s Pokémon so they can no longer play.
There are six kinds of cards in the game:
Pokémon: The monsters are your primary players. Each has a set amount of health, specific moves they can use when given energy and sometimes abilities that can affect your play environment.
Pokémon can evolve by placing the next stage card on top of a basic card, but not on the same turn that basic card is played.
There are also “EX” or “GX” cards that are powerful and have strong abilities, but allow your opponent to draw two prize cards instead of one if defeated.
Energy: Energy is required in specific typings to use an attack, unless that requirement is a basic white star — any energy can fill that requirement.
Items: Provide a variety of effects from healing to drawing cards. Can be used as many times as they are drawn per turn.
Supporters: Typically based off of major characters or NPCs from the video games, these cards are usually advanced versions of items that can only be used once per turn.
Tools: Can be attached directly to one Pokémon as a buff, such as increased damage or defense.
Stadium: Applies an effect to both sides of the field, similar to certain abilities. Only one can be in-play, and playing a second Stadium overturns the first.
The balance of Pokémon and energy placement, where only one is active at a time and players can set up the team in their back row, feels a lot more complex than Yu-Gi-Oh!’s basic gameplay style.
However, all of the Trainer cards seem a lot more focused on draw power and health restoration than Yu-Gi-Oh!’s Spells and Traps, which have a daunting amount of variety and often incentivize playing to a narrowed archetype.
That said, I love both games.
Here’s an example of me playing with a Psychic-type deck I built.
Video’s a bit choppy, so be warned. Though it shouldn’t be nearly as bad as my Armagetron video.
As you can tell, the primary focus of my deck is to build up to Gallade or Lunala (mostly the latter).
I don’t have quite as many GX or EX cards as a lot of players who have clearly been playing longer, but Lunala being a Stage 2 legendary means card designers balanced the trouble of getting her out with some powerful attack output.
It has worked wonders for me thus far, and I’ve been building up my digital card collection using booster packs from the Trainer Challenge mode…
… As well as theme decks bought using coins from Versus duels…
… To create a few different decks.
While I think the card game itself has some unique complexities that stand out compared to Duel Links (which I’ve fallen out of favor with and replaced my vice apparently), what really keeps me going with the Pokémon TCG is how amazing the card art is.
See Yu-Gi-Oh! cards are always the same for a given card, unless they get altered for balance down the line.
But Pokémon cards for each monster can have a variety of attacks, abilities and even types in different printings. Each of those new prints also has a new piece of artwork.
Here’s a small slideshow of some of the really cute cards I’ve found in my relatively short time playing.
That’s the real charm of the Pokémon TCG. That’s what keeps me playing.
I’m sure many of you saw ‘Jason plays the Pokémon Trading Card Game’ and groaned. Hopefully I gave you enough visual spectacle and explanation to understand why I’ve been so hooked on this stuff.
Because as much as I keep joking about how playing this game out of everything I could be doing in 2019 will ruin my reputation… What can I say.
Shootings like this are always a tragedy, but this one hit pretty close to home for me.
Gable House is and always has been a big name amongst basically everyone I’ve grown up with. Countless birthday parties and hangouts have been hosted there and at the laser tag arena just next door. Plus the local business makes itself known in other ways that have just become regular parts of life for me, such as through an advertisement that always plays before features at a nearby AMC movie theatre.
As far as I’m currently aware, I didn’t know any of the people involved in the shooting. But I did drive somewhat close to that area on my way home last night, so you know how the mind wanders with those kinds of situations.
It has been hard to distract myself considering all of my group chats with locals have brought the tragedy up at various times with similar pits of dread.
But distract we must. Because as much as I’ll give my condolences to anyone who was involved, I just can’t let it rule my mind all night.
I’ve partially done so by watching two new video series on YouTube that have frankly offered a huge amount of interesting, unorthodox video game-related content.
First is the “Region Locked” series by Did You Know Gaming. I found it for their episode on Mother 3 after binge watching a play through of that series not too long ago, but stayed to take in a ton of trivia all about bizarre or cool games that were never released officially in the United States.
Then I’ve been watching the “Boundary Break” series by Shesez, which is so fascinating that I find myself constantly staring slack-jawed at the screen. This series looks at games of all creeds and pedigrees with a ‘magic camera’ so you can see the inner-workings of how different titles are designed. For someone who just loves video games, it helps me appreciate the work that goes into making such iconic titles way more.
I’ve also — and don’t judge me for this — been trying my hand at the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online again.
What can I say, I had a craving for a new card game with Duel Links falling a bit out of favor. The artwork on some of these cards are just… SO good.
Thinking about making a whole separate post about this stuff if I can get past it being so lame. Let me know if you’d be interested in that, I suppose.
But then the biggest distraction of the day would, of course, have to be the thing that I headlined the post with. Our new Apple Homepod.
Apparently this was my mom’s very belated birthday present from her parents, even though I’m personally not 100 percent sure why the one person in the house who is more hard of hearing would be so interested in a glorified speaker.
“It actually listens to me when I talk, which is a good thing considering I have a history of yelling profane things to Siri on my phone!”
She’s really happy with it though, so who am I to complain? Until it starts to refuse turning itself off like HAL 9000, anyway.
Setting the thing up has been a bit tricky because of how it interfaces with various iPhones in the house and other devices like our Apple TV. But that trickiness has provided at least two very funny moments.
We got about as far as finding out that he smoked a blunt for breakfast before someone managed to turn it off in that flailing, unexpected manner.
Then later on we attempted to figure out how to make Siri text someone through the speaker alone. When we tried to get mom’s phone to text dad, there was (no joke) about a five-minute period where Siri listed off every single phone number and email that could possibly get him a message. Only to have the same list repeated about halfway through with another attempt later.
He has a few too many emails, apparently.
With that said, hopefully this post didn’t come across too scatterbrained for you all. I mostly just tried to do whatever I could to get past my funk, which wound up meaning ‘talk about a bunch of random things’ and recounting funny moments. Because we all need a little humor in the face of tragedy.
But now it’s starting to rain outside and I have to leave to go pick up Alyson from her Bob Cole thing.
Though you’ll likely hear more about it tomorrow when I may or may not write about her actual performance.
I’ve wanted to write something on this topic for some time now, and after I declared Duel Links my favorite game of 2017 I figure it’s as good a time as ever to do something with the game. As strange as it sounds when mentioning that I’ll be talking about a nostalgic anime-based card game simulator, Duel Links in particular has piqued my interest regarding the different versions of in-game economies utilized by microtransaction-based games.
I can actually pinpoint exactly when I decided I was interested in delving into this topic. It was on October 23, when I took this screenshot of exactly what inspired me:
For those of you who don’t play Duel Links and don’t understand exactly what this shows, I’ll elaborate on the subject in stages to give everyone a full understanding.
The main economy in Duel Links is based on gems. They are arguably the most valuable collectible in the game because you use them to purchase packs of cards from boxes.
As an easy example, a card pack that’s themed around Spellcasters might contain a number of monsters, spells or traps that support the Dark Magician archetype (made popular by the headlining character of the original anime series).
The mobile game Duel Links works in the same way, with Konami releasing boxes of cards at least once a month to try and catch up to the amount available in the real life trading card game. These boxes switch off on each release between a full box and a mini box. They are headlined by one monster that tends to have the most additional support in the pack. However, in full packs especially there are often a number of archetypes given support.
Servant of Kings was the seventh mini box in the game and one of 17 available as of December 31. It features Dark Magician of Chaos, which ties into the Dark Magician archetype I mentioned earlier, but beyond that frankly has a much more eclectic range of supportive cards than most mini boxes do.
With that general game context out of the way, now I can delve into the economy itself.
When buying card boxes, gems are your best friend.
How are gems utilized?
The two kinds of boxes in Duel Links are similar but ultimately different animals.
~ In a single main box, there are 600 cards available which are split into 200 packs that players can open. Of the four card rarities, things break down like this:
10 cards are “Ultra Rare” with one of each kind of UR card available
24 cards are “Super Rare” with two of each kind of SR card available
192 cards are “Rare” with six of each kind of R card available
374 cards are “Not Rare” with eight or nine of each kind of N card available
Regardless of rarity, there are 100 unique cards to get in the box.
~ In a single mini box, there are 240 cards available which are split into 80 packs that players can open. Of the four card rarities, things break down like this:
Two cards are “Ultra Rare” with one of each kind of UR card available
Eight cards are “Super Rare” with one of each kind of SR card available
70 cards are “Rare” with five of each kind of R card available
160 cards are “Not Rare” with 10 of each kind of N card available
Regardless of rarity, there are 40 unique cards to get in the box.
Each individual pack contains three cards and can be purchased for 50 gems. A single pack purchase is always available to players, but as more gems are collected a larger collective buying option becomes available.
By that, I don’t mean you get a discount for larger purchases. Purchasing discounts are exclusive to spending real money on cards.
Rather, you simply get to do larger pack opening sessions the more gems you have. When you have 100 gems you can open two packs at a time, when you have 150 gems you can open three packs at a time, and so on. There’s a cap at 10 packs, which costs 500 gems.
In one sense, it seems strange to cap things off there. Yet 10 packs is a perfect place to cap things off because it breaks down the boxes in a digestible way.
Under the way this system has been set up, 500 gems becomes a recognizable baseline that players (or at least that I) aim for before opening packs.
By waiting to get to 500 gems before buying, the 600 cards in a main box are distilled into 24 pack opening sessions and the 240 cards in a mini box are distilled into eight pack opening sessions. That kind of bite-sized dividing is very clever because it gives players a goal to work up to and makes an intimidatingly large task into an easier, far more enjoyable series of tasks.
After all, it’s much more of an accomplishable idea to collect 500 gems eight or 24 times than it is to collect 4,000 gems for a full mini box or 12,000 gems for a full main box. Add onto that the graphical interface involved with each pack opening and you get that small scale addicting purchase system mobile games like this are known for.
That said, I haven’t even mentioning the fact that every box, in theory, should be opened three times.
In Duel Links, the deck you can build based on the cards you collect are limited.
There’s a maximum of 30 cards usable per deck (with five extra deck cards for fusion monsters), and you can only have three of a given card in each deck – with the exception of a few cards that are on a limited list, of course.
When you start a duel, each player’s deck is shuffled and four cards are drawn. As a result, a deck should be built to offer the greatest odds of having cards that are needed to win in an opening hand.
As the game’s metagame had come to dictate, that means decks typically stick to the minimum 20 card requirement and have two-to-three copies of the important cards.
So, if you want those three copies of the ever-present Super Rare card Wall of Disruption in your deck, you need to reset the “Servants of Kings” mini box three times, since each box only has one copy. If that Super Rare is the last card you pull in all three of those boxes by sheer dumb luck, you’ll have to spend 12,000 gems in all.
Of course that also means it might not take every pack in the box to get all of the Super Rare and Ultra Rare cards, you could get them all right when you start opening packs for a given box.
That’s where I cycle back to what inspired me to do this post in the first place.
In this run at the “Servants of Kings” box, I wound up having to spend exactly 4,000 gems to clean out everything because one of the two Ultra Rare cards was the last one I needed. Instead of getting a veritable bargain of 3,950 gems, I got stuck with full price.
Something about that really got into my head, and I decided to analyze this economic system after getting stuck in that position. I find that overall Duel Links has a far more reasonable economy in place than most mobile games, despite the fact that this project’s inspiration began with my being screwed over.
How can you collect gems?
There are many ways to collect gems in Duel Links, and I would argue one of the best aspects of the game is the fact that there are certain means of collection that are limitless.
The chief means of collecting gems is leveling up.
Players advance through a series of stages in the game, with multiple missions offering challenges that impede advancement. These missions always include one that provides gems for completing every other challenge in a stage.
However, the biggest collection of gems come from leveling up Legendary Duelist characters.
There is currently a level 40 cap on these characters (which has the potential to increase). As they advance through these levels players gain access to multiple rewards, including new cards and skills to fit that character or related archetypes, multiple concurrent deck building options for the character and gems.
All together, each character can gross 2,290 gems by leveling up to 40. With the recent additions of Bonz and Arcana as playable Legendary Duelists, there are 25 characters available in Duel Links.
Thus, you can get a grand total of 57,250 gems by leveling up each character to the max. Plus a couple dozen extra gems from overall player missions that additionally reward leveling up these characters.
While this is the primary pool of gems available in Duel Links, at the end it amounts to the equivalent of completely buying out four mini boxes if a player wants three copies of the Super and Ultra Rare cards.
In hindsight, not necessarily the most lucrative deal in a game with eight mini boxes and nine main boxes, with more being released about once a month.
Luckily, more characters are released fairly regularly and there are plenty of other gem deposits available to cash in on.
One of the more valuable but less consistent sources of gems are special giveaways for holidays, in-game events, the release of a new box and compensation for mistakes Konami has made (such as the game going offline unexpectedly).
A cache of gems also becomes available every month when the Ranked Dueling arena resets.
As you play against other duelists around the world, you can get gems through ranking up and as rewards for reaching a certain amount of wins in a season. In fact, once you get the final displayed reward at 120 victories, every couple dozen victories will also give you 30 gems at a pop.
Similarly, a number of gems become available as periodic score-based rewards during things like Duel-A-Thons, Duelist Chronicles or limited time character unlocking events.
Character Unlock Events
Duelist Chronicles Card lottery rewards
Beyond that, there are three “daily” small sources of gems to make use of.
I use daily in quotes because technically only one of these sources is a truly daily activity. That activity is watching a random duel recording from a match between two other players.
The other sources are technically daily but with some technicalities.
In the Duel School, players can take on a duel with a borrowed deck once a day that offers a random reward. On occasion, that reward is three gems:
Not a lot, but it’s something.
As an added note, the Duel School also opens a few missions allowing players to practice new strategies available when a new purchasable card box opens.
The third “daily” source of gems is tapping environmental features on each screen of the overworld.
The fountain next to the Legendary Duelist gate
The lanterns in front of the PvP Arena
The hologram card on top of the Shop
The trash can in front of the Card Studio
As an added note, the pictures I’ve displayed are from the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX world. The objects I mentioned are exactly the same in the original Yu-Gi-Oh! world.
These four can be activated at least once a day to get between one and five gems each, with the objects refreshing multiple times a day. That means if someone is lucky they can get 20 gems in a shot throughout the day.
Fair warning, however, more often than not each object only gives one gem at a time.
What really makes the system of gem collection in Duel Links special, however, is the fact that farming Legendary Duelists at the Gate offers an infinite source of potential gems.
When you spend a certain amount of keys collected by dueling Standard Duelists, you can battle one of the Legendary Duelist characters from the first two anime series. Duking it out with these higher level Duelists has a random chance of providing players with boxes of five, 10 or 15 gems a pop in their eight potential assessment rewards.
The chance of getting gems is increased when considering the fact that bonus gems are rewarded in place of a skill that had already been unlocked.
Even if this kind of gem earning is considerably more tedious than something like leveling up a character for large stipends, as I mentioned before one can battle Legendary Duelists as often as they want so long as they have the keys to spare.
Trust me, after a fair amount of time has been invested in the game, keys are no longer a concern.
If a player desires, they can grind up gems infinitely between taking on Legendary Duelists and Ranked Duels. When that idea meshes with the finite amount of collectibles available in Duel Links at one time, the true genius of the system shines through.
While nobody will likely ever collect every box-purchasable card through grinding alone because of how long it would take, it’s entirely possible to do so. The goal is achievable because you’re guaranteed to get everything in a given box eventually.
It’s way different than the system in other free-to-play mobile titles where random number generation applies to what you get at one time during a purchase, but the amount of options that random generation chooses between stays in a large pool each time.
￼Currently, this kind of system where I can consistently set goals and earn my way up to them in bits at a time is my absolute favorite form of microtransaction-based gaming because when I do feel frustrated seeing this:
I’ll always know that I’m guaranteed to get that Man-Eater Bug in my next purchase no matter what. Then, once I have all three of them in my collection, I never have to look at that particular box ever again.
In my head, that’s a real, tangible sense of accomplishment.
Plus, let’s not forget that even if you don’t want to spend any gems, you can get tons of cards through Legendary Duelists, leveling up characters and through special events. These cards can either stand on their own or support card archetypes in certain boxes, so a player can pick and choose what boxes they want to buy from to build the decks they want.
I don’t throw the term around that often, but it’s a fairly genius way to handle things in my opinion.
Even if Konami releases card boxes a bit too frequently to make total purchase completion an achievable goal in a set timeframe without potentially spending some money anyway.
As one final note for any players curious about jumping into Duel Links: Do not ever look at the incessant phishing offers in the global chats.
Those are always scams. End of story.
Based on this (I believe fairly comprehensive) guide I’ve put together on the economy of Duel Links, what do you think of the system they’ve put together?
In your opinion, are there other games that do the microtransaction push more fairly for players?
This kind of analysis is a longer project that I’m interested in delving into for other games as well, so if you enjoyed the post or have suggestions for how to make it better, please feel free to let me know!
I haven’t been feeling so hot today, so most of my morning and afternoon has been spent sleeping.
However, the part of my day that hasn’t been spent sleeping (or writing this, to be fair) has been spent taking a little trip down memory lane. After getting my friend addicted to Duel Links – you’re welcome by the way, Sam – she dug up some of her old physical Yu-Gi-Oh! cards.
So I did the same thing:
Turns out these things weren’t quite as deeply buried in my closet as I thought they were. Though clearly I was not all that organized when I played Yu-Gi-Oh! some time ago, as I left the cards in my box in utter disarray.
Obviously that meant it was time to spend the next hour or so looking through what cards I have and organizing them for potential future use.
The first step I took when approaching the problem of sorting such a large, disorganized collection was splitting them into cards I recognize from my time playing Duel Links vs. cards that were completely new to my current understanding of the game.
Piles of cards from Duel Links (left) vs. Cards not in Duel Links (right)
This first step was eye-opening in a number of ways. For one thing, it helped to show me just how many cards I own – which is way more than I expected honestly. I know I was really into the cards at one point, but I didn’t realize I spent this much money buying packs and such.
Going through each and every one of the cards I own also gave me a bit of a deeper appreciation both for Duel Links and for the time I spent playing the game as a kid.
When I was younger, I collected Yu-Gi-Oh! cards but honestly never had any idea how to play the game. Outside of watching the original anime series or playing what I remember to be a dumb Yu-Gi-Oh!-based game for the Gamecube, I never spent too much extra time actually learning the rules for how everything works in the card game.
In fact, I distinctly remember having a Yu-Gi-Oh!-themed birthday party one year in elementary school where my friend Chris Beattie brought over some instructional video so my group at the time could watch it, learn the game and actually play with our cards the proper way.
We never did, since I also remember the rest of us rejecting the idea in place of playing more of that dumb Gamecube game. Part of me wonders if I would have stuck with the game more consistently if we had learned way back then, but I suppose that delves into endless Butterfly Effect territory that I’m not really here to analyze.
Now that I do understand how the game works, I honestly appreciate the sheer complexity of how everything works so much more. There are plenty of cards in my left-hand piles that I actually use on a daily basis in Duel Links, so knowing that I had them way back when I didn’t even understand the rules is kind of mind-boggling.
On top of that, the size of my collection on the right-hand side, all the cards that aren’t currently in the mobile game, blows my mind just in that there’s so much more potential for the game to grow. I’m sure I don’t even have a decent percentile of all the cards that have ever been put into production, and in a way that makes me excited to see more cards added to the mobile game so I can learn how they all interact and create cool decks.
Once I finished separating my cards once, I decided to do it a second time into six different categories: Normal Monsters, Effect Monsters, Ritual Monsters (and Ritual Spells), Fusion Monsters, Spell Cards and Trap Cards.
Oh, and I also separated out the instructional manuals and play mats:
I could have been way more specific and deep with my divisions, splitting up the monster cards by type and attribute or splitting up the spell cards by type, for example. But I’m still pretty tired, so I decided not to go quite that deep. Maybe I’ll take things a step forward in the future.
So for now, I’ve left things at this:
Major categories with brand new dividing cards. Far more pleasing to the eye and easy to identify than what I had originally. Originally, the best I could comprehend was that Sanga of the Thunder was sitting on top of everything else on the right side.
Real helpful, past me.
Speaking of Sanga of the Thunder, one thing I found while sorting through my cards was that I seemed to be ready to play the Paradox Brothers-themed deck well before I knew that was a themed deck to play.
The only thing I’m missing is a Gate Guardian card. If I had that, I could probably build a pretty cool deck with these cards and whatever else I have buried away.
This isn’t the only cool set of cards I was able to find in my collection.
Here’s some Red-Eyes and dragon-related cards that I was able to find. Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon was actually one of the first things I saw, and I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t be willing to shell out money to get copies of it in Duel Links to use for myself. It looks absolutely amazing.
I also wouldn’t complain about having three copies of Stamping Destruction in the game, since it’s a pretty hard to get Ultra Rare card.
But oh well, I’ll get there eventually. In the meantime, check these out:
These three Sphinx cards look wicked and have some crazy effects. These three and the Red-Eyes Darkness Dragon are definitely the cards I’m really hoping these show up in Duel Links so I can use them.
A bunch of the cards I found have strong sentimental value just from being iconic in the anime. Swords of Revealing Light definitely hit me the hardest, though I can’t deny that the old school art for Dark Magician is seriously wicked.
You could apparently get this old version of Dark Magician in Duel Links if you were playing at a certain point, but I was not playing at the time. So… Oh well. Missed opportunity for me there I suppose.
Also, while we’re on the subject of those cards, I apparently have a wide breadth of cards Yugi Muto used:
I build all sorts of decks with these cards nowadays, so it ties into the idea of knowing I had them way back when and respecting them that much more now.
Another good example of cards I’m using now comes in an actually very relevant form.
When I found A Legendary Ocean in my collection, I couldn’t help but laugh hysterically. The deck I’m showing on the right was actually just built yesterday when I began to grind Mako Tsunami up to lv. 40. The timing of that specific card showing up right after I pulled together something to showcase that card is just too perfect.
Some of the more interesting cards I have are those printed in foreign languages.
I have no idea why I have cards in any languages other than English, since I don’t really speak any languages other than English and a few sentences in Mandarin. It’s strange, as I have way more than the two I’m showing above. Yet, I don’t think it’s necessarily bad. If anything, it makes these cards a little bit more unique.
In other interesting card print differences come these ‘magic’ cards:
I’m so used to just calling these ‘spell’ cards that seeing ‘magic’ instead really caught me off guard. I suppose that’s just what they used to be called or something. Having the cards written like this is probably more valuable as a result, I’d think.
Also speaking of unique, valuable cards, I had a good set of highly coveted prismatic print cards hidden away just ready to be rediscovered.
The title for my favorite prismatic card definitely goes to Nightmare Penguin.
Seriously, just think about it. First things first, its name is Nightmare Penguin. That’s incredible in its own right. The art doesn’t disappoint either, evoking images of Oswald Cobblepot in the best possible way. On top of that the card has a pretty cool ability and nice defense for a four star monster.
So basically I lied earlier when I said I just wanted to see the Red-Eyes monster and the sphinx monsters in Duel Links. I want to see Nightmare Penguin get added too, Konami.
Finally, I also found my prized Egyptian God Cards: Obelisk the Tormentor and Slifer the Sky Dragon.
Or, at least, they were some of my most prized possessions at one point in time. I remember shelling out extra at card shops to get these and having week-long arguments with my Yu-Gi-Oh!-playing friend group over whether or not they were legitimate or not.
I always adamantly argued they were real, of course.
However… Now that I’m older and looking at them next to the rest, I have to admit that they look pretty fake. It’s a shame when considering how much I stood by them growing up, but honestly it’s not all that unexpected.
Oh well, either way I’ll still have the memories with these being wicked cool. They still look pretty rad too, so I’ll be happy to show them off for the sake of those memories at least.
I know this medium of talking about things after the fact with screenshots and some text isn’t necessarily the most dynamic way of experiencing these sorts of things, but I hope you all enjoyed going through these old Yu-Gi-Oh! cards as much as I did! Obviously I didn’t show off all of them, since that would probably take a few years, but the highlights are great either way.
Since I’m so into Duel Links and talk about it here on occasion, I figured these real card memories would be a nice thing to share on here as well.
Even if my rambling might be a little more incoherent than usual since I’m not feeling great.
Just in case it did bug some of you, I’ll leave things off on this note. Some of my favorite ‘funny text’ cards:
Oh I’m sorry, what was that? You say there was a piece of Exodia slipped into that small slideshow somewhere?
A piece of Exodia not chucked into the ocean by Weevil Underwood?
I’ve been playing Duel Links even more obsessively than usual since the 2017 World Championship Qualifiers began last Wednesday, determined to hit Platinum Rank 1 so I could get the mysterious Super Rare card reward. It has been a long, hard road so far, as it seems like everyone has been bringing out their best decks for the competition.
However, thanks to hard work, plenty of determination and – most importantly – the reminder to believe in the Heart of the Cards from my buddy Aaron (a funny and great guy who is also a pretty phenomenal copy editor that I’m sure is going places now that he’s a Cal State Fullerton graduate, so check him out on twitter), I finally did it:
Finally reaching this goal is especially exciting as it’s the first time I’ve ever made it to a rank this high! It was a fairly lofty goal I set for myself at the beginning of this event that I’m happy I was able to reach.
Granted, the last victory I got leading to it was from the rage quit of a guy I got a really solid opening hand against…
But hey, a victory by default is still a victory, right? I’d say so, especially when that victory leads to the big prize.
One thing you might notice in that victory shot is the lack of Yami Bakura and the fiend deck I spent so much time talking about in my last post. Well… As it turned out, that deck was far less perfect in execution than it was on paper. I’m looking into some possibilities for making it better, but what I have at the moment didn’t take me that much further than the early Silver ranks. At the very least I need more powerful fiend monsters to fill out my ranks, which I’m working on now.
Don’t worry, I won’t subject everyone to my long-winded discussions of the cards in each of those decks. Those can potentially be subjects for another day. Just wanted to say that those are what ultimately got me to my prize.
Now just what was the prize I was working up to in the end?
As it turned out, what I thought was the promise of a brand new and unrevealed Super Rare card was actually the opportunity to choose a Super Rare card for free out of a pre-determined list.
The list of cards to choose from came from the available pool of Legendary Duelist rewards and from the cards available to obtain via the Card Trader. Thus, they’re all theoretically able to be earned in other ways… But considering how difficult many of them can be to get, it’s still a welcome and much appreciated reward.
My only real problem with the prize was the sheer amount of choices to pick from. I counted it out, there were 115 possible cards. Seriously, you never truly come to see the problems with having an abundance of choices until you have to pick one out of 115 options.
Eventually I did come to a decision and chose my third copy of Enemy Controller, which is a Super Rare reward card you can receive from dueling Seto Kaiba.
Enemy Controller is arguably the best, most versatile spell card in Duel Links. Both of the effects it can activate (at close to any time you want since it is a Quick-Play Spell) are useful in a variety of situations. The first, switching the battle position of an enemy monster, can save your side from attack or allow you access to their weaker stat spreads. The second, tributing your own monster to take control of an opponent’s monster, has a hugely diverse range of possible effects. Tributing your own monster can trigger a number of things in its own right, but then once you have the opponent’s monster in your possession you can activate any effects they can use, attack your opponent with their own power or tribute it off to summon a different powerful monster.
It’s a great card overall, and having three of them will give me plenty of usability going forward, even if it meant sacrificing quicker access to more Gravekeeper monsters or cards I don’t yet have like Sage’s Stone.
Now that I’ve hit that benchmark I’ve been desperately clawing my way toward, I’ll likely continue to see if I can get to King of Games… But the amazing decks everyone seems to own at this stage of competitive play certainly won’t make that easy.
For now I’m just happy I was able to make it to the personal goal I set. To celebrate, I even made myself some homemade burgers.
These cooked slabs of ground beef, like my victory over a small army of duelists, taste oh so sweet.
I have been playing Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links since Spring Break, and in that time I would argue that I’ve gathered a good amount of cards and have become fairly competent at pulling decks together to play with.
Thus, I think it’s about time that I try my hand at a pretty serious event that just began, an event serious enough that I feel it’s worth talking about.
The qualifying rounds for the Duel Links division of the 2017 Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championships have begun, signified by the iconic Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon hanging out omnipresently across the Duel Links hub world:
Starting today, June 1, the usual ranked duels player-versus-player portion of the Duel Links multiplayer hub has been replaced with Qualifier Duels. Anyone who reaches the highest duelist ranking (King of Games) by June 9 will advance onto the Final Qualifiers, which last until June 11. Winning duels during the Final Qualifiers earns a player points, and at the end the top ranking players will get to attend the World Championships in London, England.
Only 12 players will get to go to the Championships in August, with usership divided by world region. Two players will get to go from North America, which means that out of the untold number of players on this continent, I’ll be competing for two spots.
To be completely honest, from everything I’ve seen from players who are way better than me… I’m not holding my breath. I’ve never made it to King of Games even without the added flare of competition this will obviously drudge up, so I would be surprised to get anywhere close.
But hey, a trip to London wouldn’t be so bad… So what the hell. I’ll do my darnedest.
Even if I don’t make it to the coveted Final Qualifiers, there will be prizes available for my troubles all the same. Every player who competes in even one Qualifier duel will receive a fancy Game Mat and Card Sleeves themed after the World Championships, and depending on what rank a player reaches they also receive a number of other prizes on the way up.
For the uninitiated laypersons I’m sure are among you, the gems that are rewards for Bronze, Silver and Gold ranks are used to purchase card packs from a number of packs currently available in the game. Nothing special necessarily, but they are the building blocks of this free-to-play title and are highly coveted as a result.
Reaching Platinum earns players a Super Rare Card that, naturally, we aren’t being told about ahead of time. Total mystery, likely something super good. I haven’t made it to Platinum before, so that’s currently my main goal. I’m always ready to get new cards.
Reaching King of Games nets players an Ultra Rare Jewel, which can be used to buy Ultra Rare Cards from the game’s Card Trader (which cycles through new stock every 12 hours). Also, it allows advancement to the Final Qualifiers, like I said before.
That’s really about it to be honest. Nothing too complicated, it’s just an exciting chance at something big on the heels of the last big event, which was the arrival of a new Legendary Duelist (The Paradox Brothers, for anyone who has a nostalgic interest in the show like I do). So, it’s about time I quit writing about it and get busy pushing toward my goal of at least hitting Platinum Rank 1 for the first time in my history of playing.
Okay, so I still have some more I’d like to write about. Namely, I have a whole big display about the main deck I’m planning on using for the Qualifiers. However, I know that’s getting into the nitty gritty of things that a lot of people aren’t going to want to sit through, so I’m going to put it below a read more. That way, anyone interested can read on, and anyone who isn’t can just go on with their lives. A win-win, I’d say!
So, until next time, wish me luck on competing, and tell me all about what your favorite games based on things that are nostalgic to you in some way in the comments below! Duel Links definitely hits that itch for me, so I’m interested to hear what you all might have to say on the matter.