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Chains of Durandal

PostMessage posted...: Tue May 28, 2013 9:38 am
by CubedCodeMonkey
I've really been enjoying this game lately, despite its simplicity. Chains of Durandal is a Mobage card game similar to Rage of Bahamut and the others modeled after it, however I feel it is a step above those. Fair warning - this is a bit of a long post, going into quite a bit of detail, but I might miss something.

The game revolves around collecting cards and building a deck of 9 cards in three different groupings (melee, ranged, and magic). Each grouping has a prime card and two secondary cards, and with the help of MATH, a total attack score is calculated for each card. The game consists of a typical "quest" system, where you gain cards, money, and fight players or bosses, but the main action is in the form of events. There are two main types of events currently - a raid event and a pvp event.

The raid events consist of 7 22-hour matches, during which bosses spawn as you quest in event zones. During the raid events, all players are randomly grouped together into teams, and each match consists of two teams competing against each other, with the winning team gaining awards and progressing on, while the losing team gets disbanded and the members re-teamed up randomly at the start of the next match. The bosses are killed by the members of a team attacking and chaining combos, which increase the team damage dealt. Various bonuses are awarded based on damage MVP, slayer, finding the boss, and combo MVP. Dealing damage and killing bosses give you points that also increase your individual ranking, resulting in varying rewards.

The pvp event consists of pretty much what you'd expect - you battle with other players and gain awards based on wins, with streaks increasing the points you gain, and as with the raid events, in 22-hour blocks and with individual rewards based on points in the end.

In both types of events, specific events themselves will have specific cards that have percentage damage bonuses, and the events generall come in a 3 raid event, 1 pvp event cycle.

As with most games, it does have some downsides, so I'll do a bit of a "pros and cons" list here. Note that this list is all in my opinion, and I'll likely forget some aspects of both sides, given that it's late here and I'm sleepy.

    1) This is a big one for me - it is a "Pay to Win" game like most Mobage games are, however I feel that non-paying players and new players aren't at as big of a disadvantage.
    2) If you're not paying and trying for absolute top ranks, you can get by with minimal action - you have three energy (required for pvp and bosses) that restores one per hour. You can also restore this with stamina potions, which you can get during events or by purchase, so you can play as little as once every three hours, or as much as you can afford to spend or use from your free stash.
    3) The game itself has a much less cluttered and overall (in my opinion) better interface. One of the main reasons I couldn't get into Rage of Bahamut was because the interface looks like something that someone just learning web design crapped out. Chains has a much more professional-looking interface, while still following the same method of separation and play.
    4) The in-game help system and documentation is absolutely fantastic - just looking at the "How to Play" section during events gives you good insight into the specifics of the game

    1) This is, unfortunately a big one. The game is currently in a cycle of repeating events (not just event types), leading to some of the players who have been active for a while to get disgruntled. One one side, the repeat events are letting the player base gradually become uniform in deck strength, however on the other side, the game will get stagnant if Mobage doesn't do anything new. They have made a comment on one of the in-game forums that makes me believe they're still working on things and that we'll hopefully get out of the repeat cycle soon, but there hasn't been anything concrete.
    2) It still is a Mobage "Pay to Win" game.
    3) When there isn't an event occurring, there is very little in-game to do.

    1) This is an extremely team-heavy game. In all raid events, your individual performance will be poor if your team isn't active. As a result, the in-game community is often quite solid, but the random aspect of team assignments can put you in a poor situation.
    2) You can reinforce your cards, but you cannot evolve them. Some people will like the simplicity, while others will not.
    3) The overall player count is much lower than many other Mobage games, and there is very little, if any, name recognition. I found it by accident, and I'm glad I did. Some people again will love the lower numbers, while others will not.
    4) It is relatively "simple" in that most of the actions in the game are done by clicking buttons and scrolling down the screen to find the right button at times (again, going back to the interface, the amount of scrolling needed is quite minimal). Some people will be very bored by this, while others will not.
    5) You currently cannot trade cards with other players. I don't mind this fact, as it does cut down significantly on the opportunities to get hacked, but it greatly slows down your deck growth, as you cannot obtain old cards from others that don't need then anymore.

Overall, I really like this game, as I can dedicate as much or as little time as I want to a given event. I'm not too torn up about the events being on repeat right now, but it would be nice to see some new ones soon.

I'm happy to answer any questions you might have - I'm not a veteran player, but I've played for a bit over a month and have picked up quite a bit. You can download it from the respective app store - it runs on both Android and Apple devices.

If you'd like to check it out, you can find me in the game as CubedCodeMonkey, and you're welcome to use my invite ID: L8ve

Re: Chains of Durandal

PostMessage posted...: Tue May 28, 2013 10:41 pm
by rusty
For those that dislike elites this game is 10,000 times more elite focused than hellfire.

Re: Chains of Durandal

PostMessage posted...: Tue May 28, 2013 11:46 pm
by CubedCodeMonkey
Very good point, Rusty - if you don't like the elite cards in Hellfire, you won't enjoy this. In order to do well in a given event, you need a deck composed of the "Power Cards." Without those, you won't be able to do much more than increase the combo bonus, which nets you very little in reward.

Re: Chains of Durandal

PostMessage posted...: Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:05 pm
by dinucodin
I tried this game for a while but the low resolution make me to abandon it without remorse. Sure - it is the main source for the HF cards, at least the older ones, the cards before the events occur.

Re: Chains of Durandal

PostMessage posted...: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:15 pm
by CubedCodeMonkey
I think the resolution is perfect for a phone, but since I don't play on a tablet, I can't tell what that's like. I imagine it wouldn't be ideal for a tablet-sized screen, though.

Re: Chains of Durandal

PostMessage posted...: Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:55 pm
by tomera
I had just installed the game and then saw this post. Gonna try it out..
Im doing the first quest zones, and tbh I have no idea what's going on :P just clicking continue and getting cards and coins.. lol. A bit boring.

Re: Chains of Durandal

PostMessage posted...: Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:58 am
by CubedCodeMonkey
Unfortunately, it's really only fun when an event happens, as the teamwork mechanics behind the game are cool (in my opinion). That being said, you happened to join right when there was no event active, so you're experiencing the dull part of the game right now! :)

Re: Chains of Durandal

PostMessage posted...: Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:17 pm
by tomera
I uninstalled it xD Tried an other similar game as well that wasn't from Mobage, the legend of cryptids. It has a much better art work, but only thing that is discouraging is the somewhat slow respons time and the loading time.

Re: Chains of Durandal

PostMessage posted...: Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:44 pm
by CubedCodeMonkey
As much as I'd love to, I cannot support this game anymore or give my recommendation for it. Mobage has all but abandoned it - there are no more events and from what I've read, it's been moved to its "limited development" state. It had such strong potential, but I'm guessing it just wasn't a big enough money maker. It's hard to tell, though, as there was no communication at all with the player base.