On Getting in to TCG’s

So I haven’t posted in a while, so here’s a bit of catching up.

A couple months back I got put on to a new project at work that has been keeping me fairly busy.  This particular client is probably our companies largest client and the software we provide for them to sell is used my retailers nationwide (no pressure right?). This means there is always a lot to do, either through development or testing, as well as having to be on call one out of every five weeks.  This means that I’ve been super busy.

Now that doesn’t mean I haven’t had time to write anything. As one of my gaming buddies pointed out all I really need to do is find a time during the day that I could devote to writing. This is in fact true, I find there are ways I could make that effective. I could get up earlier and write or delay my after work gaming sessions a bit. Most days though I just don’t feel like I have much to talk about, and I don’t always feel confident that my opinion on anything matters. Now I think that his advise is good, since having played several games over several years his opinion is one I greatly respect. So here’s to finding time this morning to writing, even if I’m on call (since mercifully today hasn’t been terrible, yet).

So to get on with the actual subject of this post.

In the last few weeks I have felt the need/desire to expand my circle of friends or at the very least try to put myself in to more social situations. This, to me, is a bit of a challenge because I have a much harder time dealing with people in person than I do online. Online when playing games with my friends I tend to use voice chat, which I really enjoy because I hate trying to type AND perform acts of digital genocide on kobolds. The added benefit being that something I say is less likely to be misinterpreted which tends to happen to me a lot when I type.

The other benefit to this is that if someone says something I either don’t agree with, or just don’t get, they can’t see the expressions on my face that would convey a negative reaction. I’ve been told a lot that I tend to always have the facial expression of “staring off in to space” and as such people always think that I am not paying attention. Online I don’t have that issue.

So where does that fit in to TCG’s?

Due to several people I play online with backing the new MMO/TCG Hex, and a new show on Geek & Sundry, “Spellslingers”, I have been feeling the desire to play these types of games. Those being TCG’s and other deck building games. I’ve been a fan of tabletop gaming for awhile, but only play with the few friends I have. To me TCG’s were always a money sink that I just couldn’t afford. Not saying they aren’t a money sink, but for the most part I can afford it now.

One of the major aspects of traditional TCG’s is the fact that there is a great deal of social interaction involved depending on how you choose to play. Sure you could just as easily only play with the same group all the time, but you can also go out to events such as “Friday Night Magic” at your local game store (if you have one).

Since I haven’t gotten in to the alpha for HEX yet, and because Blizzard hates me and won’t give me a beta invite for Hearthstone I went out and spent more money than I needed to so that I could get in to Magic The Gathering. Now I had played MTG previously, just not really in person since 1994 when I only ever played against my sister and had no idea what the rules were. I’ve played the Duel Of the Planeswalkers on PC a bit so I was confident in my ability to at least play with other people. So I went out and dropped the money on the cards and the deck sleeves and other shiny bobbles that are just there to make you look “pro”.

So having bought the cards I went to last weeks “Friday Night Magic” event and wound up doing a “Drafting” tournament which is basically 8 people paired up randomly and then as you win/lose you get paired up with another person with similar statistics. The other part to that is that you have to build a deck on the spot, which I wasn’t ready for at the time. So needless to say I lost. I lost a lot.

But here is the thing, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed every second of it. Why? Because everyone was super nice. There wasn’t trash talking or name calling cause I was a beginner. The people I was playing with gave me tips and helped me understand the mechanics better, and I even got some free cards from one of the guys. That right there was a new experience for me because in online games there is always that risk of running in to Douchey McDouche who thinks “noobs” are a waste of time and yelling / throwing  a fit like a 12 year old is considered being productive.

So while I have enjoyed the general support of in person TCG playing I am still nervous of the online that re-introduces random douche back in to the equation. Will that ruin the game? Hopefully not. At the very least all I have to do is not respond and can always just walk away.

So to sum up really quick (work calls). I am enjoying the concept of TCG’s for their ability to give me something to learn about and talk about with current friends, and allowing me to get outside and meet new people.

That being said, I still want my alpha/beta keys.

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