Greetings HeroClix Masterminds!
The team has worked hard to nudge the game from the last major round of changes. Rules you read about won’t be changed until the release of DC Comics HeroClix: Wonder Woman 80th Anniversary when the new rulebook is in-hand for players. Just like last time there were significant rules changes, we’ll reveal the full rules and PAC changes in advance of the product’s release.
We’ve spent a lot of time discussing what’s best for HeroClix with retailers, players, and judges. The people who took the time to share their thoughts are trusted partners in the success of HeroClix. This is an ongoing process that shapes our approach to the product. We landed on one main goal with lots of facets: Make HeroClix easier to learn.
Overall, we have an easier task in front of us because of some of the structure from the past. There were things that we learned from the 2017/2018 Rules Changes that informed our direction here.
Strategically, we’re trying to achieve a few things:
- Making HeroClix easier and more fun to try for beginners
- Making HeroClix more compelling for rookies
- Focusing HeroClix on the fun and strategic choices for veterans
We’re working to make HeroClix more accessible. It’s hard to have a game that is nuanced, challenging for experts, and immensely expandable while also being a game that is straightforward, easy to learn, and fun with only a few figures in your collection. While we often get great feedback about that first batch of attributes, we’ll be focusing a lot of our efforts on the 2nd with a renewed vigor in 2021. We know some fans might be nervous about this – what does it mean for the game they love as it is?
- Modifying Existing Rules – Just as we’ve done before, we’re going under the hood with the rules of the game and reducing the rules that have outsized complexity for the strategic richness they offer. HeroClix is at its best when it is about open-ended superhero combat and less about a perfect translation of comic page to tabletop. This includes modifying the PAC powers.
- A Better Look – The rulebook itself is getting a facelift. We want our presentation to match the level of care that we’ve given the gameplay, including full-color diagrams and examples. We know that most people learn HeroClix from a friend, convention volunteer, or store employee, and part of growing the game means making it easier to learn on your own out of the box. While the 2018 rules were a big improvement over what came before, this is the next step up.
- More Obvious Low Rarity Figures – Individual figures at low rarities will have fewer abilities printed on their card and dial (you’ve seen this in figures released in 2020 already). It makes them easier to understand, keeps their point values low, and lets us save complexity for higher rarity figures. As beginners crack into a booster or two, they’ll be less likely to see figures with choices that are hard to get right like Pick-A-Power.
- More Obvious Sets – Each set is going to feel less “busy” in two ways. Broadly, when you see mechanics (like objects) they’re not going to appear in one set and vanish – they’ll be present for a few consecutive sets then fade out. We’ll also be temporarily benching some PAC powers to keep the overall number of abilities and terms lower that a player needs to learn as they enter a new set. This is part of the In-Set vs Cross-Set Design Insight we discussed previously.
- More Power Combos – We’ve streamlined the PAC powers. Some in-game ‘snapshots’ may be more complicated or busier, but overall, we’ve streamlined the ability for beginners to understand which Standard Powers interact and how. More Standard Powers will combo with one another for stronger attacks.
- Shifting Complexity – This reinforces some of what we’ve said above. Where we can, we’ve modified PAC powers to make Special Powers and Traits simpler. When figures have incredibly complex powers, they’ll be more likely to occur at higher point values and higher rarities, so if you see them on the tabletop they’ll represent more of the complexity on the entire team, and casual players will be less likely to see them in boosters.
We don’t think we’ll see the benefits overnight, but we hope that more people will try HeroClix as a result of these changes, and a greater percentage of those players will stick around. If you’re teaching new players to play HeroClix, it will be easier for you. They’ll experience some of the key moments that changed us from HeroClix rookies into masterminds. They’ll be excited to play their next game, try out a combo they learned, or test the team their group chat concocted during the week. We hope that you as a reader are as excited for these changes as we are!