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Browser Game Review: Warstorm

by: Julius Albert Custodio ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Warstorm is a browser-based MMO fantasy collectible card game which pits Humans, Elves, Orcs, Demons, and Undead against each other. The player must assemble and customize his own army from any of these five races and compete with other players in single player challenges, ladders, and tournaments.

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    User Interface

    Warstorm's User Interface   Upon registering a Warstorm account, new players are greeted by a slick and user-friendly interface. From the main page, players will be able to read the latest Warstorm news, watch the most recent battle, and check the latest changes on the game's ladder rankings.

    Warstorm's user interface is simple and easy to navigate. The three main sections of this browser game are indicated by large tabs. Players can head directly to the "Battlegrounds" where they can choose to take on the game's single player missions, initiate PvP card battles, or join in leagues and tournaments. Clicking on the "Manage Army" tab will allow players to manage and organize their collection of heroes, units, spells and artifacts. Finally, the "Marketplace" tab will transport players to a dynamic marketplace where they can participate in auctions or purchase new cards by using Challenge Coins, Warstorm's in-game currency.

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    Managing Your Army

    It is highly recommended that players visit the "Manage Army" screen before heading directly into Warstorm's "Battlegrounds". Preparing your own army squads in Warstorm is as easy as dragging and dropping your chosen cards into a blank template.

    The core component of each squad is the Hero card. Each Hero card has 3 designated numbers unique to each of them and each of these numbers indicates a specific card type:The Army Management Screen  

    • UNITS: The top number indicates the number of allowable Units in the squad. Units are your main sources of attack and defense.
    • ARTIFACTS: The middle number indicates the number of allowable Artifacts in the squad. Artifacts can then be used to improve your Hero or your Units' stats. Some artifacts can even give them powerful abilities.
    • SPELLS: Finally, the bottom number indicates the number of allowable Spells in a squad. Spells are used to cast beneficial enchantments on your army and to turn the tides of battle.

    At first, players will have a limited amount of cards to choose from but this collection will slowly grow larger as they win more and more battles. The key to winning battles in Warstorm is through maintaining well-balanced squads and upgrading them once you gain more powerful cards.

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    Warstorm's Battlegrounds Interface

    Warstorm's Combat Interface   There are many different modes of play in Warstorm and players can participate in these different game modes by clicking on the "Battlegrounds" tab. They can go on Single Player Missions, compete in Ladder Battles, or even sign-up on Player Leagues and Tourneys.

    • Single Player Missions pits the player's deck against an AI pre-constructed deck. Winning in these single player missions will reward you with generic Novice packs.
    • Ladder Battles pits the player's deck against another player's deck. Two Novice packs are awarded if a player wins three automatch battles in a day. Reward Points are also awarded to the player for each battle won. These can then be redeemed for Novice packs, rare cards, and Expert packs depending on the accumulated amount of Reward Points.
    • Player Leagues cost 5 Challenge Coins to join and usually have weeklong durations. Unlike in single player missions and ladder battles, the rewards at stake in Player Leagues are considerably higher. Depending on your final ranking after the league's end date, you can gain as much as 8 Expert packs and 8 Expansion packs.
    • Tourneys are similar to player leagues, except that they have relatively shorter durations and they have various rules and rewards depending on the entry fees involved.
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    The Marketplace

    Marketplace   Warstorm's Marketplace is where you can buy booster packs, card boxes, and specific cards to enhance a player's deck. Players may also avail of combo deals which can save them a lot of money. Challenge Coins, the currency used to buy these items, are also available here for purchase. Players can redeem their Reward Points here for rare cards and booster packs as well. These reward points are earned in a variety of ways which includes playing automatch ladder battles and inviting your Facebook friends to join the game.

    Warstorm also has an Auction Area where players can sell the cards they get in Expert packs (cards from the Novice set can't be sold) for more Challenge Coins. This is a great place to find cards which will complete your collection and strengthen your squads. Aside from that, scouring the auction house for great deals can also be a fun diversion from the main game.

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    Combat Proper: A Matter of Taste

    Combat Proper   Warstorm's battles are fast-paced and automatic, the keyword here being: automatic. Players don't actually control the cards they own, instead they are randomly drawn from a deck and are played on the field once the card's counter runs out. Does this mean that the game is luck-based? Well, the answer here is yes and no.

    Yes, the outcome of the battles is slightly dependent on the luck of the draw. However, there is a way for a player to control the cards that will come out of the deck and thus, increase his chances of winning battles. If a player can create a cohesive deck made up of cards which have good synergy then it's possible that he won't have to worry about drawing the wrong cards at all. The key here is to build new squads and experiment with the different card combinations available.

    The fact that battles are automatic may prove to be the deciding factor for new players on whether they will continue playing the game or not. If you're not a big fan of randomness in games and want to be always in control, then it's time to look for another game. Otherwise, if you're the kind of player who loves a challenge and is curious enough to try out new game mechanics, then Warstorm may just be for you.

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    Overall Rating

    Warstorm is one of the most unique browser games out in the internet today. This game has exceptional production values, quirky & innovative rules, and best of all, a great community of helpful players. It's the amalgam of two very successful game formats, namely, trading card games and massively multiplayer online games. Warstorm took the best elements from each of these formats and made it their own.

    Although some people might complain about the game's combat mechanics, it's practically a minor gripe considering how engrossing and in-depth the gameplay actually is. There's no denying that Warstorm is a game that almost anyone can enjoy as long as they're open to new ideas and they're willing to experiment. It's one of those games which keeps on giving even after you play.

    If you have the time to try out a new browser game, Warstorm is definitely worth a look or two.