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Friday
Nov212008

Buying Kongai Cards

Kongai is the card game I designed for Kongregate.com. It's the metagame that ties their site together. Winning challenges in other games on Kongregate lets you win cards in Kongai. You can read about the game's design here.

On the one hand, it's a simple game because you only make two clicks per turn (choose your range, then choose your main action). On the other hand, skilled players can rack up some impressive win-rates!

When the game was first released, many complained that it was too hard to get the cards. Since that time, Kongregate has really come a long way on addressing that. Now you can get cards all these ways:

  1. Win challenges in other games, there are two challenges available each week (so 2 cards / week)
  2. Play Kongai itself. Every time you win a game, you have a chance to earn a new card. If you have very few cards, the chance is much higher, to get you started.
  3. Buy the cards directly for about $1 per card. (new!)

Buying Cards: Be Happy About It, Not Upset

First, let's get it straight that buying cards is not "cheating." Unlike Magic: The Gathering, there are no intentionally bad cards. All the cards are intended to be at the same level. Right now, all the characters in Kongai are viable in a tournament quality deck, except maybe one or two, and those will soon receive updates. Collecting more cards lets you build different kind of decks with different gameplay, but it's not like you're buying power rares (there aren't any).

Also, keep in mind that buying cards is just an extra option. There are two free options to gain cards (winning challenges in other Kongregate games and winning games in Kongai itself) and these options aren't going anywhere. These free options are fun for a lot of people, but if they aren't fun for you, there's the option to buy. I want you to accumulate all the cards so you can play around with different types of decks, and now there's plenty of ways you can achieve that.

How You Earned Your Cards

I think it's important to give people recognition for how they earned their cards. Right now, there's an icon that distinguishes if you earned a card through challenges or through winning games in Kongai. When you buy a card, it currently has the same "K" icon as if you got the card by winning games in Kongai. Jim Greer from Kongregate informs me that this is changing (yay) and there will be a new "Kreds" icon (Kreds are the currency on Kongregate.com) for cards you buy. So your ability to show-off will remain intact after all.

I also hear that this means you'll be able to buy a copy of a card you already own. In the initial implementation, you can only buy cards you don't yet own, but once the bought-cards are part of the new "Kreds series", you'll be able to buy that second Scroll of Inner Focus, or whatever other item you might want two of.

How to Buy?

First, buy some Kreds here.

$5 gets you 50 kreds
$10 gets you 110 kreds
$20 gets you 225 kreds

Next, go to your card album because that's where you add cards to your shopping cart. Here's garcia1000's album:

http://www.kongregate.com/accounts/garcia1000/card_album

You actually get a discount if you buy several cards at once (not to be confused with the other discount you get for buying a lot of Kreds at once):

When you complete a set of Vampires, or whatever, by buying 3 or more
cards, you are eligible for a discount of 1 kred per card. So two
vampires cost 10kr * 2 = 20kr, and three Vampires that complete a set
would be 9kr * 3 = 27. Four would be 36kr, etc.

From your album, click on the "buy card" button under each card you want, then the shopping cart link to checkout.

Completing the Set

A deck in (the main format of) Kongai consists of only 3 characters and 3 item cards. The item cards are optional, but they give your characters a boost, so you want to include them if you have them.

There are currently 20 character cards and 26 item cards in Kongai. You get 3 cards of your choice for free just for signing up, and you can win the Mindreader's Chalice item card for beating the CPU (you can put the Chalice item on any character in the game). So you can realistically play the game for free just by winning a few challenges and winning some matches in the game itself. And if you want to buy the cards--even if you bought ALL of them--it's not really that much. It's at most $1 / card, but it's really less considering the above two discounts.

There's also a whole new set of Kongai cards in the works, but no I don't know the release date. In the meantime, head over to Kongai and test your mind-reading skills. Or if you're a certain type of player from 2+2, you might prefer to test your poker-like valuation skills. Either way, enjoy.

--Sirlin

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Reader Comments (4)

I don't play Kongai. But I approve of the idea of being able to buy this stuff. Just like buying gold/gil/Gs/GPs.

November 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterspudlyff8fan

The only problem I have with the system is that you're allowed to use up to 3 or 5 of the same item card but you're not allowed to buy a card you already own even if you don't own the K version (the version that you get from winning cards in game or now buying them). This means that not only will I and many of the current players be unable to use this system until the new sets are released but also that anyone who chooses to buy cards won't be able to make ANY deck they want.

November 22, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterbbobjs

Ah this is good news overall. I am not sure I'd ever buy a card but it's great to have the option. Sadly it puts paid to my "experience point" system (http://agoners.wordpress.com/2008/10/23/kongai-o-the-name-means-nothing/) and does reveal more about the motivation of Kongregate as to why they didn't do something like that.

November 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRik

I'm going to reply to this because my criticism to your blog post is what irks me the most about Kongai and Kongregate. This XP system would only exacerbate the main problem of Kongai. The achievements, whether it be Levels, W/L ratios or XP, only encourages L1 or L2 farming by people who aren't good at all at game, which drives new players away and provides no incentive to actually playing ranked. The XP system just seems like another form of grinding. Even ranked has problems since if you don't like your match-up, you can just disconnect before the game begins by closing the browser and don't lose rank points.

Also I would like to ask what is your interpretation of Kongregate's motives with the Kreds system.

Personally, it is a move that should have been done a long time ago, but it might be too late to save the game. Why not try to let people who want to play just buy the cards they want?

December 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAlhazard
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