Tense battles. You will find many superheroes (and villains). Holographic cards that almost compel you go Oooh! And Ahhhh And shiiiiny. For the most part, Marvel Snap has it all, except for one thing: You can’t trade cards with other players.
This makes sense to a certain extent. Marvel Snap, developed by Second Dinner and out now for mobile devices and computers, became 2022’s most-hailed card battler thanks in no small part to how impeccably balanced it is. You can’t pay your way to a significant competitive edge. Everyone unlocks new cards at a randomized cadence, with higher-leveled cards restricted to tiered “pools” that you advance through as you level up. It is mostly easy to feel. fair, even when you’re getting demolished. It is possible for a card-trading marketplace to destabilize this equilibrium. However, something similar happened earlier in Marvel Snap’s development, was on the table.
“Trading would be rad! We actually had dreams about doing some kind of trading system once upon a time,” said Ben Brode, chief development officer at Second Dinner, to Polygon via email. “As we developed more of our systems, however, it started to get a bit more complex.” (Brode’s previous card-collecting game, the similarly zeitgeist-dominating Hearthstone, didn’t feature a trading system, either.)
This is partly why complexity is so common Marvel Snap’s variant system, which allows players to have multiple copies of the same character, each one in a different art style. The rotation was redesigned by Second Dinner last month to include winter-themed variations. This proved to be a problem for many players. Snap Some devotees criticized the rarity of drop rates. This is where a trading system might be of benefit. Who wouldn’t wanna swap Captain America for a copy of Abomination in a tiny Santa hat?!
You can obtain variants through both standard play or because Marvel Snap This is a free-to play model that requires you to spend IRL money. Your avatar can also be used to create multiverse scenarios. Marvel Snap Card collections could soon include multiple versions of the same character. Functionally speaking, they serve the same purpose. They only look slightly different.
As you play your cards, you’ll be able to level them up through a series of rarity ranks. Cards do not have visual effects. The rarest card will get a unique three-dimensional appearance while the legendary card will sport a glittery logo. These cosmetic adjustments were made to trading systems at Second Dinner. Brode shared a portion of a design document with Polygon that showed how variants were key to trading. Here’s the full list:
- You cannot trade away “base” cards, only cosmetically enhanced cards like variants, foils, that sort of thing.
- One trade per day is allowed.
- A card cannot be traded more than once it is traded. (Brode calls this “soulbound.”)
- Additional UI elements would be added to trade cards that could tell you from whom and when you received them.
- Only one card can be traded for another.
- A mismatch in card rarity can result. Marvel Snap You would receive some type of message alerting you about the disparity.
But Marvel Snap’s Infinity Split mechanic fundamentally changes the calculus of implementing a trading system. Once you have fully leveled up a card you can create another copy and begin leveling it up from baseline. Once your card reaches its max level, it can be copied and used to create new cards. Another copy.
“We basically gave everyone a photocopier to make their own copies as many times as they wanted, which breaks the ‘trading’ market, because increasing supply is essentially free,” Brode said.
As with all things of this nature, there’s always the concern of third-party marketplaces popping up, but the planned soulbound feature would go a long way toward preventing them from proliferating in any meaningful way, lest Marvel Snap NFTs are making it the latest battleground. (Video games and NFTs are not known for their ability to mix well. Square Enix, Ubisoft and Square Enix are the legendary examples. Axie Infinity debacle.)
Marvel Snap It is constantly evolving. This week, it introduced a new location: the double-edged Altar of Death. The constant search for balance means that over-powered and underpowered cards will be regularly adjusted. The Second Dinner competitive mode will be expanded later this month and allows players to compete against their friends. However, those who are still waiting to trade cards may have to wait.
“I love how trading systems create stories and encourage social interaction,” Brode said. “Hopefully we can figure something out someday, despite these enormous challenges.”
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