Over the last several weeks Twitter has been abuzz with people tweeting and talking about a game called Eminence: Xander’s Tale, created by Aeterna Studios.
During last weeks EGX I was able to get my hands on a demo for the game, showcasing the card battle system found with the game, facing you off against an AI opponent.
Following EGX and after numerous hours of playing the demo, which Aeterna publically released after EGX, I got in touch with the team once again to find out more about Eminence: Xander’s Tale:
What is Eminence: Xander’s tale?
Eminence: Xander’s Tales is a card collecting role playing adventure re-imagined for mobiles, tablets and desktop devices. It combines three popular genres (MMO, RPG, TCG) behind a full explorable virtual world and a deep evolving story.
Where did the inspiration for the game come from? How did Eminence come about?
The idea sort of came out of nowhere! We all grew up on a healthy dose of RPGs and dreamed of one day creating our own. We began getting into TCGs a little later on.
Myself and Petros used to write RPG scripts just for fun. After a lengthy period of not seeing each other, we caught up and rekindled an old habit. Ideas were thrown around conceptually, but shortly after we conjured a plot which was worth investigating. We then explored the idea of having this plot serve as the backbone for a game.
You mention that at the beginning of the game, players must pledge themselves to one of the divisions, will players be able to switch divisions later in the game, or will this first decision be an important and lasting choice?
When you begin the game, you can pledge to a Division. By pledging you’re essentially picking your starting city, which will also affect the initial story mode quests. Pledging your allegiance to a Division will affect your starting character stats. As you progress through the game and learn of the story, you’ll have an opportunity to change your allegiance as well as your characters class, equipment and gear.
Your character stats ultimately affect your PVE battles under the ‘Gems’ rule. This rule is the sole rule which governs card battles in the Story mode. The rule converts numbers on cards to gems representing different actions (attack, defend). The goal is to take down the NPC (a monster or boss for example) you’re fighting in story mode. Your character stats will affect things like damage done/taken when performing actions.
For players who aren’t as much into the multiplayer side of gaming, how long will it take to progress through the single player storyline? Will there be new single player quests added to the campaign as the game goes on?
We’re still refining the core main scenario quests for the Story campaign but as the story is ever evolving, there will be new end game content added as the game goes on.
How do you feel the ‘play for keeps’ element of the card battle system affects the game? Do you think people will become more cautious when playing, or the opposite that it’ll push them to become better so they don’t lose their cards?
Collecting every card in the game is no easy feat and the card steal rule or “play for keeps” aspect gives players another way to build their card collection. There are some cards which will be quite rare that it may be easier for players to obtain those cards via card steal. Our goal for introducing this aspect was to enhance competitiveness and build fun rivalry between players. Of course the risks are higher when using this rule but the rewards are also greater.
However, for those who don’t want to risk losing their cards, they have the option of duelling with the card steal rule turned off. This allows them to engage in friendly games to improve their skill and strategies.
How will the guild vs guild battles work? Will these still be one on one battles just against enemy guild members, or will it be a team vs team battle where you each take turns?
Guilds are one of the most exciting parts of Eminence: XT. Players can form allegiance with others or invite their friends to join and earn bragging rights by defeating other Guilds.
Being involved in a Guild gives you access to Guild Duelling (GvG), where you and your team can challenge other teams in the Card Battle System. Guild duels will be team vs team battles and our plan is to allow each team member to play once against the opposing team member. This way, every member is involved in the battle.
Other than teaming up with people and having fun socialising with other players, are there any other perks to pledging yourself to a guild?
Your membership to a Guild also allows you to have access to certain perks which can help your duelling adventures. Guilds can additionally be assigned a focus based on a Division/Nation’s goal in the story. For example if your Guild pledges to the Aeterna Empire, you can benefit from a boost in your Alchemy stats.
Guilds are also able to build a base in the open world to establish their stronghold. High ranked Guilds can benefit from additional features and perks within the base. All Guild members can contribute to building and decorating their headquarters.
With GvG (Guild vs Guild duels), the stakes are much higher in the Card Battle System. In Guild Duels , not only can cards be wagered but the bases of each Guild duelling against one another. The winning Guild will have the chance of taking both cards the losing Guilds base (if both are wagered).
Eminence: XT will also include daily Solo/Guild tournaments where players and/or their teams are ranked and placed on a global leader board against others. Ranks will be updated every day and weekly prizes will be given out to the top performers.
How is Eminence monetized? Will players be able to earn money in-game, or can they use real money to buy additional card packs or new armour?
Yes. Eminence uses an in game currency, known as Eminence Coins, which allows players to purchase in game items similar to the way “Gil” or “Gold” found in other RPGs work. Armour, Gear, Equipment and Card packs are all purchased with Coins through NPC vendors and the marketplace.
But in addition to this, players will be able to earn Coins and in game items like card packs via normal gameplay through various activities such as winning card duels, completing storyline quests and winning tournaments. Not to mention, there’s also a generous daily freebie card pack all players get every day for life.
We’ve taken steps to ensure there is no competitive advantage for those who purchase additional coins as our card distribution is based on probability draws. We randomise the distribution of cards in a fair and intelligent system which replicates the real world experience. When you pay for a pack of cards in a store you don’t know what you’re going to get and this is the same within Eminence. This provides flexibility for people who want to gather card packs by grinding or those who want to gather them through the purchase of additional coins. Either way, both individuals will experience the same card probability draws when opening the packs.
As the creators of the game I know you’re meant to stay unbiased. However, is there a favourite division amongst the team that they love to use, or a division that was perhaps their most favourite to design and create?
The team each have their own favourite Division and each one involved a different journey with regards to their creation. Our favourite Division to create was Aeterna because it was our very first one. The whole creation process was enjoyable not to mention that it was the birth of Kronos… one of the main characters of the game.
Why did you choose to KickStart Eminence?
We decided to go with Kickstarter for several reasons but mainly due to limited resources. There’s just three core members on the team and we work with two additional freelancers. On top of that, we’re all working on this game around day jobs and parenting which makes it both motivating and difficult. Without KS, the game could still move forward but it would mean a longer release date. Reaching our targets on Kickstarter will allow us to gather more resources and release a beta earlier than planned.
If you had to sum up Eminence: Xander’s Tale in a short phrase, how would you describe it?
The best way to sum up Eminence is Final Fantasy meets Hearthstone combined with Guild Wars.
Is there anything you’d like to say to the gamers out there who perhaps haven’t yet backed the game?
Thank you to David, Managing Director of Aeterna Studios, for taking time out of this very busy period to chat with us and tell us more about this great game. We wish you luck with the last couple of days of your KickStarter campaign, and look forward to seeing more of the game.
Head on over to the Eminence KickStarter campaign now, to learn more about the game and to pledge your support.