I have some fond memories of recovering from a grueling fall semester while laying about in pajamas crafting decks and playing matches online in Scrolls. I’ve been thinking about that time a lot lately, and consequently have been digging up old hobbies (like this blog). So I decided to look up what was new with Scrolls.
A cursory search on the internet revealed the sad truth that, almost a full 2 years ago, PCGamer declared the death of Scrolls. The last update on Mojong’s Scrolls site is dated just 3 months after PC Gamer’s: September 30th, 2015. I cursorily browsed the page, and found this statement repeated several times: “…when the servers shut down on or after July 1st, 2016.” But no definite date for shutdown was given anywhere. So was it…alive?!
Undead, undead, undead.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Scrolls, it’s a CCG that was launched by Mojang (the Minecraft people!) back in 2014–but it was in beta long before then. CCG is a tough arena to break into. Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone really dominate. But I’ve always had the same gripe with both of those games.To a certain degree, they are pay-to-win. Can you do reasonably well at both without investing tons of cash? Sure. But can you play competitively at the upper echelon? Well, probably not.
I did pretty well in Magic with a nasty, inexpensive Black and Blue control deck. (Put that back in your hand, ah, no–I’m countering that spell too…etc.) And I assembled a raucous Murloc Pally deck in Hearthstone that resulted in my muting many an adversary. (THAT’S INCREDIBLE!) But realistically, no matter how hard I theorycrafted or learned all possible moves my opponents could play, the best cards were just locked behind big firewalls. Of course a game needs to make money to be a sustainable venture. But Magic is so, so expensive to keep up with, and I had 0 interest in playing Hearthstone’s “expansions” to basically just get some cards. (Stop blowing smoke up my ass about a “story,” Blizzard, and just sell the damn cards individually if that’s what you mean to do. I played WOW for years and still have no idea what the story was supposed to be about.)
Scrolls was a refreshing answer to this kind of tiresome dynamic, and I relished the chance to try it out. Sure, there were balancing issues throughout. But it was a good game. The question is, was it good enough that people were still necro’ing it (I’m looking at you FFXI)?
YES!!!! HELL YES!!!!
20 people were playing Scrolls at 6:30 on a Friday night! A full 163 people were online within the last 24 hours.
Scrolls is dead! Long live Scrolls!