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  • Writer's pictureRock

Passive: Greater Good too good?

Rules are made to be broken.

It’s a part of games that we often don’t think about, but I honestly can’t think of an exception to it. Take one of the oldest games we know of, chess, for an example. One of the rules is that a piece can’t move through a space that is occupied by another… unless that piece is a knight. Rule broken. Or how about Uno? The rules broken in that game (which is just Crazy Eights with some clever marketing) are what make the game fun to play. Reversing directions, wild cards, skipping turns, adding cards to other players hands… It’s a pretty long list and all of them break the rules of the game. Even professional sports have this ‘Rule-breaking Rule’; in the NBA, a basket is worth two points… unless you can hit that basket from a longer distance, or you’re given a free throw, then they’re worth three or one, respectively.

In Midnight Suns, we’ve already seen some of the mechanics that break the rules that we know about how the combat works. Quick allows you to play more than the three-card-a-turn rule, some cards will add to your redraw, which the ‘rules’ state should be two per turn, and so on. Again, this is so standard in games that we don’t actually think of these mechanics as ‘breaking’ the rules when we play them, but at heart that is what they do. And it’s a good thing, it makes games more fun, adds layers of strategy and tactics, enables you to do long-range planning to pull off sweet combos or get that final, knockout move that ‘wins’ you the game. Given all of that, I’d like to talk about one such ‘rule-breaking rule’ that we’ve seen so far. A specific ability on a specific character. The ability is called a Passive, which appears to be unique to every character if you raise your relationship with them high enough and come in at least two levels. The one that I want to talk about, as it seems far and away the most powerful one we’ve seen so far, is for Doctor Strange. It’s called Greater Good, and it has the potential to seriously swing any fight firmly in your favor.

So, first, what is a Passive? It’s an ability a hero has that has some effect on the battle, and I plan on doing an entire article about them. Doctor Strange’s specific ability, the aforementioned Greater Good, gives you a 50% chance of gaining 1 Heroism every turn. Schmooze with the good Doctor enough and get his relationship up to level 2, and that goes up to a 50% chance to gain 2 Heroism… again, every turn.

From all the gameplay we’ve seen so far, Heroism is going to be one of those crucial resources. It’s going to power the biggest, most powerful cards, whether they be damage dealers or huge ‘Rule-breaking’ cards that will be able to swiftly change a battle from dire straits to winning big. To say that gaining and spending Heroism will be a fundamental part of Midnight Suns is not a big stretch, so having a hero on your team that gives you a coin flip chance at getting two every turn is huge. From the cards we’ve seen so far, +2 Heroism seems to be the average (or slightly above) of a standard card play, so from the beginning, Strange’s passive basically gives you an extra card’s worth of Heroism for free every other turn. If fortune favors you, it’s going to be a bit more, if not a bit less, but by and large that’s what it’ll average out to.

Stacking up Heroism is going to give any of his teammates a rather larger set of options, not only when it comes to the cards you’ll be able to play. Remember, we know that Heroism is also used to affect the environment, dealing damage outside of the cards in your hands. It appears some heroes, like Spider-Man, are more adept at this type of maneuvering, so he’d be quite happy to have Strange along so he can bounce around the scenery. Other heroes, some of their cards deal damage depending upon the amount of Heroism you currently have. Strange will basically add 2 to that total, for free! And we’ve still not seen all the cards or abilities that Midnight Suns has to offer. Heroism cards are the big, fun cards for every hero, so being able to play them more often because Strange is there, constantly pumping that Heroism meter up, is going to make him a very strong choice on any team, so much so that it might be a bit too powerful. You only have three heroes to choose, and odds are you’re going to want The Hunter, your character, to be one of them. If Doctor Strange then becomes an auto-pick for his constant Heroism-generation, that leaves you only one choice from the other 11 heroes to take along. I’m not saying he absolutely will be a must-have on your team, but the other passives are going to have a very hard time competing with free Heroism. At least from what we’ve seen so far. Greater Good might be a bit too Great and Good, in other words. Then again, Doctor Strange has never really followed the rules, so why expect him to start now?’

- Rock

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