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  • Designer Journal presents the weekly musings and ramblings of GoT designer Eric Lang.

    Past Weeks' Entries:
    Winter Edition Teaser
    By Casey Galvan
    7/22/2005
    Hello again everyone! As Gencon rolls around the corner we're very busy in the office as usual, but don't think I forgot my promise to start the preliminary spoilers for Winter Edition! Many of you may wonder what direction A Game of Thrones is heading since Valyrian Edition is a tough act to follow. With influence, immunity, cannot be skill...err killed, Valyrian Edition was the most ambitious set to date. So what exactly can you expect from Winter Edition?

    I'll start off by saying I think you'll love it. Winter Edition isn't going to be the earth shaking, game shattering expansion that VED may have been perceived to be, but its gonna be huge. But lets examine the two. I mean, I don't think anything is going to suffer by comparison and it might even be educational.

    Return to Stability
    While I'm quick to spout the praises of the VED base set, I'd look like a fool if I didn't also mention that there were some negatives that accompanied it as well. First and foremost, I think all the massive changes may have turned off some of the old guard players. VED more than anything forced a change in thinking on how the game was fundamentally played, as well as how forced many players to re examine how much they "knew" the game they loved. I'll admit, as a player it almost felt like I was playing a whole new game.

    Factor in the switch to Standard/Classic, along with a couple of rules pitfalls (immunity anyone?) and its starting to look like a recipe for disaster. But as its been proven time and time again, the AGOT community is a resilient one. Our players look out for their own and really banded together to make the game successful and most importantly, fun for everyone. Even amid these changes, it didn't stop players from running extremely cool events all over the country, and make the National Championships even more popular than last year.

    So where does that leave us with Winter Edition? The game survived its most trying year, when many fundamental changes threaten the life of the game itself. Suffice to say, R&D was very careful on how we planned to proceed. But don't misunderstand careful for scared. WED has plenty to offer for all the player profiles and deck builders...but you don't have to take my word for it.

    Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude
    Where VED was showcasing the "golden age" when many of the Westeros players (ie Robert, Tywin) are in their "prime", WED takes a turn for the darker. Our attention turns to the frozen north, where ancient evil and other threats lay in wait to threaten the realm of men. If that wasn't cryptic enough, I'll come out and say it:

    Wildings are here!

    What other threats does the North hold? If you've read the books, I'm sure you can guess. But until then, you'll just have to wait. :) Winter Edition also focuses on "darker" themes. After all, the land of Westeros is a dangerous and brutal one. Tragic figures, that seem doomed from the start of the story when anyone, or anything can be killed at anytime, and the consequences are always dire. This is going to be reflected in a new win/loss condition that will....wait, I've said too much. But believe me, its gonna be fun to use, but use it carefully, because you never know. Well, you will once a future Designer Journal covers it.

    WED is home to a few new Keywords, which promise to shake things up in the challenge phase. Oh, there are so many things to spoil, and so little time! So what have we learned today? My estimation of WED is a very happy marriage between some of the best things VED has to offer, refined and mixed in with a decidedly WED flavor. You can expect influence to remain, and perhaps even a little immunity, and I can't wait to spoil the rest.

    With all this in mind, enjoy today's card. This card is part of the WED pre-order where players will receive 4 copies for each display that they preorder. Join us for next week's article, where we dive into spoiler territory and talk a little bit about the WED promo cards as well! You don't want to miss it.