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  1. #1
    Devoted Fan Gondorian's Avatar
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    From Zero to New Heroes (GDC's 15,000th Post)

    Hey everyone!

    I'm very pleased to now be celebrating my 15,000th post on these forums!

    WARNING: This post may evoke strong nostalgic feelings!


    From Zero to New Heroes - A Brisk Trot Down Gondorian's Memory Lane

    I discovered Shadow Era by chance in April 2011, while I was catching up on the latest iOS games news on TouchArcade, passing the time when visiting relatives. I downloaded the app and I was hooked within a few minutes. I’d not been near a trading card game for a few years, since Lord of the Rings Online TCG shut down, and I had really missed the joy of theory-crafting, deck building and brain-taxing matches. Shadow Era completely nailed that and then some.

    Like most people, I grinded for a while, bought some packs with the Shadow Crystals (SC) you get for levelling up and installed some junk apps to get more free SC via TapJoy. About a week later, I discovered the forum, created my forum account with zero posts using the name GondorianDotCom (a name I had used previously in my LOTROTCG days and also referring to my website), and posted a suggestion about being able to buy SC with mobile phone credit. It went unanswered for a few days, so I went ahead and bought some SC via in-app purchase.

    A day later I had a reply to my first thread, telling me it was possible to use phone credit, so I bought more cards that way, and updated my thread to help others. A week later, I continued to try to be as useful as possible, and carried on from there. I saw so much potential in the game and wanted to help it and its players succeed.

    About a month into my adventure with SE, I launched what I considered to be my first proper contribution to the game on 26th May 2011: GDC’s Draw Deck Simulator. (Pretty much everyone was calling me GDC by that point, which defeated the purpose of having a name that advertises a website, so I thought I’d put something on the website to get them there.) Turns out that I’d completely wasted my time, because simple formula could do the trick, but the point was that it had forced me to dust off my coding skills and put something on my website.

    So I started to think about what else I could make, whilst starting to mix joke posts in with my attempts to be useful. (I've tried to maintain this balance over the years, since I'm a playful guy at heart!)

    I figured creating some fresh SE-related content on my website would be good, so I launched the “GDC Interviews the Stars” series on 10th June 2011. That went down incredibly well and I was really making a name for myself in the community, which in turn pulled me into the game more.

    When there was a lot of talk about wanting a 40-card minimum instead of 30, but the game was still 30, I took the initiative to launch a ladder on my website on 24th June 2011.

    And thus began my experience in the land of organised play, and my involvement with SE began its transition from play to work.

    The ladder had many issues, but it did cater for top-level players to meet up and play their 40-card decks. To address its main flaws, I launched the 40-card league in August 2011, which was initially all done on the forum. The popularity of it led to me launching the 1.27 LE4GUE on my website when v1.27 hit, and I also ran a large tournament for 1.27.

    As you can probably imagine, I was now spending a LOT of my free time doing organised play stuff. I was still playing when I could, but mostly I was doing work to help others to get the most out of their play. As part of that, I'd managed to get Kyle to sponsor the league, and I saw that as a very positive sign that my efforts were appreciated. I launched Season 2 of the league soon after.

    Then, a few weeks later, something happened which changed the course of my life forever. I saw this post from Kyle, looking for new Design Team Members!

    I'd soon crafted what I thought was a great application and sent it off. But a few weeks passed with no reply, so I filled the time by launching my own guild, ETC!

    In possibly the worst timing of all time, precisely one day after the guild opened its doors, I checked my email that morning and there was the news I had been waiting for! I was on the team, and we were immediately set our first task - rebalancing the entire card pool so far, along with 30 as-yet-unreleased cards, to finally give Shadow Era a complete base set.

    Fast forward TWO YEARS and we now have that complete base set locked down and printed it! We have the first expansion released and ... err .. mostly printed. And we have the third set designed, including ten new heroes (finally, the title of post makes sense!), and it's going through balance testing in a closed beta as I write this. It has been an amazing journey that I would love to be able to share more details about, but time and space do not permit!

    So, what next for Gondorian, apart from another 15,000 posts?

    Well, I’m really hoping we can achieve the Kickstarter funding for Shattered Fates, because this set is, without a shadow (era) of a doubt, our best work to date, and that funding will enable us to bring much needed features and upgrades to the game client, to bring them up to the same level of quality as we've achieved with the cards themselves.

    Ideally, at this point, I'd just paste text spoilers of all 200 cards from Shattered Fates for you, so you could see for yourself, but I spent my Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free-Card for that type of thing on my second day of being on the Design Team.

    But what I can say is this: If you already love Shadow Era, you are going to want to make babies with Shattered Fates when you get your hands on it, so do yourself a favour and buy into the Kickstarter today, since you will get at least twice the value compared to purchasing Shadow Crystals alone, and the sooner we blast through the $50,000 target, the sooner we will see more stretch goals to motivate everyone further!

    TL;DR: A lot happened and I made 15,000 posts. Now go contribute to the Shattered Fates Kickstarter.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jo3yb0i's Avatar
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    Congratz GDC on 15,000 posts. Thanks for all the unnecessary posts, moderating, trolling and overall things that GDCs usually do. Thanks for everything that you have done for the community. Cheers mate and here is for the next 5,000 more posts =]
    "Try and try until you die...or succeed...whichever comes first"

    Jo3yb0i - Knight of Dark and Light
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    Greatness, Reborn


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  4. #4
    DP Visionary tman507's Avatar
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    Wow, congrats Gondorian. That's a lot of posts. Cool to hear how you found the game as well, sorta like me, just finding it by chance.

    Looking forward to more amazing troll posts and Design Team stuff, although I wish you could spoil all those SF cards, lol.
    "IT'S TIME TO DUEL!!!"
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  5. #5
    DP Visionary Preybird's Avatar
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    Congratulations on the milestone Gondorian, and a personal thankyou for all the help you've given me in my time here, your support when I took over ETC, accepting me into Apprentice and all the other random crap I've asked for over the last couple years.

    May your next 15000 be as eventful as your first!
    Extra Tough Claws - Proud Member of ETC

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  6. #6
    DP Visionary 4Ak's Avatar
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    ...EPIC GDC! congrats and a BIG thank you
    "This is who I am, nobody said you had to like it."

    TJ 4Ak
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  7. #7
    DP Visionary SET Colosal's Avatar
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    Congrats GDC and thanks for everything you did for SE

  8. #8
    Senior Member Veles's Avatar
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    Congratulations Gondorian! I wonder why I have sudden urge to go to Kickstarter and support SE after reading this.

    Design Team Leader

    Check out this thread for some awesome articles and guides.

    “Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine”
    ― Nikola Tesla




  9. #9
    DP Visionary Rated GG's Avatar
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    Congrats GDC! For your 15,001st post... you should do a % breakdown of what those 15,000 comprised of .

  10. #10
    Devoted Fan Gondorian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rated GG View Post
    Congrats GDC! For your 15,001st post... you should do a % breakdown of what those 15,000 comprised of .
    I'm leaving it as an exercise for the reader! Although if you are not in the PFG or DT, you won't be able to see them all...

    Ok, well, I think the breakdown is roughly 10% useful in public, 5% useful in PFG area and 1% useful in DT area.

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