Disney Lorcana’s organised play shifts focus from winning to building community
Players will earn points and collectibles for showing up, teaching rules and bringing along friends.
Disney Lorcana’s organised play program will work a little differently from other trading card games, awarding participants with points for a host of non-competitive activities such as inviting friends and mentoring new or less seasoned players.
These details come from a recent interview with Ryan Miller, Lorcana’s brand manager and co-designer (thanks, ComicBook.com), where he emphasised that winning will still award points but won’t be the sole focus of organised play. Their proposed structure instead prioritises building a strong community where new players - or those unfamiliar with competitive TCGs - won’t feel too intimidated to take part.
Anyone who takes part in an organised event held at a hobby shop or local game store will earn points in Lorcana’s system for both wins and losses. Miller mentions that bringing a plus one (or plus five) to game nights will also net points, along with teaching rules and other friendly behaviour that proactively keeps the community healthy and welcoming.
Accumulated points will be used to earn various prizes handed out by shops and will largely consist of play kits that include collectible pins - Miller specifically commented on Disney fans’ love of pins - promo cards and accessories. Promotional cards will reportedly be selected by the team for their “playability and theme” and sport alternate art or special treatment. None of these cards will be mechanically unique or only attainable through organised events.
Lorcana’s community-minded approach is apparently a top-down decision, according to Miller, and the team wants the trading card game to actively support competitive and casual play without it feeling as if one is the intended or correct way to interact with the game. The organised play structure will still allow for competitive events if a particular shop finds their community wants it, but Lorcana’s designers and support staff won’t make it their sole focus.
Organised play should coincide with Lorcana’s launch on August 18th (September 1st for broader retail availability), and the team will be actively moderating the competitive meta environment, keeping tabs on dominant strategies and decks that have an outsized - or negative - effect on play.
They are also playtesting both draft and multiplayer formats as potential candidates for competitive organised play, and Lorcana cards have been designed to support multiplayer matches, less like MTG’s Commander format and more like several individual players facing off at once. Given that Lorcana’s win condition centres on attaining a threshold of Lore and not eliminating everyone else, multiplayer games will keep all participants active throughout the entire match. Miller said that community-created formats are an exciting prospect that he and the team might explore in the future.