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PoxNora: Battlefield of the Immortals is a multiplayer online game that combines a collectible card game with a turn-based strategy game in a fantasy setting. PoxNora was originally launched via Java Web Start through a browser and can be played on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. The game is free to play with "Sample Battlegroups" and players can purchase additional game pieces, called "runes", and build their own strategies. The game currently includes more than 1200 runes. As of January 16, 2009 the PoxNora game and its website are owned by and operated for Sony Online Entertainment LLC. This division of SOE is typically referred to as SOETucson (because Octopi's headquarters is located in Tucson, AZ).
Players build decks, called "BattleGroups", on PoxNora's website. A Battlegroup consists of thirty runes in any combination of spells, relics, equipment and champions. The game is launched via Java Web Start and players enter one of four game lobbies where they can chat or enter games. A fifth game lobby is reserved solely for trading discussion. Games consist of two players, though matches against AI "bots" are possible now with the release of single-player campaigns, first introduced in the "Path to Conquest" Expansion.
Each player's Battlegroup is shuffled (like a deck of cards) and (in standard settings) players reveal two runes per turn (except the first turn, when four are revealed and the second player's first turn, in which five runes are revealed). The game is played on one of 8 different square, "tiled" maps with various obstacles, fonts, and a Shrine representing each player. To win, you need to be the first to destroy your opponent's Shrine.
Players accumulate Nora (magical energy) each turn and can use it to cast spells, deploy champions, place relics, or use equipment. When a champion rune is played, it appears on the game map and can be moved around, just like any other tactical roleplaying game. Champion movement is limited by their Action Points (AP), which they regenerate at the start of your turn. Champions gain Champion Points (CP) as they participate in battles. You can spend CP to improve or add to your champion's abilities. Tokens can be used to reset a champion's spent CP, as well as to provide bonus CP. Tokens are obtained through purchasing traditional booster packs or separate token packs. Tokens can be traded with other players for alternative tokens or runes.
The game is free for trial play, but to be able to upgrade runes, create your own custom BattleGroups, or to trade for other runes, it is necessary to purchase your own runes. $3 US buys a pack of 10 randomized runes. $25 US buys a pack of 100 runes. Every booster pack has a set number of rarity slots. Many players also purchase a premium subscription, which costs $5 US per month. The premium subscription gives access to Premium Campaigns, store discounts, the possibility of being allowed the privilege of beta testing upcoming expansion runes, the ability to "craft" runes by sacrificing other runes using "crafting recipes", and the ability to obtain a few "Limited Edition" runes that otherwise do not appear in purchased packs.
You can even trade your runes with other players from around the world to get better runes or to make a better deck. There are several "rune shops" in the Trader forum that can give players a good idea of what their runes are worth. It is important to do some research before you trade, as values are approximated by the individual shop owners and not backed by S.O.E./PoxNora. Remember there can be some dishonest traders.
PoxNora's world is split among eight factions. Each rune belongs to a particular faction. Players receive bonuses if their Battlegroups have at least 15 runes of a given faction and a greater bonus if all 30 runes are from the same faction. An additional Shrine Bonus is activated by having 15 runes of a faction. In the case of 2 factions with 15 runes in your BattleGroup, the player may choose which Avatar and corresponding font bonus he uses.
|Forglar Swamp||Water, Poison and Nora Gain||Lemsu of Darkmarsh|
|Forsaken Wastes||Death, Disease and Resurrection||Zarimahl of Elsarin|
|Ironfist Stronghold||Dwarves, Barbarians, Faith||Semmir the Brave|
|K'thir Forest||Elves, Plants, Mobility||Sapaleh the Ancient|
|Savage Tundra||Ice, Wind and Endurance||Laerik the Fierce|
|Shattered Peaks||Earth, Lightning and Proliferation||Oltok the Lost|
|Sundered Lands||Dragons, Sand and Defense||Ardain the Zealot|
|The Underdepths||Fire, Demons and Pain||Erimalion the Cruel|
For now, each faction in PoxNora has two Heroes. Heroes are special Champions with powerful abilities and stats. When you have a Hero in play, deploying a rune from any other faction will significantly damage the Hero. Because of this, Heroes are only viable when playing a single faction.
Heroes are always of Exotic rarity, making many of them rather valuable. Currently, completing the Tutorial Campaign for a faction will award the player with a "locked" Hero from that faction, among other runes. Players may unlock these runes by purchasing the appropriate faction's Starter Pack after completing the Tutorial Campaign.
Below is a table with brief information for each hero. Heroes are ordered by their release date, with the 1st Hero being the first hero to have been released in that faction.
|Factions||1st Hero||Description||2nd Hero||Description|
|Forglar Swamp||Kartch, Finlord||Boghopper - Range attacker||Gekaal, High One||Boghopper - Healer, Unique Offense/Defense|
|Forsaken Wastes||Xulos, Undead Sage||Skeleton - Range, Spot Debuffer||Serkan, Lich Master||Lich - Range, Harassment|
|Ironfist Stronghold||Talgor Ironfist||Dwarf - Melee, Specialist Tanker||Euan Ironfist||Dwarf - Melee, Versatile|
|K'thir Forest||Menalaus||Elf - Range, Healing||Warcaller Fiorn||Garu - Tanker, Heavy Charger|
|Savage Tundra||Tracker Gnark||Lonx - Beater, Swarmer||Juya White-Eyes||Jakei - Range, Flight, Healing|
|Shattered Peaks||Dirge, Moga Lord||Moga - Melee, Defensive, Moga Synergy||Lance Admiral Sceian||Voil - Flight, Tank, Beater|
|Sundered Lands||Vindrax||Dragon - Area damage, Flight, Defensive||Valdac||Dragon - Area healing, Flight, Support|
|The Underdepths||K'lzik||Demon Spider - Arthropod Creation/Synergy||Grimlic||Demon Elf - Area/Range Damage|
Each faction has distinct strengths and weaknesses. It's important to experiment with each faction and to decide which one (or ones) best suits the player's tastes. Most veteran players have sworn loyalty to a single faction, and sometimes even criticize other factions; but in the right hands, any faction is capable of consistent success.
Each faction grants a unique bonus for playing with its runes. A battlegroup consists of 30 runes. Playing with 30 runes from a faction affords a full bonus (This is known as Full-Faction, or 'FF'). Playing with only 15 runes from a single faction (known as Split-Faction or just 'split') affords a lesser bonus, but allows using 15 runes from another faction, which provides both factions' lesser bonuses, along with allowing very interesting rune synergies.
When a Nora Font is captured, the font becomes aligned to the dominant faction of the owner's group. For example, if one is playing Ironfist Stronghold, the font will become rock terrain and afford Ironfist's zone bonus (which is different than a faction bonus)
When playing a split group, the faction with the higher Nora cost will determine which Avatar is used, and which Font Zone will be used. For example, if playing Ironfist Stronghold and Forglar Swamp, if Ironfist's half costs more Nora in total, the Avatar will be Semmir the Brave, and captured fonts will become Rock and afford the Ironfist Font Zone bonus.
Free/low-cost battlegroups and packs of Common-rarity runes are available for each faction, allowing newer players to more easily determine which faction(s) to invest in.
The telepathic Firk, the Salaman, and agile Boghoppers fill the Forglar Swamp, a place where spiritual creatures inhabit water as well as land. The inhabitants of Forglar respect the ebb and flow of Nora, and do not dwell on trappings of the physical world. The swamp's two regions, Dark Marsh and Forglar proper, differ in their views on warfare (aggression and peace, respectively), but have both sworn unerringly to protect their sacred homelands from the Shattered Peaks and Underdepths' forces.
|You gain +4/+8 Nora per turn.|
|All friendly Champions heal 2 HP per turn while inside this faction's Shrine and font deployment zones. All spaces adjacent to this Shrine are non-impeding water and all adjacent squares in each controlled font zone are non-impeding water.|
The city of Old Elsarin was once a critical epicenter of academics for Humanity. Now decayed and desolate, its army of Skeletons, Liches, and Zombies composes an unending army of undead, ruled by the supercilious Lich, Serkan. In life, Serkan was something of a scholar, passively interested in necromancy. When a sweeping epidemic began piling bodies in Elsarin's streets, Serkan's research hastened. Through his countless unethical experiments, he mastered the magic of undeath. In his hubris, Serkan built an army of corpses, and was deemed a traitor to Humanity. As he lay dying, betrayed at the hands of his own undead apprentice, Serkan was greeted by a force known as the Utterdark—a mysterious energy that promised him dominion over all living things. With the Utterdark's guidance, he has resolved to squelch all life on Poxanthuru.
|Your champions can be redeployed in 30%/60% fewer turns.|
|This faction's Shrine and font deployment zones becomes a Dead Magic zone: spells cast by the opposing player may not be targeted within this area.|
The Ironfist Stronghold is a well-defended mountain kingdom inhabited by god-fearing Dwarves, Golems, and tribal Barbarians. The Dwarves and Human Barbarians were once residents of Old Valdac to the south. Following a violent rebellion from their former brethren, they retreated north. Very few Humans survived the migration, and have since struggled to survive. The Dwarves fared much better, using their unrivaled craftsmanship to erect the greatest fortress in Poxanthuru. Together, the denizens of the Stronghold and Barbarians of the nearby plains battle tirelessly against the invading forces of the Forsaken Wastes and vengeful Sundered Lands.
|Damage to your champions from spells is reduced by 3/6.|
|All friendly Champions regain an extra Action Point (AP) at the start of the controller's turn while they are located inside the Shrine or font deployment zones. All squares in the area of the Shrine or controlled font zone are stone.|
The inhabitants of K'thir Forest consist primarily of Elves, sentient Plants, bearlike Garu, and Centaurs. They are known for being agile, in touch with nature, and adept at healing. Many of its defenders prefer magic and ranged combat over intense engagements. The official governing body of K'Thir is the Eternal Circle—a staunchly conservative body of Elves bound to tradition. A growing subsection of K'Thir's citizens have instead chosen to follow Menalaus, an Elven sage promoting progressive ideals. Following an event in which a group of Elves were abandoned in the nearby Underdepths, many lost faith in the Eternal Circle, believing them to be negligent. Adding further strife to the equation, the forces of the Underdepths and Shattered Peaks vie for domination over the expansive forest and its tenants constantly.
|+2 Max AP/+1 Speed and +1 Max AP to your Champions.|
|All friendly Champions gain mobility for 2 turns, allowing them to disengage from combat for free, when they start the turn inside this faction's Shrine or font deployment zones. All squares in the area of this Shrine or controlled font are vegetation (grass).|
The frigid tundras of PoxNora are home to the Jakei, a blue-skinned people at home in the snow, as well as the catlike Lonx and all manner of frozen beasts. The Jakei evolved from Elves who were displaced via the cataclysmic Separation that ravaged much of K'Thir. Over time, they have learned to coexist with the native Lonx, focusing on defending their home from the Underdepths and Forsaken Wastes.
|+5/+10 hitpoints (HP) to your Champions.|
|All friendly Champions have +1 Damage (DMG) while inside this faction's Shrine or font deployment zones. All squares in the area of the Shrine or controlled font zone are light snow.|
In a series of peaks and valleys known as the Shattered Peaks, a race known as the Voil have fashioned an empire built on slavery. These batlike creatures control the dimwitted, native Cyclops and the oppressed, rhino-like G'hern. These G'hern have likewise been tasked with oppressing a race of bumbling, diminutive beings known as Moga. This hierarchical system of oppression has sparked revolt in some, causing a small migration to another section of the peaks, the Fragile Expanse, under the protection of a mighty and magnanimous dragon with a tragic past.
|+6%/+12% Nora when you deploy a champion.|
|Whenever a friendly Champion is deployed within this faction's Shrine or font deployment zones, it gains +1 Defense (DEF) and Spell Resistance (50% damage from spells) for 4 turns.|
Long ago, a strange illness changed the physical features of once-prosperous Valdac's inhabitants. As more citizens became "dragon-like," the remaining "healthy" Humans and Dwarves grew fearful and prejudiced toward the "tainted." Eventually, those who had mutated rose up against their bigoted neighbors and drove them north into the Ironfist region. Former Humans, now known as Draksar, together with their Dwarven counterparts, the Skeezick, built a new empire on the ruins of Old Valdac; however, the Skeezick soon found themselves being oppressed by the Draksar, who were so consumed by vengeance, that they themselves became no better than their disdainful enemies...
|Damage your champions receive from combat is reduced by 10%/20% (after Defense).|
|All friendly Champions have +5 ATK while inside this faction's Shrine or font deployment zones. All squares in the area of the Shrine or controlled font zone are sand.|
The Underdepths is a dark, fiery, subterranean system of caverns filled with aggressive Demons, Beasts and Spiders. A party of Elves once became trapped in what turned out to be the entrance to the Underdepths. Assumed dead, they were not rescued by their kin, and were taken in by demons—with a nefarious intent: to breed within them an immense hatred for their former brothers. These "Deep Elves" became twisted and have bred an army of soldiers lusting for revenge. Deeper in the Underdepths is Lower Sheoul, a place where the most powerful demons do unspeakable things...
|+4 Damage (DMG) for your Champions with a range of 1-3 and +2 damage (DMG) for your Champions with a range of 4+. Split faction for your Champions is +2 and +1 respectively.|
|All enemy Champions in this faction's Shrine or font deployment zones take 2 Fire damage each round and the first time they enter the area each round. All adjacent squares to this Shrine and controlled font are shallow lava.|
13 expansions have been released for the game so far.
Expansion: The Savage Tundra
Octopi, Inc. released PoxNora's first expansion on 25 October 2006. The expansion, consisting of approximately 70 new runes, introduced the Savage Tundra faction. This brought the total rune count to almost 250.
Expansion: The Shattered Peaks
Octopi, Inc. released PoxNora's second expansion January 2, 2007. This expansion added close to 100 runes, introduced the 8th and final faction, the Tribes of the Shattered Peaks, and added additional changes and improvements to gameplay mechanics.
Expansion: Drums of War
Octopi, Inc. released PoxNora's third expansion on May 9, 2007. This expansion introduced premium user accounts, heroes, "King of the Hill" and "Capture the Flag" modes, a spectator mode, 80 new runes (10 per faction), and a faction ranking system where players could influence the game's future storyline.
Expansion: Skeezick Rebellion
Octopi, Inc. released PoxNora's fourth expansion on August 29, 2007. This expansion introduced 80 new runes, diplomat runes, and a rune crafter.
Expansion: Grimlic's Descent
Was released on Wednesday December 12, 2007. It added an exotic rune for each faction.
Expansion: Path To Conquest
Released on Wednesday May 21, 2008, this expansion introduced the new single-player campaign modes, which come in three types: Free (available to all players), Premium (available only to Premium members), and Purchasable. These campaigns offer unique rewards for completion with fragments of varying rarities; each campaign has several difficulty levels that yield differing amounts and rarities based on the difficulty completed. These fragments can be used by all players to craft taunts and premium members can use them for additional crafting purposes. One such premium benefit is the ability to change certain released runes into limited edition (LE) versions with exotic fragments of the corresponding faction. This expansion also introduced many new runes, as well as the "Sand" terrain type. The rune crafter that was previously available only to Premium Members became available to everyone (in a limited capacity).
Expansion: Nora Surge
Released on Wednesday August 13, 2008, this expansion added additional single-player campaign levels. Like previously released campaigns, these single-player levels offer rare rewards for completion; each campaign has several difficulty levels that yield rewards based on the difficulty completed.
The design team operated on the concept of exploring more design-space by having new abilities on most of the runes in the expansion. Titans were introduced in this expansion - these exotic champions are on a 2x2 base for each faction which can have a tremendous impact on games. By design, un-upgraded versions of every one costs over 100 nora to deploy to reflect their power in game. Additionally, each faction received an equipment rune, in the form of a helm, that automatically transfer to the nearest friendly champion when the equipped champion dies - this mechanic is a first in Pox Nora. This expansion also introduced the "tar" terrain type.
Expansion: Dawn of Elements
Released on November 20, 2008, this expansion placed an emphasis on each faction gaining an elemental champion and added the elemental plateau map for play.
Shortly after the release of this expansion, a limited edition "Giving Tree" relic rune was released for a pre-determined period of time. This rune was not available in booster packs like traditionally released runes and could only be obtained through the single rune store or trading. 100% of the money earned from this sale went to the Giving Tree Outreach Program, whose mission is to support and improve the quality of life for children, families, elderly and disabled individuals in the community. At the conclusion of the two week promotional sale, $9,850 was raised for the cause. This money was used to purchase items the organization requested, with the remainder being deposited with the organization for future needs.
Expansion: Ancient Awakenings
Released on February 25, 2009. In addition to the standard introduction of new champion abilities, this release has been one of the most game-altering expansions in Pox Nora's history. The player rune dock increased from 20 runes to 30 slots, making split battlegroups 15/15 instead of 10/10 (10/10/10 are not allowed). The rune docks also gained a sortable feature, which allows the player to organize revealed runes. Another change was the introduction of Avatars. Avatars are a secondary form of each player's shrine, each possessing unique abilities and operating similarly to other champions. Like traditional heroes, Avatars gain experience and when they level up, additional attribute bonuses and abilities at certain levels are granted to them. They have a maximum level of 50 and the level cap for this expansion was set to 10. A new rune purchase option was added, allowing players to obtain a guaranteed exotic rune for buying a 10 pack of the most recently released runes. For all levels of play, "circus" battlegroups, which were neither split or full faction, were barred from the game. It was announced that up to two different heroes from the same faction could be played simultaneously and that the factions only having one hero at the moment would receive a second hero in a later expansion. Unlike previous expansions, it is now possible for each opponent to field the same hero simultaneously. Finally, the filter between full faction and split battlegroups in ranked play was removed. All of these changes have had mixed responses from the gaming community in general, though the game has maintained the majority of its player base and continues to add new players. One factor which contributed to some community backlash was that the beta for this release was open to fewer players than previous expansions.
Expansion: Rise of Serkan
This expansion was released on May 20, 2009. It included more than 70 new runes, introduced a new equipment mechanic, added another single player campaign, and raised the avatar level cap by 10 levels. This expansion introduced 6 new heroes, 1 for each faction that had only 1 before this expansion, the most from any single expansion, and another community inspired rune known as the "Bunny Lord."
This expansion was released on August 26, 2009. The expansion will add 72 new runes and include 8 new dragons for you to collect. New Features with this expansion include.
• More Experience Broodcall will expand the Avatar’s level cap to 30 making them even more powerful, just in time to meet the new dragon menace!
• New Relics, Spells and Equipment—A strong Battle Group doesn’t depend upon units alone and Broodcall introduces a host of new supplemental runes to help you turn the tide in a fierce melee.
• New Campaign – Broodcall introduces one new campaign with four encounters, which thrust players into the dragon storyline.
• Trader Update – The trade system will be more streamlined for our advanced and newer users. This includes a new feature, Quick-Trade, that allows trade creators to state their ideal bid for the trade, and if a bidder fills the request the trade is completed instantly.
• Premium Membership – Warbanner Rentals will now be included with Premium memberships in Broodcall. The new feature will allow premium members to use any of the eight warbanners, unlimited, while a member. Once the player chooses to stop their membership they will lose access to all eight warbanners.
Expansion: Dire Covenant
This expansion was released Mid-November. A new campaign introduces four encounters to take players into the mystery behind the cataclysmic events taking place after a disastrous earthquake drives fear into the heart of every faction.
Dire Covenant Features:
• New Runes: Utilize 72 new runes, including new champions, spells, equipment and relics.
• New Abilities: All new abilities, including the new “Channel” mechanic allowing players to spend Nora for a temporary stat boost.
• New Player Avatars: Player Avatars will now be able to reach a level of 40, increasing their power and bringing powerful allies to the battlefield.
Expansion: Maljaran Frontier
This expansion was released April 27, 2010. A new land has been discovered with 4 new races to play with.
Maljaran Frontier Features:
• 4 New spilt faction races:
Leoss (Savage Tundra/Ironfist Stronghold) Tortun (Forglar Swamp/K'thir Forest) Kanen (Sundered Lands/Shattered Peaks) Stitched (Underdepths/Forsaken Wastes)
• New Player Avatars: Player Avatars will now be able to reach a level of 50, increasing their power and bringing powerful allies to the battlefield.
Single Player Campaigns
- Trials of the Protectorate
- Trials of the Wrath
- Crazed Beasts
- Triple Threat
- Hoppin' Mad
- Beginner Wrath Battles
- Beginner Protectorate Battles
- Angels Descend
- The Ancients Arrive
- Elements at War: Protectorate
- Elements at War: Wrath
- Nora Surge
- Grimlic's Descent
- Dire Covenant
- Wrath of The Exile
- Maljarin Frontier
Premium Member Only Campaigns
- Euan's Last Stand ( bugging one)
- Skeezick Rebellion
|This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (February 2009)|
- PoxNora Official Web Site
- PoxNora Campaign Store
- SOE Tuscan Blog Information on thegreenroom.poxnora.com
- Pox Portal
- Poxnora Game Soundtrack on cdbaby.com
- Giving Tree Charity Sale Information
- Review on Slashdot.org
- Review on Gamespy.com
- Review on ign.com
- Review on games32.com
- Review on gamingtarget.com
- Preview on Gamezone.comno:PoxNora