This page contains a short FAQ on the Missing Link Expansions. If any question does not find its answer here, feel free to use the Yahoo mailing lists to ask your questions (check out the Links page). This way, all other players will get the official answer as well.
What is the Missing Link Expansion project ?
The Missing Link Expansions are virtual (under electronic form) and unofficial (designed by players and for players) expansions for various CCGs. They are distributed freely to any player who wishes to use new cards and new strategies, and mostly in order to keep a card game alive after months or years of waiting for a new official expansion.
The first MLE expansions have been designed for the Highlander CCG. More than 700 MLE cards have been released for this game in little more than two years. The Wheel of Time MLE sets have been delayed due to copyright concerns with the game system. Moreover, another group of players has released a very interesting pool of cards (check out Lord Xuyeam's site in the Links page) so we didn't want to start a competition between two player sets.
The WoT MLE set has thus been used firstly as a Dreamcard set by the MLE team and its playtest cells. For this, we've shamelessly used as much material as possible (check out the credits page), including card ideas and game mechanics concepts posted on the WoT CCG Dreamcard forum, and on the former Asha'man mailing list (Precedence's playtest group), and most of all graphics from WoT fans and even copyrighted materials. The Wheel of Time RPG by Wizards of the Coast was obviously a mine of awesome illustrations. Do not forget to visit their website (check out the Links page), and if you're a RPG player, have a look at the D20 WoT Rulebook. It is worth its price.
The death of Precedence means that no official expansion will be released before mid-2003 (only a few dozens of unofficial cards from Lord Xuyeam and the 2nd Edition team). So we've finally decided to release the first Missing Link Expansion for the Wheel of Time Collectible Card Game.
Picture (c) Wizards of the Coast
This WoT MLE set is called A Sign of Hope and contains more than 200 cards of different rarities from Common to Ultra Rare (1 per box and even 1 per Case) and a few promo cards. It is distributed in virtual booster packs. Each pack is composed of jpeg pictures selected randomly from the card rarity list by the Virtual Packs Generator.
What is the Virtual Packs Generator ?
This a small software designed to build random packs of cards with different rarities (from common to ultra-rares) and to distribute them freely at a selected rate. This limit and the booster packs system have not been designed to frustrate players nor to limit them in their deck building exercise, but on the contrary to slowly give them access to all card pictures and to have them make some efforts in deck building as if they had bought "real" weekly boosters from their retailer.
The main purpose of this system is to give each card its chance in your decks and to prevent overpowered cards from overshadowing basic cards. Once downloaded, each card can obviously be used in multiples in your decks. Players are also free to exchange their pictures with friends and other players. As a matter of fact, almost all Highlander MLE cards have been traded through forums or mailing lists as if they were real cards : a rare for a rare, and definitely not an uncommon for a Premium hard to get. Sometimes very rare "virtual" cards have been traded for "real" rare cards.
How may I get a complete collection ?
To collect all these jpeg pictures, you can firstly download your weekly packs. You should be able to get all commons in a few weeks and all the uncommons in less than two months. Getting all Rares and Premiums will be much harder. Statistically, it should take about three or four months to gain access to all rares pictures and one year for all Premiums.
It is obviously an incredibly long time. Way too much for any CCG player. That's why it will be necessary to trade your pictures for those that have been downloaded by other players. You can email copies (or URLs) of your pictures to other players and trade them for card pix you do not have. You can even use the basic Yahoo groups or mailing lists to post your trade lists and make trade offers.
The only thing we'll ask in exchange for these hundreds of free cards is to follow three Honor Guidelines :
Picture (c) Wizards of the Coast
HONOR GUIDELINE #1 : Please do not trade the same card more than once. Each time a card is traded through the mail, a new copy of the jpeg file is created. By trading the same card many times you would screw the whole rarity system (some players would trade 10 rares for a missing common). Rares and Premiums are supposed to be available in lower quantity than commons or uncommons. That's why we are requesting you not to trade the same card more than once.
HONOR GUIDELINE #2 : Please do not post any picture in any newsgroup or mailing list or web directory. You can use a few of commons in your HomePage or your MLE strategy/trade page but do not display your whole collection on a web site. Keep in mind that as soon as everybody can see and download a picture, it becomes a worthless card in the Virtual Pack Generator database.
HONOR GUIDELINE #3 : Do not try to create multiple accounts to get more cards. If need be, we can check the I.P signature provided by anymous email providers : two different accounts from hotmail have the same I.P signature if sent from the same computer, and this IP signature is also used by yahoo or aol...
Virtual stuff ? But how can I get "real" MLE cards ?
The MLE team do not want to sell a "real" printed version of these cards in order to avoid confusion. We are NOT trying to make money with this project, so we won't sell a printed version of our cards, even at a very low cost. So unless you can get this service from another player, you will need a decent printer (preferably a color printer, but b&w is good enough).
Each jpeg should have approximately the size of
a real card so you should be able to print them "as is". Yet on some systems,
or with some printing tools, cards may not have this specific size. In this
case, you'll have to fix the following size for each card :
Height : 8.9 cm and/or
Width : 6,35 cm and/or
Resolution : 144 dpi
If you have access to tools such as MS Word, Paintshop 6, Adobe Pagemaker or Photodeluxe, you can even print up to nine cards per sheet of paper (A4, or Legal US paper).
Check out Colin Fijal's short printing guide of Highlander MLE cards for more informations.
Who's the MLE team ?
Due to copyright concerns with the game system and the illustrations we've used, most members of WoT MLE design team do not want their names to appear in this page. The only one you'll find here (out of 6 designers and 3 playtest cells) is the webmaster :
Picture (c) Wizards of the Coast
Gerald Dibarboure < firstname.lastname@example.org > (Art department, wild ideas provider, random webmaster, used to be a playtester for Precedence)
It is necessary to underline again that we have used a lot of stuff (card text, game mechanics) developped by many many players. We have shamelessly stolen hundreds of ideas and graphics to build this expansion. We'd like to thank all players and fans for everything they have posted, or displayed on the web. It would be impossible to look back and give credits to everybody yet we'll gladly add your name and email to our credits page (upon request) if your work has been used for a MLE card.
Well done guys !
Feel free to send your own text files with card ideas or Wheel of Time pictures. YOU can be a part of the MLE project. YOU can make the Wheel of Time CCG live again in your area and all over the world...
In case of problem with these pages and software,
feel free to request the help of the MLE
team. The Double Eagle software is currently Netscape 4+ and Microsoft IE
using another browser on which this software does not work, or if you still
have problem, then you can still email the webmaster.