Base series 3 is on the way, and it has a lot of people both excited and anxious. With a new series of base comes all sorts of implications, and I think its going to be interesting how this all shakes out. To be honest, I am still surprised that they are going with a fresh design and a brand new crop of base before launching the new build of that app. I digress.
When the app launched back in March of this year, there was a set series 1 that populated packs for almost 3 months without updates. Then, in the middle of the year, they launched Series 2, which was a new crop of cards in the same design as the original. These two series were responsible for thousands of releases, up until the release of Series 3, which should be launching shortly. The preview packs are available now.
Although I love the new design, Im not sure its fair to call it Series 3, especially considering how many S3 characters were already present in Series 1 and 2. Its more of a sequel than it is a continuation. In my opinion, this release should have waited until the launch of the 2016 build, if/when that happens, and it should have been 2016 Series 1, not 2015 Series 3.
In all reality, the release of the The Force Awakens was likely responsible for forcing the hand of the new base. I mean, it is abundantly clear that movie characters needed base cards. Then the question becomes, why not just release a series of movie characters with the old design? Im sure it has to do with production, as I dont think they had movie stills to use, and publicity shots dont make great looking base cards. Similarly, with how base cards are used in release programs, it wouldnt work to release a small series that wouldnt have the time to be developed. They wouldnt get the due they deserved.
This brings us back to the initial question of why this is called Series 3, and that’s my biggest gripe. From talking with the members of the team, I dont think they have much experience with physical cards, and they might not have known that calling this Series 3 makes about as much sense as calling a cut sig a “Contract Relic Sig.” This is a different look, a different design, and therefore a different set. Calling them series 3, basically adds them onto the back of the first two series.
Most importantly, team must have been in a really tough spot. Either go without movie base cards until the new build in March (or after), or short the movie base cards from now until March in the old design? Not an easy choice. They went with option 3, which is release new base cards before the new build, and make them a new series.
This has an impact, as it effectively both extends and ends the chase of Series 1 and Series 2 hoarding. I say extends, because it might mean that the old base cards will never be segregated into years like they are in the other apps. I say ends because it puts a clear stop to the use of the old base design for future releases. This isnt a bad thing, but it does bring up a lot of anxiety about how the new base will be handled.
Will the base variant craze of the fall return with the new cards in a new design? How will pack structures change? Will there be packs that consist of all series and ones that consist of only series 3? If series 1-2 are taken out of packs, how does that impact the hoards with no new fodder? Although some base are in the millions in terms of counts, at some point the supply will be far exceeded by demand. Maybe that is a reason to call this series 3 – as it means they can keep the originals in circulation.
Again, lots of questions and not many answers until the base are put into packs. Who knows, we might not even see the same rarity levels or the same type of approach. We can assume all we want, but nothing is set until it is set.