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my impression of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

majimaji Member UncommonPosts: 2,091

I've played all kinds of CCG over the years, on- and offline. Among them Magic, Magic Online, Rage, Legend of the Five Rings, Vampire, Shadowrun. And recently I had a look at Hearthstone. The game is currently in closed beta, soon in open beta. But since you can already spend real money for it, let's have a look at what's good and bad about it.

 

Now, first, what I like about Hearthstone:

Graphics: They're good for a CCG. The art has a high quality, the spell effects are fun to watch and the animations (cards moving around) look fluid. In addition, the backgrounds of each match have a setting you might know from the Warcraft universe, that is also interactive (like, you can smash a window of a building seen in the background by clicking on it several times, or load a catapult with a rock and shoot it over to the enemy). If you hit an opponent with your creatures, then, depending on the damage dealt, you get different sounds (crowd cheering), animations, shaking screen and so on.

Sound: Also good. Each creature has some sound sample taken from World of Warcraft. The music runs pleasantly in the background.

Interface: it's clean and simple, easy to understand.

Complexity: also very easy to get into. Most of the stuff explains itself, a few things are found out by trial and error.

Game length: seems reasonable too, something between 10 and 20 minutes (though exceptions are of course possible).

Cost: it's free to play, you don't have to spend money (though you can). You get new cards mostly by buying booster packs for the ingame currency, that you can get for completing quests and achievements (there ain't that many achievements, quests give you some of that currency once per day).

Crafting: you can destroy cards you don't like for crafting materials to craft cards you want.

What I don't like so much:

It's pay 2 win: rare cards are in general better. Much better. The chance to get more rare cards increases with the number of opened booster packs. If you do it by questing, you open one pack every two days or so. Of course, if you spend money to buy boosters, you get many many more cards, more rare cards, and can destroy the unneeded ones to craft missing ones. So, you will lose to opponents who spend more money for the sole reason of them spending more money.

Stalling opponents: normally games have a hidden turn timer that tells you when your turn will end soon. Sometimes though (I guess when choosing a target or something) the timer doesn't show up. I once had an opponent about to lose a game, and while choosing a target he went afk. I alt-tabbed out, played some other game for an hour, came back, and he was still there. Seriously: you do not want to lose against opponents who win just by indefinately stalling the game.

No report option: you can't report players displaying toxic behavior.

No chat: Apart from using some predefined emotes, you can't communicate with your opponent. For me, such games are also about making new friends to play the game with. You can't say "afk for a minute, telephone" or "where did you get that card from" or "can you please hurry up" or anything else like that. There is basically no difference whether you play vs humans or a good (or sometimes bad) computer.

Only two players. While games like Magic Online support matches of up to six people, Hearthstone only supports two people. Which is quite a shame. While such matches would take a while, they'd also be quite entertaining. There are no team modes or FFA modes or anything else.

Few different modes of play: you have practice vs a normal AI, vs a better AI, normal matches vs humans, ranked matches, and some draft (where you build a deck from the scratch, costs money or ingame currency though). So in short, except for the draft, you always use the same decks. Which is also a shame. I liked that in other games, you have different formats to freshen up the game. Like a format where you have huge decks of a thousand cards, or decks where no card can be played more than once, decks that force players to run certain themes or have another certain type of structure. But in Hearthstone, it's always the same decks.

The hero system forces people to run similar decks: for each deck, you choose a hero. That hero gives you a special ability that you can activate once per turn (like dealing 1 damage to any target, healing a target for 2 health and so on) and access to certain additional cards. Since you want to make best use of the heroes special ability, and don't have access to all cards (only the specific hero and the general cards), the number of strategies is very limited. People play somewhat similiar decks over and over and over. If you see a card specific to one hero and one specific to another, and think that combining them would enable you to create a great creative deck: no chance, can't do that, you have to stick with the regular stuff.

No trading: you can't trade cards with other people. Which sucks of course. You got the one demon I want for my warlock deck? Hey, I got the one other dude you want. Let's trade? Nope, we can't, no trading possible. You're stuck with your cards, I'm stuck with mine. The only solution: buy more cards for real money or craft the cards (though crafting requires you to rip apart many many of your cards in order to be able to craft a new one). And the cards you tear apart to get crafting materials have to come from someplace too, which is, the shop (questing just takes a long time). Also, no trade means that cards have no value. You can get the most awesome super rare card in a booster pack, but it is still without any value but to your decks. In certain other games, if you find a card that is high in demand, you might be able to sell it for 30$ or so, on ebay or trade sites or whatever. Cards have value. And you can gain new cards by clever trading. Not so in Hearthstone.

 

In short:

The game is fun, well made, easy to get into. You win some early games easily, do quests, get achievements, gain ingame currency to buy boosters, rip them open, get new cards, and so on. It's awesome. But as you progress, things get somewhat boring. Variety of decks? Low. Different game modes? Not really. Trading? Nah. And to that the strong pay 2 win mechanic, and you'll be playing something else after a week or two.

Let's play Fallen Earth (blind, 300 episodes)

Let's play Guild Wars 2 (blind, 45 episodes)

Comments

  • expressoexpresso Member UncommonPosts: 2,218
    The P2W issue (not that is real issue in the long term) melt away with the Arena game mode, I'd rather spend 150G in there than 100G on a booster pack.
  • BetaguyBetaguy Member UncommonPosts: 2,623
    I have played every type of TCG game to date and they are all P2W that is normal and it is ok. Sorry you feel indifferent on the matter but you are wrong to think otherwise. Just my 5 Canadian cents.

    image

  • thinktank001thinktank001 Member UncommonPosts: 2,144
    It is a microtransaction based game so of course it is P2W.   However, I think the game could be fixed so that it doesn't have to weigh so heavily in a match.    It is too bad that "casual" mode relies solely on a win/loss MMR system.   It guarantees a player will run into a string of opponents where your deck will be insanely inferior.
  • OtakunOtakun Member UncommonPosts: 867
    Originally posted by Betaguy
    I have played every type of TCG game to date and they are all P2W that is normal and it is ok. Sorry you feel indifferent on the matter but you are wrong to think otherwise. Just my 5 Canadian cents.

    While the TCG model is certainly P2W, there are ways you can lessen the blow of it. This is why Fantasy Flight has created the LCG system. Plus as a video game, the cards aren't real and thus a multitude of ideas can be thought of beyond that of a normal RL system. While hearthstone is a well polished game, the card game within it is still basic. 

  • TheFighterTheFighter Member Posts: 90

    No report option: you can't report players displaying toxic behavior. How can someone be toxic when they can't chat? Do you get annoyed when someone uses the threat emote? Squash the player, if this annoys you. You won't hear their emotes.

    As for the no chat, I get what you are saying; However there should be some game lobbies rather than Chat in the a game itself. I can see a lot of rage happening when people don't get the cards they want.

  • azzamasinazzamasin Member UncommonPosts: 3,100
    You're never going to play a CCG where buying booster packs is not needed.  I mean I guess you could scrounge around your local hobby store and pick up some unwanted commons and commons and build a deck but you'll never do good with it.  At its heart Hearthstone is a CCG and count your lucky stars you can get cards for free.  I know of no other CCG where this is the case.

    Sandbox means open world, non-linear gaming PERIOD!

    Subscription Gaming, especially MMO gaming is a Cash grab bigger then the most P2W cash shop!

    Bring Back Exploration and lengthy progression times. RPG's have always been about the Journey not the destination!!!

    image

  • SeelinnikoiSeelinnikoi Member RarePosts: 1,353

    Pauper Magic the Gathering Online.

     

    Best. Game. Mode. Ever.

     

    You must only build a deck using common cards. All you need now is fertile imagination and creativity to come up with the insane combos and all still under the common threshold.

     

    Love it :)

    If you are a Star Wars fan, why not try the Star Wars The Old Republic?
    New players can get a welcome package and old/returning players can also get a welcome back package and 7 days free subscription time! Just click here to use my referral invitation
  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Member EpicPosts: 5,869


    Originally posted by TheFighter
    No report option: you can't report players displaying toxic behavior. How can someone be toxic when they can't chat? Do you get annoyed when someone uses the threat emote? Squash the player, if this annoys you. You won't hear their emotes.As for the no chat, I get what you are saying; However there should be some game lobbies rather than Chat in the a game itself. I can see a lot of rage happening when people don't get the cards they want.
    How about the player that went AFK for an hour during a match? Would that be "reportable" in your eyes?

    The game presents chat opportunities that lobbies just do not. Having a way to chat while playing would be a huge plus, in my opinion.

    As far as P2W, I agree with others that any Collectible (important word here) Card Games are P2W. The more you buy, the more "rares" you get. And rares are rare for a reason.

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR


  • HeraseHerase Member RarePosts: 992

    My main beef with the game is some classes can just demolish you no matter how much you outplay them (paladin/mage mostly). played so many games where i've used my hand so well to counter whatever the other player puts out, just for them to pull out a card that either kills everything or lets them add 600 dmg or hp to a card while hardly using any mana. also you can tell some of these people haven't got a clue when they keep playing cards and wasting them. enough rage lol

     

    To the points you made, i do think not being able to trade cards is silly. considering most would call this a "trading card game".

    Crafting: the ratio from disenchanting to creating seem a bit crazy. Cards cost 40 to make but give 5 when disenchanted. you would need to remove 8 cards to make 1 normal card, also the fact that most are soulbound doesn't help. Keep gettin golden card every so often when i level. but they have no use, there not rare, as anyone who levels the class can obtain it and you can only play 2 of one card anyway. So having 4 of the same card and not being a bit to put 2 of them to good use, seems a bit sill to me.

     

    Chat: i think this is alright, because if one was added there would be endless, flaming, trolling, insulting. The worse they can do is hit the "threaten" button. but it doesn't have the same effect.

     

    P2W: while i do think buying cards is a standard thing for trading cards games, the problem here it seems obtaining all the good and rare cards isn't that hard. were in some games you have a handful of people who have rare cards, but here it'e like very person at a certian point has every card and the same cards. I would like to go into a game and fight a guy and he pulls a card out never seen before, not he pulls out all these rares that iv'e seen 600 times already.

     

    This is good game, but feel like it's being held back. tbh i think this is because they're trying to push people to buy decks, when you look how gimped the other alternatives of obtaining cards are, can't trade, crafting just doesn't seem worth it, dailys are ok but will be a long time before you get anything decent.

     

  • jdnewelljdnewell Member UncommonPosts: 2,237

    OP I agree with you on pretty much everything.

    My main gripes are the no trading of cards. I actually dont mind buying boosters and spending money on a CCG. But not having any option to trade or sell makes it wasted money to me. When I played MTG years ago I sold & traded many cards I did not want, need or had extras of. These cards actually had a value.

    Spending tons of money on a digital CCG where the cards have zero value does not appeal to me at all. Not knocking the game as I do find it fun, but just not something I will invest money into. If I wanted to spend a ton of money on a CCG I would just go back to MTG and buy real cards that have an actual value associated with them.

    My 2cp

  • majimaji Member UncommonPosts: 2,091

    Well, to reply to those saying that all TCGs and CCGs are pay 2 win: sure, to some degree you are correct. However, in the huge majority of the other games of this type, you can trade. You can't do that here. You can't open a booster pack and trade away those you don't like. The only thing you can do here is destroy your cards to craft new ones. So, you still exchange cards for cards, but only for the rate Blizzard decides. And it's not in their interest to keep the rate favorible for you.

    Let's play Fallen Earth (blind, 300 episodes)

    Let's play Guild Wars 2 (blind, 45 episodes)

  • sportsfansportsfan Member Posts: 431
    Originally posted by maji

    Well, to reply to those saying that all TCGs and CCGs are pay 2 win: sure, to some degree you are correct. However, in the huge majority of the other games of this type, you can trade. You can't do that here. You can't open a booster pack and trade away those you don't like. The only thing you can do here is destroy your cards to craft new ones. So, you still exchange cards for cards, but only for the rate Blizzard decides. And it's not in their interest to keep the rate favorible for you.

    Silly argument. Crafting is MUCH better than trading: it keeps the maffia out of a Blizzard game.

    It avoids of having MASSES of common/uncommon cards too. What's the use of having 15 cards in a pack of which 14 are used to plaster the walls. 

    Crafting cards is a much better tool as it avoids useless card copies AND it is a BETTER system for the player as HE can decide what card to craft instead of going to be scammed on trading sites. Because the best cards will always be too expensive anyways.

    ----

    ---> A rare for a rare is fake as some rares have 10 times the value of other rares. At least dust is a steady 25% of the cards value. Fair in the long run vs trading with very different valued cards.

    HS is boring after a few months play, but that would be Magic too if you played it for 4 hours a day, which nobody does.

    Also HS in beta already has 70 MORE cards than Magic in Revised, which shows the game is really good compared to the original Magic in choices of cards.

    So nope the OP is trolling.

    ----

    HS will be the biggest success for Blizzard after WoW. I forsee 40-60 million players on iPads, iPhones, Android systems, Macs,  PC's and my mother's coffee machine...If half of these numbers pay 10 dollars per month on cards, revenue could even surpass WoW's.

    There are around 1 billion smart phones and 100 million iPads sold ... and HS is really a mile above most of tgat garbage you see on these platforms and ... free to install and play...

    I am convinced it will beat LoL in player numbers with ease as the most popular on line pvp game in 2014 across all these platforms. In fact itis already second on Twitch and the game is still only available on PC ... in closed beta ... WTF...

    I'll remind you to this OP and bookmarking this thread for a Dec 2014 reference.

     

  • majimaji Member UncommonPosts: 2,091
    Originally posted by sportsfan

    Silly argument. Crafting is MUCH better than trading: it keeps the maffia out of a Blizzard game.

     

    You can't be serious. Here are just some arguments why you are wrong.

    1) You can't donate cards. In games like MTGO, there are certain accounts that automatically distribute free cards to new players. Sure, those ain't the best cards you have, but if you're new, you're happy about anything. You can't do that on Hearthstone.

    2) Or, let's assume you play Hearthstone for a longer time and got a lot of cards, and your girlfriend or best friend or whatever join. In other games you'd give them some of your spare cards, so that they don't have to start from scratch, but can join more quickly, build more fun decks more quickly and so on. Whoops, can't do that if you have no trading.

    3) Your best friend really wants a certain card badly, and you got a couple of spare ones lying around? In other games you could give them to your friend. Not in Hearthstone.

    4) A new set is released, you open a booster. Woah, an awesome card everybody is willing to pay a lot for! If you could trade it. Which you can't in Hearthstone.

    5) Value of cards: zero. No trading, no value. You could find the best legendary in golden and whatnot, it still has no value, since you can't trade it. In other games you might have just made a couple of hundred $ with that booster. Nope, not in Hearthstone.

     

     

    Silly argument. Crafting is MUCH better than trading: it keeps the maffia out of a Blizzard game.

    You mean it prevents people from using their brain to make clever trades. It forces everybody to lose cards when creating stuff. Or in other words: it makes everybody do bad trades always all the time.

     

    It avoids of having MASSES of common/uncommon cards too. What's the use of having 15 cards in a pack of which 14 are used to plaster the walls.

    So you say that you love making bad trades all the time because you have too many cards anyway? Seriously? You could give the cards you don't want to new players. Or just delete them if you think you have too many. It's as if you say "well, I love getting ripped off left and right, because I have far too much money anyway". Well, what about using that money for something good...

    Crafting cards is a much better tool as it avoids useless card copies AND it is a BETTER system for the player as HE can decide what card to craft instead of going to be scammed on trading sites. Because the best cards will always be too expensive anyways.

    In a trade you can also decide what you want. Same as if you craft the card. Except that trades are nearly never as bad as the ones Blizzard forces on you, where you always give 4 to 8 cards of one rarity to get a single one of the same rarity.

     

    Also HS in beta already has 70 MORE cards than Magic in Revised, which shows the game is really good compared to the original Magic in choices of cards. So nope the OP is trolling.

    If you have a different opinion then that's perfectly fine with me. Calling everybody a troll who doesn't agree with you is just immature.

    By the time revised was out, there have already been two other expansions available (Arabian Nights and Antiquities).

     

    HS will be the biggest success for Blizzard after WoW. I forsee 40-60 million players on iPads, iPhones, Android systems, Macs,  PC's and my mother's coffee machine...If half of these numbers pay 10 dollars per month on cards, revenue could even surpass WoW's.

    I never said that it will not be successful. I just said that there are lots of things I don't like about it. And I have the right to say that, that's what a discussion forum is there for. And because something is successful it doesn't mean that I have to like it. Honey Boo Boo is successful. I still won't watch it.

    Let's play Fallen Earth (blind, 300 episodes)

    Let's play Guild Wars 2 (blind, 45 episodes)

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