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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

  • Genre: CCG
  • ESRB Rating: E
  • Platform: PC
  • Max-Players: 2
  • Added on: 2013-12-19 by machvergil

Description:

Blizzard Entertainment's Free to Play (but Pay to Win) CCG for PC and eventually mobile. Play decks based on legendary Warcraft figures and play out their battles in the taverns of Azeroth.

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Viewing Topic: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft - Page 1
#0: 08-19-2013 @ 11:50:46 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6258#6258

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

First, I thought we had a topic for this.  It would appear we don't.  So now we do. bam.

BEHOLD:  WTF is Hearthstone for your amusement.


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#1: 08-21-2013 @ 07:57:47 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6279#6279

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

In which TB plays Hearthstone's Draft mode


We set Wednesdays on Fire!
#2: 11-17-2013 @ 08:20:19 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6768#6768

BountyHunterSAxBountyHunterSAx

  • Real Name:Ahmad Rasheed
  • Joined:2011-06-29

I have been in Hearthstone's Beta for a day or so now, in which time I've beaten all the AIs (9 duels), beaten two of the 'expert' AIs (out of 9), played about 7 games with Shieke and about 5-10 games online (PvP). So - still relatively limited exposure.

And honestly, the game's not bad. It's not bad at all. It's very much a CCG (computerized card game), and if this genre turns you off than this game will too. I would compare it to Solforge in that the game is not very complex. That isn't to say there's no depth to it, but rather you can pick it up and play it almost instantly and unlike Android:Netrunner you'll immediately find yourself doing "fairly well" rather than "Still trying to get the hang of it".

Presentation wise the game is an absolute joy. The characters' lines are awesome, the big happy graphical style is right what I want, the intensity when your raid-boss monster shouts "FOR THE HORDE!" before dashing across the screen and *SMACK* effects play out in relative intensity to his 9/9 power and toughness. . . it all makes for a very fun experience the like of which I haven't seen in other CCG's - so good on them for using it!


But the game has two *really* *REALLY* big negatives that I don't honestly see myself getting over any time soon.

1.) Limited Complexity: This is a game very much cut from the cloth of Magic the Gathering, but intentionally limited to the SolForge, mobile-app, "simplified" playstyle. The game lacks enchantments (except perhaps the ocasional secret "trap card"), lacks instants, and just in general lacks many long-term static effects. In a game of Magic, your opponent and you fight with monsters and jockey for board control - that translates here just fine. But the kind of decks and games of Magic I played often involved jockying for game *style* control.
For example: your opponent plays a 5/5 creature with trample. Instead of responding with a 6/6 creatures (herrp!), you enchant the trampler with Control Magic - now it's *your* 5/5 with trample. He plays a creature with a "when it comes into play destroy target enchantment" effect - now it's *his* trampler again. You drop a 2/2 creature and meekstone: now 5/5 creatures don't untap anymore. So he has to think about it and use his 5/5 as a blocker-only for the moment. Which is *still* perfectly reasonable. . . until someone finds a new way to screw with the game.

The creature-duels in this game do have that sort of variability. There are creature removal effects, direct damage spells and such. But I dunno, I still feel as though that is missing.


2.) Pay-2-Grow:

Hearthstone allows you access to all cards (or 99% of cards, maybe not some promotional crap) without ever paying a cent. That's a benchmark for me, as I've played games like Magic the Gathering: Forge. and Magic the Gathering: Shandalar. Ergo, I *KNOW* how fun it is to be able to fight your way up into power against increasingly difficult AI opponents and get paid a bit of gold and some random cards each time for your trouble while you build yourself an amazing deck. The problem is, much like Hereoes of Might and Magic's cardgame (I forget the name), you only unlock the most basic cards by fighting the AI. Don't get me wrong, you unlock quite a decent number of those basic cards, but then you're done. No more growth. No more point in fighting the AI at all except "just for fun".

That's when you have to switch over to PvP. 10 gold for 3 wins is a *LONG* slog, considering that 100 gold is a new pack of 5 cards. Early on you get some nice bonus achievement golds to hasten your progress. But it's very little, IMO. It makes the ~$0.50-$1.00 price of a pack (depending how many you buy in bulk) seem cheap.

Now I can't call this Pay-2-Win for two reasons. One, the matchmaker ignores EVERYTHING about your account except your win-loss record, and is the only way to get these Gold-earning matches. As a result, I have - much like in SC2 - just about a 50% win-rate (it'll get up to 50% soon I'm sure). Watching someone drop a 3/1 creature with haste (charge), and then use it to kill my 1/1 is irritating because I *know* it wasn't a good play. But he's at my level because his cards are better - even playing badly he still will wrangle up a win from time to time. So paying won't actually increase your winrate overall - - because *NOTHING* will increase your winrate over all!



This is a very severe problem for me. Serious cardgame PvP (be it TCG/LCG/CCG) is something I have *NEVER* been interested in or really wanted to do. Doing it with friends is awesome. It's super-awesome. Win or Lose there's some fun to be had from the experience. Doing it with strangers on the interwebs? There's not much joy in winning and there's no joy in losing. Especially in a game like this where I don't feel it's the strength of their play-skill exclusively as much as luck of the draw and access to cards.

So I fear my interest in Hearthstone may end up being short-lived. That is, unless Shieke and I get to keep building decks and playing each other, because there *IS* enough content to be had after the AI unlocks for some solid super-happy-awesome funtimes with deckbuilding.


-AHMAD


#3: 12-17-2013 @ 09:25:38 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6932#6932

MachVergilMachVergil

MachVergil Photo.
  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

TB loves himself some Hearthstone, that much is clear if you subscribe to his channel. He's got a series he's running right now called Lord of the Legendaries where he is trying to win games with ONLY Legendary cards.  It... doesn't go well.

This is actually a little be encouraging to know that if one builds a deck of ONLY expensive fancy cards it actually gets their face beat in.  Still it is fun to see the kind of absurd decisions poor TB has to make in order to try and win games with the deck.

Oh and I guess I'm in this Beta now too.

This post was edited by machvergil on December 17, 2013, 12:25 pm


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#4: 12-17-2013 @ 09:31:17 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6933#6933

DominionDominion

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  • Real Name:Mark
  • Joined:2010-01-22

I know Shieke is thoroughly enjoying it so far. She's pretty hooked. It looks like fun but I'm currently enjoying Solforge so my card game itch has been scratched at the moment. If I got in in some fashion I'd give it a go.


"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock and roll." Shigeru Miyamoto
#5: 12-17-2013 @ 10:04:23 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6934#6934

BountyHunterSAxBountyHunterSAx

  • Real Name:Ahmad Rasheed
  • Joined:2011-06-29

Well -- yeah, a deck made entirely out of legendaries isn't going to be awesome. In much the same way that a glass of mango-peach mio made entirely out of mio is not going to ... to taste as good as... umm..

(damnit, now i want Mio).

But yeah - there was a point in there somewhere. Legendaries are important because they give you options to build superior decks with. Tossing giant piles of legends together - whether done in MTG with mythic rares, Solforge with Legendaries, Hearthstone with . .. yeah, you get the point.



I've got to say the concept of "going infinite" in Arena mode intrigues me. For those unfamiliar, Hearthstone has something similar to the "sealed-booster-draft" format of magic the gathering called "Arena" mode. Here, you pay an entry fee equivalent to 1.5x booster packs (about 7 cards, or 2-3 days worth of farming dailies - - probably takes about 10-20 games total). You enter, then you are offered a choice of 3 cards from the totality of all cards, pick one. This process repeats 30 times till you've made your 30-card deck. It's partially luck driven, but there's a LOT of skill to be found in learning the whole card environment, the meta of the current "top strategies/builds", some semblance of a good "goal decK', what cards are good pieces, what you're trying to balance out, etc. etc.


Anyway, build a deck - then you play against others in the Arena using it. You are allowed to keep playing matches till you lose 3. If you win very few, you'll probably leave with just 1 booster pack as a prize - - a mild loss of gold value overall. If you win 5 matches, you get enough gold and a booster pack to break even. . . or something like that, I dunno. But if you win 7 or more matches - - you get enough cash to pay for your next entry fee. . .


This is what going infinite is all about. Get good enough at the skill game that is competitive deck building, neutralize the advantage of "I've got access to TONS of cards", and win in the arena enough to queue up for it again all without paying a cent. Do it again, do it again. The whole time you're doing it you're getting tons of cards while getting to play with all the cards in a fair PvP game.



But then - SolForge lets you do fair games from the get-go. Against decks you think are interesting and have designed. And without PvPing. Yeah, just sayin'.

-AHMAD


#6: 12-17-2013 @ 10:05:44 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6935#6935

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

It's... interesting...

On the one hand I must conceed that I enjoy Hearthstone more than I thought I would.  It certainly has very good production values for a computer-based "Card game," watching cards fly around and turn into spell effects and shatter and all that is really satisfying. It really helps immerse you into the game that each minion has their own sound effect for coming into play, their own death rattles, etc.  It's one thing to play a Raid Leader, its another thing to hear him yell "HIT IT VERY HARD" every time you attack with it. 

On the other hand the Warcraft motif for it does as much to ruin my enjoyment as it does to promote it.  It's kinda cool that we playing as big figures in Warcraft lore, but I despite a lot of the selections.  Janna and Thrall are obvious picks, Guldan is probably one of the bigger Warlocks in Warcraft history, and I can't think of a better rogue than Valeria since lets be honest there aren't a lot of big rogues in the WoW canon.  That said, I really don't dig on Rexxar at all, I despite Garrosh Hellscream to the point I can't see myself ever even trying to pay Warrior. 

Now while I can can personally nit-pick about how I'd rather play a hunter deck based on Tyrande Wisperwind or Alleria Windrunner all I want, the truth of the matter is basing the decks on specific Warcraft characters instead the classes generically was a dumb, polarizing move IMO.  I would have been FAR more interested in playing just generically a Rogue Deck or a Warrior Deck and had some character customization.  I would have loved FAR MORE to have had Alliance, Horde, Scourge, Burning Legion, Old Gods decks - something more power source/faction based as opposed to the weird idea that basing off of classes.

The other thing that really bugs me about them basing it off of classes is minion selection - pretty much everyone is sharing the same minion pool.  Guldan is just as likly to pull a Stormwind Charger as he is a horde-flavored card.  It detracts from the flavor and character of the decks that the minions are so neutral and shared IMO. 

That said most of these concerns are flavor.  Gameplay wise I don't find the game as much fun to play as SolForge, but I think that's because at the end of the day SolForge is a dumber, more forgiving game.  I really like that Hearthstone uses its automatically escalating system for mana rather than us having to manage land in deck building - this is a very good move IMO.  However, cards still cost mana.  You still only draw 1 card a turn.  As a result, you can still find yourself in situations in Hearthstone where you have an empty hand with no options because you either don't have cards or don't have mana.  SolForge, with its draw a brand new 5 cards every turn, makes me feel this far less often, but in its place it robs the game of the level of patience or strategy that Hearthstone can have.  It's a trade off because in the end I know it makes Hearthstone the better game but it also feels like the less fun game, at least right now.

I will say this - I absolutely love the fact that neither game has instants or interrupts, at least not as they work in Magic.  I think Hearthstone wins out here by still having 'return to hand' or 'polymorph' mechanics to deal with this, where as Solforge is a bit more "Well its on the board so deal with it."

 


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#7: 12-17-2013 @ 12:02:19 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6938#6938

BountyHunterSAxBountyHunterSAx

  • Real Name:Ahmad Rasheed
  • Joined:2011-06-29

If Hearthstone gave F2P cards as fast as Solforge -- even if they required PvP matches instead of allowing vs AI matches -- I think I'd probably be playing a daily in Hearthstone every day.


#8: 12-17-2013 @ 12:34:02 pm
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6941#6941

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

So, just to play devil's advocate for a moment - I am not complaining about the way card hand out works in SolForge.  However I feel I would also in my rights to point out I feel no need to spend money on that game at all other than maybe if I feel charitable.  That's not a particularly solid business model if the guys @ SolForge wanted to keep their lights on.

On the other hand, Hearthstone does put me in the sutation where I have thought "so if I pay these guys $49.99, can I end up with enough cards to just play the game and never worry about doing stuff I don't want to just to unlock things?"  This is of course a pipe dream, but the thought has actually occured to me because I really don't want to level up each deck to 10. 

Hearthstone reminds me of Arena PvP in WoW.  It makes it clear to me that I need to have at least X good of a deck before I can start winning games but then tells me I can't earn the cards I need to get X good of a deck unless I let random internet people wipe the floor with me so many games in a row.  It's like you have to just accept 3 to 4 weeks straight of lossing ten games of arena a week to get enough arena points to start buying enough gear to stop losing games.

Now, I've yet to click Play Mode in the game - I have not been playing that long - so it could be I am projecting anxiety from one Warcraft game to another and Hearthstone's matchmaker actually takes deck into consideration.  I doubt it though.  I imagine this is a Hardocded Starcraft style win/loss ladder where my newb-deck self will have to also fight all the killer well designed decks that are just starting out and I get to be brutalized by them over and over again to get cards.

If giving Blizzard some money to skip that step is a thing I can do, then its tempting.  I'm not sure I feel about spending real money on a beta................


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#9: 12-19-2013 @ 09:03:38 am
Link to this Post: http://www.machvergil.com/gamenight/messages.php?go=6963#6963

MachVergilMachVergil

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  • Real Name:Adam
  • Joined:2010-01-22

Okay so if the AI in this game is stupid, like you say it is Bounty, then I am the worst Hearthstone player in the world.

I started a 'tour of normal decks' with the Priest starter deck.  Standing after nine games?

  • vs Mage - Loss (Obliterated)
  • vs Hunter - Loss (Obliterated)
  • vs Warrior - Win (Close game that turned victorious thanks only to my creature buffs)
  • vs Shaman - Loss (Obliterated)
  • vs Druid - Loss (snatched defeat from the jaws of victory)
  • vs Priest - Loss (got utterly beat down)
  • vs Rogue - Win (like with flying colors at that)
  • vs Paladin - Win (lol 17/3 Gurubashi Berzerker that synergizes with Priest far too well)
  • vs Warlock - Loss (rocked)

9 games later I'm still level 9 out of 10.

Again this is the NORMAL AI, not EXPERT.

I have to admit though, for some reason I deem it unaccptable that I just suck at this because knowing I suck is causing me to keep playing in an effort to not suck.  I don't know how how long I can ride that motivation though.

And for the record, I have't picked a deck to focus on yet.  So far the Mage makes the most sense to me, probably in part because I like Janna Proudmore, she plays kinda like a Blue/Red deck in MTG which is one of my favorite configurations, and because it's the tutorial deck so by default I have more practice with it. 

I think the thing that is particularly agonizing is watching the AI rock me with a deck and then I try using it and I just barely can make it go.  I used to HATE playing against priest when I was trying to level Mage and Pally and as you can see above I'm 3/9 with the damn thing.  Not exactly confidence inspiring.

This post was edited by machvergil on December 19, 2013, 12:22 pm


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