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Hearthstone – an addictive game even for non-TCG Players

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I have never played a single TCG or CCG in my whole life — and I am age 40. Not that this point of reference means much considering Magic: The Gathering debuted in 1993 — when I was in my early twenty’s. Back in the day, in the 80s people used to collect Baseball cards — I didn’t even collect those. So, you can’t have me more noobish than that.

When Blizzard Entertainment announced Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft at PAX East 2013, I was sincerely disappointed. A card game? For real? I wanted a StarCraft game announcement (cough, StarCraft: Ghost) or something “StarCraft-ish” considering all that Project Blackstone hype (which I loved broadly).

A card game. I’ll be honest. I never played a card game before and I was not very interested. However, it is a Blizzard game. I’d not be a true fan if I don’t give it at least a try (I thought to myself). I am going to be blunt here. I’m TOTALLY addicted to Hearthstone. I haven’t played World of Warcraft in nigh two weeks. I haven’t even played the PTR 5.4 (I’m really sorry for not showing some videos and updates on that). I have to blame Hearthstone — err, and of course, like a mature man I have to also admit a tiny bit of blame for not prioritizing responsibilities.

The very first day I got access to Hearthstone beta, I just couldn’t drop the game. I played twelve ours straight. I lost so many times because I didn’t know how to build my deck, and still don’t. Make no mistake — I won a few by sheer luck and how easy this game is to learn. It is a math game at the core. Some spells and minions have special abilities. There comes your RTS core knowledge: Strategy. So it’s a math + strategy gameplay. Wait … add LOADS of fun in that equation, too.

The graphical, animation and voice over elements provide another layer of fun and learning curve in some cases. The game tells you when you can’t attack a unit because either you need to attack the tank, or because that unit has stealth.

Every time you play a card, it will trigger a unique voice over.

I do have a short list of rants. The game still needs some refinement in terms of automated responses — like “you can’t buff that unit”. You would be surprised how many times I have applied a buff on a unit that can’t attack the enemy in the current round. A buff gone to waste. Or spells (on the weapon slot) going off when I release the button, when I meant to instead use another card.

It is beta, anyway. Things may change, and get better through several iterative phases.

I am not sure how I am going to manage my daily time with World of Warcraft, and Blizzplanet’s news once Hearthstone comes out. I was hoping to play some Diablo III to catch up. So far, I have won 80 games and I don’t even want to know how many times I lost. If I lost in a 1:1 ratio, that’s 160 games. But reality is it may be much more than that. I have to admit — I need to visit the Hearthstone-a-olic Anon. I do have a problem. I just can’t take off my mind that One Star Gold Medal luring me to level it up to eventually reach Master League.

Note: I hope you are one of the loyal visitors of Blizzplanet who pays a visit everyday — because [very soon] you might be kicking my Gelbin Mekkatorque’s behind in beta. Hint-hint!

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At least, when beta ends I will take with me one special memento that will hopefully lay siege to a few noobs and veterans out there.

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Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003 posting news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Next-Gen MMO, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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