Winning Isn’t Enough?

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Blizzard Entertainment, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

There’s a topic in the Hearthstone subreddit that really irks me – Should the players that win the maximum number of times in the Arena get some sort of additional reward because they did so?

The suggested reward is tame enough to merit discussion as the absence of gold cards in the Arena seems like an oversight or planned purchasable option later but the origin of the suggestion is entirely offensive. Since when is winning not enough? 12 wins already awards the most gold, has the highest chance for an additional card pack or golden card, and gives the least dust. Is winning the highest possible number of matches already so pedestrian that another reward is needed?

Again, the idea of getting gold cards from an Arena run isn’t a bad idea. I’d still prefer that golden cards in the Arena simply stem from your collection – if you have a golden version of the card you drafted, you can use it. Maybe a checkbox or an icon that toggles available golden cards for the Arena deck or on an individual basis would work. If selecting a card from the Arena deck is way the wind wants to blow, however, let everyone who drafts make such a selection after the deck has been made, or maybe as it’s being drafted. Other than the experience and knowledge, previous Arena runs don’t matter in the system. There’s no rank structure, no identifier of merit or proficiency aside from forum fame and stream success. Keep it that way.

Speaking of the Arena, there’s another Arena tier list for drafting out. Made by reddit user AntiGrav1ty, the list ranks class cards as well as commons, and is organized around the classes themselves. It’s fairly comprehensive and definitely worth a gander. However, it is just a list and doesn’t have the commentary something like Trump’s card ranking does. Regardless, the tiers are useful. Maybe with some bugging and general encouragement the author(s) can provide some insight onto why some cards are ranked the way they are.

Hearthstone Test Season 2 Begins January 2

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Community Manager Keganbe reported Hearthstone Test Season 1 ladder will be reset on January 2. Test Season 2 will begin after maintenance that day.
Thank you for helping us test our very first Ranked Play season! This season is intended to conclude on January 2nd, so be sure to wrap up your climb up the ladder before that date. Once the season is over, everyone’s ranking will be reset back to Rank 25, and Test Season 2 will begin!
During the course of this first test season we’ve gotten some very valuable feedback and data from you regarding the new Ranked Play …read more

Patches, Delays, and Legends

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Activision Blizzard, Blizzard Entertainment, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Another Hearthstone patch hit a few days ago, guided by development lasers focused entirely on Jaina and her delay tactics. The changes are simple, a delay on the delay – Cone of Cold, Frost Nova, and Blizzard all had their costs increased by 1. A bit more room to maneuver against the inevitable Pyroblast.

And Open Beta is delayed until January 2014. Everyone who opted in the closed before December 16th should be playing and complaining about decks with six legendaries stuffed inside. The closed beta opt ins close January 7th, open beta should follow soon after. The major delays have come from the nitty gritty stuff – server infrastructure and hardware. Settling up the servers, databases and hardware takes time and planning. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. Be patient and Hearthstone will be out sooner than you expect.

More top ranked players, too. There’s been some fluctuation and rank swapping with the new round. A few of them have streams, too, so watching and learning from the best is a possible path to success. They lack the sheer numbers of Trump, Kripp, Hafu, and the other big name players so they’re more able to answer questions and interact with the audiences. No disrespect intended to the celebrities but the reward of fame is also its price. Consider spreading the Twitch.tv love around. I’m considering starting a channel for myself and give you fellow card slingers another way to waste time.

I also got my first 9 win arena streak the day before the 12 win cap was released. As much as I dislike Garrosh, the warrior and I seem to speak the same language. Rushes, injuries, weapons, sacrifices. Thrall and I don’t, despite my desperate attempts to make it work. Maybe I’m more Warsong than Frostwolf. Regardless, I know I hate Anduin.

See you in game!

Hearthstone Beta – Open Beta Update

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

An Update on Open Beta from Hearthstone’s Production Director, Jason Chayes Source

We hope you’ve been having fun testing out the latest beta patch for Hearthstone—this update brought with it a bunch of bug fixes, some card changes, and the new Ranked Play system. Some of these updates were significant code changes, so we expect that some things will break, and we will also need your help to identify what’s still in need of fine-tuning. One other thing to mention is that we’ve been making great progress on improving server stability, but there are still a few things that have come …read more

Hearthstone Beta – Updated Expert Cards – Disenchanting Timeframe

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

We’ve made some changes to certain Expert cards recently, and the amount of dust you get from disenchanting them is temporarily increased so it is equal to the amount of dust originally needed to craft them.
The following cards will be disenchantable for their full value until 1/2/2014:
Unleash the Hounds (Value: 40 / 400 Arcane Dust)
Flame Imp (Value: 40 / 400 Arcane Dust)
Argent Commander (Value: 100 / 800 Arcane Dust)
Cone of Cold (Value: 40 / 400 Arcane Dust)
Blizzard (Value: 100 / 800 Arcane Dust)
Zeriyah Source …read more

Hearthstone Beta – Patch Notes – 1.0.0.4243

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

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In this Hearthstone patch, we fixed an issue where players were unable to re-enter the Arena if the client was closed before they claimed their Arena rewards. While we’re patching, we’ve also decided to take this opportunity to make a couple changes to certain cards that utilize the Freeze mechanic. Check out the detailed patch notes below! Source

General

  • Certain Expert cards have been changed and the amount of dust that you get from disenchanting these cards have been temporarily increased such that it is equal to the amount of dust that it would have originally cost to craft those cards. …read more

Hearthstone Closed Beta: Upcoming Changes – 12/9/13

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

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Community Manager Aratil revealed details of the upcoming changes in Hearthstone closed beta. Most important one is that gold will be capped to 100 per day in Play Mode, and six cards’ stats have been changed.

As we move further into the closed beta, we’re continuing to closely monitor card balance …read more

Source: Blizzplanet Hearthstone

    

Hearthstone Closed Beta: Upcoming Changes – 12/9/13

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Community Manager Aratil revealed details of the upcoming changes in Hearthstone closed beta. Most important one is that gold will be capped to 100 per day in Play Mode, and six cards’ stats have been changed.

As we move further into the closed beta, we’re continuing to closely monitor card balance as more and more Hearthstone games are played. We also want to ensure that cards acquired in Hearthstone are done fairly through our various game modes.

The amount of gold gained by winning games in Play mode per day will be capped at 100 in the upcoming patch. This cap does not affect gold gained through Quests, Arena, or Achievements. There will be an indication within the game when this gold cap is reached. This cap is intended to combat certain methods of gold acquisition that violate our Terms of Service. The spirit of fair play is extremely important to us, and we will continue to monitor gold acquisition activity closely to ensure a fun and enjoyable game environment for everyone.

In regards to card balance, there are a few cards we’ve noticed that have sprung up that warrant some tuning, and we’ll be making these changes in the next patch. Our goal is to change as few cards as possible over the course of time, but we felt the need to address these six cards in particular. The cards are: Shattered Sun Cleric, Flame Imp and Argent Commander. These cards will be adjusted along with the other cards we mentioned at BlizzCon: Mind Control, Starving Buzzard and Unleash the Hounds. — source

 

Shattered Sun Cleric is now a 3/2 (was a 3/3)

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Argent Commander is now a 4/2 (was a 4/3)

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These cards are quite good for their cost, and they currently feel to be slightly above the curve in power compared to cards of a similar cost and type. Players end up choosing these cards for their deck much more often than other cards at the same mana cost. We want to increase the variety of cards being played at 3 and 6 mana.

 

Upcoming Patch

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Blizzard Entertainment, Blizzard Products News, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Another patch coming for Hearthstone, another round of card changes and adjustments.

As we move further into the closed beta, we’re continuing to closely monitor card balance as more and more Hearthstone games are played. We also want to ensure that cards acquired in Hearthstone are done fairly through our various game modes.

The amount of gold gained by winning games in Play mode per day will be capped at 100 in the upcoming patch. This cap does not affect gold gained through Quests, Arena, or Achievements. There will be an indication within the game when this gold cap is reached. This cap is intended to combat certain methods of gold acquisition that violate our Terms of Service. The spirit of fair play is extremely important to us, and we will continue to monitor gold acquisition activity closely to ensure a fun and enjoyable game environment for everyone.

In regards to card balance, there are a few cards we’ve noticed that have sprung up that warrant some tuning, and we’ll be making these changes in the next patch. Our goal is to change as few cards as possible over the course of time, but we felt the need to address these six cards in particular. The cards are:Shattered Sun Cleric, Flame Imp and Argent Commander. These cards will be adjusted along with the other cards we mentioned at BlizzCon: Mind Control, Starving Buzzard and Unleash the Hounds.

Shattered Sun Cleric is now a 3/2 (was a 3/3)

Argent Commander is now a 4/2 (was a 4/3)

  • These cards are quite good for their cost, and they currently feel to be slightly above the curve in power compared to cards of a similar cost and type. Players end up choosing these cards for their deck much more often than other cards at the same mana cost. We want to increase the variety of cards being played at 3 and 6 mana.

Flame Imp’s Battlecry now deals 3 damage (up from 2)

  • Warlocks have a very strong early game, and this small change to Flame Imp should help a small amount. There are other cards that help the Warlock maintain early board advantage, and we’re keeping a close eye on those as time goes on.

Mind Control’s mana cost is now 10 (up from 8)

  • Mind Control has some pretty accurate flavor text … perhaps a little too accurate. Raising the mana cost will allow players to have a couple more turns to play with their big minions.

Starving Buzzard is now a 2/1 (was a 2/2)

  • At some ranks, Hunter was a bit strong versus Druids, Mages and Rogues. This change to Starving Buzzard will help even the playing field against those classes in particular.

Unleash the Hounds has been reworked and now reads: “(4) For each enemy minion, summon a 1/1 Hound with Charge”.

  • The old version of Unleash the Hounds was allowing for Hunters to win in a single turn, starting with no minions on the board. The new version adds some fun, new card combos to Hunters and helps with their ability to AoE.

We hope these changes will increase your versatility and creativity in making card choices for your decks, and helps to make Hearthstone a more fun game for all to enjoy.

 

The main changes I’m concerned with are the hits to SSC and AC. SSC is powerful for a 3 cost minion, even for a 4 cost minion. As sad as I am about it, dropping her health by 1 is probably the best move. Likewise for the Commander. He’s still almost a guaranteed 2 for 1 trade, the opponent just has more options to trade with him. I don’t Gul’dan much, or against him often, so the change to Flame Imp is one I’m more curious about than wary of. I feel sorry for Starving Buzzard – another target for Jaina to plink away. Unleash the Hounds might be more balanced, it might also be useless. I’d rather it summon a set number of hounds every time than a number that may or may not be useful depending on my opponent’s board size. A bunch of 1/1s with charge probably won’t save me if I get to summon them.

I celebrate the MC change. MC should be a dramatic game changer but it’s often so deflating, morale wise, that continuing past that point feels more fruitless than it might be. Flamestrike can wipe your entire board but it doesn’t hurt as much as MC.

As far as the gold cap, I don’t play 30+ games a day. Those that do are probably machines or machine like. You can still earn full gold from quests, achievements, and whatever so no worries there.

And no wipe! Grommash Hellscream stays in my library!

A Mildly Triumphant Return

Written by Travis Morrow on . Posted in Blizzard Entertainment, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

I took a break from Hearthstone after BlizzCon. The announcements were announced, a bit of the next patch was discussed, but I mostly came away with an anticipatory feeling. My curiosity about the game’s future was stoked, my enthusiasm for its current form was still waning. So, a break. It ended up being much longer than I intended – the flu will do that – but after sometime languishing in bed and stuffing myself full of dense Thanksgiving goodies, I returned to the kinetic world of Hearthstone anew.

With no patch during my leave, little has changed mechanically about the game. There have been a few fun streams to watch, some good discussions to be had, but Hearthstone is Hearthstone. That makes sense – the game is still in beta, it’s still a growing community, and it has only one card set.

That’s the main thing to follow: one card set. The mechanics of Hearthstone aren’t as complex as, say, Dota 2. Valve kept that game in beta for years because each hero is so intricate and tweaking each hero’s abilities gives new metagame potential, team fight strategies, and lane tactics. Adding new heroes is akin to reshuffling the entire game.

Hearthstone is reaching a stable point. A basic metagame has formed for both Arena and Play and there are specific cards everyone uses, almost regardless of deck style. This isn’t a bad thing. Quite the contrary, it’s a good thing. The more stable the game becomes, the closer it will be to an official release. The Hearthstone team has some idea of what they want Hearthstone to look like when it launches and, given all the data they collect, they must have a good idea how to get there.

So my return to Hearthstone wasn’t a resigned one. Not much has changed, sure, but it’s a solid game I still enjoy. It’s a bit steadier, a bit more predictable (aside from those infuriating top decks), and rewarding skilled play with more regularity. Decks are easier to design and anticipate. My first arena run back in the saddle went 7-3 and I was feverish and exhausted with the flu. Maybe I’m getting better, or maybe the game is reaching a point I understand more. Is there a difference?

As it stabilizes, expect the designers to throw curve balls to keep the game fresh. The first is a patch followed by the open beta. A retooling of a few cards and a swarm of new players will boost activity in the game. After that, I imagine the first card expansion will be along shortly. I hope the card expansions come a little quicker than the other Blizzard IP expansions – 2 years is a long time to wait.

Forbes Proclaims Hearthstone the # 1 Best Digital Card Game of 2013

Written by Medievaldragon on . Posted in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Forbes has positioned Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft as the # 1 Best Digital Card Game Of 2013 toppling other card games in the same DCG genre including Magic: The Gathering Online (which reached # 2).

Blizzard’s arrival in the digital card game space? Nuclear launch detected.

Met with a rather lukewarm reception at the PAX East 2013 reveal “What? They’re making a free-to-play card game?” Hearthstone appeared to be a reasonable casual title for World of Warcraft fans and players looking to learn a simplified CCG. What it’s actually shown itself to be is an engaging CCG on multiple levels, one that will likely have considerable impact on the DCG genre. — read more

 

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