I got my hands on a Hearthstone Beta Key some time back, much to my immense excitement. Weeks spent watching TotalBiscuit, and to a lesser degree the Yogscast, play Hearthstone Arena for hours on end every day had left me to a point of excitement about the game best described as “manic.” I was watching Twitter for Blizzard’s announcements regarding beta key waves and refreshed my ancient hotmail account about two hundred times a day hoping that it had come, and when it did my heart nearly exploded.
Why the excitement?
I’ve always been a CCG guy, unfortunately I’ve also never been in a state financially to keep up with CCG’s in any kind of serious way. Hearthstone, for me, is the opportunity to play a CCG that is simple, dynamic, complex at its higher levels, and just all around a pleasant and fun time.
It had the advantage of being a familiar world, and in fact brought me back into playing World of Warcraft, though sparsely, just out of nostalgia for the world I grew to love back in the old Warcraft RTS days. It has that Warcraft feel to it, but without taking itself seriously; Hearthstone is just plain, silly fun, but with a solid core and a competitive foundation.
What seems like an in the bag round can take a bad turn quick
Nothing is perfect, obviously.
If there was a single glaring issue with the game as it is (that hasn’t been addressed as a future fix by Blizzard over BlizzCon,) is a lack of real reward for playing with friends. Many of my old friends got their keys shortly after me, and we have fun playing together but the complete lack of rewards outside of Hero experience, which means very little beyond level 10, means that always itching at the back of my mind is the fact that I’m not progressing towards getting another pack, or getting the gold for an Arena run.
I’m having fun with my friends, but that nagging, competitive style gamer in me won’t let it go.
Say anything about this game… it’s definitely Warcraft
That said, the game as a whole is fantastic.
I’ve spent many hours playing it already, and put a few dollars into supporting the endeavor and getting a few cards for it. There’s no pay to win, Blizzard was clever enough to make sure that spending money generally just gets you either another attempt at the draft-style Arena mode or packs of a random assortment of five cards. Even if you put so much money in that you’ve got a dozen Legendaries, those Legendaries won’t win you games, many of them are shut down by single, basic cards available to any class. This keeps the game strategic, interesting, and definitely a viable candidate for future E-Sports, especially if the tournament hosted by Blizzard at BlizzCon is anything to go by. I, for one, am very excited to see where Hearthstone goes and how it’s going to fit into the future of E-Sports.
Follow my twitter @AtelusGamer, or check out my youtube channel, AtelusGamer, for more fun and entertaining videos of Hearthstone and a variety of other games.
Review – Hearthstone: Revenge of Warcraft
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is Blizzard's new CCG based on their highly popular Warcraft universe. Today I talk a bit about what the game is in a general sense, and muse a bit on its possible future as an E-Sport.What Our Ratings Mean