The Grand Tournament: why I hate loving Hearthstone
It's out and my fears have been realized, The Grand Tournament has killed HearthStone for the casual player. I know this statement sounds extremist at first glance, but let me explain my position.
In the past, when HearthStone first came out, the card base everyone used was manageable in numbers and everyone could be competitive. It was possible to counter the cards you didn't have with the ones you did. It didn't matter that you didn't have all the cards
The Adventure Begins
Over time as the single player adventure Naxxramas was released, more cards with unique abilities arrived on scene. Even though these cards had new abilities, they balanced nicely with the other cards and the game wasn't flooded with new cards because Naxxramas added only 30 cards. It was still possible to create winning strategies against these new cards with the older cards.
Let's Get Bigger
On December 8th 2014, five months after the release of Naxxramas, the first expansion to Hearthstone is announced; Goblins vs. Gnomes. This new expansion adds 125 cards to the game.
"New content feels like it's only purpose is to push sales."
The game has been out long enough that the players, who refuse to pay for the game like myself, have had plenty of time to collect many of the original cards and get most of the way through the Naxxramas adventures. So most players have enough cards in their arsenal to deal with this new onslaught of cards. However, with the release of Blackrock Mountain shortly after, the pace at which cards are being added is starting to feel rushed.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for keeping a game feeling fresh and new. There does come a point, however, when new content feels like it's only purpose is to push sales.
"Using dust to make new cards is a loosing proposition because the trade-in value is so poor."
Now before you pounce on me for "Not grasping the basics of F2P," let me point out that up to this point, Blizzard has kept the model balanced relatively well compared to other such games. And I don't mind the Free to Play model. So long as those who choose to spend their time as currency instead of money feel like the time spent has an appropriate value assigned to their time.
However, with the release of 31 Blackrock Mountain cards and the Grand Tournament's 132 cards, I just can't keep up. I'm still collecting Goblins vs. Gnomes and Blackrock Mountain cards. Because of this I don't have the cards necessary to counter many of the new buffed cards. And destroying cards for dust to make new cards is a loosing proposition because the trade in value is so poor.
Blizzard have now left players feeling forced to buy the cards with money or sit seething with frustration because they can't keep up. This in turn has devalued a player's time.
Up to this new expansion, I loved to play Hearthstone. However, because Blizzard has devalued my time, I now hate the futility of the game. I think the only parts of the game left worth playing is the Tavern Brawl and playing against my real life friends.
Thank you Blizzard for killing a great game.