So, I’m in the Hearthstone Beta, and I’m enjoying it a great deal. I haven’t got the strategy down yet and my cousin Kyle is beating me about eighty percent of the time when we play against each other, but it is still a great game.
For those that don’t know, Hearthstone is a World of Warcraft digital card game by Blizzard. You play as one of nine archetypes, and my favourite currently is the Shaman.
You start with one mana crystal. Each card played costs a mana value. Cards are broken down into minions, abilities/spells and weapons. Minions are creatures that fight for you, and they have an attack value and health number. Abilities/Spells are cards that do things but don’t put a minion on the board, such as a lightning bolt. Weapons are tools for your avatar/character to use. Each turn, you gain one mana crystal to spend until you reach an upper limit of ten crystals.
The depth of the game comes from the hundreds of cards that already exists, the secondary abilities of minions, and the limitation of spending power each player has in a turn.
I think some cards need some re-balancing, and last night while playing, we came across one that is getting a re-balance: Mind Control. For eight mana, you can take over any of your opponents characters on the field. If you have buffed up your character, this can be devastating. Some other cards that I think need re-balancing are ones related to killing an enemy minion for 3 or 5 mana. I think they are too cheap for what they do, but that’s just me, and I lose the game a lot.
Hearthstone is going to be a free-to-play game with payments for random packs of cards, and buying into the arena.
The arena is where you play other players and really show off your skill. When you start, you are presented with three random characters and you must select one. Then you are shown three cards, and you must select one. The random cards are shown until you’ve selected a deck of thirty and then begin to play other players that have done the same. It costs an in game currency of gold to enter the arena. You can earn gold, cards, and more by winning in the arena. They’ve said that the quest system will help you earn enough gold to continue to play in the arena, but I am not sure if that is the case yet.
Overall, I really enjoy the game, and I’m looking to see how it evolves over time. It should go into open beta around the middle of December and final release sometime around Christmas or early in the new year.