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 27 thoughts on “Hearthstone: Pay to Win
  1. I wouldn’t even call it polished, it’s so stripped down i think calling it polished is an insult to games with actual features in them.

    It feels rushed, which is bizarre for blizzard; While they don’t make good games anymore, they usually don’t feel rushed like this. The music is incredibly boring, the sound effects feel like some pointless attempt to make things seem more interesting and the voice work is truly disgusting.

    I sure can’t wait for riots card game to show us how bad online card games can really get!

  2. Mark Ceb on said:

    Solid as brick house. Good video, Tim.

  3. Rob Welch on said:

    Blizzard probably needed to churn out something simple and low-effort, given that (while they’re not losing money) they’re not making the kind of money they were making on WoW back in the day.

    If you’re interested in a card game that doesn’t suck on PC, I would actually quite recommend Scrolls. The hex grid system reminds me pleasantly of Heroes of Might & Magic, although it’s only similar cosmetically. I don’t know if it’s a play on an existing game or whether it’s something they came up with, but it’s very nice.

    The downside is that I suck at it, and it’s quite pricey.

  4. Bill Hoffman on said:

    Acti-Blizzard is such a shit company. The Squeenix of the west.

  5. Michael Talley on said:

    It’s like they asked themselves “How can we make an even lower-poly game?”

  6. Delio Pera on said:

    300,000 hours is not 125 days. It’s 12,500 days, which is more than 34 years.

  7. jamie kerr on said:

    Y-you’re alive Tim? Good to have you back!

  8. If you want to play a good card game online, check out Android: Netrunner. You can play it on OCTGN. The threads on /tg/ have guides and tons of helpful people.

  9. Oh boy, GYP should take a look at Dungeon Keeper for mobile.

    Apart from being a fucking disgrace (monetizing on a beloved long-dead franchise simply because they can suddenly leverage the new War For The Overworld kickstarter), it’s loaded with a fuckton of microtransactions, accompanying completely and utterly broken game progression system (so you have to pay good actual money to break a few blocks). It’s a lesson in to alienate the previous fanbase and fill them with contempt and anger while simultaneously make it entirely unappealing to newcomers.

    I swear EA is one of the worst companies in the business, if ONLY for sitting on old franchises and not letting them see the light of day again, and occasionally bring one of them out just to RAPE ITS CORPSE for what they think would be a good buck. Somebody kill them already.

  10. Patrick on said:

    It was pretty enchanting for about 3-4 hours just based on polish alone, but any point beyond that is rather shithouse. The game falls apart at the seam all too quickly.

  11. Freakydemon on said:

    Only Activision-Blizzard would stoop so low to make a TCG without the trading component and get away with it.

  12. you could have atleast mentioned that in the arena mode of hearthstone everyone builds a deck out of random cards and therefore no one gains an advantage for spending more money

  13. Richie King on said:

    I can understand why Blizzard don’t want to include trading, after the whole AH debacle in Diablo 3. As disappointing as that is, I’ve been having a blast playing non stop in open beta. I’ve yet to regularly encounter legendaries or any P2W element because I’m not highly ranked enough.

  14. Everdark on said:

    While I dislike the aspect of paying for an advantage or the ability to make more varied decks, what I most dislike about Hearthstone is the same thing I dislike about most TCGs. The game feels like 95% of the game is in building the deck and the amount of control you can actually have during the player versus player whether you win or not feels minimal. I might be wrong but for a TCG amateur like me it feels like you’re playing chess except you are planning all your moves before the actual game and whether you win or not during the player versus player portion is up to rock-paper-scissors and slight RNG.

    • Amer Hmaidan on said:

      You are oversimplifying it a bit. While hearthstone is probably a bad example, Magic: The Gathering is a much better TCG (and has a great steam game based on it). You can plan all your moves beforehand, and then when your opponent pulls a card you didn’t account for the entire plan is jeopardized. In a well balanced TCG it’s less about specific plays (especially since you don’t know what order you’ll get your cards in), and more about flexibility. This is especially true since it’s practically guaranteed that you won’t be using the same deck. Now, there are some problems with RNG (a bad starting hand can really cripple you), but since you can control your deck you can help limit this. There’s a reason why it’s suggest that one third of your entire deck is just land cards. You probably won’t need them all at once, but you’ll need some of them, and you’ll want the odds in your favor.

      Think of it more like picking your units before a fight in an RTS game, which is what Close Combat III allowed for.

      To quote Arthur Wellesley, the First Duke of Wellington: “They planned their campaigns just as you might make a splendid piece of harness. It looks very well; and answers very well; until it gets broken; and then you are done for. Now I made my campaigns of ropes. If anything went wrong, I tied a knot; and went on.”

      • He is still right thought. All which you have described is about the deck-building. You have to build your deck to be flexible or do this and that. Theres little strategy in the moment-to-moment gameplay in either MTG or other similar games like it.

        Simply the RNG needs to be controlled and the control comes in with deck-building and probability theorycraft. Certainly this can be appealing to certain people, but incredibly discouraging to others.

        Take this in combination with tourney rules which restrict your alt-decks and your pre-game phase is incredibly more important than the actual match. MTG especially is a game about pre-game not actually the match itself, which is also its weakness because once you enter tourney territory the decks become largely homogeneous.

        • Everdark on said:

          Indeed what I meant was that the actual control over the way the match goes during the game is already mostly predetermined when you made your deck and the ways you can affect how your match against another player goes is quite minimal compared to making the optimal deck.

          For example in Hearthstone no matter how shit a player you are, if you pick one of the top meta decks like freeze deck mage (not sure if it’s as strong anymore) you’ll have extremely high win chances and most of it comes from the deck you made before the match, not by the clever moves and tactics you used DURING the game. I simply don’t like the fact that pregame is a major determinator on your chance to win, not the actual actions during the match. I hope you understood what I meant, I’m an absolute shit at explaining this.

          tl;dr
          Some people like winning majority of their games just by making/copying a strong deck, I’m not one of them. If I win, I want it to be because I made good moves, if I lose I want it to be because I played dumb.

        • You guys should have a look at Netrunner. A lot of people compare it to poker, since having a good hand (or deck) makes things easy but *how* you play your hand is the other 50%. It’s really the greatest deck building game right now.

  15. RevDoktorV on said:

    Netrunner isn’t a trading card game, because everyone gets access to the same pool of cards. I call these ‘self-contained card games,’ though there may be a better phrase for it. Armageddon Empires by Cryptic Comet is a very good self-contained card game / war game – you build your potential army as a deck and then draw cards to deploy on the war board, it’s very interesting. Multiplayer for it is pretty much play-by-email only, but the AI is very good, or at least it struck me as being good.

  16. Ron Flabbergast on said:

    According to this article, my riend is a Bona Fide time traveller, because he got all the cards in 4 months, and never spent a penny on the game.

    Ha! Knew time travel was possible.

    I thank this unbiased review for shedding light on it!

  17. Slabbert on said:

    Git gud, scrub.

  18. Test-Object on said:

    I feel as if you are being rather unfair against this game. You are basically criticizing the “Pay to Win model” as a whole (which is fair) but on one specific CCG, when it’s nearly inherent to the genre. You barely talk about the actual game, which make your arguments extremely wonky. Context is your friend.

    Do your maths, for example, take Card Dust into account? How about the fact that you get matched up with people of your skill level/time played? The game’s mechanics are all in process of becoming more and more balanced as the beta comes to an end and you didn’t even mention how dreadful some of the Legendary cards are. They really boil down to fancy effects just like DOTA 2.

    I will not claim I’m more comfortable with the card-gaming community, but it seems you talk about the game as if it’s Candy Crush. Blizzard may have done bad stuff in the past, but making a F2P game that occasionally gives you an edge by paying with actual cash is not a particularly evil deed for a big company with employees.

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