Blizzard Entertainment is one of the world’s leading game development companies with hit series worldwide, such as Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo. Now they’re adding an extension of the Warcraft series after having ruined the Warcraft storyline. The game was in beta for a long time, but has recently been officially released.
For those who don’t know Hearthstone, it’s a card game that is requires massive calculation, as a single turn can decide whether you lose or win a game. There are 9 classes: Warrior, Hunter, Rogue, Warlock, Priest, Druid, Paladin, Shaman, and Mage. Each class has its own respective ability and its own unique set of cards that the player can use in their decks. Along with the unique set of class specific cards, there are also “neutral” cards that can be used in any deck, so it gives players the choice to change things up and create their own strategies. Each deck also has a maximum of 2 of the same card in a deck, and for legendaries only one is allowed. This allows for decks to not be overpowered and balanced.
There are five modes of play in this game. You can play against the AI, friends, unranked ladder, ranked ladder and last but not least – the arena. For competitive players there are only two that would capture interest – arena and the ranked ladder. Ranked ladder allows you to compete your way up to “legendary” status, which is the pinnacle of whichever region you play in. The arena works differently – it allows you to assemble a deck based on random heroes and cards that are drawn for you. There is a 150 gold fee (if you don’t have the gold it’s $1.99) whenever you play the arena, but it allows you to play as many times as you want. The only catch is this: if you lose a total of three times, your run is over and you’ll have to pay another 150 gold or $1.99 to enter the arena again.
In the arena, the deck assembly rules are a little different. First you start off with a choice of 1 out of 3 heroes. Once you’ve chosen the hero you want, three cards are drawn and you’re required to choose one out of the three. This goes on until you have a full deck of 30. Here’s where it gets interesting – you can have as many of the same cards in your deck as you want in this mode. If Innervate is randomly drawn three or four times, you’re able to choose the card to be in your deck three of four times. This allows for plenty of interesting strategies and keeps players on their toes.
Now for the prizes of the arena – the prizes get better each time you win. You will always automatically get a pack of cards even if you don’t win anything. As you win more, you win increased amounts of gold and more packs. For very high skilled players, arena is their method of choice to grind gold and packs, because it’s the free option of getting as much gold and packs as they need.
Unfortunately for most, this is just another P2W (pay-to-win) game. It’s not as bad as F2P MMORPG games that are pay to win, but in order to have the best cards, you need to pay to buy packs. It’s not cheap either, two packs costs $3.99, 7 packs cost $9.99, 15 packs cost $19.99, and 40 packs costs $49.99. Now for some people, the prices may not seem that ridiculous. Here’s the catch – you can’t trade these cards with other players, nor can you straight up buy the cards that are good in almost any deck like Ysera and Alexstrasza. There is a bigger chance to get useless legendary cards than to get the ones that are actually useful. With that being said, if you do have the money to burn or you’re one of those types of players who pay so you can have an advantage, this game should help you even the playing field for you – literally.
The crafting feature of Hearthstone is another way for you to even the playing fields between the spenders and the casual players. The game allows for people to “disenchant” their cards and get dust. Players can use the dust they’ve acquired to enchant (create) other cards. There are two versions of each card – normal and golden. As can be seen above, there is a normal legendary on the left, and a golden legendary on the right. You’re able to see the disenchant difference in case you get more than two of the same card (more than one for legendaries).
Whether you’re new to gaming, a casual gamer, or a highly competitive player – Hearthstone is a great choice. It’s a game that you can play to just pass the time or grind your way up to the legendary ranks. This game has a steep learning curve, as all games that require strategy does. The more you play the better you’ll get at it, and the more you’ll enjoy the game. It’s definitely something different and interesting that Blizzard Entertainment has offered and everyone is playing.
So what are you waiting for? Download it and play today!
About the contributor: Jack Hui is the founder of The International Passion. He is currently studying business at York University. His business interest lie in finance and entrepreneurship. Outside of business, he has a passion for food, wine, and watches. On his free time, he watches TV shows such as Suits, The Blacklist and House of Cards. You can follow him on Twitter at @theoriginaljath