We discussed and dragged out every single bad thing about this game, went on and on about how it could improve, and made theories about the possible legitimacy of developers' birth.
Now it is time to do the opposite, we will discuss why hearthstone has managed to become the most dominant online CCG, and why it will stay as such for a long, long, long time. The legitimacy of developers' birth, notwithstanding.
So come forth, children, and discuss what makes hearthstone great for you. Is it the rng? the casual vibe? the art? the masterfully deceptive 'depth'? The animation? the voice acting? Don't hold back.
It's surprisingly hard to get a CCG to the stage where every deck isn't just a midrange curve deck and actually has a gameplan, and thus a meta game can exist. Hearthstone has managed to do this, unlike any other card games I've tried, although I do have to admit that might be because I didn't play them very much and there's never any meta on the new player level.
Hearthstone's really easy to learn. Anybody can figure it out with just the tutorial and a few PvP matches. We as a community often complain that Hearthstone is autopilot with netdecks and no-skill and things like that, but this isn't strictly true, as can be seen from how many bad players are actually out there. To a good player, the game seems easier than it is, and there's more skill than we sometimes give it credit for. Hearthstone's still at a lower skill level than some other CCGs like Magic The Gathering or Netrunner, but it's not as low as some others, either.
Hearthstone has a lot of fun mechanics. While we can certainly go into some of the frustrating and annoying cards to play against (Patches, Shadowreaper Anduin, Jade Idol, etc), that's not the point of this thread. For every Patches, there's a Nexus Champion Saraad or a Prince Malchezaar or a Dinomancy or Renounce Darkness or Thoughtsteal or Jaraxxus or Marin the Fox or Medivh the Guardian... you get the idea. Cards that cause the same deck to play differently every game are really fun, or cards that just warp what a class normally does, leading to some very interesting game states. The best games are when both players are doing this, and if more people built their own good and fun decks, rather than copypasted the same few netdecks, we'd have a much better community as a whole.
Hearthstone is free to play. You can pay to avoid the gold grind, sure, but a competent player can get by without buying anything at all if they want to. It gives away just enough in terms of daily quests, newbie gold achievements, arena rewards, and random freebies (frost week, free packs on expansions, etc) to be generous without giving the game away. (Contrast something like Gwent, for instance, where, frankly, they give away too much free stuff; I have no clue why anybody spends any money on that game. It's a good game, too, but it's incredibly easy to acquire and keep up with all the cards you need to build any deck)
We won't know for a few more days, but I suspect the Dungeon Run mode is going to be amazing. Even if it's just meh, it's still a new concept that I can't recall seeing in any other CCG.
As an old MTG player i think Hearthstone does a lot of thing right; most of them things that the community does not understand.
First of all the game is at a good economical level with a variation of deck types playable and very few overpowered legendaries. Arena even makes it possible for f2p players to get a huge collection, something you should not expect in a serious card game. Personally i think that both risk and reward of arena should be reduced, but thats their call. Furthermore the game is profitable for Blizzard since they motivate people to spend money, this results in Blizzard creating more and better content. If SC2 had started creating additional content like HS, SC2 would probably not be in the bad shape it is in (they should also not have listen so much to their community). People should not be able to own all cards, and the cards received should be treasured.
They respect old cards creating a fun and viable environment for them in wild. Even though a lot of people don't play wild, and i was negative to the change originally, i think the rotation mechanism is a lot better than banning and/or constant power creep which is used to make new cards necessary in some card games. GvG and naxx cards are still considered strong and viable in a lot of settings, even though their two rotations ago.
Creating fun and rich single player content through nice adventure modes, and also now the dungeon run.
The game in most cases has beautiful art, great while simple music, a good thematic feel for sets and a lot of backstory because of WC1-3 and WoW.
Simple and easy to learn mechanics. MTG in extremely complicated, and while this rewards skill to a greater extent, it makes the game less playable for normal people and sets the skill cap for beginners much higer. There is a reason that most people find poker funnier then chess. MGT isn't exactly chess though...:)
They release cards in a broader sense even though the community over-focuses on viability at a singular meta state. A lot of cards that people think are going to be bad end up being top tier after; deck innovation, meta settles, or in a future expansion. Prince Keleseth was qq'ed about to huge error. Some cards like quests or even dks, will change a lot in viability depending on the other cards available. The same could even be said about hated cards like To My Side, 2x Animal Companion is not just ok, its pretty strong, and should not be compare to highmane if you are building a spell deck either way.
They know that communities don't make good games, talent does. While community opinions should be analysed, they should only very rarely be respected regarding game design. People will always complain and blame game mechanics when things don't go their way. Companies who let the customers design the products usually do very badly, same should probably apply for game design.
It’s just the look and feel of the game. It looks great and feels simple and fun to play. I also like the Warcraft universe flavor. The only other card game I’ve been able to play even a little bit is the Elder Scrolls one, because I also love those games. But any other card game it’s just hard to get into because they’re not as immediately accessible as they don’t look as great and don’t have recognizable characters and themes.
1. Really easy to understand every card and the meta. Playing for only a couple hours a new player may get to know almost every mechanic. Even some really important ones such as the order in which effects triggers and how certain cards interact, for example, how Mirror Entity interacts with Potion of Polymorph. How Spell Damage works with Greater Arcane Missiles. How Aldor Peacekeeper changes the attack of minions next to a Flametongue Totem. Can the Lifesteal Frost Lich Jaina gives your Elementals be silenced? How the hell does Crystal Core affects minions? Maybe the latter requires more than a couple hours to understand. But, overall, Hearthstone is really easy to get into, to learn.
2. You can play it while doing other shit. I can play my turn, swap taps, do something else until I see the icon getting orange on the windows bar. That's what pushed me away from The Elder Scrolls: Legends even though I am a huge fan of The Elder Scrolls and know near to nothing about WoW's lore. It's great to play HS while watching Netflix, Twitch whatever...
I've always been a fan of the cards that create other cards. Imagine if Hearthstone was a physical card game and you ran Leeroy Jenkins. If you had a side deck that contained two whelp tokens (and only two) it would let your opponent know you're running Leeroy. I also enjoy the idea behind Elise Starseeker, shuffling a fresh pack of cards into your deck. How would that work in real life? You'd have to be playing at a game store with your credit card ready. I wish that Team 5 would use the virtual medium to produce more cool effects instead of just an RNG clown fiesta, but the cards that do are pretty cool.
In my opinion the perfectly balance between a profitable game but don't turn into a pay-for-win, with a little of dedication you can play competitive wthout spend a lot of money in the game, when you think about is something very hard to do.
Hearthstone does ALOT of things right. That's why it's so frustrating that the dev team is famously slow to implement new features/balance patches/fresh mechanics/ladder changes. People love this game. You don't come here day in and day out if you're indifferent or if you hate it. Frustration always stems from appreciation of something. It's just how the world works mate.
The interface in game is great. Its really easy to understand what you can do and what's going on in the game, just by looking at it, to the point where people watching the game can figure out what's happening pretty easily. Its a very easy to pick up for the first time, while the depth in deckbuilding would feel a lot more complex if we didn't have a million different people testing decks and keeping track of which decks win more.
Trying to create your own deck from scratch that works well enough to be competitive is actually pretty challenging, despite hs being easy to pick up and learn.
Some things I think Hearthstone gets reasonably well:
-Despite what many people say, I do think they make quite a bit of effort at communicating with the community. You certainly won't get people from companies like Konami, EA, Ubisoft, Valve etc replying to community reddit threads. Whether they put the info obtained from the aforementioned communication to good use is a different story, but at least you feel like they are trying.
-It is one of the few games that manages to implement a balanced microtransaction model. If you choose to play the game without spending money, but are willing to put in some effort at getting your stuff, the game is perfectly enjoyable that way. If you do buy stuff with money, you still get to save a reasonable amount of time collecting cards, and you get to have a golden collection of cards to show off.
-Expansions are very common, meaning the game never feels old for very long. Although you could argue that they are a must, as a game of this nature would quickly stagnate otherwise.
-The game always had this "lighthearted" theme to it. I don't really know how to explain it, but when I play Hearthstone I actually do feel like I'm playing a card game with someone else in a old shack by the fireplace, which is what the game is supposed to feel like.
There are others of course, but these are the ones that come to mind right now.
Very fun amatur rank (15ish) where custom decks work and are fun to make. Like Yugioh when we were kids making our own decks.
Beautiful artworks and golden. Keeps improving every expansion.
A lot of free content like adventures. Great for kids without a dime to their name. And fun for everyone to try out.
RNG Swings: While some people hate it, it does make you feel like you have a chance every game. And every match feels different. For example, I lost to a tempo rouge who played a 14/14 Vancleef on turn 2. I doubt people win games like that very often. Cards like yogg can be fun too.
Mobile Platform: Took them a few years to build it, but it works very well considering the code is somewhat complex. Surprisingly few bugs.
Tavern Brawl: When the game is stale, a good tavern brawl makes things fresh. Fun to build brawl decks, and unused card suddenly become useful.
I was a League of Legends freak for a few years until I realised after studying that it consumes too much time to keep up with high level players. As I still like gaming a lot at my grandpa age of 29 I had to find a less addictive and time consuming game.
Here I am playing a "chilren's card" game with some highly appealing sides to it: - not a lot of time to play for a bit because of work or holidays? -> no prob, new season's every month - some more spare hours -> possible to reach legend once in a while at sometimes far less than 50h play time in a month (incredible!) - just some relaxing games -> play three games in less than half an hour (woah!) - despite to all the complaints HS still has a decent skill level involved: when I see friends below rank 5 play, they make tons of mistakes and don't even see it (I played MtG for quite a few years in my youth and went to tournaments, so I understand something about TCG skills)