Hearthstone is Not Magic, But I Love It All the Same

Hearthstone is Not Magic, But I Love It All the Same

Just because Hearthstone is easy to learn and play, doesn't make it any less enjoyable an experience than its more complicated counterpart.

Read Full Article

What amazes me about Hearthstone, is how absolutely crazy I was about it to begin with and how immensely bored I got with it. Maybe it's the grind for gold to get to the arena, hope you don't get shit cards to choose between and earn back your gold to get a "free" pack.

I think the flow is excellent and that there are certain cards that really spice up the game, such as Nozdormu that limits each players turn to 15 seconds. It's not a great card, but if you're quick, it's the bane of most other players and you're almost sure they'll screw up and lose the game.

Secrets are the poor mans reaction spells, but require a bit of strategic thinking, knowledge of the cards and what tactic your opponent is employing.

My biggest dissapointment is the lack of more equipment, such as proper armor. I think it worked well in the CCG and their effects were very diverse.

I think Hearthstone falls short in some places, enough to make me stick to the large amount of cards I already own and have people over, instead of grinding through games, just to get a deck that isn't all about rushing and constant minion countering.
I'm not going to compare Magic and WoWCCG, but the best parts were resource spells(quests) and equipment, two things that didn't make it to Hearthstone. In the case of weapons, at least not properly.

I have had the beta for Hearthsone for a week now and love it! Got it running on my windows tablet (can be a little laggy with the animations but besides that works quite well) so i can play it on the bus or even a few quick games at work. Really good game, simple but blizzard quality and already there are many different ways to build a deck, wither it be a rush down murloc deck, a weapon oriented pirate deck or a control/spell deck, just awesome. Also, the different classes means things dong get boring.

But this looks pretty cool! I've recently got back into Magic (and have built the better part of 4 edh decks in the past 6 months or so), so I don't really have time for another card game in my life, but my playgroup is gradually splitting up so I might have to find some other way to waste my free time before too long.

Loving the mage deck so far, got into the beta some while ago. I am not really that into card games very often, but heartstone hits just right for me somehow.

Wait, so does Hearthstone really have so many name-drops of Magic cards? That right there might get annoying.

As a guy who is already into Magic Online, I've probably got my fix covered there. I'll very likely try out Hearthstone somewhere down the line, but it seems to fit the WOW TCG model, which...is not my cup of tea.

Mark D. Stroyer:
Wait, so does Hearthstone really have so many name-drops of Magic cards? That right there might get annoying.

As a guy who is already into Magic Online, I've probably got my fix covered there. I'll very likely try out Hearthstone somewhere down the line, but it seems to fit the WOW TCG model, which...is not my cup of tea.

You have to understand, these spell names and card names are incredibly common. Just because Blizzard called a spell "Frostbolt" doesn't mean it's doing anything other than telling you that it is a spell that does frost shit. It's not likely that most minion cards between the two games will be the same, for instance, because the franchise and universe isn't anywhere near similar. You can blame the whole of gaming for having names that are common among fantasy spells. "Counterspell" is hardly revolutionary.

OT:
Yay Hearthstone stuff!

Yeahp. I check my email every day to see if I'll get into beta...

Welp. I can't wait for Open Beta to start. Hopefully around blizzcon xP.

Edit: WELP. I got in. You can stop feeling bad for me now.

Smilomaniac:

Secrets are the poor mans reaction spells, but require a bit of strategic thinking, knowledge of the cards and what tactic your opponent is employing.

I fucked someone very hard with 'Eye for an Eye'. They literally pulled deathwing (we were both pretty much down to our last cards)out. I had nothing left, the idiot had only 2 cards to attack me with, the other would have saved him/her. But I think they wanted to keep it as it was a taunt card... but still attacking first with deathwing, and it still not having enough attack to drain my remaining health.

It was a sweet sweet victory. The cracking sound of my enemy's demise via my secret was extremely dramatic. Maybe it was my cackling adding to the effect.

But still not many other major victories like this.

I am faithful to my paladin deck but rogues and mages quite handily dismantle my playstyle.

I really enjoy Hearthstones gameplay and crafting concepts. It's extremely simple to learn, but there is room for skill as well.

My main concern is that the rate at which you can acquire cards without spending money is glacially slow. Worse, the game forces you to play classes/decks you otherwise wouldn't to earn Gold from daily quests, which is the currency used to buy packs and play Arena matches (like Magic drafting). In the beta it takes 150 Gold to buy entrance into an Arena match. 150 Gold takes 45 wins to acquire if you're just playing regular matches against players. Daily quests (win 2 games as Priest, for example) award 40 Gold. It really pushes for you to play all the classes, which punishes you if you want to disenchant all of your non-Hunter cards to craft cards.

Ferisar:

You have to understand, these spell names and card names are incredibly common. Just because Blizzard called a spell "Frostbolt" doesn't mean it's doing anything other than telling you that it is a spell that does frost shit. It's not likely that most minion cards between the two games will be the same, for instance, because the franchise and universe isn't anywhere near similar. You can blame the whole of gaming for having names that are common among fantasy spells. "Counterspell" is hardly revolutionary.

OT:
Yay Hearthstone stuff!

I do mean actual namedrops. To wit, just from this article: Mirror Entity (as above), Polymorph

There's a difference from a generic, like Frostbolt, and a reference, like Glacial Ray. As someone who's familiar, it's...unnerving, that's all.

Mark D. Stroyer:

Ferisar:

You have to understand, these spell names and card names are incredibly common. Just because Blizzard called a spell "Frostbolt" doesn't mean it's doing anything other than telling you that it is a spell that does frost shit. It's not likely that most minion cards between the two games will be the same, for instance, because the franchise and universe isn't anywhere near similar. You can blame the whole of gaming for having names that are common among fantasy spells. "Counterspell" is hardly revolutionary.

OT:
Yay Hearthstone stuff!

I do mean actual namedrops. To wit, just from this article: Mirror Entity (as above), Polymorph

There's a difference from a generic, like Frostbolt, and a reference, like Glacial Ray. As someone who's familiar, it's...unnerving, that's all.

Mirror Entity and Polymorph are hardly ubiquitous to MTG.

Loop Stricken:

Mark D. Stroyer:

Ferisar:

You have to understand, these spell names and card names are incredibly common. Just because Blizzard called a spell "Frostbolt" doesn't mean it's doing anything other than telling you that it is a spell that does frost shit. It's not likely that most minion cards between the two games will be the same, for instance, because the franchise and universe isn't anywhere near similar. You can blame the whole of gaming for having names that are common among fantasy spells. "Counterspell" is hardly revolutionary.

OT:
Yay Hearthstone stuff!

I do mean actual namedrops. To wit, just from this article: Mirror Entity (as above), Polymorph

There's a difference from a generic, like Frostbolt, and a reference, like Glacial Ray. As someone who's familiar, it's...unnerving, that's all.

Mirror Entity and Polymorph are hardly ubiquitous to MTG.

Pretty much this. Polymorph is a very common Warcraft-universe spell of mages ever since the days of WC3 (nor is the concept of "polymorph" that recent.) and Mirror Entity is... exactly what it sounds like. So I really don't see what you're concerned with. If something like "Super Undertrauhen Growth if the Treestras" or some bullshit name floated up across both games, I'd start rustling. Until then, it's just a hilariously generic fantasy spell name.

EDIT:
You also have to understand the people who make these games are also nerds, so it's very likely that they've been exposed to other games and common lingo among those games. Some bleed-over should be expected.

I will love to play Hearthstone, but I worry about longevity - there aren't a lot of cards. I'm a Magic: The Gathering player. I'm used to thousands to build fun casual decks.
I like the strategic thinking that comes from the relatively simple and smooth rules in Hearthstone, but I think I will always yearn for those crazy, rule-heavy MTG late-game hijinks. Seriously, once everyone is in some way immortal, or can't be attacked, or has some incredible big meanie on the field or gains 50 lifepoints per turn and you have to really think about combining your cards to get through - that's what I love. Hearthstone has that, but isn't quite as crazy.
The cards seem a bit too... vanilla. Pretty much the only really weird cards are legendaries, and most of the really weird legendaries are abysmal in comparison to vanilla drops.

Got into the beta ages ago, can't for the life of me get the blizzard launcher working on my system. I've tried all the recommendations of everyone on the forums, and the tech support staff. No dice.

No other program of similar nature fails on my comp, and I simply don't care enough about the game to spend probably several more hours getting it to work.

So yeah, wasted Beta key I guess. Love MTG and really like the flow of Hearthstone from what I've seen. but still no playing it.

Ferisar:

Loop Stricken:

Mark D. Stroyer:

I do mean actual namedrops. To wit, just from this article: Mirror Entity (as above), Polymorph

There's a difference from a generic, like Frostbolt, and a reference, like Glacial Ray. As someone who's familiar, it's...unnerving, that's all.

Mirror Entity and Polymorph are hardly ubiquitous to MTG.

Pretty much this. Polymorph is a very common Warcraft-universe spell of mages ever since the days of WC3 (nor is the concept of "polymorph" that recent.) and Mirror Entity is... exactly what it sounds like. So I really don't see what you're concerned with. If something like "Super Undertrauhen Growth if the Treestras" or some bullshit name floated up across both games, I'd start rustling. Until then, it's just a hilariously generic fantasy spell name.

EDIT:
You also have to understand the people who make these games are also nerds, so it's very likely that they've been exposed to other games and common lingo among those games. Some bleed-over should be expected.

Not a big point, but Polymorph has been a mage spell since Warcraft 2, actually.

I'm looking forward to this game, it sounds like it'll be a fun diversion without needing to spend a lot of money or time.

"The differences are once again a matter of simplifying the game. Hearthstone doesn't want you to be active during the opponent's turn. It wants you to play your turn, then forfeit control until your next turn. It's simpler that way. It's more accessible to new players, because you don't have to be constantly paying attention to what's going on. You can go grab a snack during your opponent's turn, and have an acceptable understanding of what happened by looking at the game state when you return."

I actually mess with the interactive animations at this time. Launching rocks at my opponent with my catapult. Lighting fires, poking vegetables.. It's pretty fun :)

Mark D. Stroyer:

Ferisar:

You have to understand, these spell names and card names are incredibly common. Just because Blizzard called a spell "Frostbolt" doesn't mean it's doing anything other than telling you that it is a spell that does frost shit. It's not likely that most minion cards between the two games will be the same, for instance, because the franchise and universe isn't anywhere near similar. You can blame the whole of gaming for having names that are common among fantasy spells. "Counterspell" is hardly revolutionary.

OT:
Yay Hearthstone stuff!

I do mean actual namedrops. To wit, just from this article: Mirror Entity (as above), Polymorph

There's a difference from a generic, like Frostbolt, and a reference, like Glacial Ray. As someone who's familiar, it's...unnerving, that's all.

Considering that Magic hardly has a monopoly on spell names, I don't see your point. Mirror Entity as you put out may be semi-unique, but Polymorph dates back to D&D which predates both Warcraft (which introduced it in WCII) and Magic. Plus the fact that there are literally 10's of 1000's of cards in Magic, any other fantasy-style card game will probably have some overlap. Blizz is also known for subtle homage's to other geek-related culture (NPC named Linken who resembles a certain green tunic tight wearing silent protagonist, a quest chain dedicated to Plants vs. Zombies love and another quest chain that takes the old school Joust arcade game into a 3d realm). Its no wonder there'd be a few minor allusions to M:TG.

Mersadeon:
I will love to play Hearthstone, but I worry about longevity - there aren't a lot of cards. I'm a Magic: The Gathering player. I'm used to thousands to build fun casual decks.
I like the strategic thinking that comes from the relatively simple and smooth rules in Hearthstone, but I think I will always yearn for those crazy, rule-heavy MTG late-game hijinks. Seriously, once everyone is in some way immortal, or can't be attacked, or has some incredible big meanie on the field or gains 50 lifepoints per turn and you have to really think about combining your cards to get through - that's what I love. Hearthstone has that, but isn't quite as crazy.
The cards seem a bit too... vanilla. Pretty much the only really weird cards are legendaries, and most of the really weird legendaries are abysmal in comparison to vanilla drops.

That sort of stuff will come with time. MtG is 20 years old now and Hearthstone is still in Beta. Blizzard will keep adding more cards because after all they like Wizards of the Coast really want you buying expansion packs.

Mark D. Stroyer:

I do mean actual namedrops. To wit, just from this article: Mirror Entity (as above), Polymorph

Polymorph probably isn't a reference, I seem to recall mages having that spell in the previous Warcraft games, turned troops into sheep I think. Also polymorph is a word that means what the card says it does (at least in Magic), it's not just a name like Emrakul or Progenitus.

I have to admit though, considering the size of their cardpool Mirror Entity and Glacial Ray are oddly specific names. How many names down the {cold + projection} schema do you have to go before you hit 'glacial ray'? I mean you have ice bolt, frost bolt, frost blast, frost strike...

Eldritch Warlord:

Mersadeon:
I will love to play Hearthstone, but I worry about longevity - there aren't a lot of cards. I'm a Magic: The Gathering player. I'm used to thousands to build fun casual decks.
I like the strategic thinking that comes from the relatively simple and smooth rules in Hearthstone, but I think I will always yearn for those crazy, rule-heavy MTG late-game hijinks. Seriously, once everyone is in some way immortal, or can't be attacked, or has some incredible big meanie on the field or gains 50 lifepoints per turn and you have to really think about combining your cards to get through - that's what I love. Hearthstone has that, but isn't quite as crazy.
The cards seem a bit too... vanilla. Pretty much the only really weird cards are legendaries, and most of the really weird legendaries are abysmal in comparison to vanilla drops.

That sort of stuff will come with time. MtG is 20 years old now and Hearthstone is still in Beta. Blizzard will keep adding more cards because after all they like Wizards of the Coast really want you buying expansion packs.

Yep. Guarantee in about a year after release we'll be seeing new class types (Death Knight?), or maybe new heroes to be your avatar (Magni BronzeBeard for Warriors?).

I'm already totally bored and sick of Hearthstone and I haven't even played it. TB, Jesse Cox, and Crendor uploaded an absurd amount of Hearthstone and I'm just totally burnt out on it.

I feel like by time the game actually comes out it will be so overplayed, over broadcast on twitch, and saturated to the brim in Youtube content no one will actually care. I'm having more fun with Duel of Champions right now, personally.

Mark D. Stroyer:

Ferisar:

You have to understand, these spell names and card names are incredibly common. Just because Blizzard called a spell "Frostbolt" doesn't mean it's doing anything other than telling you that it is a spell that does frost shit. It's not likely that most minion cards between the two games will be the same, for instance, because the franchise and universe isn't anywhere near similar. You can blame the whole of gaming for having names that are common among fantasy spells. "Counterspell" is hardly revolutionary.

OT:
Yay Hearthstone stuff!

I do mean actual namedrops. To wit, just from this article: Mirror Entity (as above), Polymorph

There's a difference from a generic, like Frostbolt, and a reference, like Glacial Ray. As someone who's familiar, it's...unnerving, that's all.

Polymorph was a spell in Warcraft II

jsims85013@gmail.com:

Eldritch Warlord:

Mersadeon:
I will love to play Hearthstone, but I worry about longevity - there aren't a lot of cards. I'm a Magic: The Gathering player. I'm used to thousands to build fun casual decks.
I like the strategic thinking that comes from the relatively simple and smooth rules in Hearthstone, but I think I will always yearn for those crazy, rule-heavy MTG late-game hijinks. Seriously, once everyone is in some way immortal, or can't be attacked, or has some incredible big meanie on the field or gains 50 lifepoints per turn and you have to really think about combining your cards to get through - that's what I love. Hearthstone has that, but isn't quite as crazy.
The cards seem a bit too... vanilla. Pretty much the only really weird cards are legendaries, and most of the really weird legendaries are abysmal in comparison to vanilla drops.

That sort of stuff will come with time. MtG is 20 years old now and Hearthstone is still in Beta. Blizzard will keep adding more cards because after all they like Wizards of the Coast really want you buying expansion packs.

Yep. Guarantee in about a year after release we'll be seeing new class types (Death Knight?), or maybe new heroes to be your avatar (Magni BronzeBeard for Warriors?).

Constructed Hearthstone players have access to a total of 381(?) cards. Less, if you only consider the card pool available to a single class.

Type 2 (read: only the two most recently released blocks and the only fair comparison) constructed Magic the Gathering players have access to a total of 1346 cards plus the basic set of 200 odd cards. This does drop down by 400 cards when a new block is released and the old block fazes out of the tournament legal type 2, but that still leaves you with about triple the cards that Hearthstone has access to.

Even scarier is that MtG releases a new set every four months. With three sets in each block, that means a new block every year.

Don't get me wrong, I love Hearthstone. I watch streams very regularly of the lucky few who got invites and I think the rules are a lot more elegant than MtG's but well... blizzard's track record with new content is absolutely abysmal. If they keep the same rate of new content in Hearthstone as they do in their other games, which is a non-trivial "if", since card-games are not pc games, but if they keep their same, abysmally slow content schedule then the game will be fairly shortlived.

Basically, Blizzard will need to release a new hero four times a year to offer the same variety in options as MtG. I think it unlikely that they will, but I'm hoping they do.

Been testing the hearthstone beta for about two months now and I gotta say that right now there are still a lot of conceptual problems with the game both on a business level and on a gameplay level.

On the business level the model is clearly using archaic methods that essentially limit player progression on both the paid and the F2P model. The player currently has little to no agency unless you are incredibly wealthy often leaving half of the entire game basically locked from players. Not to mention very few players will consistently do well enough to keep that half of the game available to them at their leisure. The quest system given on a daily basis is extremely flawed and outdated as well. The main problem is that a player starts playing the game because they want to, the GAME's responsibility is to want the player to KEEP playing. But the progression of the game is too bipolar. Once you complete your quests you are on a huge dry spell. Too many quests and progression in itself is too reliant on winning games. No one is going to want to keep playing when they are on a losing streak for a couple of days, or a week or a month which can happen given the balance problem of the game. A potential solution to this is to let players take on quests and give them the agency or ownership to their own progression. Let players determine their own pace of progression.

Balance is another issue in itself but the core conceptual problem with the balance is risk management and of course card access. Right now caster classes have WAY too much control and can manage risk too easily. They have the least amount of risk right now to play.

But for now I have to go get lunch.

EDIT: Okay back

The major problem with having the least amount of risk is that players will often have the incentive to hold cards and that is really what the game has become. Wait until your opponent plays their trump cards and THEN go in for the board control. It's really right now even at the most basic level of play already at the absurd. If you are going up against a priest you have to burn the mind controls, shadow words of both types and the minion mind controls. Mages you have to wait or find a way to survive the fireballs, poly, frostbolt, pryoblast, fireblast and then on the AOE side blizzard, flamestrike, arcane explosion.

But that's how little risk or how flawed the pace of the game is flowing right now and on both on the business side and on the gameplay side it really isn't all that fun to play.

Due note that all of these criticisms I have are with the standard PLAY mode. Arena in itself is fine but that paywall to play it is what really kills this game because you can only deal with the same bullshit deck from casters so many times.

EDIT: Also forgot to mention. Right now the gimmick card decks are basically DOMINATING your standard decks to the point where even the pros have abandoned any standard deck for either high level cards or one turn kill decks.

So basically there is no actual reward for being PROACTIVE but simply being passive and waiting for that one turn to strike and win. Honestly I'm shocked at how positive the coverage for hearthstone has been with such critical ideological flaws and the execution of such ideas.

Magic is a tad too expensive of a hobby for me. Hearthstone is something I enjoyed for a couple of weeks, but then I got to Masters 3 in ranked and I instantly lost all incentive to continue playing ranked and subsequently make gold to play arena, especially because if I want to keep a fast "grinding" pace and win a large percentage of my games, I'm pretty much forced to roll with my mage deck which counters a lot of bullshit rush decks that are very common at the highest brackets, and I find mage extremely boring. So the game just sits there gathering dust. I'm not even too keen on arena anymore, after the 3rd priest in a row that I tried to play and got 0 holy novas and mind controls, I'm kind of tired of arena's bullshit too.

Mark D. Stroyer:

I do mean actual namedrops. To wit, just from this article: Mirror Entity (as above), Polymorph

There's a difference from a generic, like Frostbolt, and a reference, like Glacial Ray. As someone who's familiar, it's...unnerving, that's all.

Polymorph is exactly what it says on the tin. Shape Change with more interesting wording. 1st edition D&D (1976) had a spell named Polymorph and Mirror Image (which is close enough). It's a generic name for those spells. They tell you exactly what they do, nothing more nothing less. It's hardly name-dropping or stealing. Your line of reasoning is the exactly the same same as saying Frostbolt is name dropping. Magic only came out in 1993, they'd hardly got the drop on using "Polymorph" as a spell name.

Heck even Glacial Ray isn't exactly innovative or interesting. It's well... a ray of glacial nature. Now if there was a card called "Lord Fiddlewoob of the waddlewand mountains" in both games, you'd have a point, but otherwise it's a little pedantic. It's the same as that guy who tried to take umbrage with anything using the word "Edge" in the title.

Speaking of Hexproof; what ever happened to it?
I enjoyed it, and there's no shortage of topics to discuss regarding Magic.

PH3NOmenon:

Don't get me wrong, I love Hearthstone. I watch streams very regularly of the lucky few who got invites and I think the rules are a lot more elegant than MtG's but well... blizzard's track record with new content is absolutely abysmal. If they keep the same rate of new content in Hearthstone as they do in their other games, which is a non-trivial "if", since card-games are not pc games, but if they keep their same, abysmally slow content schedule then the game will be fairly shortlived.

Basically, Blizzard will need to release a new hero four times a year to offer the same variety in options as MtG. I think it unlikely that they will, but I'm hoping they do.

Ehhh, their schedule is pretty quick these days, 3-4 months in between major content patches atm. I mean, Blizzard generally puts a /large/ amount of polished content at a time, compared to other MMOs. Where it's either naff, money gated, or a little bit often, rather than large not so often. That and you can't put it out too quick otherwise people just burn through it, unless you artificially gate it in game.

It's also a card game, there's a lot less work that needs to go into it. Draw some pics, then come up with balance and detail. I'm sure they can manage that. Designing a whole raid dungeon/new area with 16 bosses is rather time consuming for obvious reasons. To put it in perspective, the final boss of Mass Effect 2 took 6 months.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here