Blizzard's Hearthstone Goes Live

Blizzard's Hearthstone Goes Live

Release Hearthstone card

Hearthstone, Blizzard's free-to-play strategy card game, is out of beta and full speed ahead.

Surprise! It's Tuesday, and Hearthstone is live! The unexpected news came from out of nowhere, as Blizzard flicked the switch on the game on a day during which everyone else was busy playing and talking about Titanfall and Dark Souls 2.

Oddball timing notwithstanding, the beta is done and now Hearthstoners (yes, that's what I'm going with) everywhere can jump in on the action, beginning with introductory missions against Warcraft characters like Millhouse Manastorm and Lorewalker Cho and then moving on to casual and ranked play, arena matches and more.

And what's a new game launch without a huge day-one patch? Blizzard has that base covered too, with Hearthstone v1.0.0.4944. The update allows players to earn a "Golden Hero" by winning 500 Ranked matches with any given hero, after which it will be given a gold border, an animation and a "golden animated Hero Power." Taking part in Ranked Play seasons will now provide players with new card backs at the end of each season, and Ranked Play itself has been changed to award players "bonus stars" that reflect their performance after each season wraps up.

The patch also fixes numerous bugs, implements a couple of balance tweaks and adds a few new features, including an auto-reconnect option that gives players a 60-second window to log back into a game and continue playing if they're disconnected. A full breakdown of what's been changed is up on Battle.net, and if you don't particularly care about any of that and just want to start playing, you may do so now at playhearthstone.com.

Source: Battle.net

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Huh, that was unexpected - I guess the modern 'endless beta' switches are always going to happen out of the blue. I'll have to try it out later to see if they've actually fixed that hand bug yet.

Been playing since December beta but can't log in today with the launch apparently borking their auth servers.

But its a good game, the polish on the interface and animations is incredible.

The gameplay is well balanced with no one deck dominating the metagame. However there are some decks that are fairly frustrating to play against.

Once you learn the game the Arena/draft mode is really fun.

I'm certainly not the best but I've been playing a lot the last couple of months so if anyone wants some advice or info feel free to PM me.

Gotta say, I haven't had any bug issues with the game today. If just about all of them have been fixed, then color me surprised.

Also the nerfs to Tinkmaster and Nat were much needed if you ask me.

This is good news. I was really liking the game, but I can only play a beta for so long before I hit the point of "I just don't wanna keep playing knowing that this is all going to be wiped clean". So now I can do a swan dive right into Hearthstone and not come up for air until I damn-well feel like.

WhiteTigerShiro:
This is good news. I was really liking the game, but I can only play a beta for so long before I hit the point of "I just don't wanna keep playing knowing that this is all going to be wiped clean". So now I can do a swan dive right into Hearthstone and not come up for air until I damn-well feel like.

The Hearthstone beta wasn't actually wiped clean at all - all progress from the start is still there, with ladder resets once a month (something that's going to continue into the full release). Definitely recommended, it's a fun CCG :)

I've been playing the game since December, and I think it's really fun. The gameplay is fairly simple and easy to get into, but there's a surprising amount of depth and strategy to it. The free to play model is actually fairly reasonable, and I've made fine progress without putting a cent into the game. Not to mention, the presentation is fantastic, and easily sets the game apart from other similar games. It's pretty good, I encourage everybody to take a look at it.

My only real concerns with the game have to do with how they go about balancing the game. While the game is decently balanced right now, I don't really agree with their overall balance philosophies. The only balance changes they ever seem to make are nerfs, very rarely is something ever buffed. While they do this to attempt to eliminate overpowered or otherwise unfun strategies, I can't help but feel that if this continues, the amount of valid strategies in the game will just slowly decrease and the game will become far less interesting. That, combined with the fact that class balance does not seem to be a priority make me really concerned about the long term balance of the game.

But whatever. The game is fun. I have thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with it.

SirBryghtside:

WhiteTigerShiro:
This is good news. I was really liking the game, but I can only play a beta for so long before I hit the point of "I just don't wanna keep playing knowing that this is all going to be wiped clean". So now I can do a swan dive right into Hearthstone and not come up for air until I damn-well feel like.

The Hearthstone beta wasn't actually wiped clean at all - all progress from the start is still there, with ladder resets once a month (something that's going to continue into the full release). Definitely recommended, it's a fun CCG :)

Well, not quite. It *was wiped once, but any real money you'd spent was refunded with an equivalent amount of booster packs.
but that was a long time ago - everything since then was assured to remain.

MrMixelPixel:
Gotta say, I haven't had any bug issues with the game today. If just about all of them have been fixed, then color me surprised.

Also the nerfs to Tinkmaster and Nat were much needed if you ask me.

What are the nerfs? Ive been playing and didn't notice any change O_o

Cool, although it never really felt like a beta to begin with. I guess it's DOTA 2 style endless beta where they randomly decide it's not beta anymore when nothing appears to have changed. DOTA 2's client still feels like a beta sometimes, i've never had another client of any kind crash and make my Windows have to System Restore for 30 minutes because it fucked up that hard. Volvo pls.

As for balance, nerf Divine Shields, my totally skill based Mage deck does no damage to them and this is totally overpowered.

How to Mage:

1. Shove as many damage spells as possible into your deck
2. Maybe throw some creatures out occasionally
3. Alternate between Fireball, Frost Bolt and Polymorph to systematically destroy every threatening creature and cause endless rage onto your opponent
4. Use Flamestrike when pressured (Important!)
5. Use secrets to protect yourself
6. Try to get a Violet Teacher x2 and/or Young Priestess rolling
7. When that immediately fails hit the other guy with spells
8. Win game

Never fails.

Incomer:

MrMixelPixel:
Gotta say, I haven't had any bug issues with the game today. If just about all of them have been fixed, then color me surprised.

Also the nerfs to Tinkmaster and Nat were much needed if you ask me.

What are the nerfs? Ive been playing and didn't notice any change O_o

Tinkmaster now turns a random minion into a 1/1 squirrel or a 5/5 devilsaur. He used to be able to choose the minion that it happened to. It was used to remove big threats like Rag, Ysera, Sylvanas, and Bloodhoof. Especially potent in Druid decks that don't have access that sort of removal.

Nat just randomly draws a card at the start of your turn, instead of the end. It just hurt his tempo a bit, he's still playable.

I tried it several times in Beta and really couldn't get into it. It doesn't have as much depth as MtG, so I think that's what really killed it for me. Deck construction just felt too rigid and certain Classes were slaves to top-decking, which is never a fun way to play a card game.

Fappy:
I tried it several times in Beta and really couldn't get into it. It doesn't have as much depth as MtG, so I think that's what really killed it for me.

You know, I keep hearing that gripe, but do you honestly expect a brand new CCG (especially one that started as just a little side project that unexpectedly blew-up) to be able to compare to the depth of a CCG that's... what... 20 years old now? Close to? More than? I know it's at least 15 years old, because I bought my first MTG pack was when I was around 16, and it had already been out at least a few years since then. And damn I suddenly feel old... >.>

well, I've been playing for a bit. Pitty there seems to be no sign of a trading system, but I wasn't exactly expecting one anyway. It would wreck the mana system, and no-one would buy packs anymore.

Captcha-Maximum taste no sugar. Why is the captcha now an advert?

WhiteTigerShiro:

Fappy:
I tried it several times in Beta and really couldn't get into it. It doesn't have as much depth as MtG, so I think that's what really killed it for me.

You know, I keep hearing that gripe, but do you honestly expect a brand new CCG (especially one that started as just a little side project that unexpectedly blew-up) to be able to compare to the depth of a CCG that's... what... 20 years old now? Close to? More than? I know it's at least 15 years old, because I bought my first MTG pack was when I was around 16, and it had already been out at least a few years since then. And damn I suddenly feel old... >.>

I understand that its 15-or-so year head start is an enormous factor, but even Standard tournament format for MtG (which includes the current coreset + the two newest blocks ONLY) seems to have way more depth than Hearthstone. Could they have just had way more time to nail down the mechanics of the game? Maybe. But honestly, I think an inherent flaw in the system is just how rigid deck construction is and how you cannot do anything on your opponent's turn. Mysteries are annoying because you have to use resources on your turn to play them and you don't have a choice whether or not you want to activate them.

I also don't like how you can't trade cards. The community feels too restrictive and is set up like a Moba instead of being an open environment indicative of a real life TCG. The client just feels too restrictive, I guess. Like, playing game-after-game against faceless anons instead of people you can communicate with is just... boring. Might as well just play bots, honestly. And the grind is waaaay too slow.

Okay, I am done complaining. In truth, I actually really like the concept, I just thing there are a number of ways they can improve it. At the moment it really just feels like a soulless micro transaction machine.

The Wykydtron:
Cool, although it never really felt like a beta to begin with. I guess it's DOTA 2 style endless beta where they randomly decide it's not beta anymore when nothing appears to have changed. DOTA 2's client still feels like a beta sometimes, i've never had another client of any kind crash and make my Windows have to System Restore for 30 minutes because it fucked up that hard. Volvo pls.

As for balance, nerf Divine Shields, my totally skill based Mage deck does no damage to them and this is totally overpowered.

How to Mage:

1. Shove as many damage spells as possible into your deck
2. Maybe throw some creatures out occasionally
3. Alternate between Fireball, Frost Bolt and Polymorph to systematically destroy every threatening creature and cause endless rage onto your opponent
4. Use Flamestrike when pressured (Important!)
5. Use secrets to protect yourself
6. Try to get a Violet Teacher x2 and/or Young Priestess rolling
7. When that immediately fails hit the other guy with spells
8. Win game

Never fails.

Don't forget Frost Nova! Use Frost Nova when pressured, then follow it up with Flamestrike because the tears of the non-magical are the sweetest drink of all!
I've been playing Hearthstone quite a bit lately and been having an absolute blast. My favorite hero is either the warlock (when in doubt, burn everything) or the shaman (get a bunch of tiny minions out, hide behind a shield totem, then drop a bloodlust, a windfury, and maybe a rockbiter weapon for a quick win out of nowhere!)

Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually knows what "beta" is supposed to be mean any more. There is precisely one difference between the Hearthstone beta and the full release - the game no longer says "beta" on it. That's it. Sure, there was a patch, but patches are hardly unusual for finished games and this one is actually fairly minor as patches go.

As for the game itself, I'm another one who found it rather boring compared to Magic (which I don't even play any more). I think the main problem is having to play as a set character who will always have the same skills and the same general deck theme. The best part of Magic is that the complexity was largely optional, but was there if you wanted it. You could come up with all kinds of crazy deck combinations that mixed up any and all colours, or if you didn't feel like getting in to that you could just stick with the simpler single/dual colour decks and still have something viable. With Hearthstone, that simple option is all you have. Throw in the much simpler rules with no interrupts and there just doesn't seem much substance to it. Rather than "easy to learn, hard to master", it's "easy to learn, then you're done".

 

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