Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I’ve been playing some Hearthstone.

I played it back in beta and I decided to give it another shot. It fits pretty well into a casual playtime. I usually don’t like PvP game, but when I’m playing Hearthstone it doesn’t feel like PvP in MMOs. I don’t like losing but it never feels punishing. Maybe it’s the fact that you don’t interact much with your opponent. Emotes are fairly limited and outside of a “Well played” I don’t see much interaction.

The first surprise was that my progress from Beta had NOT been wiped. All the cards I had gotten were still available and I had credit already for beating all the Heroes in Basic mode.

I tend to play 8 decks, one for each class except for Warlock. My uneasiness with that class seems to span games. Of course, they feel really powerful in Hearthstone. Anytime I see Gul’dan I pretty much expect to lose. (psst Nerf Warlock!*)

I’ve had some great matches and some awesome come from behind victories. One match I was playing my Malfurion (Druid) deck and my initial draw was Power of the Wild (Give your minions +1/+1; or Summon a 3/2 Panther) for 2 Mana. Innervate (Gain 2 Mana Crystals this turn only) for 0 mana, a Bolderfist Ogre (6 attack/7 health minion) for 6 mana and a Stormwind Champion (6 attack/6 health minion) for 7 mana. I hate starting with two really expensive cards in my hand so I threw back Stormwind Champion. What I got in return was another Innervate. I was playing against Garrosh. He went first and threw out a Boar (1 heath, 1 attack with charge). He hit me for one damage. I had to the coin so on my first turn I used it. This gave me 2 mana instead of 1 so I threw the Power of the Wild and summoned the panther. His turn he used his Hero power and gained two armor. On my turn, I used both innervates and summoned the Bolderfist Ogre. By the time he could kill it, I had an insurmountable lead.

I do better with “control” heroes like Anduin (Priest) and Uther (Paladin). I also really like Thrall (Shaman) but I wish he had some self-healing spells or powers. Rexxar (Hunter) can be fun, too.

I had a really long match against Jania (Mage) with Anduin.
This was probably a cruel way to end it, but a win is a win.

I had a goal of hitting rank 20 before the end of the season so I could get the Naxxraamus card back. I made it to 20 without too much trouble. I did notice something odd. About a quarter of the time, my opponent would surrender (automatically lose) as soon as the match started. I have no idea what they were hoping to accomplish, other than to dive back down the ranks. But I saw this even at Rank 20, which made no sense. You can only go as low as Rank 20. From Rank 25 to 20, you don't lose stars (and therefore can't go down in rank).

Every third match or so, I’d run up against someone who simply had a much better deck than I did. I have yet to spend any *real* money Heathstone so all the cards I have I got with in-game gold. I made it as high as Rank 18 but I ran into people with superior decks more and more frequently.

I’m saving up the in-game gold to open up the next wing of Naxxraammus. The first one is (or was) free for a while. This means I won’t be getting cards from the decks, but you still get some cards for beating each boss. So far I’ve beaten Anu’barak, Grand Widow, and Maexxma. Heathstone is a fun game and I enjoy it, but it’s going to be a slow process building a deck where I can compete at higher levels.

*There was something akin to a meme back in Vanilla after one patch where Warlocks got particularly buffed. Everyone on the Official Forums would end their post "and nerf warlock" regardess of what their post had actually been about.


ComputerSherpa said...

Mind if I add you in Hearthstone? I don't play all that often, but I'm a long-time follower of the blog.

Ted Atchley said...

Sure. Email me at Honorshammer at gmail and I'll send you my Battle Tag.

Sean said...

The reason you're seeing this is people botting in order to unlock the golden hero portrait for 500 ranked wins. The theory is that by staying at rank 20 they will face easier decks and their win rate will be faster than trying to just win every time.

Ted Atchley said...

Okay. I can see where that might be true. My deck isn't all that great (few rares, one or two legendaries) and that's about where I'm at.

Although, what I've taken to doing this season is just getting to Rank 20 for the card back and playing casual until I get some more cards.