~ Hearthstone ~ (Blizzard's free-to-play online collectible card game for your computer)

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Got into the closed beta on the last batch of them adding people and I'm having a lot of fun with this at $0 invested so far. Everything goes pleasingly quickly. The record-based auto-matchmaking and lack of a chat feature when playing against randoms means I'm never without a game and I never have to cope with the yammerings of random 11 year olds.

Anybody else out there yet? I'm silby#1606.

the slow death of America's rich pastoral heritage (silby), Wednesday, 1 January 2014 04:52 (six years ago) link

cross-posting from an email to friends

I think a thing I like about Hearthstone is that it’s kind of like Dominion, in that the objective is pretty much to figure out a way of maximizing your deck’s expected value, and then sticking to that method during the course of play. Of course, since it follows the CCG model, you do this in the solitary collecting/deckbuilding phase rather than buying cards from the kingdom during play, but since there’s no interrupts (except for Secrets which fire automatically), your gameplay is really more like playing Dominion than playing Magic.

And I kind of like this because, aside from the advantages vs. physical Magic for me (free to play, don’t have to buy a ton of cards, figure out what decks are good, find people to play with, hang out at a game store with neckbeards/teens/child rapists), it’s way easier to evaluate board position and hand strength every turn. This in turn makes it easier to figure out how to gain tempo on your opponent, helped by the replacement of “declaring blockers” with Taunt, which means trades are simply up to the active player. Automatic mana growth means you can reliably evaluate your next three turns or so and makes deckbuilding way more straightforward. I still lose a lot against both casual and ranked automatches from allowing my opponent to get too many minions in place and occasional trivial mistakes, but I’m getting better. So of course the learning cycle is way faster than it would be for me to get passably good at even casual Magic.

Also, while I’d love a non-blind-buy model for Hearthstone (not gonna happen I’m sure), it seems like the neutral cards are balanced around their mana costs even across rarities, and I’ve not yet climbed up to an automatch level where people are beating me with tons of rares or busting out golden legendaries just to show off the $800 they spent or whatever.

I’m really looking forward to them someday rolling out advanced player stats/analytics, and I hope they eventually provide an API or CSV dump or something.

I could see myself being on board with this game for quite a while, weirdly.

the slow death of America's rich pastoral heritage (silby), Wednesday, 1 January 2014 04:55 (six years ago) link

three months pass...

This thing is well designed and looks dangerous.
Ipad/PC/Mac only at the moment

sitting on a claud all day gotta make your butt numb (forksclovetofu), Friday, 18 April 2014 05:42 (five years ago) link

it's no infinity wars

Mordy , Friday, 18 April 2014 05:45 (five years ago) link

i kinda got boiled on infinity swipes early in the third iteration

sitting on a claud all day gotta make your butt numb (forksclovetofu), Friday, 18 April 2014 05:49 (five years ago) link

Since posting I've spent like $60 on cards. Definitely dangerous. Still not as bad as an MtG habit would be.

the slow death of America's rich pastoral heritage (silby), Friday, 18 April 2014 19:30 (five years ago) link

this game is fun, but i got tired of arena mode, the range of decks available is just so much narrower than MTG draft due to having to play every card and only seeing 3 cards per pick, meaning that you can't reliably draft your way into focused synergy and thus the correct strategy is just taking all the midrange individually strong cards. having most of the cards be class-neutral just compounds the sameiness.

i think this will work itself out over time as they tweak the game and release more cards to freshen it up again (i assume they are doing this eventually?)

constructed is a lot more interesting & varied, but unfortunately the deck i built a couple months ago when it was good (warrior aggro) gets trumped kind of badly by the deck that's become the most popular since then (warlock hyper-aggro) and i'm out of resources to make another deck

ciderpress, Friday, 18 April 2014 19:44 (five years ago) link

three months pass...

I'm 100% down this rabbit hole now, putting in a pretty consistent 30-60 minutes a day and getting a relatively respectable win rate I guess. I'm refusing to let myself steal deck ideas from other sites, which means I'm often caught out by the meta game and will have some days where I can't catch a break because everyone using the same shitty warlock deck or whatever (especially when I'm playing ranked), but on the other hand there's a definite advantage in the way playing non-standard decks lets you wrong foot people. And the naxxramas cards are really helping in that respect, the gradual release of them especially is making it a lot less clear what decks are actually strong anyway week to week. Plus it's giving everyone a handful of decent legendaries without a ton of grind, which does lots to level the playing field.

Anyway yeah, GOTY.

JimD, Wednesday, 13 August 2014 11:51 (five years ago) link

two months pass...

I play this a lot, what's anybody's battletag

Spirit of Match Game '76 (silby), Thursday, 16 October 2014 06:21 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

anyone (still) playing this? I'm well and truly hooked.

Gaz upon my works ye mighty, and despair (Neil S), Monday, 15 February 2016 16:23 (four years ago) link

Yeah. I'm terrible and my peak on the ladder is like 15, even though I probably have the material to build metagamey decks. I just like building gimmicky decks full of murlocs and occasionally having them work.

petulant dick master (silby), Monday, 15 February 2016 17:21 (four years ago) link

I was obsessed for a couple months this summer, getting up to level 5 at one point and then abruptly stopped and haven't returned since. It doesn't command my attention the way Magic: The Gathering does. I got tired of seeing the same few decks over and over.

Check Yr Scrobbles (Moodles), Monday, 15 February 2016 17:34 (four years ago) link

I have the ridic gamer name of DireRaven if you want to add me. Perhaps I should give MTG a go, I get the feeling that might be another rabbit hole though

Gaz upon my works ye mighty, and despair (Neil S), Monday, 15 February 2016 17:38 (four years ago) link

Do it!

Check Yr Scrobbles (Moodles), Monday, 15 February 2016 18:11 (four years ago) link

You need to give the part of your battletag with the numbers to add people. Eg I am silby#1606 (I think) and you should add me.

petulant dick master (silby), Monday, 15 February 2016 19:03 (four years ago) link

I would play Magic but then I would have to play Magic with people who play Magic, about whom I have negative stereotypes. Hearthstone I don't have to leave home or talk to teenagers.

petulant dick master (silby), Monday, 15 February 2016 19:03 (four years ago) link

will try and sort that out later. Finally I will be able to do that quest where you have to watch another player's battle, in a creepily voyeuristic way!

Gaz upon my works ye mighty, and despair (Neil S), Tuesday, 16 February 2016 15:38 (four years ago) link

omg you guys!


Check Yr Scrobbles (Moodles), Friday, 19 February 2016 05:23 (four years ago) link

silby you live in magic Mecca you should probably play magic

iatee, Friday, 19 February 2016 13:46 (four years ago) link

I'd also add that there are lots of very nice people who play Magic and also post to this board

Check Yr Scrobbles (Moodles), Friday, 19 February 2016 13:49 (four years ago) link

three years pass...


frogbs, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 12:51 (five months ago) link

Not gonna lie boys, as someone who used to cast exclusively Blizzard games, I'm all set on 'em now. It helps their games haven't been all that great in recent times.

Kinda stoked Bungie took Destiny off the Blizzard launcher tho, because I just started playing that and I'm really enjoying it.

unashamed and trash (Unctious), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 13:00 (five months ago) link

lol Go American University, finally a local sports team I want to root for


El Tomboto, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 13:34 (five months ago) link


Anyone who pays attention to my social media feeds knows that I am not someone who shies away from politics. I am frequently quite vocal about my views about what’s going on in the United States. I have kept a deck titled “Election 2016” in my collection for the past three years, full of cards like Corruption, DOOM, and Validated Doomsayer. I would rather risk alienating those who disagree with me rather than stay silent on matters I consider important.

damn dude

reggae mike love (polyphonic), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 17:43 (five months ago) link

That starts rough (sounding a bit like the rule-sticklers who think that a punishment was justified), but he makes the right call in the end. I don't know why he doesn't mention the casters who were fired as well.

jmm, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 18:10 (five months ago) link

Props to Kibler, he seems like a genuinely good dude, and I'm sure this wasn't an easy decision to make.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:08 (five months ago) link

same Brian Kibler who was a big time Magic player back in the day? good for him, always seemed like one of the few likeable dudes in that scene

frogbs, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:16 (five months ago) link

I know nothing of these games but this effort rules

maffew12, Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:21 (five months ago) link


Yep, his move to Hearthstone was a big boon to his career these last few years, so this is not an insignificant gesture for him.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Wednesday, 9 October 2019 20:54 (five months ago) link

I'm all set on 'em now

I may have never seen this phrase before - I'd have read it as very positive towards them, but, uh, I guess not?

Andrew Farrell, Thursday, 10 October 2019 10:24 (five months ago) link

"I'm all set," as you might say to a server who comes to bus your empty dishes.

unashamed and trash (Unctious), Thursday, 10 October 2019 13:00 (five months ago) link

I don't follow games dev drama because ugh, but I assume it's the right time for me to delete this not-much-played app from my iPad?

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 11 October 2019 12:53 (five months ago) link

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