Sorry that I haven’t been posting in a while, I’ve been too busy playing Hearthstone. What’s that? Can’t hear you, playing Hearthstone right now…
It’s very rare that I get addicted to video games. There are games that I love, certainly, but I can put them down and stop playing them when I need to. Hearthstone is completely different. I can literally play this game for hours (and I have!), so let me tell you why…
But Ben, what is Hearthstone?
I’m glad you asked, hypothetical reader! Take a seat, pour yourself a glass, light a fancy cigar, whilst I explain how this all goes down.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (to give it it’s full title) is a virtual card game created by the fine folks of Blizzard. It plays like a more accessible Magic: The Gathering, but is by no means less intricate. Players summon minions to attack each others heroes until one falls. That’s the super basic explanation. However, you have mana costs, taunts, battlecries and more to-
I’m sorry, I’m a bit confused…
Shut your mouth, I’m not done talking. As I was saying, it may seem complicated, but I got the hang of it in minutes. It’s that age old design tactic of ‘easy to learn, hard to master’. The tactics for this game go quite deep, and I found myself obsessing about strategies in my sleep.
So how much does it cost to play?
Absolutely nothing. It’s a free to play game.
But how do they make money?
Ah, that’s the clever part. You can buy packs of cards for real-world money. A pack costs a pound, but you get discounts if you buy in bulk. However, you can also pay in gold, which you earn by winning matches against players. The game features a quest each day that earns you a bunch of gold, such a play two matches as a mage, or beat 5 opponents. Sure, it’ll take longer to get those sweet sweet card packs, but you can feasibly get really good into the game without paying a single penny.
So I play against other people?
Oh yes! You can play against other players from around the world in two modes, casual and ranked. Casual is what it says on the tin, play for fun, no reprimand if you lose. Ranked is a different sort of beast. As you win matches, you rise through the ranks, starting at rank 25 and working your way to number 1. However, if you lose, you move back up the ranks.
I’ll just be bulldozed over by all the pros though, why even bother?
That’s the brilliant thing about Hearthstone, it’s so unpredictable. Someone may summon a powerful minion, but you could take them out with a card that destroys a minion, regardless of it’s strength. On the flipside, your army might get wiped out by a single card that sweeps the field. It’s incredibly intense stuff, and one slip-up might cost you the game, even against a beginner.
Are there any other modes?
I’m not done yet, we haven’t talked about the arena! You pay £1.49, or 150 gold to enter the arena. There, you choose from three heroes, each with their own powers. You then create a deck on the fly, and use that deck against other arena players. The more you win, the better prizes you get! Get beaten three times, and you get kicked out of the arena. It’s addicting stuff, and allows you to change tactics depending on what heroes and cards you get.
There’s also crafting mode. You can destroy and extra or unwanted cards for dust. You can then use dust to create other cards. The amount of dust needed to create a card depends on it’s rarity, determined by the gemstone in the center of the card. The rarer the card, the more dust needed to make it. Super simple stuff. That’s why makes every single pack you open worth it.
Gee whizz Ben, you’ve piqued my interest! Where can I join?
Well, you can sign up for the beta now at Hearthstone’s official site! It’s absolutely free, you’ll know how to play in minutes, and you’re rewarded with countless hours of entertainment! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back to watching many Youtube videos of players far more skilled than me…