Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraftby Aethyna Feb 4, 2015 | 1 Votes | 0 Played | 0 Reviews 10 rate Sit round the table and enjoy a relaxing game of cards, or just smash your enemies into the floor in a stunning collectible card game full of heroes, minions, spells and weapons. Collect new cards and play with one of 9 heroes as you take on all comers on your way to glory. Play Now Similar Games Played
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Drawing its popularity from Blizzard’s massively popular Warcraft universe, Hearthstone was an almost guaranteed sure hit right after its launch with the fans Warcraft has amassed over the years. The lure of the game is such that even non-card-loving gamers will be reeled into Hearthstone After all, what’s not to like, right? It combines the popular characters in the Warcraft lore, each with their respective class skill, with a competitive and pretty much balanced gameplay as well as a nice (though not impressive) database of more than 400 cards. Even if you’re not there to play competitively, there’s that “OCD” that keep nagging you to collect every possible card that you can! If you love card-based games, then Hearthstone is surely the one game you mustn't miss out on! Try it now!
Due to game’s simple yet in-depth mechanics and gameplay, it may tough to cover them all. However, let’s start with the basics in Hearthstone – the classes, the cards and your deck!
Hearthstone offers 9 different and very varied classes that will be very familiar to you if you’ve played World of Warcraft (WoW) before. They include warrior, shaman, rogue, paladin, druid, hunter, warlock, mage and priest. These classes are represented by a famous character in WoW, who is of that class. For instance, Thrall represents the shaman class while Jaina Proudmoore represents the mage class. The ‘poster boy’ for the warrior class is the fearsome Garrosh Hellscream and, for the paladin class, Uther the Lightbringer is brought up to mind. Each class has their own class-specific cards and these cards are all connected to what your class can do. For example, the mage class has a lot of spell cards, while priests have a lot of healing and buff cards. The same goes to these heroes’ hero powers. Hero powers, including mage’s fireblast, warlock’s life tap and druid’s shapeshift, can be activate during a match at the cost of 2 mana points. Heroes can also equip 1 weapon at a time that will provide them with boosted damage.
Initially, every hero level up will earn you basic cards for the class you are playing. After all of the basics are unlocked at level 10, you’ll get better and upgraded versions of the same cards unlocked with every subsequent level up. Heroes can only attain a maximum level of 60. In Hearthstone, heroes are very important as they form the base of your deck – you’ll have to select a class to build a deck for.
Enough about heroes, let’s take a look at the amazing 400 over cards that Hearthstone currently has in its cards reservoir! Cards can be obtained via card packs that you can buy using gold you've earned from doing dailies and playing matches. The cards in this game can be generally separated into 3 categories – minions, spells and weapons. Minions are the bread and butter of the game and they are the one doing most of the damage as well as taking the brunt of the damage inflicted… provided you played your cards right. There are of course minions with special abilities and skills, like taunt, which will redirect almost all damage to the card possessing that skill, or silence, which can counter plenty of abilities such as taunt.
On the other hand, spells are magical abilities that you can use to damage or control your opponent’s minions or hero. They can even summon additional minions for you or provide beneficial buffs and debuffs to your minions or your opponent’s minions respectively too! Weapons are special cards that can be equipped by heroes. These cards have durability and will be destroyed after some time, but they are able to provide a nice boost to your hero’s attack damage. Heroes can only equip 1 weapon at a time (sorry, fans of ‘dual-wielding’).
However, quite a number of cards in the game have random effects. For instance, for the arcane missiles card, it is supposed to deal 3 damage, randomly split among enemy characters. You played the card in hopes of being able to get rid 2 minions with 1 health on your opponent’s lineup, but the ‘random number generator’ decides to put all of the missiles into other full-health minions or the opponent’s hero instead. This also applies when you get a bad starting hand and keep getting ‘bad cards’ while playing.
Admittedly, card games have always had some elements of luck in them and that’s why sometimes, even the best card player can lose now and then… but they just don’t lose that often. You’ll need to learn to plan ahead and how to handle bad luck. If you want to minimize the effect of luck on your win/lose ratio, well, bear in mind that luck doesn't affect your gameplay as much if you have a brilliantly-designed deck. Nonetheless, the role that luck plays in this game indeed makes the game so much more engaging and addictive!
Furthermore, if you have any unwanted cards, you can easily break them down into arcane dusts, which you can use to craft new cards instead of buying card packs. Once you've saved up enough dusts, you may even get that legendary card that you've always wanted!
The intricate and delicate balance between the power of spells, abilities and minions in Hearthstone gives the game tremendous depth and variety… all thanks to a year of rigorous testing! Not to mention, there are regular minor tweaks to popular cards and not-so-popular cards in the game, so the best card today may not be as good tomorrow while some other cards that you won’t even bat an eye to look at previously, may all of a sudden become one of the most popular cards to use! This result in popular deck builds being cycling in and out of popular usage as people come up with new strategies and counter-strategies.
Moreover, the gameplay and rules of the game are fine-tuned to perfection in Hearthstone though they are not exactly unique (hint: Magic the Gathering or even the WoW: Trading Card Game)! Best of all, these cards and skills weaved flawlessly with the lore of Warcraft. The game is not too fast-paced – it is slow enough to give you sufficient time to think out your strategy as you play the game. Despite its simple mechanics, Hearthstone contains very subtle advanced play that only players who have invested enough time in Hearthstone can detect or feel.
If you've played any card games before, you’ll be right at home with Hearthstone’s easy-to-learn, yet hard-to-master gameplay! Oh and let’s not forget that each deck must contain a total of 30 cards before you can use the deck to play. The game starts by randomly giving out cards from both you and your opponent’s respective decks. You’ll get 3 or 4 cards to start with depending on whether you start first or second. To play a card, you’ll need to required amount of mana. Initially, you’ll start out with only 1 mana crystal and the total mana crystals that you get will increase by 1 every turn up to a maximum of 10. As your mana increases, you’ll then be allowed to play your more powerful but mana-hungry cards. In addition, the game objective in Hearthstone is pretty obvious as well – you’ll need to destroy your opponent by taking down his or her hero’s 30 health points before they get yours down.
There are generally 5 modes in this game – the practice mode, play mode, adventures, the arena mode, and duels. You can play the practice mode to unlock all the classes as well as their associated class-specific cards while the play mode, which will probably be the mode that you’ll be playing most of the time, is where you get to test your card-playing skills against another human player. Adventures are single-player experiences with a Warcraft-based theme, in which players will be pitted against bosses associated with that theme. They usually feature special cards that you can earn that are unobtainable by other means of play. Currently, Hearthstone has released one adventure, namely Curse of Naxxramas, and it has one more, Blackrock Mountain that is coming soon.
The arena mode is one very unique mode in Hearthstone. In this mode, you get to build one-off decks out of randomly drafted cards. This means that you are given 3 cards, which are chosen at random, from every card there is in the game (…and yes, even cards that you do not own… yet), to choose 1 card from. The process repeats until you get a complete deck of 30. Then, you’ll face other players who did the same thing in a match! If you lose 3 times in the Arena, you’re out and will be given rewards based on how many games you've won. Last but not least, duels are generally similar to play mode, but instead of fighting random strangers, you get to choose who among your friends that you want to challenge!
In any PvP-based game, excellent matchmaking is the key to keeping players hooked! After all, you won’t want to stay in a game when everybody you face keeps steamrolling you into defeat, right? With so many people playing Hearthstone, you are guaranteed to get a match with someone about your skill level.
Not to mention, Hearthstone is not at all pay-to-win. Being a free-to-play game, the game has a micro transaction system in place that allows spenders to get more card packs quickly using real cash, which effectively increasing their chances of getting the best cards in the game – the legendries. However, you should note the ‘higher chance’ part. It is not a guaranteed thing. Even if you get one, it may not fit your deck. Let’s not forget that the game’s balance is very well-done as well! Even with legendries or any other strong cards, you may lose the game too if you don’t know how to play or that your opponent is just better than you.
The community in Hearthstone, for both casual and competitive gamers, is huge! You can find their regular hangouts, such as the battle.net forum for Hearthstone, Hearthstone reddit or its Facebook page swamped with players eager for a discussion on the best decks to use, on new strategies as well as to brag on their successes or spectacular and perhaps hilarious defeats. There are also guilds that you can join to meet your fellow Hearthstone enthusiasts.
Hearthstone is also a huge player in the eSports tournaments. In 2014, this game gave out more than 1 million dollars in prize money to winners spread out among its 200 tournaments! It’s a pretty impressive feat, considering that the game was released in the middle of last year – this means those 200 tournaments are organized within a 6-month period! It may even probably be the fastest growing game on the eSports scene!
Let’s not forget about Hearthstone’s vibrant Twitch community on -where else?- Twitch! Hearthstone may also be is one of the largest groups of streamers on the Twitch, just behind League of Legends and DotA2. Some examples of popular Hearthstone streamers on Twitch include Trump, Moldran and Amaz. Most of them are professional Hearthstone gamers or at least brilliant amateurs and you can learn so much from these guys in just a couple of streams. However, to replicate the feat… well, it may take you some time… depending on how skillful you are.
The artwork in Hearthstone or in any Blizzard games is seriously astonishing! Every card and board in this game is gorgeous and not to mention, there’s a very nice ‘card album’ whereby you can leaf through your collected cards lovingly and admire them! You’ll love the interactive boards too, in which you can peck holes on windows or fire an orcish catapult by using your mouse while waiting for your opponent to make his or her move.
The music and the sound effects in this game is amazing as well! The music provides just that exact feeling of playing a card game in a tavern with a fellow adventurer in the world of Warcraft. It’s brilliant how spot on the music is! The sound effects are awesome in this game as well! You’ll definitely enjoy how it sounds when the shield forms around a card with taunt that you've just placed on the board. After all, the little things do matter! These little guys help to make the game so much more fun to play!
In a nutshell, Hearthstone is a highly popular free-to-play MMOCCG that is excellently and brilliantly developed. Besides having 9 different heroes/ classes, it contains over 400 cards from 3 different types, namely weapons, minions and spells. Card balancing isn't a huge issue in this game, though some may say that the game tend to rely a whole lot on the random number generator. It is also in no way pay-to-win - free-to-play players can rely solely on their skills, if their skills are good enough, to climb to the top. There are plenty of game modes, both single player and multiplier PvP, for you to enjoy too! Its competitive scene may be a bit tough to break into, but it is not entirely impossible – it is mainly up to you… how much time and energy are you willing to spend on improving your game? If you enjoy CCGs for fun or for the rush of competition, Hearthstone is your game! Play it now!