So, this is going to be my last post on Hearthstone. I’ve uninstalled the game, which REALLY says something about it when I still have Rift on my desktop and I haven’t played that in 6 months.
Raptr says I have 10 hours put in. I’ve completed games in less time and normally I have a solid feel after 2. I had rather high expectations from this game and the previous 2 posts sort of alluded to that. I won’t lie to you, the game isn’t so much a disappointment as much as my expectations.
There appears to be two games within Hearthstone. The first, the free to play version. Similar to the older facebook games, where you had a limited amount of energy before you had to stop, this game is really only good in small bites. Once you’ve completed your daily quests, there is absolutely no reason to keep playing. This game lasts for as long as it takes for you to get your first legendary card (or epic/rares to compete). This can take a month or more in the F2P game or….
The second game is the one supported by real world cash. This gets you WELL ahead of the curve and also dictates the class you’re going to play. These cards are so powerful that they completely shift the rest of the game. I don’t mean a little bit either. The difference between a basic set and having just a few rares is the difference between losing in the 3rd round and winning in the 2nd. In fact, I am of the opinion now that most games are set by the 4th round and the rest is just finishing stuff up, with a few stragglers taking longer. If you’re still playing at 10 mana, something is likely gone wrong.
Now, this might seems like it’s a bad thing and that’s not really the point. The goal of these posts is to give people some idea of what Hearthstone actually is, and to help set expectations. I read a fair bit about the game before but I didn’t really grasp the whole card acquisition portion. Without dumping a significant amount of money, there’s just no game.
The type of F2P game that I enjoy is one where the money buys you fluff or cosmetics. I typically spend $30-50 dollars on those games (Neverwinter, Marvel Heroes, Rift, etc…) and it makes the game more fun. Hearthstone has zero fluff. Every penny you put in has a direct impact on your power. That is not a business model that I enjoy or one I want to put more time into.
That being said, Zynga made bajillions on this business model and I don’t see why Blizzard can’t do the same.