The beauty of running a blog is that you can maintain a particular writing style consistently on a single source. If I were to run around commenting on 100 posts, then it would be hard to get the subtleties of the message. We’ve all heard the addage that most communication is non-verbal, so if you don’t get to see a LOT of writing from a person, then it’s hard to get the exact idea. Wilhelm is one of my favorites for writing style. If you only ever read one, then you’d miss half the content.
That big paragraph to say that I think that I suffer from the same fate. Nearly all of my posts are based on a foundation of history of design and I tend to over/under-state quite a few details because the wheels have already turned in my head. The comments from my Hearthstone impressions are quite evident of that.
So I opted to look for a bit more content from the interwebs and see what other people are saying.
- Azuriel succinctly covers my main gripe with the meta
- Tobold has a more optimistic approach to the same problem
- WoW Insider’s Olivia Grace has an overview of some gaps (some that have been fixed since)
- HearthPwn is the Curse-hosted gaming resource. I think the top 100 ladder information speaks volumes about the game but that’s a separate post.
- And the official forums are very positive (which is a first for a Blizzard game methinks)
This isn’t an exclusive list but simply some of the larger resources for taking a look at the state of the game.
My overall point with this is, and has been, that designing a well-balanced CCG is hard work. It’s much more than the individual cards. MTG has been doing it for 20 years. The actual physical Blizzard CCG did it for about 5 before closing the doors, with varying levels of success. One of my problems is that the system is not closed and balancing an open system is next to impossible. Blizzard, as a company, strives to take complex ideas to the common masses. Easy to learn, hard to master and all that. They did it with StarCraft 2. They missed the boat on Diablo 3. The jury is still out on Hearthstone but once it hits open beta (next month), the game for all intents and purposes is considered launched.