Author Topic: Hearthstone (and battlenet desktop)  (Read 89048 times)

Piralyn

  • Boomcop Posse Friend
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 657
Re: Hearthstone (and battlenet desktop)
« Reply #765 on: February 06, 2019, 12:53:00 PM »
Back in my days playing CCGs around the country, one of my top tier competitors used to describe our play-style as "fishbowl"ing, which I always thought was a really accurate term but doubt is a real term/meme. Basically, we're going to play our game and do what we're going to do and there isn't really anything you can do to affect it, leaving you to be on the outside looking in as we win. I think a lot of CCGs, traditional and digital both, inevitably have major problems with that style of deck. Really, it's an alluring choice because it removes as many variables as possible (you know, your entire opponent essentially), which is kind of the whole point of building a winning deck.

It only gets worse when there's one or two super dominant archetypes and they employ that style of play. One of the CCGs I used to play back in college had a real dark era where there was a series of cards that--without going into great detail--were basically unstoppable and could make your opponent dump their entire hand on turn 1 100% of the time and keep them continually discarding every turn. That in tandem with a hero-equivalent that even further locked down things basically made that the only deck worth playing for like six months. It was nearly bulletproof with the game's state at the time and there was pretty much nothing you could do.

They had to release SEVERAL silver bullets in the next expansion, and even a few more in the expansions following that, to get the game back into a healthy state. I haven't played Hearthstone for a while, but from what I recall, Blizzard seems exceptionally reluctant to print silver bullets to gut overpowered combinations of cards and restore game balance. They'd rather randomly ban cards or nerf them into the ground at unexpected intervals or wait for stuff to cycle out. That's a terrible strategy for any card game, let alone a digital one. The CCG I mentioned earlier barely survived that half-year dark era, and they didn't have the luxury of going "Okay, cool, let's push a new set or adventure out ASAP."

Silver bullets tend to be controversial because they usually mean the targeted card becomes completely worthless. No one likes the feeling of their favorite card getting binned, but I don't see how that would be any worse than random bans/over-nerfs. That's part of the cycle of a CCG--or it should be--new expansions come out and make new themes and decks matter and old ones usually less effective. Hearthstone waits for the year to roll over, so when they make hugely impactful cards, you're basically stuck with them until the next year. This isn't a new complaint, but it sounds like it's getting worse and worse.


tl;dr: I have really strong opinions on CCGs.

Snique

  • Cupcakes Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1950
Re: Hearthstone (and battlenet desktop)
« Reply #766 on: February 28, 2019, 07:49:53 AM »
First big reveal of the upcoming year is out - https://playhearthstone.com/en-us/blog/22912682

Big moves include getting Genn and Baku (and their support cards) out. They go to Hall of Fame. They were an interesting experiment, but they distort the game environment too much. I'm much sadder about the loss of three classic cards: Naturalize from Druid, Doomguard from Warlock, and Divine Favor from Paladin.

Druid is already in terrible shape with its ramp having been destroyed in the last round of nerfs. With their sole remaining big removal tool gone it's not clear how Blizzard thinks Druid will become viable again. Obviously we'll look to the new sets for new tools, but the class needs serious help, not more power drain.

Doomguard is already not played in many warlock decks so I don't think its loss will be too keenly felt. Even Zoo has better tools now for finishing, and as a charge minion it was always in the crosshairs. There are lots of 5-attack rush minions now and I expect we'll see similar in the upcoming sets.

Divine Favor is a super-powerful draw engine. Again I would have preferred to see it nerfed rather than retired, but probably this means there will be new card-draw mechanics. Removing mass draw does make combo decks harder, so maybe that's a good thing.

Single player is getting a new dungeon run, with a free first chapter and paid subsequent. I've been piling up gold for a while because buying packs has seemed pointless so I can gold-buy this thing.

Piralyn

  • Boomcop Posse Friend
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 657
Re: Hearthstone (and battlenet desktop)
« Reply #767 on: February 28, 2019, 12:02:20 PM »

Druid is already in terrible shape with its ramp having been destroyed in the last round of nerfs. With their sole remaining big removal tool gone it's not clear how Blizzard thinks Druid will become viable again. Obviously we'll look to the new sets for new tools, but the class needs serious help, not more power drain.

Based on their phrasing of wanting it to be a weakness of the Druid class, I don't think they're actually going to patch that up or replace it, which... seems like a poor design choice for this kind of card game. That's kind of like wanting a class to be weak at drawing a card at the beginning of a turn, but hey.

It seems like they're doubling down on "classes should have weaknesses" which in and of itself isn't a bad idea--identity is great and all that--but it seems like they're focusing on pretty core components of the game being weaknesses rather than strategies or things other classes may be strong in. Like Warlock's weakness being "if you lose control of the board you're boned and should immediately forfeit" is not great game design. It should be things like "This class isn't good at flooding the board" or "This class excels at buffing small minions, but sucks at playing giant-out-of-the-box minions" or something. Or like "This class isn't good at healing damage to themselves and their minions" is fine, but maybe you don't want to make so a class can't actually play minions to tank damage/etc.

Some of these cards they're binning are indeed problematic, and something that affects deck construction is pretty tough to deal in any way OTHER than removing it from the card pool rather than the silver bullet solution I mentioned earlier. I'm just even more concerned at their design philosophy given what they're explicitly saying they're trying to make weaknesses. Not being able to deal with fundamental aspects of the game is not compelling game play or creative mechanics, it's an incredibly negative play experience.

I really wonder how much card game experience the design team has now after the exodus last year, because these seem like design decisions that most card gaming folks would not make.

Snique

  • Cupcakes Member
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1950
Re: Hearthstone (and battlenet desktop)
« Reply #768 on: March 14, 2019, 09:39:58 AM »
Info-dump on the first expansion of the new Hearthstone year: https://www.hearthstonetopdecks.com/rise-of-shadows-expansion-guide/