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Author Topic: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?  (Read 191154 times)

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Kirian

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2013, 08:57:01 am »
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So, like Jdaki, I finally got things working.  After a dozen or so games against the AI, my thoughts, coming from a very casual Magic player.

Mana system:  OK, we've stripped it down to the barest possible system.  OK, I can deal with that, it's bland but serviceable.

Blocking:  Wow do I hate this.  The attacker has all the advantages: s/he can choose the defending minion (except for Taunt), and the defender has no interrupts/reactions that can change things mid-fight.  Now I'm sure this was done to make things simpler and presumably faster, but it feels unbalanced, and makes the game less interesting.

Cards:  The cards are so very, very... bland.  I mean, a few of them do somewhat interesting things, but really... it feels bland.

Because of the combination of mana system and blocking, it seems like a deck should focus on tiny taunt cards and big attackers or big spells, then go after the opposing hero unless there's an easily killable big attacker opposing.

But granted, this is after just a dozen games.
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Kirian

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2013, 10:37:50 am »
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They did an excellent job with the flavor text though.  Especially for those of us with eight years if lore knowledge.
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nkirbit

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2013, 07:42:47 pm »
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I've been watching this a lot, and it looks like a lot of fun.  I love the fact that you can pick up and put down the arena rather than being forced to sit down and do it all at once, and the game looks easy to get into.  And I love the warcraft flavor!

I play a lot of magic, and it doesn't look like it has the complexity of magic.  I do like the fact that it still maintains the natural build-up by adding more mana each turn (which is the reason I dislike a game like Netrunner.. I don't feel like it really builds to anything) without the possibility of mana-screw.  And asynchronous play is something I'm a fan of (Solforge, which I like a lot, has the same thing).

Unfortunately, no luck with the RNG of the beta key giveaway yet.
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nkirbit

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #28 on: November 02, 2013, 07:48:15 pm »
+1

Blocking:  Wow do I hate this.  The attacker has all the advantages: s/he can choose the defending minion (except for Taunt), and the defender has no interrupts/reactions that can change things mid-fight.  Now I'm sure this was done to make things simpler and presumably faster, but it feels unbalanced, and makes the game less interesting.

Yeah, it definitely speed things up (I would guess).  In a game like Magic, when you can't attack favorably, you just do nothing.  It often leads to stalemates where players just pass each turn until someone draws a spell that breaks the gamestate open, or ignores the gamestate, or something like that.

In hearthstone, it seems like when this happens, players still throw units at the heroes.  It encourages combat because the way to make sure you don't die is to actively kill opposing creatures, rather than simply deciding to never attack like you would in Magic.  Certainly a different pace.
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popsofctown

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2013, 07:24:43 pm »
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I play a lot of magic, and it doesn't look like it has the complexity of magic. 

I've heard this a lot.  I've yet to hear it from someone who played Magic extensively during Alpha, when the game only had one set so far, and that set was even made smaller, in terms of overall complexity, by its desire to get some core staples printed up from the getgo, like Lightning Bolt and Grizzly Bears. 

Granted, I am not one of those people, but I have heard stories from some of those people, and decks were not that complex back then.  The apples and oranges comparison between the most recent magic sets and a game with a couple hundred cards that is still trying to decide whether its lightning bolt should cost one mana or two is irritating. 
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popsofctown

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #30 on: November 06, 2013, 07:43:45 pm »
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So, I probably don't have to explain to anyone that Hearthstone is very different from Dominion.  I have found one similarity pertaining to arena mode though; there's a certain value in identifying card combos that come up.  Sometimes you get offered a solid or average card, then you get offered that card again, and again, and again, to the point where you have so many copies you can bet your lifesavings on drawing it every hand. 

Here's the ones I've tested so far and had success with:

Bloodsail Raider + Flame Axe
These are both solid cards in their own right, so it might seem like "yeah pops you draft some good cards you get a good deck".  But I mean I once got so many of each of these that I abandoned the concept of a mana curve, drafted no cards that costed more than four mana, picked these two cards over anything at all offered alongside them, and just went crazy.  It was a 9-1 draft.  Probably more important to see multiple Flame Axes before you go for this, multiple Bloodsail Raiders could leave you hanging if you don't get those Axe offers.

Mana Wyrm + Mana Wyrm + Arcane Intellect
Mana Wyrm stacks with itself in a crazy way.  One draft I got six copies, and then picked lots of enablers.  Arcane Intellect is the best, because it counts as a spell, finds other cheap things that count as a spell, and gives you things to do with your mana so that you don't get empty hand syndrome from playing 6 one mana creatures

Raging Worgen + Inner Rage/Cruel Taskmaster + Warsong Commander

I had most of my experiences with this back before Battle Rage was nerfed, but I think I did this at least once while Battle Rage was weak.  Still I put it last because I can vouch for it the least.  Humorously, going to the effort of crossing the Ts and dotting the Is to put this big combo together lets you use 8 mana to do something mages do just by stacking their best common: deal 12 unexpected damage.  You don't expect it as much from a Warrior though, so that's why it's good.
Charge is kind of an iffy card since the loss of Battle Rage so I don't think you'd want to incorporate that unless you had double Auctioneer or something.

None of these combo I've found so far can actually incorporate a card that is really bad and make it good.  Those are harder and riskier to find because you don't have much experience with those cards, and the transition is more tricky and dangerous.  I think it's an interesting potential area, though.  Like, quadruple Soul of the Forest and Wisp or something?  I would only feel confident telling you that doesn't work after having a chance to try it myself.
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nkirbit

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #31 on: November 06, 2013, 07:50:14 pm »
+1


I play a lot of magic, and it doesn't look like it has the complexity of magic. 

I've heard this a lot.  I've yet to hear it from someone who played Magic extensively during Alpha, when the game only had one set so far, and that set was even made smaller, in terms of overall complexity, by its desire to get some core staples printed up from the getgo, like Lightning Bolt and Grizzly Bears. 

Granted, I am not one of those people, but I have heard stories from some of those people, and decks were not that complex back then.  The apples and oranges comparison between the most recent magic sets and a game with a couple hundred cards that is still trying to decide whether its lightning bolt should cost one mana or two is irritating.

I guess the main difference between the two games is the asynchronous nature of Hearthstone, whereas in Magic every single action can be responded to.  I don't think there's any way at all to have this difference without losing at least some complexity.  Not that this is necessarily a bad thing for Hearthstone.. there is still plenty of room for complexity!  And note that more complexity is not necessarily a good thing.

Interestingly enough, the one thing that bugs me about Hearthstone the most is the secrets.  I don't know exactly what it is about them, but they just really don't sit well with me.

Comparing Hearthstone to Magic's first set just isn't a fair comparison, I don't think.  That was 20 years ago, and so much has changed since then.  Hearthstone absolutely blows Alpha out of the water in terms of execution, rules clarity, and really any comparison you would like to make, as it well should.  If a game came out with a set like Alpha today, the game wouldn't survive because the standards are so much higher.

You are right in that comparing Hearthstone to a game that's been around for 20 years isn't entirely fair to it, but I don't think comparing it to an expansion that came out 20 years ago is a fair comparison either.

The fact is that it looks like a very good game, and one I look forward to playing.
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popsofctown

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #32 on: November 06, 2013, 08:15:43 pm »
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The comparison people tend to be making is "Theros + M14 + Ravnica block vs. fledgling beta test", which is not a fair comparison in terms of complexity.

Instants offer more complexity than not having instants does.  But that is just one kind of design space that is blocked off.  Hearthstone could explore its design space more fully than Magic does with its design space, and vice versa, depending on card design.  It's not even intuitively obvious or provable that Magic has more overall design space just because it has that thing that Hearthstone can't have, Hearthstone has lots of things Magic can't have, like Sense Demons. 

Magic is still a turn-based game, you just take turns with priority, and game of Magic has thousands of priority passes, while a game of Hearthstone will have about twenty.  When shuffling decks is a significant portion of setup, priority passes make sense as the amount of pondering required by the players is helping them enjoy more choices-per-shuffle.  In Hearthstone the computer shuffles, and telling the computer "no, i don't want to Giant Growth his guy right before it attacks" adds more slog than benefit, so it makes sense to find complexity elsewhere.

All that said, I wish Hearthstone would do a little bit more with the space they have.  For instance, Knife Juggler could say, "Battlecry: Choose a target. Whenever you summon a minion, deal 1 damage to that target".  Would still work fine.  I'd also like it if secrets had modes (like Druid cards), giving you more control over the events of your opponent's turn.  Some things along those lines.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 08:17:33 pm by popsofctown »
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nkirbit

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #33 on: November 06, 2013, 08:27:32 pm »
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You're absolutely right on the Sense Demon thing.. there are so many things that Hearthstone can do that magic can't because Magic is a physical game.  Magic would have a difficult time handling something as simple as the Priest's hero ability. 

Hearthstone still has plenty of time to work with the space they have.  For example, Hearthstone has a ton of potential design space that involves card transformation that magic just doesn't have access to because those things are too hard to Magic to track.  I assume that they will delve into this space given enough time.

Heck, Magic can't even do hitpoints.. as used to it as I am, I do think toughness is so much less desirable than hitpoints in a digital game.. it's just better for magic because it's less information to track.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2013, 08:28:53 pm by nkirbit »
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Kirian

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2013, 10:33:08 am »
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You're absolutely right on the Sense Demon thing.. there are so many things that Hearthstone can do that magic can't because Magic is a physical game.  Magic would have a difficult time handling something as simple as the Priest's hero ability. 

Hearthstone still has plenty of time to work with the space they have.  For example, Hearthstone has a ton of potential design space that involves card transformation that magic just doesn't have access to because those things are too hard to Magic to track.  I assume that they will delve into this space given enough time.

Heck, Magic can't even do hitpoints.. as used to it as I am, I do think toughness is so much less desirable than hitpoints in a digital game.. it's just better for magic because it's less information to track.

The thing is, a lot of that design space (card transformation and the like) is covered by Hex.  Since those are going to be the two big digital competitors, it feels like Blizzard is positioning HS to be the "simpler" game, which, I mean, isn't necessarily a bad strategy when it comes to things like market share.  When it comes to attracting strategic players, perhaps not so much.

And as far as fair comparisons go, I think it's perfectly fair to compare current HS and Hex to current MTG.  The only real difference in terms of ability to create game complexity is the number of different cards available.
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Jdaki

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2013, 01:36:26 pm »
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Well here are my first impressions after maybe 50 or so games (I dunno maybe more, it's pretty moreish)
I have no previous ccg experience at all, so I'm pretty rubbish, I don't really understand the strategies or deck building, I can obviously work the numbers of given encounters to see what is preferential for me in a rough kind of form. There isn't really any scope for teaching this stuff in the game at this stage. Anyone got any good links?
I enjoy the game mostly, though often it does feel completely luck driven, which for me is a bad thing, though I'm willing to accept that this may not be true and it's that I picked rubbish cards.
Card draw seems really important, but of the few cards I've seen so far, I don't see how one can easily force good draw to play the combos that are interesting to work out.
The polish is generally there and with a couple years of WoW and having played Warcraft I enjoy the lore and little touches.
The money aspect seems pretty well pitched at this stage, at least I'm not sure how else they might do it. Perhaps it would be cool if they were really ambitious and made a gold - card auction house. I guess the crafting thing maybe cancels that out.
Overall, I can see this being massively successful. Blizzard are good at making games as crack. But I'm not totally convinced of true longevity right now.
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Kirian

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2013, 05:32:52 pm »
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So apparently the draft format just isn't for me.

After 4 times in the Arena, I've won a total of 2 Arena matches.  Drafted 2 nice legendaries... never drew either in seven matches.  Any thoughts?

I will say, the cards that aren't basic cards are certainly more interesting than the base cards.
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Grujah

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #37 on: November 24, 2013, 08:55:13 am »
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I play a lot of HS these days. (Well, am on a break till Wednesday, but whatever). I am playing Constructed mainly at this point but I had a long streak of arena only.

Overall opinion is that it is quite simplified and fast, it cannot compare at all with MTG or the likes, but, damn, it is TOO MUCH FUN.


@Kirian - It's not really a "draft" format, but whatevers :D I am not the best arena player ever (when I was focusing on it, my average was 6-3, but am much worse lately), but I can give some pointers. I used these when starting: http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/forum/topic/9742094161 and https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvFHvRgCHF4RdG16dlFNdUI1UXhhWk0yS1lITW82cnc#gid=1

So, Arena is quite easy. Legendaries help (esp when a guy dropped me 3 Tirions) but generally do not matter that much (I mean, of course they are powerful but it does't matter a lot if you get them or not, generally when you analyse limited formats, commons/uncommons are the things that matter the most, as you see the most of them).

There are few things you need to know when actually picking cards. Narrow cards always suck (Sacrifical Pact, Murlock Tribals). Cards that give no board advantage generally suck (Charge, Holy Light, Eye for an Eye, Mind Blast), 1HP guys always suck (Magma Raider, Dust Devil). What you actually want:
0. Class Specific - each class has a few very strong cards that you always want. Wont list them all, most are just the top cards in respective classes in the links that I gave.

a. Bombs - big, meaty, hard hitting creatures that need to be dealt with or they win the game very fast. They have a huge board presence, are a huge threat and usually trade 2 for 1 or better. Most Legendaries, Venture Co., Stormwind, Boulderfist, Sunwalker.

b. Removal -Any card that kills a creature.  Includes Weapons, and weapons are almost always best picks, in general. Class specific.

c. Effective creatures - They need to have relevant abilities and good stats, or just supreme stats. Disruption (Spellbreaker, Ooze that kills weapons), Sudden stat boost (Shattered Sun Cleric, Dark Iron Dwarf), hard to remove taunt guys (Senjin Shieldmaster, Sunwalker, Defender of Argus in a sense), "two for one" guys (Argent Commander, Stampeding Kodo,  Azure Drake), guys with great stats (Yeti), Value Creatures (Cult Master, Brewmasters).

d. Guys with good abilities but not necesarily good stats (Owl), vanillas with OK stats (3/2 for 2 Dino).

e. Least of 3 evils - when you get 3 sucky cards, one that sucks the least :D


Second thing to pay attention to is the curve. You want to curve out at 6 and 7, and you want your curve to top (have most cards at) 4. Sometimes 3 or 5, if you are playing a slower/faster deck.

---

As for actual play, few things are to be considered:

a. Maintain board advantage - most important thing. Whenever you can remove their creatures, if you make the trades they are profitable for you, if they make them, it is profitable for them. Any "weak" creature left can be Boosted with a Cleric or Dwarf and kill your much better guy. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but generally if you can, remove their creatures.

b. Maintain card advantage - trade 2 for 1. Save your removal for prime targets when possible, try to get at least 2-3 guys with your board wipe. Use your cards efficiently, if you have similar board position and he has more cards, he is generally in much better shape.

c.  Know your opponent - VERY, very important. You need to know strengths of your opponent and play around them. For example, on 5 mana, Priest can cast Holy Nova. Never put two guys with 2 hp on turn 4, you are just giving him cards/board advantage. Similary, do not play out your big threat against Priest to get Mind Controlled - play them if you can remove them or after he used his Mind Control.
Can't list them all, in a rush, but they are mostly "X damage to everything" spells and some few others.

--


As for constructed, I started enjoying it A LOT.

I have a few decks, 3 are mostly complete:
Hunter's Unleash the Hounds - Its a Combo-Control thing, you control the board for 6-9 turns, than, you drop a lot of 1 mana beasts, cast Unleash the hounds and win in 1 swing.
Suicide Warlock - basically, lot of aggressively costed creatures with drawbacks that you basically try to ignore.
Hunter's Zoo - basically, play beasts and attack each turn.

And two that I needs a bit more cards for, but they are still nice:
A Mage and a Priest Control.

Also, I oppened Tirion Fordring recently, so am going to be making a Paladin. :D


Totally hooked on Hearthstone  ;D
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Dsell

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2013, 04:55:01 pm »
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If I was curious about this, what would I need to do to try to get involved?
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Kirian

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #39 on: November 24, 2013, 04:57:51 pm »
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If I was curious about this, what would I need to do to try to get involved?

Well, first you need a Battle.net account.  You can do that at us.battle.net... or if you already have one, you can just go there.  Somewhere in the account management you'll find a beta opt-in form.  Then... wait until you get a beta invite.
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Dsell

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #40 on: November 24, 2013, 05:09:42 pm »
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If I was curious about this, what would I need to do to try to get involved?

Well, first you need a Battle.net account.  You can do that at us.battle.net... or if you already have one, you can just go there.  Somewhere in the account management you'll find a beta opt-in form.  Then... wait until you get a beta invite.

Terrific! Done!

Edit: how long do you expect it might take to get the invite?
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 05:12:20 pm by Dsell »
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Kirian

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #41 on: November 24, 2013, 05:17:05 pm »
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If I was curious about this, what would I need to do to try to get involved?

Well, first you need a Battle.net account.  You can do that at us.battle.net... or if you already have one, you can just go there.  Somewhere in the account management you'll find a beta opt-in form.  Then... wait until you get a beta invite.

Terrific! Done!

Edit: how long do you expect it might take to get the invite?

Not sure.  It was a couple of weeks for me, but Blizzard has made a ton of money off me over the years, and I suspect customer loyalty might bump the queue, but I have no way of knowing that for sure.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #42 on: November 24, 2013, 05:27:10 pm »
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Got mine yesterday (after a couple months). Also, open beta starts next month.

Seems pretty enjoyable - I'm on under "Dominionater" (sadly WanderingWinder is too long...)

Doing reasonably well - so far constructed is.... like quite easy, arena I'm doing middlingly.

I also have very little idea as to what other cards are out there, so far at least.

Dsell

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #43 on: November 24, 2013, 05:31:51 pm »
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Man, I wish I had done this earlier!
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Kirian

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #44 on: November 24, 2013, 05:38:31 pm »
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Got mine yesterday (after a couple months). Also, open beta starts next month.

Seems pretty enjoyable - I'm on under "Dominionater" (sadly WanderingWinder is too long...)

Doing reasonably well - so far constructed is.... like quite easy, arena I'm doing middlingly.

I also have very little idea as to what other cards are out there, so far at least.

All the available cards are listed in the Crafting list.
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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #45 on: November 24, 2013, 07:10:57 pm »
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So apparently the draft format just isn't for me.

After 4 times in the Arena, I've won a total of 2 Arena matches.  Drafted 2 nice legendaries... never drew either in seven matches.  Any thoughts?

I will say, the cards that aren't basic cards are certainly more interesting than the base cards.

I think one of the big problems that you can have with arena when you start out is falling in love with "shiny" cards and cute tactics, especially if you're seeing these cards for the first time. You can actually win a lot of arena without doing anything cute by just picking high quality minions, with a focus on card advantage, and then playing safely to maintain board control. I have a few quibbles with the list Grujah posted, but you should do pretty solidly mostly just following that.
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Dsell

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #46 on: November 24, 2013, 07:14:33 pm »
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I don't plan on paying for anything at this point. I know that you can get cards through grinding, can that grinding be done against bots? People you know? I'm trying to get a few other friends to sign up for the beta as well.
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WanderingWinder

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #47 on: November 24, 2013, 07:43:36 pm »
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Got mine yesterday (after a couple months). Also, open beta starts next month.

Seems pretty enjoyable - I'm on under "Dominionater" (sadly WanderingWinder is too long...)

Doing reasonably well - so far constructed is.... like quite easy, arena I'm doing middlingly.

I also have very little idea as to what other cards are out there, so far at least.

All the available cards are listed in the Crafting list.
I'm well aware that I *could* know them, but I am not going to spend the time to just go memorize. I'll figure it out organically, eventually.

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #48 on: November 24, 2013, 07:46:34 pm »
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Man, I wish I had done this earlier!
Same here. I opted in at least a couple weeks ago (after online Dominion started feeling a bit same-ish) and haven't heard anything yet.

I tend to enjoy games most when I figure out as much as I can without spoilers, so I'm avoiding reading anything substantial about the game. (Don't know if I'll even like it.) Gonna be hard to continue with that policy when actually playing though given that the people I'm playing against will know a lot more about the game already.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 07:48:01 pm by blueblimp »
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Jdaki

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Re: Has anyone learned Hearthstone yet?
« Reply #49 on: November 25, 2013, 04:46:51 pm »
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So apparently the draft format just isn't for me.

After 4 times in the Arena, I've won a total of 2 Arena matches.  Drafted 2 nice legendaries... never drew either in seven matches.  Any thoughts?

I will say, the cards that aren't basic cards are certainly more interesting than the base cards.

I'm glad I'm not the only one doing terrible, though I'm doing terrible in all the modes. I read over Grujah's links and post and drafted a much better deck, but still only won two games. Not knowing what exactly is in my opponent's hand is obviously a major detriment. Too often though, it does feel like "how the heck did he just happen to have that card what he needed, surely it's a fluke".
The slow trickle of gold doesn't really seem to reward you to just play in long sessions though as the quests don't update bar one a day, this does not encourage me to keep playing beyond a few games a day until I've grinded enough to get the 150 to have another try at arena...
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