Response to Iksar/thoughts on HS
I haven’t played or streamed hearthstone for the past few weeks. Every time I wake up I have a desire to play, but it’s trumped by playing autochess or doing something more fun. I’ve opened the client 5 or 6 times in the past 2 weeks to try to play around with deck ideas but nothing really feels good so I haven’t actually played a game yet. This is the longest I’ve gone without playing Hearthstone since I’ve started. It’s not that I don’t still like Hearthstone, it just feels too repetitive and to a certain extent- it feels like my decisions don’t matter as much. I’m not a card game expert and definitely not a game developer, but this is my take on a few problems I personally experienced and maybe a few suggestions.
Matchup polarization was a problem a lot of people seemed to have. The issue I have with matchup polarization is not having the option to tech in a card that can make a match up better. This wouldn’t have to instantly win a matchup, but simply make it better. Not having a combo disruption card that is a neutral is really hurting the game - combo decks became a bit too powerful when there is virtually no counterplay.
I want my decisions to matter, not just in game but out of game. I feel lost and frustrated when I’m trying to tinker around with a deck but can’t make specific matchups better. It’s not that I even need to win the matchup, it would just be helpful to have an additional card to to make my percent better. Back when quest mage was popular and dirty rat was around, quest mages would have to hold extra cards in their hand and manage card draw and hand size which was kind of difficult - on top of that they could tech in redundancy in their deck- which could counter the counter card etc. I thought deck building like that was cool - now it just feels like I wait for them to combo and kill me.
People seem to complain about Prince Keleseth- personally, I’m on the fence. It feels bad to be a lot less favored in a matchup because someone drew that one card that put them over the edge. I’d be more fine with the card if it felt like they were sacrificing something to play it over - but most of the 2 drops in the game are mediocre at the moment.
People would also complain about Reno and Kazakus. While I thought they were a bit overtuned, they encouraged creative deckbuilding. I generally judge a cards’ power level on whether or not I’d pay a mana more for it (because that’s usually how they nerf cards xD) and with Reno I would most certainly pay one more mana for him. Another example would be Rexxar.
Even if you want to play a control deck, you can’t truly outvalue anything because death knights exist - so it becomes a showdown of either who draws their death knight first or whose death knight is better. This becomes increasingly frustrating when your control deck gets outvalued by one card.
On the topic of standard cards being in the evergreen set. Cards need to rotate or be changed, the game will always feel the same if the same cards are being used over and over again. I don’t care if they nerf a bunch every time or buff different ones or something, but change needs to happen with this.
For me hearthstone is the most fun for me when everything is undiscovered and fresh, things become solved very quickly because of sites like hsreplay and how accessible netdecking is. There isn’t really a solution for this aside from releasing more content or trying to promote more interesting deck building.
The best I could come up with in terms of keeping the game fresh for a reasonable amount of time is releasing a new expansion every month and giving it free to everyone...
But more seriously, content is being consumed too quickly and everything becomes solved which makes it all feel the same. I think Hearthstone needs more game modes and more ways to play your cards. Hearthstone would benefit from a mode that combined old sets and new sets together every month - (3-4 or 4-5 sets per rotation, think about being able to play all your mechs in GVG with all the new mechs in boomsday! Or being able to play Reno with Genn etc). It would provide a lot of content and a new meta every month. The reason wild doesn’t see play is because they don’t have a rotating set so everything feels the repetitive - same old busted combos every single game, Barnes on 4 into Y’sharj etc.. Even if sets of high power level combined and decks became overpowered (assuming no nerfs), we would only have to wait a month for it to rotate instead of a year (or in Wilds’ case- forever).
The main issue with this format is almost everyone dusted their previous set expansions, but it could be a good way for blizzard to promote usage of old cards - and sell or give away a lot of old cards, because I doubt people are buying prior sets now to play wild.
Now that there is no incentive to get a high ladder finish at the end of the season they should add one. This is kind of a small thing that affects very little players. But it’d feel cool if you finished rank 1 legend or really high legend you got like 50 packs in your unskippable treasure chest or something. Idk could be cool, think about it.
There are a lot of issues with competitive hearthstone - but I’ll omit those now because they haven’t announced their plans for the new season.
Tldr - Feels like my decisions don’t matter in and out of game (matchups decided beforehand, not much I can add to make matchups better). They need a new game mode because content is consumed too quickly.