My pre-breakup letter and ideas on how to save our relationship.
If you’re tagged in my tweet, it means I appreciate you as a content creator, and want to hear you speak publicly about these things if you feel the need to. It means I think you have smart things to say and you should tell the world what you think.
So, with everyone sharing their two cents when it comes to current Hearthstone situation, I’ll go ahead and do it as well. But I won’t stop there. I have a lot of things on my mind that don’t only concern gaming and competitive scene; this concerns my private life too and how this is affecting it.
First of all, let me start by saying that I love Hearthstone. It’s a game that changed the course of my life. It brought me and my boyfriend, now husband, together. We shared so much passion for it, traveled to tournaments, had endless gaming nights and discussions about it. We both hit Legend together for the first time and celebrated every milestone and tournament victory. We went to the Hearthstone World Championship in Amsterdam together and that’s where he proposed to me. For me, this game is a lot more personal than it is for many people.
All of this, and so much more, is why I am incredibly hurt by everything that’s going on with both the game and the community. I see streams, groups of people and esports teams falling apart simply because people have lost passion for it. I can’t exactly tell what the reason is. All I know is that I don’t feel the same for the game either. At the same time, I’ve never had more free content given my Blizzard - packs, card backs, WoW free time (you can stop sending me that lol, my newborn won’t even let me farm old mounts, let alone do new content :P). I have a strong feeling it has to do with so many people abandoning the game.
I don’t really have an answer to why it’s happening, but I have my suspicions.
It’s getting very expensive to play. Europe packs are still more expensive than NA ones, and with less incentive to play, less people are willing to put money into the game (and more of them are skeptical due to so many heroes and card backs given out for a limited time if you pay for it). It means that there are no longer F2P skin grinders… they can now satisfy their need to collect stuff in other games similar to Hearthstone. Not to mention there are so much more Legendary cards than before, and we are back to 700g per wing system with less packs than what it’s paid for.
The competitive system is… well, it sucks. I’m not going into detail, but we all know about issues with Battlefy as a third party, bracket reseeds, invitational world championship, Masters tour which is a dead end, costly journeys to qualifiers that don’t bring that much and don’t pay off, Specialist format, all-day Swiss tournaments and crazy requirements for qualifying, overpopulated tournaments, awkward tournament hours, boring Grandmaster streams (not due to casters at all, they are pretty much the only ones making it interesting)... where does it end?!
Appearance of new, more appealing, even F2P games. We are all aware of the auto chess hotness, and whether your poison is TFT or Underlords, it doesn’t matter. The point is, you’ve recognized its quality and how your need to play cards can be so easily replaced with a game like this. With less RNG, you’re able to show off your skills. Also, both these games are free and it allows anyone to just be good at the game regardless of the credit card balance. People like free things that are good. That’s how free things bring companies a lot of money. It doesn’t have to be directly from your players (I think this lesson should have been learned a long time ago by Blizz. Sorry, not sorry.)
Having a continuous story when it comes to expansions may be appealing to some people, but not to me. I feel like the last three expansions were attempts to remind people “of the good times they had” by re-playing Dr. Boom, or Reno Jackson, or whatever. I like new content and this doesn’t feel new anymore.
Talking about in-game tournament client and then abandoning the best idea that you’ve ever had. Whatever the excuse is, I don’t think it’s enough.
My husband and I entered a collage photo contest for Hearthstone anniversary a few years ago. To this day, we’re waiting for the results. We have put so much effort into the picture and still cherish it. I’ve been digging through Internet for years now, and there is literally no info about it even though the contest info was on the client news page and on the official website. It literally never got resolved. Or am I missing something?
I, for one, am guilty of finding extreme pleasure in playing Underlords. It’s a game I am currently completely nooby in, I don’t understand at least half of the things that happen in the combat, but I WANT TO PLAY THE GAME. And I THINK ABOUT THE GAME all the time. I TALK ABOUT THE GAME to other players. I PLAY THE GAME WITH OTHERS. Rank never even mattered. What matters to me is having a GOOD GAME. That feeling disappeared from my Hearthstone experience a long time ago. It’s like wanting to be passionate about someone you’ve been for 10 years with but the relationship is stale and you’re forcing yourself to do romantic stuff. You’re just roommates now. That’s what me and Hearthstone are now.
Don’t get me wrong, I still play the game. I am participating in Masters Qualifiers even though they are a dead end. I have another profile where I do dailies every day so my 3-month old son can one day play if he wants to, and have a card collection to work with. I stream the game, even though half of my viewers are gone, watching TFT. I’m giving this relationship last chance simply because it’s been too long and I don’t know how to break up. Because I love the game. I just hate what’s happening to it.
I won’t be the one to just criticize; when I am about to break up with someone, I always give them a last chance with some constructive feedback.
Abandon Battlefy and introduce your own tournament system.
Keep the amateur dream alive and let nobody’s compete for the World champion title as if they’re going to earn it.
Your game is expensive. There are other F2P options now that people are choosing. Lower the content prices permanently and don’t bait people with limited time offers hoping to get more money.
As a large company, we EXPECT you to answer to the market’s needs. If you can’t battle with Auto Chess games by using Hearthstone as your weapon… MAKE A NEW GAME. People WANT to collect Doomhammers and Medivh’s staff from the board and WANT to play Antonidas-Grommash-whatever kind of chess with the lore they KNOW. Yes, Underlords has got the Warcraft lore, but they ain’t got the NAMES that will make people want to play it.
Make Wild competitive. Don’t sell Wild bundles to people if they can’t compete in esports and get that money back.
Involve more streamers, even smaller streamers, in your reveals and other events. I’d like to participate. So many of my friends would like to participate. We’re small, but we’re talented. And we want the best for the game.
Rant over. Or it’s only just begun.