Anyone who knows Blizzard knows that when they have been quiet, for a prolong period of time that usually means they are up to something and if you don’t know Blizzard Entertainment you either are not or cannot call yourself a true PC Gamer who is interested in the genres of RTS (Real Time Strategy), RPG (Role Playing Game) and MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) or perhaps you were just born yesterday and are too young to know of the behemoth known as Blizzard Entertainment.
So as we wait on the larger titles Blizzard has been throwing out smaller ones to quell our hunger one such title is “Hearthstone: Heroes Of WarCraft” the word “WarCraft” in the title may ring a bell for some of you, as per usual Blizzard has tapped into the content of one of their larger titles “WarCraft” which is somewhat the backbone of Hearthstone when it comes to content. Hearthstone is a digital TCG (Trading Card Game) based on the lore of the WarCraft universe, anyone who has played any of the “WarCraft” RTS series and or have played the WoW (World Of WarCraft) MMORPG will recognize several of the characters and cards in Hearthstone.
For those of you who are coming from Yu-gi-oh! and or Magic: The Gathering (or even Pokemon which kinda fell off radar) should enjoy Heathstone especially those who enjoyed Magic since Blizzard has adapted certain aspects of Magic that in my opinion made Magic the strategically superior TCG over its counter parts, such as the ability for several minions/monsters of weaker stats to concentrate on one minion/monster of superior stats to destroy it, vs other TCG if you did not have an equally strong or stronger minion/monster card you could not destroy the one on your opponents side of the field, with out the assistance of some sort of spell/magic card etc…. while in the same breath it has adapted aspects that made Yu-gi-oh! shine in its own right, such as its “Trap” cards (if this is also in Magic forgive me I don’t recall coming across such cards) which Hearthstone dubbed “Secrets” which basically lies dormant on the board until your opponent executes a specific action to trigger the effect of the card.
Heathstone is simple to approach you start off being able to access the Play, Practice and later on Arena modes, you earn cards to create and customize decks to use in various modes. “Play” mode is where you can play against other players online under “Casual” just playing for fun and or “Ranked” where you play against other players to climb the Hearthstone rankings, Hearthstone has an engine where it attempts to match you with players of equal (or close as it possible can) skill set.
Most individuals will most likely start off in “Practice” mode this is where you can start your Hearthstone tutorial to get you use to the game and where you also gain access to your first deck (Mage Deck), then after the tutorial phase is over one can move on to playing against AI to break you into the Hearthstone system, in Practice there are eight (8) other AI decks one can play against and after defeating each deck you gain access to that deck and can use it for practise in AI or against other players. Hearthstone also operates of a leveling system each time you play a game you gain exp (more exp when played against another player) which levels up the deck you are using and in turn unlocks more cards for that specific deck.
And then there is “Arena” which is a bit more complicated as you are not able to use your pre-configured decks (and cost you gold to enter this mode but your first round is free) you are offered three (3) decks to choose from and then you are issued three (3) random cards that are related to you deck or ones that can be used in any deck in several instances to then construct a deck from what is offered to you to then play against other individuals and being more difficult Arena is also more rewarding you are given three attempts if you lose three times you are out but you can win multiple times and depending how well you performed, the better your reward at the end when you finally lose three (3) rounds.
Since one cannot purchase or trade cards with friends (at least at the moment) you can only acquire more cards by leveling up your decks and or by purchasing expert packs, each expert pack contains five (5) (contain at least one (1) rare card) random cards (they can be for any of the nine (9) decks) and one can purchase these expert packs with gold acquired in game or by the use of actual currency.
Each time you win three (3) games against an actual player you earn 10 gold (10g) one expert pack costs 100g. Blizzard has also taken the “Daily Quest” system from WoW where every day quests are issued with different objectives which one can earn varying amounts of gold depending on the quest, one can also earn gold as reward from playing Arena. So as you win and earn gold you purchase expert packs and as you start stacking up on multiple versions of the same cards and or want to focus on building a specific deck then you can move on to destroying (disenchanting) those cards to acquire “arcane dust” (this is also awarded in Arena) which can then be used to create specific cards that you want for specific decks.
So Hearthstone has a little bit of everything for everyone, so you just want to play and have fun then play Casual, you want to prove that your skills and or deck is superior then play Ranked, you can also play against friends if you choose to or perhaps you just want to kill some time you can go back and play against the AI as later on you can even access Expert level AI for more of a challenge than the Normal based AI offered.
So if you were searching for another TCG to add to your collection and or it seems interested or you just want to give it a try then check out battle.net/hearthstone
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Ramano is a fan of the Far East and so tends to bask in such things as anime, manga and rpgs as a source of entertainment. Like many other indivudials of this generation he is also very interested in technology.