Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft- Blizzard’s answer to a “freemium” game

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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft- Blizzard’s answer to a “freemium” game

Logan Lovell, Copy Editor/Reporter

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Blizzard Entertainment’s latest game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, is currently in a open beta test. I have played it, and it is easily one of the top ten games I have played in recent memory.

Ever since I started playing the World of Warcraft Trading Card Game, I wanted there to be an electronic element, whether it be just a counter for life or tokens, that could be added into the game. The element came in the form of, basically, putting it on the computer as an online card game. Now, with the WoW TCG (World of Warcraft Trading Card Game,) one had a one in eleven chance of getting a loot card, a card that one could go in-game and redeem for mounts, companions, et cetera. The game seemed like it took the card game to the next level.

When logging into Hearthstone, and after completing the tutorial for the first time, the player can jump right into ‘Play’ mode. The player can battle people of about equal skill, or the player default to ‘Unranked’ mode and just enjoy the game, free of rank loss. The player can select to go into ‘Practice’ mode, where the player can play against the computer’s AI. The player can also look at his/her quests, buy card packs, and, when the player has all the Heroes unlocked, The Arena.

In The Arena, the player can select one of three randomly selected Heroes, and generate a random 30 card deck, choosing one out of three cards at a time. The player can pause his/her Arena conquest and switch to play mode, but the player can only lose three times in The Arena before the player has to pay to enter it again. The first time the player goes, it is free, but each time after that is 150 coins.

The player completes quests to earn coins. The player gains one quest every day, for a maximum of three, and can abandon one a day to have it replaced by another. The amount of coins the player earns depends on the difficulty of the quest, and every three wins earns the player another ten. The player can spend the coins to enter The Arena, or to get single packs of five cards for 100 coins a pack. In the packs, the player has a guaranteed chance to get a rare or better rarity card, with the better the rarity the more powerful the card. The other four cards can be any rarity- ranging on a scale of common, rare, epic, and legendary- and each rarity is less likely to be opened than the last.

The last main feature is the ‘Crafting Mode’ when the player goes to the ‘My Cards’ section to look at his/her collection or to make a deck. The player can disenchant rare or better cards, or complete The Arena, to get Arcane Dust, which the player can then turn into better cards.

The game play itself is great. The player has mana crystals, which the player gains one of every turn, to play his/her cards and cast his/her spells. The player also has a Hero Power, costing two mana, that is specific per hero that the player can use to help his/her hero and team, hurt his/her opponent’s team, or hurt themselves to try to benefit himself/herself in the long run. The animations are simple, yet detailed and are fun to watch. The player can also edit one of the four maps the player is on by clicking. If the player clicks enough times, some animations will happen, while others are click-and-drag or just one click.

I call Hearthstone a “freemium” game, because, it is free, but there are also some aspects that can be bought. The main, and only thing so far, that can be bought is multiple card packs at a time. The game, however, is entirely free, just to get a bigger boost in a shorter amount of time, the player has the option to pay.
Though its actual release date is unknown as of this point, Hearthstone is a game I would recommend to be on your list of games to play for the year.