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The PA Report - Hearthstone is pay-to-win, and we’re actually totally cool with that



  • yleboutylebout Registered User new member
    Very good article!
    I have been playing to collectible card games since a long time, Magic the Gathering, of course, but also others like Lord of the Ring, Pokemon or Duel Master. I've also played to digital CCG like Shadow Era or Urban Rivals. I've invested quite some money in each of them. nd even like that, I lose half of my games...

    The interest in this game is based on the difficulty to get rare and very valuable cards, and the fact that other players don't have these cards, but might have others. It is core to the game, because it's what makes deck building interesting.

    If everybody had access to all cards, everybody would always build the same decks, as it would be quick to discover the best combinations. The fact that you have to deal with missing cards and find replacement for these cards, or build totally different decks to beat the too expensives ones, is what makes these type of game fun.

    It doesn't mean that you can't build "non-trading" card game working on similar game mechanisms (Gosu is a very good exemple of this), but it's very different! I don't believe you can create a game that includes deck-building if you give everybody the full set of cards. And deck building is at least half of the pleasure of CCG.

    At the beginning, I found Hearthstone a bit too simplistic in its mechanism, not as much as Urban Rivals, but still very far from Magic the Gathering, or even Pokemon. But for people who never played CCG, it's easy to understand and very progressive. After a few moments at playing it, and unlocking more cards (still for free), I've started to see the different possibilities in terms of deck building, and it looked in the end well balanced and offering quite a lot of possibilities. The free cards you get are a quite good basis already to play a bit with deck building, but it's also true that if you have a precise idea of the deck you would want to build, you will quickly want to buy some packs with real money.

    The Arena mode is very nice addition, which exists in fact in Magic - it's called draft, that bring the possibility to play cards and deck you don't usually play without investing the money needed to build it from scratch (that basically what's used in Magic too, especially when new sets of cards are released). I'm curious about the development of new game modes (with more than 2 players, for example).

    I agree that a missing point in Hearthstone for the moment, is the ability to exchange cards with other players. They compensate that with the possibility to craft cards with another in-game currency, but it's way less fun (and you can't make "good deal" there). If the goal is also to develop the number of cards (and thus the number of possible decks achetype - which is for now, lets be honest, a bit limited), a sandbox mode where you could build any deck with all the cards but not play against player with it (or even IA - you play both opponents), would be useful, to be able to test in real condition a new deck idea. I don't count the number ot time i've cut dozens of little papers to put in cards sleeve to test my decks.

    For the rest, to my own surprise, I must admit that Hearthstone is doing the job quite well, I'm curious to see it arriving on mobile, and to see if it will be sustained (meaning that new contents/cards will appear regularly).

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