Free multiplayer on-line fantasy card game

Please log in

Mojko on 10:04, 29. Nov, 2013
Blizzard's new online card game Heartstone is currently in beta testing. I haven't tried it myself (still awaiting beta key) but it looks like a very casual version of Magic the Gathering. We currently don't know how much the game will cost, but there will be booster packs, so probably it will be pay to play in multiple micro transaction form, i.e. initial price will be low, but it will be required to pay continually to keep up with other players.

Regarding game mechanics I've seen so far:

Mana processing. In magic you had to play Land cards to gain mana, here you are given one more mana each turn - a mechanic similar to Etherlords. This means you don't need to manage Land cards - the game does it automatically for you. I kind of like this mechanic, it lets you focus more on the game

Unit HP - in Etherlords you units regenerated all their HP at the end of the round, but it is not the case here. All units keep their current HP and need to be healed by abilities or other cards. This means faster games. I'm kind of neutral on this mechanic.

Unit assignment - card games usually let the attacker choose attacking units, but the defender may assign which attacking unit goes where (assigns defending units). Here, the attacker assigns the defending units as well and he is able to attack the player character even when there are defending units on the field. The only way to prevent that is having creatures with Taunt (this allows the attacker to attack only them until they are destroyed).

This feature allows shorter games, since it's more difficult to defend than to attack. I think this feature is nice.

Randomness - from what I've seen card effects can be pretty random which takes away strategy from game and this isn't good. For example (1 damage to random enemy creature, 3x 1 damage to random creature on the field...).

Overall, Blizzard is going for more casual and faster approach. A game that can be played by vast majority of players and one game has only short duration so many games can be player in a short time.

What you guys think? Will it be a great card game, or not so much?
Fithz Hood on 12:20, 29. Nov, 2013
There are so many cardgame out there, therefore any new one lacks originality in my eyes.
Mana managment reminds me of marcomage and probably battle spirit(?)
the choice on the attacker reminds me of cardfight vanguarde and yu-gi-oh
the random mechanism reminds me of many bad games...
Spoon on 21:04, 6. Mar, 2014
I'm playing the beta at the moment and it's a fun little game. I think it may even be free to play the beta, still.

I pretty much agree with what is said above, but I have to appreciate that, despite having micro-transactions in the game, it really isn't a "pay-to-win" scenario. Yes, you can buy booster packs with real money but the arena mode of the game puts everyone on even footing: You make a deck choosing cards out of a random selection of ALL cards and battle other players until you've lost thrice to gain a reward, based on your success. I really like this idea and that's how I get my new cards in the game; I never buy the boosters directly any more. Oh, and boosters and Arena passes can be bought with in-game gold. I've not had to spend a penny (which is mainly why I like it).

It's not "the next WoW", but it's fun for a while.
Lord_Earthfire on 21:30, 6. Mar, 2014
I played it for some time and i have to admit that pretty much was copied from other games to make a more casual approach, like said above.

The mana management system is quite annoying. The manabase and manacurve is in magic one of the most crucitial systems, dividing decks into blitz, aggro, control, midrage, combo (via fast mana mechanics) and so on... This feature just makes up with this strategies and forces you to go from a streamlined concept to a more all-roundish one... Reducing the diversity of the game by a lot.

The attack mechanism reminds me pretty much of duelmasters, mainly because of the ability taunt, although you could at least select with the blocker ability in duelmasters, how you block.
To take that opportunity reduces player-interaction, by a big amount.

And Player interaction is a main issue. From what i saw, this was the most limited in that game. You coudn't interact with your enemy in his round at all. There are traps, but these are laughable good to play around when you know which traps your opponent can play...

This creates an atmosphere where you don't actually think about your actions at all, when you know what you will play, you can just put it into the field, your enemy cannot do anything anyway... This makes it really streamlined and easy to play.

And the thing thats bugging me at most is the class system. You are particular fixed on one class and playing a brew of different tactics is out of question, e.g. a warlock is a great aggro-hero, but he just lacks the cards to play control decks... This makes the game more streamlined, more easier, because you have a role which defines the basics of your deck, but creative deck building is almost out of question.

Luckily, many random effects can be somehow controlled (like checking to play magic arrows when your enemy has only low hwalth critters and so on), but i think this has be done to remove some issues with complex trageting (like it would be "complex" to target 3 different units....) and to nerf some cards, what could have be done in other ways, like conditions (But that would have been to hard to understand, i think...)

All in all, its, like Mojko said, a fast casual approach on other card games to get a huge mass of fans, but it just lacks the deep other card games have to bound them for a longer time...

And, by the way, the arena mode is a copied version of draft-events in magic the gathering
Damalycus on 12:21, 28. Mar, 2014
I have been playing it for a very long time now.
It's a very good game, but with some drawbacks.

Despite being free to play, it's a single commercial game that I know, which is not pay to win. Even more - playing for free is much more enjoyable in the sense of getting new cards.
Quite easy concepts, simple card descriptions, newb-friendly, and under that is a deeper layer of complexity. Also almost every card can create some synergy with another card. Endless amounts of combos, powerful or fun.
Very nicely balanced, you can kick ass with sanely crafted deck, even if it's cheap (imagine marcomage deck without rares and almost without uncommons)

Loads of bugs, for such salaries totally unacceptable. Right now there's some bugs still left unfixed. Even I can code better.
Somewhat questionable UI, with lots of unnecessary clicks and refreshes needed. Creating decks is a pain, and those decks are only 30 cards.
No "fast mode", even at higher ranks games can last a really long time. There's one card which makes round = 15 seconds, but it's an lategame card. Matchmaking takes 10 seconds, but average non-rush game takes AT LEAST 10 minutes.
RNG annoys the crap of me, it can be such a cheesy way to play, and there's no way of warding against it (cards with random effects).
As with all popular games - metagame is bad. Every update creates an illusion of some specific deck being the best. And in ranked mode AT LEAST 15% of your enemies will run variation of that deck. Add another 10% with the deck designed to play against the first one.
Quite high system requirements, freeze-ups if you don't meet them. IMHO = bad coding.
Mojko on 06:46, 24. Jul, 2014
Started playing Curse of Naxxramas yesterday and I have already done everything except the super hard challenges. I think they could have done in a little bit harder, because I didn't play hearthstone for a long time and I didn't adjust my old Hunter deck at all. It seems they want to make it as much casual as they can.

I tried one of the super hard challenge and guess what? The AI has specific deck and that AI is customized for the deck. Also it has some ridiculous starting stats. Where did I see that before? * cough * MArcomage AI challenges * cough *. :D