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3 Ways Hearthstone Could Be Expanded

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By alexander hinkleyDate: May 03 2015 Views:

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Hearthstone is one of the fastest growing and most successful online digital card games out there. According to some reports, the player base has already surpassed a ridiculous 75 million players. The card base in the game is expanding as well. The Curse of Naxxramas adventure added some new cards and the Goblins vs. Gnomes expansion added a lot more. Another adventure called Blackrock Mountain was also recently announced which will bring even more new cards to the table.

As Hearthstone continues to grow, it will inevitably start to run into some obstacles. This is natural for all games but especially true of card games. Problems like power creep are a very real issue for collectible card games. Power creep is when newly released cards continually grow stronger and stronger to incentivize players to keep playing and acquire them but this eventually leads to the original cards becoming obsolete and as such rather than expanding the game’s card base, it technically stays the same or even shrinks as the number of relevant cards doesn’t change.

Here are some ways that Hearthstone can continue to grow while also avoiding some common pitfalls from that growth:

1. Add new hero powers

hearthstone-powers

One thing that makes Hearthstone unique from most other card games is the heroes and hero powers. Based on Warcraft, each hero has their own exclusive power that can be used pretty much every turn throughout the game so you always have something to do. In addition to hero-exclusive cards, these specialized powers make playing each deck feel much different. The healing power of the Priest, for example, is like the polar opposite of the Hunter’s Steady Shot.

According to an interview with the game’s developers, Blizzard has no plans for adding new classes to the game anytime soon. While that is unfortunate news, it doesn’t mean they can’t add new powers! One way that Hearthstone could add some variety to the game, without running into the balance issues of adding entire new classes, would be having a future expansion include a line of brand new hero abilities for each of the existing classes.

Blizzard has already dabbled with different hero powers. Some cards can change certain characters’ powers into something completely different. For example if a Priest casts the card “Shadowform,” it changes his hero power from a two damage heal to a two damage “Mind Spike” ability.

Wouldn’t it be cool if each hero had two different powers that you could choose from? You would select which power to use in the deck creation screen so you couldn’t just switch between them in-game. This would definitely make mirror-matchups a little more interesting because although you might both be playing decks with the same hero, you might have chosen a different power than your opponent and so the game would feel different.

Adding new hero powers to Hearthstone would also change a lot of card interactions and synergy and lead to a greater variety of usable decks for each hero.

2. Utilize the graveyard

hearthstone-graveyard

As of this writing, there are no mechanics in the game that utilize the graveyard. This is unusual especially because there actually seems to be a graveyard built into the game. If you look at the screenshot above, there are skulls where the graveyard would be.

Graveyard recursion is a powerful mechanic that could be used in a variety of ways. Mill decks have been becoming increasingly popular among Hearthstone players lately. Considering decks only consist of 30 cards, it’s not all that uncommon for a mill deck to actually work out. Nobody likes to be milled, however. If there were ways of putting cards from your graveyard back into your library then this could be useful in combating mill strategies.

Reanimator decks are a fan favorite in Magic: The Gathering and return from the graveyard effects could be quite strong in Hearthstone as well. Imagine a card that allowed you to return a minion card from your graveyard to your hand – or even to play. A legendary creature that got polymorphed and killed off suddenly coming back into the fold could be a game changer. Recursion effects would also be incredibly powerful in conjunction with the Death Rattle mechanic. A deck that synergized lots of Death Rattle minions with return effects would be able to abuse their Death Rattle effects over and over.

Having graveyards in the game would open up a world of new possibilities and card interactions. The fact the graveyard symbol is already in the game means that this mechanic may actually be added sometime in the future. It would definitely spice things up a bit!


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