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Dear Hearthstone Players: Please Stop Playing Aggro in Casual

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By alexander_hinkleyDate: Jun 27 2016 Views:

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What does the term “casual” mean to you? Depending on the game and circumstances it can mean very different things to different people. In terms of Hearthstone, casual to me means that the mode should be about relaxing and having fun enjoying the game. Unfortunately many win-obsessed Hearthstone players abuse this mode to mine quick gold and take advantage of other people who are simply trying out new cards or decks.

Hearthstone’s casual game mode is infested with players that are using tier one decklists they found online or just straight up playing aggro decks in an attempt to get a win as fast as possible. This is not fun and flies in the face of what the casual mode was meant for. Playing an aggro deck in casual is akin to bringing Red Deck Wins over to your friend’s house for kitchen table games of Magic the Gathering. You probably won’t be invited back. Cards like Abusive Sergeant really don’t belong in this mode (not to mention that card is broken for its one mana cost).

It’s not even that aggro decks are hard to beat; it’s just that they ruin the fun of the game. Either your opponent gets an easy win because they have the perfect tempo and curve out just right, or you get an easy win because they run out of steam or don’t draw the right cards. I’d rather lose a game that went back and forth than win one because I played Consecration on a bunch of Murlocs and my opponent conceded on turn four. So it’s not fun to play against an aggro deck regardless of whether you win or lose.

Hearthstone

On the other hand it’s not fun to pilot an aggro deck either, because all you’re doing is slapping cards down on the table and sending them to your opponent’s face. You aren’t making any decisions and you aren’t relying on your own skill – you’re relying on the heart of the cards. Either you win by turn four or you lose. Next game. How’s that fun? Answer: it’s not. You aren’t playing the game, the game is playing you.

So this article is meant as an open letter to the Hearthstone community. Please stop playing aggro decks in casual. Please stop netdecking competitive tier one decks and bringing them into casual. It’s fine if you want to play aggro or netdeck, but take them into the ranked playlist where wins actually matter for something. Don’t use them to beat up on players that are just trying to relax and play casually.

But since I know the Hearthstone community will never be able to avoid ego boosting this way, I also want to use this opportunity to make a suggestion to Blizzard: get rid of the 10 gold per three wins in casual. This change alone would remove all incentive for the ego boosters to abuse this mode and leave it strictly for people who want to play to have FUN. At the very least reduce the victory gold cap players can earn daily from 100 to 50. Halving the cap would logically cut down on the gold miners “grinding” in casual using aggro decks at least somewhat. 100 gold requires 30 wins. If you’re getting 30 wins in casual a day, then there’s a problem.

Hearthstone isn’t unique in facing this problem. Whether it be joining “noobs only” games in StarCraft years ago and seeing players in the lobby with 10,000+ matches on their records or going into the “Just For Fun” room on Magic the Gathering Online and getting matched against players using $500 standard decks that just won the most recent Grand Prix, bad players will always try to prey upon people who don’t take the game as seriously as them for an ego boost (shameless plug: I actually wrote a book about this phenomenon titled Nerd Psychology. You can get it on Amazon here).

Hearthstone

If you’ve read this far without feeling compelled to comment about how I must just suck at the game then congratulations, you’re normal. This article has nothing to do with sucking or not, I just don’t want to continually play against a Shaman deck so toxic that the community has affectionately nicknamed it “Cancer Shaman.” Maybe using a deck being collectively referred to as “Cancer” can be justified by someone trying to reach the Legend rank, but I see it all the time in CASUAL. What possible purpose could there be for using it in casual? The only reason to take such a deck into casual is because you don’t want to play other decks that are similarly strong or other people around your skill level. You are intentionally going after weaker decks and weaker players because you want easy wins to satisfy your own ego and mine easy gold. So instead of rising to the challenge and playing other people around your own rank and skill level, you are seeking out players beneath you. Meanwhile I am simply trying to get matched up against people with decks of similar caliber to mine and players of similar skill to mine so that I can have fun playing. Why is that so much to ask?

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