Sorry But Hearthstone Isn’t Fun Anymore
ByDate: Sep 22 2016 Views:
Many Hearthstone players have been complaining about the game growing stale since the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion and it seems that things have only gotten worse since its release on April 26, 2016. Hearthstone is simply too much about RNG now (which stands for ‘random number generation’ for those unfamiliar with the acronym) and any illusion that this game actually took skill to be good at has flown out the window faster than a magician’s pigeon. When the outcome of a card game is not dependent on your skill or even making informed, intelligent decisions on what cards to play and when to play them, then the game is no longer fun to play. That’s really all there is to it. There just isn’t a point in playing something when the actions you’re taking (outside of intentionally trolling) have no meaningful effect on the outcome.
One of the biggest issues with Hearthstone in my opinion is that it has become quite combo based. This is an issue because the game uses asymmetrical turns, which is just a fancy way of saying I can’t do anything or play any cards when it is my opponent’s turn. One combo I’ve been seeing a lot of lately uses Raging Worgen, Faceless Manipulator, and then some buffing cards such as Inner Rage, Rampage, Charge, and Cruel Taskmaster. This combo can often kill a FULL HEALTH opponent in just one turn. Just look at the screenshot above. I was at 30 health and then instantly died in one turn. I didn’t even have a chance to Mind Control his Raging Worgen! No skill to be found in this type of deck, move along folks.
In a game where your opponent can’t respond to anything you’re doing, this is actually very poor game design. It’s a different story in Magic: The Gathering for example, where I could just Swords to Plowshares that Raging Worgen and blow you out, so you have to play smarter than just vomiting out everything in your hand for one huge attack. A good player wouldn’t put all his eggs into one basket like this. He has no reason NOT to do that in a game like Hearthstone where there is no way to interrupt him and thus no way to punish him for overextending.
And therein lays the problem with Hearthstone. All you’re doing is going balls to the wall every game, playing everything as quickly as you can to try to get the win as fast as possible. Magic (and other card games) you must attempt to predict what your opponent will do not only during his turn but during YOURS. You have to play smart. In Hearthstone there’s no predicting. There’s no playing smart. Just throw cards on the table and hope yours are stronger. If they are then congratulations! You win in spectacular fashion! If not then sorry broski, you got completely owned. That’s Hearthstone in a nut shell.
I have been playing a lot of other card games lately and that has opened my eyes to just how bad Hearthstone truly is. I’ve been playing MTG of course, I tried out Hex, I played a game called Infinity Wars, and a friend of mine even got me started on playing Pokemon. I then went back to Hearthstone last week to play a few matches and it was even less fun than sitting through that new Blair Witch sequel. Pokemon literally has COIN FLIPS built into the game and yet Hearthstone is STILL somehow much more dependent on randomness and luck. At least in Pokemon you can formulate game plays and disrupt your opponents by messing with their energy or sending Pokemon back to the bench among other things.
The thing is, Blizzard is only making things worse as time goes on. The One Night in Karazhan adventure cards added more RNG than I’ve ever seen in the same set of a card game. Almost every card worth running summons a random minion, discovers a random card, adds random cards to your deck, or does something else with the keyword random in it. It’s a joke!
Perhaps the most frequent complaint about Hearthstone, however, is that everything is centered around aggro. Aggro decks are far too powerful and everybody plays them. I wrote an article about this back in June titled “Dear Hearthstone Players: Please Stop Playing Aggro In casual” so I won’t rehash the points made in that article. You should go read them there. Needless to say though they didn’t stop playing aggro and none of the aggro cards got nerfed. Having numerous games decided either in your favor or lost by turn three isn’t fun. I want to actually battle the other person and know that I deserved and earned my win through my gameplay decisions, not just because I was able to throw cards down on the table faster.
I think this is probably the last time I’ll play Hearthstone unless Blizzard addresses these and other issues. Hearthstone had a lot of potential early on but the limitations of its simple design became all too apparent as time wore on and more expansions were released. Because the game doesn’t have complex mechanics, the level of power creep Hearthstone suffered was jaw dropping. Completely broken cards that might as well say “you win the game” on them such as Call of the Wild or the often complained about 7/7 fattie for four mana Flamewreathed Faceless don’t help things.
I played Hearthstone every single day for years. After awhile I just grew to accept its shortcomings and tried to adapt to them. It took going to other card games for several months to realize just how bad Hearthstone is. Why punish yourself by playing an inferior game? It’s nice that it is free to play but so are lots of other trading card games online now. Pokemon is free to play as well and it’s way more fun than Hearthstone.
Sorry Blizzard, you messed up and it legitimately is too late to even fix it. Don’t say the player base didn’t warn you…