heathstone logo with mage

Like most gaming phenomena, I came around to Hearthstone almost as late as The Last Guardian sailing past it’s first launch window.

After the first tutorial bored me to death I was ready to write it off. But after playing Blizzard’s card-crack on our first episode of Mat vs Matt I was pleasantly surprised that it was cross-platform. (I”m not a PC guy, I didn’t realize how great Blizzard was at including everyone in their ecosystem of $$$).

Once I understood the system and crafting decks I was seriously hooked for the past few days. Late nights and quick games on the phone whenever I got a chance had my gambling/win-loss brain regions firing so hard I actually started buying scratch tickets. Listening to budget deck builds on youtube while honing my Hunter Beast Mode deck had me fondly/shamefully remembering the days of Warhammer and my quest to completely ignore my girlfriend. Ah, escapism.

My hunters bow and beasts quickly rose through the ranks and I felt unstoppable. I was actually winning…on the internet. I know you think ‘hey you write/talk about games, you should be a pro gamer’. Well, writers and pro gamers are two different things, like Trump supporters and intelligent people. I’m 32 and used to getting destroyed online. That’s why I like Overwatch, team-based play, and healing. Kicking ass was kicking ass.

As I rose up through the ranks I started encountering higher skilled players, but also, more powerful cards and focused deck builds (how about that murlock death horde).

I tinkered with the deck and researched other builds, but it seems like there are some crucial core cards I’ll need to move forward.

It got me thinking about chess, checker, and other premium games. Games that start the players on equal footing. The only separation is their skill. I love the deck building aspect of Hearthstone but I don’t love the fact that I’m building with far fewer pieces.

I must sound like a salty n00b who needs to ‘get gud’, but I can’t believe no one else feels the same when their carefully played game gets the table flipped over by some area-effect minion slaughterhouse.

When I’m done my articles for tonight I’ll absolutely be back on battle.net learning the intricacies of my neglected classes (warlock, rogue, shaman) but that adrenaline pump will be much calmer as the cynicism tranquilizer sets in.

 

How do you feel about Hearthstone? Is there a threshold I need to pass?

2 comments

  1. Author update.

    I ended up playing hearthstone deep into the night after writing this. Tinkered with my deck and found some success. This inspired me to grab seven packs (hey I’m enjoying the game, why not pay, this will make me enjoy more). Got some great carda, deck is better and pounded through some of the competition. Loop completed.
    It’s not that I want to win all the time, that’s insane. I just want it to feel competitive.

    The feeling I get from this game reminds me so much of Warhammer. The endless retooling and strategy but most of all its the characterization and dare I say bonding with your great cards. The stories that are told when a modest minion is buffed and causes havoc, turning the tide for you.

    Good game blizzard. Well played.

    1. Author Update #2

      I just discovered crafting.

      This game has a firm grasp on my dopamine receptors and won’t let go.

      It’s a blizzard of things to do/unlock/progress/challenge/discover/tinker/perfect/

      Why does it take me so long to come around to these things.

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