Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What I Hope to See in Hearthstone for iOS: Mobile Game Mode

Will we see Hearthstone for iPhone and Android by the end of this year like Blizzard mentioned back in April? No one's really saying much, including senior game designers. Personally, I expect an announcement along those lines at Blizzcon in November, where I assume we'll also hear more about the game's first expansion/booster (not to be confused with the recent Curse of Naxxramas adventure). And I'm hoping that tucked in with these announcements is a new game mode that's specific to mobile phones. What I'm calling Mobile Game Mode. I know, it's a terrible name, but just bear with me.

What would Mobile Game Mode look like? Basically, it's Hearthstone without the play timer. Think Words with Friends. And if you're not familiar with Words with Friends, I'd describe it as a casual game of Scrabble-lite played at the collective pace of the two players. Games can stretch out over several days, or can be over in ten minutes, depending on how quickly a player responds to his or her opponent's move.

In order to play Hearthstone on iOS (iPad) right now, the player must connect to a wireless network. Mobile Game Mode would be set up in such a way that, like Words with Friends, connection to a cellular network is all that's needed to support game play. Players can take as long as they'd like to make a move, and once they play, their opponent receives a notification that it's their turn to play. The cycle repeats until one of the heroes dies. I see this as being aimed towards casual play, and would be unranked so it couldn't be abused for player gains.

I've absolutely no idea at all what sort of server infrastructure would be needed to support it, but I can't imagine it'd required more than what Blizzard has right now. And if Zynga can do it, I would think Blizzard could as well.

The bigger question I'm left with: is this mode something that'd even appeal to players, or is it just something I'd like to see because of my affinity for Words with Friends?

I'm curious to know...tweet at me or leave it in the comments!


  1. I'm not sure that would work as well as you'd like it to with the exisitng games structure. Games may take too long even if you are used to the Words games and others that share the same structure.
    But there must be a way to tweak the game play to have somthing that works - a different flavor of the game - smaller decks maybe, reduced life.
    Either way the ability to have a number of games on the go with multiple opponents keeps the pace of Words up for me, and this would be a must for Mobile Hearthstone.

    Now, how about a Clash of Clans, but with Garrisons game...

    1. The prospect of it definitely excites me---but you may be right in that there may need to be systems tweaks in order to make it work well, i.e. smaller decks, reduced life, as you said. Was thinking maybe free Hero powers too, but perhaps that'd give some classes too much of an advantage.

      Thanks for reading and for your comment!

  2. I'm not going to concede precisely the amount I've effectively spent on Hearthstone,however it's more than the cost of an average "premium-priced" game.But then,the amazing measure of playtime and satisfaction I'm receiving in return makes what I've spent more than justifiable.It's easy to to pick up,however its strategic possibilities simply boggle the mind.It's a definitive rock-paper-scissors game: absolutely engrossing,mischievously addictive, and phenomenal to play.

    Emily Reed.