Monday, October 14, 2013

6 features Blizzard should consider adding to Hearthstone [UPDATED]

Having recently received a beta invite, I dove right in, as I've been curious for a long time how the game would play out. See, I have no familiarity whatsoever with card games like this. I somewhat understood what this type of game would entail, but was mostly in the dark. I took some time to put down my initial thoughts on the experience of getting into the game for the first time, and now that I've played countless more matches, I've identified some changes I'd like to see Blizzard make before the game goes live.

1. Let players replay the tutorial

This perhaps isn't so much for an avid Hearthstone player, but rather their friends and family. Like me, if you've never played the game before, you can't just sit down to a full-on match with zero explanation. As I was walking my significant other through a match against the AI the other night, I realized she'd probably understand better if she could just play through the tutorial like I did. Her 11- and 9-year-old kids would probably enjoy having a go as well. And in the end, for Blizzard, that could very well translate to more accounts, which could equal more packs purchased, and more coin in Blizzard's pockets. 

2. Include additional tutorials that are more in-depth

The tutorial does a good job of laying out the basics, but the strategy runs deep in this game. I wonder if there isn't room for additional difficulty levels of tutorials that introduce the player to some more challenging situations they may find themselves facing, or interesting card combos they may want to think about playing. I suppose the argument can be made that you'll see enough of that by way of playing against other people. That may be true.

3. Add a "Play Again/Rematch" option in Practice and Duel modes

Again, this is about quickly getting into the game, or in this case, getting back into the game. I don't see any reason why in Practice and Duel modes there isn't a "Play Again" or "Rematch" option (whether having won or lost). Maybe you are quickly leveling a deck against a class you have an easy time against. Win/lose, then click "Rematch"---no exiting to the deck menu, where you need to click on a deck, then click on an AI, then click play. This feature would also be great when having a lengthier play session against someone on your Real ID list. Less clicks for the win.

4. Provide an achievement and stats interface

It's cool and kinda ridiculous to peruse the achievements and stats you've accumulated on your WoW account---or insert any such game that keeps track of these things. I'm not talking about /played here. I'm talking about things like the number of bandages used, flight paths taken, how many times you've respecc'd, the max amount of gold I'd ever held on a character, or how many different beverages I'd consumed (98!). Seeing something similar would be really neat in Hearthstone. Most played record per class, or against certain amount of damage done...average damage per turn...etc. I have a feeling we'll see something like this in the final iteration of Hearthstone.

5. Prevent accidental self-harm (within reason)

Here's what I mean: the other night I was leveling a warlock deck and was going use the Drain Life card, which does two damage while granting two health to your 'lock. I pulled the card forward but didn't set it on the board---I was still contemplating if it was the right move. Which it wasn't, so I pulled it back, but apparently not far enough: the card was played on my own warlock who proceeded to do two damage to himself, which granted him two heals. 

I did something similar on the first day of my beta access when my finger slipped off the mouse and I accidentally killed one of my own minions with the mage's Fireblast. I realize in certain situations, game mechanics may call for damaging one's own character or minions, i.e. the warlock's hero power, and the Hungry Crab minion who is granted extra damage and health after using their Battlecry ability to 1-shot a murloc. In that situation depending, it may be wise for you to kill your own murloc. However, in the majority of situations, damaging your character or minions is not wise---said a different way, it's pretty clear when damaging one's own minion(s) could be strategic. There are also situations where no matter what it's never going to be a good thing. Those situations should be prevented from happening. 

6. Allow multiple licenses/profiles per account

There's no reason to prevent multiple licenses of Hearthstone from being added to one account...right? It works with Warcraft, and I'm assuming other games in the Blizzard universe. Or, like many games, users can set up multiple profiles within one Hearthstone license. Perhaps this isn't going to happen simply because Hearthstone is a free-to-play game---more accounts means more players playing, more players playing means faster match-making, and perhaps more packs purchased. 

What have you seen you'd change? Or is there something missing from Hearthstone you'd like added?


  1. You can randomly build a deck (just not a random class). Just create a deck, don't add any cards, and when your done the game proposes to add random cards untill your deck has 30.

    Still its only beta.

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