Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a Card Game announced earlier this year and i remember signing up for the closed BETA almost instantly. However so much time had passed that i had even forgotten about it, untill my friend got in and wouldn't shut up about it. Last week i finalyl got my invite and i kid you not, i am online whenever i have a few minutes to spare.
The game functinos like most card games but comes with 9 different classes each equiiped with unique cards that you must unlock, earn or craft. There are a set of neutral cards accessible to all champions that then complete your deck of 30 cards. The game lets you set up multiplate custome decks for each champion to suite different playing styles. The game's main currency is coins which you earn by doing daily quests or by winning games, you get 10 per 3 wins.
To start off you get into the tutorial and then hone your skills in practice mode against regular or expert level AI. But the real fun comes in Ranked and Arena matches. Ranked as the name suggests is where you really test your mettle against other competitive players around the world. Winning gets you starts which in turn count towards your rank and losing subsequently costs you stars. You also get a bonus star for maintaing win streaks. The Arena is quite a brilliant concept actually. Players are charged 150 coins for each Arena run and are then made to choose from 3 random champions and 30 sets of 3 cards to make a 'fresh' deck which they will then use for that Arena playthrough. Winning matches in the Arena counts towards the final reward you receive which obviously scales with your success. However should you lose 3 games over the course of 1 Arena run, it will end.
What I really love about Hearthstone is that even after the 9 champion selection it offers it caters to various different playing styles within each class. Its truly amazing how many different types of players you run into. Some good, Some great and some downright stupid; I love it. Every game is so unpredicatable and exciting its hard to put down in words. Imagine being in a winning positiong, all set to end the game in 1 turn when suddenly the opponent sends out a legendary card to wipe out everything on the board, or freezes your minions for 2 continous turns to change the tide in his favour. This might just be the Best card game till date. Though I feel it could really benefit with some simple and some not so simple additions.
Right off the bat I'd say it needs a leaderboard. Wins, Win Ratio, Wins with Each Champion, Winstreak and so on. Something to help players compare their achievements with their friends and the community. Another thing I think they could really benefit from is a spectate mode. I always want to learn by meeting and studying new players. However there's only so much you learn when you are at the receiving end of a good whipping. One Major addition which I am really hoping for is more champions within each class. The current set of 9 champions represent 9 different broad classes, but i feel there's room to play around within those classes with the addition of more champions. Though I only see this happening as a purchase only feature as this is a F2P game, hence the uber slow but steady in game income.
I am glad its going into Open BETA soon, most of the JAGS crew are waiting to get in on the action, but the end result will almost always be Parth giving someone a thrashing.