Oh, that's right, there was another reason I stopped playing...

Hearthstone expanding again, but this time I’m kind of interested

iOS, Android, PC/Mac •

It’s no secret that Hearthstone has lost its luster since its glory days back in 2014/2015. I’m only speaking for myself, of course, as I know there are still millions of players who play and love it. It just got big enough that I lost track of what the hell was going on, kind of like life. It seemed easier to ditch the game than try to learn the new cards and metas and, surprise, I’m the kind of guy who usually takes the easier path. Today, however, Blizzard announced the next expansion for Hearthstone and it might just be what was needed to drag me back in.

The new expansion is titled Knights of the Frozen Throne and covers my favorite part of Warcraft lore, the birth of the Forsaken and the rise of the Lich King, Arthas. I used to play World of Warcraft a lot [yes, Dave used to be even a bigger nerd, if you can imagine -ed.] and by far my favorite content involved my treks to the frozen landscapes of Northrend in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. That’s not the only cool thing about the latest expansion, however.

Last year, Blizzard announced they would no longer be creating the single-player adventure expansions, which were the only things I still looked forward to. Knights of the Frozen Throne is a regular “big” expansion with 135 new cards, but it’s also including new single player content. Unlike previous solo adventures which cost upwards of $20, this new content is free. It includes eight new boss battles culminating in a showdown with the Lich King himself. As usual, you unlock new cards as you make your way through the content and I might redownload the  game just to have the chance to take on Arthas.

The other big addition is the inclusion of a new class, Death Knights. Well, it’s kind of a new class. You cannot choose to become a Death Knight from the beginning, instead there are now “hero” cards that, when played, convert your current hero into a Death Knight with new abilities and more:

Hero cards are an entirely new card type that are neither spell, minion, nor weapon. When played, each Death Knight Hero card replaces your hero, casts a Battlecry, dons some hefty armor, AND provides a new Hero Power. While each Death Knight hero is different, they all offer possibilities that can transform the way you play Hearthstone.

It’s not ideal–I would have preferred an entirely new class that I could play from scratch–but it still sounds like a fun idea. Will all this new content get me back into spending money on boosters? Maybe not, but it’s the closest I’ve been in a long, long time.

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Notable Replies

  1. The two games that, historically, made me rage the most were League of Legends and Hearthstone. The former was usually because of my teammates, and the latter because of unmitigated randomness. I think both are forever in the past for me.

  2. I’m so glad to be off the Hearthstone train. I haven’t played in months.

    There’s a good game buried somewhere beneath all the layers of cynical, money-grubbing crap. But the incompetent design team does its best to make sure you’ll never find it.

    Hard pass.

  3. I used to love Magic, but the insane amount of time that game sucked from me (not to mention money) was just too much. I thought I found a good replacement, but Hearthstone was lackluster after the first couple of expansions.

    I’ve bounced off of several CCGs, Hex, Duelyst, Faeria, Elder Scrolls, and I just can’t seem to stick with them. I want to play one, but keeping up with meta games is just so much. I think that’s why Age of Rivals has captured me so much.

    Can anyone make a case for Duelyst, Faeria, or ES? I like Duelyst a lot, but I got really busy and just haven’t gotten back to it.

  4. I could make a case for Elder Scrolls, which is one of the better games I’ve played in the last two years or so.

    However … it doesn’t solve the problems you speak of above. You still have to keep up with the meta, you still have to take out a second mortgage, you still end up with ultra-frustrating losses.

    I might be getting too old for collectible stuff. I’m really getting back into the “complete” card games, such as Ascension and Star Realms.

  5. I played Magic since Alpha but really got in to it when I was living with like-minded nerds in college. Starting Odyssey block, my collection boomed from hundreds to thousands of cards. These days I usually buy a few packs from each new set just to have some, but we only play pre-constructed decks against each other when we all manage to get together a few times a year.

    On iOS, have you looked at any of the games that give you a CCG-like experience, but against AI and with no IAP? Lost Portal is one of the more popular, and Card City Nights can be fun. As for the more traditional model (meaning spending real money for packs of cards), I have always found the
    Pokémon card game to be quite generous in how it doles out cards and packs. I also happen to think it has pretty solid mechanics, though due to the nature of type matchups, games can be landslides rather quickly.

  6. I tried several times to get back into HS, but the randomness mentioned above, plus the time investment to climb and money to collect are fucking insane. Add to that the rotating sets and that game is dead to me.

    I have gotten back into Plants vs Zombies Heroes as my CCG and really enjoying a lot. The asymmetrical game play plus the quick and brutal nature of games has me hooked.

  7. I tend to give every quasi-serious CCG a chance, but haven’t touched PvZ yet. What about it would make you recommend it?

  8. I can’t comment on the new player experience because is started it a year ago and dropped it.

    I enjoy the way they split up the cards between the heroes and I enjoy the way they have totally different flow for each side. The zombies play first for creatures only, then plant plays for creatures and tricks, then zombie plays for tricks. Then the lanes resolve.

    And of course, games play quick and you always feel that if you had played differently, there would have been a different outcome

  9. Good enough for me! Thanks. Downloading now.

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