I’ve been an extremely dedicated fan of trading card games for most of my young life. I was that kid that wasn’t satisfied until I had every Yu-Gi-Oh card that existed in at least doubles, and then there was Magic: The Gathering…I’d often wonder how much money I’d spent on Magic cards, but then a new set would release and I’d go back to my pack-cracking ways. So naturally, when I got into Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft I could not stop playing it.
Let me start by saying this game is extremely accessible. Hearthstone is a free-to-play game that gives its players a very easy time obtaining cards that you would otherwise have to pay for; something that isn’t seen often in the trading card sector of gaming.
Every day the player gets a quest that will net them anywhere from 40-60 gold. A pack of cards comes with five cards total (with potentially differing rarity and one rare guaranteed) only costs 100 gold. On top of this, for every three wins against a real player you receive an additional 10 gold. Capitalizing on this reliable source of income, a player could potentially get a pack a day just for playing (except in this scenario “a pack a day” is actually a good thing). Over time any player will develop a fairly good pool of cards to win games with without spending a cent.
Look! I got that guy who thought I wasn’t prepared!
Hearthstone also has a lot of things for players to do outside of grinding those daily quests. My personal favorite is the Arena, a mode in which the computer randomly picks three of the classes in the game and presents them to the player. The player then chooses the class they would like to play and drafts a 30 card deck by picking one of three randomly-generated cards of the same rarity 30 times. There is no cap on how many copies of a single card you can have in the deck you drafted, so you could potentially get two or three of the same legendary minion in your deck (if you are incredibly lucky). The Arena costs 150 gold or $1.99USD to enter. More wins in the Arena will earn you a better prize, but you can only lose three times before your Arena run will end and you’ll have to claim your winnings.
Another awesome feature that just recently came to Hearthstone was the introduction of a new expansion called “Curse of Naxxramas”. The expansion introduced a single-player adventure mode in which you can take a deck that you have constructed and fight your way through the wings of the giant floating necropolis called Naxxramas, all the while unlocking exclusive new “soulbound cards.” In order to enter any one of the five wings of Naxxramas you need to pay 700 gold, which may seem like a lot of gold but if you do your daily quests religiously for a week you can open one whole wing. Of course you could always take the easy way out and pay $25.00USD for the entire dungeon to unlock (which I totally did not do).
We can only theorize about what Blizzard plans to do next with Hearthstone, but I can only hope that they continue adding features to the game while keeping everything fair and balanced. In my opinion Hearthstone is one of the most fun (and affordable) trading card games ever and I’m going to be playing it for a long time coming. Would anyone care to join?