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Hearthstone: is it more accessible than ever?

Hearthstone has come a long way since version 1.0 was released in 2014. The proof with the arrival of patch 20.0. As usual, this important update has arrived with a new addition. But it also brings with it a revolution that makes the game much more accessible than before. Hearthstone was released in 2014 and has only flourished since then. 17 expansions, 3000+ cards processed … Dizzying numbers that could keep anyone from trying their hand at Blizzard’s card game. However, thanks to the 20.0 update released on March 25th, it’s never been easier to get started (again). Thanks to her, Hearthstone now welcomes every type of player to their hostel. In this brief analysis we explain why.

An exemplary introduction to the genre and the game

Aranna’s adventure is written in rhyme form. Hearthstone is a great ticket for anyone interested in the TCG or the world of Warcraft. Blizzard’s title is approachable for its kind: the cards are light in the text and provide an instant grasp. Hearthstone is the perfect embodiment of “easy to understand, difficult to master”. An accessibility that we find in his approach to the transmission of the saga. The history of Warcraft is known to be very dense, very rich, and Hearthstone manages to synthesize it in a beautiful way. Certain adventures trace important elements of the MMORPG’s story (Blackrock, Naxxramas or Citadel of Icecrown), while the Book of Heroes and the Book of Mercenaries focus on some of the main characters of the saga. Introduced last September, this game mode is a perfect introduction to the world of Warcraft, and at the same time a great way to understand the different mechanics of the game. Two legends are to be picked up on the square. Let’s get back to the basics first. To play in Hearthstone in party mode, the player must create a deck of 10 classes, each with specific cards. A deck consists of 30 cards, each limited to 2 copies … with the exception of the legendary cards, as they are endowed with unique powers. There are a total of four types, divided according to their rarity: common, rare, epic and therefore legendary. The main way to collect them is to open packets or boosters for gold or real money. They each contain five cards, including one of the rarest types. The main method for collecting gold and packages is to complete the weekly and daily quests. They provide experiences that lead to the reward course in which each level offers something. This reward path, added in November 2020, offers more gold than the previous system: considering that the player completes their quests on a daily basis, they can earn an average of 12,000 gold coins before the next expansion, against a maximum of 8,000 on the old system. This saves money, which allows you to buy more packs and therefore have more cards, especially since this training course also features cards, packs, and portraits of heroes. Gold and boosters are complemented by an arcane dust mechanic. This is the resource used for crafting / crafting cards. It is obtained by restoring excess copies of a card, but also by disenchanting / revoking a card. Note that a map takes four times more arcane dust to create than it would if it were destroyed. It’s a system that has been in the game since its release and has not changed since then. The higher the player is in the ranking, the bigger the chest becomes. Without a reliable source or official figures, it’s difficult to say anything about the reasons that are making players stop Hearthstone. However, it is legitimate to believe that the main explanation lies in the difficulty of obtaining the cards necessary to create a strong, even “professional” deck. It has never been easier to get them today. Firstly, since 2020 there has been anti-duplicate protection that guarantees the opening of cards that have never been received: With 60 packs, players receive all common cards and all rare cards in an expansion. In addition, legendary cards are increasingly being offered through events and it is even guaranteed that one will be present when the first ten boosters of an expansion are opened. Not to mention the rewards associated with ranked matches: in each level reached on the ladder (bronze 10, bronze 5, silver 10 …) the rewards are focused on a chest that will be opened at the end of the month. There are four formats in game mode. The real revolution, however, lies in Update 20.0 (released March 25th) with the basic phrase. What are we talking about It is a set of 235 free cards given to all players in all their classes at level 10. Today it represents 30% of the 775 playable cards in Standard, the main format of ranked games where you can only play expansions from the last two years. A real boost for newbies, because leveling is very quick. In fact, it takes about ten hours to recover the cards from the principle and thus benefit from an already complete collection. We can save our resources for standard extensions! The contents of the deck are hidden … you have to choose your heart class! If the basic set is the cornerstone for a democratization of the game without possible discussion, then other previously integrated functions have participated in its construction. The first of these is the revision of the ranks in ranked matches. To prevent new players from encountering opponents with larger collections, Blizzard decides to change things by splitting its ladder in two. Upon entering the game, beginners are placed on the learning path, an alternate ladder on which they only meet other beginners. No frustration, everyone is equal. At the end of the 40 levels of this learning path, players receive a “Pro” deck from which they can choose from the 10 classes of the game. This gift makes it possible to compete with the best players, but also to acquire rarer and stronger cards when they join the player library. This initiative also benefits players who have stopped Hearthstone and want to come back to it: All players who have not registered with the TCG for at least four months benefit from this gift. In addition, they will have access to the cards of the base set while being able to disenchant cards that have transitioned from the standard format to the free mode.

All right, that ends better?

While there’s no denying that Heartstone has been cherished by Blizzard in recent years (more than an Overwatch or Heroes of the Storm anyway), there are still some improvements that need to be made. While anti-duplicate protection smooths card capture and allows players to expand their collection more quickly, it has a detrimental effect on the card enchant / disenchantment system. In fact, it becomes very difficult to obtain “bonus” acane dust associated with excess copies. So the only alternative is to untangle cards from our collection at your own risk. Hence, players’ decks are limited to the cards they open in their decks. Worse, it becomes almost impossible to make cards after a major discovery on the ladder. And that’s a shame. It would have been better to introduce a Legends of Runeterra style token system that can be exchanged for cards of our choice.

Everyone their own stove!

Achievements also refresh Hearthstone. As mentioned above, completing quests on a regular basis remains key to expanding your collection. It’s an efficient and proven system at Hearthstone for two reasons. First, completing daily quests is not time consuming: completing a task takes a maximum of 30 minutes. Second, they can be performed in battlefields, duels, or in arenas. A welcome versatility with which everyone can put their Hearthstone together as they wish without being hit by early fatigue: The arena is a game mode in which the player selects one of three cards to build his deck. The player’s journey ends at the end of losses or 12 wins. Arm wrestling is quite an anecdotal format, but it is fun at times. Each week, players have to follow different rules to build their decks. For example, this week you need to play a deck of 3 cards of 10 each. The duel mode! is a mixture of Constructed (game mode) and Arena. Here the player chooses a treasure (a very strong card) and builds a 16-card deck of his choice. At the end of each game, he chooses a set of three cards from three suggestions. As in the arena, the attempt ends with 12 wins or three losses. Battlefields is an auto battler like TeamFight Tactics. The player recruits minions and has to strategically place them on the board to defeat the opponents. The fights alternate between the eight players, but it is the last one to win the game. Like the Book of Heroes, the adventures symbolize a way of clinging to the characters of the universe. Some of them are free and offer a game alternative to Hearthstone: Project Armageboum is characterized by its many puzzles and riddles, while Kobolds and Catacombs offer an adventure that focuses on creating decks. Many and varied in Hearthstone. This flexibility will be even more justified when Mercenaries comes out later this year: the mode announced on BlizzConline is inspired by “strategic role-playing games whose roguelike-style missions offer a new challenge to every game”. With Update 20.0 Hearthstone has never been more accessible and you don’t have to be playing the game to pretend otherwise. Beginners will have access to many more maps faster than ever. Players looking to return will not be forgotten as they will benefit from an easier return, and even the most ardent will be more rewarded with their persistence. It is therefore clear that the time it takes to have fun on Hearthstone is less and the more profitable the variety of game modes introduced since 2019: the Book of Heroes, Duels !, Battlegrounds, the Hauts Facts, without To forget Mercenary mode is coming … So over the years Blizzard has done a nice revival of its card game that is not going to stop. If you want to get started, now is it. Or later. About Hearthstone:

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