Well E3 has come and gone, with more light shed on what the gaming community will be getting themselves into next generation with more clarification on the new consoles and the games that will soon be arriving to store shelves. Sadly I was incorrect in my prediction that Mircosoft would announce the removal of the Xbox Live subscription fee for their player base, but hey them’s the breaks .
But yesterday in non-console news Blizzard updated their HeathStone page with the announcement of new game mechanics that will be arriving to the digital trading card game. In the official post Blizzard announced that like World of Warcraft, the in-game currency to acquire new packs of cards will be gold, that there will be a leveling system in place where the more you play a certain class the higher your chances are to get better class-specific cards, and the introduction of a friends list so you can keep all your acquaintances organize and invite them for a game any time. All those features are something that I would expect from a Free-to-play card game that tries to take elements from an RPG. What really got my interest was the special abilities of the monsters they showcased.
I have not been following the Hearthstone website too closely in fear of spoiling the game experience by getting myself too hyped up while it was still in development, but today I poked around and saw a subtle change in the way the card’s abilities and interaction with each other since that last time I got my hands on HearthStone.
A few months ago when I was able to play a very early build of the game at Pax East and while I only got to participate in one match, I did make a comment on how the monsters and spells that my opponent and I used were more simple that I was used to, coming from a childhood of playing Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh and Magic the Gathering with my family and friends.
With the new cards introduced and the updated cards Blizzard is defiantly trying to add a bit more complexity and strategy to the decks, with the use of cards that can summon extra minions and spells that has an “if X then Y”.
In the mage deck I played, and the warlock deck I played against, the most complex card that was used was the Lifetap spell had the warlock sacrifices two Health points to draw an extra card, followed closely by my Fireball spell that just did a set amount of direct damage to a monster.
With these changes I am hoping that there will be enough complexity for players to not only build the best class deck, but also experiment with unusual card combinations (I.E. a monster heavy priest deck or a warrior deck with a focus on spell and abilities) and still be viable in the more competitive matches.
No word on the beta invites yet, but once the eventually do come out is there anyone out there interested for a match?
Be MOP focuses on the Mists of Pandaria expansion of World of Warcraft with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the game’s life cycle. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays