Hearthstone is one of the most popular games in the world, thousands of people watch other people playing it on twich, there are even Hearthstone-oriented pubs (even in my town!!!) where some strange people pay for the entrance (free for girls) and play Hearthstone on their iPads and do other stuff.
There are even “cybersport” Hearthstone-championships.
So, lots of people threat Hearthstone really serious. Once I said that it’s a stupid game for stupid people to one girl and she was really offended, she even tried to set on her friendzoned boy to punch me. That case shows, that there are people, who really bounded to Hearthstone like football fans to their clubs. It works, btw, for the most of Blizzard’s games. I will cover the topic of helpful idiots later.
What about people who are not Blizzard-fanboys and/or narrow-minded idiots? What I have to say to those who deserve to dispute with?
The very first argument to my “Hearthstone is shit” is “Say it to Blizzard’s money”. This argument is often used by people, who judge game on its revenue. Fair enough, money do not smell, so if the game produces money, it can be good.
BTW: Those who accept statement that money is the only measure of quality of game must know, that selling drugs is much more profitable.
Revenue is a great, measurable factor but it’s not complete criteria of a good product (e.g. MARVEL or STAR WARS franchises are extremly profitable, but also extremly shitty)
But let’s see, is Hearthstone really so profitable?
Lets gather some data.
Blizzard’s digital card game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, makes $20 million a month, according to research firm SuperData that now finds such games are their own business category. Not only does that make it the most successful digital card game (sorry, competition), but it actually makes more than multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) Dota 2, which takes in $18 million a month as of March. Dota 2’s competitor and top MOBA, League of Legends, however, makes about $123 million a month as of January.
Blizzard reluctantly shares theirs revenue data, because their games aren’t so succesfull as they seems, but we have enough data to analyze (if you need more — google it). From month to month Hearthtone’s revenue is very close to Dota 2, numbers can vary, but the main point is their exponent, it’s the same, and it’s a shame.
I repeat, it’s a shame. What can you purshase in Dota? A hat for your hero.
What can you purchase in Hearthstone? Raw power.
And if you want to be succesful in Hearthstone, you need to pay a lot.
To build a deck you need cards, card can be crafted to dust and they are also can be disenchanted to dust. So, you need to purchase packs with random cards, disenchant them and craft cards you need. Average cost of a good deck is about 10K dust. It’s about 130 USD, according to data I have:
But, you also need cards from expansions, 50 usd for each. So, your deck will cost about 170–230 USD. Pretty nice for a “free-to-play” game.
But still the same revenue as the game with hats for schoolboys.
The next part is my favorite, as I judge the game not by its revenue, but by its mechanics (thats why I consider all mobile games are shitty).
Whan I was a child, we play one very simple game, we call it “boozer”(english wiki says the name “war”), the rules are qite simple:
The objective of the game is to win all cards.
The deck is divided evenly among the players, giving each a down stack. In unison, each player reveals the top card of their deck — this is a “battle” — and the player with the higher card takes both of the cards played and moves them to their stack. Aces are high, and suits are ignored
Ok. Now lets play the same game, but now we will use different decks, and there are 30 cards in each, also now we can start with 3 cards in hand and draw one each turn. It’s still the same game: we play cards and compare their power, gameplay about buiding the deck from cards i won is now replaced with the choice of wich card to play, all about arithmetics.
So, all you need to play Hearthstone is the base arithmetics? If so, it’s not the worst game for infants. But no, you don’t need arithmetics, you need money and luck. Why?
Lets say I have Jack in my deck, and when I play it i must flip a coin, if heads I win the battle, if tails — I loose. Most cards in HS work this way.
To be honest, example with the coin is not good enouh. Coin is about probabilities, Hearthstone is about random. In DnD or other board games I roll the dice and I know probabilities. I can’t kill orc with 41HP in one swing if i have 2d20 sword, I know it and I make decisions, based on this knowledge. That’s the point, the player always shall make decisions and got the result, based on them, probability mechanic is not the core, you know probabilities and play around them.
Some cards in HS are based on probabilities. However half assed.
But you can’t calculate the results of playing most of the cards. Here is my favorite: Yog
Random — the engine of Hearthstone.
It’s everywere. Most of decks are build with random based mechanics, so the gap between good player and a noob is decreased badly. It is not cybersport, It is a bullshit.
At the end it’s just boring to play turn based game without the option to hurry your opponent roughly, to wait his turns and watch stupid repetitative animations.
After all solo adventures are finished (they are relatively interesting puzzles), there is nothing to do in HS. It’s monotonous and repetitive. Maybe it’s not Blizzards fault, even Magic the Gathering online is not so entertaining as its offline version.
But in MtGO you can have much more fun even by grinding, that’s due to interesting mechanics and fair distribution of the raw power.
Remember I said about raw power in Hearthstone? You can(must) purchase it. Your starting deck consists of only 6es and 7ens, they suck and you will suck. But with a couple of dollars you can purchase Qeens, Kings, Aces etc.
If you do — Hearthstone becomes very skillful and deep, but more friendly version of Magic the Gathering.
LoL. No. You will consider it bacause you can’t admit that you waste money on the “boozer”. Actualy, you will just flip luxury coin and win more often, becouse of raw power.
Hearthstone is not pay to win, it’s pay to flip.
TL;DR: Little revenue, blizzboys, boring random-based gameplay. That’s why.
- “Players Don’t Deserve Free Stuff” is Moronic
- I need advice: How can I monetize a new card game in which all cards are included for free?
- Did something change at the start of this month?
More about HearthStonePost: "3 reasons hearthstone is inherently a bad game." specifically for the game HearthStone. Other useful information about this game:
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