So I get this e-mail in the mail. (My e-mail was the graphic with the steed on black, not the image below, which I grabbed off the internet.)
I’m thinking “They’ll want my account info, password, bank info…” But, no, it’s legit.
I saw the Hearthstone ads. I saw the manufactured buzz.
I played MTG Online when it first came out. (Heck, I’ve got cards from the 90s even. When I naively opened them to actually play a live person with real cards. Years later, the wife and I bought a couple of expansion packs current to the new decade and played. We had the glass gem rocks for the health points. The cards were in a big cookie tin, and are now preserved in card holders for the little one and his posterity.)
So I saw Hearthstone and figured “Eh.”
I’m playing Warlords of Draenor now (and who isn’t?) so that got me a perk within Hearthstone. This card back.
But, zounds, now they’re offering a mount. And not a bad looking one. I’d always wondered what part of the Panderia Expansion I needed to do to get that mount.
It wasn’t that at all. It was just to play a little Hearthstone.
I’d gotten Hearthstone on my iPad a while ago. (Free is good.) But wound up turning right around and deleting it so I could update the tablet to the latest iOS.
When I got the e-mail advertising “Just win 3 games” I figured “What the heck.”
I downloaded it on the PC from the Battle.net launcher. Easy peasy.
First off, and I’m just one voice in the choir on this, but Blizzards quality and polish is second to none. Nobody does it better. (Well, maybe Bond. James Bond.)
I’ve always figured “Other people are Hell” (okay, Sartre did that first) and had planned to game it by playing the wife 6 games. (So we’d get our 3 wins each.)
First off was the five battles of the tutorial. (Which you have to complete before you can play for reals.) The voice acting is good. But, and Sartre would no doubt agree, slightly annoying. (But, now in hindsight, fine.) And I pretty much steamrolled the first four. Up comes the final, Illidian, deciding I was not prepared. Little pop-up notes “This is going to be tough. Blame the developers.” And when he personally attacked me with his glaives I figured “Yeah right.” But, no. “Who’s prepared now, bitch?” (Watching the entirety of Breaking Bad in a few short weeks at the end of my deployment, you pick up a little color.) So I cleared the tutorial and was ready for prime time.
Last night, in about 45 minutes, I met, and conquered, 3 “worthy opponents” and got my 3 wins. The Hearthsteed was mine.
The wife said she didn’t think she’d like Hearthstone. Missing the land, and the colors, it appears less complex.
But, with the mana ramping up each round, that kind of replaces the land cards. (It’s actually a guaranteed ramp up, for both sides of course, whereas playing cards you might have a drought of land and lose through bad luck.)
I liked the Jaina deck. It felt very mage-like. Sheeping big mobs down to 1/1s, then doing a gentle arcane explosion nuke and clearing away all the 1/1s, then the big 6-pointer fire balls. Thrall’s Shaman deck, which I haven’t tried yet, appropriately had totems, some of which were offensive, some provided buffs, and were very shaman-like.
If you know your WoW classes, you’ll know the archetypes in the Hearthstone decks. Very nice.
And the thoughtfulness required, same as in MTG, of what to play and when, is what earns you the win.
Too, my Alliance garrison picnic area has a Hearthstone table set up. Wouldn’t it be very, very cool to have this actually be a functional link to the Hearthstone game, that you could play, in-game, while waiting for a dungeon group to come together? (I do.)
If you were undecided about the Hearthstone thing: Give it a try. What can it hurt, and there’s a mount in it for you pretty much the first step or two in.