For those of you who don’t know, Hearthstone is an online card game created by Blizzard Entertainment; the same people who brought you World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Heroes of the Storm, and the yet-to-be-released title OverWatch (and a few more).
I have been playing Hearthstone since it first launched, and I feel at this point there are a few tactics that are either new or continue through from real life card games that have no place in what is supposed to be a fast-paced and quick-matched game of skill.
These players, for whatever reason, allow the time to nearly run out and only make their play seconds before it expires. The timer itself is roughly 75 seconds long. This may not seem like a long time in the scheme of things, but when you are waiting patiently for some asshole to play a card — or worse yet — he’s already played all of his cards and he hasn’t clicked the end turn button, you want to reach through the screen and throttle him until he finishes his gorram turn. Since it is also a mobile game, you can argue that some players may be multitasking while they’re trying to play. Also, some of these players may be streaming and talking to their fans as they play. Well to them I say: move your fucking ass. I don’t have all day for every single one of your turns to take the full 75 seconds. I swear to God, I will hunt you down and I will kill you.
Every Card for Himself:
These are the players who have the game in the bag. You’ve spent the last 10 minutes trying to play every card in your deck only to be met with an answer for every threat you have. You’re sitting at one life, you have no taunts, and no way to heal. You are literally and figuratively fucked. At this point, you have two choices: You quickly empty your hand so that you may finish any of the extraneous quests that you have, or you end your turn and you take your beating like a man. As you pass your turn, you give your opponent a well played, but instead of killing you like he should, he proceeds to show you how big he can get his creatures or how much life he can gain before finally ending your miserable life while you curse him from the grave. This is a tactic that I have frequently seen in my days of playing Magic: The Gathering. Usually when you do this, your opponent is that a very low amount of life and you want to see how much damage you can score to him for bragging/gloating rights. In a real life scenario, this is perfectly acceptable because your friend gets to make fun of you and you get to get pissed off at your friend, thus forming a kind of fraternal bond. It is not, however, acceptable to do this to an opponent sitting worlds away from you waiting for you to finish them off so they can go let the cat in or fix dinner for their girlfriend.
In both of the above cases, I try to plan my potential moves beforehand. That way, when it’s my turn, I can play my cards quickly and efficiently and move the game along. In the first case, if you time-troll me, I will time troll you back until the very last turn. I hate you as much as your mother hates you and I want you to feel that hate. In the second case, if I know I’m going to die and you don’t finish me off within 10-seconds of your turn beginning, I will concede the game and hate you as much as your mother hates you. If I have the win, I will probably kill you outright; but even if I don’t, my cards will fly out of my hand in record time and then I will kill you before you have a chance to concede. That’s just the kind thing to do! We all want to move on to the next game — the next challenge — the next opponent. Let your opponent do that!
Some people have a problem with net-deckers. A net-decker is someone who has gone to a site like Hearthhead, looked up a winning deck, and insists upon playing said deck. Some people think this is cheating. I don’t — hell, I’ve made a few net-decks of my own. It is important to know how to play your net deck, though. Further, it’s important to acknowledge that you have your own play-style that may be different from the person who originally built the deck. You should play the computer a few times through — different characters, heroic and regular — to get a feel for this new deck before you jump in and make your opponent suffer while she waits for you to figure out precisely what the fuck you’re doing. Playing the computer gives you a chance to modify the deck to fit your own style of play or integrate cards you’re more familiar with.
I honestly don’t know why this bugs me, but it does. I greet practically everyone I start to play. To me, it just seems like a common courtesy. Do that. Tell someone you acknowledge their presence — that they’re a human being. It makes me feel good, it makes you feel good. Just do it.
LOOK AT ALL MY CARDS!
This is really the product of playing for a long time, but it’s extremely frustrating to someone who’s just started. You’ve beaten all of the heroes — both normal and heroic — and you finally venture into versus mode, excited to complete some quests, get some gold, and win some games. Right up until your opponent drops a golden Ragnaros. You’ve got 3 mid-sized creatures on the board. Rag takes one out, your turn sails by with you dropping a 1/3 garbage minion and you hit Rag for 5, leaving him an 8/3. Your opponent’s next turn leads with him blowing up your 1/3 garbage minion that’s still alive with a Bomb Lobber and ends his turn with you taking 8 to the face. You win this one, friend.
While Blizzard’s Hearthstone dev team is integrating new formats (Wild vs Standard) that should help mitigate some of this, but let me assure you that it will still be slightly frustrating for a new player to come into.
These are a few of my Hearthstone pet peeves, and despite the vitriol I spit at these confoundingly irritating people, it is by far my favorite CCG. The graphics are wonderful, the gameplay is smooth, the meta is relatively balanced with powerhouse cards/decks being more of an outlier aspect than a core component; and the legendary characters like Hogger, Deathwing, Brann Bronzebeard, and more bring a kind of nostalgia to the game that I appreciate from the World of Warcraft universe.
Feel free to let me know in the comments what your pet peeves are about Heartshtone, and what your favorite things about the game are as well!
While he's not reminiscing fondly over his ill-gotten acorn collection, you can also catch him pretending to know anything at all about audio while trying to produce this train wreck they call a podcast in his "studio," which is nothing more than an multidimensional pocket shimmed between the fabric of space-time. That's where sasquatches live, you know.
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