Blizzard just came out with big news about the online card game Hearthstone that could really shake up the game. It’s a gamble that could be shunned by the fan base, or it could to the trick and bring in a ton of new people. In an effort to keep the game balanced and competitive, but still accessible to new players, Blizzard will be creating a new “Standard” competitive game mode that restricts cards that can be used. Standard mode will be the new default competitive ranked mode and the mode most widely featured in tournaments, but players will still be able to use every card in their collection in another new ranked mode called “Wild.”
I’ve been trying to get back into Hearthstone pretty passively for the past few weeks but I have yet to purchase anything other than a few card packs with in-game currency. I’ve done some research and found that most players recommend grabbing the first Adventure Pack, the Curse of Naxxramas, for the included cards as they are widely used in competitive decks. I was hesitating a bit due to the $25 price tag and have yet to pick it up. This update to the game will excluded all of the cards included in this adventure pack from the new standard ranked mode, along with all of the cards in the Goblins vs. Gnomes card collection.
For me, as I was just getting started, there were 3 Adventure Packs to pick up for all of their included cards as well as 3 card collections, Classic, Goblins vs. Gnomes, and The Grand Tournament. It was a lot to take in for a new player, and a significant financial investment even for just the adventures. The complications presented for development was that all new cards being introduced had to be weighed against every other card in existence to keep the game balanced. This limited the development of new packs to keep the playing field fair. By excluding these 2 card collections from the main competitive scene, Blizzard has a lot less on their plate to consider when introducing new cards. They have also said that from now on, when new sets of cards are introduced, they will eliminate another older card set from the new standard ranked mode.
This all works toward keeping things vibrant and varied in the community. While researching getting into the game, I was basically introduced to a handful of decks that are well known as the gold standard. They’ve been mostly static for a fair amount of time by the looks of it, with only subtle tweaks as new card packs are introduced. This took away from the appeal to me as a new player as I knew exactly what I should go for and how much it would cost me to make. Now that card collections will be excluded from time to time, the competitive scene will be regularly changed up and players will have to be creative in developing new strategies with the newly;y introduced card dynamics.
This will undoubtedly piss some people off, and it’s justified to an extent, but the Wild mode will be their answer every time where you can use every single card you’ve ever bought or earned. But, in order to keep the game fresh and alive, this seems like a necessary change to me. New players can now focus on the evergreen Classic cards before branching into whatever the new hotness is, whether it’s a new adventure or card collection. Anyone who is already invested in the game can continue as they were and expand their collection, but it seems like it will be much more welcoming for new players like me.
Hearthstone couldn’t keep snowballing forever, and this change seems inevitable. It’s better to do it sooner than wait until players have bought even more new cards that they would have to exclude form the competitive scene. We’ll see how my Hearthstone play continues from here with this new knowledge… Let me know what you think of the changes in the comments below!
Image Credit: Blizzard