Reflections on the Hearthstone Beta Patch

With little going on in WOW after the last major WOW patch, I wanted to take more time to talk about Hearthstone. This week, Blizzard did a full wipe/reset of the game, that included a major patch release to beta. Below, I’ll focus on some of the major change areas that impacted my game play over the weekend:

Hearthstone: Now with a real Reward System!

One of my major complaints early in beta was how unrewarding Play mode originally felt. This problem was fortunately addressed by several major changes to the reward system, outlined below:

  • Most importantly, they increased the rate of gold from winning in play mode. You now earn 10 gold per 3 games (e.g., 3.33 gold per win), up from 5 gold per 5 games (e.g., 1 gold per win). So, you get more gold and sooner. This encourages “just one more game” to unlock your pack when you are sitting at 90 gold and two completed wins. This is a lot better than “just 8 more games” when you are sitting at 90 gold and two completed wins. While I originally suggested that we should get 5 gold per win, this seems to be a happy compromise between the original value and my recommendations.
  • You can now earn experience for your class in practice mode beyond level 10. You can also gain class experience from playing in duels versus your friends (where previously, these duels versus people on your friends list provided no benefit). You can level up to 60 total levels for each of the 9 classes.
  • They also introduced gold versions of basic minions you can acquire from leveling classes.
  • They changed arena awards to give more gold for winning streaks, allowing quicker re-entry to arena for experienced arena players.
  • Increased social rewards: Your friends will know when you unlock legendary cards or finish a great Arena run.

Changes to the daily quest system.

  • You get to choose between two classes for the daily quests, instead of being locked to completing it on one character. This allows for more choice, and allows you to play the game with mastering 5 classes, instead of 9 classes, if you want to streamline your daily routine. Thus, If you really hate playing Garrosh (even if it’s just because of SOO Lore reasons), you can choose to never play that class. In making my class decisions, if I want to play druid and avoid warrior, I need to focus on: druid, mage, paladin, warlock, and rogue. This allows me to skip shaman, hunter, priest, and warrior early in the game with no penalty. See the listing on Hearthpwn to plan for the daily class choice combinations.
  • The biggest problem with this new daily quest system is that if you dislike both of the classes for the daily, you are still stuck having to do it. You still can’t drop quests even if you really, really don’t want to do it.

Don’t nerf me, Bro!

  • Of course, any patches to Blizzard games include class balancing changes. This came with many adjustments to cards (some changes for each of the classes, plus changes to general minions available to all classes). Some of the cards I was using got nerfed, and other cards got buffed. In general, the druid class took a couple hits, though Azureon posted in his druid Q&A why these druid card nerfs aren’t so bad.
  • The adjustment to druid decks mainly impacted higher quality cards, that wouldn’t impact new players all that much. My druid beginner druid guide is a good starting point for new players, since the default beginner druid deck didn’t get changed (and is still terrible). I did some minor updates to the guide to stay consistent with the changes. I’ll probably expand this more in the upcoming weeks.
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