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#1 MysticalOS

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:37 PM

Hearthstone Closed Beta Test Begins! - News - Hearthstone

#2 Pisshands

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 07:00 AM

No NDA, so I can speak openly. I had forgotten how absolutely enraged I become when playing CCG's. I have yelled/thought "Fuck you Garrosh!" more than 100 times in the last hour. Call it practice for Siege.

It's fun, but it's really, really oriented towards deck countering. Playing Shaman destroys Warrior but gets annihilated by Hunter, etc. Balance amidst some of the class specials is an issue, particularly the Priest and Rogue specials.

#3 MysticalOS

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 07:26 AM

Sounds like lots of room for deck building guides and strategizing ;).

All I've done so far is just finished tutorial then called it a night. All the raid testing today I'm kind of just relaxing from games right now.

#4 Moshne

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 05:15 PM

I haven't seen the deck countering issue that Llarold mentioned yet, I've mostly played Mage/Warlock (both to Lvl 10+.) My initial impressions are that they seemed to have learned many of the examples of overpowered abilities, put some abilities in that have previous been banned in Magic, it is pretty odd. Most of my feedback is going to be through the lens of a Magic player, but considering it is the gold standard for a TCG, I don't know how else to do it. Those that haven't played will just have to bear with me.

Examples:

- Druid Innervate: This is essentially a Black Lotus on the draw. You can play a 4 mana ability on turn 1. I've yet to see any druid players really take advantage of it, but this is absurd.

- Lets talk about the benefits of going second: You get a card, this is pretty standard for a TCG, but then you also get the coin bonus (Lotus Petal for MTG players.) Again, card that was banned in Magic at one point and totally format shaping. If the game thinks going first is that much of a benefit to where it is needed, the Coin might need to be flagged to not count as casting a spell. It is pretty absurd used in conjunction with abilities that give perks for casting spells for benefits (rogue combo, the creature that gets +1/+1 for each card.)

- Card draw is insane: Magic learned this pretty early and restricts card draw significantly. Creatures like the Acolyte of Pain, and the healing equivalent are just nuts. The Warlock special is effectively just a Sign in Blood you can cast every turn as well. (In MTG Sign in Blood costs you a card, but otherwise costs two mana, two life and draws two cards. In HS, you don't have to spend a card, so the net is the same.)

In other feedback:
- Taunt/CC abilities are pretty inconsistent. Freezing a Hero on some of them will prevent them from using their specials every turn, but the Hunter isn't bothered by it at all.

- I'm not clear when a "Day" ends. I did the tutorial, opened up all the decks and have exhausted all my quests. It tells me to come back tomorrow for me, but I don't know when that is. It certainly is not the WoW day cutoff as I quit before then.

- Spells seem way too weak and overcosted compared to creatures. I realize they can get around Taunt, but my initial impressions is building a "Spell" based deck is almost a fool's game.

- Turns are too long. Frustratingly long at times. Perhaps an MTGO-style total player time counter is in order (basically each player gets X amount of time for the round, and it only counts when it is your turn. If you exhaust all your time, you lose.) The current system just encourages people to time out if they are upset about a play and it is infuriating to play against.

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#5 Pisshands

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 07:19 PM

I played Magic for all of six hours and really enjoyed it, but know almost nothing, so bear that in mind. I became determined to beat Expert Rogue with the base Druid deck last night and set to doing it over the course of some six failures. On the last time I failed, I had 15-ish health to her 6 health and an active Core Hound to her absence of minions. She had a pair of two-damage spells she was using and able to hold onto (don't recall the names) and drew another spell, apparently. Her response was to do nothing.

Yeah.

I quickly realized it had bugged, but I was amazed to realize that she was freezing me out with no repercussions. I had won, so she flipped the table. I had to concede and try again. Got it with ease then, but still, weak.

Most spells are quite weak, but I can't fully agree as some synergize really well. Take a look at the combinations of Shaman spells Windfury, Rockbiter Weapon and Bloodlust. BL is... +3 damage to all minions for the turn? Rockbiter is +3 damage for a single minion for the turn, and Windfury gives a minion a permanent +2 attacks, so playing against a Shaman without enough CC or Taunt can get you bursted down within a turn. In that regard, I do appreciate that the game is consistent with some of the paradigms established in WoW.

I don't feel that the gamut of class special abilities are remotely balanced yet. Paladin, Shaman and Mage feel quite weak and Priest is certainly too powerful in conjunction with some of the synergies in the deck. Hunter and Rogue are extremely strong as well.

#6 Caniki

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 07:22 PM

I'll write more later, but try out Arena mode. It's a fantastic single player draft experience.

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#7 MysticalOS

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 08:03 PM

It looks like Hearthstone is currently hosted on wow PTR servers. As such, battletag works but it shows PTR contact list.

#8 Hamlet

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 09:24 PM

I'll write more later, but try out Arena mode. It's a fantastic single player draft experience.


Yeah, I bought two packs with the easy 200 coins you get near the beginning before I knew this. I'd definitely highlight to people going in that:

--Doing an Arena (draft) only costs 150 coins (you don't have to pay for or bring packs since you don't keep the cards after--it's basically an MTGO "phantom" draft).
--You almost always (always?) get at least 1 pack as a prize anyway. My first time I went 2-3 and got a pack.

So at worst, you're paying 150 coins for a pack instead of 100 (less actually, since you get a couple coins in prize bag as well), effectively paying only about 50 coins (like 50 cents) for the draft. If you're good enough to get a second pack about 50% of the time (not sure what score that takes), it pays for itself.

Only note is that you can't roll prize packs into new drafts. You have to pay 150 coins or $2 each time, so you're still buying product, but it's a much better way of doing it than just buying packs.

One question/thought: the in-game store says that upon any data wipes during beta, you get store credit for any real money you'd spent in the store. So if I pay for and play a few Arenas in the first cycle, then when my cards get wiped into coins during a reset, I should be able to play those Arenas without paying again. Does this sound right to people? Might make beta a really good time for fans of Limited play to get a lot of testing in.

#9 Pisshands

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 10:42 PM

Try playing the basic Hunter deck against the basic Paladin bot deck. It's frustrating. Every taunt is countered by a Hammer of Wrath, your Timber Wolves shot down by Ironforge Riflemen, every Raid Leader or Stormwind Champion gets a Blessing of Might and a Divine Shield, and when you do get him low after several games, a pair of Holy Lights for +6 health apiece.

#10 MysticalOS

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 10:43 PM

Tweet GC and tell him to nerf paladins.

#11 Pisshands

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 10:46 PM

Tweet GC and tell him to nerf paladins.


Well, several other decks roll the Paladin deck with absolute ease. The Mage one in particular just Polymorphs right through the Blessings of Might and Taunts and pushes him over. It's very much a deck counterplay situation in the pre-built decks, at least. Annoying.

Edit: After playing against Uther and losing time and again with the Rogue, Druid and Warrior decks, I think I have pinpointed the problem. Blessing of Might and Hand of Protection are each 1 mana, and should probably be 3 and 4 mana respectively. These are both massively powerful permanent benefits that have the cost of Rockbiter Weapon.

#12 Hamlet

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 12:21 AM

I generally disagree on the problem. I also found the Pal deck very strong in my practice run-though and lost with a few others before beating it with Mage, but I don't really see Paladin or those cards as being overpowered generally. I think the Paladin starter deck just has a bit more synergy than the others.

But I don't think the creature enchantments are undercosted. In fact it's hard to imagine Blessing of Might really seeing serious play unless there's some kind of extreme Paladin aggro build (which doesn't seem to fit their selection). Similarly HoP costs a card, and all it does it absorb one card of the opponent's choice. There's some synergy since HoP protects the card you've already invested an enchantment in, but now you've spent 3 cards assembling a creature that just can be Polymorphed/Assassinated.

It's just hard to deal with with the limited card pool and low power of the starter decks, mostly.

#13 Moshne

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 01:12 AM

I find the starter decks to be awful. Just simple retooling with the initial card pools yielded much better decks. I imagine some of the problems stem from that. The base decks massively undervalue card draw, which any veteran Magic player will tell you is key. I realize the game isn't MTG but it is massively influenced by it so the analogies draw themselves.

I found the expert paladin deck to be really weak. I'll try playing against him with a rogue build and see if I see the same results. My experiences were with casters and just steamrolled him.

I've been playing Shaman in the Arena. I'm currently at three wins, we'll see where I end. Summoning totems is really strong, though reasonably high variance. I did a couple Arenas as Warlock and didn't feel nearly as strong. The warlock is far too dependent on card synergies that can be difficult to draft (things that summon random demons for instance) I really want to try Druid, I suspect I can completely bust it, but I'm trying to level via Arena as you can do it much less frustratingly and Druid hasn't been offered to me yet.

Re card wipe: my understanding is that any money we have spent will be re credited to us as gold equivalent. So yes, these arenas are essentially test rounds and we can do them with the experience gained once it is live and likely do very well, despite perhaps doing poorly now.

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#14 Pisshands

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 01:26 AM

I think you're both correct. Having put together a fairly strong Shaman deck and a mediocre Warlock deck, I feel that the basic decks are just underwhelming. Totems on their own are weak, I think, but combining them with things like Flametongue, Raid Leader, Stormwind Champion, Totemic Fortitude, etc., they become amazingly potent, and a Shaman easily take an opponent down in a single turn with Bloodlust and a collection of totems.

#15 Caniki

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 01:58 AM

What value is there in doing the Expert decks? As far as I've seen, they award the same amount of XP as the normal decks.

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#16 Kurisu

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 04:29 AM

You are a more advanced player than what is out there in the general pool of people. Especially since the level of entry is low people who ate unaccustomed to games like these need that step up from basic before they queue to other games.

Also unlocking cards is really helpful in increasing core deck power. I need to unlock more rogue to get some stuff I want to use for my spell power rogue deck.

#17 Moshne

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 04:45 AM

My value in the Expert decks was an attempt to test against a certain opponent. The random queues are disproportionately Jaina, and I really want to test against anything but Jaina to get an idea of what I like/how the game feels.

Also, I was trying to grind XP on new characters and it is pretty frustrating doing that against a level 15 mage on my level 1 shaman. It isn't strictly useful, but it was serving a purpose.

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#18 MysticalOS

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 04:50 AM

Ha yeah my first queue was with a level 1 and a starter deck and I got put against someone who flat out destroyed me. I'm not sure what the game uses to match but it doesn't work very well yet.

#19 Caniki

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 05:19 AM

You are a more advanced player than what is out there in the general pool of people. Especially since the level of entry is low people who ate unaccustomed to games like these need that step up from basic before they queue to other games.

Also unlocking cards is really helpful in increasing core deck power. I need to unlock more rogue to get some stuff I want to use for my spell power rogue deck.


I get that, I was just hoping they'd be worth more XP. Slogging through unlocking all of the basics for each deck is kinda boring for advanced players. Increasing the XP rewarded by defeating the Expert decks would allow more experienced players to unlock them faster.

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#20 Moshne

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 06:06 AM

6 wins in an Arena, got one pack, 10 gold, some dust and a really bad card. I think it is supposed to be the equivalent of a "Foiled" or Premium card, as it is animated. But just awful, felt really bad considering I expected to be rewarded for that. If this is how decent runs are rewarded, you won't be able to parlay good play into perpetual games by any stretch.

Also, I'm with Pisshands on Blessing of Might. Either it is way undercosted, or Rockbiter Weapon is just awful. Same mana cost, but Blessing is a permanent buff, and bigger, than the temporary +3 atk on rockbiter.

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