I played Magic at a time where a Black Lotus used to cost as much now as the Dredd Blu-ray. Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft provides a Jekyll and Hyde beta experience. Hearthstone, compared to Magic has a different vibe produced by quick games and a fondness for the WOW universe. The decks are fun to play, and practice mode easily teaches the ins and outs of how to play the game. But the player vs. player matchmaking for Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft isn’t worthy; regardless of what the game will tell you. All the games I’ve played are casual, not ranked matches. The gameplay itself is wonderfully casual; the opponents I’ve been matched with are far from that.
The open beta for Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft is furious fun, which is Blizzard’s trademark. The fun factor is up there with my tanking with a warrior Draenei in WOW, or laying waste with a barbarian in Diablo 3. The tumor sized issue is the casual matchmaking mode always indicating “A Worthy Opponent” before the match starts between your deck and someone else’s. Even with so many beta players, both opponents are rarely worthy to do battle with one another. That’s not casual fun. Maybe great players and their decks fear the “ranked” mode and just want to slam down the non-competitive casual player?
Nail biting matches happen at most 10% of the time. If almost every game is a blowout why spend the cash? I’m looking for competition, not a beat down on someone else’s small Murloc sized deck. Bronco, and most NFL fans couldn’t finish watching last Super Bowl’s 43-8 blowout. A true competitor or a fan of just watching competition doesn’t want to constantly play any online game where it feels like the opponent is AFK.
Most matches In Hearthstone start off pretty even, no matter how great a player’s deck is. When mana crystals are around capacity is where players with insane decks triumph (“I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy”). When all these great cards land on the table, no amount of strategy can stop the onslaught. There is no way I should be playing against those decks in the casual section of Hearthstone. I’m casually getting rocked. At a certain point a deck’s strength shouldn’t casually be used. An Ogre sized deck, beating up on an insignificant grub deck is a lame way to get newbies to spend cash on cards.
Create the matching making in Hearthstone like “Top Gun”. Let the best of the best play. Pub players should completely be separated from the experienced (similar to WOW guilds). At least give the inexperienced a choice to see if they like Hearthstone to the point where a financial investment to move to ranked mode is needed.
For newer players, I ranked up all the classes to level ten first in “practice” mode. This will present you with deck options that can be competitive for those legendary matches that come down to the wire. Having all your decks at level ten will give you flexibility to create better decks when card packs are opened.
Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft is like enjoying a Dairy Queen Blizzard. The Blizzard has a tasty beginning, but it’s very hard to continue on and finish off what you started.