Friday, October 11, 2013

Hearthstone Rage

Here we are the ending of the week and the start of a long weekend for all us Canadians. We know how to celebrate Thanksgiving in the correct month. It is Friday though so many if not all of you came here for the Reader Post. Now the Reader Post is normally about something I received which I found interesting and engaging, and something I feel all of you would also enjoy reading. This particular email I received was full of rage surprisingly not towards myself which is quite odd. I get a few of those. This was full of rage towards Hearthstone. In case some of you didn't know Hearthstone is a game currently in beta created by Blizzard. It is a card game played digitally. I have yet to play it although that beta key I have keeps reminding me to do so. I just don't have the drive to play a card game. Anyways I thought this was entertaining, even more so since his name was Paralleluniverse, so I will share it with you all.

I've been in the beta since Day 1. I'm done with this game and I will not play it again. It's not a fair game.

Here's why:

1. It's pay to win. People who spend more money can get more cards, better cards, more options to build better decks, meanwhile people who don't spend money need to grind for days to get even 1 deck of cards, and the pitiful rate of 1 gold per win. Even the MMR system cannot fix this unfairness at the top of the MMR curve, where high MMR players with bought cards have more than 50% win rate (like SC2). A person with 2000 skill rating + $100 spent is better than a person with 2000 skill rating. It's unfair. People should not be allowed to buy cards with real money.

2. There is no release wipe. It allows people who, by dumb luck, have been in the beta to get an unfair card advantage, for absolutely no reason. Why should beta testers get to keep their account without a wipe, when people who weren't lucky enough to get into the closed beta are systemically and unfairly, of no fault of their owned, denied this advantage of early access? And some of these people are now defending their undeserved entitlement, which they should not get, at the expense of destroying fairness for everyone else.

3. No ladder and ranking system. No plans for ladder and ranking systems.

4. No chat. No social features. No plans for chat, no plans for social features.

5. Flawed reward model that rewards players for tanking their rating and farming noobs by giving these abusers more gold, more quickly.

6. Per-usage microtransaction of $2 to play Arena. This would be as outrageous as Valve charging $2 to queue All Pick in Dota 2. Or if Microsoft charged $2 to make an Office document with no option of buying Microsoft Office. This is arguably the most greedy business model in existence.

What would they need to do to make make me play? Never ever sell any cards or packs. Wipe on release. Add ladders and chat. Sell the game for $60 instead. Or sell only cosmetic microtransactions like Dota 2.

In conclusion, there is no fairness, no equality. Therefore, there is no sense of accomplishment, and hence no point to play. Would anyone bother to compete in the Olympics if drug cheats are allowed? No. So why should I play Hearthstone. The same reasoning applies: if the game is unfair, then accomplishments, like being in Masters, mean nothing because it can be achieved by people using these unfair and undeserved advantages, like buying cards for real money.

The fact that cards can be grinded at a snail's pace changes nothing, because other people who have spent more money still have the advantage of more cards, better cards, more choices, and a easier ability to adapt to a changing metagame, which isn't possible via grinding. In the long run you can get all the cards... eventually. But in the long run, we are all dead. In the meantime, you're playing a stacked and unfair game. More fundamentally, there is no point to grinding in an unfair game in the first place. So why even bother take the first step? Games like WoW Classic, SC2, WC3, and Dota 2, were built on a model of fairness within the game. Everyone pays the same, everyone gets the same access to the game. If you play the game, then how much money you have outside of the game doesn't affect the game. Your real world finances doesn't come into the game as an advantage. In Hearthstone, how much money you spend in real life determines how many cards you have. It's the opposite of fair games where everyone starts perfectly equal like WoW Classic, SC2, WC3 and Dota 2.

The unfairness and inequality of Hearthstone cheapens the game for everyone as accomplishments become meaningless, because people who have bought cards can achieve the same, just like drug cheats in the Olympics. And the fact that there's no ladder and ranking system really does make your accomplishment meaningless because no one knows about them, no one knows you exist. You can't even talk. So the game is meaningless and pointless. And I refuse to play a meaningless and pointless game.

The developers of this game have a pathological aversion to fairness and equality, in favor of more money and a greedy business model. But as proven by the fact that they decided not to wipe on release, it's not just about money. It proves that they believe in unfairness and inequality, fundamentally and as a matter of principle. And it is ultimately for this reason that I will not play this game.

The first thing I thought after reading this. He does no its a card game right? Secondly, there is no pay only content which kind of makes his argument invalid but nonetheless entertaining. So hopefully that gives you all happy thoughts for the weekend!

1 comment:

  1. I think someone lost a few too many games...