Friday, March 13, 2015

Adventures and Golden Cards

Friday! Yes here we are with the weekend approaching and the day before Pi Day! Regardless though if you can contain yourself for what is to come tomorrow Friday does mean Reader Post time. This week I decided to go with a post from Koko and his thoughts towards adventures in Hearthstone and golden cards.


This is a very serious question I would like to ask the designers. And I don't mean the gameplay designers, balance wise. I mean the economy designers. The ones, who decide about Arcane Dust value, disenchanting and creating cards costs. And that vs the Packs cost. Could combine this topic with the kind of card Pack awarded from the Arena.

So the question is:
Are the golden cards from the adventures meant only for the players who wish to pay real life money? Or is there some lack of knowledge, lack of realization that it is not really possible for an average free to play player?

For an example, I would call myself an average free to play player. I have been playing from BETA stage of the game, I did not take any breaks from Hearthstone. Maybe in total, I skipped, let's say a month of dailies (so 30 x 60 gold = 1800 gold), I do not miss out on a daily. Meaning if I have three daily quests in the Quest Log, I do complete one before midnight. I also re-roll dailies, say my Quest Log is empty, I get 40 gold quest, I re-roll it till it's 60 gold one, or until I have three quests (even if all three quests are 40 gold) then I complete one before midnight to not lose this 40 gold at least. It is simple economy - min-maxing.
I have been also playing the Arena quite often (whenever I had the gold for it) when the 100% reward was still the Expert Pack. I have bought Curse of Naxxramas for gold, which I saved up, I did benefit from the 1st wing being free, which saved me 700 gold.
The only time I spent real money, was around 2-3 times, during BETA, on the Arena runs,

At the moment, I am still missing 14+ Legendary cards from the Expert (Classic) set and a few Epics. I am on 3k gold (stopped playing the Arena when GvG was released and the Arena Pack has been changed) and I am on around 3k Arcane Dust.

When it has been announced that Curse of Naxxramas golden versions of the cards will be ONLY craftable (not obtainable /// nor any other requirements are needed to craft them except for obtaining the regular version of the card) I became quite sad. Back then I created a topic, with a suggestion, that the golden cards could be a rare drop chance for defeating the boss on Heroic mode, but it was mainly for the replayability of the Heroic version of the bosses. There have been a few blue responses that Heroic mode is like a crossword, once you solve it, there is no reason to solve it again. It is true, but if there is a possibility of giving a reason to solve something again (maybe not even in the same way), not allowing that possibility is a lost opportunity - in my, more than humble opinion, of course. The golden cards could be both - craftable (for the players that wish to pay real money to get a lot of Arcane Dust fast) and obtainable from a % drop chance, from defeating the Heroic version of the boss (for the free to play players that really want the golden card and wish to "grind" for it).

There is also no replayability for the Normal mode, but at least it can be easily replayed with a purpose, for example, to complete the 100 gold daily for which the player is to win 7 games in ANY mode - this includes the games against the AI.

Even though it was quite disappointing that there is no other way to obtain the golden versions of Curse of Naxxramas cards, I didn't give up the thought that I will get them eventually. If I get a lot of cards in the Packs that I already have, it's simply Arcane Dust, it is possible, I thought.

When GvG was released, nothing really changed, I didn't think any different, although the GvG Pack from the Arena changes my situation a bit. Mathematically it is better for me to spend the gold on the Arena, and craft the missing cards from the Expert set, since GvG card pool is significantly lower. Meaning, I will get all the cards from the GvG set, and then a lot of duplicates (faster than from the Expert set), which will become Arcane Dust. This can complete my Expert set way faster than buying the Expert Packs, especially if I get more gold from the Arena than I invested. Endless circle of gold, cards and dust.

But now, seeing that Blackrock Mountain is very similar in design to Curse of Naxxramas, I suspect that the golden cards will be only craftable. If adventures and expansions will arrive regularly every 4 months, it will be literally impossible to collect all of the cards and their golden versions, and this is a COLLECTIBLE CARD GAME.

So hey! My question stands:
Are the golden cards from the adventures meant only for the players who wish to pay real life money? Or is there some lack of knowledge, lack of realization that it is not really possible for an average free to play player?

I really would like to see this one from the design point of view. Not only because I think it is a huge flaw (or it is made on purpose), but also because I am interested in the game design subject.

Best regards, Koko.

Thanks again to Koko for his submission for the week. As always thanks to everyone who sent something in this would not be possible without all of your contributions. Enjoy your weekend and Pi Day!

1 comment:

  1. Makes a good point but the fact of the matter is the game is free to play and has to have a way for the people spending money to do so. Really people playing the game for free should be thanking those spending money because if it wasn't for them then they wouldn't be playing it. Instead a lot of players just bitch and moan at them on the forums for "paying to win" no they are paying so you can fucking play