Friday, 22 November 2013

Card Games that Start with H

I got an invite to play HEX on Wednesday.  Then I noticed that I'd received an invite to the Hearthstone beta on October 9.  It turns out that they give you no notification of that through your account, you have to check your email.  And gmail sent it to the "Promotions" tab when all the other stuff from Blizzard went to my normal inbox.

So I wen to both.  When I installed the new desktop app it would not let me download Hearthstone.  Then it wouldn't update itself.  Then I couldn't uninstall it.  Then I couldn't play Diablo anymore either.  I was very happy.  It turns out that I had to update Flash in Internet Explorer to fix the problem.  I'm sure that makes a lot of sense somehow.

Well I played some Hearthstone and I don't think I had as much fun with it as I thought I would have.  Having all those basic cards at the beginning gives you a lot of flexibility on how you build a deck, but that's not necessarily what you want when you just started playing.  I couldn't find a way to load the basic deck and modify it as a custom deck, which would have been nice since it would let you develop a deck from the basic deck by swapping out cards you don't like as much instead of building a deck from scratch when you've never played.

Unlocking the classes meant playing 8 games which was fine.  Getting all the basic class cards means playing 82 or so more, which feels like a lot.  I know, I just complained about having too many cards and having to do much to unlock more.

But it really is both.  When you start with a zillion cards to choose from opening a new pack of five cards isn't that exciting.  When you can only put two of a card in your deck and you start with two copies of everything, getting one of a new thing feels awkward.  The initial tutorial games weren't that fun because the enemies were using cheaty cards so it didn't feel like real games.

Well, I played again on Thursday and again tonight and I guess I like it, but it has all the frustrations of PvP games.  Opponents play desperately slow.  They make terrible plays, throwing cards away, and then you lose.  Even when you win someone still lost so sometimes it just feels like no one is winning.

HEX, on the other hand, just plain doesn't work.  Thanks for the invite.  To their credit, they did say the point of this round of invites was to stress test, so it makes sense that it lags out really badly.  But I don't think I'll go back to it until release or near release.  My interest in that is mostly to play PvE and that doesn't even really exist yet.

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