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Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft Preview


Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft Preview – Introduction

More than likely, most gamers have played some Warcraft game at some point, whether it be Warcraft 1, 2, 3, or World of Warcraft.  Blizzard has just given fans another game to satisfy their desire for more Warcraft: a free to play card game called Hearthstone. 

Once your download is complete, you will be playing Hearthstone’s within a few minutes of loading; the game gives you six tutorial missions that can be completed in half an hour and will teach you almost everything you need to know about the game.  This is great, especially for a card game novice such as myself.

The concept of the game is very simple: your hero has a set amount of health, as does the hero who you are playing against.  Each round, you take turns drawing cards, placing cards, and attacking your enemies.  You can either attack the other player’s hero directly, or you can attack the minion he has placed on the table in front of him.

At the start of each game you will be give three random cards from your deck.  You can choose to keep or replace any of them, but this can only be done once.  You cannot exchange the second card you get.  If the other player goes first, you will be given four cards rather than three, as well as a special one-time use mana card which will allow you to spend one extra mana on a given turn.  

Every minion card has three numbers on it.  In the top left hand corner is the amount of mana it costs to play the card.  Mana is generated at a rate of one extra per turn, to a maximum of ten.  What this means is that on round one you will have one mana to spend, on round two you will have two, on three you will have three, and so on.  Mana always fully regenerates each turn, so there is no strategy in saving your mana.  You can play as many cards on your turns as your mana will allow.

On the bottom left corner of the minion cards is the attack amount.  It should be noted that when attacking an enemy, your minions will also take damage.  I found throughout the early stages of the beta that my weaker minions often died every time they attacked.  Minions do not take damage when attacking the hero, which provides a unique strategic option.  The bottom right number shows the minions health.


Some minion cards will have extra bonuses.  For example, I played an Orc Leader card which upped the attack of all my minions by one.  Cards with the taunt ability are especially good at keeping attacks away from your hero.  Characters with the taunt ability force opposing minions to focus their attack on it until it is dead.  There are also Battle Cry minions which will give you a bonus for your hero when they are played.  Minions with the charge ability can be used to attack once played.  These minions often cost more mana then similar minions without the charge ability.

Your hero can attack as well by using mana to cast spells, or to use special hero powers, two of which can be equipped at one time.  Hero powers do cost mana to use, but will provide players with extra minions or weapons that they can use to cause damage.  Spells are obtained by drawing spell cards from the deck.  Spells are a one use card; after you have cast the spell, you lose the card in that game.  Spells do not have to be used on minions with taunt.  If the enemy has a minion with taunt played, the hero bypasses the minion and is able to attack the enemy hero.

This game seems to be equal parts skill and luck.  Often, I made smart decisions with my minions and cards to take down an opponent.  On a few occasions, however, I found myself drawing cards that cost too much mana, not allowing me to play as many as I would like.  This seems to be alleviated by the “draw two” card which often gave me something to work with.  Like all cards based games, you will always be at the mercy of your deck.  You can only be as good as the cards you draw, and a few hands of lousy draws will sink you in a match quickly.

Since this is a free-to-play game with micro transactions, it probably is not hard to guess where you will be spending your money: cards.  There is a way to earn in game gold by playing games, and you can purchase a pack of 5 cards for 100 gold; you are also given cards when you level up your heroes.   Alternatively, you can spend real money and buy multiple packs of cards; a 2 pack of cards is 2.99 USD, 7 packs for 9.99 USD and up.

Once you have a number of cards, you can craft your own deck.  It is as easy as picking the hero you would like to use – one of nine that need to be unlocked – and then choosing thirty cards to place in your deck.  There is even a “Suggest a Card” option to make deck building even easier.  Once you have a deck you think will be successful, take your deck into practice mode against AI opponents or an actual game against human opponents of a similar skill level.  Practice mode is how you unlock other hero’s.  These heroes will give you specific quests to complete which give you bonuses for that hero within the game.

I could continue and describe every card the game has to offer.  The game’s art looks great, the music and sound effects are great; there is very little to complain about in this open beta.   If you enjoy card games, or if you enjoy the world of Warcraft, do yourself a favour and head over to Blizzards website and download your own copy of the beta.


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blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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