The state of Hearthstone and why I dislike it
Hey guys, Kratos here from Team Genji’s academy roster. This article has been something I wanted to write for quite some time now. Basically, dislike is a mild way to say that I hate the current state of the game and that I’m slowly driven away from it.
The past months I feel like I’ve upped my game. Since I got into Team Genji, I put more hours into Hearthstone to try and pursue a pro players career. Practicing matchups, figuring out pocket meta’s to have better results on the ladder and forcing myself to play 10 or more hours a day in the final days of the month to get a finish, despite anxiety and frustration.
With that tryhard switch, I realized some things about the game. I got quite frustrated spending a lot of time playing the game, but I couldn’t figure out for a long time what the problem was. I kept putting it on myself, that I had to get better. Sure, I’m nowhere near the level of the top pros right now, but I am comfortable in saying that it wasn’t only on me.
There’s a lot of things I could rant about. Below I will try to talk about the things I dislike most and how I would change them. After all, I feel like there’s no point in just complaining, a great man once said to me that mumbling about problems is useless unless you have a solution to them.
1.Druid and Spreading Plague:
My point about spreading plague is a simple one. As Kibler mentioned it, class identity! Druid as a class is one that does miraculous things with ramp spells and expensive trump cards. What it has always struggled against are wide boards. With the addition of Spreading Plague that weakness does not exist anymore.
The card allows you to neglect your opponent’s board and keep doing your thing. When it first came out, Druidstone was worse than ever. All you saw was jade druid mirrors, they were everywhere and no other matchup was as common in the meta. It got so bad they had to print a new card next expansion, Skulking Geist, to counter it. Jade Druid was still a powerhouse of a deck and the card aggressive strategies always had to watch out for against any Druid. For the past year, it has terrorized aggro decks and I’m sure it’s responsible for a lot of people giving up on the game. I was hopeful that it would get the nerf hammer again in the recent patch but that is not the case. Meh. My solution to this is simple. Nerf the card to oblivion. It should have never existed.
2.Wild growth and Nourish:
What I mean by classic Druid ramp cards is the coexistence of Wild Growth and Nourish for Druid since, the dawn of Hearthstone. Before Ultimate Infestation the problem was not that prevalent, but after it, people began to see what such a powerful tool can do in Druid. Basically, you get a free pass on tempo to ramp up quickly. No worries, Infestation will get you back on the board and keep you alive so that you can play more expensive cards. I do not think that Infestation itself is the real problem, but the fact that you ramp up to it so quickly. After infestation is gone I doubt they will print such a powerful card again for Druid. So another problem that comes to light is Nourish and Growth limiting design space. My solution: Have a rotating classic set so that sometimes Growth is available, other times only Nourish, and at a metagame with no power tools like Ultimate Infestation, have them both available!
3. Genn and Baku making games boring:
Genn and Baku are a great way to explore design space in the game and when they first came out I found them really exciting. However, that excitement was not for long. Some classed don’t use them because the upgrades are not good enough, and the ones that use them have such a powerful tool that it makes games boring. For example, as odd Rogue, you look to hero power as much as possible because it is such a reliable source of board control and face damage. Same in Odd Warrior, the hero power is so powerful that you look to abuse it. So in short, either the effect of Genn and Baku are not strong enough to see much play, or they are so strong that it is the best game plan of the deck to abuse it. My solution: Honestly this is not an easy one. The simple one is to nerf some of the most oppressive ones and leave the rest be. That is, nerf the Odd Warrior Hero Power. Sure, other ones not mentioned like Genn in Warlock and Baku in Paladin are strong as well, but the archetypes are not as oppressive and polarizing. Honestly, the existence of a deck like Odd Warrior is a problem itself but I chose to include it here since the solution is the same: nerf the hero power.
4. Very polarized matchups:
I won’t go into great detail in this one, as vicious syndicate did a great job in a very lengthy piece. If you haven’t seen it, you can find it here https://www.vicioussyndicate.com/meta-polarity-and-its-impact-on-hearthstone/. Basically, they put up the numbers to support the fact that this metagame has a very unhealthy amount of polarized decks and matchups between them. Decks like quest Rogue and Odd Warrior are the poster children of this fact, but the rest of the metagame isn’t different. Truth is, that polarization will always exist in some manner between certain matchups, but allowing it to emerge to such high numbers makes for uninteresting games and ones that decision making is mitigated. My solution: The simple way to address this is, nerf the most polarizing decks. The hard way is more research from Blizzard’s part on how a meta unfolds. Have more pro players or ex-pros be a part of their team that tests future metagames and tackles issues as they unfold, before they come out to the public.
There’s a lot more things I’d like to tackle but I feel like the solution is either too simple or too complicated to rant about them. Keleseth’s existence, the wild format as a whole, the pro point ladder system, the classic set problem etc. Some of them might just be me being burnt out by playing so much Hearthstone and others are real issues that several people have talked about in extent.
That’s my rant on the current state of the game. What do you guys think? What are the things that frustrate you the most about Hearthstone and what would you do to change them?
Thank you for your time, see you again next week!