Oh frabjous day! I got selected to play the Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft closed beta for the Americas!
Not gonna lie, when I saw “Blizzard Entertainment” in my inbox, I had the knee-jerk reaction of any World of Warcraft / Starcraft / Diablo gamer – “Awww crap. I’ve been hacked. SON OF A…!!” Seriously, even with an authenticator my account is apparently highly hackable. For any of you looking for an easy target.
Anyways, if Sword Art Online has taught me anything, it’s that you never turn down a closed beta invite, as it could mean life or death if any WoW head honchos decide to go rogue. I mean, Greg Street just resigned… coincidence? I THINK NOT. But I digress.
So invite in hand, I spent the morning neglecting my housework and wasting more time than I care to admit puttering around with this new toy.
First off, I love the imagery. I love the soundtrack. And as always, the voice acting is superb. (Millhouse Manastorm sounds like half a dozen card players I knew back in my Young Jedi Star Wars gaming days.) “Ohhhh, just you wait! When I have enough mana….!”
Overall, the game is insanely simple and frighteningly addicting. It’s basically just a digital version of a collectable card game, very much like Magic: The Gathering. You draw cards from your deck, each with a mana cost and attack power / spell / action, and you get to play them based on your mana level which increases with each turn. The cards either directly attack the opponent, summon minions to attack the opponent or performs a unique function, like allowing you to draw more cards or get more health. The deck of cards you work through is designed by the player, which gives this frighteningly simple game a great degree of strategy… and potential to be very costly if my husband starts playing. Cuz when you awaken Freeman gaming rage, card games ain’t cheap, lemme tell you.
What it boils down to is your ability to design a deck and your tactical choices during the game with the cards that turn up in your hand. Again. It’s crazy simple, and loads of fun.
Anyone else had a chance to play the closed beta? (Or plan to play the open beta when it releases later this month?)