“I’m Never Playing Hearthstone Again!”

Hearthstone card backs

I said out loud to nobody. This was the beginning of 2014 and I had been playing Blizzard’s fancy new card game but had barely collected any cards beyond the basic starting deck. The gratification of playing a better match than my opponent had been completely out of grasp for what felt like a week. Getting crushed game after game by people with all sorts of nasty powerful epic golden cards broke my spirit.

“I refuse to invest any money or time into a game if someone can pay $10 to become unbeatable.”

I’d decided that sitting in my room clenching my teeth and sweating for hours on end can only be justified if there is some acknowledgement of my efforts. In classic ragequit fashion Hearthstone was uninstalled.

The defeat screen


 

Fast forward almost exactly one year. Blizzard had added two batches of single player challenges, a new game mode, an expansion pack of all new cards, and the game was now on cellphones. Having never been a fan of any phone game, I easily rationalized myself back into the game. Hearthstone didn’t impress me all that much as a PC game but it is hands down the best game available on the phone. Suddenly I’m back in. I still had no cards and now the gap between the noobs and people who have been playing for a year was even more painful to span but something new caught my attention.

 

legendary cards

 

Collecting and Theorycrafting

I’m not a person who needs to win. In fact I’m terrible at competitive games. I belong to the “Completionist” genus of gamers. If you MUST have all of the hats, finish all of the side quests, get all the achievements; You are a Completionist. When a game will allow for it, I’ll take it one step further. I will play all the way through choosing completely evil to the point where I’ll restart a quest if I do something “good” accidentally. I’ll OCD save before opening each door and have multiple saves JUST IN CASE I need to redo something from yesterday. I’ll use only mele weapons. I’ll look up the worst possible build for a character/class and use it. I’ll collect the maximum amount of ammo my character can carry before moving on to the next area. I have played through games with one character of each class simultaneously switching back and forth keeping them at the same level in the same area. I have spent hours theorycrafting for games that aren’t out yet or that I don’t even play. I flush every toilet, dig through every trashcan, blow up every barrel, and punch the heads off of people I’ve already killed. I’ll collect literally everything that drops to later melt down for scrap or sell for gold. I’ve used remote access software to log into a games to collect the daily login bonus gold while I was away from my house on vacation. I am a full blown virtual hoarder.

Dwarf collecting loot of gold and gems


 

Getting back into Hearthstone was too easy. I found that the gratification of building decks totally outweighs getting stomped. You can find me on forums imagining new ways to play and coveting particularly well designed cards because I’m addicted to the idea of the game even more than the mechanics of playing it. The card buy/earning mechanic that I hated so much is actually the huge driving forces that keeps so many people playing. I know if they gave everyone all the cards immediately for free, people would lose interest in playing. There would be no variation in decks and no goal. Over time I have collected enough cards to be a formidable opponent but not enough to where I can relax and stop collecting. There is always another card that I need to make my deck sicknasty. Recently I’ve been making riskier builds that are centered around one single card just for kicks. The more I play, the more fun my decks become.

My (work in progress) Dreadsteed Warlock.

I highly recommend sinking your teeth into Hearthstone. It’s the most complete game available for phones and It’s totally free. Just don’t let em’ break you.

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