As many of you already know, I’m currently addicted to Hearthstone and it is the ONLY game for which my iPad is turned ON! No pun intended. Also, I have made no effort in playing this game on my PC. Coz, touch is for now best interface to play card games with.
I present to you a brief analysis I did few days back. This is not about the game design part of Hearthstone. But, more about how you gain benefits, its shop and various layers. Please feel free to comment.
· Hearthstone has only ONE in-game currency = GOLD.
· The only other method of purchase is via hard cash.
· The game makes sure to SELL ONLY Expert Card packs
o Each Expert Card Pack consists of 5 Cards out of which at least 1 is rare or above
· The game doesn’t allow trading of cards or packs
I made a small table to illustrate how the shop works [the currency here is Euro – €]:
(The image shown above is from my AppStore account – so it is in Rs. Talking in Euro makes more sense internationally. Sorry for the confusion)
|PURCHASE COST||Without wholesale discounts – Compared to Cost for 2 Packs – Actual Costs||SAVING|
|Expert Card Packs||€||€||€|
NOTE: Player can always purchase 1 Expert Card pack using in-game currency GOLD but to buy more she must invest in hard-cash (one way). The only other method is to keep accumulating GOLD and buy 1 Pack after another as needed.
Looking at the table above it is very clear that the player can understand and see benefits that keep increasing the higher she goes in spending for card packs.
Overall – € 8.99 and € 17.99 for 7 and 15 Packs are most interesting for players. Good amount of savings.
· Hearthstone provides a very interesting Quest system
o Daily Quests are given to the player [valid in ONLINE play with strangers or Arena mode]
o A maximum of 3 can be stacked at any given time
o Quests come in various categories which provide rewards
o Rewards = GOLD [40-100] – depending on quest difficulty/ length
· Ideally, a person who doesn’t want to use hard-cash to purchase Card Packs (grinder) – the best way is to ALWAYS make sure to keep finishing Quests
· 3 Consequent wins with same hero – 30 GOLD
· This is my personal favorite and one of the best game mode in Hearthstone
· Arena mode requires an entry fee
o 150 GOLD OR € 2
· Arena mechanic
o Choose one of a random hero presented to the player (choice among 3)
o Make a card deck from a set of random cards
– Interesting part is – almost entire deck in Hearthstone is available
– This includes every rare, epic and legendary cards
– However, the order and selection is random
o Player keeps progressing in Arena to unlock better and better rewards until she loses three times
– The player is basically unlocking “KEY”
· Keys come in different variety and open the specific reward box
Check the table below that gives an idea about the rewards presented in Arena (wiki helped here):
|Wins||Key||Rewards||Random reward pool|
|0||Novice||2||1. One expert pack||25-40 gold|
|2. One random reward||25-40 dust|
|One common card|
|1||Apprentice||2||1. One expert pack||30-50 gold|
|2. One random reward||25-50 dust|
|One common card|
|2||Journeyman||2||1. One expert pack||40-50 gold|
|2. One random reward||40-50 dust|
|One common card|
|One rare card|
|3||Copper||3||1. One expert pack||20-25 gold|
|2. 25-35 gold||20-25 dust|
|3. One random reward||One common card|
|One rare card|
|12||Lightforge||5||1. One expert pack||20-175 gold|
|2. 215-235 gold||20-25 dust|
|3. One random reward||One golden common card|
|4. One random reward||One golden or regular rare card|
|5. One random reward||One golden or regular epic card|
|One golden or regular legendary card|
|One expert pack|
NOTE: The important point to note here is that if the player loses all 3 games in Arena (doesn’t win even a single one) – she still gets 1 Expert Card Pack and any one of the random reward.
So according to the investment made (if used GOLD) to enter Arena –
- Player is for sure going to get in return 67% GOLD back in terms of 1 Expert Card Pack
- 25-40 GOLD or dust
For any non-payable player this is almost completely a win scenario.
Arena offers almost fair play as the deck is created in this mode itself + all cards are made available.
No. of wins a player gets in Arena is directly proportional to the rewards she shall reap.
· Player can disenchant any of the cards (except soulbound – hero basic cards) to earn what is called as “Arcane Dust”.
· Can be termed as other currency (indirect) as this cannot be purchased anywhere/ nor converted from GOLD
Check the table below:
|Rarity in Card Type||Crafting||Disenchanting|
|Cost||Golden Card||Reward||Golden Card|
Considering that the reward in Arcane Dust for disenchanting is anywhere from 1/8th to 1/4th – it is just TOO LOW for anyone to make a significant card.The only way is to sacrifice certain unused cards or to dilute extra cards… in other words earn more cards from Arena/ Expert Card purchases.
· Pushes player to purchase card packs
· Disenchant additional cards
o Try crafting common or rare cards
o Crafting a legendary card revolves around sacrificing other strong cards in huge portion
· There is no energy system or waiting time
· Without putting any real money, a grinder can still win many games to her satisfaction by involving more
o In Arena
o Daily Quests
o Casual Online play
· The game statistics screen NEVER display
o Win/ Loss ratio (similar to Kill/ Death in multiplayer)
o It is interesting to note that usually in multiplayer games the ratio is very very important to players
o Hearthstone goes in a different direction by
– Increasing motivation – by NEVER showing how many games one loses (apart from in Arena – where it is part of core loop)
– Wins are presented strategically and in appealing fashion
– Even Arena category outside on stats page – always display the KEY till which player has reached till date (showing only positive side)
· An average player will keep earning GOLD in loads if she keeps finishing quests and thus can easily keep purchasing Card Packs
· The monetization is still going strong for players
o Who do not wish to grind and wait
o Excellent savings provided in card packs’ price
o Very important – player NEVER knows which cards are there when she is buying Expert Packs
– So, there will be duplicates (but they can be disenchanted for dust)
– In case she doesn’t get good enough cards she’ll just go ahead and buy more packs!