We were lucky enough to get a key for the beta in the last wave sent out… thank goodness. We were both desperate to try this new venture of Blizzards!
Once we had downloaded it, Mr B talked me through the basics (he had played the tutorial whilst I was out at work, damnit). It seemed relatively straightforward – kill the opponents main boss card using your cards, but not letting him hit you. Each card has a health pool and an attack which you have to mitigate and use to your advantage.
Oh deary me, it is certainly not straightforward! I went in with an attitude that it couldn’t be that difficult and along came defeat after defeat. Mr B had chosen a Mage deck (I don’t think he really knew what he was doing at the time!), so we were stuck with blimmin’ Jaina and her missiles.
Anyway, the first couple of weeks playing Hearthstone has been intense. I started by levelling the Mage deck upto 10. This involved loads of wiping, lots of frustration and a couple of rage quits. In the end, I started to understand – by reading, watching youtube vids, and a lot of common sense – that it was all about putting strategies in place to keep their minions from eating my boss. Seems logical, but when you have lots of cards which deal damage, it’s very tempting to play them straightaway. It took my brain a while to realise it wasn’t…
When you win against another boss, you unlock that set of cards and are able to start levelling them up. The first guy I managed to beat was the Warlock… haven’t managed again since mind you.
After finally getting to level 10, you can put your own deck together. However, I had only collected about half of a deck as prizes from levelling up, so I used the automatic function to add the rest. My deck complete, off I went into PvP battling.
After the first battle, I realised I had a lot of damage dealing cards, but not enough minions to soak the opposing damage. Once I had shuffled the cards around, I managed to win a match… it was a miracle! This isn’t as scary as it seems – as far as I know you can’t talk to each other (long may it continue!) and your anonymity grants certain liberties with being crap and getting away with it.
Coming up is a full Beta wipe, where all progress will be put back to the start and any we make since then will be carried forward when the game goes live. I’m not sure Hearthstone is something I will be concentrating on in the future, but it’s certainly fun to be able to dip in and out of, playing when you have a half hour spare or need a break from WoW.
I am still a total noob with it, but hopefully when it goes live, there will be lots of readers to share tips with!