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Impressions: Blackrock Mountain

That was a fun 20 minutes. See you next week, I guess!

I think I actually cackled.

I think I actually cackled.

Yep, beat even all three bosses on Heroic. Or should I say “beat them on Gimmick?”

In the above screenshot, I went with Freeze mage against the 2nd heroic encounter and won on the back of a single card. Literally, the same card, as it got traded back and forth every turn by the AI’s Lorewalker Cho. The plan was to wait to kill the AI via Fatigue damage, but I got bored halfway through and decided I had enough removal plus Mirror Entity up. I clear the opponent’s board with some Explosive Sheep and watch it play Deathwing. Oh lordy. I get a copy of the 12/12 creature, the opposing Deathwing gets BGH’d, I drop another Mirror Entity in the off-chance of some top-deck shenanigans, then sail home to victory.

I enjoy this sort of content, but I feel there’s not really a good way to go about it in card games. The adventures in Hearthstone are one-and-done content, for example. Hex has at least part of its PvE content up and running, and yet that is more focused on grinding low drop-rate rewards, from what I hear. I suppose in the latter case there is at least a reason to continue reusing the AI content.

Hmm. Yeah, it’s a tough design to crack. Even if you faced a sort of “random enemy” opponent that didn’t have a gimmick to play around (e.g. just a bot), what’s stopping you from just playing your tournament netdeck every game and likely wiping the floor with them? Random decklists for players too could be fun – the Mage class challenge in Blackrock Mountain was amazing – although it might be tough to stay motivated if you keep losing because the deck you were assigned was garbage.

Lasting card game content may just be other players only.

On the Blizzard Front

Remember when I talked about Blizzard news? Seems like just… today.

The big Hearthstone news is that the pricing information for the upcoming mini-expansion, Curse of Naxxramas, was revealed supposed to be revealed today. Normally, snarky posts like mine are kind of the reason Blizzard isn’t more forthcoming with information and release dates… but, you know, Naxx is still (?) going to be released this month. While I can understand how bugs and other issues can delay something’s release, the delay on pricing strikes me as odd. Like… is there still some debate? What variables could possibly be involved?

On average, someone can earn 420g per week by doing a daily quest, er, daily. There was “leak” a few days ago on some French website that suggests 600g per wing was the pricepoint. Going by the date stamps, the leak occurred after the announcement that July 1st wasn’t going to be the price reveal, although I’m not sure whether that strengthens or weakens the conspiracy theory that Blizzard is doing some roundabout market research. I suppose things might get awkward if Blizzard ultimately revealed that the actual price was 1000g or whatever, but again, I’m not sure what a few more days gets them. Other than people stockpiling gold for a few more days and possibly using real monies to purchase packs. /tinfoil

As a note of possible interest, I pretty much stopped logging on to Hearthstone more than a month ago. While I would like to say that it was because of the current absurdly non-interactive metagame (Miracle Rogues and Freeze Mages and Control Warriors, oh my!), the truth is a bit more mundane. Specifically, I was getting tired of getting creamed by netdecks. I don’t have anything against netdecking per se – it’s largely inevitable regardless – but it sort of necessitates a specific counter-strategy I don’t find particularly compelling anymore. “Warlock daily? I guess I’m playing Zoo or Handlock.” Sure, I could skip those quests or play my own goofy deck. And I did, for a while. But 420g doesn’t seem all that much when you go 3-8 every day. So I stopped. And like any MMO, the cessation of daily log-ins heralds the end.

I’ll be back for Naxxramas though, assuming the gold price isn’t absurd.