Count me as one of probably many lapsed Hearthstone players. When the game first came out, I wasn’t planning to like it, but I did. As a veteran of the CCG wars of the 1990s, I thought I was done with the genre, but its accessibility and overall “fun factor” drew me back in.
The game’s been out for nearly seven years now, and a lot of that initial amazement has worn off. I only play once a week or so now, if that. That’s typically the case with any game, but Hearthstone has especially shown its age. As a casual player, I don’t have too much of an issue with the overall gameplay, which I recognized right from the start as being highly randomized and requiring loads of rare cards to compete at the highest levels.
For me, at least, I think the main issue is its weak quest system, which boils down to, “Here are three daily quests.” That’s it. That’s the entire system. Suffice it to say, gaming reward systems, both in battle pass digital CCGs and in other games, have battle pass progressed quite a battle pass bit since 2014, and Hearthstone (and Overwatch, which I have similar issues with) has never caught up.
Oh, and I’d like a better way to sort and organize my cards, but when have I ever been happy with a game’s inventory system?
Still, rewards are what I’d primarily like to see changed in Hearthstone, which is something I thought about because of this Tweet from designer Dean Ayala:
About a year and a half ago I asked this question and got an incredible response. Let's see what has changed in that time.
If Hearthstone used to be your main game but isn't anymore, what would get you back? pic.twitter.com/UftqEzGGgn
— August Dean Ayala (@IksarHS) October 6, 2020
Many of the replies are about content and pacing of content/evolution of the meta, with additional calls for more class uniqueness, easier access for beginners or cash-strapped players, better social features (which were intentionally limited to prevent toxicity) and, as ever, the usual calls for reduced RNG. And hey, at least one person agrees with me on the need for a better reward structure.
What’s your take on what Hearthstone could do to win you back? Leave your answers below or, if you’re up for it, respond to Ayala’s original tweet. Just don’t be this guy, or worse.