How expensive is it to keep up with Hearthstone in 2017?

The Year of the Mammoth will soon be upon us, and Blizzard has announced new changes to the way cards are released to Hearthstone. This year, there will be no stand-alone adventures, only three around 130-card pack-based expansions and single-player mission related to them.

This move adds more cards to the card pool, but what does it mean cost-wise?

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A deeper look at the Hearthstone Americas Winter Playoffs 2017 tiebreakers

The Swiss portion of Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT) 2017 Americas Winter Playoffs was played yesterday, and the drama in the Hearthstone community over the Swiss format continues. Let’s take a deeper look at the tiebreakers and how different formats can change the results.

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What is the most fair and exciting Swiss format for Hearthstone?

For the 2017 season, the Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT) switched to Swiss format. While this change was requested by many players during the previous seasons, the implementation elicited a bunch of criticism. To be honest, I do not think it was as bad as the loudest critics said, but I think a proper examination into a fair and exciting Swiss tournament format for Hearthstone is warranted.

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Hearthstone balance changes for February 2017

With the Hearthstone metagame dominated by Shaman and Pirate Warrior for an extended period of time, balance changes were expected. Now, Blizzard has finally announced the upcoming changes, of which there are only two: changes to Spirit Claws and Small-Time Buccaneer. How will they affect the metagame?

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Will ranked play floors save the Hearthstone ladder?

In an announcement yesterday, Blizzard revealed an upcoming change to the Hearthstone ladder system. Alas, it was not longer seasons or new matchmaking, but new ranked play floors. What are they and how will they affect the Hearthstone ladder?

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Hearthstone 2017 HCT Europe Winter Playoffs – what progress has been made in a year?

One year ago, I examined the 2016 Hearthstone Championship Tour Europe Winter season on this blog. Back then, there were several lessons to be learned. Now with the Hearthstone 2017 HCT Europe Winter Playoffs just finished, it is a good time to take a look at what was discussed one year ago and compare it to how this tournament went.

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There are not enough worthwhile games in Hearthstone ladder

Lately, I have been losing my drive to play Hearthstone despite the new expansion and the interesting changes to the metagame that it has brought with it. I have reflected on this quite a bit and can clearly identify why I find it so hard to find the motivation to play, and the reason is the ladder system.

In this post, I will first elaborate on my personal experience on the ladder system and then move on to a more general level to see how the issues affect many kinds of players.

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Heroic Tavern Brawl – more gambling than competition

heroic-tavern-brawl

Yesterday, on 17th October 2016, Blizzard announced a different type of Tavern Brawl. While Tavern Brawl has usually been a casual experience with a special set of rules that rewards the players who win a game in it with one pack of cards each week, the Heroic Tavern Brawl running for the next week is a different type of experience.

In the announcement, Blizzard describes that the “Heroic Brawl is not for the faint of heart, and is a unique experience meant for the extremely competitive and experienced Hearthstone player” and that they “hope that our Heroic Brawl scratches the competitive itch of the players looking for a high risk, high reward experience.”

Let’s take a look at Heroic Tavern Brawl and see how competitive it really is.

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The 10 best digital card designs in Hearthstone

Hearthstone has been through a lot in the past couple of years. It finally gave rise to true digitalization of collectible card games, a market that has already surpassed physical collectible card games. At times Hearthstone has went overboard in using randomness enabled by the digital nature of the game, but there are also many examples of great digital card design in the game.

In this post, I’ll take a look at the best designs made possible, or at least significantly more convenient, by the digital nature of the game.

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Does Blizzard have what it takes to make Hearthstone a good competitive card game?

Game balance and card design are obviously key parts of making a good competitive card game, but in this post I will not discuss them. Instead, I want to take a look at processes and scheduling: the hardcore operations side of the equation.

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