I’ve never been in to the whole deckbuilding/collectible card game genre. Physical cards have always seemed like too much of a money drain, and, let’s face it, they’re basically the original lockboxes. Even after these games made the jump to the virtual world, it just wan’t something I was interested in enough to invest the time to learn all of the rules and strategies involved. When Hearthstone came out for PC, I gave it a shot. I figured that if anyone can make a game
dumbed down accessible enough to be appealing to someone like me who’s too lazy to learn the more complex games, it’s Blizzard, and the WoW theme made it easy to relate to how the mechanics of the different classes and cards worked. My initial reaction was that, if they ever put it on my phone, I would play it. A year or so later they finally did just that, I downloaded it, played a couple games, and it has sat there, untouched, gathering cyber dust in my games folder ever since.
Then, a couple weeks ago, I was talking to my friend about collectible card games, and I decided to give it another try. Since then I’ve played a few games a day–it’s great game for killing time or playing while listening to something–and the weirdest thing is that, while I’m playing it more and more, I’m still not really sure if I’m having fun. I’m pretty sure I don’t hate the game, but I’m really not sure how much I like it. I think the thing that bothers me most is that I’m never sure if I’m winning because I did well or just because of dumb luck. There really isn’t a good metric for that. Then there’s the deck building aspect of the game. I’m not good at judging whether or not a card is good, which is a problem in and of itself, but I do know for sure that I don’t have a lot of good ones. The only way to get more good cards, aside from dumping money into card lockboxes and rolling the dice, is to play. I guess that’s what keeps me coming back to the game. I know there are a lot of so-called “netdecks” out there for various levels of play that are the equivalent of meta builds for MMOs–people with more time on their hands than I do have figured out the way to get the most utility out of a class, and are nice enough to post about it on the Internet–but not only does that seem like cheating, it kind of takes the fun out of the game for me. Even with my limited knowledge of the game, I like seeing how the new cards I get can fit into my various decks. I guess I could do with netdecks what I sometimes do with my MMO character builds; make up a build I like and find a similar meta build and tweak my current build based on anything I like from it. Honestly, though, I’m not sure if I’m enjoying the game enough to make it worth my time.
So… am I having fun yet? Am I playing wrong? Because I’d hate to be bored and not realize it.
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