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Update: another round of hearthstone beta key invites have been sent out!

Update: Just got Hearthstone Invite

For those of out there who don’t have the key for Hearthstone (and have no intention of paying 40 to 60 bucks for a third party transaction beta key), but want to vicariously watch how Hearthstone is like there are a few ways to do so.

The easiest way is probably to go twitch in their Hearthstone channels overview:

http://www.twitch.tv/directory/game/Hearthstone%3A%20Heroes%20of%20Warcraft

You have quite a bit of streamers there to stream the game, as well as a few familiar names. Kripp used to be streaming Hearthstone, now you have Kungen, followed by other streamers around the world. Seems to be a few starcraft alternating streamers too.

hearthstone

Other places are also available for guides and discussion as well as sharing.

Hearthstone is more closely aligned with World of Warcraft (being the context) as well as the relative gameplay involved, like against Diablo loot focus, Starcraft esports attempt and RTS nature. Unlike the rest, it will also be free to play (but paying for booster packs)

Over at Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danieltack/2013/10/23/how-hearthstone-could-change-the-pc-gaming-landscape/

How is Blizzard’s free-to-play Hearthstone poised to change everything in the online gaming world?

3) Digital Price Points

While the price structure varies a bit to offer discounts for buying in bulk, the price point for a digital pack of Hearthstone cards is around $1.50.  That might not be revolutionary, but one of the defining points in Hearthstone’s price structure is in the “Arena” mode, which will cost a user $2 (Or in-game currency) to play in.

This price point is considerably low in comparison to many other titles that offer similar experiences.  Arena is similar in nature to draft formats found in other leading CCGs/DCGs and gives a user a chance to compete with a card pool independent of collections, or an “even playing field”.

^I guess you can see from those extracts how Blizzard’s microtransaction model is shaping up. (A reaction to Diablo 3 maybe? And perhaps also considering the Hex TCG whose developers developed the physical blizzard WoW card game)

Blizzard’s PR campaign behind Hearthstone has targeted popular streamers such as Kripparrian, causing the title to skyrocket to top Twitch.tv billings.  There are already Hearthstone “pros” beginning to appear, as Trump and Razer formed what is allegedly the first official Hearthstone sponsorship.  While these may not seem that earthshattering, the title is still very much in closed beta and seeing that kind of viewership and response already is incredibly impressive.  Beta keys continue to roll out in waves as things lead up to the massive “Innkeeper’s Invitational” featuring personalities like Day9 at BlizzCon this year.

8) Tackling Toxic Before It Happens

Irate opponents and disgruntled orcs may have a hard time bullying their opponents using chat functions – There aren’t any!  Players can communicate through a series of preselected blurbs and phrases, but there’s no way to start a flow of verbal abuse.

Other readings from Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/09/03/blizzards-hearthstone-is-magic-for-casuals-and-thats-fantastic/

A gushing review about the easy to pick up and accessible nature of blizzard’s offering (but from beta)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danieltack/2013/04/03/blizzard-talks-hearthstone/

Q&A with Blizz at PAX2013

Is Hearthstone a digital CCG? TCG? Will there be trading? Will there be an auction house?

At the core of Hearthstone is a crafting system, so there’s no traditional trading system.  Players can disenchant their unneeded or unwanted cards down to arcane dust, and then use this dust to craft the cards they want to complete decks.

No Auction House! (Hex may have one, but unclear)

What is the competitive structure for Hearthstone?

When we were looking at creating the competitive structure for Hearthstone, we wanted to focus on a few core concepts.  First, the game should be easy to learn but still provide advanced players with complexity and strategy.  It needs to have high accessibility and longevity.  So we’ve divided the competitive structure into two core areas:

Weekly League/Ladder.  In this structure, players will advance through ranks on a weekly basis, from bronze to grandmaster rank.  Players will be paired as they advance, and the rankings reset on a weekly basis.  This will allow players to experiment with different heroes and decks each week rather than be locked into playing with just one strategy.

Is there a way for players to earn cards in the game outside of purchasing packs?

The system is designed so that a non-paying player can acquire every card.  Paying players will probably be able to obtain the things they’re looking for faster, but there are no cards behind a pay gate.  We were determined to make sure that we weren’t putting things behind pay gates when we were forming the structure behind Hearthstone.  Players will earn a certain number of packs every week just by playing a certain number of (league) games.

Feels very WoWish!

Will players be able to play with their friends?  Will there be a single player campaign?

Hearthstone will be on Battle.net, so players on the Blizzard social system (RealID, etc) will be able to see each other playing Hearthstone and engage in friendly matches.  There’s also a single player practice mode, but the real focus of Hearthstone is PvP interaction.

Other than the lore angle, will there be any sort of integration with World of Warcraft or other Blizzard products?

There will probably be some World of Warcraft in-game rewards tied to Hearthstone play.

A micro project of sorts for Blizzard it looks like.

This reminds me of the spectral tiger cards, as well as the rockets, and the few thousand dollars they went for. Of course, gaming items have now gone above and beyond

My guess is that the microtransactions won’t stop beyond this, with blizzard probably allowing real shops to buy physical mints of the hearthstone digital cards at some later point. Also more Spectral Tiger style promotional mechanics. (consider how steam/valve has approached physical merchandise with ingame items)

For me, I’m still waiting for my hearthstone invite, or failing that the hex tcg alpha. I’ve heard hearthstone has been really fun.

Currently while I will probably be playing both, the chance of an AH in hex appeals to me.

This site is about trading after all 😀

 

As for extra resources:

From MMO-champion (for warcraft) and Diablofans (for d3), they have Hearthpwn: http://www.hearthpwn.com/
They also regularly give out beta keys I think

From World of Warcraft, the theorycrafting elitist jerks have their own hearthstone component: http://forums.elitistjerks.com/index.php?/forum/168-hearthstone/

From WoW Insider/Joystiq, there’s hearthstone insider: http://wow.joystiq.com/category/hearthstone-insider/

The subreddit of reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/hearthstone

New site ihearthu: http://ihearthu.com/

 

If you’re from Singapore, Hardware Zone magazine this month dedicated two pages to it:

Here are some peeks

hearthstone deckbuilding costs trade hwz hearthstone pt1

 

Edmw hearthstone thread: http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/eat-drink-man-woman-16/hearthstone-4421537.html

 

For Malaysia:

Lowyat: https://forum.lowyat.net/topic/2746519

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