#1 Edited by djames216 (375 posts) -

Blizzard have finally announced a release date for the single player adventure The Curse of Naxxramas. Tuesday 22nd July. Are you guys looking forward to playing it? I'm curious as to how the new cards will affect the meta and what new decks may emerge. Hopefully the adventure itself may be entertaining too.

#2 Posted by BisonHero (6532 posts) -

They're adding so few cards (especially so few class cards) that I can't imagine it will change the meta much. The strategies for each class aren't going to change dramatically, even though some of the classes desperately need rebalancing (there are some horrendously bad Rogue and Warlock class cards, to the point that there is like, one top tier Rogue deck type, and Warlock gets played more for its class ability than the vast majority of its class cards).

Maybe some of the neutral epics and legendaries will be crazy enough that they'll change around how some classes play, but it's hard to imagine when Hearthstone only allows 2 copies of most cards, 1 copy of legendaries. In something like Magic, where you can have four copies of one card, a new set can totally upend things if one new card is strong enough that it's worth including 4 copies of, plus a bunch of cards you wouldn't normally play but they synergize really well with the aforementioned cards. I don't see that happening in Heartstone, because even if one card is really strong, there's no guarantee you will draw those 2 copies of it.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the single player content just to see what the fuck that is all about, but I'm pretty underwhelmed by the quantity of cards they're adding, and the class vs. neutral distribution.

#3 Posted by djames216 (375 posts) -

I've never played Magic so I find your comparisons between it and Hearthstone interesting. I am certainly no expert but it seems to me that Blizzard don't want to release too many cards at once because it may cause unforeseen (and unfair) imbalances in the game. But who knows. Anyway, at the very least it might be fun to experiment with the new cards in new decks.

#4 Edited by BisonHero (6532 posts) -

@djames216: Yeah, it'll be fun to mess around with the new cards, and I hover between rank 18 and 14 most of the time anyway, because I don't have enough legendaries and epics to make the top tier decks, and I wouldn't really care to do so even if I did have them. Much more fun to just make stupid decks with whatever cards you feel like using, even if they aren't the "optimal" cards to be playing in the current metagame.

Seriously though, I think a lot of the digital CCGs release new cards too slowly. While Magic (and Pokemon and Yugioh and everything else) release sets frequently to keep making money, it also keeps their metagames constantly shifting and interesting (at least in the case of Magic, I can't vouch for the others). Hearthstone has been out, playable, in a relatively final state, since like late 2013, so I kind of expected the designers would've cooked up more than 30 cards.

Voidcaller tries to fix the part where Warlock demons have super risky Battlecry drawbacks that aren't worth it (Felguard, Void Terror, and Pit Lord are all pretty bad, and almost never get played, so Voidcaller helps get around their Battlecry). While it helps, I doubt it will displace everybody from just playing Warlock as the "draw a zillion cards" class and barely play any demons. The Priest card, Dark Cultist, is kinda just a medium-sized Temple Enforcer, which is already a pretty boring card. The Shaman's card, Rebirth, is interesting with all the Deathrattle going around, but people already don't play Ancestral Healing or Ancestral Spirit, like, ever, even at very casual ranks (like 25-16). The other class cards I think are a little more interesting, I'll give them that, and since they're all common, it shouldn't take too long to get to try them all out.

The neutral cards are the big unknown. So we'll see.

#5 Posted by C0V3RT (1377 posts) -

I am looking forward to seeing how top Hearthstone pros integrate the new Nax cards into popular decks so I can copy them while playing ladder.

#6 Posted by Random45 (1212 posts) -

I really hope they don't take half a year from here on out to release 40 new cards. The game is fun, but it really gets stale when you use the same shit all the time.

#7 Posted by Dixavd (1358 posts) -

It's coming out while I'm on holiday?!

#8 Edited by BisonHero (6532 posts) -

@random45 said:

I really hope they don't take half a year from here on out to release 40 new cards. The game is fun, but it really gets stale when you use the same shit all the time.

Indeed. Supposedly all of the Naxxramas card designs were locked in before Hearthstone officially launched in March, so the last few months they've just been like, bug fixing and finishing up the single player component and what have you.

But the thing is, CCGs (physical or digital) get figured out pretty quickly, which is why it benefits both the business and the players to frequently release new cards. It keeps the money flowing, but also keeps the game fresh. At least with physical CCGs, maybe you get into it at the same time as a few friends, and you all play your scrub decks together and have a good time, oblivious to what all the cutthroat, top-tier decks are at the moment. With Hearthstone, everybody just plays ladder (where most people netdeck like a motherfucker), or they play Arena (where there are many resources related to what cards are the best in Arena). It's actually kind of hard to not play competitively, because I find I can't really just make a goofy deck around some fun-but-not-actually-that-powerful synergy. You sorta have to play to the 1-2 class strengths that each class has. There is almost no option in the game to do anything but play competitively.

I know we're a scant 4 months after launch and that is reasonably fast for an expansion, but it seems like they went pretty modest in terms of the quantity of cards they're adding.

#9 Posted by djames216 (375 posts) -

... but people already don't play Ancestral Healing or Ancestral Spirit, like, ever, even at very casual ranks (like 25-16).

I tried playing Ancestral Healing and found it to be a mostly useless card and so dumped it. I do play 1 copy of Ancestral Spirit though for funzies. I wait for the right moment to play it on either a Fire Elemental or Alakir. I played a game against a Mage earlier today where I managed to bait out both his Polymorphs before I played Alakir with Ancestral Spirit. He couldn't handle it and lost the game.

#10 Edited by BisonHero (6532 posts) -

@djames216 said:

@bisonhero said:
... but people already don't play Ancestral Healing or Ancestral Spirit, like, ever, even at very casual ranks (like 25-16).

I tried playing Ancestral Healing and found it to be a mostly useless card and so dumped it. I do play 1 copy of Ancestral Spirit though for funzies. I wait for the right moment to play it on either a Fire Elemental or Alakir. I played a game against a Mage earlier today where I managed to bait out both his Polymorphs before I played Alakir with Ancestral Spirit. He couldn't handle it and lost the game.

That sounds great. Yeah, if I had Al'Akir or Earth Elemental, I would play the shit out of Ancestral Spirit. Alas, I do not. I have a golden Ancestral Spirit, even. I guess I could play it on some kind of legendary I throw in my Shaman deck, but I don't really have any of the dirtbag legendaries that it would be worth reviving.

#11 Posted by djames216 (375 posts) -

One more little thing to add to the release date info. I've just discovered that Tues 22nd July is for the Americas region. It will be released in the Euro region on Wednesday 23rd July. Presumably this staggered release may be in order to ease server demand or something.

#12 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

@bisonhero: Yep they'll still need to balance the current problems at some point in the future; but hey PvE content.

@djames216: Standard protocol for Blizzard patch releases; wednesday for EU, Tuesday for US.

#13 Posted by freakin9 (1121 posts) -

Hopefully this is fun, don't really care how this "changes the game". And it will only be fun if there's some re-playability. I tend to think it will just be a means to get new cards, with very little to bring people back, just incentive to keep buying the wings.

#14 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

@c0v3rt said:

I am looking forward to seeing how top Hearthstone pros integrate the new Nax cards into popular decks so I can copy them while playing ladder.

You know I really love this stuff. In other Blizzard games there was always this elaborate bullshit nonsense that people would come up with for carbon copying everyone else, but in Hearthstone it's just like "Yeah, so!?" Like no one's actually going to claim to be good at hearthstone that isn't Strifecro or who doesn't have their head up their own ass, but they'll still go about playing it in more or less the same way they'd approach another Blizzard game (i.e. the most boring way imaginable).

Edit: Not to say other playerbases aren't boring they're just a little more honest about it.

#15 Posted by C0V3RT (1377 posts) -

@c0v3rt said:

I am looking forward to seeing how top Hearthstone pros integrate the new Nax cards into popular decks so I can copy them while playing ladder.

You know I really love this stuff. In other Blizzard games there was always this elaborate bullshit nonsense that people would come up with for carbon copying everyone else, but in Hearthstone it's just like "Yeah, so!?" Like no one's actually going to claim to be good at hearthstone that isn't Strifecro or who doesn't have their head up their own ass, but they'll still go about playing it in more or less the same way they'd approach another Blizzard game (i.e. the most boring way imaginable).

Yeah, so!?

I'm by no means good, but find myself pretty engaged each time I play. To each their own.

#16 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

@c0v3rt: No offense meant. It's perfectly fine if you simply enjoy playing the game that way, albeit a bit distressing if that's a general trend.

#17 Posted by Trilogy (2655 posts) -

I've already raided Naxxramas! ...Wait...where am I?!

#18 Posted by BisonHero (6532 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

@c0v3rt said:

I am looking forward to seeing how top Hearthstone pros integrate the new Nax cards into popular decks so I can copy them while playing ladder.

You know I really love this stuff. In other Blizzard games there was always this elaborate bullshit nonsense that people would come up with for carbon copying everyone else, but in Hearthstone it's just like "Yeah, so!?" Like no one's actually going to claim to be good at hearthstone that isn't Strifecro or who doesn't have their head up their own ass, but they'll still go about playing it in more or less the same way they'd approach another Blizzard game (i.e. the most boring way imaginable).

So literally everyone isn't "good" at Hearthstone unless they're the innovators that first establish a deck archetype?

Is every video game speedrun record holder a fraud unless they, personally, found the skips, the shortcuts, the flaws in how the game stores things in memory, that enable the speedrun? Is every Magic: The Gathering pro player who wins a pro tour not any good unless they personally pioneered that deck? Is every Major League pitcher a talentless hack every time they throw a curveball because they aren't the guy who first threw a curveball a century ago?

It's like you've never seen a CCG at a competitive level before.

#19 Posted by kindgineer (2730 posts) -

Awesome! It'll give me a reason to go back and play some more. Kind of got burned out after climbing to legendary twice. Can't wait!

#20 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

@bisonhero: We just have different definitions of the word "good" I imagine, fundamentally being good at someone else's deck seems like a really weird thing to want to be good at and most people don't "own" it as it were when they think about that. Speedrunning is usually different since it's singleplayer in a controlled setting and thus a very easy thing to measure (though it's worth mentioning that what Speedrunners actually do to get good at speedrunning is insanely boring).

Things like curveballs are tremendously different from pitcher to pitcher down to velocity, location, the opposition, the climate, the altitude, the park, the pitcher's motion, the motion of the curveball, the pitcher's grip, and so on; its very hard to just linearly compare any randomly selected two curveballs thrown in the past century.

Usually tournament winning decks are a bit different than the dominant decks in Hearthstone, there's just some weird combination of MMR/the ladder (which is theoretically a good system but in practice just generates the aforementioned issues) and having to play hundreds of games with the same deck that generates a reliance on that exact deck. Similarly the Starcraft 2 builds in tournaments are generally much more interesting than the super conservative nonsense you'll run into on the ladder.

#21 Posted by syz (252 posts) -

@trilogy said:

I've already raided Naxxramas! ...Wait...where am I?!

Twice!

Oh well, it was the pinnacle of their game even with some of the lamest mechanics ever (i.e.: Loatheb). May as well keep milking it.

#22 Edited by BisonHero (6532 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: But at a certain point, portions of, or the entirety of, a game can become more or less solved. There are dozens of catalogued openings and defenses to a chess game, and dozens of catalogued ways to force a checkmate once you're in a certain position with certain pieces left. If a chessmaster employs those strategies, is he not "good", because he's choosing to use "someone else's strategy" who lived a century or more before he was ever born?

Hearthstone has a limited card set, and it was bound to only take a few months to suss out what the best couple decklists you could make for each class were, and how those decks all square off each against each other. Being good at a game involves both the choosing of a strategy, and the execution of that strategy. In some competitions, the winner is the person who is able to innovate and devise a new strategy that is superior, or at least so unexpected, that it isn't defeated. But if the game has been around long enough, sometimes there just isn't much innovation left to do, and all of the optimized strategies have been found. This happens in like, every CCG ever, though some have less restrictions on decklists which allows more personalized tweaking of the decklists that others have devised. There's more to being "good" at a game than purely devising game plans.

#23 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

@bisonhero: Chess is kind of its own thing/so ridiculously complex compared to something like Hearthstone where basically all of the information is presented to you directly. Comparing anything to Chess seems like folly to me as does using Chess as a basis for comparison. A novice could probably get to be roughly as good as 99.9% of Hearthstone players in a week or so (20-30 hours), but in Chess it might take decades to reach that level.

Don't tell the Hearthstone devs that games can be solved though, they'll tow that "the meta is constantly shifting" bullshit until the day they die. I do think Miracle is one of the best decks possible right now but most of the other decks could be altered slightly/more than slightly to improve how well they do and they are, just only in tournaments. Lorewalker Cho is amazing at the back end of an aggro push for example and how often do you see him played outside of a hand stuffing deck? I could give a very large number of examples to the same effect.

#24 Edited by BisonHero (6532 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: So are people who don't use wholly original strategies "good" players, or not? You still haven't clarified that.

Why is it just in tournaments that the other top decks could be slightly improved? In that if they know they're just against the other handful of top tier decks, they could run more specific cards that counter those particular decks? I haven't bothered looking up Hearthstone tournaments at all, but one would hope they allow sideboards to allow players to switch out cards depending on the matchup, since that's pretty much standard practice.

I don't follow the connection between Lorewalker Cho and aggro. If your aggro push gets stuffed by a Holy Nova or similar crowd control, and they know they gave it to you, they could just focus on playing their more expensive creatures, one at a time.

#25 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

@bisonhero: The decks can be improved in the metagame but if they become popular then you just have the same problem repeated ad nauseum so it doesn't really work even in the event that people were willing to switch decks more than once every few seasons. Hearthstone tourneys are generally best 3 out of 5 or 2 out of 3 with each deck you play having to be a different class (loser switches decks while the winner stays on) and sometimes with other wrinkles involved, to the best of my knowledge sideboards have yet to become a thing at HS tourneys.

As a general rule Cho will make your opponent play stupid/overly conservative with spells as long as they don't have a silence (only a few decks are running silence at present), but even just getting a flamestrike or a holy nova (or 2) for free is nice. There's only a handful of spells in the game that can remove Cho without being of any particular use to the opponent (deadly poison being the most obvious).

It's a lot easier to be good at something that you originated than to be good at something that someone else originated just inherently.

#26 Posted by BisonHero (6532 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: A lot of Hearthstone players obviously copied a decklist but then have no idea how to play it, but if someone has a competent understanding of the game and looks at the synergies the deck and what it is trying to do, I really don't think they are any different than the person who originated it. At best, the originator has a few hours headstart in practicing that deck. But this second person can play the game of Hearthstone, with that deck, at a comparable level to the originator. There is nothing stopping that from happening. That second person isn't as good at deck creation is the innovator of the deck, but that's immaterial to how good they are at winning a game of Hearthstone.

#27 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

@bisonhero: Most of the top players are deck creators, its not a coincidence.

#28 Edited by Hansolol (424 posts) -
#29 Posted by BisonHero (6532 posts) -

@fredchuckdave said:

@bisonhero: Most of the top players are deck creators, its not a coincidence.

Plenty of top players also aren't deck creators. You can become a top player of Hearthstone completely independently of whether you created any of the top decks.

Whether you created a deck or not, you become a top player by putting in hundreds or thousands of hours of practice. Deck creators probably didn't come up with a world class deck in the first hour they played. Deck creators are likely so deep into the game that they had already put in the requisite hundreds of hours by the time they created whatever deck they created.

#30 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

@bisonhero: Again our definitions of "top" presumably vary; to me that's like the 25 best players or so that routinely do well in tourneys not the thousands of people that get to legend each season. If you look at the top of the ladder most of those players at least put some variance into their decks to get there (Kolento, Forsen, etc.) and most of the other widely accepted "best" players began more or less every deck or a variant of it at some point in the past; except for Miracle which is from very early in the beta (before people had hundreds of hours of experience). It's important to note that those decks aren't necessarily the best either, people just straight up don't have enough creativity and are so reliant on the internet now so it's just tens of thousands of people playing 3 or 4 decks and hundreds of thousands playing maybe 10.

#31 Edited by C0V3RT (1377 posts) -

We may have our first answer to the broken Leeroy combo? At minimum, buys you an extra turn.

#32 Posted by BisonHero (6532 posts) -

@c0v3rt: Also an interesting card if you're against Freeze Mage, and have a hunch that he's basically out of gas and is just stalling so he can finish you off next turn. Once you play Loatheb, the mage can't play Frost Bolt and Ice Lance on the same turn, and if he wants to Fireball or Blizzard, that's literally his whole turn. Granted, it does just buy you one turn.

#33 Posted by C0V3RT (1377 posts) -

@bisonhero: It can also save you a turn from the savage roar > force of nature combo that always seems to do me in. It doesn't give an answer to stuff like Leeroy > Cold Blood or Leeroy > Power Overwhelming though, so I wonder about it's viability. I guess I'll leave that to the pros to figure out.

#34 Posted by djames216 (375 posts) -

The day before it's released, they've now unveiled all the new cards in the Naxxramas expansion.

#35 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

Loatheb is good, a bit OP for 5 mana (basically a slightly worse iceblock + 5/5); probably an auto-include in most decks. Not exactly an exciting card though.

#36 Posted by MrMazz (981 posts) -

Spectral Knight seems like a fun version 2 of Farie Dragon. Sludge Belcher is another good neutral 5 drop Taz'Dingo+Goldshire Footman in one card.

Still not sure how you'll get Nerubian Egg to work consistantly.

Thaddius is that Exodia dream.

#37 Edited by BisonHero (6532 posts) -

I'll be curious to see if Nerub'ar Weblord discourages people from playing Leeroy.

Some neat cards in there.

Also I wanna know how Loatheb and Milhouse Manastorm interact.

#38 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

@mrmazz: Thaddius is crap more or less, since your opponent can benefit from your feugen/stalagg dying; so ultimately Feugen will be in quite a few decks and Stalagg will be in virtually none. I'm sure there will be some entertainment in the first month though.

Spectral Knight is incredible and Echoing Ooze is straight broken with buffs. Bunch of "okay" to "could be interesting" cards other than those, lots of them are super combo dependent though.

@bisonhero: They interact.

#39 Posted by MrMazz (981 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: There are many links in the chain but it's going to make some highlights for sure.

Echo could definatly be good but I think doing that will just make it a hugh silence target but with all these cards maybe that's a good thing.

#40 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

@mrmazz: Its two silences, aside from the maybe not so awful anymore mass dispel not really an issue.

#41 Posted by MrMazz (981 posts) -

@bisonhero: Mana Storm followed by Loetheb = all spells cost 5 mana. Is what Brode said

#42 Posted by BisonHero (6532 posts) -

@mrmazz: Milhouse Loatheb new meta. Every deck, fo sho. Can't deny the powah.

#43 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

@bisonhero: I mean I'm sure someone will try it but it doesn't stop Millhouse being a dead card in (almost) every other situation. Still a fantastic card for amusement in Arena.

#44 Posted by djames216 (375 posts) -

There seems to be some potentially interesting counters to existing plays. I'm very curious to see what new strategies develop from all of this.

#45 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

In other Hearthstone related news...

I might just retire from Arena here.

#46 Posted by Zirilius (650 posts) -
#47 Posted by Rorie (2913 posts) -

Looking forward to this. Enjoy Heartstone well enough; just don't particularly like playing it against people.

Staff
#48 Posted by C0V3RT (1377 posts) -

@rorie said:

Looking forward to this. Enjoy Heartstone well enough; just don't particularly like playing it against people.

People suck. It's certainly a welcome addition. Hopefully this gives them some kind of foundation to work off of so they can churn out more of these "adventures" in the future.

#49 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5488 posts) -

@rorie: @c0v3rt: We all know its not actually people that play this game but simply a lot of identical RNG programs that use a few decks, some with the variable to spam emotes incessantly.

#50 Posted by Anwar (872 posts) -

It is out. Played through the regular mode, game crashed during a class challenge and now it won't start at all. Awesome