Looking Back at Hearthstone: An RNG Nightmare, but Still Incredible Fun
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Ever Since its release in March of 2014, “Hearthstone” has enjoyed an incredible amount of popular support. Even after more than six years since its initial release, it still has 10,000’s of players. On top of that, despite Blizzard’s relatively recent controversy over its position on player speech during its Grandmasters event, It still boasts a solid competitive scene, with many prominent esports teams, including Liquid and T1.
However, despite both of those things, “Hearthstone” has almost always been a gamed ruled by RNG. Whether it be the card that started it all, Yogg-Saron, or the more recent mechanic Discover, which prompts a player to pick one card of a given three, it has become an accepted part of reality for those playing the game.
There are, of course, benefits and drawbacks to RNG. It definitely makes watching the game more interesting. Given that there is an increasing RNG in the game, it becomes even more likely that a given player high rolls on a given effect. The possibility of that high roll always keeps the entertainment value high as well.
RNG also presents an interesting challenge for the player. Even though the effects are by definition random, one could argue that being able to manage ones resources well enough to overcome any potential random benefit for the opponent is the sign of a truly good player.
However, that is not necessarily always the case. Some RNG is so powerful that it can be hard to deal with even as a good player. A good example is the recent card Dragon Queen Alexstrasza, who when played adds two random dragons to that players hand. There is currently a larger number dragons in standard play, which means the variance on its effect can range from a minor benefit, to a game swinging play.
This can be frustrating to deal with, especially in situations where one player has performed nearly perfect in a game, but even so losses to one good random effect.
Despite these large competitive failings, though, “Hearthstone” still remains a largely entertaining game. With every expansion comes many new cards, play-styles, and experimental decks worth trying. Even though some competitive metas can feel stale, as was the case after the release of “The Witchwood,” the balancing team has become much more liberal in fixing problem cards and has definitely made more of an effort to limit big RNG effects, like Yogg-Saron.
On top of that, with the addition of battlegrounds and more content in Solo-adventures, Blizzard has also given players more of a reason to stick around aside from just climbing ladder.
“Hearthstone” is definitely not a perfect game by any means. The RNG can be frustrating for sure, especially on top of already being a card game. Still, if one can get over that aspect, there is still plenty about it worth enjoying.
How do you all feel about “Hearthstone?” Let me know in the comments.
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