I haven’t really made any progress in World of Warcraft over the past couple of weeks and, admittedly, been less than constant in posting here. As you may have guessed, the reason for that is Blizzard’s Hearthstone game. I mentioned before how much fun it is, and there’s much truth in it. When I have pockets of time for gaming, I tend to fire it up for a couple of matches. There’s nothing like a good match with someone that comes right down to the wire.
Unfortunately for me that doesn’t happen too often. In part I recognize I’m not the greatest player. When it comes to ranked play, I’ve gotten as high as 18 but dropped back down pretty quickly. The guys and gals there definitely know what they’re doing compared to yours truly. Arena play is no different, but I head there because the rewards are better than your standard pack purchase regardless of how many wins you get…though once I managed to win two games before my third loss set in and I was done. That aside, I tend to hang out in casual as I think that’s the play that best suits my interests and abilities.
Well, that’s what I would like to think. Over the past week (ish) I’ve noticed a growing trend and that is the curve of difficulty in casual play has increased dramatically. Where I would win anywhere between 25-40% of my games, I can now measure hours between victories. The screenshot above is the most common play I make in Hearthstone, no question about it. I attribute some of it to just dumb luck (I had a game where none of my 7 Taunt cards came out, despite the game going 12 rounds). For the most part, though, it’s just an insane difference in skill level. It’s lead many of us to come to the conclusion that players who should be playing ranked, aren’t. Whether they just ignore it completely or get to a certain level and are bested by others, who can say? But they hop into casual and just steamroll the “competition.”
Hearthstone at its core is an incredibly fun game. But this, this really isn’t fun all that often. Sure, I could take on the computer in Practice Mode but you can’t unlock cards or earn the gold to play in Arena by doing so. Like I said, I know I’ll get trounced in Arena or Ranked and that I can accept and be perfectly fine with. But casual mode should be for the casual players and it isn’t anymore. Blizzard can’t really do anything about it based on the settings of the game, but hopefully when it goes live they can fix it somehow. Perhaps a “Noobs” mode. I know I would probably swear a lot less. Anyone who knows me knows that when it comes to games, I don’t mind losing in the slightest. But when the hours start to add up, one can’t help but get a little bit frustrated.