The latest Hearthstone expansion, Journey to Un'Goro, is out today. Blizzard has promised many changes to expansions and formats, but as the community can see today, this is just yet another basic expansion to the game with very little in the way of feature set changes.
Card games thrive on casual players, and as discussed a little over a week ago, Hearthstone doesn't go nearly far enough in encentivizing its casual players that don't want to check in every day.
Blizzard has made allusions to changing this, including suggestions that the "Adventure" expansions that were more about single player quests than anything else could see elements of them making their way into the normal expansions.
As it sits right now, Journey to Un'Goro doubles down on the current Hearthstone model which has been shedding both casual and competitive players lately.
There was a really great opportunity with this expansion to announce to the community that this shift in thinking was complete and bring out an all new Hearthstone experience with Journey to Un'Goro.
Imagine when the expansion opens that players are invited to complete a quest to kill some boss dinosaur decks (you know, what the entire expansion is thematically designed on) and earn packs out of the gate. The same packs that are already being given to players for free now has an actual game associated with them to help those players that only want to fire up the game every month or quarter.
Now the core of the expansion itself seems ok. The new quest mechanic is fun to play with and should promote some diversity in the deck choices long term (so long, of course, Jade or aggro don't dominate yet again).
Given the nature of some of the quests, there are specifically scenarios set up that require multiple card combos, interesting decisions, and slightly different mechanics than the past few sets.
However, these changes probably just put a casual fan still reading this article to sleep.
Changing the cards are cool enough for a long time card game fan, but where are the different game modes? Where are more officially supported in game events and tournaments?
The current implementation of Hearthstone is growing old, and more than new cards are necessary to keep long term interest in the game.
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