My Problem with the Current State of MMOs

I’m sure you all will remember the post I wrote at the beginning of this month that riled up quite a few people. I was the self-proclaimed asshole who enjoys PvP, the occasional gank that could be construed as griefing, and could find the humor in things others could not. I’m not going to reopen that can of worms, as I have made my points known, and had further discussion on this blog and others where we could all come to a compromise of sorts, or at least agree to disagree.

There was a completely different post planned for today, but I couldn’t help but put that one on the back burner after having participated in some commentary on Eri’s blog; I have new things to talk about instead. First, a little history (which some of you probably already know about me, but just for clarity).

I played MMOs heavily from the early to late 2000s. Most of my time was spent in Norrath, where a different type of MMO player was born and a different culture was cultivated. The unwashed masses joined in on the MMO scene once World of Warcraft released, and a new type of culture developed — the entire industry changed due to the juggernaut that is WoW. We have to give credit where credit is due, but maybe not in the way that you think.

I can acknowledge that WoW became king due a variety of circumstances, but mostly because it brought MMOs to the mainstream. The polish and accessibility are both lauded as reasons for its success. I have played the game, despite saying I never would back in the early days of its existence, but I never played it for long. To me, it was too samey, and all MMOs that have released since 2004 have all been samey as well,  which we all know is due to the money grabbing that other companies have gone for, rather than trying to do new things. It seems that as of late, the only big-budget company that is still working towards something new that might revolutionize the industry again is SOE. On smaller levels (mostly with crowd-funded backing) some indie companies that have a bit of (developer) name recognition are trying new ideas, but any and all of those games that might come to fruition are still being worked on, so time will tell if they do something vastly different or not.

When I was playing EQ2, quite often I would come across a player who came from WoW, and said that EQ2 was the superior game, not only graphically, but in depth and play-style variety. They’d also talk about the toxicity of WoW’s playerbase, saying they were “all a bunch of kids,” and things of that nature. I washed my hands of the subject, vowing I wouldn’t play the game, as I felt my game of choice was superior. I’m sure everyone playing WoW felt the same about their game. It was a sign of the times. But people grow and change, and most of us have come to a point where we don’t raid, because we don’t have the time, or because we thought it would be great if there was something else to do (we’ve also become more migratory). Don’t get me wrong, I remember being a raider and wanting everyone to do things “right” and if they did things “wrong” we’d kick them from our groups. I’m sure you all have heard stories similar to these. That doesn’t make it the right way to go about doing things. Developers shouldn’t be pigeonholing everyone into doing that samey content all the time, where there is only one right way to do things, and only one end game. Unfortunately, the massive success that is WoW has forced the entire industry to conform to these ideals, and I’m pretty sick of it.

Being away from MMOs for a few years allowed me to remember why I love single player stories and gave me the time to cultivate a love for the MOBA genre. I still felt that itch for an MMO-sized experience though, and have made a few forays into different games this year. I started by going back to the tried and true (EQ2), tried the new hotness (Wildstar and ArcheAge betas), filtered through some titles I had missed in my absence from the genre (Rift, SWTOR, Tera) and even took a little tour of some of the new stuff in WoW (mostly to play with some fellow bloggers).  I picked up Guild Wars 2 somewhere along the line and decided to get more into that recently. Having tried so many in the past few months, I can honestly say that it’s not too difficult to get through part of the game and realize they are all the same. Nuances might be different; some try action-oriented combat, some don’t rely on the trinity, some allow you to grind out XP your way, but they all suffer from being the same type of experience when it comes down to it. Player choice is an illusion. There is optimal and sub optimal. This is the problem with the current crop of MMOs. There are no meaningful choices to make. I want a game where I can play the exact style I want to play in, and don’t have to conform to a preconceived notion that there is a “right” way to build my character, to progress through the game, to have fun. Yet there is a portion of any player base that will tell you exactly that: you’re doing it wrong.

In that post that I wrote, or perhaps it was during discussion on my podcast about PvP, or maybe even in the comments on blogs elsewhere, it was suggested that there are primarily PvE players that are just as much of assholes as the ganksters are in PvP. Equivalents, if you will. The reason why someone might not want to play a particular game, because they found it overwhelmingly populated by people who think their way of playing the game is the only way. Sadly enough, some development teams enforce these attitudes with their design choices. I believe Blizzard is one of those companies, and as such I am back in that camp I was in so long ago. I have no desire to play their game, to give them more money to develop with. As a matter of fact, I feel as if I am in that state of mind that I was when I quit the genre almost 4 years ago. There isn’t a game out right now that really compels me to play it. That puts its hooks into me like games of the past. That won’t let me let it go. I keep wanting to give the genre a chance, and I keep feeling let down, long before I ever reach the game’s cap. Even if I did manage to get to that cap, I probably would be bored of the same old bullshit they call an endgame. I know I’m not alone in feeling this way, yet all I seem to read is how each person is playing whatever game, or dancing between games, and somehow finding doing the same, repetitive bullshit fun.

Yes, I know that sounds funny coming from a MOBA player, seeing as how each game of LoL could be seen as doing the same thing over and over, but the human confrontation that I have gone on and on about is what compels me to keep logging in. Each game feels different. Each victory is as sweet as the next, because I was playing against a whole new set of people, and matching my skills and wits against them. Oh what’s that? You beat heroic Garrosh whatever the fuck raid? Yeah, it will be exactly the same next time you do it too, and you still won’t get that item drop you really want. It might be different if you have different people not using the “correct” item and talent builds though, cause you might fail as those choices were suboptimal. That elitist attitude turns me off from a game more than anything. But this is just my opinion, and what do I know? Any and all points will be refuted by the fanboys of any game. Semantics I say.

Ok, I think I’ve gotten that off of my chest. Sorry for the rant folks, I had just commented on Eri’s post about what WoW character to play and was basically told that any and all of my opinions were incorrect, so I thought I would give a longer retort. In general, MMOs need to impress before I’m going to bother with them anymore, outside of very casual play (if at all). I’ll leave it at that.

#gamedesign #mmos #rant

Couch Podtatoes Episode 22: Gaming Psychology

CP4

Hey everyone, and welcome back to the show! After a short hiatus, we’re back in full force with not one, not two, but three special guests! The hosts of the Cat Context Podcast, which is also a member of TGEN, have all joined in this week’s discussion all about the psychology of gaming. We didn’t get too in depth or scholarly, but we touched on many points that I think are important when it comes to the subject, and were worth taking a look at. I can’t take much of the credit though, as J3w3l was the brainchild for this discussion. Arolaide and Elly joined us and unfortunately Liore was tied up with a meeting to begin with, but caught up with us towards the middle of the show. I think we had a great discussion and some witty banter, and I hope you enjoy this week’s content! You can check out Cat Context and the other guests’ blogs/twitter streams in their contact info below. Their podcast is full of the same kind of witty banter, and also covers a variety of gaming-related topics much like this one, so if you are a fan of ours, you’ll most definitely enjoy theirs! Enjoy the show.

 

Download this Episode Subscribe via RSS Download on iTunes Listen on Stitcher

Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 22: Gaming Psychology (runtime: 1:07:07)

Intro/Cat Context Promo (starts at 0:00)
Discussion: Gaming Psychology (starts at 5:20)

Host Contact Information:

Izlain
Blog: Me vs. Myself and I
Twitter:@mevsmyselfandi

J3w3l
Blog: Healing The Masses
Twitter: @ausj3w3l

Guest Contact Information:

Liore
Blog: Herding Cats
Twitter: @Liores

Elly
Blog: That Angry Dwarf
Twitter: @thatangrydwarf

Arolaide
Blog: Dragonsworn
Twitter: @arolaide

Music Credits:
“Level Up” by Cookie Monsta (from the Riot! EP)
“Smasher” by Getter (from the album Smasher EP)
“Enchanted Rose” by Bury Your Dead (from the album Beauty and the Breakdown)

Couch Podtatoes is a podcast about gaming, though we might stray into other forms of media. Sometimes we use strong language, but we try to keep that to a minimum. All opinions expressed by us or our guests are our own and are in no way to be interpreted as official commentary from any companies we discuss. You can visit our official podcast page at http://couchpodtatoes.libsyn.com/. Be sure to follow us on iTunes, and/or Stitcher Radio.

Questions, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged!

#couchpodtatoes #podcast #gamesdiscussion #gaming #psychology

Pre-Season 2015 (Part Two)

As promised, here is part two of the new stuff being introduced in the Preseason of League of Legends’ 5th season. You can get caught up with what was covered in Part One, or view the full Patch Notes. When you’re ready to continue, here goes:

Changes to the Jungle are immense this time around. I split up my coverage of these notes because the last post was becoming a run-on, and there was still so much more to go over. First up, the new camps being added on both sides of the map in the river, where a monster called the “Rift Scuttler” is being added. Not only is this monster a bit different in that he doesn’t attack, and actually tries to evade damage, but he also adds a huge boon to all teammates, rather than just the jungler who killed him. “Grants vision and a speed boost in front of either Dragon Pit or Baron Pit for 75 seconds upon death.” The vision granted is great not only because it’s free, but also because it can’t be countered like wards can. The speed boost is great for aiding other lanes as well, so this will surely be a hotly contested spawn.

Experience and pacing in the jungle have been changed as well, mainly to allow for a variety of junglers to reemerge. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen carry junglers (especially of the AP variety) as the meta shifted to those best suited towards fast clears and ganking. I like the fact that we might see some new faces coming to kill us, so I’m all about these changes. Smite has been retooled to do more than help secure buff/objective kills, and now grants buffs depending on what camp you use them on:

KRUGS  Smiting the Krug grants Gift of Heavy Hands – stuns minions and monsters every 1st and 5th hit. Your first attack against a turret deals 50 (+15 per level) true damage but consumes this buff. Lasts 90 seconds.
RAPTORS  Smiting the Raptor grants Razor Sharp – gives you a warning and magical sight for 10 seconds when an enemy ward spots you. Lasts 90 seconds, with 1 charge.
MURKWOLVES  Smiting the Murkwolf creates a Rift Spirit – summons a Rift Spirit that watches over a portion of the jungle. Lasts 90 seconds, but that timer goes down when the spirit chases enemies.
GROMP  Smiting the Gromp grants Gift of the Toadstool – attackers are poisoned for 6 (+ 6 per level) magic damage over 3 seconds. Lasts 90 seconds.
RED BRAMBLEBACK  Restores 20% of maximum health
BLUE SENTINEL  Restores 25% of maimum mana

Not only are some of these buffs amazing, but I can see where failing as a jungler will be more difficult. You’ll still need to know your champ and understand rotations, when to gank, when to counter jungle, etc. — the mark of a better than average jungler — but now dying to these neutral creeps will be much harder to do. Not only do you get sweet buffs from the camps, the jungler items have been revised once again, and I think in better ways than last year’s additions. Hunter’s Machete is still present, but it builds into more specific items that will help different jungler types:

Poacher’s Knife (NEW)

RECIPE  Hunter’s Machete + 350 gold
PASSIVE – SCAVENGING SMITE  When you Smite and kill a large monster in the enemy jungle, the cooldown of Smite is halved, you gain +20 bonus gold, and you gain 175% increased Movement Speed decaying over 2 seconds
PASSIVE – JUNGLER  Deal 45 magic damage on hit to monsters over 2 seconds and gain 10 health and 5 mana per second while in combat with monsters

Ranger’s Trailblazer (NEW)

RECIPE  Hunter’s Machete + 350 gold
PASSIVE – BLASTING SMITE  The cooldown of Smite is reduced by 15 seconds. Smite also deals half damage to all monsters and enemy minions near the target and stuns them for 1.5 seconds. Casting Smite on a monster restores 15% of missing health and mana.
PASSIVE – JUNGLER  Deal 45 magic damage on hit to monsters over 2 seconds and gain 10 health and 5 mana per second while in combat with monsters

Skirmisher’s Sabre (NEW)

RECIPE  Hunter’s Machete + 350 gold
PASSIVE – CHALLENGING SMITE  Smite can be cast on enemy champions, marking them for 6 seconds. While marked, you deal 18-69 bonus true damage to them on hit, have vision of them, and reduce their damage to you by 20%.
PASSIVE – JUNGLER  Deal 45 magic damage on hit to monsters over 2 seconds and gain 10 health and 5 mana per second while in combat with monsters

Stalker’s Blade (NEW)

RECIPE  Hunter’s Machete + 350 gold
PASSIVE – CHILLING SMITE  Smite can be cast on enemy champions, dealing 28-164 true damage and reducing their movement speed by 50% for 2 seconds
PASSIVE – JUNGLER  Deal 45 magic damage on hit to monsters over 2 seconds and gain 10 health and 5 mana per second while in combat with monsters

These can be further enhance with the following enchantments:

Enchantment – Devourer (NEW)

RECIPE  Dagger + Dagger + any upgraded Hunter’s Machete + 600 gold
TOTAL COST  2250 gold
ATTACK SPEED  +50%
MAGIC DAMAGE ON HIT  +40
PASSIVE – DEVOURING  Killing large monsters increases the magic damage of this item by +1. Champion kills or assists increase the magic damage of this item by +2.

Enchantment – Juggernaut (NEW)

RECIPE  Kindlegem + Ruby Crystal + any upgraded Hunter’s Machete + 250 gold
TOTAL COST  2250 gold
HEALTH  500
COOLDOWN REDUCTION  10%
TENACITY  35%

Enchantment – Magus (NEW)

RECIPE  Fiendish Codex + any upgraded Hunter’s Machete + 680 gold
TOTAL COST  2250 gold
ABILITY POWER  80
COOLDOWN REDUCTION  20%

Enchantment – Warrior (NEW)

RECIPE  Brutalizer + any upgraded Hunter’s Machete + 163 gold
TOTAL COST  2250 gold
ATTACK DAMAGE  45
COOLDOWN REDUCTION  10%
ARMOR PENETRATION  10

Not only is there a lot to absorb here, but there’s a lot of awesome things that can go down. And we’re just talking about Junglers here, not the other item reworks that can potentially further complicate things for people in the role. I thought I was pretty decent at it before, but it looks like it’s going to take a lot of practice to get all of this down. Getting away from jungling, here’s a new set of consumables for the rest of us (but Junglers too!):

Elixir of Iron (NEW)

COST  400 gold
DRINK ME FOR  +25% increased size, +25% slow resistance, +25% tenacity, and the Path of Iron buff for 3 minutes
PATH OF IRON  Moving leaves a path behind that boosts allied champion’s movement speed by 15%

Elixir of Ruin (NEW)

COST  400 gold
DRINK ME FOR  +250 health, +15% bonus damage to turrets, and the Siege Commander buff for 3 minutes
SIEGE COMMANDER  Nearby minions gain +15% bonus damage to turrets and gain movement speed based on your movement speed.

Elixir of Sorcery (NEW)

COST  400 gold
DRINK ME FOR  +40 ability power, +15 mana regeneration per 5 seconds, and the Sorcery buff for 3 minutes
SORCERY  Damaging a champion or turret deals 25 bonus true damage. This effect has a 5 second cooldown versus champions but no cooldown versus turrets.

Elixir of Wrath (NEW)

COST  400 gold
DRINK ME FORBLOODLUST!!!! +25 attack damage and the Bloodlust buff for 3 minutes
BLOODLUST  Dealing physical damage to champions heals for +10% of the damage dealt. Scoring a kill or assist extends the duration of this Elixir by 30 seconds.

These are obviously set up for AD/AP and utility builds, but are still all very useful and I can see where they will come in handy during all stages of the game. Early buy for gank power? Late game turret pushing? Yeah, these potions can get it done for you. After this point the notes delve into the nitty gritty of item changes that are mostly irrelevant. Negatron cloak has been removed, and now any item that used to require it builds from the null-magic mantle. This is fine, as it means you no longer have to worry about needing magic resist NOW but needing MOAR GOLD to get the negatron, so it will build into what you want. I like the change. Armor is working similarly, though the chain mail vest is staying, but builds from the cloth armor. As I said in the last post, magic regen is switching from flat to % based, meaning items like Chalice of Harmony are changed to reflect that. I was surprised to see that a few items were removed altogether, but it looks like Riot is planning to implement them in different ways in the future:

We realized in the case of each of these items that ‘supporting’ them or allowing them to continue to exist would simply cause more harm for game health than actual benefits. Either being abusable in edge cases (hello Sword of the Divine Rengar), or being ‘trap’ items that are rarely (if ever) the correct strategic purchase. Some may return at a later date!

Sword of the Divine
Executioner’s Calling
Atma’s Impaler

Atma’s is really the only item on the list that I use semi-regularly, but if they can find a way to get that +AD based on health back into the game, I’m fine with the change. The remainder of the notes deal with general bug fixes and improvements. Overall, the preseason is already looking to be much better than the last, and I’m looking forward to getting some new experiences in game. I will continue on with this series as more information is released, so stay tuned!

#leagueoflegends #preseason #patchnotes

Pre-Season 2015 (Part One)

Season 4 is officially over (actually has been for a week or two) and now the Preseason changes are coming down the pipeline. Recently, Riot opened up the newly updated Summoner’s Rift to a few specific queues, and I have been spending much of my time playing that. All queues have now been opened up, so that means you can’t avoid seeing the beautiful new Rift! I have recommitted to playing more League this season, including trying my hand at ranked play again, after having reached Silver in season 3 and taken season 4 off. Season 5 looks to change up the formula in so many ways, it will be interesting to see the new metas that emerge.

The biggest news in the Preseason is obviously the changes that are heading to the Rift, and there are many of those to talk about. I’ll start you off with a primer before digging deeper:

That video described some of the biggest changes, but there are many more hidden in the patch notes, and more to come. Typically masteries and runes are tweaked ever so slightly, though Riot has said that isn’t a focal point this time around. Perhaps not, but I suspect we will see adjustments nonetheless. If we do, I’ll be sure to cover those at a later date, if not, I will make a new post detailing what I use, as I know that my rune/mastery builds from last season still receive heavy traffic. In the event that you’d rather read the following information from the horse’s mouth as it were, then feel free to follow these links:

Preseason Microsite
Full Patch 4.20 Notes

For those of you still here, I’ll dive more into what I found interesting in the notes. First off, let’s notate that Maokai just received a facelift. This is cool for me because I just purchased him and found out what a badass champ he is in the top lane. This is just a change to his in-game appearance, splash art and skin appearances, his kit is unchanged.

maokai

Kalista, a new Marksman has also been added to the game, and she looks like a ton of fun. Definitely a mobile champion in the vein of newer carries, though her dependence on her support is more pronounced. She has the potential to be something great, but don’t mind me… I thought Quinn looked awesome to begin with and look how well she warms the bench these days. Here’s Kalista’s champion spotlight which will describe her playstyle much better than I can:

Alright, so what else is going on in these patch notes? Well, you’ve gotten a taste with those videos above, now let’s dive into some of the particulars. I’m going to start from the top and pull directly from the notes, and add some commentary as well. So let’s do it!

Recommended Items
Helps more than you think: Recommended items for all champions have been updated
We have the technology: Recommended items now detect if you have Smite or not and change accordingly

This is a change I have been wanting for a very long time. Some champions may have been designed to go AD/AP but things change, or they are hybrids and rec items don’t reflect that. The 2nd part of this is amazing because I can’t count how many times I’ve played champs that can be played effectively top lane or in the jungle, and the rec items are set up for jungle when I’m playing top. Or vice versa. A nice change indeed, especially if you haven’t taken the time to make up your item sets out of game. I guess I should get around to doing that?

There’s a bunch of complex math stuff about changes to stat scaling per level, mana regneration changes (going from flat to percentage based, more on this later when we get to items), and then the usual “we changed this stuff on this champion” bit, and nothing there really stands out to me for commentary, except towards the end they list off a big chunk of champions and their skins that were rebalanced to bring them up to the quality level of the new Summoner’s Rift. I love the facelifting they’ve been doing, with the launcher, the maps, the champions, everything is looking really clean and polished.

Objective changes are huge and bring a bunch of different dynamics to the game, but the overall theme of this season is Strategic Diversity, and that sounds about right. As the video above hinted at, there have been changes to turrets, Baron, Dragon, and the Jungle. Let’s start with turrets.

COMPLICATED TURRET MATH   Inhibitor and Nexus turrets are much stronger in comparison to their previous versions. Sorry we can’t be more specific in terms of direct comparisons (lots of complicated math) – we can say the new turrets are roughly 1.5x or 2x stronger.
HEALTH REGENERATION  15 health per 5 seconds ⇒ 5 health per 5 seconds
ATTACK SPEED  0.83 ⇒ 4.0
WHAT ARMOR?  Ignores 82.5% of the target’s armor
DAMAGE REDUCTION  Reduces target’s damage dealt by 15%
MOVEMENT SLOW  Slows target’s movement speed by 10%
HEATING UP  With every hit, the beam gains 6 heat until 120 heat is reached. When the beam switches targets, heat is reset.
I’M FIRING MY LASERS!  Gains +0.0105% damage per point of heat, up to a maximum of +125% extra damage

That’s just the Nexus/Inhib turrets. Inner turrets are also getting some love:

SHIELDS FOR ALL  Inner turrets now have regenerating shields that affect both themselves and nearby allied champions. Additionally, all allied champions within 1100 range gain a growing shield over time, scaling to a maximum of a 200 health shield.
PROTECT THAT TURRET  The turret’s shield stops regenerating shields if it has taken damage within 30 seconds

Wow. Turrets just leveled up. Not only does the inner turret gain a shield but it spreads to allied champs? Nice way to stop that siege and discourage dive comps. Then if they do get by, the freaking lasers on the next set of turrets do crazy damage, damage reduction and slows. Sitting under turrets is going to be a thing of the past, and it looks like split pushing is going to take a hit. I’m sure there will still be people who can push the envelope though. Who knows what the pros will be doing?

So, Dragon. He’s not for gold anymore. He’s for buffs now. That’s not to mention the huge changes to jungle camps and what you gain from using Smite. What kind of buff does Dragon give exactly?

Killing Dragon now gives your team a permanent stacking buff called “Dragon Slayer”:
    • Dragon’s Might (1 stack): +8% total attack damage and ability power
    • Dragon’s Dominance (2 stacks): +15% damage to minions and monsters
    • Dragon’s Flight (3 stacks): +5% movement speed
    • Dragon’s Wrath (4 stacks): +15% damage to turrets and buildings
    • Aspect of the Dragon (5 stacks, repeatable): Doubles all other bonuses and your attacks burn enemies for 150 true damage over 5 seconds. Lasts 180 seconds.

That’s crazy. I mean, for the whole team? Controlling Dragon just became a hell of a lot more important. I am actually ok with the loss of gold, though I can see this being a negative thing if your team can’t secure any kills. That bonus gold sometimes swung things in your favor, if you get 1 out of 5 dragons that +8% AD/AP isn’t going to help as much I don’t think. But we’ll see how it plays out. Baron’s buff has also been redone, so that it gives you 40 AD/AP, a faster recall that gives a movespeed buff and faster healing so that you can recall and get back quickly without wasting as much of the buff’s time. It also empowers minions:

  • All Minions:
    • Now match 90% of average movement speed of nearby champions, up to a limit of 500 movement speed
    • Are resistant to slow effects
    • Non-super minions have 75% damage reduction versus area of effect, damage over time, and persistent effects
  • Melee Minions:
    • Gain +50% movement speed when within 800 units of enemy minions or turrets
    • Size is increased
    • +75 attack range
    • 75% damage reduction versus champions and minions
    • 30% damage reduction versus turrets (similar to cannon minions)
  • Ranged Minions:
    • +20 attack damage
    • +50% missile speed
    • +100 attack range
  • Cannon Minions:
    • +600 Attack Range
    • +50 Attack Damage, but Attack Speed is halved
    • Attacks are now Area of Effect (200 range) and deal 2x damage to Turrets.
  • Super Minions:
    • +25% Attack Speed.
    • Gain +50% Movement Speed when within 800 units of enemy minion or Turret.

That’s pretty cool too, and definitely adds to the philosophy of “get Baron and then end it.”

This is a huge update and being able to go over everything is going to take more than one post I fear. So I am going to stop here, but in my next related post, I’m going to dive into the Jungle changes and Item changes. See you then.

#leagueoflegends #patchnotes #preseason

Goblins vs Gnomes Part 1

Recently at Blizzcon, aside from announcing a new IP (Overwatch), the Protoss expansion for Starcraft II, a bunch of nothing for Diablo III, and nothing I paid attention to for WoW, Blizzard announced the next expansion for Hearthstone. Called Gnomes and Goblins, it will feature 120 new cards, and those will be available for purchase sometime in December. This means farming gold again to buy new packs, although you can also go through the Arena mode to earn cards from the new set. I still haven’t completed the original set, so I guess that means I have a lot of work to do, but I had found myself rather bored with the game after finishing Naxxramas. I mean I still play here and there, but after a few games I’ve usually had my fill. I have most of the cards from the original set that I want, though a few of the Epics and Legendaries would be nice, but it takes forever to earn the dust for them. Having a new set to work towards makes the expenditures feel better, because there are more to earn, so the first 20-30 packs net you some sweet loot. From there it’s back to disenchanting piles of cards and/or hoping for the best. But I digress.

There have been approximately 45 of the 120 cards revealed at this point, and I can see the uses for many, the synergy between this deck, the Naxx cards, and the originals. A few of the cards from the original set have been nerfed into oblivion too, so adding to the mix makes for more strategy, as there are far more combinations of cards to work with. This doesn’t mean you can’t still run a zoo deck, but it might be modified after the new cards release. I know my zoo deck saw many changes before new cards came out, and since Naxx it’s been solidified, but I can already see boons coming in the new set. Because it would be a long ass post if I was to cover all of the cards that have been revealed so far, I decided to break this up into however many posts it takes to cover them all. I decided this time around that I would start with the class-specific cards, and we’ll move onto a chunk of the neutrals next time. So shall we get started?

Class Specific Cards (so far)

Warlock

felcannon

Most of the cards that have been revealed are either tinkered items or mech-related. Time will tell how effective this card will be, because if people are stacking a lot of mechs, this card becomes rather useless, particularly if you aren’t using many mechs. It looks to be part of a mech-deck, where you could counter someone without mechs, but until the meta shift settles, it will be hard to say. I like the potential, and if nothing else a 3/5 for 4 isn’t a bad cost.

Shaman

ancestorscall

This card is very much a double edged sword. It’s a sure bet if you have a beastly card in your hand, and they don’t have much in their hand, but if they have something better than you, it’s going to suck. How much of a gambler are you?

Druid

anodizedrobocub

This keeps with the thematic design of Druids. The ability to choose extra health or attack based on the situation is nice, as are most Druid cards that give you choice. A 3/2 or a 2/3 with taunt for 2 mana is a great addition to any Druid deck, seeing as how much of the time you’re stuck with high mana cost cards.

Rogue

goblinautobarber

This Rogue card is much more effective than the last one from the Naxx set. I was super disappointed with that one, needing a combo and having such a high price just to return a minion to hand. This one is cost effective, and gives your weapon more bang for the buck, perfect for Rogues.

Warrior

bouncingblade

Another double edged sword card. Very effective if your side of the board is empty and they have plenty of high health minions, it’s a bit of an equalizer in that sense. Also more effective if you have a high health minion and they have low health, but eventually the blade has to stop, and hopefully it works in your favor. Randomized cards can be nice but can screw you over. Be careful with this one.

screwjankclunker

This card isn’t bad on its own, being a 2/5 for 4, but it really would only work out given another mech on the board. I wouldn’t put it in a deck unless I was going mech heavy. That seems to be the focus of this set though, so perhaps going mech heavy will be beneficial. The Naxx set focused on Deathrattle, but that felt gimmicky too, and I avoided most of it.

shieldmaide

This card is going to be standard for Warriors, I can see that coming already. 5/5 plus 5 armor for 6 mana? Yeah, Warriors everywhere rejoice.

Priest

velenschosen

This card feels like a nice buff for the Priest. I’ve always wanted to like Priest in Hearthstone, but I just couldn’t find a deck that would work well enough. I’ve played some good Priests though, and this card will add to their arsenal of annoyance. Synergy with their other damage spells, plus a direct buff for 3 mana? Sounds over powered.

upgradedrepairbot

Another card that isn’t that great unless you get that mech synergy going. I’m hoping there are plenty of neutral mechs that are worthwhile to get that type of synergy, otherwise cards like this will be wasted. However, a 5/5 for 5 isn’t bad, and the bonus health can really beef up a taunter.

shrinkmeister

The opposite of what we’re used to seeing from Priest, this minion actually removes health. I’m curious if this will cause death or will cap at 1 health. Nice to shrink an enemy taunter or big creature without having to throw cannon fodder at it. Looks like Priest is getting some love.

Mage

flamecannon

This one is good and bad. 4 damage for 2 mana is almost as good as a soulfire, but it being random kind of sucks. Have to plan that out just right. Mage is definitely still the queen of direct damage.

goblinblastmage

Another Mech oriented card. Definitely a nice AoE blast, plus you get a 5/4 for 4, so it’s cost effective. Again, have to wait to see what the mech ratio is in the game before I can really judge.

unstableportal

I’m assuming this means that the minion will come from your deck, but some specifics would have been nice. I mean that could mean from anywhere really. I don’t like the random nature of the card, but it you get the right minion for the right price it could be very cost effective.

That’s all of the class specific cards that have been revealed so far. So we’re still waiting on Hunter, Paladin, and a few more from the first few classes. There are a lot of neutral cards I have yet to go over, so expect another post or two on that in the coming days. Until then, happy gaming.

#hearthstone #goblinsvsgnomes