Monday, 3 March 2014

Hearthstone: Alternate card backs

Alternative card backs are coming to Hearthstone. There are five of them for now, my favourite being the red and gold combination. You can read the original source, and preview all the card backs here yourself.

The brown card with iron-looking frame will be reward for reaching Legend Rank. My personal favourite, red and gold will be earned by participating in ranked games, which I think is great, because it means I will soon have my favourite card back available. The yellow, amber-like card back will be a reward from promotional events. The last two, clouds and rainbows, and green-coloured glass are some sort of upcoming reward. More details to come.

What I realised, is that we will not be able to really see our own card backs. As I understand, this will change only the backs of your own cards, not the opponent's. That means, you will be able to see the back of your cards only when you draw a card, open a new pack of cards, or a card bugs out on the playing field. Which seems to make alternative card backs more of a something to show off with.

I am also glad that none of the current card backs is planned to be sold in the cash shop. I will admit that this is one of my biggest fears these days when it comes to Blizzard. Yes, I know the game is free to play, I simply do not approve of the in-game store in World of Warcraft, especially since it was revealed that the boosts to level 90 will cost $60 and what I can only hope will be the regional equivalent in euros, thus I see dark clouds at every corner. I am mixing apples and pears here, so let us go back to the topic at hand.

I guess all that additional flavour is nice, and if anything it shows Blizzard's commitment to the game. But the thing I look forward the most in Hearthstone is the spectator mode. At least for those on your friend list. Besides that, I want more cards, and more Classes. I am certain both will come at some point and it is half-ludicrous expectation that a game still in open beta should have more added than is already planned for the simple release.

And when I say beta, know that it is so. The annoying minion swapping, limit on alt-tabbing before the game decides to go mental, insistence of the game that I cannot play a certain card even though I have all the mana crystals in the world, those are all issues that still plague the game in the development. It is something I understand, and yet more than fixing this I look forward to the new stuff that at this point is probably only nascent.

If you are playing Hearthstone, check out the alternative backs and comment if you like which of those shown is your favourite. Or do you prefer the vanilla blue?

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