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Hearthstone is already one of the most popular games on the iOS and Google Play stores, but developer Blizzard has definitely not pushed it to its full potential yet. While it’s definitely one of the best free-to-play games available, here are five easy ideas that could make it instantly better.
5) Different Play Modes
While Hearthstone is very well-balanced, especially between classes, once a player has a dedicated strategy for all nine heroes of Warcraft, playing the game can feel like going through set motions ad infinitum. The implementation of a variety of play modes, such as a “Light” or “Heavy” options that only allow the use of minions costing under or over three mana, would mean that players would have to entirely rethink their current strategies to allow for such variations. Accompany this with a suitable incentive such as doubling the number of coins won after playing three games, for example, and Hearthstone players will never go hungry for variety.
4) Trading Cards
This would rid the game of the irritation of having too many of the same card in your collection, especially when players are only allowed two in their decks. A sensible balance would be either have players put their cards up for “auction” over, say, a 24 hour period while other players offer cards in exchange. The player would then choose which offer to accept, if they want to accept at all, and a notification would be sent to all players telling them the decision. Alongside this trading method could be a “quick exchange,” where players offer up cards of a certain mana and rarity and other players would instantly exchange cards with them. A greater number of cards being swapped means a greater amount of variation in-game styles and, ultimately, more Hearthstone matches being played as new strategies are being tested.
3) A Hearthstone Storefront
One of the major flaws with Hearthstone is common to any game that has the player purchase randomized packs: If you have a card that you desperately want, it’s almost impossible to get it. Getting a particular card in Hearthstone has a probability low enough to irritate any player that wants to summon Leroy Jenkins. Adding a storefront into the game that would allow players to buy and sell specific cards in their collection for coins would mean that they could save up their winnings for a specific card, rather than having to open pack after pack and be constantly disappointed.
2) Offline Play
The downside of Hearthstone is that, in order to play it, you must have a constant connection to the Internet, even when playing the AI. An easy fix would be to allow players to play offline against the computer, perhaps for half the reward of playing an online match, and the coins could be collected the next time the player connected. And speaking of not having to be always connected to the Internet…
1) Local Multiplayer
Everything mentioned in the previous four points should be able to be done locally, against or with a specific player. Adding a friends List to Hearthstone, along with a chat feature, would mean that players could challenge other players that are within close proximity via a local network connection (or possibly Bluetooth). Challenging players, trading cards, selling cards — all of these features should be available to two people in the same space wanting to play against each other. Because the best part of any card game is being able to look your opponent in the eyes when you’ve beaten them and see their spirits sink. Or the pure fun of the game. That too. Either is good.