Published on December 23rd, 2014 | by MrMattyMouse0
GOTY Staff Picks – MattyMouse
When you hold one of the biggest MMORPGs in the world, there’s a few questions you need to ask yourself; what do you do with a universe packed to the brim with unique characters and expansive lore? What do you do when you want to put that universe onto nearly every device in the world? How do you make it one of the most watched eSports on Twitch?
Well, when you’re Blizzard, you take your spectacular MMO (World of Warcraft) and you turn it into a digital card game.
…Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is born.
I’m pretty happy that the game doesn’t track the number of hours you’ve spent playing it; I’m afraid of the many hundreds I’d no doubt see. With its easy to learn but hard to master design, it’s no surprise that this game is one hell of a time sink.
On a casual level, this game is open to everyone. For those familiar with the characters and lore of World of Warcraft, this is especially true, too. From the heroes you play as, to the cards, taunts and greetings within the game – everything is taken from Warcraft.
That isn’t to say the game is shallow or derivative. With further exploration, there’s a great deal of depth to be found. Deck building is a fundamental part of the game and the ever changing metagame will have the most hardcore of players studying popular decks and spectating professional players.
In game, the skill of reading your opponent and their hand becomes essential. Moreoever, learning what to mulligan from your opening hand and how best to manage your mana and board for maximum ‘value’ all accumulates to a very high skill ceiling. These factors really help reiterate that this game is truly one that takes practice and study to gain the full experience out of.
…And there is certainly a lot to study.
Even in the game’s infancy, websites were designed solely to aid players in learning new decks and mastering the most popular meta of the time.
With Twitch’s popularity, it’s no surprise that Hearthstone garnered an enormous following on the site since launch. With popular streamers showcasing their play, hundreds of thousands have tuned in for insight into the competitive player’s mindset and the way they play the game.
It’s not just Twitch where these players can shine, however. From smaller tournaments like the Seatstory Cup, all the way up to World Championships held at Blizzcon, Hearthstone has made a huge impact on the eSports scene, and is currently one of the fastest growing competitive games.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is my Game of the Year. There were a lot of amazing games that came out this year but none quite grabbed my attention, time, and…bank account as much as Hearthstone did. I don’t see that changing any time in the foreseeable future. Hats off to Blizzard, they’ve successfully crafted yet another gem.
Honourable mentions go to:
- Wolfenstein: The New Order
- Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls
- Shadows of Mordor
Let us know what your GOTY picks are in the comment section below and be sure to follow us on Twitter at @KBMODGaming for updates on the next Staff Picks!