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The Slow Game: Hearthstone and Card Game Design

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has been out for a couple of years now, and the game has taken on a speed and pace all it's own. While there are decks and builds in which you can adopt a slow, meticulous game, if you're wanting to climb the ladder in ranked play, you're going to need a deck that hits the ground running on turn one and Never. Lets. Up.

Blizzard has been aware of this, and they've tried to incorporate cards which would change the pace of the game. Cards like Loatheb, Emperor Thaurissan, Reno Jackson, and others are best served in slower decks, and the mechanic informally referred to as Joust also seemed to be a way to make games become more of a strategic puzzle and less of a practice of emptying your hand.

Enter the Old Gods, and sure enough, the game takes on a brand new identity.

MMO Monday

MMO Monday - City of Heroes

My next notable foray into the MMO style of game was with one that was a far cry away from anything else I had experienced thus far. Through Asheron's Call and Everquest, my fantasy tastes had been well satisfied (or so I had thought), but NCSoft's City of Heroes reminded me that there was more to my interests than just dwarves, dragons and magic.

It's sleek, blue, near-future design was very appealing. The HUD and menus all made me feel like I was moving through the pages of a Marvel comic book. The characters around me were as varied as those in the comic universe; there were spandex-clad classic superheroes, like my own Ironfist, but there were also cybernetic soldiers, or clunky clockwork robots, or undead heroes, or celestial-born mental masters, or spirits and ghosts and demi-gods and aliens and mutants. Every team I joined had a vastly different composition, and I learned through this game that MMO's meant more than role-playing.