Syl wrote earlier this week about the perils of armchair game designing and I think she’s on the money with her post. We should stop expecting Game A to change to be more like Game B or some totally other game or whatever.
However, I’m going to ignore that clever advice and write about some things I’d like to see changed in or added to Hearthstone. The game is still in beta, and it is great fun even if none of these ideas are ever implemented…. but it would be better if they were.
1. Arena / draft matches between friends
Right now you can challenge a friend to a battle with constructed decks, or card decks that have been prearranged ahead of time by the player, which is fun. You can also try your hand at Arena mode with strangers with a deck that you put together right before the fights from a random selection of cards. I’d love to have a third mode that is a combination of the two: spontaneous draft decks battles between friends. (Bonus points for 2v2 co-op battles involving friends.)
Hearthstone will be free to play, and I would love to organize newbie friendly guild or reader tournaments which means not allowing that amazing deck that you spent $50 to make.
2. Better deck management
When you view a deck that you previously constructed, it looks like this obtuse mess to the right. While technically I can right-click on each card to be reminded of its stats and any special functions, that takes a fair bit of time and still isn’t as good as being able to look at the details of all the cards in my deck at once.
Ideally I’d love to be able to sort my deck into groups like “Taunts” or “Charges”, although that might be getting a little fancy. Anything that lets me get a good overview of my deck at a glance would be appreciated — anything that doesn’t rely on me memorizing every attribute of every card by its name, that is — but barring that just putting every card on the screen and letting me scroll through it would be fine.
3. Story mode
This might be a bit of a stretch but it would be cool if there was a little story mode that involved playing against the NPCs, similar to how Starcraft operates. I know the old paper WoW TCG had a mode for two players to join forces against an NPC “boss”, and it would be neat to have co-op options.
4. Loot cards
One day I will own you, Spectral Tiger.
5. Decent lady armor
Okay look, this is obviously not a gameplay consideration but the armor for Valeera Sanguinar and Jaina Proudmoore is super boobtacular and it bugs me. Look at Valeera there and try to imagine the lines of her neck behind that dagger hilt. Where is her right shoulder located, huh? She’s totally warped in the name of a ridiculous hip flick to show off the.. battle leotard.
When I see a game between a mage deck and a rogue deck I feel like I should be ordering wings from one of them. It’s a card game, you guys. Let at least one lady wear a top.