Thoughts on Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Last week, Blizzard announced its newest addiction game at the Penny Arcade Expo East called Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.  Basically, it’s an online collectible card game set in the Warcraft universe that is going to be free-to-play for the PC and Mac, and later for the iPad and other tablets.  The initial set will have 300 cards and you can earn a booster pack of five cards by winning matches or you can purchase them for $1 a pack.

You play as one of nine “Heroes”, representing the some of major classes in WoW.   By using spell, ability and minion cards, your goal is to bring your opponent’s life points to zero.  From some of the gameplay I’ve seen, you can play as such characters like Garrosh the Warrior or Jaina the Mage.  The game board and cards are 3D and animated, giving the gameplay experience a lively feel.  Even the opening of a new pack is made to feel exciting, just like the real thing, lol.  I think the game looks great and hopefully I can get into the beta to test the real thing out.

So what does this mean for the WoW TCG?  Probably nothing, I haven’t heard that it would affect it in any way.  I think Cryptozoic has done a great job of keeping the TCG alive ever since they took over the reins from Upper Deck Entertainment back in 2010.  With 20 expansion sets and several raid decks out, the TCG is moving along quite well and the fan base is still strong.  The Hearthstone trailer contains artwork from the TCG and I think some of the cards in the set may have come from there as well.

So am I worried that Hearthstone will replace the WoW TCG someday?  A little, but I think it’ll take a while for it to happen, if it ever does.  It all depends on how the players take to Hearthstone and how popular it gets.  With everything going digital these days, there is a possibility that the TCG goes virtual and becomes Hearthstone or part of it.  We’ve seen it before with other WoW media like the manga and the comic book and even the novels could go eventually go digital.  I think the WoW TCG will be here for a while though, especially if they keep churning out the Loot cards that most WoW players covet.

So what about you? Thinking about joining the beta?  Will you give up playing Angry Birds or Bejeweled during non-WoW hours to play more Warcraft?