Blizzard's mighty CCG is out now; read our Hearthstone review to see what we thought of it.
Me and our Nick have exchanged blows before over Hearthstone’s lack of allchat. His philosophy, in dismissive short-form, is MMO Everything. Mine’s willingly delusional - I like reading the best possible intentions into my opponents’ blank emotes, knowing that behind the keyboard they’re likely effing and blinding and slurring and worse.
Frankly, I think Hearthstone is lovely the way it is - quiet, considered, and sort of flat. But it’s not only Nick who disagrees. One Chinese modder has mocked up a version of the game using 3D minion models - and hopes his efforts might sway Blizzard into incorporating something similar, “if it’s possible”.
The character models and animations are sourced, sensibly enough, from World of Warcraft, the game with which Hearthstone shares a universe. And they don’t look half as bad in practice as I’d expected. Skip to the 1:20 mark to see some familiar monsters thwack each other to bits.
The more I think about it, though, the more I love the simple thunk of piece-on-piece nade tangible by Blizzard's understated animation (and overstated sound design). I'd miss the crack as they eventually fall apart, like conkers or conquered chess pieces.
The 3D implementation here is clumsy - proof of concept rather than legitimate mod - but squint a bit and you can see what might be. Does this player’s alternate roadmap for the Twitch-dominating CCG look better or worse to you than its reality?