Hearthstone has received its fair share of flak due to how much it can cost to progress throughout its lifetime. Case in point: it’s a collectable card game distributed almost solely through random packs, with the quickest way to power up your account being to drop $200+ each expansion.
The frustrations around this fact came to a head this month as the Battlefront II fiasco led players to reflect on the state of microtransactions in games. In response, Blizzard say they are continuing to reevaluate the cost of Hearthstone, but that they’re providing “a sense of value for your time spent with the game” already.
Here are all the new Kobolds & Catacombs cards you’ll be spending money on.
“Even when it comes to Hearthstone as a game, from day one it has been about what creates the best value for the player,” art director Ben Thompson tells me. “In the kind of experiences that we offer, the kind of value that players feel they’re getting for packs to cards to the loot boxes [at the end of an Arena run], or any of the kind combined.”
Compared to its largest competitors at the time of launch – mainly Magic: The Gathering – Hearthstone certainly was a cheap game. However, it’s now competing purely against other free-to play-games, both on mobile and desktop. Most of those games have significant cosmetic options for different characters, letting actual gameplay elements be cheap or free, and leaving Hearthstone playing catch up. The next expansion increases the offerings again.
“If you look at the latest offerings in the form of Kobolds & Catacombs – that [is] coming out of the gate with some of the most replayable and free content that we’ve ever offered [The Dungeon Run], in addition to three packs for logging in, two legendaries (Marin the Fox and one random legendary weapon) again just for logging in. [That] makes for a really great not only [new] player experience but also extended, long-time player experience when it comes to getting a sense of value for your time spent with the game.”
There will also be three more packs on offer for playing The Dungeon Run during the launch period, and Tavern Brawls have been offering packs in the past couple of weeks, too. However, this hasn’t prevented complaints from the community regarding the price of the average deck, and the never-ending nature of the costs. Many want to see Legendaries made easier to obtain, major changes to Dust prices, or even the total removal of the pack system.
Blizzard aren’t forthcoming with plans for any major changes, but Thompson does say the price of Hearthstone is “is something that we continue to assess as recently as this set, and we’ll continue to look at in new sets as it makes sense to do so.”