Tag Archives: Battlegrounds

February 2023 Battlegrounds Update

Introduction

I wrote an article about Battlegrounds at the beginning of the Lich King set release. I came away from that update severely underwhelmed. They gave us nothing in Battlegrounds aside from a new hero. I honestly don’t know why they waited to release the update because it certainly wasn’t to properly balance. They turned nerfs and buffs around so quickly, we can cover them in this February 2023 Battlegrounds Update.

Improvement #1: New Hero

Granted, they gave us Enhanc-o-mechano with the set release. And, I played him a couple of times and enjoyed every time. But, I expected an undead theme in Battlegrounds and, with it, a new undead hero. That never happened until this update. But, boy oh boy, did they give us a hero.

Because I play in 4-8k plebeian territory, the cries of “OP! Plz nerf” went right over my head. I tried playing the new Putricide and failed miserably both times. But, he utilizes my favorite mechanic in the game, Discover, and I think I can have some fun with him eventually.

Improvement #2: Rewards Track

I wrote in that December update that one of my biggest problems with the release of the new expansion was that nothing reset. I knew a new season of standard loomed on the horizon. No such luck with Battlegrounds. As far as I knew, they killed the mode without telling anyone.

There is precedent for such a thing after all.

Without a new season and no Battlegrounds specific quests, only weekly quests kept me playing the game. I got so bored, I even tried Mercenaries. Actually, pretty fun, and I worked it into my daily rotation. Who knows how long that lasts.

Thankfully, Blizzard released the new Battlegrounds season and, with it, a new rewards track. I get to earn new strikes, hero skins, and other cosmetics that make the game worth playing.

Improvement #3: New Tribe, New Minions

Last, but certainly not least, they gave us the new minion type I hoped for back in December. Yes, undead crashed the party big time. Many of the nerfs involved undead and I swear to god, somehow lobbies for a couple of weeks showed 7/8 playing undead. I admit that I tried playing undead a few times, but also farmed them a little bit with elementals, mechs, and the occasional pirate build. Some players, as they do, pissed and moaned about the monotony. In spite of the repetitive gameplay, I found the games mostly fun. While, I don’t have a problem with the balances, it made no difference to me.

A final bonus in the whole ordeal surprised me but, at the same time, I saw it coming. You might even argue that I inspired them to make this change. Blizzard introduced dual type minions! Actually, they created one dual type minion a while ago and I extrapolated then that more were on their way. Well, they’re here. There’s dragon murlocs, undead mechs, and an elemental murloc that warms my heart.

The Verdict

Overall, I like the update to Battlegrounds. As I said, some people cried until Blizzard rolled out the nerfs, but I found the game fun in spite of the fact that every game looked the same. We know the new tribe always ends up overrepresented in the beginning. But, yeah, it was pretty damn ridiculous with undead this time. I hope you enjoyed my February 2023 Battlegrounds update and I’ll be back with more Hearthstone content around the release of the new standard season.

December 2022 Hearthstone Battlegrounds Update

Introduction

As you all know because you read my most recent articles, Hearthstone released a new card set. Blizzard brought us back to Northrend and one of the greatest fantasy story lines ever. The fall of Arthas still haunts my dreams. You all know what a sucker I am for story in video games. I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that this set came with an update to Battlegrounds, too. And, so, I planned to write a December 2022 Hearthstone Battlegrounds update.

Best laid plans, as they say. Spoiler Alert: No major new update to Battlegrounds ever came as a result of March of the Lich King. No new minion types or minions. No new quests. And, no update to the rewards track. I, and I assume most other players since I’m nowhere close to the top time played in this game, finished the track about a month ago. Now, I mainly play to finish the main weekly quest and advance that rewards track.

So, Nothing Then?

Not nothing, no. While I thought that the introduction of the “Undead” keyword into Hearthstone meant big things for the world of Battlegrounds, for now Blizzard kept them out of the game mode. I trust the developers and programmers, so I know they will eventually add them into Battlegrounds, but it’s curious that they didn’t as part of the new set release celebration.

What, then? A new undead hero to serve as a foil for The Lich King? Well, yes and no. Or, rather no and yes. They gave us a new hero. I played him the other day. He’s pretty fun. Technically, he isn’t alive, so you could argue that he fits the theme. Okay, I pulled a muscle stretching that metaphor. Okay, with little further ado, our new hero! *drum roll*

Yes, it’s true. Our intrepid new hero is Enhanc-o-Mechano. *cymbals crashing awkwardly* *a lone cough in the back of the room*

Yeah, a bit of a let down. But, along with this new hero comes a new quest reward. I admit to being underwhelmed by most quest rewards. I had a lot of fun with the one that gives your minions plus seven on stats, but they die after attacking. That took me to a first place finish a couple of weeks ago. Giving a hydra plus twelve stats in your hand every turn is fun, too, and figuring out when to finally play it adds some strategry. But, I think this one might be my favorite.

You can roll the usual bonuses; divine shield, windfury, and reborn are the most fun in that order. There’s also one that gives taunt, which pairs well with Leeroy and poisonous minions. Man, just talking about it makes me want to load up and play Battlegrounds even though I already finished my quest for the week.

The Verdict

Yeah, the December 2022 Hearthstone Battlegrounds update underwhelms for sure. I expected much more. Really, I just wanted them to add undead type to the game mode. That, alone, makes me sad. I hope you’re listening, Blizzard.

Hearthstone Duels Beta: Great, Good, Decent?

Introduction

What the heck is Hearthstone Duels Beta? Well, we are faced with yet another task as (unpaid) Blizzard beta testers. About a year go, Blizzard released Battlegrounds in response to the rise in popularity of auto battlers like Auto Chess, Dota Underlords, and Teamfight Tactics. As soon as I saw the gameplay for Battlegrounds at the event they put together to showcase it, I knew that I made the comment that I would play that mode almost exclusively.

I mean, who doesn’t want to watch cards smash into each other?

The same can’t be said for Hearthstone Duels Beta. The concept intrigued me. Blizzard took the Dungeon Run concept and made it PvP. That sounds interesting. However, instead of enhancing my interest in the game mode, watching the game play actually decreased my interest. Then, I received a drop from Twitch to early access to the game mode.

The mode is now in full beta, so I’m no longer special. However, I write this web page, so I am special here. You obviously read the page, so I think you’re pretty special. Let’s discuss among our special selves if this game mode is any good or not.

The Great

Do you love Dungeon Run? I do. Do you not know what Dungeon Run is? I forgive you if you don’t. Let me give a brief explanation. And, yes, I realize that almost nothing I ever write is brief. How about I promise to keep this one under 100 words? Deal? Deal.

Dungeon Run is a mode Blizzard introduced as an adventure in one of the expansions. You start with a deck. Then, as you proceed through the “dungeon” and defeat bosses, you get to choose random “treasures” and cards to add to your deck. Honestly, it’s a fun mode and I used to think that I wanted more of it. 59 words.

He’s on fire!

After playing Duels a few times, it turns out that I just wanted more Dungeon Run. Duels lets you build your starting deck. I don’t care. It lets you play against other people. Without some sort of chat feature, I don’t care whether it’s a bot or a person. Duels does retain the treasures (though most of them are garbage) and card selection, which is great.

The Good

Remember when I said that I don’t care about building your own deck. That was mostly for show. Even though most of the time, because it’s a competitive mode, you will build the same deck, that’s starting to change some. Blizzard has already released new class treasures and hero powers that promote some variety in deck building.

Because I don’t have the whole collection on many of my accounts (yes, I have multiple accounts and play all 3 regions on all of them), I have to be creative with my deck choices. Yes, creative there is a euphemism for bad decks. But, sometimes those bad decks will catch an opponent off guard because they’re not looking for the “creative” card choice. And, since it is ultimately “no risk, no reward”, that’s good.

The Decent

This game mode is ridiculously imbalanced. Granted, it is a beta. Also, it is Blizzard and their idea of game balance has infiltrated MTG. make extremely imbalanced cards, make your money from selling them, and then nerf them (ban them in the case of MTG). Sometimes, this strategy is employed multiple times. Since it’s introduction earlier in the year, Demon Hunter has been nerfed 4 times.

They have proved time and again that they are not prepared for proper card design. Eh, eh, Illidan? Not prepared? Achievement Unlocked: Lame Dad WoW joke.

So, expecting Duels to be completely balanced right out of the gate is a tall order. I wasn’t joking in the beginning when I said that Blizzard expects us to be their unpaid beta testers. In the case of the new heroic mode, you are paying them to be beta testers. God bless this brave new world of gaming.

However, Hearthstone Duels Beta is way out of balance. If you can high roll a certain treasure or card selection, you are guaranteed to breeze through to a high win total. I was watching a streamer last night who had two runs where he was dealing 20+ damage per turn starting on turn 4 or 5. In a mode where your starting life is a maximum of 40, that’s ridiculous.

The Verdict

Hearthstone Duels Beta has some fun aspects. I do like that I can build my starting deck. Dumbing into one of the ridiculously overpowered runs is fun as hell. The rest of the time, it is just as frustrating as regular Hearthstone with the addition of even more randomness and frustration of potentially low rolling your way into oblivion. I play standard for the rewards (though they stealth nerfed them) and Battlegrounds because it can be legitimately fun. I don’t see myself playing Duels unless they include it in a quest.

Felfire Festival Week 1 Post Mortem

Introduction

Felfire Festival Week 1 Post Mortem already? Surely, it isn’t dead. Well, yes and no. The week is technically over. However, the ramifications continue to reverberate through the game. At least, I assume they do. I thought I might play the game more now that it’s been updated.

However, I have not. I’ve tried playing a couple of times. I just can’t get into it. Battlegrounds is frustrating and boring. It takes almost all of the strategy out of a normal auto battler game. In most cases, that has worked to Blizzard’s advantage. Without a coherent strategy, the game just becomes ovals banging into each other.

The Great, The Good, and the Decent? No, just a verdict

No, I’m not even going to give lip service to these categories for this review. I could go back to the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for one article, but that seems suboptimal. And, so, I will leave the reader to decide for themselves if it’s worth it to come back if you left. In the humble opinion of the writer of this article, it very much is not worth it.

There are plenty of other autobattlers out there for you to play instead. I would suggest either Autochess or TFT if you’re on mobile. Underlords is also on mobile, but I’ve found that it is a better PC experience. In any case, don’t waste your time on Battlegrounds.

Thanks for taking the time to read my Felfire Festival Week 1 post mortem. Some of you more astute readers might attribute my snark to salt. Honestly, you’re partially right. I’ve played 3 or 4 matches to try things out and I have yet to crack the top 4 in any of them. So, yes, I am frustrated. But, I also have many other things to keep me occupied. In any case, I hope next week is better!

Hearthstone BattleGrounds June 2020

Introduction

I was taken by surprise by yesterday’s Hearthstone Battlegrounds June 2020 update. But, I put together a quick article with my thoughts. It was close to dinner time and then we were maybe going to go to the lake. So, I didn’t talk about the minions because there were a good amount of them being added. We didn’t end up going to the lake, but I hung out in the front yard with Quinn and his stuffed Pokemon. Therefore, I’m going to take some time this morning to give my thoughts on the minions.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds June 2020 Minions

Deck Swabbie: Reducing your tier cost by 1 is huge, especially if you get it early. It’s like getting a token, but you don’t have to sell a minion to get the benefit. I think that this is going to be one of the strongest early game minions.

Scallywag: This isn’t as strong as the tier 1 murloc token because it doesn’t give the extra gold. However, 3/2 are good early game stats and trade well with almost everything.

Freedealing Gambler: A free 3/3 early game? Sign me up.

Southsea Captain: A bit of a whiff if you aren’t already in pirates and early game is too early to commit to a tribe of minions. This is probably the weakest of the tier 2 pirates.

Arcane Cannon: Aside from being the new tier 2 minion sure to be sniped by your opponent, this one is pretty good early game especially if you can get a token and guarantee first attack.

Monstrous Macaw: There are some decent early game deathrattles. Selfless Hero, Rat Pack, Harvest Golem, Kaboom Bot. Heck, even Ghoul is good against a low health board, but it could backfire against you, too.

Salty Looter: These types of minions are always a trap.

Bloodsail Canoneer: This is a strictly worse version of Deathwing’s old hero power. Hard pass unless you get it late and are already in pirates.

Yo-Ho-Ogre: This is a good card. The stat are insane. You’re virtually guaranteed to get at least 3 attacks from it. Late game, unless you get some buffs on it, it falls off, but this is a great tier 3 minion.

Southsea Strongarm: Stats are decent, but the battlecry is only good if you’re in pirates already.

Goldgrubber: Strictly worse Razorgore and honestly, that card isn’t all that great to begin with.

Ripsnarl Captain: Stats aren’t awful and could potentially get better. Similar to Waxrider and that card falls off quickly. I feel like this one would never get going.

Seabreaker Goliath: This one might be good enough to switch strategies. I guess it depends on how sold you are on what you have and what else is offered in the pool.

Cap’n Hoggar: Reducing the cost of pirates by 1 is pretty good. It’s like having a better Millhouse power if you are offered pirates.

Nat Pagle, Extreme Angler: I don’t know what a treasure chest does. I guess I could always check out reddit, since I got my answer to the digging for a golden minion. But, I’m just not in the mood right now.

The Tide Razor: These deathrattle fiesta cards are either good or bad, depending on what they pull. Right now, pirates aren’t strong enough to make this card any good, in my opinon.

Dread Admiral Eliza: Buffs are good, especially if they’re repeated. But, you’d have to be deep into pirates in order for this to pay off. I guess if you’re pulling a 6 star, you very well may be. Otherwise, this plus Megasaur with no murlocs and Nadina without dragons would be a huge whiff. I get that’s a single scenario, but I guarantee I’ll get it more than once with the luck I have

The Verdict

I don’t see anything in the Hearthstone Battlegrounds June 2020 update that makes me want to play pirates. They have a good early game, a decent midgame and then seem to fall off hard in the late game. I could be wrong. Often, I am. However, it still feels like murlocs, dragons, and even mechs are much stronger tribes. Granted, this is just the introduction of pirates and they have time to adjust or add new minions. See you on the Battlegrounds!

Note: All pictures taken from the official Hearthstone patch page. Please don’t sue me Blizzard. You’ve already taken enough money from my World of Warcraft habit and various pack bundles I’ve bought in Hearthstone.

Hearthstone Battlegrounds April 2020

Introduction

Welcome to Hearthstone Battlegrounds April 2020. I remember the first time I saw Battlegrounds. Heavily invested in Autochess at the time, I also tried Teamfight Tactics, but was not nearly as good at that one. The thing about TFT is that I thought I had found someone to play the game with, but it turned out to be a missed opportunity. And, so, I continued to get my autobattling fix from Autochess.

I happened upon Battlegrounds by accident, if memory serves. It might not. The last month has been deleterious to my overall mental state. Then again, I did just properly use the word “deleterious”. However, I had to look it up in the dictionary to check the spelling and definition. See, mental state deteriorating. I’m having a conversation with myself.

Please send help.

There was an invitational for streamers to show off the game mode. I said in chat that I might never play the other modes of Hearthstone again. Not that he cares, but I probably even texted something like that to Chris. While that isn’t strictly true, I’ve definitely put more hours into Battlegrounds than any other Hearthstone mode. As evidenced by the lack of content on the page. Follow the link and laugh. Let’s explore why.

The Decent

No Emotes/Chat: This isn’t exactly true. There are only picture emotes, but I can’t entirely figure out what they are supposed to mean. Even so, some players spam them endlessly. There is nothing that online gaming communities can’t corrupt.

Not even a Happy Cow.

Broken Heroes: If there’s one thing that Blizzard is known for, it is terrible balance in Hearthstone. I’m going to give my “notable cards review” for the new set on Thursday, so there will be plenty of time to discuss their latest attempts there. However, this tendency has also extended into Battlegrounds. First there was Tirion. Then, they tried to “fix” Millhouse and that didn’t quite go as intended.

The Good

Good Auto Battler: In spite of these two minor issues, the game is still a decent auto battler. It does what Blizzard games do. It takes a concept, wraps it in a Blizzard property, strip it down to it’s simplest terms, and probably make a boatload of money from it. I’m ashamed that I spent some money to get the “perks” on one of my accounts.

Being in Quarantine, I have nothing else to spend money on. As I said, please send help.

Limited Tribal Strategy: Speaking of simplest terms, there isn’t much strategy to combining tribes like in other games. Some cards buff certain tribes, but that’s the only real synergy. Like, you don’t get extra attack or defense or anything like you do in other battlers. That makes for one of those “easy to learn, hard to master (not really)” games that Blizzard likes to tout.

The Great

Unique Hero Powers: One of the things that sold me on Hearthstone initially is that each hero has a unique power that they can use if they can afford to pay the mana for it. This adds a new dimension to card games. It also accomplishes the task of feeling like “at least I get to do something each turn” that Blizzard uses as justification for them.

Being able to do something every turn isn’t always a good thing.

Quick to Update: I thought that this game mode might have ended up just being another forgotten mode. Arena isn’t quite that, but Wild certainly is. In actuality, Blizzard has put a lot into the game mode. They regularly add new heroes, rotate out content, and even updated with a whole new tribe. A game mode that could quickly become boring becomes boring less quickly.

The Verdict (Hearthstone Battlegrounds April 2020 Is a Fun Diversion)

This game isn’t perfect. I feel like that’s my opening statement for most of these summaries. It’s perfect because it is almost always true. However, it has been a fun diversion. It’s kept me busy through much of this quarantine. If you’re looking for a different sort of game over the next few months, I’d say give this one a try. Unlike other games, you don’t have to pay anything to get started.