Dateline Hearthstone: Was Naxxramas worth it?

(Note: I will put the TL:DR at the beginning because sometimes I can get wordy.)

TL:DR: No.

Let me start with a confession. I have a love/hate relationship with Hearthstone. I love the animations, card emotes, and connection to World of Warcraft, a game that I have spent way too much time playing. Seriously, while my /played isn’t as depressing as some of the people that I’ve met in game, for a married father of three children, I’ve spent a lifetime in that game. I hate the seemingly excessive random nature of many of the cards, the ridiculous amounts of copied decks that make the PvP environment boring, and the complete lack of a PvE environment that forces me to play against those boring net decks.

Blizzard has stated on several occasions (and reinforced that statement with their actions) that they don’t consider the randomness a problem and that they actually consider it to be part of the skill element of the game. Ooooooo-kay, then. However, they have tried to address the latter two complaints with their first “adventure” for the game, The Curse of Naxxramas. I will not argue whether or not they were successful with this post. Hunters are back, though, and “zoo” warlocks still run wild, so in my opinion, the answer to that is “no”, too.

The question that I’ve read and asked myself more is, “Was the expansion worth it?” I purchased the whole thing with gold saved by doing my daily quests, but Blizzard also gave the option of buying the whole thing for $19.99 with the first wing free (Blizzardsoon TM to be $24.99 and no free first wing) to unlock the whole thing or $6.99 for each wing.

So, what do you get for your hard earned cash? You get a four wing “adventure”, with 15 bosses in total, that is basically just a glorified version of their practice mode. You pick a boss to fight, pick a deck, the head boss of the adventure threatens you in the form of a terrible pun, you defeat the boss, and you get two versions of a new card. Defeating the last boss of each wing gets you a legendary card based on that final boss. A class “challenge”, which is a boss fight with a specific theme deck for each class, offers a special class card to collect. Finally, there is a heroic mode for each boss, that takes strategy or skill (or Hearthstone’s version of them-remember the statement above about randomness?) to defeat. Alas, no cards here, but slogging through this frustrations will net a card back to add to the “collection”.

None of the regular bosses take more than one try to defeat and the only class challenge that I found truly challenging was the Paladin one. Being the noob that I am, I net decked to defeat the heroic bosses. All in all, I got about an hour to maybe an hour and a half of new “content” plus the cards.

Admittedly, some of the cards are useful in a variety of decks and it can be fun to see how they affect old cards and decks, but again a majority of the decks being played are the latest flavor of the week and that’s boring for me. That isn’t necessarily Blizzards fault and not pertinent to my argument, but if you stopped playing because of a lack of variety, then there’s no reason to come back now. It may take a while-if it ever happens-for there to be the variety of cards available and playable that are in more established games.

Again, I paid gold that I received over a couple of months from simply playing the game to prove that filthy casuals like me don’t have to fork over the money to get the cards. Hell, I even dropped 2100 gold on packs about a month before release and still got everything without paying a penny. But, let’s face it. If you’re paying, you’re paying for the cards because the content sure as hell isn’t worth it. You get 30 new unique cards, that are all digital and completely the property of Blizzard even after the transaction, and maybe an hour and a half of playtime against brain dead AI. I don’t value money very much, but I can think of many other uses for your $24.99.

Pros: New cards.

Cons: New content is underwhelming, to say the least. Cards are digital and if Blizzard decides to shut down the servers, *poof!* goes your collection.

The Verdict: Be a filthy casual like me and do your dailies. You should be able to get the gold for each wing with a weeks worth of play time.

What do you think? Did you spend the money? Do you have any regrets?

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