Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain

Tomorrow brings with it the release of the new adventure for Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain. The way adventures work in the game is you get a bunch of challenging AI opponents to play against that emulate different dungeons/raids from World of Warcraft. Beating the opponent gives you new cards to use in constructed, including some potentially awesome legendary cards. Loatheb and Kel'Thuzad came from the first adventure, for example, and those cards are in my current constructed deck! Along with some of the commons and rares from that adventure too. Owning that adventure isn't really optional when it comes to playing constructed and I suspect the same will be true of this one too.

So then the question is... How to buy it? There are 5 wings to the adventure and they're going to unlock one per week. You can pay 700 in game gold for a wing, or you can pay $7 for a wing, or you can pay $5 per wing for every wing you don't own. I think the $7 for one wing is a little silly. You have to buy them in order and you need them all if you want all the cards. So buying one wing at a time with cash feels just wrong. So the real question, assuming you have gold to spend, is if you'd want to spend $5 to get 700 gold or not. Personally I'm sitting on 2190 gold so I could buy 3 wings with gold easily. And it's certainly possible that in the next 3 weeks I'll make 700 gold to get the 4th one too... But I do need more classic cards, so spending gold on packs is a real thing I might want to do.

Assuming I was willing to spend $25 on packs, how many would I get? 40 packs would run me $50 so you'd think $25 would get 20. You get a bulk discount so I'd probably only actually get 18 or so, but whatever. Spending 3500 gold on packs would get me 35 packs. So if one was going to spend cash, spending it on the BRM adventure would be about twice as efficient as spending it on packs.

I do think this is a pretty sensible way for a 'free' game to make money. Sporadically put out extra content you can buy efficiently or can grind in game to earn. It makes it easier for someone like me to justify paying them some money without feeling too much like it's just a pay to win scheme. Though as a CCG it certainly still has aspects of that.

I bought Naxx because I didn't have any gold at all. I want more classic cards enough that I think if I was currently employed I'd have no qualms at all about plunking down the $25 for BRM. But I don't have a job, and I do have gold sitting around, and I certainly have constructed viable decks without buying more packs... So I'm going to spend the gold I have on BRM wings.

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