WoW TCG, Hearthstone, and Why They Aren’t the Same

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I know I am not the only person still waiting on a Hearthstone beta key (HIYA, SYPSTER), but I can’t deny that it feels as though I am. Everyone is thoroughly involved in the game, and I’m excited to try it for myself. 

As a matter of fact, despite never having played any kind of CCG, I was excited the minute it was announced–well, actually, the minute after the gameplay demonstration began. 

However, as excited as I am for Hearthstone, I have to be honest: I’m sad that the WoW TCG is ending. It seems likely that Hearthstone’s beta release and the announcement of the TCG ending aren’t unrelated, but the truth is, the two are not the same in design (obviously) or in experience.

My Experience with the WoW TCG

WoW TCG

When the WoW TCG first came out, I thought it sounded cool. I convinced my husband to buy us a couple of starter decks and we played around with it for a little while. Not long into it, though; other things came up and we just stopped. 

Then, about a month ago, my husband and I had a conversation about how we needed to find something we could do together since he doesn’t play WoW much anymore. The next day, he came home with a couple of WoW TCG Booster Packs he had picked up from a local game store (shoutout to Firefly Toys & Games, one of the coolest places we never knew existed). 

We dug out our old starter decks, found all of the boosters we’d left in the Collector’s Edition boxes, and started building. As soon as we started playing, I got hooked. It helped that I won the first 4 or 5 games, I’m sure, but now I don’t care (much) if I lose, I really enjoy playing. 

The Difference to Me

There’s something special about sitting down and playing a game hands-on, face-to-face with another person or group of people. A CCG, even played against people you know, just isn’t the same experience.

I’m not saying that it’s worse (or better!), but I am saying it’s different. I like both. 

This, however; is the reason I’m sad about the WoW TCG. Thankfully, for us the game will continue on for a good while. We’ve barely scratched the surface. There are so many cards we haven’t seen, heroes we haven’t played, and decks we haven’t built that we have a lot to experience before we’ve seen it all. 

Knowing that it’s ending is a little bittersweet. I’ve discovered something with new eyes only to learn that it’s dying. 

What About the Other TCG’s Out There?

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The first thing I’d expect someone to say about this is, “Well, there are lots of other TCG’s out there!” And that’s definitely true–we’ve picked up a Magic: The Gathering starter and a couple of boosters and played it a few times.

We were talking about this the other day in the car, and we acknowledged that if we wanted to play TCG’s that are current and continuing, that we would have to look at something else.

Ultimately, though; we decided to stick with the WoW TCG until it’s run its course for us. Why? 

I think my husband hit the nail on the head. He said, “I like the WoW one because I feel like I relate to it better. These characters and abilities are familiar. When I see my rogue hero on that card, I know what a goblin rogue is. I know what it does. It’s more real to me.”

We like the WoW TCG simply because it’s Warcraft. We’ve been in and out of Azeroth for a combined 15 years; this is familiar territory to us, and it’s fun to see something that is, in it’s own way, a big part of our life in a new way.

Ultimately, I’m excited for Hearthstone and can’t wait to play, but knowing that it sounds the death knell for the WoW TCG is bittersweet.

 

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “WoW TCG, Hearthstone, and Why They Aren’t the Same

  1. I’m also sad that the WoW TCG is coming to an end. My husband and I found that after quitting Magic when our son was born 4 years ago, that we are now hopelessly behind on legal cards, etc. It was just easier to grab a WoW starter deck and a few (super cheap) boosters than it was to drop hundreds of dollars on boxes of cards to get up to speed.

    Personally, I am a massive fan of the way the WoW TCG handles resources. No such thing as being mana starved in the WoW game! Not to mention that we’re talking 10+ years of cards with special rules in Magic, and that is super daunting to a new player, imo.

    TL;DR – I am also sad to see it go. It’s a super fun game that deserves more love than it gets.

    • battlechicken

      Yeah, I did notice that from the few times we played Magic. I can sacrifice an ability or ally I don’t really need for the resource in WoW, that’s a really nice option and encourages some seriously critical thinking. After all, what if you sacrifice something only to need it 2 turns from now?

      I wish I’d been turned onto it a year or two ago, so I could have seen more of it before now.

  2. I love the game. I play it with my kids all the time. But I just don’t think it had the draw of some other games. Talking to a number of game store owners in my area, it seems that most of the time the cards were sold for the loot cards, which was never really a draw to me personally; it was just a fun perk if I got one.

    And totally agree with your husband’s feeling of the game.

    Time to head off to Target to pick up the last booster packs they have on the shelves.

    • battlechicken

      Apparently it was really popular around here about 2 years ago, but since then it’s dwindled a lot. They report the same thing, that in the past year it’s been mostly people buying boosters for loot cards.

      I think we’re going to make a run to Firefly and pick up what we can. They were supposed to be getting some class decks in; they’ll send us an email when they do so we can snatch those up.

  3. Pingback: This Open Thread Has Me Packing | Mama Needs Mana

  4. You can play for free, but it sure is a whole lot faster and easier to be able to play with the non-basic cards that you can only get from booster packs. My win percentage in Ranked mode went from about 20% to 72% (tracked the first 100 matches – and I won 72 of them) after I bought 40 booster packs.

    I’ve been in the Hearthstone Beta since Day One and I’ve written an article about how to unlock packs and grind gold as a beginner. I hope it helps new players to get on the right path to be efficient and not waste time and effort like I did originally when I went blindly into the beta.

    Check out the full article here:

    http://coldsgoldfactory.blogspot.com/2013/09/Hearthstone-Beta-Gold-Grinding.html

    My biggest complain about Hearthstone is that it is a CCG and not a TCG, becuase once you pay money in, it’s gone. All you get is boosters or arena entries and you have no way to cash out once you quit playing the game. :(

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