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
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?
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.