Dienstag, 21. Februar 2017

Playing without a full deck (14) - Mammoth announcements

Blizzard recently announced a number of things related to the upcoming Year of the Mammoth (AKA the time after Reno).

In this article I want to take a look... er... I wanna put down my thoughts. On it. I'll be dealing with the following points in particular:

1) Lost Secrets of Un'Goro
2) Hall of Fame
3) The end of Adventures
4) Login-Rewards
5) Maiev Shadowsong

See you after the break!
Lost Secrets of Un'goro
This is actually the "old news" part - a voice actress had listed a hitherto unknown HS expansion in her resumee along with the cards she did do voice acting for. The information has been removed since (as if that's any help nowadays, when will people finally learn?), but we do know the first expansion of 2017 will be named Lost Secrets of Un'Goro, and just like Un'Goro crater in WoW, it'll be about Dinosaurs. And the Hunter class. If experience taught us anything, the Hunter, who is now at the bottom of the class barrel will become OP - or so it would seem. He'll be more likely get one (1) easily playable deck, and probably the only beast deck that's anywhere close to working (No, Blizzard, it doesn't work with Druid. Or rather, it would, but you created Jade Druid which is strictly better).
I want to be wrong here, though.

Hall of Fame
Creativity is stymied by classic cards overshadowing new releases, they say. That can be read a number of ways: 1) That's a legitimately bad thing for the game, 2) That's a bad thing for us since the players don't need to spend their precious money on the expansion, 3) That's a bad thing for our ideas/so-called creativity which we like to spoon-feed the players, since they don't latch on while we allow them these cards.
Whichever of these it is in the end doesn't quite matter. Before, cards were merely nerfed (sometimes more into the ground than at other times), but when it comes to Ragnaros, Sylvanas, Azure Drake, Ice Lance, Conceal and Power Overwhelming, nerfs weren't gonna do it. They just straight get cut from the game (although to be fair - nerfed cards were also effectively cut from the game) and put into the "Hall of Fame" set, which is playable only in Wild Mode, which they apparently now seek to actually support instead of simply using it as a dumping ground.
I was ready to rage as hard as I never raged before - after all, the neutral cards were my top priority to craft, and I had painstakingly done so - and then they announced they'd just give us the full dust, and let us keep the cards for Wild. Okay, I can live with that. It means that Rag and Sylv will cycle into other legendaries (Thalnos and Cairne, maybe, or Finja, or sth else entirely from the new set), and the others will plug holes in my classic collection (I still don't own a single copy of Unleash the Hounds for example).
It is an okay deal.

The end of Adventures
This may be more of me OMYAC*ing, but I think this is a shitty cash grab from their side. Just because people only have to pay a fixed sum of money to get all cards, or work two months at max to get the necessary gold through daily quests. It's obvious that you can reap so much more with another 130 card Expansion.
On the flip side, they want to use the Solo Adventures to let players explore the story behind the set, which is a very cool idea (and would've been perfect for Gadgetzan). As for predictions - we know it'll come with the second and third expansion (and probably with the ones following it) in 2017. We know there won't be any free cards in all likelihood. I suppose there'll still be heroic mode, maybe even challenges, and probably cardbacks to be won. They'll probably be not as long as the adventures, though that will depend on how much leeway their own interface gives them. I'd guess somewhere around nine missions is plausible.

Login Rewards
In order to ease over the transition *cough*, Blizzard promises daily login rewards, says they'll happen in the weeks before the new expansion. If my math doesn't fail me (and I dropped the subject before A-Levels), then this means the whole of March, that is the whole time after the next patch at the end of February. As for rewards, they promise Dust, Gold, and Packs (Gold being the least interesting of those), though there is no word on how much of that we'll get. They'll give us more information in due time (I suppose end of February) and there'll be something else too, which they still need to tell us about.

Maiev Shadowsong
As a final  "gift", everyone will receive an alternative hero skin for Rogue, Maiev Shadowsong (i.e. the  angry Nightelf that safeguarded Illidan until he was freed while she was on potty break). All you have to do is win ten games in standard mode... which is basically the same as just handing it out to everybody. I like the look of the hero and was looking forward to a new Rogue hero anyway, and that it comes at so low a price is nice bonus. The only downside will be the skins proliferation, because everyone will have it, and my machine will only show me a black spot when there should be a golden or special hero.

Summary:
I remain to be excited. I'm not crying dooooooom or such, but while what they're planning doesn't sound bad, there's no hype train taking off. A good number of things can be expected to be done by them for us, and I'm not acting all entitled by saying that. Just cutting cards and adventures with only the promise of new expansions and no other compensation would've been... very bad form.
I just hope LSoU can paint the meta out of the corner MSoG painted it into.

And that's all. Writing these is fun.

Thanks for reading, and remember:
It's all fun and games until sb runs out of cards!

*OMYAC - Old Man Yelling At Cloud