Login with Patreon
HearthstoneJan 25, 2021 10:00 am CT

Hearthstone changes up its monetization model by guaranteeing 66 cards with the Darkmoon Races Mini-Set

Many people would argue that Hearthstone an expensive game. Though it’s technically free to play, the game releases three expansions per year, and the most cost-effective way to acquire them (assuming you’re using real money for all the purchases, and not buying packs with Gold) is to pre-order the bundles. The pre-order value for each bundle is roughly $50. This adds up to about $150 a year to remain up to date with most of the new cards in the game as they get released. That’s rough.

Regardless, players have been screaming to the four winds that the game has gotten very expensive in recent years, and especially so since the revamp to the Reward Track made acquiring gold a little bit… different than how it used to be. Blizzard has already addressed those concerns, not once, but twice, and smart people who have done the math have found out that, for most players, the new track is actually offering more gold than it did before.

Whatever the case may be — whether you think that the gold is enough, or not — playing Hearthstone can be an expensive hobby. Almost as expensive as playing World of Warcraft: if you purchase the minimum version of the latest WoW expansion — $40 for an expansion that lasts two years, so $20 per year — and set up a 6-month subscription plan, in which each month will cost you $13, playing WoW costs you $176 a year — $26 more than Hearthstone.

So, it could be said that one year of Hearthstone costs $150, while one year of WoW costs $176 — but that comparison is not very fair, since those are two largely different game genres. Are both games expensive? Are Blizzard games in general too expensive? Well, that might be beside the point.

The point is that, when expressing their dissatisfaction with how hard it is to keep up with Hearthstone, players’ voices are being heard loud and clear, and Blizzard seems to be trying something new with its Darkmoon Races mini-set, which was recently released.

You pay the price, you get the cards — no randomness

For Darkmoon Races, once you make the purchase, you get the 66 cards — one copy of each Legendary, two copies of every other card in the mini-set. That’s it — no frills, no RNG, no strings attached. It’s almost as if Hearthstone isn’t a game about trying to complete your collection, but simply a game about playing decks of cards: the value is in building your decks and playing your games, not in opening packs and randomly building up your collection, at the whim of your luck (or lack thereof). You pay the price, you get the cards, you play the game: no waiting around.

This is, potentially, a game changer, and I see it as a very positive new monetization model for the game. The idea here is paying to play the game instead of playing to have a chance of getting the full game — but more realistically, getting several pieces and ending up with an incomplete game. What if your favorite class is Warlock, but within the 40 packs you pre-ordered, you simply don’t get all the cards needed to make the most competitive Warlock decks? That isn’t a problem here. If you purchase the Darkmoon Races mini-set, you are guaranteed to have every card that is included in it.

Which leads to the question: how will future sets look for Hearthstone? Will we see more mini-sets that use this format? Personally, I really hope so. I strongly feel like this is a much fairer model for the player. The only downside I can see to it is that of not having card packs to open — the act of opening booster packs itself is pretty fun, after all. But it’s a small price I’m willing to pay for the great benefit of simply getting the full value of my purchase of cards, and worrying only about making the decks and playing them. As it should always be.

Blizzard Watch is made possible by people like you.
Please consider supporting our Patreon!


Join the Discussion

Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our  commenting and community guidelines.

Toggle Dark Mode: