How do you feel about play experimental modes and game-changing variations in your games?
My favorite mode to play in Hearthstone is Battlegrounds. While I’m not averse to playing Standard on occasion — or dipping into the weekly Tavern Brawl — for the most part if I’m playing Hearthstone, I’m playing BGs. There’s just something I enjoy about not having to worry about what cards I’ve collected or making sure I put a good deck together; instead it’s about strategy and of course a little luck in building up my team to defeat seven other players. I am feeling a little discontented, though, because I haven’t been able to play a normal BG in weeks now.
First the quest mechanic returned until the end of Season 4. Now with Season 5, there are Anomalies that changes how the game is played each time. While I understand that developers like to keep games fresh by throwing in new mechanics and events to keep players interested, sometimes it feels like the original fun of the game is being obscured behind shiny new toys. Don’t get me wrong: Anomalies and quests are still way more enjoyable than when Diablo is active, but sometimes I wish we could just play the game as is. Perhaps I’m just disgruntled because there was no break between quests and Anomalies, but I’m concerned that as time goes on there will be fewer opportunities to play the mode as originally intended.
Hearthstone isn’t the only franchise that likes to mix things up, of course. Diablo 3 and Diablo 4 both have game-changing elements in each of their respective Seasons, and Warcraft Classic just released dedicated servers to Hardcore Mode. The difference between these examples and Hearthstone BGs, though, is that the latter replaces the default mode entirely; most Seasons of Diablo players can ignore the new mechanics, and WoW Classic players can simply not roll a new character on a Hardcore realm. I don’t know if Hearthstone BGs are popular enough that they should have both “default” and “modified” iterations to play simultaneously, but if the team can make Twist distinct from the Standard they can do something similar for BGs. Heck, all they really need to do is add an additional Anomaly type that plays the original way — just call it Blessedly Normal.
But what do you think? Do you like it when games mix things up to keep them fresh? Do you prefer your experimental modes minor or dramatic? And how do you think developers should handle those of us who don’t need or want these new variations?
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