Friday, December 4, 2015

How hard

I bought the latest Hearthstone adventure and have bashed all of the bosses of the first three wings with little difficulty.  I beat all or them with homebrew decks of my own, though I did get some ideas for Lord Slitherspear while trying to figure out his mechanics.  While I want to sort out my own answers I do like to know what the bosses actually do without having to just guess my way through.  (Slitherspear supposedly has a hero power to bash for +5 but he doesn't actually do that.  Not sure why there is so much misinformation everywhere, nor why his normal and heroic are so different.)

The thing I have noticed about The League of Explorers expansion is that the single player content is really easy compared to earlier adventures.  In most of my previous experience I needed multiple deck revisions and 4-10 tries to beat a heroic boss.  Sometimes I got lucky and won quickly, but a lot of them took an awful lot of head scratching to solve, and even with an optimal deck I had to try many times to get lucky enough to win.

This new adventure though feels like with an optimal deck I win half the time and with a mediocre deck with some incorrect choices I win a third of the time.  Rather than agonizing over specific choices and trying over and over I just put in a bunch of stuff that makes sense, make a couple mistakes, and win.

What I am pondering is if this is the right level of difficulty or not.  I definitely can't just use a default deck for these scenarios, and I have to think about what exactly I am trying to achieve.  Once I get that strong concept together and execute reasonably I just win.  On some of the older fights it seemed kinda silly because it was obvious that no deck could ever put together a reasonable win rate.  Against Nefarian the first I tried over and over and constantly died on turn five or six, and when I finally did win it was kind of ridiculous.  Nefarian got a Shadow Word:  Death from his special ability, which kills a minion of Attack 5 or higher.  He dropped a huge dude, cast SW:D, realized that his dude was the only 5 Attack minion, and blew up the dude he had just cast.  Turns out that the opponent using an entire turn to do nothing really helps you solidify your position!  (Also wow does the AI not understand some particular cards.)

Some part of me is bored that the Heroic bosses in the new expansion are so easy in comparison.  I don't want all my content to vanish in an hour!  However, I also think that when you build the right deck, play it expertly, and then just die over and over again until you get the perfect draw and/or the AI does something unbelievably stupid it isn't really accomplishing anything.  It isn't as though all of those games trying to squeeze out a win and getting stomped were teaching me a whole lot.

I find myself on the fence.  I like the idea that heroic bosses require a weird deck and odd strategies.  I like that they require thought and innovation.  But I can't seem to get a hold on whether or not I like them requiring tons and tons of reloading just to get the right RNG results to actually get a win.  That seems kind of pointless, and yet the increased difficulty really does make you savour that win when it finally comes.  Probably the best compromise is to have the majority of the bosses be beatable with only a couple tries with the right deck and strategy, but to have one final boss that is totally ridiculous.  That bridges the gap between people bashing their heads against the RNG wall for days while still giving something really unforgiving and brutal for the lunatics to try for.  If Blizzard agrees with me then next week I will have something extremely challenging to try as the last wing drops next Thursday.

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