Hearthstone is a game that appeals to many types of audiences, from the casual player who just likes to play a fun game, to the more invested players, the kind that play every day, watch streamers, and go on Reddit to try and get the most out of their experience. I think that is perfectly fine, and is a good thing for the game, that is, if Blizzard can keep both audiences engaged.
One of the major problems with this game is there isn't a motivation for grinding, in WoW, the players who play hours on end every day are rewarded with better items, higher levels, and visual upgrades, allowing them to have something to aim for. In hearthstone, the only reward you get for playing every day is enough gold for one, maybe two packs per day, gold heroes at 500 wins and a golden epic every month.
Here's the problem, people want to play this game, but they have no incentive. If you already have golden heroes and are rank 5 or higher, you literally have nothing to aim towards except gold. The "secret achievements" are either done within a week of starting, or rewards that will almost never be completed and when they are, aren't nearly enough of a reward (one of every classic card = 100 gold)
The question then arises, how do we fix this? Its honestly pretty easy, add long term goals and better rewards for people who play alot. With a menu to track your progress. Deal 100,000 damage? Get a free golden leeroy. Did you manage to play 1,000 elementals? New alternate hero skin!
They can be as difficult as you want, just something stupidly difficult so the people like me who play way more than I need to and buy every preorder have a motivation to play. They don't even have to be cards, if Blizzard wants, the rewards can all be cosmetic, just make them actually worth getting. If it's a card back, give it an epic animation like a Temporus cardback with a rotating sand dial for hitting the turn timer 150 times. And it doesn't have to be a card back, you could unlock new boards, alternative heroes, maybe even pets that hang out in the corner on the board so you can flex to your opponent that you've managed to play 2,500 beasts.
This system would give people an incentive to play, just cause they have a set goal to go towards, however, I understand that eventually, even these quests would be completed, and the community as always will be asking for more, which is why I have one other suggestion, Monthly/weekly achievements.
We get daily quests, but after completing that, all you have left is 10 gold per 3 wins and ladder rewards, that's why my last recommendation would be implementing monthly/ weekly quests. These quests would function like a Midway point between a casual and competitive player, something you could complete by playing just a few days a week, but that promotes players to open the game more than once a month for an event or new expansion.
These quests could promote using new strategies and cards and could even be used as a way for blizzard to change the meta without using nerfs. Want to slow down the meta? Have the quest be to win 25 games with a deck that has a total Mana cost of at least 100. Want people to stop using baku and genn so much? This week's quest is to win 5 games with a deck using 3 cards of each mana cost from 1-10. Again the rewards could be anything from cards that fit the theme of the challenge, to cosmetics, to gold/dust/packs. Just give people a reason to play.
The goal would be to have the long term quests be something you already do, just make it extremely high values to reach to promote grinders, while the monthly/weekly quests would promote building new decks and trying new things on ladder, in a way that is accessible to anyone who plays somewhat regularly. Making goals incentivises players to play, and this is a change that would refresh the game longer and more effectively than any Nerf or new set.
I doubt blizzard will see this, or listen to some random person on the internet acting like they know game design better than a company, but checkpoints are something that promote playing the game often and the more active you are, the more likely you are to invest in a f2p game, but that's just my 2 cents.
TL DR: Adding weekly/monthly quests as well as long term trackable achievements would reinvigorate the game and promote players of all levels to play more, as well as giving Blizzard another medium to shift the meta besides nerfs and expansions
Thank you for taking your time to read this and please leave any comments, concerns and ideas for potential quests they could use in the comments, I had plenty of ideas for them that I didn't use as examples and would love to hear more
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© Post "Rewarding Players in the Long Term" for game HearthStone.
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