I like to play games. And one of the games that I really like to play is Hearthstone. Due to some memory issues of the iPad, I took an unwilling hiatus from the game but with the recent updates I have been able to play again. One of the reasons that I like the game so much is that it has a balance in it that doesn’t require you to pay for or grind for cards to be competitive. It is really the anti-thesis of a game like Magic the Gathering.
Currently I am working my way up the ranking system in the game using the Mage deck shown to the left. Despite there being two mini-sets and a full set of cards released since the last time I played, I am playing quite competitively with a deck made up of cards from the initial release. The deck is quite solid, has responses for most of the threats that you see in the game and can deliver a considerable amount of damage. Using it I am undefeated in the last five matches (a bloody miracle for me) and perilously bored.
The deck almost plays itself. Which, I suspect, is a testament to the thought that went into designing it. Not that I did the design. I tweaked it a touch to fit the cards that I have in my collection but most of the hard work was done by some anonymous person online. The decks I design are different. And by different I mean “fun”. Fun for me and certainly aimed at having a theme, building a combo or just being goofy like including all the minions in the game that deliver random damage.
And so while the decks I build deliver some amusing games for me (see below), they don’t win consistently. Certainly not consistent enough to work through the Hearthstone rankings. And yet I enjoy those games a lot more than I am currently enjoying my “win streak”.
This isn’t exactly news for me. I have known for some time that I am not an overly competitive gamer and that my focus has always been on having fun and not necessarily on winning. What is interesting though is just how little enjoyment I get from just winning. Beating an opponent is certainly fun and it’s not as if I am a glutton for punishment who just likes to lose. The magic point for me seems to be creating a win from an uncertain series of parts. Building a victory but with tools that I like as opposed to putting together a list whose only aim is to win.