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Hearthstone - Pay to Win?

Registrations for the Telkom Do Gaming Hearthstone: Heroes of WarCraft League are still open with more than 150 individual entries so far.

Blizzard's competitive collectible card game offers players a blend of traditional TCG and WarCraft lore to produce one of the more pleasing online experiences but is your wallet the secret to success?

Pay-to-win is the concept that springs to mind and exists when there is no marginal way to be competitive without paying for a certain items, characters, or in this case, cards.

Lets break it down:

In Hearthstone, players collect cards by buying 'Expert card packs', which contain five random cards, one of which being rare or higher.

The player can buy these cards using in-game currency earned from daily quests, achievements and winning or they could opt to use the real money equivalent.

Regardless, apart from purchasing these card packs, there is no other way to earn additional cards as Blizzard has opted to avoid in-game trading and preserve the fragile Hearthstone ecosystem.

Players could choose to test themselves in the 'Arena' for 150 gold, whereby the player must build a deck from random cards in hopes of piecing together a string of victories which can be redeemed for more gold and cards later on.

Or players could craft their own cards by turning duplicates into dust which they can then use to make more powerful cards, otherwise lacking from your collection. The problem lies in that you have to destroy a lot of cards to build anything worthwhile and you only get more cards from buying more card packs.

Perhaps I should have mentioned that a single card pack costs 100 gold and that for every three wins (not three matches) in Hearthstone the player is rewarded with 10 gold.

This means that in order to make a 100 gold (after completing the daily quest), you'd have to win 30 matches. If each game takes you on average 10 minutes, that's five hours of play for one random pack of five cards.

In order to build a deck of thirty cards, you'd have to get 30 card packs which should add up to about 150 hours. Undoubtedly, most of those cards would be duplicates and you can't use more than two of the same card in constructed play.

While you might get away with a common deck, it takes the 'top' cards to compete with the 'top' players. So that's either 150 hours of play or more than $150?

The problem lies in an infinite cycle (one that can be avoided by spending real money or pay-to-win).

You need a good deck to win but you need to win to get a good deck.

Registrations for the Telkom Do Gaming Hearthstone: Heroes of WarCraft League close on Sunday, 19 January.

Players can register here.

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