the new player experience

United in Stormwind
  • Pezman's Avatar
    Pirate King 2005 1651 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 8 months, 3 weeks ago

    Blizzard often talks about improving the "new player experience" but do they ever do anything?

    My daughter (11) recently got back into the game after a couple years absence. She has a very small collection and not much dust or gold to improve it. At Bronze 10, we face Questline Hunter and Questline Warlock, both using all the top-tier epics and legendaries (like Flesh Giant, still an abomination of a card after the nerf). The best way to grow your collection (while staying F2P) is to earn XP, like that juicy 2500 each week for 5 ranked wins. This goal is literally impossible when you're facing these top tier Questline decks. What are these players doing at Bronze 10?!?!?! How is a new player supposed to get a toe-hold in this game?

    "Be excellent to each other." -Bill and Ted

    2
  • dapperdog's Avatar
    Dragon Scholar 1590 3868 Posts Joined 07/29/2019
    Posted 8 months, 3 weeks ago

    Currently, and quite rarely enough, the best decks are also quite cheap dustwise. You can get one of the best handlock or questlock deck right now in standard for as little as 5k dust and if you have the rares and commons its just the legendary and 2x Flesh Giants and you're good. Even quest hunter, quest shaman or face hunter can be easily gotten with just about 5k dust or less. Elemental shaman is practically free, all things considered, since the most expensive card there is Lilypad Lurker, which is completely optional in my opinion.

    Just asking, since your daughter is back after 2 years, doesn't she get like a free deck or something? Could've just chosen the warlock quest deck and get The Demon Seed for free and be duking it out to at least gold level in 10 days before month end.

    Not that Im defending blizzard for what the meta is currently, but fact is that the best deck is quite cheap compared to what we're seeing the barrens, where good decks are 2 legendaries minimum of which without is basically a tier 4 deck.

    3
  • AngryShuckie's Avatar
    1595 1562 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 8 months, 3 weeks ago

    Since you can't lose stars at Bronze ranks, new/returning players really ought to be protected from the meta, especially this far into a month, so I'm not sure where things are failing there. On paper there should be an awful lot in favour of new/returning players now. Off the top of my head, the relevant changes are:

    • The Core set exists and is completely free for everyone, and is a vast improvement over the the outdated and smaller Basic set.
    • They are given a choice of reasonably competitive decks to get completely for free.
      • I thought you only had to be gone for 4 months (= 1 expansion cycle) to get this, but please correct me if I misremembered.
    • The new ranking system matches players by MMR until they run out of bonus stars, so you should always be against someone reasonably similar in ability.
      • There are of course caveats. I myself have slipped from a Legend player to only getting enough bonus stars to reach Gold rank in Standard since the Barrens started, because I haven't had much desire to be embedded right in the meta. So I'm really playing against 'worse' players than I really should be, but that does get balanced by me playing far-from-meta decks.
    • There are a whole 40 ranks (the Apprentice League, see https://hearthstone.fandom.com/wiki/Ranked#New_Player_Ranks) only accessible to new players. These not only ensure new players spend a long time before being thrown in with everyone else, but they also offer quite a lot of rewards, way more than I ever got back in 2014.
    • The Rewards Track is front-loaded with value for small amounts of XP, and thankfully XP doesn't require you to win games. A few daily and weekly quests do, but the vast majority don't and they can all be re-rolled.
      • I appreciate it is optimal to do the default "Get 5 wins in ranked" quest...

    All of those changes happened in the last year or so, so it is clear there have been genuine efforts to improve the new player experience. That isn't a statement on the experience being good, only that it has improved. No one thinks it is perfect, and I expect everyone wants it to improve further, so I guess the question is what would you suggest?

    4
  • HuntardHuntard's Avatar
    Mailbox Dancer 815 605 Posts Joined 12/03/2019
    Posted 8 months, 3 weeks ago

    Trump did a F2P run a few expansions ago, and is doing one now. It seems to take him about two weeks to get a couple of meta decks. I believe it took him a month to hit Legend? Either way, I imagine the more "game sense" you have, the easier it is to complete these quests with bad decks and get into the meta faster. New and returning players will not have this "'game sense" and therefore struggle more.

    Your face is already dead

    1
  • meisterz39's Avatar
    915 1199 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 8 months, 3 weeks ago

    Unfortunately, if you like to play CCGs so you can run slower, board-centric or control decks, you're just not going to find a home in this metagame. But there are several very cheap aggro options that you could play to beat the Warlock decks (Aggro Shaman and Face Hunter each cost about 1200 dust), and you can spend this time gaining gold and dust so that whenever the next nerfs come through to sort things out, you'd be able to build a deck you like better.

    Also, I know for a lot of players (myself included) it feels bad dusting old cards, but if your daughter's account had a collection a couple of years ago that has all rotated out to Wild, those could be dusted to build more expensive decks for Standard.

    2
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