Game Design Lessons HS could learn from LoR

  • CursedParrot's Avatar 560 675 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 9 months, 1 week ago

    Hi, I just wanted to make this thread to discuss how HS could potentially learn from the innovations that LoR introduced and make the game better. Of course, HS is very unlikely to change any of its core gameplay even if it would be an improvement (due to it confusing new and returning players) but I think it could be an interesting thought experiment. Alternatively, this could be a new game mode!

    1. Spell Mana: In LoR up to 3 of your unspent Mana can be kept as Spell Mana, which you can only spend on spells. HS could just directly implement Spell Mana, but I think it'd be more fitting for how HS works to make it so that any unspent Mana you have at the end of the turn reduces the cost of your next Hero Power by that much. This would allow players to play off-curve more often and might occasionally lead people to purposefully not spend Mana to save it for their next Hero Power. Additionally, it would make Inspire cards more interesting and viable.

    2. Rounds instead of turns: In LoR, players also gain Mana at the start of their opponent's turn, and whenever a player plays a card the other player may play a card in response. One player has all the odd Mana turns and the other player has all the even Mana turns. HS could have a similar version of this, where whenever a player plays a minion their opponent gets initiative. Spells and minions would still resolve immediately, but with initiative swapping the opponent would still have the chance to react. For example, if your opponent plays a charge minion you could play a Taunt minion in response, or destroy the charge minion with a spell. Attacking would still work like normal and not swap initiative, which would encourage players to attack at the start of their turn. The advantage of this system is that it allows for counterplay and is a lot more engaging. It also eliminates the advantage for the first player.

     

    What do you all think about these changes? Would this work in regular HS, or would it be better as a new mode? 

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  • sinti's Avatar Global Moderator Barrens Sleuth 1830 2239 Posts Joined 10/20/2018
    Posted 9 months, 1 week ago

    Honestly, i dont think Spell Mana would work for Hearthstone, would create HUGE balance issues. There would have to be a whole overhaul, not really worth it, and certainly not something they would be willing to do imho.

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  • CursedParrot's Avatar 560 675 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 9 months, 1 week ago

    Well that's why I suggested that unspent mana reduces the cost of your next hero power instead. The Hero Power is usually pretty insignificant so it wouldn't enable many combos and only really affect Inspire cards.

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  • KANSAS's Avatar Old God Fanatic 1715 2711 Posts Joined 03/25/2019
    Posted 9 months, 1 week ago

    I don't like either of these changes.

    Spell Mana wouldn't work because the spells in Hearthstone have been balanced around how the mana works right now. If we added Spell Mana, then we would see an overwhelming number of nerfs to spells that are now too easy to cast. I think it is a very interesting mechanic and it is one of my favorite things about Legends of Runeterra, but it isn't something you can dump onto a game after it has been around for 6 years.

    While Spell Mana is a fun and interesting mechanic, I really hate the turn-swapping thing in Runeterra. When it is my turn, I want to play my cards. I don't want to have to wait for my opponent to do things in the middle of my actions. It makes the game play very slow (one of Hearthstone main attractions is how quick and easy it is to play). I can see why some people would like it because it makes the game more 'interactive' or 'strategic', but I think in reality it just makes it super hard to execute a good play. Interaction sounds like a lot of fun until your opponent kills or counters everything you play. And a ton of strategy sounds like it would make the game really fun until the game becomes so complex that it is impossible to find the right play. (I don't have anything against interaction and strategy, but if it goes to far it can make the game less fun).

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  • CursedParrot's Avatar 560 675 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 9 months, 1 week ago

    As I said before, Hero Power mana seems better than spell mana. Also, I agree that the swapping can be annoying, which is why I would suggest that spells, Hero Powers, and minion attacks be burst speed (resolve immediately and don’t pass initiative), and that only playing a minion swaps initiative. This would also help to make spells different than minions. I understand that HS is different than LoR and MtG, it’s intended to be casual and fun and not take too much thought (which I’m not saying is a bad thing), but I think it would be a much more compelling game if it had interactivity beyond just Secrets. That’s why this would probably be better as a separate game mode for players who want more interactivity. Thanks for your feedback!

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  • Suffrin's Avatar 210 2 Posts Joined 03/27/2019
    Posted 9 months, 1 week ago

    Sooo.... you want Hearthstone to be LoR? Seems much easier to just play LoR

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  • CursedParrot's Avatar 560 675 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 9 months, 1 week ago

    Huh. I think you’re right. Making HS more complex would kind of defeat the point of it because then HS would just be a worse version of other complex card games, whereas right now it’s the best simple card game. Thanks for the insight!

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  • Live4vrRdieTryn's Avatar 350 417 Posts Joined 07/14/2019
    Posted 9 months, 1 week ago

    In my opinion LoR won’t last. It’s just another boring clone that feels stiff and isn’t really innovative. This is coming from a diehard LoL player (I just went 22/10 with Draven a few mins back!)

    Hearthstone streamlined MtG which feels boring and stiff as well to me now (Played it age 13-25). I had a little fun with Arena, but at the end of the day I felt I was playing Mario Brothers 1 when I could be playing Super Mario World.

    Not to be confused with a Tryndamere main. Marksmen like Samira.

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  • RavenSunHS's Avatar Refreshment Vendor 865 1477 Posts Joined 03/27/2019
    Posted 9 months, 1 week ago

    I think HS is better without those new mechanics, as they would make gameplay way more clunky, and they would be dubious as upgrades - more like sidegrades.

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  • griffior's Avatar 720 256 Posts Joined 05/31/2019
    Posted 9 months, 1 week ago
    Quote From CursedParrot

    Hi, I just wanted to make this thread to discuss how HS could potentially learn from the innovations that LoR introduced and make the game better. Of course, HS is very unlikely to change any of its core gameplay even if it would be an improvement (due to it confusing new and returning players) but I think it could be an interesting thought experiment. Alternatively, this could be a new game mode!

    1. Spell Mana: In LoR up to 3 of your unspent Mana can be kept as Spell Mana, which you can only spend on spells. HS could just directly implement Spell Mana, but I think it'd be more fitting for how HS works to make it so that any unspent Mana you have at the end of the turn reduces the cost of your next Hero Power by that much. This would allow players to play off-curve more often and might occasionally lead people to purposefully not spend Mana to save it for their next Hero Power. Additionally, it would make Inspire cards more interesting and viable.

    2. Rounds instead of turns: In LoR, players also gain Mana at the start of their opponent's turn, and whenever a player plays a card the other player may play a card in response. One player has all the odd Mana turns and the other player has all the even Mana turns. HS could have a similar version of this, where whenever a player plays a minion their opponent gets initiative. Spells and minions would still resolve immediately, but with initiative swapping the opponent would still have the chance to react. For example, if your opponent plays a charge minion you could play a Taunt minion in response, or destroy the charge minion with a spell. Attacking would still work like normal and not swap initiative, which would encourage players to attack at the start of their turn. The advantage of this system is that it allows for counterplay and is a lot more engaging. It also eliminates the advantage for the first player.

     

    What do you all think about these changes? Would this work in regular HS, or would it be better as a new mode? 

    1: As of a year ago when Saviors of Uldum launched, the "Unspent Mana" mechanic was first introduced for Druid. The mechanic does fine and shined when SoU launched since Quest druid was one of the top classes during that meta before the Doom in the Tomb event. With that being said, I think Druid should be the only class that uses this mechanic since the quest changes its hero power. Then you run into the issue of "How many unspent mana crystals count as one mana crystal discount"? It needs to be significant because a Warlock losing 2 HP to draw a card does not feel good to play against if the just didn't spend their last two mana on the previous turn. I miss inspire as a keyword, it's just too hard to balance without the cards being trash.

    2: Hearthstone is famous for its simplicity and its speed. It takes, on average for the average non-hyper pro streamer, around ten minutes to play a game of Hearthstone. I've played since Naxx, a ~10 minute game during commutes and downtime feels just as good then as it does now. I'm sure you've red the subreddit and I'm sure you've seen forum posts complaining about "Ropers" just burning the rope every turn. Imagine how horrible it would be for those players to lengthen a game even more if they had an opportunity to extend the game time every time you made a move. Just think on that one. One last thing on this paragraph, the player who goes first does not ALWAYS have the advantage.

    I understand that you want more complexity for Hearthstone. I do too, but you have to understand that it simply cannot do that.

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  • grayghost39's Avatar 240 31 Posts Joined 03/26/2020
    Posted 9 months, 1 week ago

    To echo others points, I think Hearthstone succeeds in it's simplicity. I think the challenge for the devs moving forward is going to be to try to find ways to make that simplicity still feel exciting. I think something like spell mana or hero power mana could be a keyword or mechanic that they introduce, but would probably be difficult to tack onto the game as is. Blizzard might have to be more bold about adding new mechanics to the game that persist past an expansion; that decision makes sense from a casual perspective but it makes each expansion feel very isolated and hinders synergies from existing across expansions. 

    LoR sits in a weird place. It is more complex than Hearthstone, but not as complex as MtG. If people want something more complex, wouldn't they just play Magic? I like LoR well enough, but it feels very generic. I found myself playing it for the dopamine hit of getting so much free stuff rather than actually enjoying the game. We'll see, at least it has the unique space of being "complex card game" on mobile, which MtG doesn't have. 

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  • sinti's Avatar Global Moderator Barrens Sleuth 1830 2239 Posts Joined 10/20/2018
    Posted 9 months, 1 week ago
    Quote From CursedParrot

    Well that's why I suggested that unspent mana reduces the cost of your next hero power instead. The Hero Power is usually pretty insignificant so it wouldn't enable many combos and only really affect Inspire cards.

    You might be underestimating what decks would this create, tho it could be very interesting to see :)

    Forged in the Barrens GuideCore Set 2021 - Year of the GryphonHearthstone Mercenaries
    ~ Have an idea? Found a bug? Let us know! ~
    ~ Join us on Discord ~

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