This afternoon, Blizzard pushed a holiday sale live on the Battle.net shop which has discounts available across the whole store.
Hearthstone's "sale" isn't exactly that.
The Landing Page
Upon visiting the landing page for the sale you'll find some bright green text that showcases there are deals up to 65% off. "Wow, that's great!" You think as you begin to scroll down the page. Call of Duty discounts, cheaper Shadowlands Character Boosts, and then some gift ideas that aren't really discounted. "That's interesting that they'd promote non-discounted items."
Scrolling further down the page we arrive at Hearthstone. What does the Innkeeper have in store for us today?
We've got three "deals".
The first deal is "5 Packs + 500 Gold". Okay, free stuff is solid, you definitely can't beat that! That's great and all, but we can. This wasn't crafted as a holiday bonus, this was Blizzard's apology for their Battle Pass mistakes. Admittedly, they may have just announced this early because they wanted players to feel happier about the state of the game, but it feels disingenuous to put this on their holiday deals page when there is nothing actually discounted.
In this update, we will be adjusting or removing quests that players have let us know are too difficult to complete, reducing the amount of XP required to complete the 50-level rewards track by nearly 20%, adding two gold rewards on the track, and redesigning the bonus levels after level 50. We’re also planning a one-time log-in reward of 5 Darkmoon Faire packs and 500 Gold beginning on December 15th, which will be available until January 18th.
Moving on to the second "deal", we've got the Tavern Pass. Cruddy naming aside, because Blizzard reused the same name from the Battlegrounds perks purchase, this isn't discounted.
Our third deal is Battlegrounds Perks. Now, this may not be advertised as a discount via their pretty green text, but it is, sort of. When Battlegrounds perks came out at the start of the expansion, it originally would set you back $20 ($25 CAD) and it is now half the price. The problem with this logic of it being a part of holiday discounts is that we saw this reduced earlier in the week with the patch. In the past, once a certain Battlegrounds season has been out for an "amount of time", Blizzard has done a 50% discount on the price to entice players to still purchase it to access stats and additional hero choices for the remainder of the season. With this discount going to last until the next expansion, can we really call it a holiday deal? According to an official blog, you can.
Hearthstone: From now until January, get a one-time gift of 5 Darkmoon Packs and 500 gold for free when you log into the game. We’re also discounting Battlegrounds perks, so there’s never been a better time to pull up a chair by the hearth for a few games between friends.
Hearthstone isn't a game that really gets discounts like the other Blizzard titles, instead opting to do special bundles. Well, there's my question: Where is the holiday bundle?
Back in 2015, we had a round of Winter Veil Savings that gave us 50 Classic packs for $50 (Normally you'd get 40). At that point in time, getting a chunk of Classic packs like that was still nice so the cheaper pricing was a welcome sight. Here are the other holiday bundles we have seen from Blizzard over the years.
Winter Veil 2018 - $20
- 30x Packs (6 each of BDP, WW, K&C, KFT, JTU)
Winter Veil 2019 - $25
- 1x Dame Hazelbark Hero
- 1x Dame Hazelbark Card Back
- 30x Packs (6 each of WW, BDP, RR, ROS, SOU)
Although there were a couple of years where we didn't get deals, it looked like this was going to be a thing again. Nope, no bundle for 2020.
With the Duels mode recently being added to the game, this was the perfect time to incentivize players to hop on in and purchase some card packs containing cards from the current duels rotation. Two of the active sets are adventures (Kara and Naxx), but that wouldn't stop Blizzard from offering up Scholomance, Old Gods, and Darkmoon Faire packs in a bundle. Not even asking for a hero here, just a good deal on some packs for people!
Maybe there's a rule against wanting to include the recent Standard set alongside wild packs because it might confuse players. Silly yet understandable, after all, it wasn't until we got the new shop late last year that Wild packs returned to the in-game interface. In that case, would it really hurt the game too much to put a small discount on card packs? The absurd price of getting into Hearthstone aside, a 5% or 10% discount on packs would be welcomed by many and it would allow newer players to build out their collections from both older and newer sets.
It feels a bit silly to complain about the lack of ways to spend money on Hearthstone, but all the other titles on Battle.net received deals.
- World of Warcraft has toys, pets, mounts, digital deluxe editions, and more discounted.
- Overwatch has a 50% discount on the limited edition and 25% off standard.
- Diablo III has discounts on everything.
- StarCraft II has a bunch of discounts, not everything, but more than Hearthstone.
- StarCraft Remastered is discounted.
- Heroes of the Storm has hero discounts in-game.
- Call of Duty, a game that released last month, is on sale.
Warcraft III: Reforged doesn't have any deals, though that might be because the game still has plenty of problems and by not discounting it, Blizzard resists more negative press on it. Is Hearthstone really as bad as Warcraft III: Reforged?
Don't let my opinion get you down though; It's great to see the rewards track improvements, the recent Battlegrounds update has been plenty of fun (C'Thun my friend!), and Darkmoon Faire was an exciting end to a solid year of Hearthstone. Next year should be even better with changes coming to the Classic and Basic sets, which is certainly going to be awesome, and we've still got another new game mode coming before the end of the Year of the Phoenix.
What do you think? Did Blizzard drop the ball by not offering a holiday deal in the shop? I'd love to hear what you have to say in the comments below.