In comparison to past years, the new expansion pack has forced the Hearthstone community to show more disdain for the game’s card distribution mechanics.
For a free-to-play collectible card game, Hearthstone features a fairly expensive model that involves either a tremendous amount of grinding or paying large sums of money. The rarity and high crafting cost of Legendary cards makes it challenging for players, especially newcomers, to forge their decks.
To clarify on this, I personally unlocked 75 Journey to Un’Goro card packs and received just three Legendary cards. There were a dozen or so duplicates that had to be disenchanted in the end. The same complaint was heard from others in the Hearthstone community as well when the new expansion released earlier this month. According to Blizzard, everything is working as intended.
Many from the community have continuously pointed out how other free-to-play collectible card games are more lenient in this regard. Taking a look at Gwent: The Witcher Card Game from CD Projekt RED, it becomes even more evident that there are ways for Blizzard to reduce the frustration brought about in Hearthstone by its card distribution process.
In Hearthstone, each card pack unlocks five random cards that have the chance to be of common, rare, epic, or legendary quality. While Blizzard guarantees that each pack will contain at least one card of rare quality, there is no guarantee that it cannot be a duplicate. Also, the immense low probability of getting Legendary cards makes this even more maddening.
The card distribution process, however, is completely different in Gwent. Each card pack similarly unlocks five random cards, of which four are of low rarity. The difference comes with the fifth and last card. Here, players are presented with the option of choosing one from three rare or better cards.
This way, players are less likely to receive a duplicate card or those they are not interested in. Having the option to choose does not remove the random factor, but surely makes it healthier when it comes to unpacking card packs.
“We have our own thoughts about card games in general, and we felt this innovation would reduce the frustration you sometimes get if you get all the cards you don’t want to have,” said Gwent’s principle narrative designer Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz at the time, and how right he was.
Blizzard needs to take a page from Gwent and change how its card distribution works.