So I play a bit of Hearthstone. Not a ton. All my cards come from in-game winnings; I haven’t dropped RealCash™ on any decks. Hell, I barely know how to build a deck myself. The depth of my strategy is to make sure every class has some Taunt cards and try and put a shit ton of Beast minions in my Hunter’s deck. I’ve been ranked, like, at a one-star Argent Squire on the ladder. For the past five months. I am the definition of a casual player.
So when Blizzard announced the Naxxramas expansion/campaign/comedy improv hour/whatever — I figured it would be focused more for the hard-core deck-addict investment players. You know, people who actually know what a “nine mana Warlock board clear combo potential” means. Or if such a thing even exists. “It’s Blizzard,” I thought, “They roll out huge raids in WoW patches for the end-game guilds and then give the rest of us, like, five new cooking recipies and another holiday event questline.”
(For anyone who’s interested, my WoW guild has an active membership of about nine characters. All of them are my alts.)
But I checked out the Naxx Adventure and I managed to beat the first three bosses using my economy Hunter deck. Anub’Rekhan went belly-up on my first try, which was gratifying, netting me my first two new cards. Grand Widow Faerlina and Maexxna were significantly harder, but after three or four tries I managed to pummel them into the pavement. So for the investment of an hour or two I netted seven cards, including the Legendary Maexxna one, which is a Beast type.
I know, there’s nothing in gamer culture that you can’t ultimately turn into a Star Wars reference. Well, not much, anyway.
So, Bungie’s big “secret” is out. Destiny is a solo/co-op FPS for Xbox 360 (and eventually the 720, according to a press release), with PS3 titles coming out eventually as well. No word on the PC front yet, but I can hope. The studio is not trying for an MMO-type experience, but they do want to promote a highly social game, using lots of nice key phrases like “living open worlds”, “emergent activities”, and “just enough crazy”. The following video Bungie has released gives a flood of hints and peeks that should keep the Internet busy for a few days at least. For instance, at 1:19 you can see a brief peek at what seems to be a opening menu screen with categories for The City, Chapter 3, Bounty, Strike, Raid, and Faction Wars, with a squad roster on the right side. This is obviously a game that Bungie wants you to play with your friends, and I’m assuming you can either follow the main storyline or just go into battle with a mission style of your choosing. It’s all conjecture at this point, but I like the idea of being able to choose a Bounty mission if I’m low on in-game cash, or dedicating my time to concentrating on my Faction Rep specifically.
Let me just say, I also find the video release to be intriguing in its format & scope. Equal parts mission statement and game trailer, I came away with the impression that I had just watched an action-movie-prologue/triumph-of-the-human-spirit mashup – which is exactly what I think Bungie was going for. So, well done there!