This Game Is Pay-to-Win

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Step 1, craft top tier zoolock which is cheap as dirt. play on casual, win 3 games every 5 to 10 minutes, now do the math.

30 Wins for 100 gold can be gathered in less then an 8 hour session.

Daily quest average 50 gold.

150 gold daily if you are addicted and have a lot of free time.

Step 2. take your extra gold and get good at arena. Even at an average of 6 wins you get your gold back and get a pack.

At the peak of my hearthstone addiction i could make about 6000 to 9000 gold from expansion to expansion and that's not even playing that much a day.

I finally gave up and bought Boomsday pre order when i was already caught up with all the older cards. But doing this i could dust the trash cards and keep up with the collection.

You can afford one expansion at least once a year. Make sure to buy packs when they have their sale bundles such as earlier when it was 20 bucks for 30 packs.

Step 3. Once rotation hits and you are not interested in playing wild, you have a lot of cards you are going to dust that will not longer be available in standard.

This game is possible as a free to play player. Its just annoying as hell.
02/21/2019 09:59 AMPosted by gorillamunch
Step 1, craft top tier zoolock which is cheap as dirt. play on casual, win 3 games every 5 to 10 minutes, now do the math.

30 Wins for 100 gold can be gathered in less then an 8 hour session.

Daily quest average 50 gold.

150 gold daily if you are addicted and have a lot of free time.

Step 2. take your extra gold and get good at arena. Even at an average of 6 wins you get your gold back and get a pack.

At the peak of my hearthstone addiction i could make about 6000 to 9000 gold from expansion to expansion and that's not even playing that much a day.

I finally gave up and bought Boomsday pre order when i was already caught up with all the older cards. But doing this i could dust the trash cards and keep up with the collection.

You can afford one expansion at least once a year. Make sure to buy packs when they have their sale bundles such as earlier when it was 20 bucks for 30 packs.

Step 3. Once rotation hits and you are not interested in playing wild, you have a lot of cards you are going to dust that will not longer be available in standard.

This game is possible as a free to play player. Its just annoying as hell.


Especially that last sentence, that's what I'm saying. It's not impossible to do well without spending money, but it's frustrating. To do it, you have to dust pretty much everything in your collection except one specific deck. Then you have that one deck that can play competitively. Sooo... great. But then you just lost all variety you have. This is my first season playing, so I'm not sure exactly what's going to happen in April. Does the deck I just dusted everything to become a competitive player become low tier after that? In any event, I'll only ever be able to play one character and one deck for a long time that way. That's just not fun to me. But reading all the comments, that seems to be the only way to do it.

If I have to:
step 1) make cheap deck that I didn't design by following a copy/paste formula online to be competitive and
step 2) Only play that deck (because I have no other decks that are worth anything) for a very long time to get all the legendary and epic cards I need to craft a deck that I like

then I will be pretty frustrated with this game. That just doesn't sound fun. At all.
02/20/2019 06:52 PMPosted by Zaxo
Do you have any idea how long it takes to get 5k dust without spending money?


I exactly know how long it takes, as I'm running a free-to-play experiment. For almost two years now.

I'll tell you: just by doing quests, I'm amassing about 8k gold for every expansion (I burn all gold when an expansion gets released, and then I don't spend anything until a new expansion comes). This way I open more than 90 packs from every single set including the free pack gifts (I've opened 96 Rumble packs so far for example). After disenchanting the extra cards, I get around 8-10k dust in total per expansion.

So 5k dust is two to three months just by doing the daily quests. I'd say that's fair time for a Tier 1 deck.
02/21/2019 07:27 AMPosted by TheRiddler
You do need the best cards and the best decks to play this game at the highest level


What do you mean by "highest level", and why do you assume that all players want to play that way?


By Highest level, I mean knowing that the reason I'm winning or losing is because of my skill lvl vs. my opponent's, or the mixed in RNG factor present in almost any game. I want to know that the skill ceiling I'm at is because of my own skill at the game and not because of the cards I possess (or more specifically, do not possess). With where I stand right now in the game, there are a decent number of games that I lose simply because my opponent has a lot of legendary cards. That's a frustrating experience as a gamer. CAN you win? Yes, sometimes you will, especially if you are a good player. And you can make a deck that isn't completely terrible without spending all your dust on legendaries for sure! But are there also games where you lose simply because you don't have the starting resources as another player? Yes, and that is a fact. And that fact is what is frustrating as a new player who can't afford to spend tons of money on this game. That's the issue I'm trying to address.

I just want to play the game with the same starting resources as my opponent. I don't like that I can't do that, and it's especially frustrating to see so many players aggressively argue that this isn't a real issue facing newer players. The responses on this forum make it even less likely that I will continue to play this game. It's an issue that SHOULD be addressed, and that newer players should be aware of. Players should know how much time they will need to invest to just be able to play every game with the same starting resources as their opponent.
This game is possible as a free to play player. Its just annoying as hell.


The only way it would be "annoying" is if that player had ridiculously unrealistic expectations regarding what they'd be able to do.

A Ridiculous, Unrealistic Expectation:

"I've decided to play Hearthstone ... and because I have decided to grace Hearthstone with my wonderful presence, I should have ... NAY!! ... I am entitled to have 100% of every card in every set so that I can build any deck I want. Oh - and I should be able to do that for free!"

I could see how a person who had such a set of expectations might be "annoyed" when the game didn't hand the entire universe to them on a silver platter for no money the instant they decided to start playing. But just because such a person is annoyed doesn't mean that their expectations aren't a load of nonsense. Any such person who has expectations even vaguely along these lines should do themselves a favor and quit playing Hearthstone ... or any CCG ... immediately. Because no CCG will ever meet such a preposterous set of requirements, and people with these kinds of expectations will never be happy. Ever.

A Normal, Reasonable Expectation:

"I'm going to start playing Hearthstone. The game gives me a lot of free resources right off the bat, and access to a lot more free resources for playing. With a little patience and planning, I will be able to perform moderately well ... and as time passes I will get more and more cards until I have everything I want. I won't be able to be #1 in the world on day 1, but I'll get there."

A person who has these expectations will not be "annoyed". The annoyance that some people feel is a result of their own badly reasoned expectations.

I just want to play the game with the same starting resources as my opponent.


Then you're playing the wrong game genre, and you should quit right now, because that's not how CCGs work. Never has been, and never will be. Any player who plays a CCG for any amount of time longer than someone else will have more cards than the other guy. Part of the fun of CCGs is maximizing the effectiveness of the incomplete library of cards that the player owns.

There are three dynamics that apply to increasing a CCG library... You can do it Fast. You can do it Cheap. You can have Depth. You get to pick two of these.

FAST & CHEAP: You can opt for fast & cheap, but you will not have depth.
FAST & DEEP: If you want a bigger library quickly that has lots of depth, then it's going to cost you cash.
CHEAP & DEEP: If you want a bigger library that is cheap with lots of variety, then it's going to take time.

There's your formula. If you find that none of these options are acceptable to you, then your best recourse it to quit playing CCGs and find some other way to spend your time. I'm not trying to be mean when I say that. I'm simply being brutally honest. If the only way you can be 'happy' is to get your library Cheap, Deep, and Fast then you are always going to be frustrated and you might as well play something else rather than bang your head against reality.
As was said: Suggesting that dusting for crafting a single deck is a good idea... . Invalid argument! It's not sustainable long- and mid-term. Also Blizzard would surely never destroy a deck suddenly without warning.

You can still make legend argument is also invalid because it is considerably harder to reach a certain level without than with a complete set. Legend =/= win. A player with complete set has an edge if he competes with a player without a complete set. You can compensate a slightly worse deck with skill, but the comparison must be made with players of equal "skill".
My assumptions:

(1) This is a COLLECTIBLE card game (so most who play it will be reluctant to dust anything other than truly extra cards, given that collecting stuff is part of the entire premise of the game)

(2) This is a GAME. So it should be fun, not work. Therefore suggestions that smack of being work are useless and irrelevant. (Things like mindless grinding for hours per day.)

(3) This is a game where by its very nature, you are unlikely to complete your collection in a small amount of time. So presumably the designers expect/hope you will be playing the game for a long time. Which to me means that they cannot possibly be expecting people to play only a single deck over that period of time. Because that would be spectacularly boring unless you are a dimwit. The fact that there are daily quests to "win or play x cards from class a/b/c" supports this conclusion.

So we can make a very simple argument. The game appears to be designed to encourage players to play a diversity of decks. The game also appears to be designed such that players are unlikely to achieve a significant diversity of COMPETITIVE decks in a moderate amount of time without spending some form of resource (either money for packs or a heck of a lot of time).

I consider it very reasonable for a newer player to consider this game pay to win. Sure, there are a set of things that a newer player could do to win in a shorter amount of time, but those things (in my opinion) render this no longer a fun game.

You don't have to pay to win. You can absolutely convert an otherwise fun game into boring-grindy-work-instead-of-fun-game. But you probably do have to pay if you expect to win while playing the game as the design implies is intended (collecting cards and playing a diversity of classes).
02/21/2019 10:41 AMPosted by TheRiddler
This game is possible as a free to play player. Its just annoying as hell.


The only way it would be "annoying" is if that player had ridiculously unrealistic expectations regarding what they'd be able to do.


This is a very condescending, elitist attitudes towards new players who don't have any experience with games like this. Of course they don't know what to expect. Of course they think they will be able to play at the same level as everyone else. Of course they will.
02/21/2019 10:44 AMPosted by DSh
As was said: Suggesting that dusting for crafting a single deck is a good idea... . Invalid argument! It's not sustainable long- and mid-term. Also Blizzard would surely never destroy a deck suddenly without warning.


This would be true if Druid did not stay OP for over 3 expansions. What about Raza priest? Jade The very annoying top decks took only till almost the next expansion to see nerfs. People should not have a problem with their deck getting nerfed if they got a year and some change out of it.

The same deck archetypes that are cheap are still powerful. Zoo has always been possible to hit high ranks and farm gold the quickest.

I was able to farm all the gold i earned by getting good at one class and one specific deck till it bored me to tears. But by then i had a big enough collection to branch off. Going against that advice is a bad idea since its the only way ftp people can keep up. One class can be consistent enough if you aren't concerned with high legend.

Basically you have to suck it up, be bored as hell with one deck so you can earn enough for the game to get fun. Sounds great huh?
The game appears to be designed to encourage players to play a diversity of decks.


True. CCGs are games where the sheer amount of variety in the library is meant to tantalize a player's mind with the possible combinations and what they might be able to do with them.

The game also appears to be designed such that players are unlikely to achieve a significant diversity of COMPETITIVE decks in a moderate amount of time


Not true, but that's because the argument uses fuzzy language.

"Significant Diversity" is fuzzy. What does that mean? What's "significant" and what isn't? If I can build 2 or 3 decks is that "significant", or is it only significant diversity if you can build any deck you want? Significant is mushy language that changes meaning depending on who you're talking to, and so it is inappropriate to use it when making claims about Hearthstone's design.

"Competitive Decks" is fuzzy. What's competitive? Is a deck only "competitive" when it the player reaches Legend rank with it? Is it "competitive" if it has a 50% overall win rate? Or with a 46%? Or with a 52%? Is it "competitive" only if it shows up in a list of netdecks? Or if it is Tier 2? Or only if it's a fully optimized Tier 1? Competitive is another mushy term that means anything to anyone and changes with their mood. Again ... inappropriate application when trying to make a definitive claim about Hearthstone's design.

"Moderate Amount of Time" is fuzzy. What's that mean? A day? A week? A month? A quarter? A year? Another mushy term that has no place when discussing definitive claims about the game's design.

You can absolutely convert an otherwise fun game into boring-grindy-work-instead-of-fun-game.


True. A person could do this. However, doing this is absolutely unnecessary.

This is a very condescending, elitist attitudes towards new players who don't have any experience with games like this. Of course they don't know what to expect. Of course they think they will be able to play at the same level as everyone else.


It's more condescending and elitist for those new players to think they deserve the collection of a Whale just because they decided to install the game.

Every person who plays a CCG starts from scratch. Veterans were once newbies too, and they didn't (necessarily) spend any money to get their collections. Many have built their collections patiently over long periods of time with a lot of work. Why should a new player be handed equivalent collections for zero cost, time, or effort when others earned or paid for them? Just because they're "new"? Pht. New players with that kind of expectation are the condescending elitists ... and they can cram it sideways with walnuts.

I'll repeat my brilliant former statement again...

FAST & CHEAP: You can opt for fast & cheap, but you will not have depth.
FAST & DEEP: If you want a bigger library quickly that has lots of depth, then it's going to cost you cash.
CHEAP & DEEP: If you want a bigger library that is cheap with lots of variety, then it's going to take time.


There's the formula. If a player finds that none of these options are acceptable, then the best recourse it to quit playing CCGs and find some other hobby. I'm not trying to be mean when I say that. I'm simply being brutally honest. If the only way a person can be 'happy' is to have an entire collection Cheap, Deep, and Fast then they are always going to be frustrated and they might as well play something else rather than banging their heads against a reality that is not going to change.
02/21/2019 11:27 AMPosted by TheRiddler
[i]FAST & CHEAP: You can opt for fast & cheap, but you will not have depth.
Too boring to be considered fun.
FAST & DEEP: If you want a bigger library quickly that has lots of depth, then it's going to cost you cash.
If this were the only option, then the accusation of being p2w would be true.
CHEAP & DEEP: If you want a bigger library that is cheap with lots of variety, then it's going to take time.
So basically not possible for a newer player, who clearly has not had that much time.

So by your own definitions, rather than my subjective imprecise ones, this game is p2w for new players, since "cheap and deep" takes a long time, thus isn't available to a new player. Leaving us with "fast and deep" (paying) or "fast and cheap" (boring)
So by your own definitions, rather than my subjective imprecise ones, this game is p2w for new players, since "cheap and deep" takes a long time, thus isn't available to a new player. Leaving us with "fast and deep" (paying) or "fast and cheap" (boring)


Incorrect. The formula describes what it takes to build a player's COLLECTION. It does not in any way relate to requirements for what it takes to WIN GAMES. Players can win games just fine with a very limited card library.
02/20/2019 06:33 PMPosted by Zaxo
I'm not posting this to just throw shade. I like this game, and I like Blizzard. But I'm posting this here for other players who are in a similar place with the game.

Either you have to buy a ton of cards and get what you need, or you literally have to play for years to be able to play against the other people who have been playing for a while. Your skill at the game has nothing to do with 90%+ of games. I could see how it would when you have every card in the game at your disposal. But for those of us who don't, and who haven't gotten lucky enough to ever really finish a deck (as in, there are always several cards you see that you'd like to have but you don't have the dust for), you really just have to cross your fingers and hope you don't run into a player who has been lucky enough to either pay their way into getting cards or has gotten really lucky card packs.

The reason this is dumb is because there will be a huge "skill" gap (as players will surely call it) where newer players (i've been played for probably 6 months, several hours a week) simply cannot climb or compete at a certain level because they consistently run into players who have perfected decks. These are decks that you can Google and see that a specific card combination has a higher win rate. And you run into the same set of decks probably 50% of the time. The other 50% of the time you can actually kind of play a game with someone else who doesn't have a complete deck. Those are the games that are actually fun, and you can feel it going either way.

I have had maybe 15 times (maybe) in those 6 months of playing where I actually felt like my skill was really the determining factor in a game (made me lose or made me win). I've watched streamers and competitions, learned the strategies, but simply don't have the cards. I've been enjoying this game for a while but it's just too frustrating anymore. Maybe I've just been really unlucky with card packs and dust. But it really feels like the system has been set up to be pay-to-win, at least for players who haven't been playing for years. That is inherently frustrating for any game, and it's a major complaint I have on this game. Which sucks, because it seems really fun and I've had a good time with it. I don't know if I'm going to play much moving forward.


Yes, I understand the frustration even when a company makes it so hard to get the value of the cards has been nerf too much. The safety net for dust of the cards to craft any cards is now gone where the focus is money by making the card dust back very low while the price of the card is very high. It's a simple math of what was before and what is now.

Your right in this sense. A player can pay to get many decks to obtain dust and legendary cards in some cases the card itself is powerful but can only obtain if a player does have a certain adventure mode to get it. With that a player need real money to get the adventure mode and then to unlock the card by defeating bosses. Most people here talking to you either being ignorant of or choose to forget that this game has been going through stages where adventure modes were taken away then come back with a price tag. Also, the nerf to discraft cards are bing nef to the ground on all cards types during the age of Hearthstone.

Knowing this does prove OP point of pay to win since what we have now is very less chance of making cards with dust. Hearthstone start out not paying to win but the company cna slowly turn it into pay the win if they want and that's what's most here don't understand. To craft legendary is so much hard than before due to the dust amount system. If players don't remember the amount of dust they can have back from the start of Hearthstone of each card type then recheck it up to now it proves OP point when it comes to crafting.

Also, Blizzard did not accept playerbase when it comes to certain cards of having most if not all dust back due to their choice that cause problems. They stop doing that. Having dust back with gold as a quest for only a week or two doesn't add up of how many dust the player base was rob of dust. So, it's not that clear cut as many here is saying it to be. The game is mostly pay to win while the rest isn't. Once they remove the gold paying option it will become 100% pay to win. Silver gives you 5 dust back, purple 40, legendary 100 and 400 depending on the card, and I forgot the other one. The point is look how far down the dust we get back form the original price of the card to make. Getting ton of packets is worthless due to how much is reduce. This is due to activision blizzard.
Why are you writing long treatises on building a collection when the thread is trying to discuss whether it's reasonable to consider this game p2w for newer players?

For me, not even really a new player anymore, the game is sufficiently p2w that I don't even try to "win" (where my definition of win would be "regularly reach legend rank")

I am unwilling to dust anything other than purely extra cards (ones which would get dusted if you push the "dust extra cards" button). And I am also unwilling to play a handful of classes to the exclusion of the others. And I'm certainly not interested in spending 8 hours a day grinding out wins with a set of 50.1% win rate decks (or worse, a single deck).

And since I'm also not willing to pay any significant amount of money to rent digital cards, I accept the fact that I won't win.
02/21/2019 11:58 AMPosted by TheRiddler
So by your own definitions, rather than my subjective imprecise ones, this game is p2w for new players, since "cheap and deep" takes a long time, thus isn't available to a new player. Leaving us with "fast and deep" (paying) or "fast and cheap" (boring)


Incorrect. The formula describes what it takes to build a player's COLLECTION. It does not in any way relate to requirements for what it takes to WIN GAMES. Players can win games just fine with a very limited card library.


If two players of equal skill play each other 100 times, but one of them has a better deck, the player with the better deck will win the majority of the time. The extent of variation from 50% would depend on rng and similarity between "deck rating." To suggest that a player's card collection "does not in any way relate to" win ratio is a kind of ridiculous claim. It makes intuitive sense that it does. The cards in your deck matter, and that is a fact that can be statistically proven.
02/21/2019 11:58 AMPosted by TheRiddler
...

Incorrect. The formula describes what it takes to build a player's COLLECTION. It does not in any way relate to requirements for what it takes to WIN GAMES. Players can win games just fine with a very limited card library.


If two players of equal skill play each other 100 times, but one of them has a better deck, the player with the better deck will win the majority of the time. The extent of variation from 50% would depend on rng and similarity between "deck rating." To suggest that a player's card collection "does not in any way relate to" win ratio is a kind of ridiculous claim. It makes intuitive sense that it does. The cards in your deck matter, and that is a fact that can be statistically proven.


Quality of deck doesn't necessarily equate to quality of collection though, especially when the latter is much more subjective than the former. If two players use the same deck and one is missing a couple key cards, that doesn't necessarily mean that they have a worse collection. They could easily have a vast collection, but simply not have the on-hand dust that would allow them to craft those last cards. Contrarily, the other player with the full version of the deck might have a much smaller collection and simply have the cards they need to win.

You can have a garbage overall collection and still win games, and you can have a great/varied collection while still playing a suboptimal deck. The choice between these two is one of the biggest that new players have to make. You do NOT have to pay money in order to win games, but you DO have to pay (either in money or time) for more variety in your choice of deck. This doesn't make the game P2W - it just gives some incentive for spending money on the game, and allows it to continue functioning.
02/21/2019 11:27 AMPosted by TheRiddler

I'll repeat my brilliant former statement again...

[/quote]

I'll repeat my comment about condescending attitudes again... You call new players condescending, but if it's condescending for newer players to want to have the cards they need to compete, I'm out. If this is the kind of thing that people connect with and give up votes, this is not a community I really want to be a part of. You guys can have fun looking down on newer players who want to play the game to its full extent. It's not worth playing the game if it's only a grind, a one-deck trek, and a community that looks down on players who have genuine frustrations with how the game functions.

Thank you to those commenting with a genuine interest in describing positive experiences with the game and ways to make the grind less frustrating.
You call new players condescending, but if it's condescending for newer players to want to have the cards they need to compete, I'm out.


It's condescending for new players to assume that they can only "compete" if they are given all the cards they want. It takes a lot of cheek to cop that kind of attitude, and quite frankly any player who comes to a CCG with that sort of opinion can walk right out and let the door hit them on the way.

There's nothing wrong with wanting cards. Only the Whaliest of the Whales doesn't have some card that they want. But it is not necessary to have "all" or even "most" of the cards for a player to play this game to its fullest extent. Players can - for free - obtain more than enough cards to play (and win) whether for casual enjoyment or ranked competition. Those who think they must have all the cards or they can't compete are wrong, and if they choose to persist in being wrong to the contrary of fact then they are also arrogant berks who can go pound sand.

Why are you writing long treatises on building a collection when the thread is trying to discuss whether it's reasonable to consider this game p2w for newer players?


The OP is whining because they want all the cards for every deck they want to build. That's a card collection issue. It is not an issue of whether he can "win games". The issue is that he wants to build a bunch of fully optimized Tier 1 decks, doesn't want to have to pay any money to do it, and wants all those cards now now now now now.
TheRiddler is right. Though he might sound like an !@#, there is truth in his words.

Its either grind painfully slowly if you want collection; grind slowly if you dust everything except few classes; pay to reduce the grind.

CCG isnt MMO (I have a feeling some players actually think it is based on their posts).

In MMO (MMORPGs I have played so far) you cannot get matched as lvl 5 vs fully geared lvl 40 (unless there is some kind of bolster or something like that). In MMOs you cannot just pay to get end game gear. Etc etc. In MMOs the grind actually matters somehow and is part of the game.

In CCGs you can basically start day 1 and if you spend enough money, you can get your hands on every avaliable card.

Same in HS. You can create an account, pay and get every card out there. Then you can get matched against another new accounts with no collection because...there is no such thing as lvl restricted area or queue or bolster or something like that.

Sure, if you do not have collection to make top tier deck and you face one of these, there is very very high chance you would lose the game even when your opponent is playing very poorly. This is because in HS (I guess even in other CCGs) there is no queue to match you against deck with similar "lvl" as yours.

If you are looking for some online game where you would get matched against similar lvl, similar gear players, you are wasting your time here and you should head for some MMORPG, RTS, FPS or other game like that.
02/20/2019 06:48 PMPosted by Wardrum
Pay to win is where you must sink money into the game in order to be competitively viable at all with no other option.
competition=tournaments, which you can't attend with only one deck
02/20/2019 07:03 PMPosted by Eyan
If there was no advantage to spending money how would they generate revenue? The game wouldn't exist.
how do fortnite and apex survive? wait, they even make profits, more than blizzard
02/20/2019 07:12 PMPosted by andrewlik
I wouldn't mind more paid hero skins and Card backs tho. I would pay to play as Captain Hookstusk-rogue.
same here, i like having the choice of different skins, wether it's a ccg or a fps (or moba)
02/21/2019 09:59 AMPosted by gorillamunch
30 Wins for 100 gold can be gathered in less then an 8 hour session.
8 hours for 100 golds aka 1€50, wtf? are you serious?

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