HearthStone Beta Overview

I’m so lucky, I got a HearthStone beta key! Woo! I haven’t played many card based games before, but I’ve watched others play ’em and understand how it generally works.

This is just a very, very basic and general overview so I have an excuse to show off how damn pretty this game is! The music is also really nice, and there are sounds and actions to everything from pulling cards to dying. It makes for a really nice atmosphere. And not to mention, it’s useful to have the clock at the bottom so you don’t spend four hours playing <.<

So far, I haven’t done everything in game so I’m getting in my mate Aliva (the pretty pandaren monk from the transmog and raid posts) to explain how to disenchant/craft cards.

Also basic reminder, the pictures and information within this post are from the beta and pretty much everything is subject to change before it goes live! HearthStone has no release date but will be free, and you can sign up for a beta key or look for giveaways at the HearthStone site. Initially, it will be available on Mac and Windows, with an iPad version coming later (and yes, there’s been suggestions for an Android version too already XD ).


Welcome to HearthStone (packs, decks and chat)

main screen

You start the tutorial with the Mage pack, and have to fight against various familiar faces such as Hemet Nesingwary and Illidan. Once you have conquered those, you can fight AI classes at basic level to win access to those packs too. I’ve unlocked all mine, but only by playing more, leveling your classes and defeating others can you unlock all the basic cards – there are 20. For higher level cards, you need to buy (with coins from completely quests or PvP, or with real money) packs.


This is my friends screenshot, and as you can see, he’s damn lucky! There are different rarities of cards which you can tell by looking at the little gems in the centre of the cards; white = common, blue = rare, purple = epic, orange = legendary. As you can see with the Warlock card, Twisting Nether, it is a gold card. You can get a gold version of any card. So far as I can tell, a gold card just looks shiny and does animations.

create deck

Once you have a bunch of cards, you can create your own custom deck. Here’s the hunter pack! You have suggest a card on the side which shows various cards to choose from, and if you don’t complete every slot for the deck, it will auto-fill.

censored chat

Another important aspect of the game, the chat window! It’s massive for the size of the game, and would be impossible to talk during play, but then my friend pointed out something obvious….

enter chat

Soo yeah… Derp. There’s an easier way to chat with someone <.< Just hit enter, and a bar comes up in the centre with the last thing your mate said. Your conversation comes up on the left side of the screen, so in game it’ll be a lot better than the massive chat window.


Fight to the death (the battle screens, hero ability and minions)

priest v hunter

So here’s the battleground. At the beginning, the game tosses a coin to decide who goes first. If you go first, you start with 3 cards, and then one gets drawn from the deck. If you go second, you get an additional starting card. You can also choose to replace one or all of your starting cards, and it will be replaced with a random from the deck.

PVP: In PvP, the main difference is that there is a timer of 90 seconds, so you can’t take forever in deciding what your next move will be. Also, you don’t know what class you are playing against, and you can right click your hero to send preset messages (thanks, sorry, well played, etc) that will be said aloud by your character. 

You are on the bottom (here I’m playing the hunter, Rexxar… again) and your enemy is at the top (my friend is playing priest/Anduin. Don’t you just want to punch that face?). My hero skill is +2 damage to the enemy hero, and his is +2 health to him or his minions. My minions are above me, a guard with the ability Taunt (so if the priest gets a minion, the minion will have to target him) and a raptor. On the bottom right is my mana bar – pretty simple. If I had mana here, I could use it to pull out other cards, or my class ability, but I’ve already used it up (and when you can’t possible make further moves, you get the cute little Peon saying “Job’s done!”). On the far right going down, you can see the list of skills or actions that have been played.


On another fight, the paladin, you can see on my right is the hero special move. Uther’s move is to summon a 1hp/1attack minion. With cards or with other classes (such as rogue), you can get an additional attack which shows up on the right of your hero portrait, with attack on the left and a little broken shield on the right, showing how many times before the weapon breaks.

zoom card

If you hover over certain cards, you can zoom into their full details. I rather like that this fella from my enemy can’t attack, because he could eat either of my minions. When you use a minion to attack another minion, they BOTH take the damage. So if I used the dwarf to attack the watcher, the watcher would take -2 to his health, but my dwarf would die to the watcher’s +4 attack.
defeatI’m still pretty new to the game, that or the pally rather sucks. He didn’t even come close! I’ve been watching how long it takes me to take down certain classes and which ones generally win over another, or come close. I even have a nice little table drawn up – I always get the rogue with the hunter first go, the priest can easily down the mage and druid. The first hunter pack took me sooooo long to get! I tried on almost everything! But finally got him first go with the warrior.


Disenchanting and Crafting: By Aliva

aliva 1

In HearthStone, there is no trading system. Instead you can destroy the cards you get from booster packs (disenchanting) for materials (e.g arcane dust) to craft the cards you want. You get more arcane dust the rarer the card is and even more if it is gold. You also get less than the amount needed to craft that same card so you can’t just pick whatever card you want after disenchanting one of the same rarity. When you get enough dust to craft a card you are able to pick from every card in the game including golden ones if you want (though they cost more to make) to help complete your deck. You can’t disenchant or craft the basic cards.

aliva 2

To do this, go to your deck collection and right click on the card you own to disenchant. Down in the bottom right there is a tab called “My cards”, and the other “All Sets” you can click on to sort the cards and find the ones you are looking for easier. Crafting is the same, except you right click a card you only have one or none of, and then click Craft down the bottom beside where the Disenchant is. 


Want more? Go check out WoWInsider (such as this post on what they love and what they hate.) Or watch gameplay from MMOChamp Warlock V Druid.

And now a poem from everyone’s favourite (alongside Sha of Happiness and Doodle Gnome  of course) Twitter buddy, it’ssssss ANGRYORC!



2 thoughts on “HearthStone Beta Overview”

    1. Goddammit Anduin, seriously?! I took you bloody all over Stormwind in Cata, saved your life countless times, even ran with you as you hid from the protection of your father and watched you ding a tiny mallet against the Divine Bell and FOR WHAT!? Next expansion, I’m going back Horde. You can face evil yourself, good luck considering YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT ME!

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