Navigating Hearthstone Game Modes

I started to write about Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft earlier in the week to offer my thoughts on what it is like as a new player attempting to jump into the game. While I have tried to absorb information from a variety of websites, podcasts, and professional streams, I imagine that other players experimenting with the game for the first time do not make these efforts. My next article will provide an overview of the resources I am using to improve my skill and have more fun with the game. However, the article below discusses the various game types that are available in Hearthstone, and how new players can best navigate them.

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Opening menu in Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

At the moment, Hearthstone features five game modes when you log into the game – Casual, Ranked, The Arena, Tavern Brawl, and Solo Adventures. Casual and Ranked are always available and free-to-play under the Play button pictured above. At any moment day or night, Casual and Ranked are there for you to play against a random opponent for a single game. The Arena costs 150 gold to enter, while Tavern Brawl is available for a few days each week. The rules of the Tavern Brawl change each Wednesday, and the button is greyed out early in the week while Blizzard performs background work to get the next Tavern Brawl ready for action. The Solo Adventures, Curse of Naxxramas and Blackrock Mountain, can be purchased with money or unlocked with gold.

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Well Met? Hearthstone & Social Comparison Theory

I started to play Hearthstone more frequently this summer. I downloaded it last year and experimented with the gameplay, but ultimately felt that SolForge was a more interesting experience. Over time I lost interest in SolForge and allowed the Hearthstone app on my iPad to get dusty, but my interest was renewed when Hearthstone became available on my iPhone. It allowed me to play more often and I slowly got sucked into the gameplay mechanics. Hearthstone is an online competitive, collectible card game that relies on numerous factors including a growing element of randomness, player skill, and the quality of the cards. Some cards are clearly more powerful and effective than others, and players must spend resources – time and/or money – to unlock, craft, or purchase new cards.

Hearthstone Logo

Playing Hearthstone is fun, but winning is better! Like any good researcher, I set out to learn how to best play the game and what cards I should unlock, craft, or purchase so I could win more often. What followed was a lesson in the merits and perils of comparing myself to others who I deem more successful than me – commonly known in the psychological field as Social Comparison Theory.

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