The Hearthstone Sessions #1

Several months ago, I wrote two articles as an introduction to the online competitive card game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. The first addressed the potential benefits and consequences for new players attempting to learn the game while the second offered some advice on how to approach the various game modes that are currently available. It was announced recently that Hearthstone will be undergoing numerous changes to the format of these game modes. The moves align it close to the structure of Magic: The Gathering as some cards will cycle out of play since they will no longer be allowed in certain game formats. The coming months will once again be a good time to jump into Hearthstone because the changes will mean a new player will not have to catch up on collecting as many older cards.

One of my thoughts in playing more Hearthstone was to stream the game from time to time. In trying this, it became clear that my Internet connection and computing equipment has nowhere near the capacity I need to stream efficiently. It has been extremely helpful to watch professional players compete at Hearthstone and learn lessons alone the way. While far from being an expert player, I thought it would be fun to bring my “style” and “personality” to the Hearthstone world.

But how to stand out in the crowded streaming world?

Dr. Drew, Frasier Crane, & Hearthstone

While pitching ideas to close friends, one idea that has stuck with me is combining Hearthstone game sessions with some mental health tips or observations that may even be related to Hearthstone and its gameplay and culture. Since 2011, I have been writing my blog on roleplaying games like Dungeon & Dragons through the lens of my training and experiences as a psychologist.

In my mind, I could be the Dr. Drew or Frasier Crane of Hearthstone streaming!

“Should I remove the minion with this Fireball – or go to the Face?”

For example, I think it would be fascinating and fun to have a call-in show while streaming where people can either ask questions about Hearthstone or any self-help topic of their choice. To be clear, I would NOT be providing mental health therapy to people, but could certainly offer behavioral advice and talk about common misconceptions about psychological theory and practice. All while trying to be entertaining and becoming a halfway decent player at Hearthstone.

I am interested in making this happen, but as mentioned earlier – I don’ have the capability to deliver. I may launch a Patreon in the future to see if there is enough interest in helping to make this a reality. In addition, I hope to write more for the site and perhaps transition the Ego Check interview series to a podcast format.

My mentality with the blog has always been, “If you want something to make an impact, really dedicate the effort and do it RIGHT the first time.” I have dabbled with trying to make a podcast or stream work in the past, but I don’t have the technical skills and equipment to form a polished product that I’m happy to launch. So I’m going to break that “Do it right the first time” rule and start with posting my first attempt at providing some mental health advice while playing Hearthstone.

The audio gets a little wonky toward the end of the video, and I certainly make some misplays with my Mage deck, but perhaps you’ll find the content intriguing. One way or the other, let me know!

And if you’d like to see more of this, then please leave a comment below. I think there is useful and entertaining content I can create. Let me know if you agree.

500th Mage Win & Short-term Goals

In the video, I am sitting at 499 wins with my Mage. I have been practicing a Tempo Mage deck and add better cards to it as I build up enough Dust to make it more competitive. This month, I’ve climbed as high as Rank 4 and decided to record my 500th win. I figured it was an apt time to discuss the importance of setting short-term, attainable goals for yourself in ALL areas of life.

If you have a Hearthstone or mental health question you’d like me to answer in a future video, then please send me an email or contact me on Twitter.