Despite early technical difficulties, I was able to finally complete the tutorial and proceed with the rest of the game. Hearthstone is amazingly polished, from the animations and sound effects down to the clickies on each of the game boards. I really love how well the WoW class flavors have been transferred over to each of the heroes. If you are even mildly familiar with WoW then you can likely figure out what most of the cards with without having to read the card text. I do worry that Hearthstone class balancing is going to end up being like WoW class balancing in that different classes take turns being OP with each major patch, but we’ll see.
It’s free-to-play with a card pack buy in options, but it’s about as pay to win as any standard CCG in that the more packs you buy, the better your deck is likely to be. The basic cards however are quite decent and it is plausible to obtain the rarer cards via the crafting system or by buying packs with gold won from within the game, albeit at a much slower pace. There’s also no card trading so no real-life profiting off of Hearthstone or any of that bullshit.
All cards brought down into 3 basic categories: Spells, minions, and weapons. There aren’t any interrupts and minion health is persistent (as in damage is persistent and doesn’t reset at the end of your turn) so it is much more of a relaxed game to play than say, MtG in that you take your turn and your enemy will take theirs without the inbetween crap. The combinations are also easier to comprehend as the abilities are much more straightfoward and easier to understand as a whole. I also love the fact that non-friendslist player interaction is limited to a fixed set of emotes. There are games in which player communication is important and needed but Hearthstone just isn’t one of them in my opinion. All-in-all, it’s great as a first CCG and very easy to get into.