Hearthstone is proving that there’s a lot of design space left for digital card games. Its newest mode, Tavern Brawl, is a great example of how spicy CCG game design can get without the limitations of being a physical card game. Similar to Left 4 Dead 2’s Mutation mode, Tavern Brawl pits the player base against a new challenge each week, leading to fun and interesting gameplay that no other collectible card game can currently deliver.
The first Tavern Brawl let players duke it out using one of two Boss decks from the recent Blackrock Mountain expansion set. Then, Blizzard created a scenario in which players would receive Banana cards (1 drop spells that gave a target minion +1/+1) whenever a friendly minion died. Now, Tavern Brawl players are equipped with class decks that consist almost entirely of Webspinners, a 1/1 hunter minion that puts a random beast into its owner’s hand on death. This game mode is turning out to be incredibly unique and entertaining, especially considering how stale constructed Hearthstone can get with its stagnant meta.
A while back, I wrote an article talking about my frustrations with Hearthstone’s daily quest system, stating that I spend most of my time completing quests rather than having fun. Tavern Brawl aims to resolve this issue, as most daily quests can be completed with Tavern Brawl matches, some even easier than normal. In every way that Hearthstone’s other modes are getting stale, Tavern Brawl seems refreshing and fun. I know it takes a lot more work to make continually changing content, but I’d much prefer this style of gameplay to the carrot-on-the-stick, log-on-everyday type daily quests that are standard in most modern MMOs. What do you think about Hearthstone’s Tavern Brawl? Do you prefer it to constructed or arena? Let me know in the comments section below or on Twitter or Facebook @pandamanana.