Hearthstone SCALE

Jul 31, 2015 | | Say something

I have a dirty, filthy lust for spreadsheets and initialisms.

I’ve identified that the game that intersects on “size of audience” and “my ability to play” is definitely Hearthstone.

There’s no doubt in my mind there are games I like more, nor doubt that there are more popular games. But if there’s a game that I can play every day and have some hope of someone stumbling in and find that I’m marginally capable, this is it.

I have some problems with Hearthstone, though. I get fatigued easily, which tends to manifest mid-run in Arena, and I get sick of playing to a degree that enormously impacts how I play. What I’ve been attempting is the identification my game-play habits.

This is nothing as specific as what misplays I’ve made (if I ever get in the habit of watching my VODs, though…). I’m starting at a macro level and I’ll noodle my way down to the kind of turns I lose games on.

Server

The first choice I make after logging in is which server I’ll play on. I’ve heard many opinions from NA players that EU is populated by quitters and AZNs are maniacs that go all-in, all the time. Their national bias seems to indicate that NA has the most “normal” people, or at least a “respectable variance.”

I’ve experienced none of this. I think everyone is dildos all over the Earths.

Admittedly, my sample size is small, 13 “sessions” recorded. But the average difficulty is not incredibly different. The easiest Arena sessions I have recorded were from NA, at about 3PM and 11PM (UTC), the hardest also from NA at about 2AM. The second easiest and most difficult were from Asia, with EU roughly in the middle.

So I think this is something still worth keeping track of. If I identify what times are best for me on given servers, I won’t be as frustrated with difficult matches. Or if I manage to get better, I can make an informed decision that may challenge me properly.

Class + Archetype

After buying an arena ticket, choosing a class is the next major decision in my “workflow.”

From what I understand, you can play any class any way you want, but I only do that to the extent that I want to play each class one way as much as I am able to.

For example, I almost never draft more than 4 cards with 5+ mana cost as Hunter or Warlock. I don’t see classes as flowcharts of options, I see Hunter, Warlock, Mage and my mind morphs it into Aggro, Aggro, Control.

Admittedly, I’m not super strong at identifying when something is actually Midrange (I’ll just say it’s midrange if I can’t decide A or C) or Tempo oriented. Keeping it black/white is easier for me than describing shades of gray.

So with that in mind I’ll probably do a lot of Heartharena drafts in an attempt to begin to recognize the different deck archetypes. Though my inclination is to make them the same column in my spreadsheet, I’ll keep them to separate data points. Maybe I’ll learn to love Controllock.

I doubt it, but I’m not going to force the assumption upon my data.

Length

It may seem as though how long a match takes is dependent on your opponent, but keep in mind that you also can concede and retire.

If I’m certain of losing or I really hate playing what I’ve drafted, I’m not going to force myself to grind it out.

Maybe I will for the first two runs of the night, but after that…

Enjoyment

This is simultaneously the most and least important thing for me to track. So many things influence it that without any context, it tells me nothing. The previous data points are what provide this context. It provides some clue as to why I had a good time.

There are other factors to my enjoying a stream: people coming in and being helpful or funny, just playing against truly terrible players, or roping people every turn. But these are things that are not guaranteed factors.

I can’t be sure I’ll even have viewers that session, and sometimes I don’t even notice when they’re there. They’re ultimately the most important thing but at the same time fail to be immediately important. It’s just a dragon to chase.The most important thing to getting viewers is just being available to them.If I’m not streaming, nobody is going to attempt to watch me. If I don’t enjoy the game I’m playing, I probably won’t stream it.I need to be entertained here, too, god-damn it.

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