So the last part of the Curse of Naxxramas has come out or is coming out depending on the region your playing on today and having just finished the last wing on the Asia servers I thought I'd talk about it.
Well first thing is for those who don't know the Curse of Naxxramas is an single player adventure mode added to Hearthstone that is based of the old Naxxramas raid in World of Warcraft where you had to clear different quarters before finally facing Kel Thuzad the Lich.
Now with Curse how they have done this is each week they released a quarter which represented a different quarter from the raid with the Arachnid Quarter being first, then the plague quarter, military, construct and finally this week the frost wyrm lair. This is an interesting release model and I kind of like it as while the adventure mode itself only took a couple of hours to do each week the new cards it added kept me going for the rest of the week as I tried new decks and variations.
The pricing for the wings however is also interesting. Now the Arachnid quarter is currently free as a release event but will be charged for in a couple of weeks and each wing is $5 US or 700 in game gold. Now I'm not going to talk about the money side of things as your wallet you do what you want with it but I do find 700 in game gold a very reasonable amount. This is because just by doing the daily quests you can get very close or even make the amount with each week gap so just by playing the game normally it's very easy to unlock the wings even for a casual player.
So onto the wings themselves. So each wing has 3 different sections. The normal mode, the class challenges and heroic mode.
Now at the start of each battle Kel Thuzard shows up and makes a joke or witty comment. While this is inline with how Hearthstone is and are quite amusing it does feel a bit weird when Kel Thuzad throws a a miny tantrum after beating one of the bosses. Never going to be able to look at the guy the same way again.
Anyway the normal mode has you fighting the AI bosses with your decks and once you beat them you unlock cards to use in your decks. Now the AI has been improved from the original Hearthstone AI... slightly. Yeah they aren't to difficult. You then have challenge mode where you unlock a card for a specific class but also have to use a specific deck they give you for the challenge vs one of the bosses. Now these are all pretty much gimmick decks with the warrior all about enraging your minions, the warlock is demons and hunter... well the hunter has a deck full of these guys.
I'll admit that challenge made me laugh. So yeah the challenges are entertaining and nice to see even Blizzard enjoys gimmick decks as well.
Now the Heroic mode. Okay this is where Blizzard really tests your deck building knowledge, skill and a few times luck. So this mode takes the normal mode bosses and beefs the hell out of them. Let's take a look at one shall we.
The first boss you fight is this guy.
Yeah interesting hero ability but just go mage and ping em with your firebolt hero power and dead easy to deal with. Now let's go to heroic mode.
Ah well. That makes things a bit different. Yeah so Heroic is a lot more challenging as the bosses are stronger, there hero powers are better, certain cards unique to them are better and the kicker is that some cards are also banned against them. Now this is one problem I do have with the adventure the banned cards. Now I have no problem with them banning the cards as some combos are pretty obvious and overpowered but how they handle it is pretty bad as you can put the card in your deck and take it into the battle but you play it Kel Thuzad shows up and basically goes "ha ha nope" and destroys the card... kind of a d*ck move their Blizzard. Still after a few rounds you'll get how they work a be able to a build a deck to counter them so they add a decent amount of challenge. Sadly however the award for beating them is kind of dissapointing. After beating all and I mean all of them in every single wave you get a card back... woooooo. Was really hoping it would be the gold cards but nope those you have to craft with arcane dust.
So the quarters themselves. The only one that is dissapointing is the Arachnid quarter which well I beat with a gimmick deck without much hassle but the others require a bit of thought and also have some mechanics which are very similar to how the bosses worked in WOW which is a nice touch so are worth a go.
The cards that have been added are also quite interesting and while there are a couple that are questionable in their use just about all of the others I've been seeing in both casual, ranked and even arena games as they all work well with certain decks and combos and people are still experimenting with them to see can be done. I being one currently experimenting with death rattle warlock and a enrage warrior. This has defintely gotten Hearthstone out of the funk it's been in the last few months with the meta sort of hitting a stand still but the new cards have done the job and livened it up but how long it lasts is another story.
So overall thoughts? Curse of Naxxramas is nothing to special but it does add brand new cards, an enjoyable new mode with the option to test your deck building skills if you want and has made the deck building scene interesting again. Blizzard has said that they will be releasing a major card expansion some point down the line but this has defintely been a nice filler event and will be nice to see some other raids being turned into adventures as well in the meantime.
Oh also sadly while you can summon Mr Bigglesworth vs Kel Thuzad he is currently not able to be put into a normal deck... I was very disapointted by this.
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