Free to play is still a pretty controversial business model, stirring up specters of the money-grubbing games of yesteryear in some gamers. But a ton of games have proven the business model can work wonders, ensuring players get what they want and have fun without being nickel-and-dimed to death.
This week, we take a look at how the business model might work for Hearthstone. Speculation abounds, but we call out anything that has been confirmed by Blizzard on the show.
- Derrick is on the show this week
- Topic: Free to play as the business model
- Reasons to be happy this week
Who is Derrick?
- History with card games
- History with Blizzard games
- Are you a cheapskate or a big-spender?
Free to Play in General
- This is Blizzard’s first F2P game ever
- What does that mean?
- Microtransaction controversy
- Examples you might be familiar with
Microtransactions We Expect To See (Speculation)
- New skins for the avatar
- New hero to unlock
- Buff to boost chance to find gold cards in packs (just visuals)
- Card packs
- New voice-over packs
- In-game Tournaments
- Technical account conveniences: name changes, inventory moves between PC and iPad
Microtransactions We Don’t Expect To See (Speculation)
- Rent cards temporarily
- Purchase more powerful cards than you can get in packs
- Game Modes
- XP potions
On A Technical Level
- Probably Paypal
- Diablo 3 Hook-up
- Battle.net authenticator
Buying Card Packs
- Only confirmed purchase so far
- Planned $1 per pack
- Pack = 5 cards
- 1 guaranteed rare
- Each other card slot has a chance to have higher rarity
Why Buy Packs?
- Thrill of opening for random cards
- Build out your decks with more/better cards
- Use to play in the Forge
How To Earn Free Cards
Every time you play a game, you earn the most basic “starter” level cards
Every other card is an “expert” card and can be earned from 4 sources:
- Opening packs, which can be won periodically by playing
- Purchasing them from Blizzard directly?
- Crafting them (we’ll discuss this in-depth in future)
- Earning achievements in-game
What We Want To Come “With The Box”
- 1 hero starter deck (your choice)
- 3 packs dedicated to your hero deck after you pick
- 1 free pack every time you “level” via XP system (if there is one)
- 20 avatars (like LoL)
Card of the Week