Hearthstone game Stormwind

The Happy Hearthstone Podcast: What is Hearthstone? 17

I love collectible card games, and we don’t get nearly enough of them on the PC, where we can find infinite friends to play with and not arouse our spouse’s anger by cluttering up the living room floor with deck piles.

That’s why I was so excited when Hearthstone, an online collectible card game, was announced by Blizzard last week at PAX East. You already know that I enjoy playing Magic: The Gathering (I have a podcast for that!) and World of Warcraft (I have a podcast for that too!), so Hearthstone is kind of a perfect game for me. That’s why I’m jumping in and launching a new podcast dedicated to Hearthstone, a game that’s been in the public eye for less than 3 days and won’t be released for several more months.

I’m starting off with a simple question: What is Hearthstone?

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Hearthstone art Garrosh Jaina Malfurion

The Links


  • The basics of Hearthstone
  • The goal of this podcast
  • Where are the co-hosts?

Hearthstone Announced at PAX East

  • What they showed at the panel
  • 3 defining aspects: charming, WoW TCG, and free to play
  • Gameplay basics: Heroes, classes, creatures
  • Cards: 300 currently, different quality levels
  • Devs: 15 people, fast release schedule

When can you play Hearthstone?

  • Playable at PAX
  • Beta in the summer
  • Release in 2013

Why I’m excited for Hearthstone

  • Star Wars TCG
  • Magic: The Gathering
  • World of Warcraft
  • Getting my wife interested in it

Card of the Week

Lord Jaraxxus, the worst/best demon ally you could ever ask for!
Lord Jaraxxus, the worst/best demon ally you could ever ask for!

Feedback Please!

  • What you want to see in future episodes
  • My current plan for the first few episodes

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About Josh

I'm a game designer at Daybreak. In my free time, I enjoy talking about games I love on podcasts and websites. I like people, and hope to someday make things out of wood.

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17 thoughts on “The Happy Hearthstone Podcast: What is Hearthstone?

  • Alex

    I’ve always been slightly curious about this genre but despite that I’ve never played any of the existing card games. There’s something about Hearthstone however that’s really got me excited to give it a go.

    I’ve always been rather partial to games that let you collect stuff. Hats in TF2, couriers in Dota, item sets in Diablo, and I’d probably be all over mounts and pets in WoW if I played that too. So I can’t wait to attempt to collect every card in the game.

    As an absolute newcomer to the genre I’m eager to learn more!

    • Josh Post author

      Please tell me that courier-collecting is the real reason that you play Dota 2 🙂

      Yeah, I think a lot of people are in the same boat as you in regards to collectible card games. There hasn’t been a really great way to just try it out and see if you like it without some major investment. If you don’t have a RL friend that’s already into it, your best option is to go to a random game shop uninvited and just hope someone is willing to help teach you–which they probably aren’t.

      Thanks for tuning into the episode! I’m hoping to get a lot of newcomers and then we can all walk through the game/genre together, so we’re ready to go by launch time.

  • Kiisu

    Love playing card games and haven’t played since high school so this is looking really fun to me. Like that it’s going to be a free to play game too. Omg that Jaraxxus card is just so awesome XD.

    • Josh Post author

      Yeah, it’s just so hard to stay up with card games if you don’t have friends that are constantly playing it too. I’m super excited about free to play on it too. I don’t mind having lower-tier decks–I can still have fun!

      I think I’m going to have to play Jaraxxus in my Warlock deck just for the laughs 🙂

  • GeekJock

    I wonder if this is a watered down version of Cryptozoic’s already super huge real life WoW CCG. Which is fine with me. I love the game and HS being basically the same with some small changes works to get me to play it more.

    AND now that they will put this online will Blizz/Crypto go after Shadow Era, which is a BLATANT rip off of the WoW CCG. They love cease and desists, could we see one?

    • Josh Post author

      I’ll try to go into the WoW TCG vs Hearthstone rulesets in a future podcast, but they’re pretty similar. Hearthstone is basically WoW TCG’s ruleset with mana-play and some of the more complex combat mechanics removed. It seems like the overall style of the game will be extremely similar–which I’m VERY happy about.

      I haven’t actually heard of Shadow Era. I’d rather play the official version anyways 😉

  • Rongar

    Great show, really looking forward to future episodes. The “Card of the Week” is a nice segment, I hope it continues. I had to rewatch the gameplay footage to pay more attention to Lord Jaraxxus in action (yikes).

    • Josh Post author

      Thanks, Rongar 🙂

      I’m glad you liked the Card of the Week segment. I’ll make sure that segment continues in future episodes (I’ve already got a card picked out for the next one!)

      Yeah, I didn’t realize how crazy it was the first time I watched it either. Once I went back and read the card text and saw the health pool change, it really hit me. It’s going to be fun to play with!

  • SnakeBasKet

    I was just listening to May 15’s podcast regarding the second half of the class abilities. Honestly I had to turn it off and couldn’t listen to you guys anymore. From the discussion you were having about the Druid ability, one would think neither of you had watched even one fireside duel – secondly the arbitrary ratings you assign only detracts from meaningful discussion. Thanks for the listen guys, but my ears remain open awaiting a real, deep, hearthstone podcast

    • Josh Post author

      Hey Snake,

      We definitely didn’t not fully understand how the Druid ability works on the show. I watched a lot of fireside duels, but usually while working and must’ve missed the Druid ability (and, to be fair, the description of the ability is VERY misleading). I’m sorry to hear that it bothered you so much that you’re dropping the show. Best of luck–we’ll still be here if you change your mind 🙂