Today is Hearthstone’s birthday. The game has launched on March 11, 2014. Technically it became available to a global audience a couple of months earlier when it entered open beta, but March 11 is when it has officially released on PC.
9 years later, the game looks completely different. If you want to have a taste of how it played back in the day, you can always try the Classic format (which is kind of ruined by bots, but you can still have a good comparison of old decks to what we have right now). Those were definitely simpler times, with less tempo, card draw being much more premium, and not that many crazy combos around. On the other hand, many of the cards back then would be considered completely overpowered right now – such as Innervate restoring 2 mana, 2 mana Blade Flurry also hitting face, or the old Starving Buzzard + Unleash the Hounds combo (it used to cost 4 mana).
Just in the last year alone, we’ve seen a ton of changes. A new class has been released (Death Knight). We also have a new minion type (Undead) and card type (Location). Expansion themes were quite fun, especially Sunken City & Castle Nathria. A lot of QoL features were added, including in-game events. The game also got a bit easier to get into, offering a lot of packs and free decks to new and returning players. We went through many different metas, and while some of them dragged on for a bit too long, we also had many fun ones. Battlegrounds and Duels modes got lots of updates, while Blizzard has (finally?) dropped support for Mercenaries. On the other hand, the esports scene is back on Twitch, but in a very, very limited capacity. Chinese game servers were also closed, and while many players migrated to different servers, majority of them most likely just quit the game. As you can see, there were some ups and downs, but overall I think that it was a good year for the game (unless you’re from China, sorry guys). Let’s hope that the next one will be even better.
Happy birthday, Hearthstone! How long have you been playing the game?