Why doesn't Hearthstone have a workshop?

Every player that loves Hearthstone wants to see the game thrive. He wants to play the game a lot, now and in the future. For this Blizzard needs to make a lot of money in order to support both the current infrastructure and future development.

Many feel that the current system is unsustainable if Hearthstone wants to remain a game with mass attraction.

These are currently the main money makers for Hearthstone:

  • cards (bought via card packs or adventures)
  • arena entries
  • very limited cosmetic items (hero skins)

Apart from the cosmetic items I mentioned (which are extremely limited right now), everything else could be considered in the P2W (pay-to-win) category. This is not a major problem when the card collection is limited but can become one when the card collection becomes bigger and bigger.

As new expansions and adventures are added the cards needed to create the best deck come from more and more sources, thus requiring players to pour more and more cash into the game.

One could argue that players don’t need the most optimized decks to win or have fun. But over and over again we see that players don’t like to feel like second class citizens). And they also don’t like to invest huge amounts of money into the game, just to be on a level field with other players.

One of Blizzard’s competitors, Valve, has been trying to sidestep this whole problem with a different business model, based on cosmetic items.

^(Doesn’t she look dashing?) Lina Cosmetic Set

Two of Valve’s most important games, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, are free to play. Another one, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is very cheap.

The way Valve is making money with all 3 games is through cosmetic items: things you can buy in-game that in general don’t influence gameplay and are just vanity purchases, you buy them to look cool.

Now, Blizzard has been making steps in this direction. A while ago it published a survey asking Hearthstone players if they’d be interested in buying cosmetic enhancements for Hearthstone (I’ll just call them cosmetic items from now on).

Blizzard survey

Since the survey it has also added the hero skins: Rexxar can become Alleria, Jaina can become Medivh, Garrosh can become Magni.

Warrior skins: Garrosh vs Magni

However, the real problem, as any Blizzard fan knows, is the glacial speed at which these changes are made. The only cosmetic items in the game are 3 hero skins, almost 2 years after the game launch.

I think that what Blizzard should do is take a book out of Valve’s page and create a workshop for Hearthstone (and other Blizzard titles, as a long term plan).

The Valve workshop is the place where community artists can create and publish cosmetic items they’ve created for Valve games. In Valve’s case they can actually publish cosmetic and non-cosmetic items for Steam games, but that’s another story.

Anyway, in Valve’s case, Valve does not create the majority of these items. The community creates them, according to Valve guidelines and if the items are good, after a review, they are included in the game. Once the items are in the game they are sold and Valve gets a cut.

The sytem is win-win-win :heavy_dollar_sign::heavy_dollar_sign::heavy_dollar_sign:. The players win because they have more high quality items to buy, the artists win because they get money from items they’ve created, Valve wins because it gets a fee for each sale.

I can only think of 2 possible drawbacks for players:

  • cosmetic items change the character so much that you can’t recognize the original: this can be prevented with quality guidelines for artists, like the one Valve has published
  • cosmetic items have to be included as files in the game itself, therefore making the installation bigger; this can be a big concern for mobile devices: I believe this is not a major problem for Hearthstone since most of the art assets that would be changed in Hearthstone are not that big

In case you think that Hearthstone does not have a lot of things that could fit this “cosmetic item” concept, I beg to differ. I’ve actually thought of something which, I think, would be popular (if Blizzard does not price it out of the ballpark, $10 or more…).

Sets of cosmetic skins for cards.

Most players like a class and play it primarily, as a result hero skins are a good idea.

Alternative, cosmetic boards could also be a good idea, but Blizzard has so far not gone this way.

Individual card skins would be, in my opinion, a bad idea. The main reason being that cards go in and out of fashion and many players would be afraid of buying a skin for a specific card fearing that it might not be a good investment.

That’s why I thought of card sets. Eaglehorn Bow, on its own, might be abandoned sometime in the future. But a set of cosmetic skins for Eaglehorn Bow, Unleash the Hounds, Explosive Trap, Freezing Trap and Mad Scientist would probably have a long shelf life.

Meet the Hunter

When used together, they could have a powerful thematic effect (maybe even some sort of interaction?). When one of the cards fall out of popularity, the rest are still relevant. Including strong neutral cards in the set would make sure that this relevance is as big as possible. Including class cards which fit different archetypes is also a good idea for ensuring a long shelf life.

Besides this “Meet the Hunter” set, here are 2 other examples I thought about:

“Everyone, get in here”: Grim Patron, Emperor Thaurissan, Acolyte of Pain, Shield Block, Death’s Bite.

“Life Tap”: Mal’ganis, Dr. Boom, Implosion, Knife Juggler, Mortal Coil.

Same concept: strong cards, preferably that fit multiple archetypes, and 1 neutral per set.

So my question would be:

Do you think that a Blizzard workshop would be a good idea? If not, why?

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From Zero to Hero: Rai'jin, the Storm Spirit

Hello folks, I’m oblio and I’ll be your host for a new series about Dota: “Dota History: From Zero to Hero”. In this series I’ll talk about the evolution of Dota heroes from the date they were introduced up to the present day.

Dota’s history is something that hasn’t been covered so far and it can be hard to piece it together from information scattered on the internet. At the same time the creator of modern Dota, Icefrog, is notoriously reclusive so first-hand information is even harder to get. As a result I will not be able to present the reasons for creating a specific Dota hero. But apart from that I will follow the key points of the hero evolution leading to the version we’re currently playing.

So, let’s start!

Storm Spirit

Versions 6.44 - 6.50

Storm Spirit

Raijin, the Storm Spirit was introduced in patch 6.44, on the 3rd of June 2005, as part of a huge content patch. This patch also contained 5 other heroes which have shaped modern Dota. The other 5?

  • Dark Seer
  • Undying
  • Huskar
  • Templar Assasin
  • aaaand Pit Lord (the fabled Dota 1 hero we are still waiting for in Dota 2 :worried:)

We will talk about the others in future “From Zero to Hero” episodes.

Storm Spirit (SS for short) was introduced to fill a very narrow niche at the time, that of the Intelligence (Int) core, or carry / right clicker as it was known at the time. His only direct competitors at the time were:

  • Outworld Devourer aka Obsidian DestroyerTM Blizzard (underpowered at the time)
  • Silencer (considered too situational)
  • Enchantress (too good early game to actually be used as a core, despite having decent right click potential)

Storm was meant to be a more adaptable Int core which would provide solid right click power and decent survivability.

Let’s go through his stats at the time of introduction: Storm Spirit stats at launch


  • 600 range
  • 45-55 base damage
  • 568 base HP
  • 310 movement speed (MS)
  • 1.7 base attack time (BAT)
  • 22 base Strength (Str), 2.5 Str gain per level
  • 1.7 Agility (Agi) + 1.1 Agi gain per level
  • 2.3 Int + 2.6 Int gain per level

As you can see, the “chassis” was nothing out of the ordinary, but still solid.

So let’s move on to the really interesting part, his skill set:

Electric Rave

Storm's first skill

In case it seems somewhat similar, yes, it is basically Wisp’s Overload, minus the HP drain. Keep in mind that Wisp was introduced much later than Storm Spirit so he didn’t exist at the time, neither did Overload. So it was the other way around than what you previously though, it was actually Wisp who copied Storm’s old skill :smile:

Electric Rave was meant to be Storm’s first steroid skill, a way for him to greatly increase his attack speed at the cost of a continued mana usage; when leveled up it provided a solid DPS increase for our spirit friend.

Back when Storm was still new it was said that you could see if the Storm player was inexperienced by his leveling up of Electric Rave first.


Storm's second skill

I think this skill might seem a little bit similar to another skill you know from another hero. And the same thing happened here as well. Ember Spirit’s Flame Guard was inspired by this skill. The old Barrier did not do AOE magic damage, it just absorbed it, as its name suggests. Also, unlike its newer cousin, it was targetable so you could cast it on allies.

All-in-all, nothing to write home about, but still a solid skill.

Storm's third skill

Now we’re on somewhat more familiar territory. The old Overload was similar to today’s except for 2 aspects:

  • it triggered once every 8/7/6/5 attacks instead of triggering after spell cast
  • it slowed and dispelled (purged) the target instead of just slowing it

The synergy with Electric Rave is obvious as you could trigger Overload a lot once Electric Rave was leveled up. This skill was the “sleeper hit” in Storm’s original skill set as Storm’s creator underestimated the effect of a spammable AOE nuke combined with a purge.

In the initial version, 6.44, this skill could purge basically everything making many heroes which relied on buffs completely useless (Sven and Broodmother ulties, which at the time were dispelable). When coupled with any Vacuum-like effect 1-2 procs of Overcharge could be quite devastating, which was worrying for a passive, non ultimate skill on a ranged hero.

Lightning Grapple

Storm's ulti

Storm’s original ulti and the hardest thing to understand about the original hero. It could serve as a:

  • pseudo blink/escape skill
  • team initiation skill in either direction: either solo initiation or dragging n ally with a solid initiation along or even possible blink + Grapple enemies in, a la Batrider blink + Lasso

When I said that it was hard to understand, I meant it was hard to actually see the role of this skill in Storm’s overall skill set.

As a solo initiation tool it was mis-placed on a hero without huge AOE or solid lockdown, Overload’s purge not cutting it in an age of solid stuns.

As a team initiation tool when used to carry an ally it was decent but because it wasn’t instant it was lackluster in this role (it had a travel speed similar to today’s Ball Lightining).

As initiation for pulling an enemy out of position it required itemization not really benefiting the mana-hungry, damage-wanting Int hero (since this required Blink Dagger or at least a dubious Shadowblade aka Lothar’s EdgeTM Blizzard) and even worse, turned the would be carry into kamikaze similar to Vengeful Spirit, hardly a role you want your 10000 gold core to be in.

Despite a rather haphazard mishmash of skills, the Dota community adopted Storm, at least outside the competitive scene (this version was never used in the competitive scene). The allure of massive attack speed proved too strong and many a Storm died bravely fighting Trolls and various invisible Rikis monsters while wielding Daedalus (BurizaTM Blizzard) and Divine Rapier. Yours truly liked the hero and played him as a more utility oriented, rat-like creature with items such as Necronomicon, using Lightning Grapple and Barrier as escape skills.

Still, when the novelty factor wore off and the initial ridiculous factors was removed (Overload purging its targets), Storm could be considered one of the less popular heroes in Dota. And as we will discover later on in this series, his 5 brothers from release didn’t fare much better, except for pub darling Huskar.

Version 6.44 - 6.49

Except for bug fixes, no major changes happened… :unamused:

Version 6.50

The first major change in young Storm’s life!

I’m actually kidding, Icefrog gave him the Doom treatment, +1 armor.

Versions 6.51 - 6.57

Quiet on the Storm front.

Version 6.58

All of a sudden, lightning struck! And it did so on Christmas day!

Icefrog posted an update on this blog with a teaser for the upcoming 6.58 version, showing a remake for Storm. The speculation was rampant for a few weeks, until Icefrog actually released the much awaited 6.58 version.

There was a bit of confusion when the new Storm was unveiled, but that soon gave way to a lot of excitement as Storm as probably the first hero with a 0-cooldown (CD) ability: Ball Lightning.

The remade hero took the Dota world by storm (bad pun intended) and became one of the common competitive heroes after a bit of finagling with his stats.

One of the heroes worst hit by this remake was Akasha, the Queen of Pain (QoP), who for a long time just couldn’t compete with the nimble spirit. Her AOE damage was surpassed by the AOE damage from Storm Spirit and the mobility granted by her Blink skill couldn’t compete with Storm’s Ulti. It took many versions for this balance to be reestablished and for QoP to be seen again on the competitive scene more frequently.

For completeness’ sake this is the full list of changes made after this 1 major remake.

Version 6.64

Buff: Base Intelligence increased from 23 to 26.

Version 6.67

Nerf: Attack range lowered from 500 to 480.

Version 6.69

Nerf: Intelligence base and growth reduced from 26 + 2.6 to 23 + 2.2

Nerf: Electric Vortex mana cost increased from 100 to 100/110/120/130

Version 6.70

Buff: Intelligence growth increased from 2.2 to 2.6

Version 6.72d

Buff: Base Strength increased by 2

Version 6.73

Buff: Overload bonus damage increased from 30/45/60/75 to 30/50/70/90

Version 6.74

Buff: Ball Lightning now properly dodges projectiles

Version 6.75

Buff: Static Remnant cooldown decreased from 4 to 3.5

Version 6.78

Buff: Electric Vortex cooldown decreased from 20 to 21/20/19/18

Version 6.80

Nerf: Base movement speed reduced from 295 to 290

Version 6.82

Buff? Nerf? Not sure: Ball Lightning mana cost per 100 units from 10 + 1% to 12 + 0.7%

Version 6.83

Buff Turn Rate improved from 0.6 to 0.8

Version 6.84

Nerf: Storm Spirit movement speed reduced from 290 to 285

Nerf: Ball Lightning flying vision from 1000 to 400

Buff? Nerf? Again not sure: Static Remnant no longer ignores ancient units

Phew, that was a long list of changes! And the most interesting things is that Storm is relatively a new hero. And one which has gone through only 1 major remake.

So this story will get a lot more interesting in the future :smile:

If you’d like this episode, as well as future episodes to also have an accompanying video on Youtube, write so in the comment section below.

If enough people vote for videos, I will start work on them (including for the older episodes) and I will send an update when they are ready.

See you around and hope you enjoyed this first episode of “From Zero to Hero”!

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Impostors and refugees

I “hang out” on the internet quite a bit. I visit various forums and read blogs. I’m generally interested in history, science, technology, computers, software and video games. So a rather narrow view of the world.

But lately I’ve been heading up to reddit to check out world news and user comments about these news.

And there’s one thing worrying me. Reddit is split into subsections, called “subreddits”. One of the bigger ones is /r/europe, which as the name says, has news about Europe.

As you might guess, most of the news these days are about the refugee crisis in Europe. Hundreds of thousands of refugees from countries which are imploding due to civil strife or authoritation regimes are heading for Europe, hoping it would be a safe haven. And in Europe many want to go to Germany or Sweden, which have openly said that they will help refugees.

This huge flood of people is inflated by people from poor countries wanting a better life. So besides the actual refugees (according to the UN definition), there are people many have called “economic migrants”.

I’ll separate the two groups:

  • refugees: Afghans, Syrians, Iraqis, Lybians, Eritreans, Nigerians
  • economic migrants: Kosovars, Albanians, Serbis, Ghanaians, etc.

However, which way you split them, most of the people the people trekking their way through Europe right not are quite different from people in these European countries. This has caused a lot of negative reactions and even a slight increase in the popularity of the far-right.

Either way, people are definitely interested about this topic and maybe even concerned.

Europe subreddit, refugee topics

^(See those little red numbers from the picture? Those are topics about refugees.)

Now, I don’t know how this crisis can be solved, and I don’t pretend that I could solve it. But along the way I’ve noticed that many people have started to forget about the human side.

One particularly dangerous comment I saw:

And if I was I would not bring said pathologies to a safe country.

The point the author wanted to make is that because he was a civilized person from a civilized country, he would rise above his environment. He would be better than the dirty refugees from their dirty countries, who bring their demons with them once they’ve arrived in Europe.

And that’s when it hit me: we all feel entitled. We live in our societies and we tend to take for granted the things we have and especially the things we receive.

Personally, I’m deep down a rather insecure person, affected by the impostor syndrome. Whenever something goes wrong, deep down I try to think if it was my fault and if I could have avoided it. Sometimes you might not even realize this, because life has taught me that in many occasions you have to be loud and blame others, lest you always take the blame.

And when I read comments like those during this discussion about refugees, I can’t help but think of people that actually rose above their environment.

I’ll tell you the story of one of those people: Dumitru Tinu.

About 12 years ago, Dumitru Tinu, a famous Romanian journalist, passed away. His English Wikipedia page doesn’t really do him justice, so I’ll translate bits and pieces from the Romanian one, which has a part of his autobiography:

I was a barefoot child, born in a house without any books, with parent’s who couldn’t read.

My parents wanted me to learn and become the village teacher. Their sacrifice was the simple act of sending me to school, to the “big city”, Slatina [Oblio: 70000 inhabitants]. This was the most I could ask of them. It felt like a miracle every time we got near Slatina.

My first year [Oblio: at school in Slatina) I stayed at a gypsy family. I could not stay at the boardinghouse because my parents didn’t have the 240 lei [Oblio: less than $10] per month required. They knew a gypsy family that came through the village to collect plumes and gave us all sorts of household items in exchange. Everytime they came in the village they’d stay overnight at our house. We could give them produce. They were very kind people.

If I would have been unsure of myself [Oblio: while walking 19km every day to go to school], I wouldn’t have made it.

I couldn’t allow myself to fail, I had to keep going.

And he kept going as he promised he will.

He became a famous and respected journalist, managing to go through many years as a professional journalist in Communist Romania, under Ceausescu’s rule, without compromising himself. After the 1989 Revolution in Romania he started Adevarul, one of the few investigative journals in a time of major corruption scandals. He also became the president of the Romanian Press Club, the issuer of the code of ethical standards for Romanian journalists.

Now, when I think about people like him, I’m always reminded that I’m an imposter. Why? Because for all my current financial well being and for what I consider decent results in life, I’m pretty sure I could not go through what he went through and have the same success as he did.

So I have a question for everyone protesting the entry of refugees in Europe: it’s true that many of them are poor and uneducated, maybe even uncivilized and violent by Western standards. But do you think you would be any better if you lived your whole life in the kind of society they were brought up in?

And when you propose a solution for any kind of crisis of this sort, keep that at least in the back of your mind.

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Cash - time - gold - dust

The most important thing in Hearthstone, as in any game, is to have fun. Kind of obvious, I know! :smile:

A slightly less obvious thing is that Hearthstone is a free-to-play (F2P) game. This means that you can start playing it without paying anything. But in life nothing is truly free, and all F2P games are paid somehow.

Either by tricking you towards impulse buying (“This skin for my character is cool!” “That animation for my spell is awesome!”) or by stuffing ads everywhere and anywhere or by many other mischevious means.

As a result one of the most important things you will need to manage in Hearthstone is your budget.


For that you will need to be able to play the game at a profficient level, so that your “investment decisions” are solid (see my guide for this: Welcome to Hearthstone, you suck!) and you will need to know how much things are really worth in Hearthstone.

There are 4 major resources in Hearthstone:

  • Cash
  • Time
  • Gold
  • Dust

and one of the most important things is to see how much each one of them costs, so basically we need several “exchange rates”.

The most important ones? The ones most related to “real life” things: cash to gold / dust, time to gold / dust.

Cash to gold: $1.33 for 100 gold

The easiest exchange rate? Cash to gold. We can figure it out through card pack and arena entry prices, both of which are shown by Blizzard in both cash and gold. I will use the prices in US dollars from now on, to keep things consistent.

So, let’s see:

1 pack: 100 gold. This is the only option which is available for gold, for the rest you’ll have to use cash. But we can use this price and multiply it for the number of packs to determine the gold cost of multiple packs.

Number of packs Gold cost Cash Cost
1 pack 100 gold -
2 packs 200 gold $2.99
7 packs 700 gold $9.99
15 packs 1500 gold $19.99
40 packs 4000 gold $49.99
60 packs 6000 gold $69.99

So this means that the cash to gold exchange depends on the volume, giving us a range of: $1.495 / 100 gold → to $1.167 / 100 gold.

I’ll average it to $.1331 / 100 gold to keep things simple.

The other cash to gold entry point is Arena. 1 Arena entry is worth 150 gold or $1.99. What do you know! The “exchange rate” provided by Arena is close: $1.326 / 100 gold. I’m kidding with the surprise part, I would have only been surprised if the Arena rate would have been way off :wink:

I’ll simplify things even more by using $1.33 / 100 gold as the exchange rate to have (hopefully) nice, round numbers further along.

This part was easy, compared to the other ones. The reason for this is that we don’t have access to Blizzard’s spreadsheets which determine the actual, price exchange rates they’re surely determined before the launch of the game for the rest.

But, thankfully, Hearthstone has a big and active community so we do have some data. And I’d venture to say that we’re damned closer to the actual number Blizzard won’t ever show us, than they ever thought.

Gold to dust: 100 gold for 100 dust

Ok, so along the way we’ll take a detour. We need to know how much gold and dust are roughly worth in relation to each other in order to make a good decision when making our collection.

And here is where the community comes in, let’s see what their number crunching determined.

And here they go: 1, 2, 3, 4.

There are even statistics pages and calculators if you want to dig deeper.

The overall conclusion? 1 pack is worth roughly 100 dust.

Since 1 pack costs 100 gold, therefore the gold to dust exchange is 1:1, or 100:100.

This will also solve…:

Cash to dust: $1.33 for 100 dust

Well, since gold to dust is 1:1, cash to dust is also $1.33 to 100. Phew, that was easy!

Well, it isn’t actually that easy since there are other ways to get dust, such as Arena or Ranked rewards, but those put is in a more complex equation I doubt anyone will be able to solve without getting Blizzard’s marketing guys drunk on a Friday evening :wink:

Plus there’s another component we haven’t covered.

Time to gold: 1 hour is 50 gold

Things related to time are incredibly tricky to determine, but we can at least try. For this to work we need to set some base rules:

Average game time is 10 minutes

For most decks, except perhaps Face Hunter, Aggro Zoo or Aggro Paladin, the game will last longer than 5 minutes. And even then there are factors which happen regardless of the deck type:

  • queueing time
  • slow opponent
  • opponent has an anti-aggro deck that prolongs the game

Based on my personal experience (personal games, friends, streamers, etc.) 10 minutes seems a reasonable estimate. I haven’t actually recorded game time but some people did that and their estimate is actually close to 10 minutes.

Average win rate is 66% or lower

I can’t find the source anymore (please comment below if you have it), but Blizzard released the winrate of the top legend player for 1 season and it was roughly 75%. So this could be taken as the highest average win rate possible for a large number of games.

But we have to keep in mind that this was one of the best Hearthstone players in the world, probably at the peak of his performance, while he was “in the zone”.

Mere mortals will probably be more than satisified with 66%, which I feel is still too optimistic for the average player. To simplify calculations I will use this ratio and maybe adjust the time estimates upwards at the end.

So, our hypothetical player plays 1 game in 10 minutes and wins 2/3 games he plays. How does he get gold? He gets it by winning 3 games. Then he receives 10 gold, up to a total of 100 gold per day, for 30 total victories.

Average gold per quest is 40

He can also get gold from daily quests. And the ever helpful Hearthstone community has already made experiments to determine the average gold value of a quest. The result is not as precise as I wanted, for various reasons, but apparently the average gold per quest we should expect hovers around 45-48. Since in my calculation I assume that the player is able to finish his quest during the alloted time period (1 hour), which might not be always possible in real life circumstances, I’m lowering the average gold amount per quest to 40.

So, when we add it all up… if our hypothetical player plays 1 hour of Hearthstone per day, he will play roughly 6 games, out of which he will win, on average, 4 games. This will net him 13.33 gold, on average, from the 3-win reward and will probably net him his quest reward if he pursues it, netting him 40 more gold.

The 13.33 gold seems a little too generous considering that most players do not have a 66% win rate so I’m arbitrarily lowering the gold amount to 10 gold. This also makes things simpler :smiling_imp:

Time to cash: 1 hour is $0.67

Since 100 gold is worth roughly $1.33 and we’ve determined than on average a player will get 50 gold for 1 hour played, then 1 hour gets you about $0.67 worth of Hearthstone value. Yay! :fist:

Enough already, how should I budget for Hearthstone?

So, if you want to play constructed (casual + ranked), you will need to buy:

  • adventures
  • packs

Adventures: buy them with cash if you can

Adventures generally contain some core deck cards. Almost every viable decks has them, so you will probably want to buy them. By the way, this is by design, Blizzard places core cards in adventures since it wants players to buy them. You will be able to play those key decks without adventures but you’ll be at a severe disadvantage. Like playing Patron without Grim Patron, Emperor Thaurissan and Deathsbite or playing Hunter without Mad Scientist…

Well, besides the fact that Blizzard gently nudges you to buy adventures because of those cards I mentioned, it also gently nudges you to buy them with cash. Why?

Number of wings Cash cost Gold cost Cash / 100 gold
5 $24.99 3500 $0.71
4 $19.99 2800 $0.71
3 $14.99 2100 $0.71
2 $9.99 1400 $0.71
1 $6.99 700 $0.98

Soo for $0.71 or $0.98 you’re getting 100 gold. So cool! Not really. This just means that you’re going to waste a ton of gold if you want to buy the adventures with gold, since you’re basically wasting $0.35-$0.62 per 100 gold spent, which you could have used on packs or arenas, for example.

The conclusion: buy the adventures with cash if you can. Of course, if your collection is almost full and you’ve already saved thousands of gold, then by all means, save your cash and use the gold! :smile:

Making a full collection: $1,415

Now that we have the adventures out of the way (and probably $50 out of your pocket), let’s see for the rest of the cards. And as previously, the community did the hard work!

So, let’s see:

Card set Number of packs needed for full collection
Classic 472
Goblin versus Gnomes 294
The Grand Tournament 298

So for a full collection you’d need 1064 packs, give or take a few. That’s 106,400 gold. Or $1,415.


Now, before you despair, there are some things I should point out:

  • first of all, get better at Hearthstone: you will need to prioritize cards and decks and you will be able to do it a lot better once you know the game
  • you don’t need all the cards; at best, maybe 40% of the cards are actually used in popular decks
  • there are daily quests which reward you with card packs
  • playing ranked and getting as high as you can will reward you with golden cards, which will boost your collection quite a bit
  • playing Arena well will definitely help you with getting a larger collection faster
  • there are some tricks for getting extra packs

Now that you have all this info you can plan your budget accordingly. And one of the first things you should remember is that you should never disenchant epic and legendary cards because you think they’re bad. If you’ll need them later on your costs will increase greatly.

If you have more tips for how to increase your Hearthstone card collection efficiently, please comment below.

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The vanishing history of Dota

When I started thinking about this blog I wanted to tell the story of Dota and Dota 2, from their earliest days in 2003. I started gathering information, carefully bookmarking things I found on the Internet.

As I advance with this project I’ve come to a sad realization: Dota history is vanishing.

The earliest days of Dota haven’t been recorded anywhere, it’s just oral history. To properly write the history of Dota interviews with people who have been there from the start will be required. So I will try to have those interviews with Dota’s creators and key personalities from the early days. But this will take time, and by then they might forget important details. So there’s a good chance we will lose forever some of the most important moments in this history.


Of course, not everything will be lost, there are already articles and interviews on the internet. But the internet is a harsh mistress: many of those community maintaned sites are no longer running. Many of them were PHPBB forums which are now vanishing from the internet. Even larger ones are threatened.

The original Dota site, dota-allstars.com, belonged to Pendragon, which was a sort of “community manager” for Dota. He’s since moved on to co-found Riot (aka League of Legends) and he caused a lot of bad blood when one day he just shut down the site & forum and put up a billboard advertising LoL on the site.

Luckily for us Icefrog had already drawn a large part of the community over to playdota.com. But some brilliant pieces of Dota history were lost forever. Yes, I know that years later, after he almost killed the community, Pendragon released the forum database and da-archive.com appeared but it’s mostly broken, unfortunately :weary:

Anyway, I want to bring back the atmosphere of those early years of Dota and I hope you accompany me on this journey! :smile:

And just for fun, here’s a brilliant article written by FoxNetworks a long, long time ago on the dota-allstars.com site (maybe in 2007?). I painstakingly recreated it on playdota.com with the help of the Internet Archive (aka the Wayback Machine), a brilliant effort to save old sites. If you can, donate to help the Internet Archive as they’re an awesome non-profit.

Enjoy FoxNetworks’ article and if you have personal stories or resources about Dota’s history, please comment below.

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Personal opinions about history, news, computers and programming.