Rastakhan Rumble solo mode feedback with summary

General Discussion
Hello, I would like to give a feedback about progress of mode, which started as Adventures and turned out into something, that are many discontent with. Please, let me begin from the start.

Naxxramas
It was the first try on adventure focused on single player content with something like "story". It was something different than multiplayer against other people and despite story was nothing extra as a first step, it was bringing change and excitement, also offering something different for different type of people and getting cards in process was also fun. 3/5 (solid start)

Blackrock Mountain
This was second try and it was very well visible on improving "story" part of adventure. There was everything from Naxxramas plus that rivalry between Nefarius and Ragnaros, which was going through whole story, was making it better and more enjoyable than before. 4/5 (definitely above average mode)

League of Explorers
One of two the best single player contents in HS history. It had again all what had previous adventures, plus there was again even bigger focus on story and on top of that, there were so many popculture references, that were making it "witty experience" and this is still not all, because this was the first mode, which introduced someting completely different from previous ones like escape from falling apart temple or ride in mining wagon or duel against your own deck. That was really top performance of game designers. 5/5! (Single player content at its best)

One night in Kharazan
Again one of the the best single player contents in HS history. Everything what had previous adventure was there, including great story, variety in levels (I want to point out especially chess match), popcultural references (I was really laughing, when Moroes mentioned during duel something like, "Illidan is arriving to front doors, we are not prepared."), great cards rewards for each match. Top performance from game designers, unfortunately, it was also swan song for Adventures as a mode. 5/5! (Single player content at its best)

Knights of the frozen throne
Start of changes to worse and complete change in approach. Official statement and reason for change was to support expansion with telling story about it, adding flavour to it. Rummors said, that this change was done just to milk cash cow to get more money from players, because it effectively doubled tempo of expansions releases. From entertainment point of view, it was downfall from the top to somewhere around level of Naxxramas. Story was hardly noticeable, variety in missions decreased, popcultural references were changed to offenses and taunts to player, overall narrating through mode was huge step back. 3/5 (Complete change in approach, still comparable to the worst of previous adventures, but it was just start of continual regression of this mode. If it was meant to help tell story about expansion, it was not doing too good job.)

Dungeon Runs (K&C)
If I would assume, that reasons for change in mode was really "to milk cash cow", previous "KotFT mission" had benefit of doubt, despite decrease of quality from previous adventures was vissible. Dungeon Runs however continued in regression. Story was completely gone, variability between rounds design is completely gone, popcultural references are completely gone. Only thing, that was present was "grind". Well, it was the first time to present such kind of single player content, so it was new and still could be partially entertaining for its original (but not so good) approach, nonetheless this was the start of generic "inventless" "dumb" "grind". 2/5 (The first mode, which brought to me moments of frustration due to its higher than ever RNG elements.)

Monster Hunt (The Witchwood)
It was more or less the same "RNG grind misery" like Dungeon Runs, but there was slight improvement with presenting 4 non-multiplayer classes and glimpses of story with final confrontation in form of special duel with Hagatha, which was a little making up for previous grinding. 2.5/5

Boomsday Project
Puzzles were interesting and new, thus refreshing, but there were also major issues like again complete resignation on telling story (what do you think is single player mode about?) and total misunderstanding on nature of puzzle solving (when you solve chess or go problems, you also do not want to be disturbed each 30 seconds with animated character telling you that "this is not so difficult problem or is it?") 2/5

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Rastahan Rumble
Third time same RNG grind like Dungeon Run and Monster Hunt, but this time, it does not have benefit of being new or offering non-multiplayer classes. Story is completely gone, variability in design is completely gone, popcultural references are completely gone, third time repeated resurrection loses its charm. All in all, this is the worst single player mode of all in HS history. I do not have problem with Blizzard wanting to get money, but it is fair to say it directly. Disguising it as an attempt to improve players experience through supporting story-telling of expansion is just disgusting. Blizzard, if you really aim to tell story with solo content, then it is necessary to have some story being present at all. Complete absence of story is definitely not helping to tell story about expansion. 1/5 (the worst single player content in HS history)
Props for the good read and solid points, and I agree for the most part. That being said, I joined HS shortly after the release of Knights of the Frozen Throne and never played an adventure before, but from an outsider's perspective it's much more entertaining to earn a few cards through adventures and cool bosses than grinding gold and opening a few dozen packs to get a FEW of the cards.
Finally a non-rant critique of the rumble. thanks Motylek!

I just wanna throw one thought into this: You mark the beginning of quality decline with KOFT, the first free 'adventure'. the others before were of course paid ones, so there were more resources available for production, making them better.

anyway, I think it's safe to say that the emphasis on the single-player modes has declined to the point where there are more like flavor texts for an expansion as opposed to a full extra game mode, which surely is a reason for the quality decline.
@Spidery7
Thank you. I have more remarks to Dungeon Run, Monster Hunt, Gurubashi Arena type of mode (for further reference "Grind Run"). I find it to be complete misconception for several reasons and I did not mention all in my previous post for sake of readability and also summary is supposed to bring main points, not complete evaluation of everything.

Going through stages is supposed to improve your deck to be stronger and stronger, while Grind Run mode is not necessarily doing it. At start it is, because there are too few cards in deck, but after certain point, adding new and new cards is worsening decks' performance and reliability. It means, for last ~3 levels, deck is weakened with every addition. This principle was shown very good at example in Mission on last level between Lich King and Druid. It was one of the easiest duels from all 9 classes, because actually, cards were removed from your deck.

In Grind Runs, you have to fight in last levels not only against opponent, but also against significantly lesser reliability of your deck, which means, that players peak performance in Grind Runs is somewhere around 5th or 6th round and after that, it goes down. This is, why I find this type of "adventure" to be fundamentally misconceptional.

Grind Runs would have bring much less frustration, if it would have been possible to remove some of cards from players drafted deck between rounds after round 5 or 6 to simply have fixed maximum number of cards, which is not increasing. Or another option would have been starting with deck of ~50 cards and between rounds, remove 3 cards from your deck by your choice. That would be really improving players deck between rounds as it would make if more reliable and better performing.

Back to adventure theme in general. I currently play more Gwent than HS and I bought Thronebreaker "adventure". It works similarly like HS adventures did. Player gets new cards (in regular version) to Gwent collection with the purchase and can unlock premium (equivalent to golden cards in HS) versions of cards through playing of "adventure". Honestly, all HS advantures, missions and grind runs combined together can not beat enjoyability of Thronebreaker. That is how I imagine supporting story-telling of your fantasy world.
16/12/2018 13:01Posted by Motylek
Honestly, all HS advantures, missions and grind runs combined together can not beat enjoyability of Thronebreaker. That is how I imagine supporting story-telling of your fantasy world.
My first thought: Thronebreaker is a RPG that fights its battles with cards, you can't really compare that to HS adventures/solo-mode (content-wise).

Second thought: Thronebreaker costs as much as BlackRock Mountain and it's a complete game on its own. That's friggin crazy :D
Thank you, @Khisana. I understand your point, but in fact, this change of discontinuing adventures and releasing only full expansions was probably meant as way how to increase income and in fact, there should be more available resources to make free single player mode than before. In the first place, I do not think, that anybody was seriously mentioning (there are always non-serious complainers) at the time, that they have problem with adventures are not for free. I think, making it free mode was Blizzards way how to calm down community to better absorb discontinuation of popular mode like adventures.

Generally, I did not want to focus on economic side of this issue, I only wanted to say to Blizzard ... "Hey, your solo mode is not improving, but worsening, please do something with it. I leave it to you how to do it, I do not want to overrule your company decisions, just please do something with declining quality." By buying Thronebreaker "adventure" for Gwent, I am even voting with money, but beside that, I really do not enjoy current implementation of solo mode and it is not matter just now, for me, it is matter since adventures were discontinued.
16/12/2018 13:06Posted by khisana
My first thought: Thronebreaker is a RPG that fights its battles with cards, you can't really compare that to HS adventures/solo-mode (content-wise).

EDIT: Ok, I think, I understood your point.

Anyway, the main point I wanted to tell was, "this is, how story-telling is supposed to support expansion with single player content."
this first thought of mine doesn't show the intention of my post when the second thought is omitted.

my first response would have been to say that HS adventures are individual puzzles/levels with some story tieing them together.

thronebreaker uses those puzzles/levels not as the sole core content, but as a means to settle battles in a RPG.

that's why I don't find them comparable. TB is a complete game that uses gwent battles and HS adventures are additional side-modes that have nothing other than those HS battles.

however my second thought puts those points into perspective: TB costs as much as the old adventures (it's even been on sale recently for roughly the same amount as the adventures save for BRM (20€)) and you get much much more value out of it.
For me personally, I don't play hearthstone for the story-telling. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the thematics of some of the solo content but in the end I care more about what I enjoy playing as apposed to the story telling. Have many other games I turn to for that.

So for me the best solo content ever released in HS was Dungeon Run. Not gona lie, the Rumble Run feels a little lazy. It has some cool things here and there, but it really does feel like a dumbed down version of Dungeon Run. I will still enjoy playing it every time I get a daily that lets me but I can't see myself playing outside of that.
@Ixnay
Story-telling to support expansion was official reason stated by Blizzard for discontinuation of adventures. It is not matter of opinion if you like story telling or not, it is matter of declared reason for changing adventures into something, what now evolved into Gurubshi Arena. Please understand difference between "declared reason" and "opinion to like or dislike story telling mode."

And what do you think about my further point mentioned in https://eu.battle.net/forums/en/hearthstone/topic/17625462440#post-5
I mean extra difficulty on higher rounds because of being force to make your deck worse through lower reliability? I peronally find it to be design flaw, because even promoter in each of Dungeon Runs, Monster Hunts and Gurubashi Arenas is telling you, that your deck is becoming stronger with each round as well as your opponents.
I don't remember that. I remember them saying that they believed having between 4-6 full expansions worth of cards in the standard game at any time was better for the game, as apposed to 2-3 + 2-3 adventures, which I definitely agree with. The solo missions would be added as story-telling support, but it wasn't their reason for discontinuing the adventures. They chose additional cards over quality of story telling.

Here's Ben Brode saying just that: https://youtu.be/LaPYIwS4EJw?t=1631

So where does your official reason come from?

I have no problem with it as a method of increasing the difficulty, especially as you get given the special things every x rounds. I would have found it far too easy if you could remove the "bad cards". Don't really care if the characters are telling me my deck is getting stronger as I'll make my own judgement on that.
I don't agree with you. I quite enjoy these 'Grind runs' as you call them. I enjoy the randomness of it, I have a lot of fun doing them.

I like them more than the old adventure modes. There was just as much RNG involved there, but it was way less dynamic. I remember having a certain deck which I knew could work against a specific boss. But I needed to have cards X and Y in my opening hand, if I didn't I would have to concede and try again. Then when I did get cards X and Y in hand, the boss needed to not play card Z before I was able to play card X and Y or something. If he did, I would have to concede and try again.

That's not fun to me. But with these 'grind runs' you have a different class every time, they do something different every time, you can pick different cards and strategies every time. This is way more fun to me. And I haven't finished any of them fully just yet, but that's ok. If I get tired of PvP I can go to the solo section and hmmm, today I'll do a dungeon run. Or a rumble, or whatever.

And I think if I do complete them all at some point, I will still occasionally play them. Because I enjoy it.
They started out pretty fun. But all it is now is RNG. Losing matches without any chance to win it. Shrine getting destroyed in first turn. Enemy having a full board first turn. It isn't fun.
Thank you Motylek for taking the time to write such eloquent, comprehensive feedback; I really hope Blizzard takes note. It's a shame there's been such a decline in quality of the solo mode since Explorers/Kharazan. I'm not much of a gamer so had never heard of Gwent. Looked it up and it seems amazing so thanks for that recommendation too.
I have to agree with everything you said on the latest rumble. So !@#$ing fustrating. No elements of skill just a demand of your time. 164 eliminations and not a single clear. Blizzard is making it increasingly clear that money is all they care about. "Fun" no longer seems to be something they care about. Hearthstone used to be an escape from the fustration of Overwatch and now it seems just as RNG as thier other games.
27/12/2018 05:50Posted by EvilDragon
Blizzard is making it increasingly clear that money is all they care about. "Fun" no longer seems to be something they care about
Well, Blizzard is a company with a lot of paid staff, shareholders, etc etc. So you are right that, like any other commercial company, their only target is to make money. And in the case of Blizzard, since they are in the game industry, they do that by selling fun. So you are wrong about it being an either / or issue; the reverse is true: they HAVE TO care about fun whether they like it or not because that is the only way to make money.

What baffles me is that you write this text in a discussion on a game mode that is (1) free to access, (2) free to play, and (3) does not allow players to pay for an advantage even if they wanted to.
I like the way it is since K&K dungeon runs to be honest. Couldn't care less about the "story" previous expansions had, i know the story from other Blizzard games. And the solo content since dungeon runs have some replay-ability, can't say the same about past expansions.

I don't like how AI is designed in this game mode though. First few are too easy (like insulting your intelligence easy), making obvious misplays often, and the last ones are OP as !@#$.

edit: even on later shrines the AI makes very stupid plays sometime. Like the shrine that deals you 5 damage when you take damage paladin.. Had a 11/11 with taunt, he had 17 hp, and he hit his face to that taunt to make me take 5, only to die next turn.

And in the last expansion i hate the fact that i can't pick what shrine i want. I get there are 27, but is this another "you are too stupid to scroll through 27 options" thing? Is it a mobile thingy, so you can fit it all on one screen? If so, put at least 2 more, make the icons smaller, and auto include as options the shrine that beat you, the one you HAD (most important for me), and 3 other random ones.
16/12/2018 12:51Posted by khisana
the others before were of course paid ones, so there were more resources available for production, making them better.


That makes no sense... Their ressources never came from paid adventures, making them free was obvious... Story? What story? is there anything worthy to tell in previous opera?
The difficulty level of this run is too high, during the first matches some opponents can pull of insane combo's running away with the match, and against some of the opponents in the 7th or 8th round I honestly believe I couldn't win if I just made a deck. Some of the dungeon run bosses seemed impossible to beat due to their high synergy and highly disrupting mechanics, but they couldn't run away with the match in just one turn like some of the rashtakhan run bosses...

Currently at 88 victories but yet to complete a single run :'(

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