Blizzard’s latest Hearthstone event, Noblegarden, has gone live this week with a special Tavern Brawl.
In the Brawl, players are given a series of eggs to “paint” with dye cards. The eggs appear and hatch a turn apart, allowing a board of creatures to develop over time.
In theory it sounds like a fun, casual way to play Hearthstone. After all, that’s what Tavern Brawl is supposed to be. It’s not really a mode aimed at hardcore ladder players—and as such most of them don’t play it. Generally, they pass by week to week without getting much attention.
This one, however, has been the subject of much discussion online. In short, because lots of people think it sucks.
A number of threads have sprung up r/Hearthstone, the game’s subreddit and largest online community. Those posts give some insight into why players are so annoyed by this week’s Tavern Brawl offering.
This post by “EnderBoy” offers one of the most popular explanations. The biggest reason is that it’s random, like many of the Tavern Brawls. That’s always going to annoy players, at it reduces the level of skill involved. But there are Webspinner and Raven Idol Tavern Brawls that also have those effects and don’t get this level of vitriol.
The other reason players seem to dislike this Brawl is that it’s too slow. Unlike other Brawls where you get a minion, you play the minion, and you can attack next turn, the Noblegarden Brawl adds another step. The egg appears on turn one, it hatches on turn two, and unless you give it Rush or Charge with a dye you can’t actually attack until turn three. That can be really frustrating for a mode that tends to promote quick, fun gameplay.
Add in the other random class cards in the deck, giving players no control over the cards available to them, and it seems this Brawl was the perfect storm of negative factors for a large section of the player base.
One player even said, in a highly upvoted post, that he had been repeatedly queuing and conceding to “help” strangers claim their weekly win pack without having to actually play the Brawl. This seems a bit extreme though—playing it through won’t kill you.