Pay-to-win is a term used for games that give players who pay money for some aspect of improvement to the game — in the case of Hearthstone, minions, spells, or weapons via adventures or card packs — a significant advantage over those who do not.
Pay-to-win aspects of Hearthstone EditThis is a section stub. Please click edit to the right of the section title to add or expand it.
- Adventures — Adventures cost 700 gold just to start and most have multiple wings (usually 4 to 5) costing 700 gold each, but offer many special, high-value cards that can't be obtained by other means. For most free-to-play players, this is prohibitive when compared to buying packs.
- Arena — players with higher quality cards appear to have a higher chance of getting them from the random deck building offerings.
- Card packs — are only mildly pay-to-win, as they are a reasonable 100 gold each.
- Opponent matching — players who have spent lots of money on the game and gain much higher quality cards appear to be matched without regard to the quality of cards they have or how much money they've spent, thus putting true free-to-play players at a marked disadvantage. Also, matching often doesn't pick opponents who fit criteria for the 10 gold per 3 wins, so even winning matches is a waste of time and slows earning of gold.
- Quests — Free-to-play players can only get a quest once per day at an average maximum of around 60 gold (there is the infrequent 100 gold quest, but usually requires much more time to complete), so the rate of gold accumulation is significantly slowed when the only other alternatives are 3 wins or the arena which usually costs more gold than a player is likely to win.
Quasi-pay-to-win aspects of Hearthstone EditThis is a section stub. Please click edit to the right of the section title to add or expand it.
- Promotional elements — some special cards can only be acquired via anniversary events or cross-promotional events or products (like via BlizzCon or other Blizzard games).