Dalaran Heist is a huge let down


#3

It’s Heroic Mode; they even stick in a warning at the beginning to indicate that it’s hard.

I’d estimate it at slightly above the difficulty of Dungeon Run (on average; obviously certain classes in Dungeon Run were just harder), and certainly above the difficulty of Monster Hunt. But I thoroughly enjoyed Monster Hunt; it was beatable more than half the time. Probably quite a bit more than half the time, honestly, since I don’t assume I played perfectly.

I could change my opinion on this later; I’m sure I’m not using the optimal strategies for the Heist.

But either way, the whole point was that they separated it into “standard” and “difficult” modes to cater to more players. Why discourage that??


#4

Because we live in a society where the people whining about it want free stuff raining down on their heads every moment in their lives. People actually whining about it actually go along the lines of “I want everything to be easy and I am entitled to it”.


#5

It’s not hard, it’s artificial difficulty. Bosses start with more mana, have perfectly constructed decks and if your treasures suck, you lost then and there.


#6

I complain because I paid money for this, and neither mode is fun nor rewarding. I could be wrong, but too many runs feel unwinnable. I just feel it’s poorly designed and boring.

I suppose I could instead garner my self-worth from inventing others’ motives and mocking them on internet forums, but I feel like I outgrew that long ago.


#7

The bad game design shows itself when the player needs to concede on the 2nd boss when you’re given a useless treasure (ex. extra mana crystal). At that point you are wasting time continuing when future bosses start with 3-4-5 mana crystals and auto-activated hero powers that generate value.

The fun comes when you actually do roll good treasure after the 1st boss and are RNGblessed with buckets that synergize with that treasure (which can also be an argument for bad design, but every hand should not be an auto-win).

I actually was just about to concede because one of my last treasures was ‘Duplatransmorgifier’ and I was struggling as a mage because of bad buckets and no synergy with ‘Emerald Goggles’. For kicks I used the dupe treasure on my frost giant and didn’t realize it would replace the rest of my adventure deck with just that single card for the rest of the adventure run. Breezed through heroic 12/12 with pure luck/accidentally putting down 8/8 frost giants on turn 2 that cost 0 by turn 4 supplied by a deck of 30+ frost giants.

TLDR: Bad game design accompanied by occasional OP combo wombos makes the game enjoyable if you don’t take it too seriously and recognize what can potentially tip RNG in your favor.

edit: An idea I thought of since all my days of playing solo adventures was this - Each boss should give some sort of currency that allows you to “purchase” a base treasure you start with. This allows the player to play and be at the mercy of RNG treasures/buckets as well as save up for a one-off treasure of their choosing to tip the scales. But it is what it is.


#8

Blizzard having RNG be a factor in being successful in a single player mode just shows how lazy they are to me. And for $20, what a scam this company has become.


#9

The bosses have (generally) synergistic deck, but certainly not perfect. They don’t often play them perfectly, either.

I beat Heroic mode with Warlock, Elixir of Vim, and Cloak of Invisibility. Certainly not awful treasures, but not at all the best. (Vim is usually bad, and Cloak, while good, doesn’t seem as good as it was in Dungeon Run.)

Granted, I had four copies of The Golden Candle. It isn’t great against many bosses, but it totally destroys the synergies of the final two, making it a great play if you can get ahead on board for at least 1 turn.

I will agree that the variance in passive treasures seems too large for my tastes. Some of them truly suck, and it’s hard to come back from getting a terrible one, and nearly impossible to come back from getting no good choices. At least I had perma-stealth and Golden Candle (which, to reiterate, is only great against bosses 11 and 12).

I’ll withhold final judgement until I try with more classes, but currently my opinion is this: it’s meant to be a difficult mode, and you should expect a couple replays. (Warlock took 2 tries, Paladin 3.) But beyond a single clear, there is no benefit to doing it at all (in terms of rewards), so it’s clearly just for fun at that point. You can (and should) skip the whole thing if you don’t like it, and just leave it for those who appreciate the challenge and the wacky game states.


#10

@ilikeeggs: you seem more rational and respectful than the usual “git gud what do you want free trophies” defender, here, and I hope you can reply to this honestly and respectfully:

Decks aren’t PERFECT: Yeah, I agree. This isn’t really a problem. Like, it’s easy to manipulate the fact that the AI DESPERATELY needs to control your board. How many times have you seen it cast some expensive spell to clear a few 1/1s?

I beat…: So have I, I just counted my Heroic crowns (24). But I still find the mode unbalanced, unrewarding, and boring. And people struggling also aren’t having fun. I don’t think the fact that you’re having fun is a good counter to that, unless the individual complaining is complaining that the game is objectively unfun to play (in which case, fire away!).

Variance in treasures: This is a big part of the reason why I (and I think many) feel that this adventure is poorly designed. Like, how hard would it have been to remove Deathrattle totems from Heroes without Deathrattle buckets? Or treasures that are borderline objectively worse than others? I, and many here, criticize because this design really does seem lazy.

I like it because it’s difficult: Cool! I legit appreciate that you’re having fun. I’m not. I rarely feel like I’ve earned a win. 1-6 feel like gimmes, and 7-12 feel like I’ve rolled a good deck/passive/matchup and starting hand, because almost all games just get out of control (either way) within turns.

I like wacky game states: I can’t express how much I agree, and how much this actively hurts me with DH. Those rare occurrences where I lose because of something ridiculous, which I usually love, just seem like more of the same bulls*** here, because every game feels like one side steamrolling the other.


#11

This is a follow-up to my previous email about the Dalaran Heist Dungeon.
I guess I just got off to a really unlucky bad start. I was quite upset, thinking that this was another insanely difficult and frustrating dungeon for less experienced players, but having played it a lot since the beginning, I’ve had quite a lot of success, and I wish to extend some positive feedback to the developers, that this is, in fact, the best (and only good) dungeon, so far. It’s so much fun, even if there is a bit of difficulty at times, with the Chapter 5 late bosses, and heroic mode, but it is do-able, and quite a lot less difficult and frustrating than any of your other dungeons. In fact, this one is quite fun to play. So apologies for jumping the gun, but it did seem like this was going to be another insanely hard dungeon, but in fact it is the best one to date. Congrats! and thanks for all the work you put into it.


#12

Soooo, it’s been a month and a half, and I’ve had some time to think about the above, but more importantly (in terms of addressing it), to try more classes/runs and get a better idea of the variance in the mode. This is still anecdotal, but as someone who played a bunch of Dungeon Run/Monster Hunt, I think I can do a good job of comparing them to the current Dalaran Heist.

The most fun version of this, by far, was Monster Hunt. This was for 2 reasons:

  • The classes were very unique in terms of the play styles
  • The variance was (relatively) low.

I could reliably beat any character’s run more than half the time. Toki was over 75% if I remember correctly, with more than ten runs. Most characters had more than 1 optimal (or at least very good) treasure/play style. All of this just made the mode a lot of fun.

Dalaran Heist has some extra uniqueness, due to the anomolies and alternate hero powers, so this is nice, but any additional fun/uniqueness from this is severely limited by the next point.

The variance is extremely high. And this leads to much larger numbers of games where player agency is simply not a thing (i.e., there just wasn’t any available route to a win for that run/game). OR, alternatively, where you would have to play extremely poorly to have a chance at losing. Neither of those are very “fun”, I imagine, for most people.

If you start off with Robes, and draft around it, you should be extremely favored to win in most circumstances, and your choices will usually be at least somewhat obvious. This is often boring.

Now, it is still possible to lose when playing perfectly, if your opponent gets a stupidly good draw, but those games are not fun either. There is very little “in-between” area where the AI gets a decent draw and your in-game choices actually matter, as long as you understand the basic game mechanics.

If you don’t start off with Robes, then the above “auto-win” factor is gone, but, the probability of auto-losing to a good draw goes WAY up. A win is still very possible, and I won’t claim otherwise, but it feels (to me) like significantly less than a 50/50 chance per run, which just gets tedious since they are 12 games long. Player agency is still a thing here, since your chances are probably 2% with “halfway decent” play, and, I dunno, maybe 40% with “really good” play, but that doesn’t seem rewarding enough to me in “non-Robes” runs.

All of this makes the replay value for Dalaran Heist much lower than, say. Monster Hunt, which I played a LOT.

Dalaran Heist did split up into “normal” and “hard” modes, which is a huge point in its favor. But “normal” mode was rudimentary, which is OK once just for flavor, but without any real challenge I won’t be doing it a second time. And “hard” mode falls victim to the extreme variance mentioned above.

I liked a lot of the additions they made to try to keep runs fresh, and the deck-mod option was universally liked, and also somewhat skill-testing. But the variance in treasures, and possible stupidly-good draws by the AI, mean that I really want a better experience for any future solo modes.

They could have made “hard” mode so much better by play-testing a few more times, acknowledging the variance, and then toning down some of the bosses and the overpowered treasures. This would have allowed for more play styles and decks to be actually viable, instead of plain terrible. (For example, just ONCE I would like aggro to be a viable option in these things, but the bosses practically always require a value-oriented approach. Same for token decks.)


#13

This echos a lot of how I feel. Like, I get that some people like the experience much more than I do, and don’t begrudge them that, but at a bare minimum, I feel like there are lots of things Blizzard could have done, that would have mitigated the “player agency” (good term there) problems, without detracting from the experience or the difficulty.

Honestly, I would have liked a more difficult game over which I had a lot more control. That’s how I felt about Naxx and Blackrock, and those Heroic modes were FAR more difficult than this.


#14

that’s a load of crap

people want their time spent in the game to be valued and rewarded, not wasted

the devs have an obligation to provide a fun experience, that generally requires delivering dopamine moments to players instead of frustration or excessive friction

then there are the weird players that are so indoctrinated into the dev koolaid that they feel like players have an obligation to endure tedium and frustration for trivial rewards


#15

In comparison to the previous Dungeon Run adventures (Monster Hunt and Rastakhan Rumble), yeah, this was a huge improvement on the both of them. They delivered on doing something that brought back the charm of Naxxramus, Black Rock Mountain and League of Explorers to create a mode that players want to come back to. Apparently, from you viewpoint, you want beyond broken RNG **** like Monster Hunt where the AI only ever has godlike hands and godlike plays and you’re fighting an uphill battle to even get past the fifth boss.


#16

I don’t think you can claim “players want to come back to” this when so many people are giving up or just having a bad time. Yes, some players are, there will always be fans, but I see no indication that more players are finding replayability in this expansion than the others (or the opposite, for that matter).


#17

Actually, yes, I can claim it. The Witchwood was one of the darker moments of the history of the game. You cannot say, with a straight face, that you would consider Monster Hunt to be a fun experience.


#18

I can and do say it? I still play Monster Hunt. I found the passives to be more consistent, and the hero-specific passives to be really fun to play with, and felt that my play and deck design decisions mattered a lot more than they do with this expansion.

I mean, if you’re just gonna say you know what other people are thinking, I’m out, and congrats on being psychic?


#19

But then you get precisely matched by opponents that hard counter you and only ever get godlike draws and plays. That isn’t fun, that isn’t playable, that’s poor gameplay. You could get the perfect passives every single time, and then you get ****ed over by only the EXACT counter with the EXACT plays needed to make everything you did seem worthless. You were rewarded entirely on luck, not skill, when you ran the table with one of the final bosses.

Compare that to the Dalaran Heist. You find the combos you need and you work with them. Figure out what works and what doesn’t. Learn what bosses use what cards in their decks, how their Hero Powers work, then counter them. I beat the Regular setting because I unlocked the Anomaly for double Deathrattles, remembered that each of the final four bosses ran Kalecgos, and knew that denying them a board was crucial to winning, so using Obsidian Statues and Convincing Infiltrators was important.

My decisions mattered way more in Dalaran Heist than they did in Monster Hunt, because there wasn’t this GOTCHA moment where the instant I was hard set with my passives, I wasn’t suddenly faced with the opponent who would EXACTLY counter everything I built.


#20

So much of what you posted describes Dalaran Heist for me. These were definitely problems in Monster Hunt, as well, and I respect your opinion in that regard, but DH has the exact same issues.

Like, Haro, Duskgrove, Carousel Griffin, Applebaum, Zuramat, Jepetto, just to name some of the biggest offenders, all feel like hard counter bosses. Haro, in particular, I find just aggregious, and I felt awful every time I saw him pop up. I mean, what exactly is the strategy to deal with a turn 2 Rag (or whatever), then having it resurrected 12 times?

And I see what you’re saying about anomalies and having more synergy options with DH, but they just don’t feel like strategy to me. Technically, yes they are, but “Deathrattle anomaly popped up, take Deathrattle buckets. Unless you’re not offered any, in which case get REKT scrub.” isn’t exactly next-level game play. There’s so much variance in what you’re offered, and the synergy is so strong and necessary, most deckbuilding decisions just seem obvious, and unrewarding when they work.

The same goes for the games, for me. Waaaay too many of the bosses snowball off of early drops (though to be fair, the later MH bosses were worse in that regard), so the only strategy is usually “establish a board presence ASAP”. Or in other words, play things on curve. I don’t know if you played during GvG, but Standard felt very much like that back then, and I wasn’t a fan then, either.


#21

They will try to make it better but cannot make it perfect. You can win 11/12 matches in dominant fashion and lose to the last boss by turn 5, rinse and repeat (ie Khadgar’s completely broken and heavily favored rng setup). They haven’t come up with a more creative way to make things challenging without it being based on rng.


#22

Agreed. What really bugs me is that there are known solutions to these problems. Other CCGs and other roguelikes have found way to deal with the inevitable problem of difficulty being tied to RNG and variance, but the HS devs don’t seem to want to look at that and learn. I mean, how many passives, treasures, or buckets, were actually new? A handful each? Most/all of these weren’t designed or tested specifically for this expansion, they were just there so Blizzard threw them in. That’s just lazy.