Thursday, 17 July 2014

Issues of Hearthstone: Deathrattle's Late Rattling

It has been close to half a year since Hearthstone was officially released, even more since the open beta. The game for the most part runs without problems, is solid experience, and at times truly entertaining. Of course at times it is frustrating beyond belief. But what I want to talk about today is not how unfair some of the rogue cards are, but instead turn your eyes to some inconsistencies in how the game behaves with regard to some of its mechanics. Namely why does the deathrattle trigger after the hostile attack is over, while other cards with abilities, such as Acolyte of Pain, trigger immediately once the damage is dealt.

It would be probably easier to explain with an example regarding the deathrattle problem. Imagine the situation where the opponent has on its field one Acolyte of Pain. The text of Acolyte of Pain states, that whenever he takes damage, the player draws a card. This means, if you use Arcane Missiles, or Avenging Wrath, if you hit him three times, the Acolyte will draw three cards for you before he dies. His effect is immediate, and precedes everything, even the attack he is currently under. The animation of Arcane Missiles stops until you draw a card.

Before we go further, we must once again take a look how the deathrattle is defined, in order not to base what we want to achieve of pure speculation. The definition of deathrattle is quite vague in order to cover all possible effects the deathrattle could have. All from summoning a new minion, to stealing enemy's minion, or even buffing a friendly minion. The definition says, Deathrattle is the effect that does something when the card having the effect dies. Now, death is an immediate event, just like taking damage. That I am sure we will all agree. The minion either dies or lives. The minion can die both after the attack, for example by using Hammer of Wrath or attacking it by other means such as with weapons or your own minions, or in rare cases during the attack. The latter would be under the spells such as Avenging Wrath or Arcane Missiles.

Deathrattle should not be any exception when it comes to segmented attacks such as Arcane Missiles. If the portion of attack kills the minion with deathrattle, the animation of the attack should pause, like it does with Acolyte of Pain or Frothing Berserker, and give the deathrattle priority treatment. Once the deathrattle took place, then the ongoing attack should resume. I want to remind you, that this is not asking for anything new in the game. I am asking that all effects in the game act in the same manner.

If I give one last example, let us say that the enemy has on the field Harvest Golem with 1 health, Acolyte of Pain with 2 health, and Frothing Berserker with 2 health. I want to use Avenging Wrath. My Avenging Wrath deals 8 damage randomy split among the enemies. What this means is that Avenging Wrath consists of 8 individual consecutive attacks. 8 times it deals 1 damage to a random enemy. Let us presume that my attack destroys all enemy minions.

In the current state of things, this would mean that the animation of my attack would pause every time Frothing Berserker or Acolyte of Pain would take damage, because that would trigger their respective effects, but it would not trigger the deathrattle of the Harvest Golem, even if the Harvest Golem died during the attack, which should by all rights trigger its deathrattle effect. This means, that after the attack my enemy still has 2/1 minion on the board, the result of deathrattle being triggered after the end of my attack.

With the change I suggest, that would not happen. If we presume the same scenario, after I use Avenging Wrath in order to clear the enemy's board, as soon as Harvest Golem reaches 0 health, its deathrattle effect takes place, pauses my attack animation, summons the 2/1  Damaged Golem, and after that, my attack resumes. Which by all rights is only fair, as this means that all effects are treated equally, and no card effect has precedence over the other. If the animation of attack is paused for some effects, it should be paused for all effects under the same circumstances.

#Hearthstone #Deathrattle #Issues

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