Video and text chat dirty
That's all you say, and it's more or less all you can say.I walk away from long Hearthstone sessions just as happy as I walked into them, and the lack of constant abuse makes the games much more approachable.A well-constructed Mage deck in Blizzard’s free-to-play collectible card game Hearthstone has the satisfying ability to take the enemy’s figurative arm over your knee to snap the bone in two.The Polymorph card allows you to turn any minion on the board into a sheep that can only hit for one damage, with one unit of health.There are a series of pre-selected emotes that vary slightly depending on your character, but there is no way to send your own text message unless you’re friends with your opponent.There is effectively no chat, and no direct communication.There is a psychic cost to going online and being buffeted by hate speech, but the basic emotes create a kind of very simple and welcoming conversation between players.
What’s striking about the decision to limit communication isn’t just that it increases the speed of the game — there are no pauses to type and no long conversations, nasty or otherwise — your ability to play for long sessions is improved.
But the Mage's holy terror of doom is Flame Strike. You don’t have to set it up in order to bring destruction on your enemy. It costs seven mana to cast, and deals four damage to every enemy minion on the board.
It all but destroys your opponent’s ability to control the board, and there’s next to nothing they can do to stop it.
You can greet the other player, you can tell them they did well, you can admit you messed up and you can give them an in-character threat about how you’re about to destroy them. There is no string of profanity after I play one of those great cards in my deck.
No slurs against any race, gender or sexual orientation. They can lightly poke fun at you by saying "Sorry" before laying waste to your defenses, but that's as far as it goes.