You can’t have this Hearthstone hack

3 min read
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maverick

You know what I dig about Hearthstone? It’s that the game is one hell of a double-edged sword. You can have a field full of summons and healthy amount of heart in the bank, but the structure of this game can also result in that advantage being turned against you in a single turn. This is something that is both fantastic and infuriating, depending on which side of that turn you happen to be on. But what if you could predict the next move?

Such an exploit is the dream of many a jackass who wants to cheat at Hearthstone. Fortunately, Blizzard happens to be on top of things, with the game remaining hack-free at present. But according to the lead member of Google’s anti-abuse research team, Elie Bursztein, he happens to have unlocked a tool that can hack Hearthstone and reveal which card will be played next by the AI.

Speaking at the Defcon 22 hacking conference in Las Vegas last month, Burszstein says that the tool “uses data analysis to find undervalued cards and exploits game structure using machine learning to predict your opponent’s deck”. Bursztein shared his entire presentation on his blog, which you can watch below.

Such a tool in the wrong hands could ruin Hearthstone. Fortunately, Bursztein has no plans whatsoever to allow this program to go public, with the results of his hack being used to protect the game from any other future exploits. “Following Defcon we had a series of conversations with the Hearthstone team about our research,” Bursztein explained via CVG.

They like our research on game/cards balance and are very enthusiastic and supportive about it. On the other hand, they were very concerned that our real time dashboard that can predict your opponent’s deck will break the game balance by giving that person (that is, whoever has the tool) an unfair advantage. They also expressed concern that such a tool makes the game less fun by taking away some of the decision-making from the player.

It was a difficult decision – I invested a lot of our time building our real-time dashboard tool with [my wife] Celine – but we agree with the Hearthstone team and will not release the tool publicly.

Too bloody right. There have been many, many games ruined by an online community obsessed with being the best, resulting in exploits that toss fun out of the window. And I’d like Hearthstone to remain as free of that as possible.

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Last Updated: September 4, 2014

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Kensei Seraph

    Your description of Hearthstone reminds of a game of MTG where I attacked an opponent with a 10’000+ attack creature only to have him kill it and remove it from the game before it could do damage.

    • Sk3tz0

      oh oh oh my favourite. I attack you with all my creatures. (TAP TAP TAP TAP).. me: Instant Protection from (insert Color).. bwahahhaha..

    • Mark Treloar

      Except magic uses a certain amount of logic and at least allows you to assign your entire army to block that one singe creature.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Just as well he doesn’t feel the need, the need for greed.

  • Guild

    I couldn’t watch more then 50 seconds. The french accent is too annoying.

    • Sageville

      lol

  • Sk3tz0

    Who still plays HS against the AI?? I mean if you can sit and reply till u know exactly whats in the AI deck then u dont need a program to tell u what they can play.. hell i sometime guess what my Human oppents are playing in Ranked and Casual games.

    • Guild

      Same. I see a lot of constructed decks and its easy to guess plays.
      You playing on PC or on iPad?

      • Sk3tz0

        PC. Yea.. Alot of people stick to the same kind of builds as every1 else. so u can tell a what kind of deck the person gonna play..

    • Sageville

      Especially the opening moves

      • Sk3tz0

        If i had a R1 for every time a hunter opens with Arcane Shot or the Coin Card is played to spit out a 1/1 creature.. i’d be rolling in it lol..

  • James Philip Lawrence

    It always does seem exciting to hack a game – but when you are on the receiving end of it – it can lead to rage beyond 9000.

    Just a few games that have driven me over the edge,

    Dota, Dota 2 (when they use F*cking bots to farm levels) , MW3 (money wasted) , Dungeon Defender (the first one)

    :'(

    the sighs i have had!

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