Making things different for the sake of making things different is one of the worst decisions a creator can make. Why would Faeria have different numbers for gold-for-packs, or a different ranking system, or a different layout for information on cards, if all of those things have been proven to be the best possible iteration of those things? Why waste time and money trying to come up with new versions of those things when instead it could be spent perfecting the things that are inherently different – like the cards themselves, the art, the balance, the draft mode that hasn’t been released yet?
Because the games are wildly different! Besides the obvious (the board and the land game) the resource system is wholly unrelated, and sufficiently unique as to completely remove HS’s core deckbuilding concern (mana curve), freeing players to be creative in a far less constrained manner. Similarly, Faeria uses the MTG-style deckbuilding with colors that can be combined freely (while eliminating the need for colored lands in the decks) while HS uses locked classes. The ability to save up faeria and choose to draw cards means that card advantage and value, a primary and perpetual concern in HS matches, is hardly thought about in Faeria, while mana/faeria advantage is much more prominent. To get micro, there are Structures and no Weapons, opposite to Hearthstone, and there are Legendary spells and structures. The art style is painterly and storybook-like compared to HS’s cartoony style. As others have pointed out, matchmaking is done very differently. So on and so forth.
I just never understand the complaints that things pretty wholly unrelated to why a person would choose to play a game are just to similar to some other very different game in the same genre. I saw the same thing crop up over and over and over again throughout Duelyst’s alpha and beta, where at least there was some merit as actual game mechanics (mana, draw, hero powers) did in fact bare similarities to HS’s, and I really hate to see them crop up here as well where they are even less applicable or significant.
And I have a hard time ever buying the argument that things (like the day/night cycle) have been changed to appeal to “casuals” (that don’t actually exist as separate from the so-called “core”) or that because a team has financial backing means they automatically compromise on their vision. If a change gets made, it’s because the ones making the change believe, based on testing and experience and etcetera, that it will be the best for what they want the game to be.
Which is beside the fact that a simple mechanic/layout/whatever that achieves the same effect as a complicated one is always the superior choice. The reason the day/night cycle is gone, the reason gold is gone, the reason the log is gone, the cards look different, the reason the UI is cleaner, etc etc, are all because of this truth.
I was not around in the very very early days myself, but I’ve spoken to many friends who were as well as the devs, I’ve watched videos of those games, and I’ve played the game as it is now for a few months, and from my perspective the game is much better now. They’re much quicker, there’s less clutter on the board, and the mechanics are much cleaner and more carefully tuned, all of which leads to a game where the actual strategy both can be accessed much more easily and is much deeper.
Faeria’s a great game, on its own terms. Of course it’s different from how it used to be, and of course it has a few similarities to other games in its genre. But the devs are professionals and very open about discussing the whys to their changes, and considering how much fun the game already is despite still being unfinished, I think we should all be able to trust that the decisions that were and will be made are ones that continually make the game better.