In my day job, I have spent years struggling to get vendors in compliance with accessibility standards, so I have mixed feelings about Hearthstone Access.
Hearthstone, of course, is an online collectible card game created by Activision Blizzard . Hearthstone Access is “a custom Hearthstone mod built by Guide Dev that makes Hearthstone accessible for visually impaired screen-reader users who wouldn’t otherwise be able to enjoy the game.”
For the time being, you can:
* Play through a fully accessible tutorial composed of 6 games to learn how to play
* Play practice games against AI opponents in order to unlock all 10 classes and their basic decks
* Use any of the 10 different classes in practice games to unlock all basic cards as you level up
* Build standard decks for any class you’ve unlocked
* Play practice games against expert-level AI opponents to get familiar with all the classes and game mechanics
* Play the first two adventures of Book of Heroes which cover the story of Jaina and Rexxar
Once you’ve gone through all of this, you’ll probably want to move on to other things such as playing against other players or going through Hearthstone’s solo adventures to learn more about the lore of Warcraft. While these things aren’t available yet, I do intend to work on them if there’s enough interest. In the meantime, several players have successfully been using OCR to access other areas of the game and created Golden Cursor scripts for NVDA players who would like to use them. You can find these in the FAQ section.
I am not an NVDA or JAWS user, but by all accounts, this is a well-done mod, and the developer deserves nothing but praise for their efforts.
The obvious question this raises, however, is why visually impaired users had to wait for some dedicated community member to provide what Blizzard should have implemented years ago.
Hearthstone was released in 2014. While I haven’t played it in years, back in 2017 VentureBeat reported that Hearthstone was raking in $40 million each month.
Activision Blizzard had revenue in 2020 of $8.09 billion, with a net income of $2.197 billion. And yet, it leaves support for visually impaired users to random users in its community.
That is epic level “we don’t give a shit.”
I’d say that Activision Blizzard should be ashamed of itself, but I doubt the company is capable of that.
NECA will be releasing this replica of Nightwing’s escrima sticks from the Batman: Arkham Knight video game.
I almost never play mobile games, but Cult Manager Tycoon looks like my kind of game.
Manage resources like Mojo, Money, and Legitimacy, to take your cult mainstream.
Choose Holidays and Revelation Passages that please your followers and keep them Devoted.
The better your Revelation each round, the more followers you Convert. This means more Donations and the chance for better classes of worshipers that increase your Legitimacy.
Achieve 100% Legitimacy for one of three possible endings!