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So the latest expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, has been out for more than a month now, and I was curious what everyone´s opinion on it was. Personally, I love the set. It adds more synergy with types of cards that weren´t as popular beforehand. For example, sets like secret mage, demon warlock, taunt warrior, and beast druid/hunter, have all gotten big buffs and can be viable in the meta. I got rank 13 with secret mage and taunt warrior alone, and hope to get to legend with them. What about you?
The live Q&A with the two well-known Hearthstone devs took place yesterday and we've made a recap of the most interesting points.
First of all, if you want to watch the whole thing, the VOD can be found here (it starts at 14:10). If you prefer a shorter version, Redditor EpicMelon has made a 10-min video of everything important said. Ultimately, if you don't feel like watching videos, we've made a summary of anything worth noting from yesterday's Q&A.
Ben started talking about the new player experience, a topic he has discussed again this week. He repeated that most new players start off by playing versus A.I., some go to Casual and a minority goes to Ranked. The team has made it so that in Casual new players are exclusively matched against other new players and their MMR is kept to a 50% winrate.
One of the currently most discussed hot topics in the Hearthstone community is the Ranked ladder. The team is satisfied with how clear the current system is in how it works. However, they do realise that its grindiness and the monthly reset can be a disadvantage and feel repetitive. To counter that, they are looking into short-term increasing the amount of bonus stars players can gain. This will hopefully increase the number of players in medium and higher ranks and move veterans away from Rank 20. However, they don't want everyone to be a Legend player either, since this would devalue the ranking. New breakpoints are also an idea the Hearthstone team is considering. As far as winstreaks stopping at Rank 5 are concerned, the idea behind this is that they wanted players to get to Legend "legit"; this could change as well, though.
Moving to the topic of Arena, Dean announced that they are thinking of moving it to Standard format. Moreover, they want to try decreasing the amount of commons you get, as well as the amount of neutral Classic and Basic cards (especially minions). Some of these changes for Arena are already ready to be added to the game they are just waiting for the right time to patch them in. In early February, top 100 rankings for Arena will be published - just like the Ranked season ones. These rankings will be calculated based on highest average wins per run basis with a minimum requirement of 30 runs.
The guys had a few things to say about the current meta, too. Pirate Warrior represented 30% of the meta game near the launch of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, while there were also a lot of Pirate Shamans and Rogues. Thankfully, these numbers have dropped as other decks (like Jade Druid and Reno decks) started surfacing. Pirate decks are slightly more popular than Team 5 would like and decks with the pirate package feel same-y. If this persists, they might take a look at Pirates. Hunters and Paladins are having a hard time at the moment because they can't keep up with the aggro pirate decks. Overall, the internal meta report shows a stability in the meta: there is only a 3% difference between the winrates of the top deck and the 11th best deck.
Lastly, there was mention of the Wild format. Ben admitted that they could do some things better for Wild. For example, it's possible that Blizzard will encourage more Wild tournaments in the future. The upcoming rotation will be interesting since Wild will have more card sets than Standard. Wild is far from dead: it's just half as popular as Standard, although Ben hasn't looked in the numbers recently. Earlier in the stream, Ben also said that the team is considering two options to keep Standard fresh: either nerfing cards or just move them to Wild.
Lastly, Ben and Dean talked about various other small topics like the possibility of reprinting cards (no actual answer given), more Hunter and Paladin talk, wording inconsistencies and rewriting old cards, how a healthy meta is defined and Team 5 itself.
Hearthstone Game Director Ben Brode and Game Designer Dean Ayala will answer all your questions on a live Q&A session on Twitch this Friday!
The complaints about the lack of communication from the part of the Hearthstone team have been answered. This Friday the 13th (!) of January, Ben Brode and Dean Ayala will answer questions about some of the most heated topics that currently affect the playerbase. Ben has already made some posts about issues like the Classic card set and the possibility of some Classic cards rotating out of Standard.
As always, we will try to have a recap of the Q&A as soon as it is finished.
Pull up a chair by the hearth! Join Hearthstone Game Director Ben Brode and Game Designer Dean Ayala January 13 at 9:00am PST for a live Q&A session on Twitch. Our developers will be sharing some insight about the state of the game, the new player experience, the ranked play system, and answering your questions live.
Have some questions for Ben and Dean? Here’s how you can be part of the conversation:
- Tweet @PlayHearthstone with the hashtag #QA with your question
- Post a question below in the blog comments
- Join us live in Twitch chat and direct questions to us @PlayHearthstone
Can’t make it? Don’t worry – we will be posting the full video on the PlayHearthstone YouTube after the Q&A has completed.
Follow the official Hearthstone Twitch channel to be notified when the stream begins.
We’ll see you there!