Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Zadina

hearthstone Hearthstone Devs Respond to Purify and Priest Outrage

21 posts in this topic

Priest-Hearthstone-Versability-Deck-Buil

The reveal of the 3 Priest class cards, and especially of Purify, in One Night in Karazhan caused negative reactions from the community, who has been complaining about the state of Priest these past few months. Two Hearthstone devs tried to salvage the situation a bit.

Discussions about the current state of Priest have been a regular occurrence on the official forums and on Reddit, but the reveal of Purify was literally the breaking point for the Hearthstone community. These threads multiplied in number and a response from a Hearthstone developer seemed imminent. And indeed, here is a Reddit post by Game Designer August Dean Ayala, aka Iksar:

Blizzard LogoIksarHS

We've had similar articles in the past about design stories for particular cards, I think the most recent one I remember discussed all the design iterations that Yogg went through. Card designs have a number of different goals, sometimes those goals are immediate competitive play and sometimes they shoot for something else. Things like flavor, arena viability, or sprinkling in tools for a new or existing archetype. In smaller sets, it can be a little risky to take a gamble on a new toolkit because there are fewer cards to work with. In the case of Priest, we were pretty happy with the amount of options the class was getting from neutral (Barnes, Curator*, Medivh, Dragon Cards) to do some testing with a new archetype that Purify could be a part of. In my mind there is some positive to the outcry over Purify because I think people will definitely try it out and report any successes/failures/stories they had building and playing a 'silence your own stuff' priest. None of this is to say anyone is wrong in their feedback, but just to communicate some of the ideas surrounding a card design. Hearthstone is important to all of us, and we're trying to do better in terms of communication and understanding what different communities (like this one) are most interested in. I've been happy to be here and have a conversation about what you all want from the game, thanks for being so passionate about it. :D  (source)

Ben Brode also intervened with a developer update. We have summarised his main points below the video.

 

Quote
  • The card wasn’t intended to be powerful. They want to allow players to make crazy decks and perhaps win with bad cards.
  • They tried many versions of Purify internally, like Silence any minion. However, they are trying to pull back on the power level of Silence to see what the game feels like without it.
  • There was also a 1-mana version but many play testers were just using it as a draw card.
  • It is intended as a fun card.
  • Ben acknowledges they messed up with the timing on Purify with the community's current views on the Priest class.
  • Purify is good for the game, but maybe in a set with splashy, exciting, powerful Priest cards.
  • Ben still has hopes for Priest, especially Dragon Priest. If not, they will continue to push for Priest in future sets and make changes going forward.
  • Purify will not show up in Arena. He doesn’t think this will solve Arena balance, but it’s a step in the right direction as they are working on Arena long term.

Most players were satisfied with Ben's video update, while some called it a "PR shift". It is great that the Hearthstone team is willing to admit and apologise for its mistakes, but that still doesn't change the facts. Admittedly, with all of the attention it got, the card will now see some play. However, why would someone use Purify, when you can do what it does better with Silence and/or Power Word: Shield?

200px-Purify%2842061%29.png?version=88b5

Purify is not just the problem; Priest in general has been suffering for a while. Iksar pointed out that the team was happy about the options Priest will get in neutral cards in Karazhan. However, most neutral cards that were good for Priest have been rotated out of Standard format (like Deathlord, Zombie Chow, Loatheb) and even if the Karazhan neutrals prove to be equally good, they will have the same fate in the future. Priest needs better class cards and a re-polished Basic and Classic kit.

Moreover, Priest needs more and better class minions - especially early game minions. At this moment, with all sets included in Standard format Priest has the second lowest amount of minions (19 in total) and the highest amount of spells (29 in total) out of all classes. The power level of most of these class cards, especially the minions', is considerably lower than other classes: Paladin may only have 15 minions in Standard format at the moment, but includes cards like Aldor Peacekeeper, Murloc Knight, Keeper of Uldaman and Tirion Fordring. And let's not talk about Paladin spells, especially the healing ones, that beat out the de facto healing class of the Warcraft universe.

Amaz's video (available at the end of this article) explains the entire issue very accurately. To sum up, there will always be a ninth class in Hearthstone. But, does Priest have to be the permanent holder of the worst spot?

Interesting videos from known community figures:

Reddit discussions:

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must admit I enjoy the hatred purify is getting. Personally I will make a terrible silence deck and play it until I beat some poor guy with it and it shall be hilarious!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I say I revalued a lot the 4 mana 3/6 that Priest got, I think it's important for a reactive class to do more things together. so to say in the contest of VS Aggro, instead of having to choose at 6 mana if you want to heal, play a minion or "Shadow Word : Pain" for example, you could do only 2 of the 3, but with that card you can do all three things at the same time, and 6 health is good for contesting Aggro.

Not saying it's a revolutionary card, but it's pretty damn good, it's the kind of card you should have in a core set instead of an adventure though.

I say Purify will work for what was intended for, Silence may be better but you can't rely on 2 cards if you need to silence a third of your deck, and the draw will be handy when you are using 2 cards to summon a minion.

Edited by Kokuendan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Kokuendan said:

I say Purify will work for what was intended for

Purify might work in the deck it was designed to be in, but that deck won't work in the meta it was designed in.

And basically the same goes for Priest of the Feast - it's good in control priest, but control priest is bad in current meta, and I don't expect the Karazhan meta to be that much different.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, positiv2 said:

Purify might work in the deck it was designed to be in, but that deck won't work in the meta it was designed in.

Considering that they designed it to be "kinda bad" it's a bit unfair to talk about Meta at all, it's like saying Majordomo is bad in the current meta, it's obviously going to be bad in every meta you can foresee. 

Edited by Kokuendan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting.

A lot of the pro-complaints don't reflect what I witness as a player.  There's all this chat about Priest being awful, but at the ranks I play at (which is pretty much the same as about half the players of Hearthstone), Priest is fairly successful.   I mean, people play Priest, and sometimes they win.  I play Priest and sometimes I win.  So, all the pros complaining that Priest is no use: maybe it's not at Legend rank (or even just any rank better than, say rank #18), but that's not where all the players are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, mimech said:

Interesting.

A lot of the pro-complaints don't reflect what I witness as a player.  There's all this chat about Priest being awful, but at the ranks I play at (which is pretty much the same as about half the players of Hearthstone), Priest is fairly successful.   I mean, people play Priest, and sometimes they win.  I play Priest and sometimes I win.  So, all the pros complaining that Priest is no use: maybe it's not at Legend rank (or even just any rank better than, say rank #18), but that's not where all the players are.

I think I'ts a matter of card quality, It's not like you can't win at all with priest, but since the card quality is drastically lower compared to other classes it takes double the effort to make the same results as something like Paladin. There are situations where you need to rely on your opponent's mistakes or on a perfect hand because their cards are that much better than yours and the more you go up the less you can rely on mistakes, not to mention that a Priest player making mistakes is punished even harder because it's harder to recovery when most of your cards trade 1-for-1. 

People complains because they want Priest to be Legend-worthy or at least an Ok metagame pick, not to offend anyone but at rank 18 if you are good you can make almost anything work (like Silence Priest).

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Kokuendan said:

Considering that they designed it to be "kinda bad" it's a bit unfair to talk about Meta at all, it's like saying Majordomo is bad in the current meta, it's obviously going to be bad in every meta you can foresee. 

That is actually the issue here. A class with a lot of "kinda bad" cards should not get more cards like this. It results in the class getting obliterated by meta decks. Tempo Storm called their bottom tier the "priest tier", a lot of players say that there are 8 classes in HS, similarly to arena having 8 classes in TGT. This is something that should not be happening.

Majordomo Executus can actually be included as a win condition, whereas Purify is simply a bad tech card. 
A better example is Silence. It isn't played in any priest deck, but I wouldn't call it bad simply because when meta requires some kind of silence to be run, players would choose Silence over Purify, which is the second part of the Purify issue. 

5 hours ago, mimech said:

Interesting.

A lot of the pro-complaints don't reflect what I witness as a player.  There's all this chat about Priest being awful, but at the ranks I play at (which is pretty much the same as about half the players of Hearthstone), Priest is fairly successful.   I mean, people play Priest, and sometimes they win.  I play Priest and sometimes I win.  So, all the pros complaining that Priest is no use: maybe it's not at Legend rank (or even just any rank better than, say rank #18), but that's not where all the players are.

That's because Priest, Mage and (arguably) Druid are the kings (and queen) of basic decks. However, if you run into dragon warrior or midrange shaman, you will lose almost every time. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, positiv2 said:

That is actually the issue here. A class with a lot of "kinda bad" cards should not get more cards like this. It results in the class getting obliterated by meta decks. Tempo Storm called their bottom tier the "priest tier", a lot of players say that there are 8 classes in HS, similarly to arena having 8 classes in TGT. This is something that should not be happening.

Majordomo Executus can actually be included as a win condition, whereas Purify is simply a bad tech card. 
A better example is Silence. It isn't played in any priest deck, but I wouldn't call it bad simply because when meta requires some kind of silence to be run, players would choose Silence over Purify, which is the second part of the Purify issue.

That is the issue but since it was addressed in the video by Ben Brode I thought it wasn't necessary to bring it up again since it seems they realize what went wrong.

I do believe that Purify was never meant to compete for Silence, it was meant as an additional silence with added refuel to make the "Silence Priest" more consistent, so I feel this comparison is a moot point because they were meant to be run together in the first place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kokuendan said:

That is the issue but since it was addressed in the video by Ben Brode I thought it wasn't necessary to bring it up again since it seems they realize what went wrong.

I do believe that Purify was never meant to compete for Silence, it was meant as an additional silence with added refuel to make the "Silence Priest" more consistent, so I feel this comparison is a moot point because they were meant to be run together in the first place.

Addressing the issue doesn't solve anything. They can still change the card to something else - something useful.

Wailing Soul was a better card for silence priest and the deck still wasn't good enough to be considered usable. I don't think adding Purify will be enough to get the deck going. Why would you play Eerie Statue, when you can play another 4 mana 7/7 that actually doesn't need silence. And of course, if you spend 2 mana on silence, you lose most of the advantage - you won't have a 4 mana 7/7, you'll have 6 mana 7/7. You won't have 2 mana 4/5, you will have 4 mana 4/5. 
And one more thing about silence priest - a lot of drawback cards are gone in standard. No more Fel ReaverDeathlord or Zombie Chow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, positiv2 said:

 And of course, if you spend 2 mana on silence, you lose most of the advantage - you won't have a 4 mana 7/7, you'll have 6 mana 7/7. You won't have 2 mana 4/5, you will have 4 mana 4/5. 
 

The advantage comes from playing it earlier. Turn 4 Eerie into turn 5 purify means that on turn 5 you can attack with a 7/7.

Edited by PaasHaaS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PaasHaaS said:

Turn 4 Eerie into turn 5 purify means that on turn 5 you can attack with a 7/7.

Probably still not good enough. As it is, it's a two-cards Flamewreathed Faceless that would cycle one back in your hand. The big problem is that you need to have both cards in your hand at the correct time, where the Shaman card is standalone. And Flamewreathed Faceless played on curve, while immensely powerful, is an all-or-nothing card. If your opponent can deal with it immediately, playing it often ends up doing more harm than good.

The combo Eerie Statue + Purify might surprise someone once or twice, but anyone knowing what's coming will deal with the Statue before you can Purify it. You might try a bluff and play the Statue as removal bait, but...

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, positiv2 said:

Addressing the issue doesn't solve anything. They can still change the card to something else - something useful.

They could change it to something else, but it's clear they won't so we have to either make it work or forget about Purify.

2 hours ago, Keizoku said:

Probably still not good enough. As it is, it's a two-cards Flamewreathed Faceless that would cycle one back in your hand. The big problem is that you need to have both cards in your hand at the correct time, where the Shaman card is standalone. And Flamewreathed Faceless played on curve, while immensely powerful, is an all-or-nothing card. If your opponent can deal with it immediately, playing it often ends up doing more harm than good.

The "you need to have both cards in your hand" part is not totally true, you don't need Eerie Statue + Purify, you need Eerie Statue + a silence, having more silence should be the way to help the deck's consistency, and I say it's not even a card you should play early, to silence an Ancient Statue on turn 3 an Owl would be better so you get an extra body, Purify is more of a late-game card with the intention to help with card advantage since unlike your opponent your minions require 2 cards instead of 1 to work correctly.

4 hours ago, positiv2 said:

Why would you play Eerie Statue, when you can play another 4 mana 7/7 that actually doesn't need silence.

Because they don't have a 4 Mana 7/7 that doesn't need silence? I'm not advocating to play Silence Priest, but it's unfair to take into comparison cards that are a non factor because you cannot play them anyway, if we were talking about "Silence Shaman" it would have been an argument but like this it's like saying "Why play Ironbark Protector when you can play Tirion"?

Let's clarify that I too find absurd that with all the things that they could have done they decided to help "Silence Priest" (didn't even know that was a thing), but what are we trying to do by comparing a bad card made to help a really bad deck with meta-defining cards?  Demonstrate it's bad? Of course it's bad compared to one of the best card of the game. It's not like it takes much to best this card but we're talking about something that was concieved not only as bad, but as a niche card too, it's always going to be terrible outside his context (granted that the fact it's good in his context is not even guaranteed).

I admit it's a card that deserves all the hate it's getting, but let's at least be fair in the way we hate on that.

Damn it though, why do I have to defend Purify? This is ridiculous.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Kokuendan said:

The "you need to have both cards in your hand" part is not totally true, you don't need Eerie Statue + Purify, you need Eerie Statue + a silence, having more silence should be the way to help the deck's consistency, and I say it's not even a card you should play early, to silence an Ancient Statue on turn 3 an Owl would be better so you get an extra body, Purify is more of a late-game card with the intention to help with card advantage since unlike your opponent your minions require 2 cards instead of 1 to work correctly.

It can be the other way around - you can have a silence card, but you might not have Eerie Statue or Ancient Watcher. There aren't enough good drawback cards to make the priest work.
Silence + Draw isn't really card advantage as the silence will not trade for any of opponent's cards.
Your cards shouldn't need 2 cards to work. That's why pushing silence priest is bad, why Purify is bad and why Blizzard messed this up hard and yet they do not want to correct their mistake, which significantly disappointed me.

55 minutes ago, Kokuendan said:

Because they don't have a 4 Mana 7/7 that doesn't need silence? I'm not advocating to play Silence Priest, but it's unfair to take into comparison cards that are a non factor because you cannot play them anyway, if we were talking about "Silence Shaman" it would have been an argument but like this it's like saying "Why play Ironbark Protector when you can play Tirion"?

The power level of priest is bad and they should receive something very powerful as well. *insert the same rant from last paragraph*
Yeah, why would you play basic druid when you can play the best minion in the game. Why would you play the worst class in the game when you can play the best. 

1 hour ago, Kokuendan said:

Of course it's bad compared to one of the best card of the game.

It's bad even when compared to Silence or even the infamous Magma Rager and Am'gam Rager. I even managed to make a deck with them that has 47% WR, but there is no way I will be able to do the same for Purify. So, it is bad even when compared to some of the worst cards out there.

1 hour ago, Kokuendan said:

Damn it though, why do I have to defend Purify? This is ridiculous.

You could have said that Purify is trash and utterly useless and the discussion would end, but as long as you keep bringing up points, I will be trying to shoot them down. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, positiv2 said:

You could have said that Purify is trash and utterly useless and the discussion would end, but as long as you keep bringing up points, I will be trying to shoot them down. 

I have a compulsive need to defend things that are universally hated. You say that Purify is trash and utterly useless, I say Purify is trash but it has some use if you really need to waste time playing the worst deck of the worst class, not much but I'm giving it more of a chance than most people.

I don't really think it's worse than Magma Rager honestly, but I do think Am'gam Rager is already better than that, I'm just asking to compare trash with other trash so that the comparison is actually fair.

I'm trying to rate the card in a vacuum, so I'm giving at least some points but if I had to take the general game state and the context in account when judging a card, well yeah, no defending it in that case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am I the only one who thinks that Dragon Priest is competitive? Mind you, I'm a mid-level player...haven't gotten any higher than rank 10, but I can get there pretty reliably....and one of my most successful decks is Dragon Priest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dragon priest is almost okay. I have winrate slightly higher than 50% with it, but my other decks feel just so much more powerful and that's because they are. Dragon priest just relies too much on draw and doesn't have that big threat in the deck, like shaman's Flamewreathed Faceless or warrior's Grommash Hellscream, to seal the game or to give you the upper hand.
That's why players are angry about current expansion's cards for priest - they don't offer more reliable starts and do not give him a big card.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I play it for control. I named the deck "Nope!" because it can take so much away from the other guy....and because I'm perverse, I threw a Nozdormu in there. Hilarious how many players are thrown for a loop by that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Silence priest could be a thing, maybe. I put together a silence build recently using the watcher, the statue, and the new moat lurker. The lurker seems good with a silence effect on the same turn, be it Silence or Purify. I find that purify adds consistency to the deck. plus the card draw is handy. I run Ironbeak Owl and Spellbreaker as well, seeing as how there seems to always be some minion that could use a good silencing. I also use Defender of Argos to help prevent the statue and watcher from just being dead cards in the event of an absent silence effect, which seems rare. Overall its been fun. I've not tested it in ranked yet. However in the casual matches I've played so far it seems pretty good. it still needs some work I'd say, but I like to think I'm on the right track.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, GrizzlyJ said:

Silence priest could be a thing, maybe. I put together a silence build recently using the watcher, the statue, and the new moat lurker. The lurker seems good with a silence effect on the same turn, be it Silence or Purify. I find that purify adds consistency to the deck. plus the card draw is handy. I run Ironbeak Owl and Spellbreaker as well, seeing as how there seems to always be some minion that could use a good silencing. I also use Defender of Argos to help prevent the statue and watcher from just being dead cards in the event of an absent silence effect, which seems rare. Overall its been fun. I've not tested it in ranked yet. However in the casual matches I've played so far it seems pretty good. it still needs some work I'd say, but I like to think I'm on the right track.

 

There was an awesome deck Kibler used and actually managed a decent winrate at Legend with it. I'll try find the decklist for you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By TheBeninator
      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?
    • By Zadina
      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.
    • By Zadina
      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.
      Blizzard Entertainment
      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!
      (source)
    • By Zadina
      Ben Brode was active on the official forums and on social media these past few days and he had a lot of interesting things to say about various hot topics. Most notably, he noted that it's possible that additional Basic and Classic set cards may be nerfed or rotated out of Standard in the future.
      You probably remember that with the release of the Standard format, something less than a year ago, 12 Basic and Classic cards were nerfed. Now, Game Director Ben Brode revealed that more Basic & Classic card nerfs can happen or at least they may be rotated out of Standard. The reasoning behind this is that the team wants to keep a fresh feeling in Standard and they don't want to see the same core cards appear too frequently. That's why they are also not considering buffing underused vanilla cards, since Basic and Classic cards are already being used a lot and they want new sets to be more impactful.
      Ben Brode
      + Show- Hide The goal with Standard is to keep the meta fresh for each yearly rotation. There are some benefits to keeping Basic and Classic cards in Standard: Returning players have an entry-point to the new format, and new players experience classics like "Hogger" and "Arcane Missiles" that are iconic and great introductions to the game. People take breaks from Hearthstone, and being able to jump right back in with a few cards you already own and understand makes that experience a lot better. That upside has a real downside in working directly against the big goal for Standard. It needs to feel different each year, and if Basic and Classic cards are still appearing in large densities year after year, we will not be achieving our goals for Standard.
      We knew we weren't going to get there when the Year of the Kraken began, so we nerfed 12 basic/classic cards, to put more of the weight of the meta into the rotating sets. We always knew we'd have to watch the meta to see if any future changes would be needed when we got ready for the next year of Standard. If things are looking like they are going to be too same-y for that next year, we could see more nerfs, or we might rotate some additional classic cards to Wild, like we did with Old Murk Eye. No matter what, we're committed to making Standard fresh and exciting each new year. (source)
       
       
      Are you guys considering, besides nerfs, implementing buffs for underused vanilla cards?
      Given the goal of Standard is to keep the game fresh each year, it's important to keep a lot of the power of the cards in the expansions, and not in the basic and classic sets. It's not clear what that balance of power should look like (is it ~10 cards from the basic and classic sets on average?), but we're currently skewed so high towards basic and classic cards in decks, that we are at high risk for 'samey-ness' as the years change in Standard. Buffing Basic/Classic cards *increases* that risk. If the goal is to get more cool cards into the meta, just releasing awesome new cards in expansions should make an impact there, and still keep Standard fresh. (source)
      Obviously, this comment caused a lot of reactions and Ben took to Reddit (specifically this thread) and Twitter, where he answered various questions. A brief summary of his responses is that the Basic set is currently the most powerful in the game (source), while the team intends to keep the vanilla set unchanged (the term used was 'evergreen' - source). Ben repeated that the team's intention behind any future Basic and Classic card nerfs or changes is to keep Standard format fresh and "less same-y". A difficult question was posed to the community: would they prefer the affected vanilla cards to be nerfed, rotated out of Standard format or remain as they are, even if it results in a staler meta?
      On the same Reddit thread, Brode also talked about why the Charge nerf was necessary due to the Grimy Goons synergy and how new/F2P players are currently still able to reach Legend rank - something that he expects to keep happening in the future as well.
      Ben Brode
      + Show- Hide [...] We nerfed Charge (the spell) because we knew the upcoming Grimy Goons mechanic in combination with Enraged Worgen and Charge was not really fair or fun. There have always been F2P players at Legend, and there have continued to be since that change. (source) Ben Brode
      + Show- Hide We did this in 2016 when we nerfed 12 classic cards and it made a huge difference in how much the meta was able to change with the release of Old Gods (instead of just continuing to be Druid Combo). New players were able to reach legend without spending money after that change, and I expect that will be continue to be true if we change a few more cards in 2017. (source) On a somewhat relevant topic, with the end of the Year of the Kraken the end of Reno Jackson is also approaching. Ben excluded the possibility of this game-changing card making it into the Classic set - once again the reason being "keeping the meta fresh".
      Placeholder for tweet 817625802116214784 For consistency's sake, I've also included two Brode blue posts from last week. In the first one, he talks about the new player experience and how it still needs more work. For example. the climb from the introductory quests to actually playing the game feels steep, while getting into Ranked is also difficult. However, for their first games new players actually play in a seperate matchmaking pool designed to match new players with each other. There has also been a 15% increase in new player winrates on Casual.
      Ben Brode
      + Show- Hide Hey there! We agree that the new player experience needs more work. We've been tweaking it for years and have seen significant increases in retention among new players since launch. Most new players start playing against the AI and then take on other players in Casual. The Casual matchmaker has gone through a lot of iteration and new player winrates have increased by ~15%.
      Ranked is a different story. Ranked is becoming more difficult for new players over time. I spoke about some of the challenges we are currently facing with our ladder system before I left for paternity leave here: https://www.reddit.com/r/hearthstone/comments/58pxgt/ben_brode_confirms_the_2_game_win_streak_is_not/
      Something you may not realize is that new players actually play in a seperate matchmaking pool for their first several sessions. In Casual, we match them entirely against other brand new players with similarly-sized collections.
      That all said, we think the introductory missions up through Illidan feel pretty good, and after that it still feels like a bit of a cliff. It's definitely something we're aware of. Thanks for your feedback, and for the feedback of everyone else who's been chiming in on this over the last few months.
      (source) Lastly, Ben made an interesting post about another community hot topic: the ladder system.
      Ben Brode
      + Show- Hide [...] We have been discussing the ladder system a lot recently - we're not 100% happy with it.
      Here are some things we are currently discussing:
      Rank 18 players are higher ranked than 50% of HS players. That number doesn't make you feel like you are in the top 50%, and that's a missed opportunity. We try and counter this by telling you all over the place what the mapping is to the rest of the population, but it'd be better if expectations and reality matched here.
      We've received feedback that the last-minute jostling for high Legend ranks at the end of a season doesn't feel all that great.
      We've received feedback that the ladder can feel like a grind.
      We are reanalyzing the number of ranks, the number of stars per rank, the number of bonus stars given out at the start of the season, and other parts of the system.
      We are developing simulation systems that let us predict what changes to the ladder would do to the population curve. If we inflate too many stars, the whole population ends up in the Legend bucket and while that might feel great for a single month, the entire system falls apart eventually. People who played waaaay back may remember when "3-star master" was the pinnacle of achievement, and it meant nothing because so many people ended up in that bucket. With better simulation tools, we are planning on trying a lot of crazy things. Iteration is important in design, and getting the tools to iterate quickly is very important.
      Something I want to emphasize is that while I think we can improve the ladder, the metric for that improvement isn't necessarily any one player's individual rank increasing. Players want the better rewards (and prestige) associated with high ranks, or the Legend card back, so any change we make that increases the chances of those are likely to be perceived as "good", at least for the short term. But part of what makes the ranked ladder compelling is that exists to rank players. If you want to see how you stack up, ranked is the place to do it. So while some inflation might improve the experience, we need to be careful and make sure we end up with a system that makes people feel rewarded for increases in personal skill or for finding a new deck that breaks the meta.
      (source)
    • By Pogsz
      Since I talk like an ogre I can as well practice my 3D skills and play around with the hearthstone logo.  Here is a quick render I made this morning.  Maybe I will do some more, wallpaper, t-shirt print or other stuff... I don't know

      I will probably also just play some Hearthstone for myself.  If I am better I will maybe do a "silent" stream tonight! :-D Or at least keep the conversation to a minimum.

      See you around guys and have a good day!