Odinn

Design Insights with Ben Brode

Sign in to follow this  

3 posts in this topic

13563-design-insights-with-ben-brode.jpg

 

Ben Brode posted a video to YouTube yesterday that highlights his position as the senior game designer on some of the issues releasing new content in Hearthstone can create. The video is brief - only seven minutes long - but touches on some of the hot-button issues around the community in recent memory (power creep, the new player experience, etc.).

 

 

 

If you have time to watch the entire video, it's embedded below. If not, here is a brief summary:

 

- Two different types of players have strong feedback: Brand new players, who Brodes says correctly feel that Hearthstone is a lot more daunting than it used to to get in to, and current Hearthstone players, who are worried about power creep.

 

- Power creep means the team either make a card that is inherently better than an old card, or make a card that increases the overall power level of the game. The example given was Warsong Commander and Battle Rage, whose attractiveness was largely driven by Grim Patron. Another example was how Loatheb and Sludge Belcher made the 5-slot more interesting, whereas previously Azure Drake was among the only playable 5-drops.

 

- Brode says they have a commitment to players to keep the game fresh and exciting. They 'have to' shake up the meta, which requires making powerful, exciting cards. It's important for the health of the game to stay on a trajectory to accomplish that. You have to make powerful cards, or the meta doesn't change.

 

- The Hearthstone team doesn't want to sabotage the long-term health of the game to make it exciting in the short term.

 

 

 

Here is the complete video:

 

 

Brode committed to further videos in the future. Is this something you're excited to see from the Hearthstone development team?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am absolutely excited to see these videos. This particular video was great. I'm glad that the Hearthstone team is aware of these issues (both power creep and the daunting experience for new players), and I'm glad that they are being discussed regularly. I'm not surprised that he doesn't yet have answers because these are both very difficult issues to solve.

 

Power creep is inevitable to some extent, although I think Hearthstone has done a good job combating it thus far. The TGT cards, on the whole, are not more powerful than previous releases. They introduced new mechanics that are keeping the game fresh, and they introduced a few powerful cards that will see a lot of play. But these powerful new cards are not inherently better than powerful old cards, in my opinion. One example of obvious power creep is Magma Rager versus Ice Rager. Magma Rager is a 3-mana 5/1 minion while Ice Rager is the same mana cost but has an extra health stat at 5/2. Ice Rager is clearly superior, although still too weak to see any serious play. This type of power creep, which is a slight upgrade to an unplayable card, should not be problematic.

 

Since individual cards from new sets have not been, as a whole, inherently better than old cards, I assume most of the complaints regarding power creep are in regard to the entire meta. The meta as a whole will, undoubtedly, continue to become more and more powerful as new cards are introduced. The more cards that exist, the more options we have to tweak our decks and the more powerful the decks will become. For example, a Control Warrior deck with all cards at its disposal will undoubtedly be more powerful than a Control Warrior deck restricted to pre-Naxxramas cards. This is just common sense. The individual cards on their own merit are not necessarily stronger, but the combination of different cards, made possible by new releases, is what makes the deck better. This is an issue for players that collected cards at the beginning of Hearthstone's release but, for whatever reason, do not have newer cards in their collection. 

 

The new player experience is also a daunting issue, and will only become a bigger and bigger issue as time goes on. While I was excited for the new TGT expansion, I was honestly hoping it wouldn't come as soon as it did. I wanted more time to improve my current collection before worrying about even more new cards. This is obviously a first-world problem, as I really have no logical reason for "worrying" about a card game that's meant to be fun, but I'm probably not the only person to feel that way. 

 

MTG addresses these issues by rotating sets of cards out of "Standard." Thus, older cards that are no longer in standard are no longer allowed in most events and tournaments. The huge drawback here, of course, is that your old cards suddenly lose a lot of value. Does anyone think Hearthstone will take a similar approach someday? This would help new players catch up since they would only need to worry about collecting the newest cards. However, it would hurt older players who spent a lot of time collecting those cards, obligating them to continue to collect cards in order to keep playing. MTG also has the "Legacy" format which allows cards from all sets. Perhaps Hearthstone will also end up with different formats? A ranked play ladder restricted to newer sets, and another ladder for everything? This issue isn't that problematic yet, but down the road...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just readjusting the old pack cost would help. make classic packs cost 50 gold and GvG packs 75 gold. That way new players can catch up with classic and GVG cards faster. Also maybe reduce the cost of Naxx. Subsequently the dust value of classic and GVG cards would have to be reduced as well. This would ensure people who have been playing for a while wont abuse the system by buying classic packs to get dust for new cards. It may cost blizzard loss in some revenue short term, but attracting new players would mean more people are playing your game and hence more people will spend money on next expansion. 

Alternatively add more classic pack rewards like every 7th win in brawl gives you a classic pack. 

  • Like 4

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  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Zadina
      Various bosses from The Witchwood's Monster Hunt are ready to battle it out in this week's brand new Tavern Brawl.
      This is the first special Tavern Brawl that we will see during this year's Hallow's End.
      You just queue up and you get assigned a random boss from the Monster Hunt. Some of these bosses include:
      Azalina Soulthief (Hero Power: 2 mana - Summon three 1/1 Wisps) Blood Witch Greta (Passive Hero Power: Spells cost Health instead of Mana) Brushwood Centurion (Hero Power: 3 mana - All minions attack random enemy minions) Chupacabran (Hero Power: 1 mana - Give a friendly minion +1/+1 and Lifesteal) Plaguemaster Rancel (Hero Power: 2 mana - Deal 2 damage to a minion. If it survives, give it Poisonous) Shudderwock (Passive Hero Power - All Battlecries trigger twice) Winslow Tobtock (Hero Power: 2 mana - Each player shuffles their hand into their decks and draws that many cards) Wharrgarbl (Hero Power: 2 mana - Draw 3 Murlocs from your deck) Experiment 3C (Hero Power: 1 mana - Destroy a friendly minion and draw 3 cards) It's not sure how many bosses there are available, but they certainly have similar decks as during the PvE adventure. It might be worth checking our Monster Hunt guide to refresh your memory on some of their abilities or just experience them in action!
       
    • By Zadina
      Hallow's End is going to last from October 17 until October 31.
      As we've already discussed, you can log in to enjoy the spooky festivities and receive a free Golden Witch's Cauldron.
      You will also get a free Arena entry ticket in order to test your mettle in the Dual Class Arena. Pick a Hero, choose the Hero Power of a second Hero and try to make the perfect mix with the combined might of both Heroes' class cards.
      We'll have two Tavern Brawls during Hallow's end: Monster Smash (October 17-22) and The Headless Horseman Rides Again (October 24 - 29)!
      Lastly, for a limited time you can purchase the new Paladin hero, Sir Annoy-o, as a Bundle along with 20 Witchwood packs at the price of $19.99 or 19.99 EUR. This mighty new hero even has his own backstory which you can read here.
      Later today, we should also see the balance changes go live.
    • By Zadina
      The update will take effect on October 18.
      Well, the balance changes were smaller than expected as only three cards were affected this time.
      As expected, Giggling Inventor was affected as it now costs 7 mana, up from 5. The team actually considered it too powerful for 6 mana, which raises the question why it was 5 mana in the first place. Anyway, it still remains an odd card if this is still relevant.

      Now, a big and unexpected change was Mana Wyrm being raised to 2 mana. The iconic Classic minion has undergone the Tunnel Trogg treatment and after 4+ years of power, it is ready to retire.

      And a Wild change to alleviate the devastating Druid combo: Aviana will now cost 10 mana. This means she can't be played at the same turn as Kun the Forgotten King and Juicy Psychmelon won't be able to draw both Kun the Forgotten King and Aviana with it.

      The update will go live on October 18th with the weekly reset. What do you guys think about the changes?
    • By Zadina
      The rewards on Hearthstone for purchasing a BlizzCon Virtual Ticket have been revealed.
      You will receive a very elegant card back and 2 packs from each of the following expansions: Classic, The Witchwood, Kobolds & Catacombs, Knights of the Frozen Throne and Journey to Un'Goro.
      You can purchase the virtual ticket for this year's BlizzCon here.
    • By Zadina
      Bosses from various Hearthstone adventure battle it out in this week's Tavern Brawl.
      This is the second time we see Boss Battle Royale 2, which itself is a variation of the original Tavern Brawl. This time, we have a new Druid hero and the Warlock hero Sindragosa has been slightly nerfed.
      You pick a class and then you get a specific boss hero, which has its special hero power and a predetermined deck:
      Druid: King Togwaggle (Magic Candle: 3 mana - Find a Treasure) Hunter: Skelesaurus Hex (Ancient Power: 0 mana - Give each player a random cards. It costs 0) Mage: The Curator (Gallery Protection: Passive - Your Hero has Taunt) Paladin: White King (Castle: 2 mana - Discover a chess piece) Priest: Professor Putricide (Mad Science: Passive - All Secrets cost 0) Shaman: Lady Naz'jar (Pearl of the Tides: At the end of your turn, replace all minions with new ones that cost 1 more) Rogue: Grobbulus (Poison Cloud: 2 mana - Deal 1 damage to all minions. If any die, summon a slime) Warlock: Sindragosa (Ice Claw: 2 mana - Do 2 damage. There will be 2 Blocks of Ice on your opponent's side of the board at the beginning of the game) Warrior: Coren Direbrew (Pile On!: 0 mana - Put a minion from each deck into the battlefield) Sindragosa is pretty powerful. Lady Naz'jar, Coren Direbrew and Skelesaurus Hex have random effects that can benefit your opponent - Lady Naz'jar seem to have more success than the other two. Grobbulus can work too, if you play smartly.
      Good luck!