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Hearthstone: Ben Brode on Deck Slots and Barrier to Entry

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Hearthstone lead designer Ben Brode has addressed a few issues raised on Reddit, to do with beginners and barrier to entry. He explains that the design team has to cater for new and old players alike, as much as is possible. He also clarifies that they are actively working on more deck slots.


Blizzard Icon Ben Brode


I just wanted to pop in and hopefully clear up a couple things.

We don't focus only on beginners, it's just that we bring them up a lot because many vocal players are already representing the other major group (engaged players). Most of what we do is for engaged players. In fact, just releasing any kind of content is pretty bad for new players. You've identified the fact that we are making the game worse (higher barrier to entry) for new players despite our apparent focus on them. That's because we really are trying to focus on everyone, impossible though it may be.

Also, I agree we do need to do something about the barrier to entry. I'm not sure it's catastrophic right now, but it won't take too many more expansions before it is. I made a video about this recently, you can check it out here.


We are pretty close to having some actual plans to share with everyone about this. Sorry I can't share more right now - still hammering out some details.

A couple more clarifications:

Deck Slots - we are actively working on this.
No alt art card rewards - this is more to benefit engaged players than new players. The game is somewhat more fun when you don't have to read your opponent's cards, and you just let the art inform the gameplay because you've just memorized it over time.
No Weekly balancing - this also isn't for new players. Made a video about this, you can check it out here:

(source)


This is further evidence of Brode following up on his desire to communicate with the player base more. We have seen regular tweets, Reddit posts, and videos for several months now.

It will be interesting to see what the future plans to lower barrier to entry turn out to be, and we'll let you know as soon as we find out!

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Deck Slots - we are actively working on this.

 

 

Really?  They say they've been working for months on something an average programmer who has worked with unity before could implement within one or 2 hours? Or do they actually think something so simple requires this much design and testing? Something simple like giving us 3 deck slots per class would be more than enough.

 

To say that it is "too complex for the average hearthstone player" is just insulting our intelligence.

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Deck Slots - we are actively working on this.

 

 

Really?  They say they've been working for months on something an average programmer who has worked with unity before could implement within one or 2 hours? Or do they actually think something so simple requires this much design and testing? Something simple like giving us 3 deck slots per class would be more than enough.

 

To say that it is "too complex for the average hearthstone player" is just insulting our intelligence.

My thoughts exactly. I've always thought they should make 3 slots per class so we can have different styles of one class without eating the rest of our slots in the process. But honestly I would settle for another page of 9. Either or is not complicated to program in nor would it hurt the game play moving forward in my opinion. 

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So, we are told that more deck slots would be too complicated, yet we were given "Decks Assemble!" brawl? That is just straight-up nonsense. I guess Blizzard just wants to save space on their servers, but I think they should tell us directly the reason why we won't have more deck slots.

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So, we are told that more deck slots would be too complicated, yet we were given "Decks Assemble!" brawl? That is just straight-up nonsense. I guess Blizzard just wants to save space on their servers, but I think they should tell us directly the reason why we won't have more deck slots.

This is just retarded. The amount of space it would take to have 27 deck slots for each account is negligible. We are talking about a few card ID's and the name/class of the deck itself(essentially a couple of bytes for each player,probably not even 1KB, assuming they have optimized things well enough, and knowing blizzard they probably have). Compared to all the data they need to store on their WoW servers this is just laughable.

 

Plus think about it from a consumer quality of service, the amount of effort they would need to put into this compared to how it would improve the game is just ridiculously low.

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So, we are told that more deck slots would be too complicated, yet we were given "Decks Assemble!" brawl? That is just straight-up nonsense. I guess Blizzard just wants to save space on their servers, but I think they should tell us directly the reason why we won't have more deck slots.

This is just retarded. The amount of space it would take to have 27 deck slots for each account is negligible. We are talking about a few card ID's and the name/class of the deck itself(essentially a couple of bytes for each player,probably not even 1KB, assuming they have optimized things well enough, and knowing blizzard they probably have). Compared to all the data they need to store on their WoW servers this is just laughable.

 

Plus think about it from a consumer quality of service, the amount of effort they would need to put into this compared to how it would improve the game is just ridiculously low.

I think we have seen Blizzard being a bit greedy about their servers (brawl is up = unplayable hearthstone).

But why do you think they don't want to give us more slots? This was the "most reasonable" think to pop up in my head.

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They've been honest about server stuff before. They admit that Reno Jackson doesn't turn yellow because of server load for instance!

 

I actually believe that they think newer players will get confused. Remember that just by visiting a site about the game, you're all in the top few percent of players. What I don't understand is why they don't fix it quicker now that it's obviously a huge issue for many people.

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So, we are told that more deck slots would be too complicated, yet we were given "Decks Assemble!" brawl? That is just straight-up nonsense. I guess Blizzard just wants to save space on their servers, but I think they should tell us directly the reason why we won't have more deck slots.

This is just retarded. The amount of space it would take to have 27 deck slots for each account is negligible. We are talking about a few card ID's and the name/class of the deck itself(essentially a couple of bytes for each player,probably not even 1KB, assuming they have optimized things well enough, and knowing blizzard they probably have). Compared to all the data they need to store on their WoW servers this is just laughable.

 

Plus think about it from a consumer quality of service, the amount of effort they would need to put into this compared to how it would improve the game is just ridiculously low.

 

I think we have seen Blizzard being a bit greedy about their servers (brawl is up = unplayable hearthstone).

But why do you think they don't want to give us more slots? This was the "most reasonable" think to pop up in my head.

 

Your guess is as good as mine, but if it's actually due to server load, this is just pathetic.

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