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Hearthstone: Daxxarri on Deck Slots

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Deck slots are a feature that Hearthstone players have been demanding for a long time. Most of them argue that it's quite a simple feature to implement in the game. Community manager Daxxarri had a response to these concerns.

 

Daxxarri's post on deck slots is part of the big thread in the official forums, where people criticised Ben Brode's stance in his latest video on content updates. You can find the whole thread here, where you can also read some other posts by Daxxarri. This is all part of the communication issue we covered yesterday.

 

On to our current topic, though, what did Daxxarri have to say about deck slots? The community manager said that deck slots aren't as simple to implement as people think and that the developer team is trying to find the most efficient way to add them in the game.

 

Blizzard Icon Daxxarri

Changing deck slots is one value. Just one. The scrolling is there, the interface is there and as has been discovered even the functionality is there. So there is no need to hold that back as no quality control is required - the client functions exactly the same as before and there are no new UI elements. So I will have to assume the reason this is being held back is because finance still tries to figure out if they can/should kick everybody in the teeth by making slight improvements to the client cost money, I see no other reason for the delay.

It's not a crazy difficult task, though not so simple as a one-value change as you’re suggesting. Regardless, I think you're underestimating the amount of discussion the team does over what the right approach is, and all of the other less-visible factors in play. I’ve seen some of the iteration on deck slots, and yeah, I think the final implementation is probably going to end up being surprisingly simple—but it took a lot of discussion to get there, and it’s not finished yet. The team works as a group, which means that there’s a ton of discussion about individual changes, and then a ton of iteration after a course of action is decided on. They don’t want to just find the fastest, simplest, or easiest way to implement something, but the best way to do it. Hopefully while accomplishing other goals at the same time, and keeping everything in a nice, elegant little bundle.

They want to try to make sure that each step they take is the right one. That means the team moves at a deliberate pace on nearly everything. They’re thinking in terms of months and years, not days and weeks. I don’t know if that’s the kind of fact that anyone is thrilled about, but it’s the truth.

If you're interested in what goes into our UI design, here's that video featuring Derek Sakamoto that Ben mentioned in his video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axkPXCNjOh8

(source)

 

The thing is that the team has kept teasing us for a while with deck slots; these last ones have already been long overdue. If we are to take  Ben Brode's mentions of deck slots in his latest video seriously, as well as the team's promise to be more communicative in the near future, deck slots might finally appear sooner than we think!

 

What's your opinion? Do you think deck slots will be the next big announcement? Do you think they will be implemented on their own or as part of a bigger patch?

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This is just bullshit. I literally have no idea why they haven't just added them to the game yet. Maybe it wouldn't be as simple as changing one value, but surely it wouldn't take a major videogame editor like blizzard over an hour's worth of work and maybe 30 minutes of testing to do this. Maybe they would also need to change their database structure slightly to allow for more deck slots, but that also wouldn't take that much time to do.

Edited by batanete

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I would like more deck slots as well, but I don't appreciate why the community is so impatient for them.  Taking the above post as an example: there seems to be a lot of supposition involved.  The idea that a change to a permanently online game of such a high professional standard as Hearthstone, with it's considerable global user base, would take approximately 1.5 hours seems to be utterly fantastical.  As for altering the database structure: that's a hot developmental potato!  If one rushes these things, one might introduce a catastrophic bug, or otherwise damage usability (by overloading the network, say).  When the developers say they're taking their time to think these things through before acting, shouldn't we all be thankful?

 

This is all ignoring what seems to be a more fundamental issue: which is the design process.  Any software developer with much experience can tell you that without a design process, you're heading for disaster.  We have this incredibly clean design right now: 9 classes and 9 visible slots.  Sure, you could just double it to 18 slots, and have the user's scroll.  Will they make efficient use of the new space, or just leave most of their slots to rot on the vine (taking up space, somewhere)?  Will they be easily navigable?  Will new players find it difficult to process?  Should you then have it as an advanced feature?  Perhaps you should change the interface entirely to have one area for Mage slots, another for Hunter slots etc.  But now are you alienating happy veterans of the game?  Plus that's a complete re-design of that part of the interface.  UI requires design, iteration, usability testing, quality assurance etc.

 

Man, it's taken me about ten minutes to write this, and I'm not even involved.  That 1.5 hours seems pretty tight now, doesn't it?  If you stop to think.  I'll tell you what I think: it wouldn't take that much time to completely fuck up a good thing, but quality takes time.  I'm happy to wait for it.

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Just use a deck tracker and boom, you have your extra deck slots.

 

Not really, it takes to much time.

 

As a user of Hearthstone Deck Tracker, I can say it takes less than 15 seconds to import a deck and about the same time to export it back. That's quite quick, in my opinion.

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Just use a deck tracker and boom, you have your extra deck slots.

 

Not really, it takes to much time.

 

As a user of Hearthstone Deck Tracker, I can say it takes less than 15 seconds to import a deck and about the same time to export it back. That's quite quick, in my opinion.

 

 

Exactly. And there are no limits, so you never have to delete your decks from HDT.

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I think that Blizzard/Activiosion will give you your deck slots, but with so much popular demand, they won't be free. They are thinking as we speak in a way to monetize it.

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Before I say anything, I would like to clarify that this post reflects solely my own opinion.

 

I get mimech's points to some extent and I can sympathise with the Hearthstone team. Last Wednesday, there was a new big patch on Diablo 3; five days later, the game is still ridden with all kinds of bugs and broken things. I take this as an example, because you never know what may or may not break if/when more deck slots are added to Hearthstone. I can also sympathise with the fact that they are trying to find the best way to add them: they need to find the most efficient, simple, clean - in short, the perfect - way to add these deck slots to both PCs and cell phones, where the app's design is super minimalistic. And yes, I can also understand that (and I will use D3 as an example again) that if you have more stash/more deck slots, you might end up having an unhealthy hoarding attitude.

 

That's it, though. I have talked with programmers (okay, they are just programmers, they don't work with games, but they know their stuff) and they have told me that while it's not a 2-hour procedure, it's definitely something very simple to do and that each slot requires only a few KBs of code. The team can even make it a work-in-progress, like they did with a lot of other things when the game was first released, by slowly improving on it. The fact that they have been contemplating adding deck slots since 2014 is simply ridiculous. They were quick to react with Spectator Mode, so why not deck slots when people have been crying about them for ages? Blizzard, in general, has a tendency (to put it nicely) with releasing content all together in big updates; while this may work for WoW (even here it is debatable with the rate of how MMO-RPGs are changing), it certainly doesn't work with a game with such a mass appeal like Hearthstone or with Heroes of the Storm (that's an entirely different story on its own).

 

To sum up, I don't think all these pro-deck slots people, who are ready to take their pitchforks and rage at Blizzard, are correct, but I do think that the rest of us sound people, who have been asking for them with solid arguments, are right in doing so. Deck slots have been long overdue and the game needs them, as desperately D3 needed these extra stash tabs added in the latest patch or as desperately WoW needs the new Wardrobe system that will be added in Legion.

 

@lexblow: I think they've said they want all extra additions to the client to be free.

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