Aleco

Everything we learned from the Hearthstone Q&A at Blizzcon

16 posts in this topic

Wk5ZaSV.jpg

Lots of exciting new features and developments were confirmed by Team 5 during the Hearthstone Q&A at Blizzcon.

After allowing the audience to select nine new cards to be added to the Arena, four of Hearthstone's most senior designers (Ben Brode, Mike Donais, Peter Whalen ,and Yong Woo) fielded a number of questions from the Blizzcon audience, and many new and exciting Hearthstone developments were confirmed during this illuminating Q&A session. Here's everything we learned:

When asked about potential changes to the current Arena draft format:

  • Blizzard's original design for the Arena was much closer to a Magic: the Gathering draft than the Arena we have today. Though they probably won't stray far from the current design of the Arena going forward, it is very likely that we will see some new approaches to the Arena and drafting at Fireside Gatherings.

When asked about the probability of having more Fireside Gatherings like the one we saw at Gamescom 2017:

  • "There is definitely going to be more stuff like that in the future."

When asked the possibility of Standard-only cards, not unlike the Arena-only cards selected by the audience earlier:

  • A tepid response, Team 5 would "maybe discuss" cards like this if the upcoming Arena-only cards are a tremendous success.

When asked about adding a new Druid hero:

  • Team 5 is very aware of the fact that Druid is the only class without an alternate hero, and they are currently developing a new Druid hero. Don't expect to see the new Druid any time soon though, as they still haven't figured out when or how they would like to release it.

When asked about adding a feature to randomize your card back before each match:

  • "We will do it!"

When asked about the card Ultimate Infestation:

  • They do not think that the card is a big "statistical factor", but more of an "emotional factor". They noted that cards such as Wild Growth probably have a greater effect on Druid's overall winrate than Ultimate Infestation does.

When asked about the new Legendary Weapons in relation to cards like Gluttonous Ooze:

  • Many of the new Legendary Weapons were designed with effects such as Deathrattle and Battlecry to mitigate the risk of cards like Harrison Jones.

When asked about the various factors they considered before the recent nerfs to Innervate and Hex:

  • The play rate of the card.
  • The overall winrate of the card.
  • How do people feel when they play against the card? People generally dislike OTK combos and cards with little counterplay, even if these strategies have low winrates.
  • The ranks that the card is being played most at.
  • Do all of these factors add up to “people having fun”? If people aren’t having fun, they make a change.
  • Ben Brode added that he believes the power level of certain Basic and Classic cards is too high.
  • Sometimes they will nerf cards not because they present problems right now, but because they present problems in the design of future sets.

When asked about the rewards for defeating Dungeon Runs:

  • Players will receive a card back for completing a Dungeon Run with each of the nine classes, but there will be no other rewards for succeeding at Dungeon Runs.

When asked about replay functionality being added in the future:

  • Ben Brode confirmed that replay functionality will be added to the game at some point in the future, but suggested that there may be several other features which are added to the game first. "We will be improving Hearthstone forever, but we need to prioritize which features have the highest impact. We will look at it at some point.”

When asked about high variance cards and game mechanics:

  • The development team aims to maintain a healthy mixture of cards that are high variance and cards that are more "stable". They believe that Hearthstone players enjoy moments where they get to high roll, but that there can't be too many of these moments on a game by game basis.

When asked about stat tracking:

  • Team 5 is aware that many fans are interested in more stat tracking features. They have already started to send out emails to players which contain play statistics, but believe they can do much more to improve on stat tracking in the future. Ben Brode noted that he would like to have advanced stat tracking tools on the Blizzard website (not in the client), and that there are ongoing discussions about stat tracking within the team.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few good questions and answers :)

So they put in work for the dungeon solo stuff but besides the cards back there is no reward. I assume most players (except for players who like playing vs AI over playing vs players) will go for the card back then never touch it again, in a game where ppl have to spent time on games to gain gold or grind rank or arena it would be a waste of time to play the solo stuff more than for the card back. Sad and a waste of work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't been this hyped for a hearthstone expansion for a while!!!!!! It's been forever since we got a new gamemode and I'm so happy that the RNG this expansion won't be 90% card draws like it has been lately!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, does anyone know, for the mage/priest/warlock legendary weapons, do they lose durability when their effects go off?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Aleco said:
  • Ben Brode added that he believes the power level of certain Basic and Classic cards is too high.

 

Oh yes, I totally agree! There are still non-legendary or non-epic cards that are strong and can be played.

That's the biggest (not to say the only!) problem Hearthstone has.

Get rid of these cards so that every single strong card in a deck has to be a legendary and epic!

I am sick of using my 25k / 30k dust-cost deck and still loose to some decks which have common or basic cards.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a lot of basic/classic cards are definitely strong but that's ok. I am still sure when they think about changing/removing one of those cards there are less voices from blizzard who are concerned about the games health than those who have the money making in mind.

It's obvious, everyone has (or gets very fast) all basic cards. Everyone constantly gets classic card packs. All who play HS for a while have most or all cards from the classic set, so no need to spend money on those packs. Additionally long time players have enough dust to craft the crucial cards of a new expansion, so again no or less need to pay for additional packs.

So how do we make our nice customers pay more?

No longer getting duplicate legends and giving out one free legend plus one among the frist 10 packs was a good move but it's just a drop in the bucket.

At the same time I think about pre-purchasing the new expansion and about stopping with HS.

Edited by Caldyrvan
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Caldyrvan said:

A few good questions and answers :)

So they put in work for the dungeon solo stuff but besides the cards back there is no reward. I assume most players (except for players who like playing vs AI over playing vs players) will go for the card back then never touch it again, in a game where ppl have to spent time on games to gain gold or grind rank or arena it would be a waste of time to play the solo stuff more than for the card back. Sad and a waste of work.

I'm betting that blizzard will find this out and add more rewards at a later stage when people complain alot about there not being an incentive to play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt it. And what would they give out as rewards? More card backs? (boring boring boring), Gold? They obviously don't want players to get a lot of gold. Cards? hahaha. Maybe every time you complete a run you will be awarded with one dust :D

Edited by Caldyrvan

Share this post


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

I doubt it. And what would they give out as rewards? More card backs? (boring boring boring), Gold? They obviously don't want players to get a lot of gold. Cards? hahaha. Maybe every time you complete a run you will be awarded with one dust :D

I think giving gold for dungeon runs would be... awful. semi-forcing free to play players to play a game mode they may not enjoy is bad game design.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Caldyrvan said:

As well as giving players more gold options and not paying for packs :D

They could easily give gold rewards that give worse time\gold ratio than play mode.

I think their goal with dungeons is very straightforward. They want to attract new players and keep them hooked. Experienced players will get bored real quick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the idea of the dungeons and if they are well made it's sad because in a game where players want to gain gold in play mode or climbing the ladder or playing arena for possibly great rewards I doubt they will find the time for the dungeon  unless they implement rewards beside card backs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Magic Duels, an offline game rewards you with 1/30 of card pack at lowest difficult, 1/10 at the hardest; while an online match gives you 1/5 of pack.

I think that if 3 victories in ladders give you 10 gold, a successfull Dungeon Run should at least give you 10 gold or a casual card.
I don't think that people would stop playing ladder if 8 difficult matches can give you 10 gold or 5 dust....

Well, I don't think that people would stop playing ladder even if a successfull Dungeon Run would award you with a classic pack, with a day maximum of one.

In fact, you people say things like

On 11/5/2017 at 9:44 PM, Strongpoint said:

I think giving gold for dungeon runs would be... awful. semi-forcing free to play players to play a game mode they may not enjoy is bad game design.

I see it opposite. If you give me nothing for playing a game mode that I enjoy, you are semi-forcing me NOT to play a game mode that I would like but that isn't competitive enough.

  • Like 1

Share this post


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

I see it opposite. If you give me nothing for playing a game mode that I enjoy, you are semi-forcing me NOT to play a game mode that I would like but that isn't competitive enough.

Do you mean that blizzard is semi-forcing you to not play other games?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Strongpoint said:

Do you mean that blizzard is semi-forcing you to not play other games?

Actually, yes. Sure, they aren't pointing me a gun. But every evening I want to play a game, I find myself thinking "should I get my daily HS pack or should I play game X?". I think this is because Hearthstone is a GREAT game I like very much, it's the third game I have invested so much time after Minecraft and Team Fortress 2.

But we aren't talking about me :P

If you want to be competitive in Hearthstone, it's really important that you:
-end the season at rank 5, or the nearest you can, to get the more dust from golden card rewards
-make every daily quest to buy pack

And there are people arguing if it's more efficient to play ladder then buy packs or to play arena trying to get the best rewards.

If you add a third game mode, that doesn't give you anything, people would ask themselves if it's a good idea play it if it doesn't advance my game status. Because it's not always possible to do both without having lots of free time to spend...

And time is a resource, the most important one. Games like Hearthstone, Clash Royale, etc, are based on the idea of a slow progression over time. You play every day, you slowly get cards, someday you'll get legendaries (maybe the Boogeymonster, maybe N'zoth), you'll get dust, you climb the ladder, you become better at climbing the ladder.... So it's important to use time in the best way. A game mode that doesn't give anything could be seen as a waste  of the most precious resource in the game.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are definitely right. Look at the Lich King, I got my pack, I tried a bit with others but it's simply to boring, disappointing and time consuming to be played. The Arthas reward is not worth the time. I know a lot of ppl got it done but a ton of players didn't and most of them don't care anymore.

Ofc it's how badly made this encounter is but even if the dungeons will be made better and actually enjoyable to put time into it just to get a card back is barely worth it and not attractive for many players. And after getting the card back it will be even less interesting to play.

Edited by Caldyrvan
  • Thanks 1

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

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Aleco
      If you're not a fan of playing huge Legendary minions every turn, then you may need to rethink your approach to Hearthstone.
       
      The Hearthstone team is on a roll with Tavern Brawls! After Top 2, one of the most well-received Tavern Brawls in recent memory, this week's Tavern Brawl is titled  "Cloneball!".
       

       
      Each player's deck is filled with four copies of random Legendary minions, including minions from the Wild format. Players will also receive a number of copies of "Offensive Play", a card which reduces the cost of your next Legendary minion by 3 Mana, as well as all other copies of that same Legendary in your hand:
       

       
      Though it's difficult to game plan for a specific strategy as the Legendary minions you receive appear to be random, I thought it was pretty sweet to play Loatheb into Onyxia into Onyxia into Onyxia. Slamming huge Legendary minions onto the battlefield is one of the most fun things to do in all of Hearthstone, and you'll get to do it again and again in this week's brawl!
      As is true with most brawls where the class cards aren't incredibly important, Warlock is strong by virtue of Life Tap. However, Paladin has some of the strongest Legendary minions in the history of the Hearthstone, so you could also try to high-roll a deck full of Tirion Fordrings and Wickerflame Burnbristles.
    • By Zadina
      The targeted cards are Spiteful Summoner, Possessed Lackey, Call to Arms, Dark Pact, Crystal Core and Naga Sea Witch.
      The community's prayers have been answered as nerfs for six problematic cards have been announced.
      UPDATE - The nerfs went live earlier today. You can disenchant the affected cards and get full dust value until June 5, 2018.
      Four of these cards are Spiteful Summoner, Possessed Lackey, Call to Arms and Naga Sea Witch. Even though there were a lot of interesting suggestions as to how these cards could be handled, Team 5 chose the simplest, yet elegant, way to weaken them: increase their mana cost. The first three cards will have their mana cost increased by 1, whereas Naga Sea Witch will jump to an extreme 8 mana!
      Dark Pact will now restore 4 health to your hero, instead of 8. Lastly, Crystal Core will undergo a second nerf in its history: it will now produce 4/4 minions. Do you think it will survive even its second nerf like Unleash the Hounds or Sylvanas Windrunner did?
      Some of the cards that we know the team was considering changing, but will remain unscathed for now are Sunkeeper Tarim, Doomguard, Bloodreaver Gul'dan and Baku Paladin Hero Power.
      These changes will take effect after the end of the HCT playoffs at the end of May.
      Daxxarri
      In an update that will arrive some time after the HCT Playoffs are complete, we will be making balance changes to the following cards:
      Naga Sea Witch – Will cost 8 mana. (Up from 5)
      In update 9.1, we introduced a rule change to increase the consistency of Hearthstone game mechanics. The change affected precisely when Naga Sea Witch’s cost change was applied to cards. This allowed it to be combined with the cost reduction effects on giants, and as a result, it became fairly easy to reduce their mana cost to 0.
       
      We think Hearthstone is better all around when interactions are consistent, and we like the fact that a Naga Sea Witch giants deck archetype exists. That said, we also understand that, with its current functionality, this deck can generate early board states that are unreasonable for most classes to deal with. By increasing the cost of Naga Sea Witch to 8 mana, the deck’s concept remains intact, but the combo is delayed until later in a match when more decks are likely to have the tools to handle the arrival of so many giants.

      Spiteful Summoner – Will cost 7 mana. (Up from 6)
      After set rotation arrived with the Year of the Raven, Spiteful Summoner became more powerful and consistent when used in decks containing 10 mana cost spells. This is because the pool of 10 mana cost minions in Standard is smaller, so players could more reliably count on getting a powerful minion from Spiteful Summoner’s effect. Even considering the deckbuilding sacrifices that an effective Spiteful Summoner deck requires, we think that increasing the card’s mana cost to 7 is more in line with the powerful outcomes that are possible when it’s used alongside cards like Ultimate Infestation.

      Dark Pact – Will restore 4 Health. (Down from 8)
      There are two aspects of Dark Pact that make it powerful. At a cost of 1 mana, it’s easily used alongside cards like Carnivorous Cube, Possessed Lackey, and Spiritsinger Umbra for big combo turns. It also gives Warlocks enough healing potential so that aggressively using Lifetap and playing cards like Kobold Librarian and Hellfire feel less consequential. We left Dark Pact’s cost intact so it can still be used as part of interesting combos, but lessened the healing it provides so Warlocks will need to more carefully consider how much damage they take over the course of a match.

      Possessed Lackey – Will cost 6 mana. (Up from 5)
      Some of the card combos involving Possessed Lackey present situations that are too difficult to deal with in the early-to-mid stages of the game. Increasing its mana cost to 6 delays some of those powerful card combos to turns that are easier for opposing decks to overcome.

      Call to Arms – Will cost 5 mana. (Up from 4)
      Currently, there are three popular Paladin decks: Even Paladin, Murloc Paladin, and Odd Paladin. Among the three decks, Even Paladin and Murloc Paladin have consistently been the most powerful two archetypes over the first few weeks since the release of The Witchwood. Call to Arms moving to 5 mana restricts it from being used in Even decks and reduces its power somewhat when used in Murloc and other Paladin decks.
      We expect that players will experiment with Call to Arms at 5 mana in Odd Paladin decks, but we don’t expect this card to have much of an impact. This is because Odd Paladin can’t access 2 mana minions (meaning Call to Arms could only ever summon three 1 mana minions if played in that deck).

      Note: As a result of this change, we are adjusting the “Greymane’s Alliance” deck recipe. It will now have two copies of Saronite Chain Gang in place of Call to Arms.
      The Caverns Below – The quest reward, Crystal Core, will read: For the rest of the game, your minions are 4/4. (Down from 5/5)
      The Quest Rogue deck uses a strategy that’s strong against slow, control-heavy and fatigue decks, but struggles against most other deck archetypes. There’s a fine line between being powerful against very slow decks and being powerful versus virtually all non-aggressive strategies. By changing the quest reward to make the resulting minions 4/4 instead of 5/5, Quest Rogue should still be a reasonable option versus slow, extreme late-game decks, but offer a less polarized matchup with more moderate control decks.

      (source) Are you happy with these changes? Do you think some cards will still be playable or are all six cards useless now? What's your opinion on the unchanged cards?
    • By Damien
      This thread is for comments about our Even Rogue deck list guide.
    • By Aleco
      Get your games in with Cubelock and Even Paladin while you can! The upcoming balance patch will drop on the 22nd.
       
      Confirmed today on the official Hearthstone blog, the upcoming balance patch will go live on May 22nd.
      Though the nerfs had been announced several days ago, a timeline had previously not been provided for when the nerfs would go live. For those who have yet hear, the following cards will be receiving nerfs:
      Naga Sea Witch will have its Mana cost increased from 5 to 8 Mana Spiteful Summoner will have its Mana cost increased from 6 to 7 Mana Dark Pact will restore 4 Health instead of 8 health Possessed Lackey will have its Mana cost increased from 5 to 6 Mana Call to Arms will have its Mana cost increased from 4 to 5 Mana Crystal Core will turn minions into 4/4s instead of 5/5s  
    • By Aleco
      This week's episode features a fresh take on a popular deck, courtesy of Casie.
      Can you guess the next move?
      Situation #22: Let's Even the Odds
      Picking up where we left off last week, we find ourselves in the middle of an odd/even matchup between Warlock and Shaman. I picked this situation partially because it was an interesting spot with many options available to us, and also because its a ladder situation I highly doubt any of my readers have encountered before:

      Commenters quickly identified several key factors about this matchup, namely that Defile and Hellfire are off the table for our opponent and that the only "board clear" available for our opponent is Despicable Dreadlord. Our opponent is more likely to have single target removal (such as Voodoo Doll) or is looking to play a demon-related 5 drop next turn in Skull of the Man'ari, Possessed Lackey, or Doomguard.
      Bozonik summed up this situation excellently in his comment from last week's thread:
      There seemed to be a consensus among commenters that "Option 1", Hero Power + Sea Giant was the line here. It puts a big nasty minion on the board, applying pressure and forcing our opponent to have Voodoo Doll. In the heat of the moment I went with "Option 2", the full clear, but after looking back on things and reading over the comments I believe Hero Power + Giant was the correct line. Despicable Dreadlord is really the only card which gives us serious trouble next turn (since our opponent won't be able to play Possessed Lackey and kill it) and this line plays around Dreadlord while applying just as much pressure as the other options.
      I was secretly hoping that the tap + Giant wasn't the correct line here (because its the most obvious one), but the obvious solution is often the correct one. If you're ever in a situation such as this where you have no idea what your opponent is up to, it's probably best to go for the "obvious" line and not get cute.
      Situation #23: Broken Mirrors
      Today's deck comes courtesy of Kevin "Casie" Eberlein, who cut the dragon package from Mind Blast Priest to turn the deck into something with much more of a combo/aggro feel to it. Many pros are pegging Mind Blast Priest to be the next "best deck in the meta" after the nerfs drop, and Casie's list has a serious advantage in the mirror match:
      Though I didn't find nearly as much success with the deck as Casie did, it did provide me with plenty of interesting situations for What's the Move! Here's the one I ended up choosing for this week's episode:

      It's turn 2, we're on The Coin, and our ladder opponent just played a Wild Pyromancer. For the purposes of this exercise, we can say that we're 100% confident our opponent is on Mind Blast Priest. However, this isn't a mirror match at all. We have Prophet Velen, Holy Smite, two copies of Holy Fire (most Mind Blast Priests run just one), and Lifedrinker in our deck, which gives us a huge advantage in late-game Anduin vs Anduin races. Knowing that we have an advantage in the late game should color our decision heavily on turn two, where have a surprising number of options available to us.
      So, what's the move?