IGN recently got to interview Hearthstone developers Ben Brode and Mike Donais about the Blackrock Mountain Adventure Mode. The interview focuses on some of the encounters that players faced such as General Drakkisath, Majordomo Executus and High Justice Grimstone. We've highlighted some interesting points below.

Blackrock Mountain Goals

  • The team wanted to create a large number of fights that forced players to build a special deck for Heroic mode. Fights such as General Drakkisath and Emperor Thaurissan accomplished this goal by creating interesting encounter mechanics and hero powers.
  • Normal modes were tuned slightly easier than Naxxramas since some casual players had a lot of difficulty defeating them.
  • Ben Brode mentions that the team is trying to make the adventures replayed more often and achievements are one possibility to make that happen.

Specific Encounter Ideas

  • The Mage Class Challenge deck, inspired by the Naxxramas Hunter Class challenge, was made using only Unstable Portals because it was simply fun.
  • The team experimented with different amounts of Molten Giants in Majordomo Executus's deck and also had a version where Majordomo Executus had more health so that Molten Giants would be played earlier.
  • General Drakkisath didn't have any unique qualities in his Warcraft encounter so the team was able to come up with a unique mechanical identity for his character in Hearthstone.
  • In the Emperor Thaurissan encounter, the team had trouble with Moira's AI because she would just attack taunts and die. They tried to fix it but decided to write that exact mechanic on her card text instead.
  • The team wanted to have the Vaelastrasz the Corrupt fight give a powerful bonus to the player during the encounter, similar to the Warcraft encounter. They decided to give you an extra 2 cards a turn, so you would never have to worry about topdecking and had multiple options every turn.
  • In an early version of Chromaggus, the cards that buff your opponent's cards originally debuffed the player's cards instead. The team felt that not being able to play out your strategy was really unfun, so they changed to to help your opponent instead.
  • Mike Donais states that they learned about buffing and debuffing players from the Chromaggus cards but he is unsure if they will have these mechanics outside of Adventure mode.
  • In an early version of the Omnotron Defense System encounter, there would only be two Trons up at a time (summoning a third would destroy the first), similar to the Warcraft Encounter. However, they felt it wasn't interesting enough and too complicated so the team changed it.
  • In an early idea for the Nefarian fight, Nefarian shot one fireball at your face every 5 seconds in the air phase.
  • The Razorgore the Untamed encounter went through many implementations as the team attempted to incorporate mind control. In the end, they removed the mind control aspect of the fight, and focused the encounter on the corrupted eggs.