Are auto-include legendaries a thing of the past?

We've been discussing some pretty big topics in Hearthstone over the last few days. From Mean Streets of Gadgetzan to the somewhat controversial tri-class cards there's been a lot to digest and keep in mind. We've handpicked a few of the most lighthearted questions from our talk with Game Designer Dean Ayala and Senior Game Producer Yong Woo including a discussion on legendary minions, Twitch integration, and the Heroic Tavern Brawl.

Legendaries in Hearthstone are actually in a pretty good place. But if you take a step back that may not actually be the case. Each class only gets two legendaries a year and some like Priest haven't gotten an auto-include class legendary like Tirion Fordring yet. So can you talk about your philosophy behind that?

Dean: Sure, just to talk about Tirion Fordring as an auto-include. The idea of an auto-include legendary is something we're kind of shying away from. 

We'd much rather legendaries that are a bit more niche and are very powerful in a specific type of deck. Versus an overall legendary that's a good card to put in any deck, and it's not just legendaries, [we do that] with any card. 

The idea of making any legendary is to make it exciting, to have really exciting stories from all these legendaries. All of them are not tuned to be, "Oh, this is definitely going to be an in A Tier deck." Majordomo Executus is not [meant] to be put in an [A Tier] deck. It's a really cool card still, we still see a lot of stuff on places like Reddit and all kinds of forums with people talking about their experience with that. 

I think as long as we're making exciting legendaries they don't have to be played everywhere, but we're aware of stuff like that. 

It's much more likely that we would give Priest a legendary that would go in more decks than Paladin.

Have you guys thought about Twitch integration with Hearthstone? Doing so could help get people to play Hearthstone and buy packs.

Yong: So first of all, if they're having a great time watching a great entertainer like Trump do his thing that's actually fine with us. It's not about maximizing our profit all the time. 

Are we excited to do cool stuff with that kind of Twitch integration? We don't have anything specific to announce or anything but I think it would be really cool if you could link your Battle.net account to Twitch and somehow. If I'm watching Trump and he's doing some stuff and that somehow effects my game, yeah, that could be cool.

Dean: We've already started some steps, we're really fortunate...they're a really awesome partner and we're really thankful for Twitch. They're responsible for a lot of really great things in Hearthstone. It seems cool to do more integration stuff, I wish I could speak more to it. I know Twitch and Blizzard have a very close relationship.

Yong: I'm pretty sure we'll have some more stuff to talk about soon.

Dean: It wouldn't surprise me if someone came to me, I guess not me, [but] the Hearthstone team. They would not come to me! I wouldn't be surprised by something like that.

Yong: Viewing Hearthstone is such an integral part of enjoying Hearthstone in my mind. I know a lot of players who play very casually but hardcore watch all of the streamers on a daily basis. That's actually totally fine with us. 

I mean obviously we'd love if they got in there and played some games themselves too, but if that's how you enjoy our product that's awesome.

How long before the Heroic Brawl returns? How much time will there be between them?

Yong: The great thing about brawl is that we get to do something that's not necessarily for the entire population of Hearthstone. We can try something that can be really awesome for maybe a third of the population, maybe even less, and then the next week it can be another brawl that's awesome for another subsection of the population. It really lets us try different things and see how the community reacts. To learn from it and do better. 

With Heroic Tavern Brawl, overall there are three categories of players: "Hey, I want high-intensity games where wins and losses really matter." Doesn't matter how quick or slow the games, I really want it to be like, "Oh, I gotta win this!" So there are those players craving high-intensity games, I'm sure those players will participate in it. 

And then there's going to be another category of players that want to spectate this because it's going to be really exciting to watch. So all of Trump's viewers are going to be in that B category. 

And then there are players that are going to look at this and go, "This is just not for me. It's too intense for me. I want this more relaxed experience and I'm not very interested in spectating either." And for those players it's alright, we'll try for a week and then something else will come in. But I think we'll learn a lot about how this feels for the players that are into this. Once we learn, we'll know what to do next.

More From Our Interview

Want to hear more? Check out our previously published snippets.

 

Mean Streets of Gadgetzan Guide

We've still got lots more to cover from our interview so expect to see more over the weekend! In the meantime, you can head on over to our official guide for more information on Mean Streets including all of the revealed cards, gameplay, trailers, and more!