Defining a class isn't easy to do when it's evolving.

Now that Mean Streets of Gadgetzan is out, Hearthstone begins its first settling process as players begin to define what the initial meta will be. This obviously has big implications as far as user perception goes. Many are already complaining about Pirate Warrior, how broken it is, and why Blizzard needs to nerf it. But historically we very well know that what's powerful at first rarely sticks around as the community begins to find what works against it and helps bring it back into check.

Needless to say, the Blizzard team has been busy talking to fans of the game and helping reassure them that things are going to be just fine. In today's Blue Post roundup we hear from Dan Emmons about class bleed, Iksar on the updated Arena odds, and some other cool things worth noting.

Defining A Class

Over the weekend, Dan Emmons, a system designer at Blizzard had an interesting conversation about class bleed and defining the elements that a class consists of. While this one addresses Druid in particular with the conversation starting around the fact that Druid is known to ramp, buff small minions, burst opponent's down, and draw lots of cards.

"'Class pie' (Hearthstone equivalent of color pie) is an evolving process atm," Emmons replies. "Figuring out what we want each class to be good at and what we want it to not be good at has been changing over the past couple sets as we shift things. Some of the things the classes can do are intended, some are cool things that just fit the meta better than we thought. The classic set complicates this, but we're working on some ideas that let us help add/remove design space from classes. We certainly don't want one class to be able to do everything, although the wide open meta might be over representing some classes atm."

After the original Twitter user reacts with an example, Emmons continues, "Yeah, we want to keep the game fresh, but make sure there's always a base to return to. It's a complex problem."

Arena Controversy

The Arena community in Hearthstone is currently up in arms that Blizzard hasn't provided an official statement on the increased percentage of Mean Streets of Gadgetzan cards in drafts. Historically these numbers have fluctuated from 50% all the way up to 100% more than the rest of the set and it has a huge impact on how each card is rated on sites like The Lightforge or Hearth Arena. Both currently have conflicting information, the former says it's only 50%, but the latter (with a much larger sample size) says it's between 80-100% and differs between neutral and class cards.

One of the most prominent Arena players Merps is one of the biggest driving forces behind the movement tweeting, "Community needs official numbers from Blizzard on the Arena offering bonus. It's critical info that influences draft/plays."

Dean "Iksar" Ayala, a game designer at Blizzard and one of the leading drivers behind improving the Arena experience responded in part saying, "I'll check it out tomorrow when I get to work. We ran some automation tests prior to the xpac and things looked good. I don't believe we made any special changes to MSoG that we hadn't made for previous expansions. Hence not mentioning it in any special patch notes. If it would help reduce speculation, it seems reasonable to state things are or are not changing in future xpac notes. I don't specifically know the data you guys look at, but you can expect MSG cards to show up at a lesser rate than OG cards did due to the card pool being so much larger, even with the same offering bonus."

Iksar on the Heroic Tavern Brawl

Iksar also talked about Heroic Tavern Brawl and deciding how the system does matchmaking - skill based or otherwise.

To be clear on the perception correlation to win rate argument, it really only applies to matchmaking systems where the average match has players with a fairly large disparity in skill. Any mode (like ranked) that specifically attempts to match players with close to the same skill, or any mode where the type of player that enters the mode in the first place (heroic TB) is similar, this has less of an impact (or none at all). Arena has a huge variety of skill levels that end up playing against each other, and is where the theory of perception affecting win rate comes from.
There are arguments on both sides, if we decided to change matchmaking, players that are used to winning 6-7 wins a run would go to winning 3-4 wins a run overnight. Right now you are asked to pay an entry fee to enter the arena, and if you are better than the average player most of the time you will be rewarded. There are lots of game types with very little matchmaking that are fairly successful. Most live tournaments don't have matchmaking, and the best player is usually rewarded by winning the largest prize. It's not clear to me that is totally wrong, but it does limit how friendly your game mode is to new players or weaker players looking to get better.

Kazakus Fix

For those users reporting instances where Kazakus' potion Freezes a minion and then destroys it rather than ordering the spell optimally, Mike Donais says it's a known bug and the team is working on a fix.

We are already working on this. Feel free to post stuff like this on our bug forums.

Deck Recipes

Responding to a complaining user about the quality of deck recipes, Ben Brode says they're actually pretty solid and that some even see good win rates as high as Rank 5.

we've seen 50% winrates at rank 5 with many of them. Which ones are giving you trouble?

 

Want to read more about what's happening in the community? Check out this week's Community Highlights post where we talk about two Twitch chats duking it out this Wednesday and cover some of the best videos from the past week.