Blue Posts: Iksar Discusses Rogue, Randomonium, and More
Sep 26, 2016
Last Updated: Oct 12, 2016
What is the identity and future of Rogue? Why does Blizzard keep returning to Randomonium? These questions and more have been answered by Dean "Iksar" Ayala, associate designer on the Hearthstone team. Unfortunately, they're easily buried among the hundreds of comments on Reddit, but we've resurfaced them so you don't have to go digging.
The Direction of Rogue
Prior to One Night In Karazhan, many thought Priest was the designated class for stealing cards from your opponent or their class. Now Rogue has joined the fray with Ethereal Peddler and many are demanding Blizzard further clarify the classes' identities going forward.
I would say it's likely Rogue will be more weapon focused than Shaman in most expansions, there will be some sets where Shaman will get a weapon that makes that not the case. Rogue has a 3-4 playable fun decks right now, though not all of them have reached a high population of players. As far as the future goes, we think it's fine for Rogue to have minion based strategies, but want to make sure they have some combo-centric high power level decks, too. Some amount of the Rogue and Priest player audience gets excited by playing combo-reactive decks so we want to support that.
The most successful Rogue deck at very high skill levels is still Miracle, one of the most combo-centered decks in Hearthstone history. We think the Burgle, N'Zoth, C'Thun, and Miracle are all pretty fun to play right now but I would consider the future to be mostly spell or minion combo decks with some Burgle deck additions if that continues to be an archetype people like playing. Blade Flurry's AOE potential just represented something we didn't think Rogue should be good at. I'm glad there is the space there to do weapon buffs and weapons, but it doesn't mean that is going to happen every set just so Blade Flurry can be powerful.
Burgle-rogue is another archetype for players to play, not representative of the only direction Rogue is going to go. We want to make more combo-oriented Rogue decks, not less. I think 'what most people want' gets thrown around a lot. Hasn't been my experience when watching people play live, on streams, or looking at the population of players playing the burgle deck. In any case, I'm glad it is another deck and the amount of people enjoying it will most likely result in further support, but not at the expense of all other deck types for Rogue. We like most bits of both Oil and Miracle and I would expect to see similar playstyles for Rogue in the future.
There was a decent amount of backlash when Georgec said, "I don't know, I played Yogg," at the European Hearthstone Championship Tour Summer Finals. And while that's not entirely true, it continues to support the conception that RNG has a huge impact on competitive Hearthstone. Iksar took some time to respond in the thread when asked about balancing.
Sometimes I post things that aren't state of hearthstone messages. The truth is all the players in the EU championships swung by and we had an hour long group discussion followed by another 45 minute discussion about various topics they were concerned with. We take the concerns seriously and it takes a bit of time to try and interpret feedback from all sources. Feedback from reddit tends to come the fastest, I imagine because most of this community devours the content at a faster rate than the overwhelming majority of the population. We've discussed making some changes, in the last month we've discussed changes to 15-20 cards, but it's not always clear which of those changes to make or whether to make them at all. Anyway, sorry if posts like this make it appear as if we don't care, because we certainly do. Maybe it's best to try and only post in a more official capacity, I'm still figuring it out.
Last week's Tavern Brawl marked the fifth time Randomonium has been live, way more than most other brawls that have been released. And while some enjoy it, others take fault with Blizzard for returning to it so frequently.
One of the reasons we replay randemonium is that it continues to be one of the mostly highly played brawls by unique user in addition to one of the most highly played brawls by individual user. Basically this means a ton of people play it, and the ones that do play it play a ton of games.
Lack of Advanced Stats in Hearthstone
For nearly the entire existence of Hearthstone, users have been requesting Blizzard to allow the game to track ranked wins above 500 when you earn the class' golden hero. And while Ben Brode has said they don't want to do so just in case they incentivise higher win numbers, Iksar offers more clarity.
I think there is a line somewhere on how much data is enough and how much is too much. If we blew out 5000 pages in the client detailing every possible statistic that would probably be too much. Right now we do some simple things like your highest arena key, total wins in both modes, etc. That is less than some people want and probably more than another subset of people care about. What if we showed a deeper statistical dive to you on the web, or through emails, or through some other format? What kind of statistics are actually interesting and important enough to show? Some initial things we talk about are showing MMR in Legend or showing your total constructed wins beyond 500. Maybe there is another metric to show arena players so they can give themselves long-term goals (X-Amount of Wins in a Class) vs the short-term goals they already have (X-Amount of Wins in a single run). Anyway, thanks for your experiment ;).