For as long as Hearthstone has existed, there's always been debate among the community as to what's balanced and what isn't. And while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and sometimes they may be successful in helping get a card nerfed, we don't have all the resources that Blizzard has to evaluate cards or even deck types. Lead Designer Ben Brode recently got into quite the discussion regarding how the development team handles the balance of Hearthstone. It's a really interesting thread to follow as he talks about how the public views these issues, how Blizzard goes about solving them, and what the team has to be careful of.

Balancing Hearthstone

@bdbrode Serious question: what is the reason for the WAY too long time it takes to fix things like WSG/Secret Paladin etc.?

@Consecra community perception doesn't always match reality, and problems get worse over time. If problems last until a new set, sometimes--
@Consecra --new cards can throw a wrench in the meta and change things so we don't need to step in and nerf.

@bdbrode Am I to understand from this that you don't consider Secret Paladin a problem in the current meta?
@Consecra there's "problems that might fix themselves with the next set", "problems players might fix themselves" & "problems we must nerf".

@Consecra it's probably one of those three. Hard to tell which one, and things change over time. Also the scope of the problem changes.
@Consecra what percentage of ladder games being secret paladin would cause you to take action? What win rates?

@bdbrode @Consecra if fun is pitched as a core value why is this a problem? Patron got nerfed bc it wasn't fun to play against as well.

@snower_hs @Consecra if there is a really unfun combo that happens one in 100 games, and nerfing ruins a fun deck along the way, should we?
@snower_hs @Consecra I guess I'm saying "not fun to lose to" isn't the only criteria. There are lots of things to judge.


@bdbrode @Consecra community perception doesn't always match reality? So everyone is wrong but you?
@Apophenia4ane well I do have the benefit of seeing literally every game ever played and who won.

@Apophenia4ane but also the community is large and not always saying the same thing. And some people exaggerate without realizing.
@Apophenia4ane even still, the community is more often right. We did eventually nerf a lot of cards that became endemic.


@bdbrode Hey Ben, why is it that HS doesn't have occasional balance patches to balance the meta, like most other eSports?
@CameronFavell always going to be a best deck. Question is how long should it be around. Balancing cards shakes things up, but at a cost.

@CameronFavell always going to be a best deck. Question is how long should it be around. Balancing cards shakes things up, but at a cost.
@CameronFavell much easier to hop back into a moba where your character deals 5% less damage and you probably won't even notice.

@bdbrode Hey Ben, why is it that HS doesn't have occasional balance patches to balance the meta, like most other eSports?
@CameronFavell and all that aside, we have done occasional balance patches. We'll do more when they are warranted.