Blizzard really loves talking about Hearthstone. Despite the fact that the team had two members live streaming for an hour on Friday, they were still hard at work engaging the community on Twitter and Reddit. We've gathered a plethora of interactions for you including more talk about Arena and the Ranked ladder.
As Blizzard previously confirmed, Kabal Chemist is currently bugged in that it can not give you a Dragonfire Potion. Late in December the development team confirmed this was unintended and Senior Producer Yong Woo now says that the bug has been fixed. "The bug fix is ready. We are shipping it with the next mandatory patch," he tweets.
Feedback Post-Developer Insights Live Stream
Game Director Ben Brode and Game Designer Dean Ayala didn't wait long to start engaging the community again after their Developer Insights live stream on Friday.
After talking about the new player experience, members of the community started inquiring about what kind of data Blizzard has on its hands. According to Brode, they've been very successful at getting users to stick around.
"Something like 25% of players came back and then left again before playing a game," Brode says. We've cut that way down."
Some suggested that they make it easier to obtain Wild cards by reducing the arcane dust cost or through another method, but Brode states there are "no current plans for that."
Maybe releasing smaller batches of content more frequently is a better idea suggests Kylan Shakell.
"Could be really cool," admits Brode. "There are periods of instability and stability in the meta right now. Some like only instability. Some like tuning decks in a more stable meta. I think it's important to provide options for both." He continues, "Not sure that we have the right cadence figured out. Also some challenges in small sets. Missing on power level is much more noticeable - if we launch 10 cards and none see play," he trails off, punctuating the end of the tweet with a sad emoji.
They also spoke specifically about the Arena for a bit.
"We have experimented with [themed subclasses] for arena," says Iksar, "I wonder if giving so much agency over the type of deck you build in arena changes the experience too much. I think we could definitely create fun experiences for 5-10-20 runs but maybe not for 100 runs. We're going to keep trying a more direct approach to creating deck synergies internally, but we're unsure if it's the right fit."
"We've tested many things recently in the Arena (more spells, less neutral classic/basic minions, more rares, less commons, standard-only, and some other crazy stuff), and several of these are coming soon to Arena near you!
"We mentioned it on the stream, but this is not us saying "guys we figured out what is best and are sure we are right!" This is a test," he affirms, "and we're hoping to see how it feels in a live environment. I think we were surprised how fun Standard Arena felt in our testing, and I'm hoping folks find that they like it too. At the very least, it'll give us a little mix-up in the Arena for a while until we revert it or decide to experiment in another direction.
But what about their comments on Ranked? Are they sure a month isn't too short?
"Another component to this is that I think we can make it feel less like a grind and still keep it at a month. I think monthly rewards and monthly card backs and stuff feels pretty cool, so if we can keep it there and make it feel less grindy, is there still a benefit to doing longer seasons."
Brode Responds to Kibler
Why Does Kazakus Exist?
This is the question professional player Amnesiac asked Dean Ayala. To his credit, he responded in part with a positive tone throughout.
"Is there some added context here?" Ayala asks. "He's unique and fun and promotes an archetype we like a lot! It's subjective, of course. If there is a major restriction to building your deck then that payoff should be powerful." He continues, "And I'm not trying to be cheeky here, but yes I do think the person playing Reno on T6 or Kazakus into T4 is having fun."
How Good Is Anyfin Paladin?
Pressed for details on what specific decks are performing well, Ayala revealed that Anyfin Paladin is currently doing really well.
"It's an Anyfin Paladin variant. RDU mentioned it in a tweet earlier as well. It was a small population size (like 0.7%) but at the 4th highest win rate. 0.7% play rate is still a large sample though. 4th highest win rate is around 51.5% right now."
Too Much Talk?
Is there such thing as too much talking? Some community members think the team should be working harder and staying silent, not worrying about community perception.
"I think we would have to communicate a lot less if the only communication that has value are announcements of changes," Brode adds. "We'd also miss out on the opportunity to run ideas by the community before we implement them.
"Sometimes the community believes something should be changed, but once explain some of the other considerations, it becomes less obvious what the best path forward is (the basic deck thread from the other day is an example of this, I think.)"
He repeats his initial assertion before Friday's stream saying, "I think discussion has a lot of value."
Meanwhile, Systems Designer Dan Emmonds took some time to talk about Gadgetzan Ferryman and its place in the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. Why is it a Rare and what purpose does the card serve? "It was space," he says, "We tried to make sure at least two jade cards per class were common, and then Shadow Rager was better @ common."