The announcement of the upcoming Heroic Tavern Brawl has been controversial, to say the least. It's expensive, the rewards are shifted towards the higher end of things, and users have done the math that says Blizzard is theoretically taking in more gold than it is likely to return in rewards. Of course, others have rebutted that idea pretty well, particularly Day9. But Lead Designer Ben Brode took some time out of his day to clarify a few points regarding the brawl that are worth reading. 

In addition, about two weeks ago Mike Donais took to the /r/CustomHearthstone subreddit to comment on some fanmade cards and his thoughts on them give insight into some of his current design philosophies.

Heroic Tavern Brawl

Ben Brode says every brawl isn't meant for every single player in Hearthstone.

The idea that we intend Brawls to not be universally appealing. I think that's a pipe dream anyway, but our goal is to provide a variety of experiences in Brawl. There isn't some "perfect brawl for all players". There are a lots of different folks who love lots of different experiences. I'm not exaggerating when I say that each week, people tell me that we've created the greatest brawl ever, at the same time that others are saying it's by far the worst. It's consistent across every Brawl, and it highlights the fact that people are different and like different things.

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We see that different players like different brawls. By far the most popular Brawl is Randomonium, but I don't think that we should just do that Brawl every week based on that data.

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It was more popular by hours played, and games played. Even more so than "Top 2".

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Custom Cards

Please keep in mind that this is simply Donais commenting on user created cards just for fun and isn't necessarily reflective of his or the Hearthstone team's design efforts going forward. They're mostly just interesting notes on his design philosophies and personal opinions of Hearthstone.

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"This is nice, it shows off more of the space that Ivory Knight steps into. I think as we continue to explore the obvious discover space and people get used to the keyword more interesting space is a good direction."

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"I like it because it is so build around. It makes you want to play some obvious cards like Ragnaros, but also some less obvious ones like Flame Lance and Forbidden Flame. This is exactly the type of design we need so that it doesn't end up in every mage deck but is very strong in the decks built around it. It feels legendary because it changes the whole game for you once it shows up."

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"This seems like it would be fun. You can do some tricks like Shadowstep or Shadowcaster to get upgraded hero powers early. You can also just draw both copies of course, since it is not legendary. It might be more interesting as a Legendary so that you have to do rogue antics to get the extra strong effect. 

Justicar has been a great part of Hearthstone for the last year and she is one of my favorite designs for a few reasons but I also think that after people enjoy Justicar for 2 years it will be a good time to try some new design space for alternate hero powers. Standard should change over time and have different awesome things going on. Now this is just in a single class, so it doesn't stop that idea from happening, but it is one factor to think about when designing in this space. 

Overall very cool and it captures the rogue tricky nature and their thief nature at the same time."

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