Getting a behind the scenes look at how Hearthstone cards get created is something that doesn't happen too often. Many, ourselves included value any kind of insight that we can get into Blizzard's decision making. In today's Blue Post roundup we take a look at a variety of topics including the Arena and Wild Tournaments, but more importantly, we find out that Tortollan Primalist was originally called Yoggasaurus.
"I tried to sneak in a magical liopleurodon into the set but it never made it past the first name changing wave. One day," says Game Designer Dean Ayala on Twitter. His coworker Peter Whalen actually brings the revelation saying, "Didn't help that that design got cut too. But hey - we shipped Yoggasaurus even if we changed the name."
Whalen is likely referring to Tortollan Primalist which has a similar effect to Yogg-Saron, Hope's End .
"Damn you, why did you have to remind me we changed yoggasaurus," Ayala responds with QA Analyst Tim Spillers backing him up, "It made me so mad when I saw that name go away."
Pyros and Lyra the Sunshard
The Hearthstone subreddit has been abuzz over the last week, decrying Blizzard's decision to make Pyros a Mage card and Lyra for Priests. A number of players in the community have realized that the two would be much better if they were in the opposite class. As it stands they're likely below average.
Someone asked Dean Ayala about this exact topic and he took some time to defend it, admitting that they would indeed be great if they were swapped.
"No," Ayala says in regards to whether Blizzard switched the two in development. "Personally I like them better the way they are. Mage can utilize Pyros in Elemental decks and Priests can utilize their legendary in a More different deck than the quest. If they were swapped they would both be clearly best in their respective quest decks, but it isn't a clear upside to making a ton of cards that are obvious to jam in the same deck. Priest and Mage quest didn't need more support in this case, but the other decks (Priest Control, Mage Elemental) could have used it."
Abyssal Nerf Reversal in Arena?
With Mean Streets of Gadgetzan no longer being the most recently release set as of Thursday, we'll no longer see cards from the set more frequently. Blizzard has long offered a bonus towards those from Hearthstone's most recent expansion in hopes of players seeing newer cards and to give each "season" a different flavor. Unfortunately, this can cause some issues.
In its most recent update, the developer made it so that Abyssal Enforcer appears 50% less than other cards in the pool as it was leading to too much domination by Warlock. With the Gadgetzan bonus going away, some players like Hearthstone streamer ADWCTA are wondering if we'll see a reversion on the nerf.
Dean Ayala, the most vocal member of the development team when it comes to Arena doesn't believe that will happen.
"I don't think so, I don't think there is a ton of upside in doing so," Ayala says. "If we were approaching it like a math problem it's probably not necessary (maybe not even in the first place). But Abyssal Enforcer was a personal frustration point for a lot of people. There is *some* upside to bringing it back in line, but there is also some potential downside in bringing a card like that back up.
ADWCTA responds to the series of tweets explaining that without the bonus to Gadgetzan cards if Blizzard was to revert the nerf it would appear just about as much as it does now. In effect, the nerf removed the new set bonus from the card.
"I understand that, like I said if we were approaching like a math problem I think you are right," admits Ayala. "Priest is fine nowadays, but Purify is still undraftable. Similar reason."