Matching the recent attention that has been given to the Western audience, Hearthstone Senior Producer Yong Woo recently hosted a Korean Developer Insights Q&A live stream - which has been translated by Inven Global - about the current popular topics in the community including the Year of the Mammoth changes and what's to come in the future for the collectible card game.
Woo, who seems to have taken a bit of a break from much of the public spotlight, was candid in his apologies for breaking previous promises like not moving cards out of the Classic set, admitting the Hall of Fame set was "controversial even amongst ourselves."
"While we are not sure if we did the right thing, we did it for the sake of Standard format stability," Woo continues, "We sincerely apologize for breaking the promise that 'Classic' set cards will not rotate out to Wild format."
Wild was frequently discussed with Woo revealing that Blizzard considered rotating sets out one at a time rather than all at once like they do now. However, the developer felt like it is "easier to announce the changes and balance the game" with the current method.
The producer says that there are no plans to give end-of-month rewards in Wild, believing it "might force the players to play Wild" which is something they don't want.
That said, Yong Woo acknowledges that Blizzard has one designer focusing on making it easier for new players to get Wild-exclusive cards other than through crafting. "There are definitely plans to allow players who are interested in playing a certain archetype in Wild to more easily get the card they need," he says, "Hopefully we can show you that before the Year of the Mammoth ends."
Others are excited about a small revelation that doesn't really promise anything, but simply expresses Yong Woo's desires. "I want is an easier way to export and import decklists to and from the outside of the game," he says, calling it "a more elegant way" to solve any ongoing deck slot needs.
As per usual, the Q&A session came to a close with a customary question about hero skins and card backs that are no longer available.
"We are looking for ways to give players another chance to get the promotional heroes and card backs.
"So, we have good news - we should be ready to bring some of them back in the Year of the Mammoth," Woo announces.
All of this comes as welcome news for the Hearthstone community. Some players do remain frustrated that sets like League of Explorers, which released in December, are inherently in Standard for less time than sets that come out earlier in the year. New players, especially, find themselves essentially unable to ever really experience non-Standard sets. Even if they are fans of Wild, the crafting costs are immense and will only continue to grow as the Wild card pool grows larger and larger.
Once Hearthstone sets rotate out of Standard, Blizzard has made the decision to remove them from the store which tends to frustrate newer members of the community. This is especially true when it comes to adventures like Curse of Naxxramas which also contain a significant amount of single-player experiences to enjoy. Game Director Ben Brode has continually said that it's something the team wants to bring back at some point.
Importing and exporting decklists is currently available, but only through third-party applications like Hearthstone Deck Tracker. What Woo describes sounds like something that would be appropriate for a Hearthstone API, which Blizzard initially promised back in the game's early days, but has since said it is no longer a priority for the development team.
To a slightly lesser extent, there have also been requests for card backs and promotional heroes. Tyrande Whisperwind was only available through a Twitch Prime subscription during the month it launched. While it required an Amazon Prime subscription, users could utilize a one month trial to get themselves a code. Unfortunately, the service itself was only available in certain countries, leaving many wanting. The company recently delivered on that promise, albeit only in Southeast Asia. The only other limited edition skin was Khadgar, a Mage hero, that was available for $4.99 exclusively on Apple devices over a ten-day time span.