Server Patch this Week for Missing Cards in Arena, Synergy Feedback, Test Subjects

Server Patch this Week for Missing Cards in Arena

Arena is bugged! A bug has been discovered internally which unflagged cards so they wouldn't appear in drafts. The Hearthstone team is ready to get a fix in place sometime this week if everything goes right.

Quote from Dean Ayala

There are 12 cards missing from arena. This was a bug that has been fixed internally and will go out with a server patch sometime this week (unless something goes wrong). Whether or not something is 'draftable' is a checkbox in our editor. Very late in KFT development, when we published any change to a card that checkbox would become unchecked due to an editor bug. This has also been fixed so it should no longer occur.


They probably weren't design iterations. Usually the changes that happen this late are rarity changes or word spacing changes to make the text boxes look a bit better. (Source)


Synergy Feedback

In the most recent patch notes, Blizzard stated there was a change to the Arena which made it more likely for the first two cards in a draft to include synergy-based cards. This has been met with some resistance from the community and the Hearthstone team is appreciative of the feedback. Dean also clarified that offering bonuses for individual cards should all be the same as they were prior to the patch.

Quote from Dean Ayala

Offering bonus should be the same as stated in previous patch notes. I'll look into it this morning, though we did test before we launched to make sure it was the same bonus Un'Goro had when it launched.

[...]

As far as synergy picks go, it's only been a few days and we're still gathering feedback from here, our official forums, internally, and from our best arena players. We'll continue to monitor that and make whatever changes are necessary. We've been making small changes to the drafting process for quite some time now and will continue to do so. Appreciate all the feedback!


Ben Brode on Test Subjects

All of today's Arena discussion from the Hearthstone team stems from a post on reddit created by Adwcta, a high-end Arena player, stating that Arena should "not [be] a public test server" and that players don't deserve to be "experimented on with severely underdeveloped ideas". Ben Brode put light on the issue.

  • Everything that gets added to Hearthstone is iterated on through community feedback. Let your voice be heard!
  • The team does consult with high-end players on changes and those players always have access to speak with them about issues.
  • They believe mixing up the Arena experience is a good thing.
  • Synergy Picks can help make players feel more clever during the drafting phase.
  • "We consider Arena, and hell, the entire game, to be a collaboration with the community."

So, really when you look at it, Arena players aren't being singled out; it happens to all types of players! Ben's quotes from today can be found below.

Personally, I think it's a pretty cool thing to be able to help shape the game through community feedback, and with Team 5 being willing to actually make crazy changes, it makes me trust in the long-term of the game. Yes, game balance reactions have arguably been slow, but it's never felt like they've been an enemy.

Quote from Ben Brode

We do not deserve to be experimented on with severely underdeveloped ideas. Arena players deserve better.

With every new thing we add to the game, we learn from community feedback, and iterate. Community feedback is a critical part of the process, and the idea that we should only release perfect things that require no feedback is unrealistic.

We believe mixing the Arena experience up more frequently is better than leaving a single rule-set in place forever.

Regarding "synergy picks", one of the areas we think Arena is weak right now is the ability for players to feel really clever during the Arena drafting process. Often you pick cards that are individually powerful, but taking a card that is powerful given other cards you might see is very risky.

We've been experimenting with different prototypes to try and bring this level of gameplay to Arena, including paper printouts of Hearthstone cards so we can test without needing engineers to go in and change the whole system before we find out if a change is even fun.

It's been difficult to provide the ability for players to chase synergies (and to feel clever by doing so), while maintaining the "anything can happen" feel that makes Arena awesome. This was a first foray, and the community feedback will feed into our next iteration. We consider Arena, and hell, the entire game, to be a collaboration with the community.

I come to reddit every day. I love reading about and discussing Hearthstone, the development process, and how we can make things better together. I don't want our communities to have a "players vs developers" vibe. I want to work with players to make the game we all love to play even better.

Feedback is critical, but when it's delivered in a way that pits us against each other as factions, it is damaging. Let's work together!

Furthermore, we know for an absolute fact that they have historically consulted well known Constructed players on big changes to constructed, so why isn't this done for Arena /u/IksarHS ?
While I understand Constructed Standard is Hearthstone's flagship format, the introduction of the Arena leaderboard seemed to suggest you were granting Arena parity with Constructed. Changes like these though, without: A) Any announcement prior to the change (Can you imagine if Standard had just suddenly rolled in with the WOTOG patch? Or the mass of nerfs?) or; B) Consultation, suggests this strive for parity is going backwards.

We do. Adwcta and Merps both know they can contact us directly and talk through changes or issues, we have done so in the past. We also talk with Kripp, Hafu, and some of the people in the Chinese community who are also very passionate about arena. (Source - Dean Ayala)

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