Ben Brode Interview - Insight into Casual Hearthstone, Meta, Just for Fun, Card Bans

Ben Brode Interview - Insight into Casual Hearthstone, Meta, Just for Fun, Card Bans

GamesBeat's Jack Wilson had the opportunity to sit down with Ben Brode and talk about Hearthstone. The two discussed casual mode and how there are different views of how it should work. See our recap of the interview below or go on and read the full interview transcript.


Casual Mode

  • Ideally, casual mode is low stakes Hearthstone. It isn't hardcore competition where you need to be 100% focused and available.
  • Casual, like ranked, still has an MMR system but it's internal - you don't see it.
  • The goal is to keep you at a 50% winrate in Casual, just like in ranked.
  • The better you're doing in casual, the more likely you'll see better decks [usually meta decks].

Ranked Play

  • Pirate Warrior and Secret Mage are currently 14% of the meta at Legend rank.
  • Those archetypes at Rank 20 are only 5% of the meta.
  • Most active Hearthstone players are between ranks 20 and 18.

Just for Fun Mode

  • Ben knows there isn't a great opportunity right now to just play fun decks and not having to worry about meta.
  • Adding in a mode for players to have "Fun Only" isn't really possible - you can't force players to play "bad" decks.
  • The mode would evolve into players playing meta decks anyway since they win.
  • Ben doesn't think it's crazy to pursue the idea, but it's not immediately obvious what the best direction would be.

Game Customization

  • Being able to support a feature in which players could ban certain cards for tournament play is "very compelling", especially for Fireside Gatherings.

Supporting Different Types of Players

Quote from Ben Brode

I saw a tournament in Kansas City where they had a spinner. You spun the spinner, took out your camera, shot a QR code, and that was the deck you played in the tournament. That’s fun. It focuses on the pure fun and joy of playing Hearthstone, not on competition. Some people are competitive and that’s great. We want to support that too.

But also, it’s good to try and find ways for different people who have different goals and different things they get fun out of from Hearthstone—we should be looking at ways to support that as well.

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