Ben Brode on Arena Player Rewards, Game Balance, Card Sets, Features, and Ben Facts

Ben Brode on Arena Player Rewards, Game Balance, Card Sets, Features, and Ben Facts

Ben Brode was streaming live on Twitch earlier and said words! We've recapped the interesting bits below.

Quote from Ben Brode

Sorry About That

  • The sorry emote didn't have a lot of use, and they already had the wow emote recorded so they switched it because they thought it was more useful.


  • They're currently looking into ways of celebrating arena players more.
  • Iksar is doing a lot of work on figuring out ways to show top arena players without incentives.
  • They want to be careful with incentives, they don't want players to burnout.
  • It could be cool to change the arena drafting pool periodically.


  • Priest may be the worst class now, but there could be cards [that exist in the game now] that bring it back up.


  • Shamans received very powerful cards with Old Gods because they had a lot of room for improvement.


  • Mech Warrior caught Ben and the team off guard. The cards were available for a while but no one had picked it up.
  • Mech Warrior was one of the top winrate decks.

Game Balance

  • Hearthstone's balance, and the balance of card games in general, shouldn't be compared with games like Overwatch or StarCraft.
    • It's easier to nerf and buff in other games as you can do so at a much smaller level - micro changes.
    • Changing any number on a card is a major change and is more noticeable.
  • They'd rather players come up with solutions to problems as they arise then changing cards all the time.
  • Creating cards that counter other cards is stuff that they should support more in the card pool.
  • One class will always be the worst, even if its by a small percentage.

Card Sets

  • New cards added to sets aren't always for high level play.
  • Tons of players have fun with Majordomo Executus, but he isn't necessarily competitive.
  • Adding more cards to the reward set is tricky, since it's a wild only set. They don't want to push new players towards wild.
  • The way they choose what will be the next card set is by setting up a whiteboard and shouting out ideas.
    • Then they talk about possible mechanics and flavor with each idea.
  • Ben pitched 4 different adventures with card ideas before they had done Naxxramas. He won't talk about them though because we may see them one day.

New Features

  • Being able to choose random card backs is a cool idea but isn't on the top of their list of things to do.
  • Ben is hesitant to say yes to a tournament mode built into Hearthstone, it's a complicated issue with many different implementations.
  • Golden hero borders at 500 wins for the paid heroes aren't technically possible at this time due to the single image the entire hero backdrop uses.
  • Ben doesn't think that adding more classes is needed.

Ben Facts

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  • In Overwatch, Ben likes to play Zenyatta and Pharah.
  • Ben delivered a Pizza to Blizzard 13 years ago.
  • Ben ate In-and-Out for dinner this evening.
  • Ben is responsible for the Hearthstone troll mumbling found in background music.
  • Ben is responsible for the World of Warcraft death sound of The Prophet Skeram.
  • Ben was a pretty big pet collector in World of Warcraft.
  • If the back of a hotdog bun opens up, its a sandwich.


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