BlizzCon 2016 Hearthstone Q&A Panel - Live Recap
The panel has concluded and our recap can be found below. Today's Hearthstone Q&A panel saw the following members of Team 5 answering questions from the audience.
- Game Designer, Peter Whalen
- Senior Game Designer, Matt Place
- Principal Game Designer, Mike Donais
- Senior Game Producer, Yong Woo
Quote from Blizzard
- Arena is one the parts of the game they are very passionate about.
- One designer in particular is working on tuning the arena to be the best possible.
- There is a lot of things they can still try out, like if you picked a Murloc maybe you could get yet another guaranteed Murloc.
- Recently the Karazhan card drop rate in Arena was reduced to normal because the team felt players had enough of a Karazhan heavy draft.
- No new classes will be added if the new classes will steal the niches from the current 9 classes.
- Midrange shaman was at a 57% winrate before the recent card nerfs. It's now in the 50-55% range.
- Even the negative feedback is good for the team, it helps prioritize tasks within the team.
- Millions of players don't engage on sites like reddit and Twitter, and it's important for the team to keep that in mind when looking at community feedback.
- Hearthstone is a constant learning experience for the team, they don't want to always do the same old thing. Community feedback helps!
- The goal for alternative heroes is to have them available for every class.
- New creative ways of obtaining heroes are always being considered.
- Specifically with Tyrande in China, they are working on making it available.
- They've discussed "Platinum heroes", something past 500 wins, but they haven't figured out the best thing to do with that yet.
- It's understood newer players would love to obtain some of the older card backs. It's actively being discussed, but no announcements at BlizzCon.
Mean Streets of Gadgetzan
- Dragon Priest, No Duplicate Cards Priest, and Spells / Tricks Priest are all archetypes they are looking to improve with Priest this expansion.
- They wanted players to feel like they were signing up with a faction, like Jade Lotus, when they play with their cards. You get to play around with mechanics of other classes while being your main class.
- Each family in the tri-class cards plays very differently from each other and they can't wait to reveal them all.
- Mean Streets currently has less random cards than other expansions. They want expansions and adventures to feel different from one another.
- They really enjoy making co-op content in Hearthstone.
- They've been talking about making more co-op stuff and making it easier to play with your friends.
- Improvements to the interface for co-op content is something they're looking into doing. The current iteration was simply using the tools they already had.
- Heroic boss balance is very challenging for the team because all players have different card collections.
- They want to make heroic bosses the most fun for the most players possible.
- The chance of a Hearthstone API is six and a half. No plans in the near future.
- They're looking into ways to help export and import your decks to share with friends without requiring 3rd parties. All the devs are interested in it.
- They're looking into possibly changing the way you gain your initial ranks in a new season. Maybe players at Rank 5 should start a bit further up the chain so they have to grind less to get back there.
- Brawls are great because they can test new stuff quickly and get feedback. Heroic Brawls could go in any direction.
- Sideboarding is something they could maybe try in Tavern Brawls. Players having a variety of decks is already a sort of sideboard.
- No plans currently for custom decks AI matches. Find a friend to play against instead, use forums to find new friends!
- They could potentially invest more time into the AI system to become a better training partner.
- The engineering team has never limited design space. There is always a way to get a certain kind of card done, even if it has to be delayed a little bit.
- Engineers get excited when they are presented with new card ideas that they don't know the exact answer to right away.
- They think it would be nice to be able to organize your collection the way you want, perhaps through something like favouriting cards.
- No plans right now for the collection manager to do that, but they're passionate about it.
- Deck recipes and templates are more useful than the auto-fill decks.
- Mike Donais is joking around about buying a flannel in the Gear Store. #SellOut
- They're looking into the possibility of expanding Hearthstone lore with short stories.
- Constantly evaluating the best way to release new cards. There could be opportunities outside of Expansions and Adventures but they're happy with the current card release method. Definitely interested in new and crazy ways of doing it.
- They love the Discover mechanic to use over random effects because it adds an amount of skill to player decisions.
- Tournaments are a hard system to implement into the game because everyone has a different idea of what tournaments are.
- Tempo swings are important and we see AoE making a bit of a return with Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. There isn't always AoE included in expansions because they want to keep things fresh and not always the same tools in each set.
Our BlizzCon 2016 Coverage
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