Developer Insights Live - Year of the Mammoth Q&A

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Developer Insights Live - Year of the Mammoth Q&A

Today's live edition of Developer Insights featuring Ben Brode and Mike Donais has concluded. You can find our recap of the stream below, or watch the vod further below that.

Top 3 Takeaways

  • We're going to see a blog post later this week talking about the upcoming changes to the Arena Mode!
  • Hearthstone needs to continue to be a legitimately Free to Play game and they're committing to it.
  • Missions within Expansions will be harder than they were in Adventures due to not locking required content behind them, though they will reward card packs.


This is a work in progress. Formatting will be improved post-stream.


  • We will see a blog later this week talking about upcoming Arena Changes!

Year of the Mammoth

  • One thing they're focusing on this year is making small changes to make the game better.
  • Cards moving into the Hall of Fame set will no longer be found in packs and must be crafted using Arcane Dust.
  • Three expansions felt more fun for Hearthstone which is why they decided to do that this year.
  • Expansions allow them to have a bigger impact on the meta and explore more mechanics than an Adventure would.
  • The missions within future Expansions will reward players with card packs.
  • Missions in the Expansions will be harder than they were in Adventures.
    • They'll be harder because there isn't any gameplay required cards behind them unlike in previous Adventures.
    • They won't be doing Heroics, but this could change in the future.
  • There's a lot of potential approaches to fixing the "samey" feeling you get a few months into a new expansion. They're looking at it.
  • Power Overwhelming wasn't necessarily an issue going forward for Standard, but they wanted to be able to give Warlocks more variety in future expansions and wanted to get rid of some potential crazy burst.
  • Gadgetzan Auctioneer was close to being added to the Hall of Fame but they like that it's a very high skill card.

Free to Play

  • Hearthstone needs to legitimately be a free to play game and they're committed to it. They're going to watch this year to see how it feels.
  • One thing they've been doing over time is to give players more packs for playing the game.


  • Ben isn't sure if they're going to end up filling Classic card voids, but it could be cool.
  • They want to move away from lots of burst damage in Standard.
  • The ultimate goal of Standard is to make it feel fresh.
    • They'll evaluate their plans for card changes next year once they get through most of this year.
  • They don't want to sacrifice fun decks from the game because of Standard.
  • There is no hard rule that decides if a card is nerfed or moved into the Hall of Fame.
    • Classic cards ultimately need to not be the dominant card set and those cards are more likely to be moved.
    • Expansion / Adventure cards are more likely to be nerfed.


  • Ben thinks Wild is going to be awesome this year. They have more work to do with it though and will do so.
  • Wild ladder rankings will end up on in a blog, like Standard.
  • They're still working on figuring out how they're going to deal with Wild-only content. No announcement to make yet.


  • Ladder floors in Ranked do not solve all the issues and they know that.
  • Floors should help add more stars into the system to push other players up slightly more.
  • They don't want to balloon the amount of people in Legend as it could make it lose prestige.
  • 40% of all players on ladder are around rank 20.
  • They are talking about more ranked ladder changes but aren't ready to announce anything yet. The problems needs to be solved though.


  • Buffing cards doesn't feel like there is a good upside. They'd rather add new cards in the future.
  • Adding powerful healing to Neutral cards isn't likely to happen again. It makes classes lose their identities and the cards are in a lot of the decks out there on ladder.
  • It's important to have a lot of different types of Combo decks within Hearthstone and they try to add something in each expansion to help grow them.
    • Good combos are ones that can give you some kind of advantage that doesn't kill your opponent, or those take a few turns to get setup to achieve the effect.
    • Bad combos are the ones that can kill you in a turn.
  • They're experimenting with Stealth, Deathrattle, and Tricks with Rogues going forward. Some Thievery too!

Decks / Deck Recipes

  • Blizzard doesn't feel like they need to be promoting certain decks like many community sites do.
  • They're experimenting with Deck Recipes a bit and maybe there's more they can do through those.

Public Test Realm

  • A big problem right now is determining how long new content is fun for. A Public Testing Realm could make a new expansion stale on day 1.
  • One thing they could do with a PTR is testing balance changes. There is still risks though in that people could solve the new live meta before its actually live.


The stream has concluded but you can watch the vod to experience the magic.


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