Update 9:55 PM EST: Added update regarding Golden Cards in the Arena! Woot!
Upcoming Changes to Hearthstone Arena - Standard Format, More Spells, & More
Changes are coming to Hearthstone's Arena Mode and things are being changed up quite a bit. Say goodbye to the Wild format as Arena takes on the Standard card pool, among other changes.
- Arena drafts will be using the Standard format.
- Common and Basic cards will show up less than before.
- We will see more spells in our drafts.
- Neutral Classic cards will show up less frequently.
- Flamestrike and Abyssal Enforcer specifically will show up 50% less.
- Golden cards will now appear in the Arena
- If you own 1 golden copy of a card, the first copy of the card you get in the Arena will be Golden.
- If you own 2 golden copies of a card, all copies of the card you get in the Arena will be golden.
- Owning a golden legendary makes every copy of that legendary in Arena golden.
Dean "Iksar" Ayala provided some additional information.
- 68% Common, 20% Rare, 9% Epic, 3% Legendary on 26 of the 30 picks.
- The other 4 picks are 'Rare' picks that have a chance to be upgraded to Epic or Legendary at a slightly higher rate.
- Flamestrike and Abyssal Enforcer being 50% less likely to show up refers to it being 50% less likely to show up in terms of cards of its type.
- Flamestrike's card type in terms of the draft tree is ClassCard/Spell/NotMostRecentSet.
- Abyssal Enforcer is defined as a ClassCard/Minion/MostRecentSet.
- Commons as a whole show up more often that Rares, but any individual common will show up about as much as any individual Rare (or close to it). This means you should see a similar amount of Blizzards to Fireballs.
- They want realistic synergies in to draft in the Arena.
- They want drafting the set that just came out a fun way to discover the cards.
- He does not consider these changes to be forever ones.
- Dean could see rotating different sets in and out of the pool at some point. (Not exactly Standard, or Wild)
- If you have a draft that is currently using the Wild pool, you will keep that draft until you complete it.
Dean will be on hand throughout the day to talk more about the changes. We'll keep updating this post throughout the day.
Quote from Zeriyah
In our next update, we will be making a few changes to the Arena that should make it more interesting for our players and offer a much different experience with each set release.
• Arena will change from Wild format to Standard
- As more cards are added to the Arena pool, having each game feel meaningfully different actually becomes harder to accomplish. Many of the cool synergies between cards, such as Jade Golems or Mechs, live within each individual set release. Attempting to create decks that utilize these meaningful synergies in a wide and diluted card pool will become more and more difficult as the Wild card pool grows larger. Arena runs then becomes less about card synergies and smart deck choices and more about being fortunate enough to be presented with the best card from each set. This change should put the focus back on the player for good, synergistic Arena choices and make Arena decks feel more cohesive.
- We’ll be monitoring using the Standard format in Arena carefully, and we may add additional changes or formats in the future if it doesn’t meet our goals of having Arena feel interesting and different with each set release.
• Changes to Card Rarity Distribution
- We’re making a change to the frequency in which Common and Basic cards show up in the Arena. Common cards were about 78% of all Arena cards, and we felt that number was too high considering that many of the cards that focus around individual class identity and power level rely on the common cards of any given class. After this change, the number of Common and Basic cards that show up overall should be lower, giving more room for fun Rare, Epic, and Legendary cards to show up in an Arena run. In addition, the cards Abyssal Enforcer and Flamestrike will show up approximately 50% less in Arena.
• More Spells in a Run
- Spells have the power to swing a board state, generally more than minions do. Obviously, there are some exceptions to this. When the distribution of spells to minions is too low, the game usually ends up in the favor of the player that gets out their minions faster and more efficiently than the other player, because there aren’t enough cards that punish overextending. Bringing the distributions of spells and minions closer together allows for more room to have an Arena game that is more strategic and facilitates more plays and counter-plays to occur.
• Neutral Classic Cards Show Up Less
- A lot of neutral Classic cards tend to be minions without any text that lack interesting effects. While they are great for introducing newer players to Hearthstone and providing baselines for power level comparisons, they don’t make for compelling Arena run choices. This helps make more room for spells, class cards, and expansion cards to show up at a higher rate.
Golden Cards in Arena
- If you own golden cards in your collection, copies of that card that appear in your Arena run will show up as golden. If you own a single golden card, the first copy of it you choose will be golden. If you own two copies of a golden card, every copy of that card you choose in the Arena will be golden. If you own one golden Legendary, every copy of that Legendary you choose in Arena will be golden.
These changes will occur in an upcoming update near the end of February. We’ll see you in the Tavern!
Dean Ayala Comments on the Changes
Quote from Dean Ayala
For context, the numbers are around 68% Common, 20% Rare, 9% Epic, 3% Legendary on 26 of the 30 picks. The other 4 picks are 'Rare' picks that have a chance to be upgraded to Epic or Legendary at a slightly higher rate. Flamestrike is 50% less likely to show up refers to it being 50% less likely to show up in terms of cards of its type. For Flamestrike, its definition in terms of the draft tree is ClassCard/Spell/NotMostRecentSet. Meaning cards that share that definition will show up around 50% more often. Abyssal Enforcer is defined as a ClassCard/Minion/MostRecentSet, so it will show up ~50% less than cards in that bucket.
As a further note, rares and commons specifically have a very similar chance to show up on a card by card basis. What I mean by this is Commons as a whole show up more often that Rares, but any individual common will show up about as much as any individual Rare (or close to it). This means you should see a similar amount of Blizzards to Fireballs. This is a little strange so I'm curious what the feedback will be on it.
Talking about the exact chances to get any particular card could be a blog on its own. Each of the classes vary slightly because of the differences in #cards available and minion/spell ratio within each rarity. I recently asked a bunch of friends (who very, very heavily play arena) if they had an idea what the current ratio of commons/rares was and they had no idea. Makes me wonder how necessary a full report on that kind of thing is. In any case, I'm happy to clear up any outstanding questions you all have of the new system. The blog post for this was not the place to go over 100's of numeric details.
Have Team 5 considered making those changes without making Arena wild? I love everything you plan for arena, but I'm scared it might be boring in standard. Now we can risk to build synergistic deck like mech anything, dragon priest, beast druid etc. Making Arena standard will remove the risk part and introduce "meta" to arena, at least I'm afraid It might.
We did consider it. One of the most difficult draft problems for us to overcome is the ever-increasing card pool. Something I'm relatively sure of is that when a new set comes out, it would be cool to go to arena to draft that new set and check out what its synergies are all about. It becomes difficult to accomplish that when there start to be 1500+ cards available to draft. We want there to be realistic synergies to draft in arena, and we want drafting the set that just came out to be a fun way to discover the latest and greatest new cards.
That said, making arena standard is just one way to do this. I would not consider these current changes to be forever ones. The main takeaway for me in this development time was that smaller card pools lead to more interesting draft experiences, standard-arena specifically was a simple way for us to accomplish that. I could definitely see us rotating older sets in and out of the pool at some point, but for now I'm curious how these current changes will play out. Looking forward to getting feedback once the changes are released. (Source)
Why not have every areana run randomly generate 3 or four sets (also with classic/basic cards) so that each run has consistency but the arena itself has diversity. At the beginig of the run it might tell you that you rolled WOG GVG Naxx and MSG, you know what sets will appear and can plan your choices accordingly. The way this Change is I fell that arena will lose its fun identity and people will attempt to draft the same sort of decks that are being played in standard. I understand wanting consistency but I feel there are better ways to do that then taking away so many fun and memorable cards that have already been taken away in many formats.
I think this is a cool idea and one we've talked about in the past. I think it's a pretty reasonable solution but we decided to go with the simplest form of this for now and see how it plays out in practice. From doing a few hundred standard arena drafts myself, I think it's a pretty fun and different draft experience. Constructed and Arena decks on average are still a good distance apart even if they are using the same cards. I mentioned this above, but unless standard only arena gets overwhelmingly positive feedback post-release, I would expect there to be continued changes over time to the format. (Source)
What if I had drafted a arena deck before the changes go live with wild cards, am I still able to play or do I have to draft a new deck?
Will still be able to play. New drafts will have no Wild cards, but you will still run into a deck that does have them from time to time because it was an older draft that is being completed. (Source)
basic + classic + most recent set + 3 random older sets
Good to see many people had the same idea. No standard please, I like my arena wild.
But on the other hand, they finally adjusted the rarity distribution and spells will show up more so I'm undecided on how I feel about these changes.
The reasons why arena should be more intresting:
N.1 : More spells, more way to come back in a game where you fell behind. Due the the nature of spells, the games shouldnt depend as much on how much you can curve out or not.
N.2 : More rares: Yes! Rares and epics are way more intresting than a 4-5 Chillwind Yeti , I'd love to see moreMind Control Techs, Blood Knights, and other rediculous ways to come back.
N.3 : Less naturals = More classcards = More combos, less Curvestone. +1.
N.4 : Standard format: Before GvG came out, I avaraged about 7 wins in Arena, after GvG, I avaraged about 5,5-6. The reason for that: A lot of GvG cards depend on RNG (Shredders, Bombers). As a decent arena player, my problem is that even though some players played way worse than avarage, they still won sometimes due to having better RNG.
Also with Standard, the size of the pool of Arena cards will be about as big as when League of Explorers came out, which is a lot of variety of cards still.
Pherharps thats also the case. It was just an assumption.
they should nerf card like fireland portal too and I dont like the standard format for arena
Extremely retarded changes. I mean seriously? making draft arena standart is the lamest decision I've ever heard in a card game. Why don't you remove the wild all together while you're at it? God I'm so glad I stopped playing this goddamn game.
You are damn right, couldn´t agree more
I'm happy that they are increasing the amount of spells offered.
This is something I have been calling for, for a while now.
I think u need to remove some cards from arena then. Like buff cards in Paladin sets. :)
1. Spellincrease = shit idea because mage will be op as hell while paladin due to secrets will become unpickable.
2. Standard arena is even worse. Beacause single mechanics like jade suddenly get an insane draft %. and those can simply get out of hand and dominate the whole gamemode. so also a shity change.
3. increase of epics and legendarys is also a shity change since itll increase the strengh lvls of good arena decks which will result in a decreased winrate for suboptimal decks which will result in a drop of average arena wins for good players because it becomes impossible to beat bad arena players when they run 2-3 more legendarys in their deck.
This whole thing is just a setup for Blizz to get rid of arena value gain for good players.
Way better Arena change would have been to make it impossible to draft the same class 2. in a row. As it is for now this will be embrace the Jaina Arena like never before.
I like most of them. the one I'm not sure about is the standard format. I get that the card pool is geting biger and biger and drafts become more random. But cutting it to just standard just feels bad...
Maby make it a 2 year standard? Now we have this year and last year for standard lets give arena the year before also. This way the amont of cards will be under control and it won't feel the same as ranked standard.
Also something that Krrip recently said, if you want more synergies and skillfull drafting give the legendary (and maby epic) cards at the start of the draft so players can build thier decks around them.
introducing "meta" to arena would be a good thing imo. having archetypes you can draft is fun.
i think i'd rather have multiple formats for arena like magic does. like a wild arena or a kraken arena or mammoth arena etc.
"there aren't enough cards to punish overextending..." makes enforcer and flamestrike come up less. makes sense...
So where do weapons fit in to that breakdown? Are weapons considered spells for purposes of card definition, or are they in a category of their own? The idea of Warriors having an increased chance of getting Fiery War Axe in every draft both chills and excites me.
this is some great stuff for arena exept for the standard thing in arena. I realy enjoy playing with the naxx/gvg cards even if some are completly busted like,Zombie Chow, Muster for Battle and Piloted Shredder. But i think its great that we have a standard arena but they should also keep the wild format
At least there should be a button for "Wild Arena"
There have been some bad changes but this is probably the worst update in Hearthstone history.
We need less cards awarded after arenas are completed. I don't want to spend my 150g, get 7-12 wins, and then get a common or rare card dupe as a reward. That's ridiculous.
Totally agree. It's such a frustration reward...