Ben Thompson and Ben Brode Twitter Q&A - Sarge, More Classes, RNG, Ladder, and More

Ben Thompson and Ben Brode Twitter Q&A

During Gamescom, Ben Brode and Ben Thompson both answered community questions on Twitter via video. We've transcribed all their responses  and summarized their answers down below for you.

  • The mouse seen in some official art is named Sarge. He is the best friend of the Innkeeper, Harth Stonebrew.
  • No plans right now to do the same treatment Death Knights received for Monk and Demon Hunter.
  • RNG cards can actually add skill to the game and aren't just there to make things fun.
  • Reducing the top-end grind for ladder and giving players stuck at low levels at progression are the immediate goals the new ladder system needs to achieve.
  • Mechanics they like will be brought back. Giving others their own time to shine is important though.
  • Concerned about Druid? Brode wants you to check out Dean Ayala's post.

We've got some fluffy responses too!

Quote from @PlayHearthstone

Which card is your favourite card in #FrozenThrone?

Ben Thompson: Mine personally would be Valeera the Hollow, mostly from the conceptual side of what does a Death Knight Rogue look like. A rogue that is permanently a part of Shadow sounds like an awesome visual to me and the artist did an amazing job.

Ben Brode: Speaking of an awesome visual, Deathstalker Rexxar, owning the board, stitching together a horrifying beast, that's my favourite card in the set.

BT: And most animated. (Source)

That cute mouse in the [Frozen Throne] trailer, I've also seen it on [Mean Streets of Gadgetzan] artwork. Is there a story behind it? Does it have a name?

BT: That mouse in the trailer is actually Sarge. The best friend of Hearth Stonebrew, the Innkeeper of the tavern. He has in fact shown up in key art from previous expansions as you mentioned from Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, and even in some of the early art for the game. Keep an eye out as I'm sure he'll show up again.

BB: Especially if you leave cheese out. (Source)

Are there any plans to incorporate Monk and Demon Hunter classes in a similar fashion to Death Knights in the future?

BT: We were actually really happy to be able to find a home for Death Knights in the form of the new hero cards with Knights of the Frozen Throne. That said, at this point in time there is no plans to do this again for a different class in the future. Who knows what the future holds however. (Source)

Hi Ben, what do you think of the design of RNG cards? Do you agree that RNG cards make HS more fun to watch but less competitive?

BB/BT: Hi Garrosh.

BT: Actually, on the Hearthstone team we do believe RNG cards make Hearthstone more fun to play.

BB: Yeah and it has an interesting relationship with skill. A lot of the random cards generate  new cards that you didn't put into your deck. That can often create novel scenarios - brand new that you haven't had to deal with before and the best players at Hearthstone are the best at adapting to those brand new situations quickly and finding the right answer. So, in that way, it can actually add skill to the game. (Source)

Frozen Throne is cool guys! Get it? Ok but how about a quick update on ladder changes please? Thanks!

BB: We are hard at work on changes to the ladder. I'm very excited about them. I think there's a couple of big opportunities to make things better. One is to reduce the amount of grind for top level players. Two, adding a bit of progression for players that are stuck at the very bottom of the ladder. And three is increasing the winrate for brand new players and making the new player experience better - that I think will have to come later since we're focused on the first two things right now, but we're excited. (Source)

What is one card you wish saw more play on ladder or what is the card that players haven't figured out how to use properly?

BB: I feel like maybe players haven't figured out Meat Wagon yet. It is super fun and can be very powerful. I've been playing it with Validated Doomsayer and Devilsaur Egg which because they have 0-attack they come out via the Meat Wagon and it might be powerful.

BT: Seems good. Seems good. (Source)

You always introduce new cool mechanics, but never bring them back - Will we see more hero and lifesteal cards in upcoming expansions?

BT: That's not exactly true, we have actually brought back mechanics from the past. If you look at something like Deathrattle that featured in the Classic set and also Curse of Naxxramas, now its showing up again for Knights of the Frozen Throne.

BB: As far as Death Knights and lifesteal, we don't want to talk too much about the future just yet, but generally we do bring stuff back if we like it - we'll explore it again. We do want to give other mechanics time to shine. We're very excited about other new ideas we have. (Source)

So I think that we all agree that Druid is too strong. Do you have any plans for any nerfs so that we don't get smashed each game?

BB: I think Druid is very strong but Knights of the Frozen Throne is only two weeks old. We're going to monitor the situation, and that doesn't mean just do nothing, we're actually looking at winrates and seeing what comes up. Ideally, decks take advantage of Druids and raise in winrate and lower the play and winrate of Druid over time. If that doesn't happen, we're considering a couple of nerfs and changes. We did a big writeup of this recently and I encourage you to check out Dean Ayala's post on the current state of Druid and what we're planning. (Source)

Favourite card art/artist?

BT: I would say from the Classic set would be Archmage Antonidas.

BB: I knew you were going say that.

BT: I knew you were going to say that too.

Brode laughs.

BT: It's a great card by a great artist - Wayne Reynolds did an amazing job on it and I believe that it's just carried through from set to set and remains one of my favourites. (Source)

Any thoughts on hero cards in arena and balancing issues? (Banning them or adding others to the "synergy" category)

BB: Well I think generally the idea is to keep trying things with the Arena. The synergies thing we're trying out and getting feedback on it, but yeah it is to change it up and try new things over time. (Source)


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