Peter Whalen & Dean Ayala Showcase Old Witchwood Card Designs - Dev Interview

Peter Whalen & Dean Ayala Showcase Old Witchwood Card Designs

IGN's Cam Shea had a chance to sit down with Peter Whalen and Dean Ayala to talk about designing The Witchwood expansion. We've recapped the interview below!

Interview Highlights

  • They like two legendaries per class in sets because it allows them to take classes in two different directions.
  • Creating powerful cards like Drakonid Operative right before a set rotates is okay if the power level of the card in Standard will decrease.
  • The first set of a new year is where they want to experiment the most with a lot of archetypes.
  • There aren't currently any plans to create more cards that require Odd or Even deckbuilding.
  • There is a mailing list at Blizzard for other people within the company to pitch card design ideas. Toki, Time-Tinker's effect came from this list.

Interview Misc

  • Neutral legendaries tend to be either very strong or weak so less of those makes for easier design.
  • Thematically, the goal for class legendaries this time around was to give everyone a monster and a member of the town.
  • If Genn and Baku didn't perform as well as they did, they could have added additional even/odd cost interactions in the future to help them shine.
  • It's dangerous when a class has powerful Even and Odd deck archetypes since they don't have a lot of options to give them amazing cards. If they only had a strong even archetype, they could make better odd-cost cards.
  • Genn Greymane was originally in the Old Gods expansion. They recorded voiceovers when the Heroes of the Storm team was working on adding him to their game.
  • It was "pretty cool" to see some old cards come back briefly - Amani Berserker, Raid Leader, Stormwind Champion.
  • Nightmare Amalgam was originally pitched during One Night in Karazhan. It was a 5-cost 5/6.

Card Designs That Didn't Make The Cut

  • Hagatha the Witch at one point gave minions +1/+1 or another design gave odd minions +2/+2.
  • The original designs of Hagatha predated Baku and Genn.
  • Back in Old Gods, Genn worked very similarly to the Worgen mechanic. Whalen thinks he changed between a Taunt and Charge minion each turn.
  • Szikei the Serpent was to be a Hero card like Hagatha with a Hero Power that gave your minions in deck +1/+1. 
  • Blink Fox originally gained "various different keywords" when you played Burgle-style cards.
  • One suggested design for Toki was "Battlecry: Un-nerf all of the cards in your hand"
  • Another Toki design that was suggested was "Battlecry: for the rest of the game, mana crystals go backwards, so every turn, you lose a mana crystal."
  • Toki again! "Battlecry: your next spell costs 0, you pay for it next turn."
  • Toki: "Battlecry: discover a card from the future". The cards could be based on themes they think they may have added in the future.
  • There was a Worgen mechanic where once you played a couple of human-form Worgen, the rest of your Worgen would transform.
  • Witching Hour originally worked with that Worgen design, allowing you to transform earlier.

Here are some images featuring glorious temporary art that are some original designs for cards we have in the game.




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