Rise of Shadows Developer Q&A - All Answers

Rise of Shadows Developer Q&A - All Answers

The Hearthstone team did a developer Q&A today for Rise of Shadows. Here is what they had to say!

The Q&A is likely over. There may be some additional answers later on which will get added.

Q&A Important Points

This is a summary of important or interesting information learned during the Q&A. For a full rundown, skip the bullet points!

Cards - Nerfs, Changes, Development

  • They have discussed nerfing Barnes and Bloodbloom but are waiting to collect more data.
  • Due to Pilfer being in Classic, they are considering a change to bring it up to par with their new philosophy.
  • Dr. Boom's Scheme went through many iterations. Some using Boom Bots, Bomb shuffling, and even dealing damage.
  • There was a card that allowed you to detonate all bombs in your opponent's deck.
  • Mass Teleport: “Fill both sides of the board with random minions. was a early card pitch for Frozen Throne by Liv. "It feels awful to play every. single. time."
  • Replacements for the Hall of Famed cards are done internally. They should come out before the next expansion.
  • Zilliax is in a good place due to feeling good to play and not awful to play against.
  • Archivist Elysiana concerns are noted and she will be monitored.

The Future

  • Bringing back Tyrande and Khadgar is something they are "working on the right away to get them in to your hands".
  • Tyrande should be back before the end of this year.
  • New games modes is a topic they are interested in.
  • We will see more mana ramp cards for Druid.
  • New Legendary Spells and Weapons are being considered. More likely to do just do them when they feel right though and not using a formula.

Everything Else

  • A big goal for Hearthstone this year is to redefine the strengths and weaknesses of each class.
  • There are no plans to extend the "legendary protection" rule to Epic cards.
  • Treant is not likely to become a tribe due to that restricting what kind of art they can use for other minions. The Treant mechanics are established as being 2/2 Tokens.
  • Undead tribe is tricky due to how many undead there are in the game and how many dual-tribes you could then potentially have.
  • On Class # Wins: Adding a new cosmetic reward for "medium and long-term" goals is something they want to improve on.

Source Q&A

Quote from Blizzard

What exactly happened with Dr. Booms Scheme? It’s flavour, art and effect don’t match at all. Was there a last minute change and if so what was the original version?

Designs go through a lot of iterations, and this one happened to be a little later than others. We try to get the flavor, mechanics, and art to all line up but getting the right design is the most important part. We tried Boombots, shuffling in bombs, dealing damage, but this is the one we landed on. We wanted to give them some more defensive tools to help out that archetype more than the damage and bomb version. - Liv Breeden

Hero cards like Dr. Boom are clearly very strong, but only a couple classes have them. Peter Whalen said there wouldn’t be a new hero card this expansion because the Deathknights just rotated out and you thought it would be nice to take a break from them. But here we are, Dr. Boom is pretty broken and we aren’t getting that break. Any plans to address the remaining hero cards now and/or as they become overpowered over the next year?

We’ve learned a lot about hero cards since we launched the Death Knights. In general, we like them to either have a fair amount of variance in their gameplay or to have their hero powers be at a power level more in line with Justicar Trueheart than, say, Bloodreaver Gul’dan. Zul’jin is a good example of this. There’s some wiggle room here, but the core idea is that we don’t want the hero power to drown out the rest of the cards that you’re playing.

With each expansion, we’re going to continue to make powerful cards – a card being powerful isn’t necessarily a reason for us to change something. The most important thing here is that the game doesn’t feel hopeless or inevitable. I think the variance in Dr. Boom’s and Hagatha’s hero powers helps a lot there. You could get lucky, your opponent might get unlucky, and there’s still a lot of gameplay back and forth between you after those are played. It’s meaningfully different from some of the very powerful and more repetitive hero powers we’ve seen in the past.

For the other question, will we change them, that’s more a question of how things shake out in the metagame. Things have been changing rapidly over the last couple weeks. Just looking at hsreplay, Warrior is around the fourth best class right now (and Shaman is fifth), so let’s see how things evolve. We don’t think that Dr. Boom feels inherently bad to play against and it doesn’t seem like a huge balance outlier right now, so we’re going to let things develop before we make a call on card changes. - Peter Whalen

Don´t you think the epics should have the same rule as legendary cards? (Can´t open duplicates.)

We’re happy with the no duplicates rules for Legendary cards, but have no plans to extend it to epic cards. - Stephen Chang

Are you pleeeeeeease going to do something about wild soon?

When we release a new expansion, we’re always excited to see players try out new cards and discover synergies and decks that will shape the meta. We’ve seen this with Rise of Shadows and have been monitoring the ebbs and flows as decks rise in prominence and get countered by other decks. With the Wild meta in particular, we tend to see crazier interactions and stronger decks and this is something we’re generally happy with. In certain cases when decks seem out of line with what we’re comfortable with, we have stepped in, like in the case for Naga Sea Witch and Aviana. We’ve discussed the possibility of nerfing cards, such as Barnes and Bloodbloom, but the meta is still settling down and we’d like to continue to gather more data before making any decisions. We’ll continue to monitor the meta closely to make sure nothing gets too out of hand. - Stephen Chang

There are few problems in standard right now too

We’ve been watching closely as the meta has adjusted day to day and week to week since Rise of Shadows has been released. We’ve seen a variety of different decks be “the best deck” so far and are happy with how players are adjusting and countering what they’re seeing as the most prevalent decks on the ladder. - Stephen Chang

Any plans for a new game mode in the forseeable future?

We’ve heard from the community and understand this is an important thing to you. And it’s important to us too! The idea of a new game mode is very exciting, so figuring out what the right thing to do is important. We’re going to continue making card expansion and solo content, but other ways to play Hearthstone is something we’re very interested in. - Liv Breeden

What are the chances that one of the unofficial tribes (Undead, Treant for example) will become an official tribe?

Tribes, or ‘minion types’, exist for a few reasons. Mechanically, they link a wide variety of disparate cards, so that they can be referred to and interacted with (“Whenever you summon a Beast…”, “If you played an Elemental last turn…”, etc.). They also help add flavor to a card. We have a variety of minion types right now, and are open to the idea of adding more in the future. However, each minion type we add does add a bit of complication, so we look at what the upside of each one is.

Take Treants for example: We’ve designed Treants to be consistently 2/2 tokens, with “Treant” in their name. So, if we add a Treant tribe, what do we gain? Treants are already quite recognizable, and searchable. It would allow us to print cards that are Treants, but not named “Treant”… but that would conflict with the goals of Treants to be 2/2 tokens, so we aren’t particularly inclined to do that right now.

Lackeys are similar; they keyword and consistent name already fill the role of the minion type, so an additional minion type there doesn’t really gain us much.

Undead is another minion type that we see brought up. What would a build-around theme for Undead look like? Is there a clear delineation between what counts as Undead or not? Since minions currently only have 1 type (apart from the special one-off amalgams), minion types tend to work best when they’re exclusive. Pirate is one where that gets complicated; in order to keep things clear, we tend to not make Murloc Pirates, or Beast Pirates, etc. Undead would be even more problematic in that regard; we’d basically have to go to a world of multiple types per minion, since dozens of cards look Undead along with an existing type already. It’s not out of the question, but we’d have to have a very good reason to cross that big bridge of complication. - Chadd Nervig

The Tri-class cards were awesome. Any chance we’ll see something like that again?

Tri-class cards were pretty cool, yeah! I wonder if, in a world where the classes are divided between good and E.V.I.L., there would be a place for multi-class cards in the future? Hmmmmm… It’s definitely something we’d consider! - Chadd Nervig

Druid’s class identity formerly included mana ramp, but the core cards that enabled it are no longer as good as they were. Will it become a theme again during the Year of the Dragon, or was the Year of the Raven a final goodbye to that archetype?

Mana ramp is indeed part of the core identity of Druids in Hearthstone, and we do intend to maintain that going forward. While they may not currently be as extreme at that as they once were, that leaves us room to add more/stronger mana ramp cards in the future. I think it’s safe to say that you’ll see mana ramp cards in Druid again. - Chadd Nervig

What’s up with Arcane Servant? Why did you put it in Rise of Shadows?

A few reasons! First, we generally try to sprinkle some flavorful cards into each set. It helps set the tone of the set, helps it feel like you’re in Dalaran. Second, mechanically, it helps lay the groundwork for future build-arounds. As mentioned above, minion types are important for mechanical interactions, and we recognized that numerous Elementals were rotating out of Standard at this time, so we could use some replacements. Just as Dire Mole saw play merely for being a 1/3 Beast (heck, even sometimes just a 1/3), there’s potential for a 2/3 Elemental to see play, with the right supporting cards. - Chadd Nervig

What does E.V.I.L. Stand for?

That’s a good question! I’m not sure… I’m not sure if even Rafaam is sure! Maybe “Elaborate Vision of Ideal Leaders”? - Chadd Nervig

Oh really? I heard from Rafaam himself that it was “Every Villain Imbibes Lemonade”. - Stephen Chang

Don’t listen to these guys it clearly stands for “Evil eVil evIl eviL”. - Hadidjah Chamberlin

Khadgar says they’re Extortionists. Vile. Immoral. Louts. - Liv Breeden

I heard a rumor from Dr. Boom that it’s actually “Explosive Varmints Importing Loot.” - Peter Whalen

Could you explain the your keyword philosophy once again? It would’ve been my personal preference if each expansion’s keyword continue to be “printed” on relevant cards at least until that expansion was part of Standard; otherwise they feel too ephemeral.

I wrote an article about a year ago about some philosophy on keywords when we changed Enrage (https://playhearthstone.com/en-us/blog/21614307 5) and that’s stayed pretty consistent. At a high level, keywords do some really good things. They condense card text, they make it easier to learn a new card once you know the keyword, they can tell a good story, and they can give us mechanical hooks to make other cards that care about them.

In exchange, when we do focus tests with people that are more casual, just starting Hearthstone, or coming back to it, the single biggest thing that turns people off in card text is keywords. People have a much easier time with “Teach it 2 Shaman spells” or “Get a fantastic Treasure” than with “Lifesteal, Rush, Windfury.”

Part of our card text philosophy is that we want people to feel confident playing their cards and then understand the details once they play it. Keywords make you feel lost. If you don’t know a keyword, you just don’t get the card. In client, you can mouse over it but that creates an extra burden and a lot of people interact with cards outside of the client as well.

So there’s a tradeoff here. We want to get real value out of our keywords when we use them. We prefer not to use keywords on a one-off card. There might be exceptions in the future, but Witch’s Brew is a great example of this. “Repeatable this turn” is very understandable to experienced and new players and doesn’t take up too much text space. It does lose a bit of the story which is sad, but the clarity, especially for a card in a different year than Echo, was much more important to us. - Peter Whalen

Would you be willing to consider some temporary nerfs to make up for some deficiencies in some classes? Most classes don’t have the removal tools to handle Token Druid, but you could quite easily give them those tools in the next expansion or too.

We are working towards a world where class strengths and weaknesses are better communicated and more easily defined. One option players have when their class may have difficulty with wide removal options is to tech in cards from Neutral, like Dragonmaw Scorcher and Mossy Horror, if they’re running to a lot of decks like Token Druid. Neutral options are generally weaker than class removal options, but they’re something you can reach for if that’s something you’re running into a lot on the ladder. We’ll continue to provide these types of options in Neutral for classes to look at to either bolster things their classes already do well, or help shore up some deficiencies they may have. - Stephen Chang

Rarity of cards is an interesting characteristic of cards. As we all know legendaries can only have a single copy in a deck, while common cards cost very little dust to craft.

Can you tell us more about how the team determines card rarity?
Why are some cards epic when others are rare?
When in the design process are those choices locked in?

Legendary is easiest to decide. Mechanically, if we only want something to happen once a game (ignoring shenanigans), we’ll make it Legendary. Or if it needs to be the only copy of something. A good example is the no-duplicate cards like Reno and Kazakas. Or if there’s something that doesn’t make sense to happen twice in a game, like this scrapped card: “Battlecry: Detonate all Bombs in your opponent’s deck.” After that card, there’s no Bombs in their deck, so the second copy feels like a dud. We try and avoid that where we can. Also, if the design is top-down and can only fit one named character, we’ll make it Legendary. Ragnaros, Lightlord’s effect is directly linked to Ragnaros, so it’d be silly to make his flavor anything other than Ragnaros. :)

As for the others, it’s mostly a complexity thing. The more the complex a card is, the more rare it is. Shadowcaster is a complex card that can do a lot of different things, but you need context of how to use it effectively. Dirty Rat is another good example; if you just play Dirty Rat, you may not know what you’re getting in to. Other times, if the card is a weird one-off card we put it at Epic, like Void Contract or Immortal Prelate.

At the common level, we try and put the most basic and easy to understand cards for a class. Rare is somewhere between Common and Epic.

In Initial Design (first 16 weeks), we try and get it as close as possible, but it’s mostly just from most complex to least complex.

Later on in Final Design, once designs are mostly locked in, we may shuffle them to make the class feel better. Like, if all the commons for a class are minions, or if an entire deck archetype is at rare. - Liv Breeden

Why’d you guys decide on nerfing some classic cards such as Cold Blood instead of HoFing them as you usually do?

A couple of things going on here. For Basic cards, we’ve always nerfed in the past. If we Hall of Fame a Basic card, we need to replace it at the same time since it’s in everyone’s collection. That’s something we might do in the future, but haven’t yet.

For Classic cards, it’s a question of whether the effect is something we want around long term in standard. There are a few of pieces to that - how well does it fit the class’ fantasy, is it a healthy effect for the game to have around always, and is it something cool and exciting that we want to preserve in Wild. For Cold Blood, it’s a healthy effect, something we want rogues to be able to do, and not so unique that we felt like Wild rogues badly needed it, so we nerfed it instead of Hall of Faming it. - Peter Whalen

One of your current design goals this year seems to be refining and defining the specific strengths and weaknesses of each class.

Where are you in that respect? What are the distinct design philosophies of each class?

This would be a great topic for a designer insight or blog post down the road

Indeed, better refining and defining class strengths and weaknesses is a big goal of ours this year. That does sound like a good topic for a designer insight or blog post! - Chadd Nervig

Do you have any plans on releasing new legendary spells and weapons?

This is something we’re considering. I don’t think we’ll get into a formula for “Mages always get a Legendary spell” and “Warriors get a Legendary weapon.” But I think now that we’ve done Legendary spells and weapons, we’re more likely to just do it when it feels right. - Liv Breeden

Hello developers, just a quick question:

Vereesa Windrunner has a special voice line when facing Garrosh (“You’ll pay for Rhonin!”). This is a great addition, but it left me wondering:

Why was there no voiceline for Vereesa being played against Alleria? I was very excited to see the final Windrunner sister put into the game, but it makes me sad that neither Sylvanas nor Vereesa recognize Alleria.

These little hidden interaction voiceover lines are super fun to add. We try to do them where they’ll be most impactful, but not clutter things up with having too many. Rise of Shadows features a ton of lore-important characters, and so we picked the lines we liked best, and tried to spread them out between multiple characters. I’ve seen people notice and comment on a few of them, but I’m not sure if anyone’s found them all. I believe there are 8-9 (depending upon how you count it) of these in Rise of Shadows! - Chadd Nervig

Team 5 mentioned that the bulglar effect would change to “from another class” instead of your opponents class going forward.

Since Pilfer is in the classic set and will remain there forever will you change it’s effect?

That’s the philosophy going forward, and we’re OK with letting the old-style cards just rotate out of Standard and stay in Wild.

But as you point out, Pilfer is a special case; it’s in Classic. Because of that, we are considering whether we should change it. But, we haven’t settled on a fix just yet. - Chadd Nervig

Any of you got a favorite card design or mechanic, that had to be scrapped because it was impossible to balance or fundamentally flawed in some other way?

Or one that sounded cool on paper but turned out to be much less fun in practice for some unforeseen reason?

One of the earliest cards I pitched in Knights of the Frozen throne was Mass Teleport: “Fill both sides of the board with random minions.” It sounds really silly and fun on paper, but once you realized the opponent always had initiative over your minions, you just died. 100% of the time. I thought “Well maybe as a dreamy card it’s fun. Or what if the enemy has a full board?” But it just never happens. It SOUNDS SO COOL. It feels awful to play it every. single. time. - Liv Breeden

Any chance for a new milestone like the 500 wins golden portrait? Maybe a new platinum portrait or cardback at 1000 wins or even 2500 wins?

We’ve been working on figuring out what an awesome long term cosmetic reward would look like. Medium and long-term goals are one of the most consistent pieces of feedback we’ve gotten from long-time players so we’ve got some stuff we’re looking into to address it. Nothing to announce now, but it’s something we’d like to improve. - Peter Whalen

This is something we’ve been discussing on the art side as well - general things like what do those medium- and long-term rewards look like, more specific ones like what would be an awesome 1000 wins reward, etc. - Hadidjah Chamberlin

Will Tyrande (and Khadgar) make their return this year?

We’d love to bring back the Tyrande alternate hero and things like missing Card backs. It’s one of the most asked for things from the community. It’s frustrating knowing you missed out on something while you were away or before you started playing Hearthstone. We’re working on the right way to get them in to your hands. - Liv Breeden

So since RoS was released, one Mechanic left me with a lot of curiosity:
Hagatha’s Teach mechanic.

Will the mechanic of teaching spells come back one day? or will it be specially flavoured for only the Evilest Hagatha?

Greetings, fellow Explosive Villain In League(of EVIL)!

Sometimes we can write exactly what will happen on a card, sometimes it’s better to write the gist of it as most people will get it. Or at least think they get it enough to matter. This is similar to how we wrote Gral’s eat mechanic, it’s mostly for flavor, but there’s some benefit to save space on a card.

That said, we don’t have plans on teaching spells to more things yet, but I don’t see why not. - Liv Breeden

Or missed out completely because it wasn’t offered to some countries at all. You’ve been promising “other methods of obtaining tyrande for those who weren’t included” for about 2.5 years now. “Working on it” doesn’t cut it after this long.

We’re working on delivering it before the end of the year. - Liv Breeden

will there be replacements for the classic cards that recently got hall of famed?
when yes, how soon can we expect them?

We’ve got replacements for the Hall of Famed basic and classic cards internally and we’re looking for the right patch to introduce them. Won’t be in the next one (that has the mission content), but we’re hoping to get them out before the next expansion. - Peter Whalen

Any of you got a favorite card design or mechanic, that had to be scrapped because it was impossible to balance or fundamentally flawed in some other way?

Or one that sounded cool on paper but turned out to be much less fun in practice for some unforeseen reason?

This is a super interesting topic, but hard to give concrete examples of, because we often iterate on problematic designs to find good designs, and I don’t want to spoil future cards.

In general terms though, I’ve personally been quite interested in finding a way to fulfill the Beast Mastery Hunter fantasy of “Just me and my one life-time partner pet”. We’ve worked on finding something fun (for both sides) like that a few times now. No idea when or even if we’ll find a fun way to deliver that, but I hope to someday. That’s one of the blessings/curses of Hearthstone; we can often feel like there’s a kernel of a fun idea, but not quite find the right version of it, and so save it for a later set where we can iterate on it further, and keep trying to find the fun.

I’ll give you one concrete example in Rise of Shadows development though. Crystalsong Portal previously checked your whole deck for minions; it tried to form the basis of a no-minions Druid deck, to embrace the Balance Druid fantasy. However it proved to be too weak of an archetype with cards available so far, so would require putting so much power in that one card to try to carry the deck, that it was inconsistent and not fun. Instead, we swapped it to just check your hand, so that it could be used in an aggro/tempo deck that at least played a significant number of spells. - Chadd Nervig

Quoted from the Implement Auto Squelch thread. What are the CURRENT reasons for not implementing this now?

Hearthstone doesn’t have a lot of ways to interact with other players. Emotes are one of the few ways to actually have some sort of communication. I’d say as far as toxic behaviors go, emotes are among the least harmful. - Liv Breeden

There is a chronic problem with the way squelch is designed. When we play on a mobile device and experience either a brief disconnect or simply receive a phone call, the squelch falls off, and we are forced to endure the opponent’s emotes before squelching again.

I can put in a bug report for this, I can understand why this would be frustrating. - Liv Breeden

Hi Hadidjah! As a member of the art team I have a question. Imp, Treant and Squirrel all got new token art for RoS. Why didn’t the Murloc from Soul of the Murloc get new token art? Jus curious.

I’m actually further down the pipe than card art (usually by the time I see card art it’s usually getting pretty close to done so I can riff on it for the FX:)), so I’m honestly less involved in the 2D side than most of the Designers here (and our awesome 2D artists, of course :P). We do like making new art for tokens to fit the theme of the set, as it helps fulfill the fantasy and flavor of the set. There are a few cases where a token may re-use old art. For instance, if it’s a minor part of the set, the old art is particularly fitting for some reason, the card changes late in the design process, or some other reasons.

I love how Rise of Shadows turned out and i am glad that a lot of cards with infinite value rotated to Wild. A few cards stayed with us from the Year of the Raven and i think it creates a bad experience. Playing against Dr. Boom, Mad Genius is not fun because of the infinite value. The same thing could happen during this year with Hagatha the Witch and with Zul’Jin and because we all want to see new strategies with every expansion this doesn’t help. I would consider rotating all the hero cards to Hall of Fame. What are your thoughts on this?

We learned a lot about Hero cards after we introduced the Death Knights and applied that knowledge to the Hero Cards in the Year of the Raven. The type of value that cards like Dr. Boom, Mad Genius and Hagatha the Witch provide are less reliable than those found on some of the Death Knights. We’re continuing to learn from these Hero Cards as well and will continue to monitor their use in the current meta. Dr. Boom, Mad Genius saw a lot of play at the start of Rise of Shadows, but his use is starting to taper off as the meta evolves and players are playing decks that counter Warrior. It’s unlikely that we’ll rotate these to the Hall of Fame early and if we felt a change were needed to any of these Hero cards that we would nerf them instead. - Stephen Chang

Standard rogue decks are the most entertaining to play I have seen in years. The problem is that a lot of players feel the same and we see almost 30% of all decks on ladder are rogues. What are you going to do with keeping it from dominating so much?

In general, we like it when players find the answer themselves by playing decks that can counter the decks they find to be dominating the meta. That said, we’ll continue to monitor the play rate and win rate of Rogues to ensure it doesn’t get out of hand and if it does, we’ll step in as we have in the past. - Stephen Chang

Archivist Elysiana has seen a lot of hate from the competitive community and its true that a lot of matches take a lot longer then they should. I would propose to nerf her to 10mana, so you can’t bounce it with Youthful Brewmaster which should reduce the hate significantly.

We know that players have concerns regarding Elysiana, particularly in the competitive scene. We’ll get a lot more information on her with the upcoming World Championship and we’ll continue to monitor her overall use and will step in to make a change if we think it’s needed. - Stephen Chang

Zilliax is the most played card in standard right now. Is he on a watchlist or do you like how he affects so many archetypes?

We like the way Zilliax is being used. As such a flexible card (due to having so many keywords) Zilliax naturally finds his way into a variety of decks for different reasons, and we like this. Some decks really value the Lifesteal, some value the Mech minion type, some use him to synergize with Rush or Taunt cards. Often how he interacts in each game or deck feels different and less repetitive. In general, Zilliax just feels great to play and doesn’t feel awful to play against so we’re pretty happy where he is right now. - Stephen Chang

Wild should be a reservoir for old strong strategies which has no place in standard and balanced metagame. But the format should also evolve with new expansion being introduced to the game.

One of the things we enjoy most with each new expansion is the additional tools players have available to modify their existing decks and to create new ones. In Wild, there are interactions that simply aren’t available in Standard that players are able to explore, which is very exciting and can shake up the Wild meta. We do see this evolution with each expansion and experimentation that takes place.  - Stephen Chang

Here are some of the ofenders which keeps this almost impossible:
Barnes, High Priest Thekal, Darkest Hour, Voidcaller, Kabal Crystal Runner, Thing from Below . Is it possible to have a different balance approach to Wild or can you come up with a third format in the future which could take the best from both worlds - Wild and Standard alike?

In general, we’re more comfortable with really powerful strategies in Wild than we are in Standard. That said, we have stepped in in the past, Aviana and Naga Sea Witch for example, when certain decks are too unfun to play against and have strategies that seem unreasonable to contend with. We’ve talked about potential changes to Barnes and Darkest Hour decks and will continue to look at the impact of the other decks you mention. We’re happy with Wild being a place where players can explore very strong synergies and decks, but will step in to make changes if we think the game will be better for it.  - Stephen Chang

Can Saronite Chain Gang get unnerfed in wild? My Reno Shudder Hatebears Nonsense Shaman could use the help.

Obligatory unnerf yogg?

We nerfed Saronite Chain Gang as a result of combinations with Shudderwock being an unfun experience to play against. It can be exhausting spending a huge amount of time on a single turn just watching everything play out without you interacting at all. There’s an unfortunate side-effect that Chain Gang loses handbuff synergies, but it felt like the right decision to make.

As for Yogg, it’s a pretty dangerous effect for us to have in Neutral sticking around forever. If we were to do this sort of thing again, we’d rather put it in a class where it’s a little more contained. - Liv Breeden

Are there any plans to create new in-game rewards for players beyond card packs, and card backs? It seems new hero portraits are saved for pre-orders and promotions which leaves very limited options for rewards in game.

Yeah, we’re talking about a bunch of different smaller goodies that we could use for more frequent, low-key rewards. We don’t have a super solid timeline for them yet, but there are a lot of different things we’re talking about and scoping out as possible rewards/cosmetics/etc. - Hadidjah Chamberlin

Are there any secret interactions on the Rise of Shadows game board?

Not on the RoS board, no.
The volcano was kind of a special case where we just couldn’t not do a gigantic eruption (and the Troll gates kinda wrote themselves as well :P), but we approach boards with the base goal of designing a clean, awesome board first and then fitting appropriate clickables to that (very generally speaking - we all sit right next to each other so there’s a lot of back and forth and “Hey what if we added…” between everyone as well).
Those secret interactions are really fun for us to make, and we always bat a ton of clickable ideas (of varying levels of practicality) around, but we want to make sure they make sense with the board rather than trying to find a way to force a crazy interaction into every single one at the cost of the overall design or blowing our entire clickable budget on one thing - Hadidjah Chamberlin

If there was one card from the wild set that you would bring back to standard, what would it be?

Glimmerroot, I love that lil’ guy.<3 I think he’s a great card, but also I’m super attached to his FX because they were really fun to make, so I’m biased - Hadidjah Chamberlin

Was Arch-Villian Rafaam Thanos-Inspired? i can see he has the Staff of Origination in the form of the Infinity Gauntlet

I think he really wanted to make himself something cool that the League could rally around, but Togwaggle got super confused about how many fingers it was supposed to have so he gave up and just glued the staff to his arm.:frowning:

(This is actually canon, we have some very stupid conversations at team breakfasts.) - Hadidjah Chamberlin

I really love this meta and love how this expansion has turned out.

My question is would it be possible to see more frequent Alternate Hero Skins ? They really would improve the QoL of Hearthstone.

That’s awesome, glad to hear it!

We’re working on ways to get Hero Skins out more often! There are two primary reasons there’ve been relatively few historically - the main one just being that we want them to continue to be something a little more rare and special (something rarer/higher-impact than card backs, for instance). We don’t want the game to get oversaturated with them, but we know they’re something that people really love so we are looking for ways to release more. On the practical side, a lot of that’s just come down to workload (for instance, on VFX they’re one of the two most time-consuming pieces in the game for us, along with pack openings). We’ve been adding some ways lately (and are working on some more) to make the whole process faster, both for FX and everyone else involved, while still keeping them looking rad, so hopefully that’ll help with getting more Hero Skins out to y’all as well - Hadidjah Chamberlin

Hello, you guys said you were going to work on more achievements past 500 ranked wins because some veterans had nothing left to achieve.

Are you still planning to add new achievements past the 500 wins golden portraits ?

We are.:slight_smile: Obviously these are conversations that take place across/between the entire team, but on the art side we’ve been having a lot of chats recently about our part in those and what’ll make for cool rewards. - Hadidjah Chamberlin


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