Earlier this week, Blizzard took part in a Reddit AMA where they answered a ton of questions regarding the new Hearthstone expansion, Saviors of Uldum. They also covered information from the Fire Festival, and a whole bunch more! We've summarized all the most interesting answers for you here, so let's dive in!
- [S] New cards are designed with a focus on fitting the theme and new mechanics of the expansion set. However, they also try to design cards that players will find exciting in whichever formats they enjoy playing the most; though some tend to be stronger in specific formats like Wild, Standard, or Arena.
- [S] Questing Explorer was designed to aid with the new Quests in the Uldum set, but It also can be used with the old Quests from Journey to Un'Goro.
- [S] We aren't going to see mushroom people in this expansion, as most mushrooms and mushroom people thrive in damp environments and Uldum isn't a great place for them, even for a vacation.
- [S] When they decided that they wanted to explore Quests again for Saviors of Uldum, they wanted to do them differently than they did with Journey to Un'Goro.
- [S] The original Quests were more difficult to complete in general and you tended to have to go all-in with your deck built around them.
- [S] Whether or not you were able to complete your quest often determined if you would win the game, since rewards for those quests were so powerful the game ended shortly after.
- [S] With the Quests in Saviors of Uldum, they wanted them to be easier to complete, but also have more of a game to play out once the quest was completed.
- [S] The new Quests will instantly change your Hero Power on completion so you can immediately take advantage of their effect.
- [S] We should expect these Quests to complete more towards the mid-game than the end game, so it will feel more like a second phase of the game with your opponent still having a good opportunity to win.
- [S] The biggest challenges when making Saviors of Uldum were to focus on furthering the vibe and story while also bringing back the fan favorites: Elise, Reno, Brann and of course Sir Finley. Bringing back these characters along with a familiar mechanic in Quests, while still leaving room for new ideas such as Plagues and Reborn, all the while exploring the mysteries of Uldum, meant that the team had a ton of fun and opportunities and made the most of them at every turn!
- [S] We are getting a few cute cards in SoU, especially if you like mummies!
- [S] There is a particular card that was very challenging to do in a multiple ways (designing, engineering, etc), we'll probably know it when we see it.
- [S] What about class roles for the League of Explorers? They wanted the League of Explorers to fill in the remaining four classes after assigning the first five to the League of E.V.I.L., so they came up with:
- Elise - Made a natural Druid with her early studies of Un'goro Crater
- Brann - The giant blunderbuss he carries (not to mention super sweet Dino Mount) made him an instant Hunter
- SirFinley - Having apparently been "knighted" at some point became the Paladin
- Reno - Well... that left mage.. this in turn led us to the "Gatling Wand" he carries, and he seemed to take to the using of magic in this form like a duck to water!
- Does the minion return without the keyword Reborn? I.E. if you had a buff that only worked on a reborn minion would it work post reborn?
- [S] The minion that returns will still have the keyword Reborn on it. You can think of it like a Divine Shield minion that has its Divine Shield popped. It's still a Divine Shield minion, but no longer has Divine Shield.
- Do Reborn minion retain buffs? I assume not but want to make sure.
[S] They do not.
- Do Reborn minion count as "summons"? So would a Reborn minion with a Kadgar in play summon 2 minions?
[S] Yes, they count as summons.
- If the second minion that is Reborn after the first minion dies is returned to your hand, does it have Reborn when you play it again?
[S] Yes, the Reborn gets refreshed if it gets bounced and played again.
- Will there be some visual effect to let you know it does not have Reborn anymore?
[S] Yes, There's a visual effect to let you know if a minion has Reborn active or not.
- [S] Fun fact about the name "Reborn". It was the original temp name that they put in to the game to start testing with. They talked about it a lot afterwards and pitched a lot of other names, but it ended up being the one that was easiest to understand on first read and the one that they're shipping with.
- [S] What they liked about Reborn was, when they showed it to people for the first time, we could instantly guess what it basically did. That was a huge win for them and ultimately led to them choosing to stick with the original keyword.
- [S] A few other keyword contenders were:
- Mummy/Mummified - Felt more like a minion type than a keyword. It would've also pigeon-holed us into making all of the Reborn minions into Mummies and it didn't quite lead you to understand what the mechanic did on first read.
- Embalmed - Had that great thematic vibe, but it was harder to predict what the keyword did on first read.
- Ankh - Felt more like an item than a keyword and also didn't indicate that it was a one-time effect.
- [S] Blackrock Crash won´t be added into a singleplayer content, but in the future we might see more events like this one.
- [S] If you win in a Blackrock Crash brawl, you deck won´t be replaced with another one.
- [S] There's also a score screen that shows how many times you won with that deck (in the Blackrock Crash brawl).
- [S] New FIRE FEST-E.V.I.L.! event starts at the same time as new Tavern Brawl.
- [S] Every day means new Legendary Quest will be released (Editor's note - Keep 2 spots open in your quest log each day so you won´t miss some), at the end, you will be able to complete all 7 of them in one day if you want.
- [S] The timer in Tavern Brawl to achieve golden cards starts from when you start the first boss, after mulligan. It also is a real world timer, not a game time timer. As in, you start the first boss and come back a week later you'll have a completion time of many hours.
- [S] Each run has a separate timer, so you can try to get the best rewards possible!
- [S] There's a display issue in collection manager that shows extra copies of the rewarded cards, that resolves when you restart the client.
- [S] Rafaam will join the fight next week!
- [S] The single player campaign will follow a similar "Dungeon Run" style as the Dalaran Heist, but with some twists in store. Nothing to share right now, more information coming in the future.
Not expansion related
- [S] New evergreen keywords like Discover, Lifesteal, or Rush won't be ever added to the Basic set, but we might see some in the Classic set in the future.
- [S] They are not trying to push classes towards one type of deck, but just make their weaknesses more pronounced. By having class identities, it allows them to explore more unique forms of class strengths to keep things fresh.
- [S] Ben Thompson loves the visual emotes they have done in previous in-game celebrations and those could be a lot of fun to explore more.
- [S] Unique "board corners" are something interesting to think about, but It´s difficult to implement them accordingly to match both player perspectives.
- [S] Ben said that new in-game music would be interesting, but they are cautious to avoid making the game's client size too large and Audio + Art currently take up the most space. He suggested that Come-into-play "stingers" could be a fun alternate while taking less space (potentially asking for feedback on the idea).
- [S] They are trying new things in bawls, because It gives them an opportunity to explore new ideas quickly and get immediate feedback.
- [S] They want try more things like Fire Fest-E.V.I.L.
- [S] Surprise and delight is one of their key tenets and they are going to continue to explore different ways to play the game and hopefully keep us all guessing!
- [S] More Classic Legendary cards probably won´t get entrance animations updated soon, but they are hearing our feedback about what do we want (Illidan and other updated Classic Legendary cards got updated before, because they are a big WoW characters).
- [S] Priest not having "Basic or Classic" powerful removal spell makes them feel different from set to set.
- [S] When asked if they've ever had to retroactively change a previous card before release of a new expansion, they mention Reckless Experimenter as an example that was updated. Chakki found an "undesirable" combo using Spirit of the Dead. Before release, Experimenter used to kill minions immediately instead of waiting until the end of the turn. Using Experimenter + Spirit of the Dead + Knife Juggler + Dead Ringer meant you created a draw engine that dealt one damage and drew the copy of Dead Ringer that had just shuffled into the deck after it died to create an OTK. So they went back and changed Experimenter to destroy the minion at the end of the turn.
- [S] Zilliax is being watched, but his power and place in the meta is fine for them and they are pleased with him overall. (Editor's note: probably no nerfs in the future)
- [S] We are going to see more events like Rise of the Mech or the recently announced Fire Fest-E.V.I.L., as they are improving the game between expansions.
- [S] No nerfs to the Big Priest soon as they need "more data" after the SoU's release to see if something will need to change or not.
- [S] Divine Spirit doesn't match priest's class identity and It's something that will be probably changed one day (or rotated to the HoF).
Editor's note: These answers were gathered from developer responses to community questions on Reddit. We have made formatting and wording tweaks to improve flow. You can find the original source for each answer by clicking on the [S] icon.
Saviors of Uldum Expansion Guide
Learn more and see all the cards in our dedicated expansion guide.