Ben Brode on Buffing Bad Cards, Popular Decks of the Week

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Ben Brode on Buffing Bad Cards

Last week, Kripparrian put out a video discussing bad cards in Hearthstone and came to the conclusion that they don't need to exist. Ben Brode, Hearthstone's Senior Game Designer, countered Kripparrian with a video of his own about discussing why he thinks bad cards are good.

You can find a summary of what Ben has to say on the matter, along with the video, below.

Quote from Ben Brode

Bad Cards are Good

  • It's impossible to not have bad cards. Cards are judged on their power level in relation to other cards.
    • Making one better will make another one worse, now that card has become bad.
  • Changing cards requires a significant amount of time to tune them properly - the same amount of time new cards take to balance.
    • This then ends up setting back the release of new content.
    • New card designs fit better into expansions.
  • Changing old cards too much can lead to a negative response from players that have come back to the game after a break. They are no longer in a familiar environment with what they have. 
  • Buffing old cards between expansions could lead to drastic meta changes, like those seen at the start of sets.
    • They don't want to get rid of the phase where the meta has settled between set releases - that removes the tinkering phase.
  • Cards that may not be powerful are still good for Hearthstone.
    • They can appeal to different types of players.
    • You can be encouraged to think in different ways.

Specific Cards

  • Nozdormu is a good card because it can blow your mind.
    • "Anything can happen in this game. What kinds of cards will we see next?"
  • River Crocolisk is a good example of a card was bad and then was (temporarily) good with the old Unleash the Hounds.
  • Al'Akir the Windlord - Players called it the worst legendary in the game and that it needed buffs.
    • The designers had agreed thanks to internal testing. It was going to become a 3/7.
    • Internal data found that if it was drawn, people were more likely to win that game than any other card in the game (Alpha). 
  • Wisp is arguably one of the worst cards in the game but when Hobgoblin came out, people wanted to experiment with it.
  • Eye for an Eye is an example of a card which may appear to be good but is bad.
    • It's a card which can teach players who are new to card games about more complicated concepts (card advantage, value, board control).
  • Magma Rager - Ben likes having "trash-tier" cards in the game because they can be a touchstone for the community.
    • It leads to people talking about it, trying to win with it, and creating content around it.

Tavern Brawl

  • Tavern Brawl is going to help keep things chaotic for players who really like the way the meta gets shaken up at the start of a new card set.

Popular Decks of the Week

Here are the popular decks for last week. Not as many Mage decks as the week before, and Priests are up at the top.

What decks were you playing last week? Share them below!

 Control Priest tylerootd 3840
 Acolyte Priest MatGagne 6880
 Dragon Mage  Uroshmeister 5960
 Tempo Mage MPZaki 5680
 Malygos Lock FreiKuk 3520
 MURLOCS!? BoomX9 3540
 Chromaggus Druid fateos 6200
 Mech Shaman iamdannywu 3780
 Grim Patron Warrior Senfglas 700
 Patron thornstaff 3940

Tavern Brawl Patch - Datamined Info

If you missed our datamined information on the upcoming Tavern Brawl patch, head on over to our Patch 9166 datamining post!

Tavern Brawl releases mid-June! No official release date has been announced.



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