A few days ago, a survey asking about Battle Pass has leaked. It asked players whether they would like the new system – scrapping the current rewards for Quests completely and replacing them with XP plus adding a track that would give players rewards after they hit a certain amount of XP. There would also be paid version with more rewards. Players were outraged, because they thought that the rewards from Battle Pass system would be lower than what they earn right now. Here’s how the Battle Pass system from survey looked like:
We didn’t post about it, because we didn’t have an official source for it, not to mention that Blizzard is sending all kinds of questions in the surveys and we knew that even if it’s true, then nothing is set in stone.
However, today Hearthstone’s Game Director Ben Lee has officially addressed the Battle Pass questions in AMA and since he pretty much confirmed their plans to implement it, we want to share his answer and talk a bit about the upcoming system. While we’ll have another thread with other AMA answers, this one feels important enough to warrant its own post. Here’s a quick summary of his post:
- This year, they already undertook some actions to make the game more F2P friendly, such as no duplicate rule across all rarities and free decks for new/returning players. They have no plans to undermine that progress.
- They’re working on a major rework of the progress / rewards system and that’s what the survey asked about (but what they shown was just an example). The main goal of the new system is to let players play any game mode they want and still progress / earn all rewards (remember that there’s another game mode coming later this expansion, and probably even more of them in the future).
- They also want to make the system more clear – show how many things you’ve already earned this expansion and what’s ahead of you.
- One of the things they’re looking at is broadening the Tavern Pass to also contain stuff like cosmetic rewards.
- Rewards will NOT be lower under the new system, and it won’t require more grind.
- They will share more info about it and other things they have in plans in a couple of months – around the time they announce next expansion.
And here’s the full Ben’s response:
This year we took big steps towards making it easier and more affordable than ever for players to acquire an awesome card collection, including making the game more friendly to our free-to-play-players.
With the launch of Ashes of Outland we implemented the no duplicates rules, introduced free competitive decks for new and returning players, significantly increased ranked rewards, added 1st time ranked rewards, held multiple events with hefty reward packages, offered rewarding expansion quest chains and we’ve also committed to providing free single-player Adventure content for the foreseeable future.
We chose to do these things, because they are good for our players and we believe they are the right thing to do for the game. They weren’t reactionary measures to competition or a dwindling player-base. We have many millions of players and are going to be here and strive to remain one of the most popular, relevant and fun games around for many years to come.
We are grateful to our players for their continued support and as described above have worked hard to try and value their time and financial investments fairly. We have no intentions of going back on or undermining the progress we have made on this front.
By the above statement I very specifically mean to identify and clarify that we absolutely intend to maintain the value that players can earn within the game and keep the flexibility of purchases that current rewards provide.
We are undertaking a major rework of our rewards and progression systems. A survey did go out about this recently with the aim of gathering information to help us refine the design of the systems. This isn’t something new, Hearthstone has been sending out surveys for years and often what is discussed in these surveys does not represent what ends up going into the game.
One of our goals for this new system is to allow you to play Hearthstone your way, you won’t be tied to playing only Standard or Wild in order to obtain the majority of the games’ economic rewards anymore.
We are also planning on repackaging (not reducing) the current rewards that you can obtain in Hearthstone and put that information in-front of you in an easy to view and understand manner. We want you to know how many rewards you’ve acquired, how many more you can earn and what steps you need to take in order to obtain them. In addition, we’re adding a number of exciting cosmetic rewards that players can receive during every expansion.
Finally, we are investigating broadening the benefits of the existing Tavern Pass system to supplement the rewards of the upcoming progression system with exciting new cosmetics.
There’s been some discussion that a huge time investment would be required to complete the levels in the system. We don’t intend this to be the case.
I’ll use myself as the example here. I reach Legend every month, during an expansion cycle I typically earn more than 5,000 Gold (I would not expect to earn less under the new system). Outside of Hearthstone I am a busy father of two children, I have a demanding full-time job, an active life and I play a huge amount of other games outside of Hearthstone in my spare time. We want people like me who love Hearthstone but also have other responsibilities and interests to be able to complete the rewards track levels.
We want our players to feel good about participating in this new take on rewards and progression, without feeling that they might miss out if they don’t have time or that they’d have to make sacrifices in their lives in order to do so.
We look forward to showing you this and a host of other things we’ve been working on to bring more exciting content to Hearthstone during our Year of the Phoenix Mid-year check in at the start of our next expansion’s reveal phase.
Game Director – Hearthstone