One simple Tweet from 2 days ago has resulted in a lot of interesting discussion. Dean “Iksar” Ayala, Hearthstone game designer, asked players this:
If Hearthstone used to be your main game but isn’t anymore, what would get you back?
The question got thousands of responses already, both on Twitter and on other social media. We encourage you to answer it yourself (or leave comments on our site if you want to share your answer with us), it’s a great opportunity to let the devs know what people want.
In the meantime, we’ve picked some of the pro player responses, as well as other interesting replies. You can read them all below:
I haven’t played or streamed hearthstone for the past few weeks. Every time I wake up I have a desire to play, but it’s trumped by playing autochess or doing something more fun. I’ve opened the client 5 or 6 times in the past 2 weeks to try to play around with deck ideas but nothing really feels good so I haven’t actually played a game yet. This is the longest I’ve gone without playing Hearthstone since I’ve started. It’s not that I don’t still like Hearthstone, it just feels too repetitive and to a certain extent- it feels like my decisions don’t matter as much. I’m not a card game expert and definitely not a game developer, but this is my take on a few problems I personally experienced and maybe a few suggestions.
Matchup polarization was a problem a lot of people seemed to have. The issue I have with matchup polarization is not having the option to tech in a card that can make a match up better. This wouldn’t have to instantly win a matchup, but simply make it better. Not having a combo disruption card that is a neutral is really hurting the game – combo decks became a bit too powerful when there is virtually no counterplay.
I want my decisions to matter, not just in game but out of game. I feel lost and frustrated when I’m trying to tinker around with a deck but can’t make specific matchups better. It’s not that I even need to win the matchup, it would just be helpful to have an additional card to to make my percent better. Back when quest mage was popular and dirty rat was around, quest mages would have to hold extra cards in their hand and manage card draw and hand size which was kind of difficult – on top of that they could tech in redundancy in their deck- which could counter the counter card etc. I thought deck building like that was cool – now it just feels like I wait for them to combo and kill me.
It is an issue that the optimal way to succeed is to netdeck the highest winrate deck and jam it over and over. No matter how well the cards are designed, or things are balanced, it devolves to this. Ladder needs some variable added to the equation.
delete the OTK archetype as a whole or add a lot of answers to it, i don’t like that usually the only way to beat OTK is by playing an aggressive deck and killing them before they go off since we cant react on our opponent’s turn in this game
incentivizing veteran players more, even simple stuff like new portrait frames or alternate art cards for 1k/2k wins etc. feels like theres nothing to play for aside from the daily quests which i have even become too lazy to do most of the time.
i will make a longer post on the matter later but tbh HS at its core is really well designed from the game-play standpoint, outside of game however feels too simple and could use better progression systems, more formats, and a better rotation system to keep the game feeling fresh
1) When i was still playing i felt like everytime a change happened (balance patch, expansion, new formats) it all got extra exciting again so I would like to see changes more frequently.
2) the handlock, fon druid, patron meta was the time frame of HS I enjoyed the most. But it was other factors too like the tournament scene was at its peak then and there was always tournaments to play in outside of ladder. Tournament mode in the client would be ideal for this
The closest thing to tournament mode we had was heroic tavern brawl which was really enjoyable. Having some other prices like cool card art, cardbacks would bring alot of intrest to it from the hardcore players I think.
One of the suggestions: split expansions into main one(2/3)+additional(1/3) after 2 months to keep meta fresh all the time
Hasn’t stopped being my main game, but things I’d like to see:
1) in-client tournament mode–I was pretty bummed when that was scrapped; I want something small and easy to access so I can do a 8-man bracket any night that the wife is out with friends or something. Small entry fee and win some packs. In-client is for ease of access.
2) more formats, even if they are only available in casual or something (pauper and sealed are my favs);
3) a Hearthstone necktie in the store.
Also back in the days HS was very much about value. Control matchups were about using removal and threats at the right time. And it usually ended with a guy having a threat left because he spent his cards better. With only aggro and broken combos that is not really a thing anymore.
That is a shame. Think back to old control warrior mirrors for example. I like OTK decks being there, but they should not be there instead of control decks. I think control decks needs better answers against combos. Cause old control is possible again when DKs rotate.
I know this will never happen but more consistent outcomes of cards (less rng) is something that HS is really lacking for me. I want to play chess not a lottery (exaggerating here). Pilot cards, something fresh like planeswalkers etc.
Also, I think that not being able to react in opponent’s turn (I don’t count secrets) is something that was always hurting HS and made the game less complex and fun. But I get that you would have to change the game from ground up to change this so that is also never happening.
One more thing that always bothered me on HS was lack of proper graveyard. That one thing limits HS in some many ways it’s crazy. I liked when you started to bring some “graveyard” interaction to priest a while back but it never really worked (for me) since it was all random
4 expansions instead of 3 a year
Rotating basic / classic set
A move away from super death star OTK/ infinite value decks (you guys are already doing this Yay)
Hearthstone auto chess. We can program that into the current platform right?
I still really enjoy the game, but in the past it felt like a lot of games were more about the summation of a lot of small decisions rather than a few big occurrences. I’m thinking like an old value based control mirror that went to fatigue vs a relatively linear otk mirror
Much faster turns and anims for all game modes.
-Ladder being relevant somehow (gives a reason to play + streaming content)
-More balance patches keeping the game fresh and interesting over time
-Achievements and more rewards like golden portraits overall, cool and casual friendly I would guess
Bring back adventures. Bunch of good cards and legendaries for a cheap price so casual players can afford it and not run away
The game desperately needs more ways to play. Long-time players with full collections have nothing to do. Ranked mode is the only continual offering, and it gets quite stale.
– tournament client
– bo3 or bo5 mode
– mode with alt build rules (peon, singleton, diff block configs)
More to do. More game modes, formats, progression, etc. Wouldn’t be opposed to a more frequent rotation and a reworked classic+basic either – big difference between a trickle of nerfs and remaking a set with 5 additional years of experience with design
Sending Baku/Genn to Wild early, it was a fun year but you don’t want design decisions limited by Paladin hero powers and Tank Up. Open cup system, preferably with prizes that aren’t just qualifying to something. Maybe partner with ESL again?
Arena mattering more would be nice
1)In-game reporting of toxicity with real consequences for offenders.
2)Scale battlecries back and make more spells that matter, but aren’t broken. Make it so that you have to choose between minion and or an effect on the board so that people can innovate in deck building
I feel as though the Casual Mode isn’t really casual anymore. There’s more meta decks than not in it, so use the space for a Limited format mode, or something in between Wild and Standard, rather than just a place where people complete quests when they are scared to lose a star.
This will be a long post. Basically everything developers do are a 30 minutes of content or less every week or a new expension/nerf. You are adding nothing to the game for players like me which has 300 000 dust, and 80% golden collection with all cardbacks.
When i start the client i have nothing to do. Ladder is mostly the same for the last five years, collecting new cards is also the same and PVE content can be finished in a matter of minutes, mostly days. I love to collect and have things to do.
Gettting 500 wins on every hero used to be a challenge when it was three years ago, same with all the skins. What could take me back is samething which takes months to get like a new card art, new skins which can be completed under insane circumstances, achievments
When you look at League of Legends and WoW, they get it mostly right. There are something for every player, but in HS, there is nothing for a hardcore player like me. I dont even have to buy the next expansion to have it all golden on launch.
A mode in which all classic cards were back in the game and returned to their original state on release. I miss combo Druid, zoo, freeze mage, control warrior, miracle rogue/oil rogue.
It is still just about my main game, but I find myself wanting to play it less and less. When you’ve been playing the game for a long time, there’s just nothing left to do in the game. I will happily devour pve content, new tavern brawls, anything approaching a new experience
But those will go very very quickly. The games just been crying out for something to do which isn’t the ladder experience (which now feels fundamentally pointless with the recent eSports changes, so the grind gets even more boring)
Tournament mode was the big thing I was looking forward to, and while I understand the reasons for calling it off, the fact that there seem to be no plans to replace it with a different way to play to appeal to the long term player base kinda sucks.
I love HS, but now it feels like a stale marriage. Give me a fresh way to enjoy it, and I’ll be right back in there loving it again.
I think you could get a lot more people to dip their toes in the Arena if you introduced a way for people to practice drafts and/or challenge friends. Currently no way to improve without spending 150 gold each time, which turns a lot of people off.
-Not taking away LAN events
-Ladder providing a reward so people have literally any incentive to play
-Rotating core set
-deviating away from impactful cards with low requirements(ex. Baku/gen, hero cards)
And more! We’ve only picked a small part of the responses. If you want to read more, check out the original Twitter post from Iksar.
If you have your own ideas how to make the game better, be sure to reply there. And while you’re at it, leave a comment here!