There’s a very interesting trend going on the Chinese servers. As czhihong reported on reddit, January 2020 was the fourth consecutive month when there were more players in Wild Legend than in Standard Legend at the end of season. January numbers are particularly high – on the last day, they had roughly 17,500 Wild Legends and 13,100 Standard Legends. The difference is massive – that’s roughly 1/3 more Wild Legends than Standard Legends.
Of course, it doesn’t necessarily mean that more people were playing Wild than Standard in general. If I had to guess, the more casual crowd probably still plays Standard more. But it shows a general trend that more hardcore players prefer the other format lately.
The numbers look even more impressive when you compare them to those from other servers. On January 28, there were only ~1500 Wild Legend players COMBINED on all three other servers (NA, EU and Asia). Even if we assume that 500 more hit Legend during the last 3 days, that’s still only just above 10% of the total Chinese Wild Legend population. Of course, those stats might be completely meaningless on the server you’re playing. But if Blizzard notices the popularity of Wild format in China (which is a really big market, especially for Hearthstone) they might start doing more changes in the format (like the recent Echo nerf which killed SN1P-SN4P Warlock).
I tried to think about a reason why Wild is so much more popular in China than it is on the other servers. In general, Chinese server is in a sort of “bubble” – communication between the three other servers is much easier (especially NA and EU, but Asian players are also very active on Twitter and, for example, we share their decks commonly). China has, for the most part, their own places to share decks and discuss the game, so we could always observe some differences in the meta or distribution of players on that server. However, those differences were never that extreme, and up until quite recently, Standard still had way more Legend players than Wild out there. Of course, Wild is a fun format, it has a huge deck diversity, and it’s also (contrary to what many players think) easier to keep up with in the long run. But those reasons apply to Wild format in general, and yet its very unpopular on 3 out of 4 servers.
What do you think about it? Any ideas why Wild got so popular in China lately?