My Take On The New Progression System / Battle Pass – How Bad it Really Is, How To Fix It + A Few Words About Dev / Streamer Harassment

Ever since the new progression system was released, a heated discussion has sparked across the entire Hearthstone community. First it was a lot of math – is the new system better or worse? Once players have reached a conclusion that Blizzard’s promise that “no player will earn less gold under the new system” wasn’t true, they became mad. And I mean really, really mad. For example, I haven’t seen Hearthstone reddit sub in such a way ever since the Blitzchung ban, and even then people got over it pretty quickly.

Over the last couple of weeks, many prominent community figures have given their opinion on it. The general consensus is that they either are against or don’t really care either way. I’ve also been sharing my opinion here and there, but usually different bits and pieces in posts, comments and on social media. But I’ve decided to organize my thoughts into one, probably too long post. I hope that at least some of you will appreciate it, even though some of my opinions don’t line up with the general Hearthstone population. (Also, sorry, I know that it’s a wall of text, but if you want to comment, please read everything first.)

Is Rewards Track Really That Bad?

So let’s start with the most basic thing. Many people portray the new progression system as literally the end of F2P Hearthstone, a terrible system where players earn half of what they did in the past. And that’s not even close to truth. While it was worse at the beginning, after changing the 6 packs into 1350 Gold, the rewards are now very similar for most of the players. Yes, it’s true that the promise of “no player earning less gold” might not hold up for everyone, and that’s not good. But for majority of players the new progression system will be roughly similar or even better than the old one. I’m mentioning it because a very common narrative is that people will have half of the packs they used to, that new rewards are straight up garbage etc. I honestly have no clue where people got that from.

Does it mean that people are getting worked up over nothing? Definitely not! There are lots of legit concerns that need to be addressed, but being overly dramatic and throwing around lots of nonfactual statements doesn’t help the cause at all. Even if we ignore all the bad calculations (and trust me, I’ve seen a lot of them), the truth is that we won’t REALLY know how good or bad is the system until Darkmoon Faire is over. Blizzard has promised extra ways to earn XP – you can trust them or not (I totally get it if you don’t), but again, we won’t be sure until it actually happens (or doesn’t). You might say that we already had events giving out more rewards under the old system and that would be correct, but we simply don’t know how the new ones will compare to them. Let’s say double XP for Quests and all activities for 2 weeks – now that would boost the progress significantly. Or we might get more events during the course of a single expansion – previously it was usually a single one per set. Will Blizzard deliver? Hard to say, but I simply can’t judge that part of the system without having more information.

With all of that out of the way, let’s get back to the main topic. Here’s the thing – the fact that new rewards system is not really worse than the old one in terms of total value doesn’t mean that it’s better. With the information we have right now, it’s somewhat of a sidegrade and if Blizzard nails the extra ways to earn XP it might turn out to be even a little better. But the problem is that the previous Hearthstone F2P progression system was bad in the first place. Players have been – rightfully so – calling it awful for years. Heck, one of my most popular articles ever was a big critique of the F2P progression THREE YEARS AGO. It was hosted on HearthHead so you can no longer find it, but here’s a reddit thread in case you’re interested. Some of the issues were fixed ever since (such as the no duplicate rule for all rarities, which is tremendously helpful), but many would still be relevant today, even under the “old system” that many people want to get back to for some reason that I can’t comprehend.

As much as I love the game, that was always one of its biggest weaknesses. It’s hard to emphasize how awful it feels when I explain people I know what I do for living, then have to immediately say that I don’t recommend Hearthstone unless they’re willing to spend a lot of money on it right away. Yep, that’s Hearthstone’s progression system. Players don’t earn enough gold, crafting cards is terribly expensive, and don’t even get started on trying out Wild for the first time with no discounts on older cards whatsoever. For all intents and purposes , new “battle pass” isn’t really better or worse – calculating that you will have 500 gold less, but instead a few more packs from expansions you might not need is really splitting hairs.

I genuinely hoped that the new progression system will be more friendly to new / F2P player – that we’ll be able to see more rewards than we did in the past, that it will be easier to get into the game without having to drop $100 to simply get started. Again, being the same is not good enough. It’s the bare minimum the new system should be. Or wait, even that is not true. It should give MORE rewards given that…

Mini-Sets Are Coming Soon

Yep, that’s right. While we still don’t have enough details, we know that 35 cards, mini-sets will drop mid-expansion, the first coming in probably around 6-7 weeks. All the cards will be added to the Darkmoon Faire packs. Even if we assume that they will mostly contain Commons & Rares, with maybe a couple of Epics and a single Legendary, it will still take at least 20-30 extra packs to get the new cards, and that’s already a lot. And I don’t even want to think what will happen if mini-sets will have the regular “adventure” distribution with 4-5 Legendaries… oh the horror.

Of course, it’s not like the mini-sets don’t have their advantages. Mid-expansion point is usually when the meta is getting more stale – new expansion hype wears off, fresh decks are already tested & optimized, one or two balance updates have been released… and the game gets more and more boring. Releasing more content, adding more cards is always shaking things up. Even if the meta doesn’t change a lot, it will take at least a couple of weeks to test everything, and then we’re again closer to the new expansion’s announcement + reveal season, and the whole cycle starts again.

I like the idea behind mini sets, more content is great, but I do realize that I’m speaking from the perspective of a hardcore player, someone who is invested into the game, who knows the entire meta, owns most of the cards, pre-orders every expansion and so on. But this is not necessarily the case for majority of casual players. For many, a single expansion every 4 months is already too much to keep up with. In order for them to not be overwhelming in terms of F2P progression, either we need to get MORE rewards from the progression system (which puts us back to the previous point), or at the very least the rarity distribution of mini-sets needs to be skewed HEAVILY towards Commons & Rares, ideally with no Legendaries at all (e.g. 22 Commons, 10 Rares, 3 Epics).

But you know what the perfect solution would be? Making the mini-sets free. Pipe dream, I know, but it would solve everything – more hardcore players would still have their mid-expansion shake up that keeps them busy, but at the same time it wouldn’t impact the hard-earned gold reserves of the rest. And let’s not kid ourselves – it wouldn’t be some generous move from Blizzard. It would essentially mean that nothing changes in terms of total price of the game, because all 135 cards from the main expansion would still need to be unpacked.

How To Make It Better

Many people ask themselves a question – how to fix the new system? The most common answer is “duh, give players more rewards”, but I honestly don’t think that’s the only solution. Like yes, we SHOULD get more rewards, but there are a few other problems with the rewards track. Luckily, I don’t think that the new rewards system is flawed at the very base level, an opinion I’ve seen circulating on reddit (yeah, another bad take). I’ll be completely honest – I like the “Battle Pass” way of progressing, I like earning XP for different tasks and then turning it into rewards, it just feels fun. I also enjoy the fact that you get XP based on the length of game and not win / loss – this way you get the same amount of XP no matter what kind of deck you play (meta, meme, slow, fast). And from what I’ve gathered, many players share the same opinion. But it also has some clear downsides.

I think that the biggest problem with putting ALL of the rewards on the track is a lack of instant gratification. After all, we’re all playing games to have fun, and getting rewards for the “work” we put into a game is a big part of the fun. But with the new system, if you’re a more casual player and you’re around Level 40, you might be playing the game for DAYS before seeing any rewards. Even if the total number of rewards is the same, it just feels bad to keep playing the game for, in the worst case scenario, an entire week before getting rewarded. And I know a good way to kill two birds with one stone. Imagine if Quests gave some extra rewards on top of XP. And I’m not talking about 60 Gold like the old ones. Let’s say they gave players smaller amounts of Gold or Dust (e.g. 20), maybe some random Rare cards, weeklies could have slightly bigger rewards, maybe the biggest 2500 XP could give a random Epic card on top of the XP. This would both add more rewards in general AND add more “instant” rewards so players can feel like they earn something outside of the occasional level up reward. Those instant rewards would also fix those annoying situations where players are 10-20 Gold short from doing something (e.g. buying a pack, starting Heroic Duels) and then they have to wait for days for more Gold on the track.

Another problem is sort of related to the previous one – how the XP required to level up ramps up. Of course, I completely ignore the first 10 or so levels, because they can be completed incredibly quickly. But even from level 10 to 20, maybe a bit further, it doesn’t feel that bad. Things start to get really bad around 30, and straight up terrible after 40. Having to earn 8-9k XP for a single level up is THE WORST, I can’t imagine how bad it will feel after getting there. Again, even if it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, how the system “feels” is also important. I think that not only levels should have roughly the same amount of XP requirement without ramping up so much, but also it would be nice to have more common level ups with smaller rewards. For example, if the normal rewards track went from 1 to 100 instead of 1 to 50 – even if we would get the same total rewards, leveling up twice as often would feel way better. However, this is not as necessary as the previous one – having those extra Quest rewards would somewhat fill that downtime.

XP being tied to game length is also a problem. While in theory the system is amazing because it lets you play all kinds of decks while still getting the same rewards, it leads to some poor behavior from players. While I haven’t played against someone like that yet, I’ve seen reports of some people roping every turn or AFKing in Battlegrounds just to grind XP. To be fair, you shouldn’t get fooled by the social media posts you see about it – it’s not a something you run into commonly. Still, it not being common doesn’t excuse it in any way and Blizzard should work on some way to fight against that. Maybe it would be a good time to finally implement a working report function – something that is long overdue given how many toxic friend requests + messages people get after games. And I’m not saying that we should straight up ban people who “abuse” the new system by AFKing, but punishments like making them gain no XP from gameplay for a week or something similar would probably deter people from this annoying behavior.

And finally, while not directly related to the progression system itself, there are many other ways to make the game cheaper that players have asked for ages. One of the ideas I always liked most is updating the crafting system. Because let’s be honest – the current one was created a long time ago, back when Classic was the only set (besides Basic, which is free), total amount of cards was only a fraction of what we have right now and the entire game’s economy was different. For example, having to disenchant four Legendaries just to craft a single one is a terrible deal. 1:2 ratio would be way more understandable. Heck, even 1:3 would be way better than what we have right now. Of course, same thing goes for lower rarities. Additionally, there should be some kind of discount on the cards from Wild-only expansions. As the game ages, more and more expansions will be Wild-only, and the pool of available cards in the format will increase. Making Wild cards cheaper would encourage new players to try the format. It’s even more important now that you can use Wild cards in Duels – crafting old cards at full price just to play them in Duels feels bad.

And those are just some of the solutions. Both the new progression system and the entire F2P experience in Hearthstone can be improved quite easily in many different ways. Trust me, it’s not a lost cause. The game is not dead, F2P players don’t have to quit just yet. The truth is that things have been going in the right direction – slowly, but still. Just this year we’ve got a full no duplicate protection and free decks for new / returning players (some of which are really strong meta decks with multiple expensive cards) – those were great ideas which genuinely helped players. But we don’t want to wait another year before Blizzard comes up with more solutions, the problem of increasing cost of the game is urgent, with mini sets coming very soon. Competition is not sleeping, and the truth is that Hearthstone’s progression system is way worse than in competing games like LoR or Gwent. There’s still time to improve it, but the clock is ticking – the longer they ignore the problem, the more players will quit. And no one wants that, right?

P.S. I’ve only focused on F2P progress here. Another common complain is that spending real money doesn’t give players enough value, e.g. they could buy a full AAA game for $60, but in Hearthstone they only get a small part of the expansion. Those are also very valid concerns, but it’s a topic for another article – this one is already getting too long.

Harassment Is Not A Solution

And finally, maybe the most important matter of them all. I know that 2020 has been rough, BUT GOD DAMN, some people need to calm down. Remember that it’s not a matter of life and death. We’re talking about a flawed progression system released a few weeks ago in a video game. Something that ultimately is not that important, something that can easily be fixed and frankly something that we don’t even have all the information on yet. I’m not saying that the current outrage isn’t justified – I totally get why people are angry. But ever since the entire drama around Battle Pass, some people have gotten completely irrational, badmouthing devs everywhere they can (including their personal social media accounts) and even started jumping at streamers simply because they – I kid you not – didn’t have an opinion about the whole thing. If you’re one of those people – this section is targeted at you.

Let’s start with the devs. HS devs have NOTHING to do with the new progression system. They are here to design and implement stuff, they aren’t responsible for exact numbers. Tuning XP gains & monetization scheme isn’t their job. If you want to be mad, be mad at the higher-ups who are actually responsible, not at designers or community managers who had no saying just like you and me. I know that it’s easier to lash out at the devs, because they’re the faces of Hearthstone you know, because they show themselves on social media etc. Some exec who only cares about the money and wants to make everything as greedy as possible is not such an easy target. But what do you think will happen if you send devs threats and insult them? What exactly will change? It’s like going to the store and unleashing your rage at the cashier because the product you want to buy costs too much. They’re just working there and don’t dictate the prices.

Then the streamers. There’s been a lot of praise for those who voiced their opinion about the new system and “joined” the protests – which is great great. I honestly think that it’s quite brave to speak up – even if they aren’t directly employed by Blizzard, a worse relationship might make a significant impact on their livelihood (e.g. not getting invited to tournaments such as the latest Darkmoon Duel-fest, which in turn means a lot less money). If they want to stand with the community – more power to them. But some people are simply trying to force every streamer and popular community figure to join them. And the key word is “force”. Spamming social media, starting witch hunts, sending hateful emails just because X said that he doesn’t care about the progression system or Y mentioned that he doesn’t mind it. HE DOESN’T MIND IT? HOW DARE HE! HE’S LITERALLY A BLIZZARD’S DOG!

Heck no. Streamers are entitled to have their own opinion. Even if you don’t agree with it, just be respectful. They don’t owe you anything, most have worked hard to get where they are, so please stop trying to ruin their lives over something so petty. Streaming is literally their job, many of them aren’t playing the game as a hobby or to have fun. Most of them are just trying to avoid the drama, because mixing job with a drama is NEVER a good thing, and now they’re getting caught in the middle against their will. Which is – frankly – the worst outcome for both sides. Streamers now fear that if they don’t “join” the protests then the community will actively plot against them (yes, I’ve seen calls to “cancel” a certain streamer, I’m serious), and the community is simply barking at the wrong tree. Antagonizing popular figures, and thus often their fanbase, will have the exact opposite effect. If some people threatened to “cancel” me, I would seriously consider doing the exact thing they don’t want me to do out of spite (yes, that’s petty, but we’re all only human).

And one last thing – please, please, PLEASE don’t compare those protest to fighting for basic human rights (such as suffragist movements). I’ve seen it at least a few times and such comparisons have been at the very least in bad taste and often straight up disrespectful. I know that everyone wants to be a part of something bigger, but that’s just not it. If you really want to make a difference, if you promised to not spend money on Hearthstone again, instead use that money and donate to some charity.

Conclusion

tl;dr: New progression system is not nearly as bad as people think it is. It’s comparable to the old system, but since te old system was terrible to start with, the new system should also be improved. How Blizzard handles mini-sets will make a massive impact on the F2P progression – ideally they should be free, but that’s more of a pipe dream. Lack of rewards is not the only problem with the new system, and there are a few ways to fix it. The best one I came up with is tying small, extra rewards (Gold/Dust/single cards) to Daily / Weekly Quests will both add more value to it and fix the problem of having to wait too long to see any rewards at later levels. And finally – people harassing devs & streamers thinking that it will somehow help are idiots doing more harm than good.

Okay, that was a long post. I think that I covered everything I had in mind, but if you have any questions or just want to argue, feel free to leave a comment. I’m sure that many of you will disagree with some of my takes, and I don’t mind if you try to change my mind.

Stonekeep

A Hearthstone player and writer from Poland, Stonekeep has been in a love-hate relationship with Hearthstone since Closed Beta. Over that time, he has achieved many high Legend climbs and infinite Arena runs. He's the current admin of Hearthstone Top Decks.

Check out Stonekeep on Twitter!

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67 Comments

  1. Pandamonium
    December 11, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    Additional supplemental quest rewards is the best and most logical idea. Nobody could complain after that. Now at least you can still grind xp by playing when you’re out of quests ffs, couldn’t before.

  2. Banaani
    December 1, 2020 at 5:33 pm

    My ideas for a new system:
    All levels are the same amount of xp, lets say 1000 xp.
    Each level grants 50 gold. There is no level cap.
    Cosmetic rewards and packs are on a separate track that doesn’t have rewards on every step. You get a legendary on step 1 and 25, skins every 10 steps, and old and new packs for different levels, and finally the last exclusive reward on level 100. Every time you get a pack, you also get the normal reward of 50 gold.
    Buying Tavern pass grants another reward track with the exclusive cosmetic rewards and a flat amount of packs and gold on the premium track. No hard-to-calculate hidden pack amounts.
    Daily quests come every day and grant 500-750 xp each, no other rewards. You can hold three quests.
    Weekly quests come one every three days and grant 1250-1500 xp, but as they are devastating when missed, you can see three at a time but they get stored so that when you complete one, if you have stored quests, you get a new one instantly.
    Additionally playing the game grants xp for playing the game, but the more you play, the less you get. Playing for an hour grants 500 xp, two hours more grants 500 xp and so on. This is not in chuncks but after each game where you played cards.
    Events don’t give bonus xp (exept maybe final push at the end of the pass). Instead they either come with their own mini reward tracks that require certan amount of xp for packs or just straight up grant packs.
    In conclusion: Exclusive rewards and packs are bonuses on top of normal 50 gold rewards. Each tier is as easy to get than the previous one, and the gratification of higher levels is done by bonus rewards, not piling up normal rewards. While top players can play multiple hours to gain more and more gold, the players who have less time can still finish the battle pass easy with daily and weekly quests. By doing the daily quest and playing for about an hour, casual players get the 50-60 gold every day like normal, but additional playing will grant more gold and bonus rewards. But on top of that, weekly quests grant 60-75 gold every three days, so that every three days you get 2750-3750 xp from quests and from playing the game 0-4500 xp. Play an hour a day and complete only best quests: 250 gold in three days.

    Ok, the numbers need balancing but you get the idea. More friendly to players who play casually, possibility earn from playing a lot, no long times without packs and battle pass rewards don’t clash with each other.

  3. Stormaker
    November 30, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    Thank You Stonekeeper, i`ve follow your work since HearthHead, and im 100% on your take.

  4. PPAP
    November 30, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    Just a few thoughts:
    * As a F2P casual player I get really upset when the “whales” try to speak up for me. Until now, I didn’t feel that the game was too bad for f2p, and I kept playing.
    * The new system is different, and I see that we get less gold, which is important because I want to play with the new cards immediately, and not have to craft a lot. Old packs just do bot matter here
    * The mini sets seem to be the worst thing here. If it is what they promoted, you would have to buy OLD packs and only have a chance to get new cards, which is a frustrating experience (the double protection might still guarantee all of the commons, but not all of the cards)
    * I like the new XP based reward system as a concept, but doing 3 daily quests and only getting a pack for it happens a lot, and it feels bad
    * Roping is a problem I’ve encountered and my solution was to give XP according to the board impact that turn. This is harder to implement (but already happens in omnislash tracker), but it gives more XP for closer hard-earned games, send can help meme decks (which I play a lot). This can still be abused, but the opponent will now have fun playing
    * Most players are like me. They play just to have fun, and don’t want to pay for every expansion (they might’ve bought the welcome bundle, for example, but no more). Those players are now outraged, which means blizzard will probably fix this sooner than later, because without a playing community Hearthstone will die
    * Duels monetisation is also bad, because casual players, who open on average ~60 packs, will get on average 9(!) epics, which is less than needed to unlock a hero power, and half as less as needed to unlock the strong treasure

  5. Itch
    November 29, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    First off, this is seemingly the most passionate article I’ve ever read on this site. I really appreciate you weighing in. Although I don’t agree with some things in the article, I respect a thought out opinion, as do you, apparently. Reading bunnyhopper’s article is the extent of my number crunching resource, so I honestly don’t know if the new system is economically worse. That out of the way, now my take.

    About fixing the “broken” new system; the most common suggestion is I’ve seen is “more/ double/ extra xp or gold”. As was mentioned, if economically both systems are similar, I believe making more tiers with proportionately less rewards per tier would go a long way. It’s the feeling of recieving consistent reward that makes one want to continue playing.

    About “irrational” outrage; I believe the reason people are venting so much is because they still like the game and want to play it. Ironic, I know. Artifact, for example, had a (arguably) bad monetization structure. Instead of mass fury, the game simply disappeared into obscurity, like so many others.

    About punishing ropers; it’s natural for someone to want an edge. In the old system, for “play 3 games with warlock”, I’d sometimes pack a deck with 30 self-damage cards and play casual mode. I’d be done in less than 15 minutes. It probably annoyed my 3 opponents hoping for a competitive game. The old system rewarded playing aggro for fast wins. It still does, btw, if you’re trying to get the 1k dk portrait for example;). The system currently rewards roping. If it’s correct morally? Maybe not. If it’s inherently wrong and punishable? Why should it be? This is a problem with the system, not necessarily the players that simply want an edge.

    About harassing streamers and devs; hating on someone that disagrees with you is wrong. That said, players are frustrated and want their voices heard. How should they protest? Paint murals in front of trump tower? I think not. If blizzard makes a massive event to publicize their game, that’s probably the best place to do it. Private streamers are simply trying to make a living doing what they enjoy. Don’t attack them. But the tournament was literally a PR attempt. Sure, they hired streamers to compete, casters to cast, and many others to make it happen. All these people unfortunately ended up in between the community and the blizzard top brass. It’s unfortunate.

    All that being said, over the past few months, I’ve slowly migrated to LoR. I actually stopped playing HS, nothing to do with ther battle pass. What I disliked was the ever increasing RNG as well as the structure of deck building. But that’s for another time. I’ve ranted on the bottom of other posts about that. The breaking point for me was how much more mobile data HS uses. Go figure. I still respect HS and truly enjoyed it, which is why I still log in to this site most days to keep up with the news. It’s the only place I can find consistent thought out and intelligent articles. Thank you again for not making as if the drama was nonexistent, even if we disagree. Keep doing what you do. I read the entire article as well as every comment before posting this, hopefully others will, too.

  6. Frijamabob
    November 29, 2020 at 7:16 pm

    I got no problem with player base being whiny to the developers of gamers (most gamers have already manchild mentality), but going all out to attack streamers who disagree or have an opinion? thats a new low.

  7. Joris
    November 29, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Part of the problem is that Blizzard raised expectations prior, which seemed like to solve what we are all talking about. Then they released something (at least) unclear, violating trust with the community.

    I like the ideas of tying extra rewards to dailies/weeklies and reducing crafting cost. Additionally, re-introducing 10g/3 wins (for any mode) would make roping less interesting.

  8. CardboardGroundhog
    November 29, 2020 at 10:54 am

    I’d really like to see even a token amount of XP awarded for *all* Achievements. Otherwise I feel like the only reward I’m getting (not counting that sweet, sweet music sting) is an occasional chuckle at a pop culture reference so old I actually get it.

    • Joris
      November 29, 2020 at 12:19 pm

      Agreed!

      Though people might complain about reverse robin hood effects, because especially the collection achievements are designed for whales.

  9. Lanakias
    November 29, 2020 at 9:27 am

    Keep the old system and put with money the new skins like “LoL”. In the new system i do not feel safe as a casual player. In the old system i get my 60 gold + some extra 2- gold for 6 wins per day and at the start of the new expansion i have 7000 gold. I do not believe with that system i would end with 7000 if i play 3 games per day. I angry that no know knows how the new system is good or not until the new expansion arrives but i do not feel well right now.

  10. SaveShock
    November 29, 2020 at 8:18 am

    Old progression: 1 pack every 2 days (with 2 50/60 gold for mission).
    New progression: 1 pack every 3 days (with 1000 exp for missions).

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      November 29, 2020 at 9:17 am

      See, that’s the problem, people try to simplify it too much. It doesn’t work like that. It’s easy to calculate how much gold you got under the old system, but the new system is much more complicated and it might take hours to calculate it correctly.

      I know that I’ve been linking it a few times already, but here’s a good calculation, with a link to excel sheet where you can put your own numbers and see how it works for you: https://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1srg57g

  11. Dynasty
    November 29, 2020 at 7:29 am

    Old system was better. Improve on the old system slightly and hearthstone would be a great game.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      November 29, 2020 at 9:18 am

      Depends on whether you talk about value or design. In terms of value, it wasn’t better. In terms of design – that’s subjective and I totally get why you might like it more than the new one. I like the new one more, and I think that they can really make it much better than the old one, they just need to tweak a few problematic things.

  12. Renoforfun
    November 29, 2020 at 5:08 am

    Suggestion :

    1.gain xp related to the duration of opponent turn. If you rope and not him, He ll gain more xp. Not you.

    2. For battleground, as no deck exist, gain xp with ranking.

    3. Increase rewards.

    • Dynasty
      November 29, 2020 at 7:28 am

      Old system was better

      • Irish Seadog
        November 29, 2020 at 9:17 am

        Yeah… but the old system was still awful

      • Renoforfun
        November 29, 2020 at 12:38 pm

        No. Grinding with zoo/aggro was the best way to earn gold. Bad for fun and control.

        Fix rope and increase reward and its fine for me. Oh, and I I’ve duel mode.

  13. Tungizzi
    November 29, 2020 at 1:21 am

    Agree with many points but disagree with the last section about harassment.
    There are toxic and healthy form of protest: your article only touch the bad ones and leave out the fact that without letting our voice known, the system would never change.
    People must stop bad mouthing streamer for having no opinion about the new system. However, at the same time, how can we get Blizzard to response?
    The community is disappointed at Blizzard for dragging this problem so long with only a post about adding some meager sum of gold into the reward track. Personally, I’m a budget player who would only buy some good deal now and then and only play 1-2 classes so the changes leave little to no impact to me. Still, I am worried if the current state continued, HS might actually be dead.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      November 29, 2020 at 9:15 am

      You can try to convince streamers & popular community figures to stand on your side without insulting them or sending hateful messages. I wonder when people will learn that those do not accomplish anything. If someone is not on your side, if someone is not agreeing with you, then insulting him is the last thing that will make him change his mind. A more calm, level-headed approach, discussion, providing arguments without straight up confrontation – those are the ways that you might change someone’s opinion with.

      If someone just wants to stay out if it, let them. You can stop watching them, you can stop supporting them if you don’t want to anymore, that’s fair. But don’t harass them.

  14. BeastCompanion
    November 29, 2020 at 12:20 am

    Please do not advocate or recommend ways to punish others (eg take away xp for a week). Always push the positive narrative.

    Try not to simply state that other people have made bad calculations, without actually presenting your own.

    Otherwise, not a bad article.

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      November 29, 2020 at 9:12 am

      “Please do not advocate or recommend ways to punish others (eg take away xp for a week). Always push the positive narrative.”

      Why? People who are doing something wrong should be punished, I don’t know what positive narrative is there to push. Of course, they shouldn’t be punished out of blue, Blizzard should first announce that AFKing in games etc. will be punishable with X or Y, give people enough time to process that, and then still start with warnings. I didn’t mean that they should outright take away a week worth of XP from those players out of the blue, apologizes if it sounded that way.

      “Try not to simply state that other people have made bad calculations, without actually presenting your own.”

      I did calculations for before the Packs -> Gold changes, but I did them mostly for my own play style and didn’t have time to update them + calculate others. Sorry about that, but I’ve been so busy over the last few weeks that I barely found time to even write this long post.

      That said, most of the opinions about new system being so much worse is based on the early calculations circulating around reddit and social media, where people made a lot of flawed assumptions about the new system, missed some XP sources and so on. Ever since then, most of the “good” calculations that took everything into account were drowned, because they didn’t fit the narrative. Here’s a good, recent calculation: https://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1srg57g – Bunnyhoppor is a Chemistry PhD with background in Maths, and he provided a full excel sheet where you can adjust it for your own play style.

      “Otherwise, not a bad article.

      Thank you.

      • BeastCompanion
        November 29, 2020 at 1:29 pm

        Name one punishment system that actually works.

        Spanking children? Incarcerating adults? Fining drivers that break the speed limit?

        Name a single thing that has been eradicated through punishment. It is always better to educate and help.

        Blizzard should not build a system that encourages punishable activity. Don’t focus on the punishable activity, or make one punishable. Focus on making a positive experience for everyone.

        • IRthrPlayMTG
          November 29, 2020 at 3:38 pm

          The only way to deal with AFKers/Trolls/Grievers is to have an increasing punishment, this types of children (regardless if age…) Don’t respond to the carrot or they would not being doing what was considered wrong in the first place. I for one am all about an escalating punishment for ropers/AFKers. At the very least they’re leaving the game without just conceding and more often they’re doing it intentionally for exp or in the hopes the other person grows frustrated and concedes.

        • Stonekeep - Site Admin
          November 29, 2020 at 5:51 pm

          Uhhh… I’m definitely not an expert, but yes, incarcerating adults or fining drivers definitely does help. If there was no vision of punishment, people would break the law all the time. That’s why we have law in the first place. Let’s say someone shoplifts… what’s your solution? Should we pat him on the head and say that he can’t do it anymore? If that’s the only punishment he’ll ever get, do you really think that he will understand and change his stance? Of course not, if he knows that there’s no punishment, he will just go and do the same thing again – because why wouldn’t he? Education isn’t everything – what do you do with someone who still doesn’t care even though he knows very well that he shouldn’t do something? You punish them. Why? Because now everyone knows that if you do something bad, you can get punished, and it deters most of people from doing the same.

          It’s literally impossible to build a system that doesn’t allow punishable activities. Let’s say hacking in games – of course devs will try to prevent hacks from being usable, but it’s not always easy and possible. In many games, hackers can run free for at least some time – you’re saying that they shouldn’t be punished even though it’s clearly forbidden, it’s unfair and it ruins everyone’s experience? Or example that’s closer to home – in Hearthstone, when someone invites you after game and wishes you death, your mother to get cancer and hope that your sister commits suicide – you think that it’s fine and he shouldn’t be punished? How could Blizzard “educate” him or make a “positive experience”?

          What you’re saying might be true in a perfect world, but we’re not living in one. You can’t make a positive experience for everyone without punishing certain individuals who would keep ruining that experience if allowed to.

        • JoyDivision
          November 30, 2020 at 2:19 am

          I just thought about all the wars, massacres and other massive crimes people committed on other people (or the planet in general) and tried to overlay with your vision of an no-punishment-society …

          I failed.

          • Thankmar
            December 4, 2020 at 2:32 am

            If your logic would apply, there would be no wars, massacres and other massive crimes any more, because many things are being punished severely for ages now (e.g. drugs). You see where I am aiming at.
            This is a delicate thread. BeastCompanion made a valid point, from a societal perspective. For that he became answers about punishment being necessary to uphold peace, generally speaking. These answers represent a authoritan view of society. North Korea is an ideal state, if you put it this kind of view to the end. I do not think thats what was implied here, but some “careful designed measures”. This is understandable, because in Europe, or the west in general, we have this centrist model of society for ages, we we are familiar with it and tend to think this is the best way. As mentioned above, it does not work that well, if you look from the outside. I do not have a solution, but I would be happy if you take a step back and ask if punishment is indeed without an alternative in society.
            That said, moderating your video game behaviour/chat/forum (do you feel the whiplash?) is not about punishment, or should not be about that, but about maintaining a certain atmosphere. This should be, in my opinion, one that condemns harassing other people, or bad behaviour in general. Banning those would erase their bad behaviour, which in turn makes for a better atmosphere. This is, of course, also a punishment for the banned player, but incidentally. Heavily curated comment sections like the RPS one are better for that, I think. How this could all be applied to roping players, I do not know, but this thread derailed heavily.

            • JoyDivision
              December 8, 2020 at 2:12 am

              My logic isn’t that their will be absolutely no wars etc. if mankind would ‘punish correctly’.

              My logic is that there are monsters in our world that need to be punished no matter what.

              • Thankmar
                January 5, 2021 at 8:40 am

                Sorry for following up so late.
                Maybe its just semantics. Of course society needs to be protected. If you apply the “creating better atmosphere” idea to society, it means that “the monsters” have to be adressed, which may be that they have to be seperated (“banned”) from it. Punishment for punishments sake is useless, I think.

  15. Animantium
    November 28, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    Just a quick add on I really think players will buy more packs if dusting was maybe 2-1 cause I know I would be buying more

  16. Animantium
    November 28, 2020 at 10:58 pm

    I agree with most of this artical but as we know hearthstone is already the most expensive f2p game on the market I spend about $300 a year on the game not alot but taking into account that for that amount of packs I might only get about 3 to 4 legandaries per expansion it not good. My i suggest maybe just updating the dusting ration from 4-1 to maybe 2-1 and I guarantee that hearthstone will be the hero of all of us ones again

    • Sinascendant
      November 29, 2020 at 8:03 am

      I spent $100 this xpac and have 19 DMF legs my guy.

      I got lucky and got I think 6 out of my preorder packs but I also crafted a bunch because I immediately got enough dust for 3 more.

      There is no way you only get 4 legs per xpac when you get a free one at the start, are basically guaranteed 3 in the 80 bundle, plus dust, plus the one on the rewards track now.

  17. AmaBboy
    November 28, 2020 at 9:39 pm

    As an f2p we need at least the gold cap everyday for us to bounce back on this new bad system and I’ve been doing this for the last 5 years of playing. Getting XP is not enough because it would take days to get gold from this “new system”

  18. Durps
    November 28, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    They obviously lied that no one will get less gold just by removing the 100g a day 30win cap period and never announced it whatsoever.

    Change the weekly 2500 XP from 7 Wins in Ranked / to 10 Wins in Any Competetive Mode (Ranked, Arena, Duels, BGs)
    Make the 2500xp stackable if you missed a week you dont have to worry about missing out atleast on the 2500xp one

    and add a few more different weeklies like 2000xp+ to the 1750 Xp and a chance to roll for something else than broken Corrupt Weeklies
    fix the corrupt weekly which is still bugged you have to play 50 = uncorrupted – non corrupt cards to complete it. WTF
    lower the XP needed from Level 40-50 by atleast 1100-1500xp per level

    The Biggest question is how to change the now AFK/Rope fest ie time played xp vs old 100g a day Aggro fest. not sure.

    • Renoforfun
      November 29, 2020 at 12:42 pm

      Make xp proportional to opponent time, not yours. If u rope and not him, you don’t earn anything more.

  19. Zthomasc
    November 28, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    The thing that made me sad is that I CAN’T complete achievements in CASUAL or in BRAWL games, only Ranked!!! Also, there are a lot of achievement that don’t give EXP! These things really frustrates me.

    • Gibilan
      November 29, 2020 at 3:53 am

      Yes, you are right. But you can complete them in duels

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      November 29, 2020 at 9:01 am

      I agree that it’s a big flaw of the new Quest system, something I forgot to mention. Players should be able to finish Quests without playing Ranked mode. Finishing Quests in Brawl or Casual was often a great way for someone who just didn’t feel like playing Ranked, Arena or whatever. Taking that away is a big slap in the face, mostly for casual players.

  20. Winybulldogge
    November 28, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    Great article, thank you, Stonekeep! From my work experience and general knowledge of human psyche I can say that when you are changing any process you will get pushback. Change is scary, and in order to achieve a successful change you need stakeholders buy-in. I think this is where Blizzard really dropped the ball. They failed to show a clear benefit the new system will supposedly provide. Most people are willing to show a little patience, but after a couple of weeks even the most loyal fans would feel betrayed by the promises of a better system if they haven’t personally experienced a marked and measureable improvement. And it seems like majority of the players have not. A good baseline measurement of the state of Hearthstone right now is asking yourself: is it a game I would recommend to someone I am trying to impress? I don’t think I can answer this question affirmatively at the moment

  21. H0lysatan
    November 28, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    Appreciate your voice in this. I would’ve asked about it sometime ago, but it’s everyone’s choice whether to show it or not.

    Since you have covered about the Reward Track, maybe you can also do it for the new game mode. Duels. IMO. In some way, it’s similar to some quests, and achievements, Duels is not F2P friendly, and people need to spend cash to get a competitive deck, because they include old cards in the rotation.
    It blows my mind how Devs can create a new game mode not for everyone.

    • H0lysatan
      November 28, 2020 at 1:13 pm

      and some hero power need you to have like “X” Cards to be unlocked, which cut F2P out automatically. Why? I honestly Don’t know.

      • IRthrPlayMTG
        November 29, 2020 at 8:02 am

        *glances around around for suspiciously for blizzard operatives* … Money, their one true God, H0lysatan.

        • H0lysatan
          November 30, 2020 at 5:49 pm

          More reason for me to worship Cyberpunk 2077. (Psst. This is not an advertisement)
          I’m done giving them money.

          10th December c’mon. (Fingers crossed it won’t be delayed again)

    • Sinascendant
      November 29, 2020 at 8:05 am

      It is F2P friendly though? I dust almost all my old cards and I can still make it to 8-9 wins and I’m half assing it.

      • H0lysatan
        November 30, 2020 at 5:45 pm

        For you, maybe not. But have you give a moment to think how hard for new or returning F2P player gonna compete? They obviously have limited cards. Crafting? Buy Packs with gold? Not possible.
        What worse is, some quest need them to have certain card to be completed. Eg. Corrupted cards or Old Gods. What choice to they have but to spend cash into this already expensive game?

        Pay or Leave. Simple as that.

  22. Thankmar
    November 28, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    One reason why the new system “feels” worse for me is that you can only guess when you get rewarded. Its a bit related to the instant gratification issue.
    In the old system, everything was clear: Do this, and you get this reward. Clear a daily quest any day, and you get a new one. Clear two, and you have a day leeway. Fail to do that, thats 60 Gold less for the next expansion. I just had to decide if I care enough. The new system, as it is with all battlepass systems, puts you under more pressure to play more, and more often, as it does obscure your actual gain and loss. I feel the need to play more, just to be safe, but it demotivates me to just do that (that petty spite thing).
    Additionally, while it may be true that the system generates as much gold as before, and there a some improvements (duplication protection), there are also little things that are worse. No quest progress for tavern brawl. The XP for playing is more a gesture than meaningful progress. More and more pack types to stall the pity timer. The mini expansions, which will inflate the card pool (with some login packs, sure). And it just rubs me the wrong way that Blizzard (the publisher), instead of raking in a tremendous amount of goodwill by upping the rewards significantly, just tries to get by with the – your words – bare minimum of sidegrading the old system.
    But thanks for the article, its that thoughtful commentary and analysis which makes this my only HS Site.

    • Ridanculous
      November 29, 2020 at 5:46 am

      This is very well put especially the bit about conflicting rewards (needing to play more, not wanting to). Suffice to say Blizzard has made a big blunder on this reward system. It could’ve been so easily avoided.

  23. ScottAllen11
    November 28, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    A solid and fair take. Let’s hope Blizzard keeps iterating and exceeds our expectations by the end of the rotation. Doing more stuff (such as weekly quests) to get the same gold and just a few extra old packs isn’t good enough. So hopefully they can do better than that.

  24. MonkeyTemple
    November 28, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    1 week ago i decided to switch in wild format and spend 13к dust for LPG Mage and i feel this is a robbery.

  25. Sychie
    November 28, 2020 at 12:03 pm

    This might be the best article on the site. Thoughtful and reasonable. Looking at pros and cons. Critical thinking still exists! Logic solves problems, not emotion.

    Well put, sir.

  26. DemianHS
    November 28, 2020 at 10:33 am

    Nice words, great post. A calle to calm down a bit. xD But de need a better reward system: more clear. And a big change for crafting system. <3

  27. Juventinino
    November 28, 2020 at 10:24 am

    Thank you for the great article, I think it summed up very well my thoughts about this topic.
    Here is my example regarding the lack of immediate rewards. I’m level 30 and have 100 golds. I try to optimize my golds playing duels run. The reward at level 30 is a card pack. It means it have to fulfill level 30 with 4k xp, + level 31 with more than 4k xp to have 150 gold and be able to play duels. This situation is realy discouraging. I don’t want to play because I Wil earn nothing. So today I didn’t play. I don’t think I will play tomorrow neither. I will just play when my quest slots will be full..
    I also want to wait the end of the expension to judge if the system is better is worse or better than the old one but look. I am a F2P player. At the end of Schoolomance I could play at least 3 of tier 1 deck + other decks and I had 4 k gold that I entirely spent to buy new expansions pack. I expect to be at least in the same situation at the end of Madness (even if I’m afraid i won’t)
    Regarding harassment i think it’s a more global social network issue. Just look at what is Twitter on every topic to understand how opened mind are people with those who think differently…

  28. MrPoison
    November 28, 2020 at 10:23 am

    I’d like to argue, is it true that for most player this new system will be better? Because, Hearhtstone as any other card game it’s pretty casual, I doubt most people play over 4 hours everyday it would be way more realistic to say that most people play about 1 hour a day, 2 hours at most (this situation might be different during special seasons like after a new expansion is released), the math considering this amount of time played has showed that you indeed get less gold (J’alexander and even trump’s math) BUT you get some packs/resources instead that in total worth more than in the old reward system, and the thing is that some people don’t care about old packs, or random cards, and we were explicitly told that we would get equal or more raw gold.

    As you mention and as everyone who have played this game for some time would know, the previous reward system was already deficent and improvements were requested during years, now we finally got a rework of it but it turns out to be slightly worse? (My pov as someone who only care about the gold obtained to be able to craft most of the cards of the upcoming expansion).

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      November 29, 2020 at 8:58 am

      I get where you’re coming from, but lots of those calculations were done before the Packs -> Gold changes. Before those changes, the difference was significant. Right now, it’s not so much.

      For example, here’s a more recent calculation by Bunnyhoppor (he’s a Chemistry PhD and he has a backgrounds in Maths, so I would trust him to calculate it more than most of the people, including myself) – https://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1srg57g

      According to him, even the more “casual” player, those who play only 1 hour per day, will earn only roughly 270 gold less under the new system, BUT will have 2x Legendary card and all other rewards, so while yes, that’s less Gold (but let’s be honest – 270 is not much), but the extra rewards make up for it. Even if you “don’t care” about old packs & Legendaries, just disenchanting all of them would net more rewards than the old system (~1.5k Dust is definitely worth more than 270 Gold). And then, according to his calculations, people who play 2-3 hours basically land at the same Gold amount (8-50 Gold more) PLUS all the extra rewards.

      I agree that the system should be tweaked so any player earns at least the same amount of gold, because that’s what Blizzard promised. But in majority of cases, the new system is better if we take stuff like packs & Legendary cards into the account, ignoring them would be simply disingenuous.

      All of that said, my whole point is that arguing whether the new system is better or worse is not the right way to go about those “protests”. Both systems are very similar. Some people will earn slightly less, some people will earn slightly more, but the differences aren’t significant enough to be angry about it and call the new system “terrible” etc. What people should be angry about instead is the fact that it should give significantly MORE rewards across the board, because old system was bad and needed a massive improvement, especially with mini-sets coming and the game becoming more expensive.

      I do really think that when the community is so outraged, it has a lot of changing power. But I feel like they target the anger in the wrong direction way too often.

  29. Kasfen
    November 28, 2020 at 10:14 am

    The article sums up a complicated topic pretty well, I think.
    MTGA does something similar to what you’ve suggested: there’s fifteen daily win rewards and fifteen weekly win rewards in addition to daily quests. Weekly rewards give out a fair chunk of xp (half of that a smaller quest), and dailies give you either a small amount of gold, a small amount of xp, or a random card of a given rarity. Something like this would definitely help, even if it’s just the return of the daily wins gold.

  30. DarthLuke
    November 28, 2020 at 10:01 am

    One thing you didn’t mention is that there are reports of lots of bugs since one of the patchs from this month. In my case, connectivity issues all the time, after every game I need to close the game and start again… There’s nothing wrong with my internet connection

    • Stonekeep - Site Admin
      November 29, 2020 at 8:46 am

      I agree, the amount of bugs happening around the progression rework & Darkmoon release is crazy. It shouldn’t have happened, and if anything they should be fixed much faster. We’re not talking about some small issues, but stuff like people not getting any Quests at all or the game crashing on multiple occasions.

      However, it’s not a part of the new progression system per se, so I’ve decided to leave it out of the post.

  31. CardboardGroundhog
    November 28, 2020 at 9:34 am

    A minor, easily-implemented improvement would be upping the number of daily quests by one and doubling the weekly quests. This wouldn’t be a serious remedy to any core issues, but it kind of sucks burning through all of the weeklies in two hours of play on Monday morning. It might make the Battle Pass slightly more appealing, too, with decent enough grindage to make the XP boost feel satisfying.

  32. Ashandarey
    November 28, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Great article. I love the idea of additional rewards to the daily/weekly quests! Additional to that I would love if they return the three wins reward, but instead of gold, to be XP. With this, grinding the game will be much more enjoyable and we can see that we are progressing

  33. Goblinta
    November 28, 2020 at 9:03 am

    A brave sensible and gutsy commentary by Stonekeep.

    The defense of devs and streamers was right on target.

    I love Hearthstone and play it constantly.

    But we need to remember – it really is just a game.

  34. Flameblaze6
    November 28, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Thanks for your opinion. I completely agree. People are overreacting to this whole thing.

  35. Gibilan
    November 28, 2020 at 8:55 am

    1.Increase the quests xp
    2.Cut from the xp you need to lvl up
    3.Bring back the 100g cap/day and the 3win=10g.
    Now, that would be a good deal.

    • H0lysatan
      November 28, 2020 at 1:21 pm

      Agree with point 1 and 2.
      Doesn’t agree with 10 golds for every 3 win.
      It promotes player to play fast and aggro, which can have negative effect on other deck types.
      I would say, just add some gold to every quest beside just giving them pure XP.

      Although, just tweak Point 2 into flat XP requirements, so players doesn’t have to grind XP for several days before getting rewards. Maybe 2000XP for each level would be good.

  36. Phoesias
    November 28, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Also dont think that the new System is that bad.

    The community is currently exaggerating as fuck.