Wild format, while enjoyed by tons of players, is for the most part ignored by Blizzard. Standard, Battlegrounds, and even less popular formats like Duels, Arena and Mercenaries (RIP) get more attention. Some might argue that it’s by design – unless something is seriously breaking it, they probably won’t touch it and let it remain wild. It takes way longer to balance it or even fix some important bugs. New cards are basically never designed with it in mind and it shows – the recent emergency Test Subject ban should serve as proof.
That’s why reading today’s Matt London’s (Modes Design Lead) announcement caught me by surprise. Apparently, the Hearthstone team has kicked off an internal “Wild Summit”, where they discuss the future of the format. Don’t expect any news this week, but he said that they are committed to building a great plan for Wild format and sharing it once they have it.
It’s quite interesting and I would really like to know what those plans will be. There’s only so much you can do for Wild format without fundamentally changing its nature, and I don’t think that Wild players would want that (there’s a reason why they play it over Standard after all). Of course, I don’t think that more common balance changes or bug fixes (especially bug fixes) go against the spirit of the format. But I also don’t think those warrant a “big internal discussion”. The whole message sounded like they are planning something bigger. And if those plans include major changes like introducing set rotations – I simply don’t think that’s going to work. Not because it’s a bad idea per se (I would love to play a format like that), but because Wild players play the mode for a very specific reason – to be able to enjoy their entire collection at once. But I’m probably getting ahead of myself – we don’t even have a clue what those plans might be, so it’s just pure speculation on my part.
Also, it’s not the first time Blizzard is announcing that they have some bigger plans for Wild – but nearly 7 years after its introduction, none of them have materialized yet. That’s why I will believe it when I see it, and I recommend that you do the same.
Wild has a lot of moving parts. It’s unlikely adjustments will happen this week, but we’re committed to building a great plan for Wild and sharing more info once we do. Thanks!
— Matt London (@themattlondon) February 21, 2023