BlizzCon 2016 Hearthstone Q&A Panel Transcript
This is a full transcript of the BlizzCon 2016 Hearthstone Q&A Panel. Among the panelists were the following game developers:
- Peter Whalen (game designer)
- Matt Place (senior game designer)
- Mike Donais (principal game designer)
- Yong Woo (senior game producer)
Hearthstone Q&A Panel Transcript
Yong: How is it going everybody. There is a lot of people with questions, so this is going to be fun. I am Yong Woo. I am senior producer on the team.
Matt: Hey, guys. I am Matt Place, senior designer on Hearthstone.
Mike: Hi, everyone. I am Mike Donais. I am a game designer on Hearthstone.
Peter: I am Peter Whalen. I am also a game designer on Hearthstone.
Yong: GREETINGS. I AM BEN BRODE. Nah, he is not here right now. Sorry.
Mike: That was pretty good, Yong.
Yong: I have been practicing.
Peter: You can pretend.
Yong: I forgot to wear flannel I guess Mike here you are representing. Yeah I got his jacket on. You can buy this in the store.
Matt: He is not joking. That’s true.
Yong: You too can be Ben Brode for $$$… nah.
Mike: Do we have any questions?
Yong: Yeah, we are getting pitched here.
Mike: There is a line somewhere?
Yong: Well, I think there are lines back there, where this nice gentleman will get the situation sorted out.
Mike: In the meantime, I will tell you that Ben Brode’s new baby is really cute. He is at home, taking care of her right now.
Yong: Brode, if you are watching this, we got this.
Mike: Our first question.
Alright, so your co-op content really is the bizniz, alright, guys? The co-op brawls, right? Is there any plans for more dedicated co-op content?
So I am happy Hearthstone is getting so much love, but at the same time there is a big aspect of Hearthstone which is arena, and I feel like since the buff from 9 to 12 (which is not really a buff), there hasn’t been much changes and there could be a lot of good things that come to it like there could be formats you already got for Standard. I got a bunch of couple of good ideas and I am sure you guys have a ton of good ideas but is there plans for it to change soon, or are we going to have to wait a ton of time before we get some cool new arena stuff?
Rob: My name is Rob question for Yong.
Rob: I love my job, and I am a really big fan of all of you. Yong, how do you get so handsome every day?
Peter: and the handsomest is Pat Nagle, and he is also not here.
Rob: I appreciate your time.
Hi there, so you have been growing your Lore a little bit with each of these expansions, and I was wondering if you plan to expand a little bit even further to maybe like short stories, or other kinds of media with some of the lore that you are doing with this Gadgetzan set up, or other expansions.
How do you guys decide when it is time to implement new keyword mechanics like Battlecry or Discover, or whatever?
Hello, do you think you are going to be adding a new hero class such as death knight or monk?
Hey, guys. How is it going, big fan of you guys and appreciate all the work you guys do in dealing with the crap on Reddit. It is true. They deal with a lot.
Is there any chance that you guys will allow players to earn previous season cardbacks that you missed? Like season one and two, and then… one of my big achievements was getting rank 5 a couple times in the ladder, and then getting sent all the way back to like rank 18, kind of feels bad. Any chances on improving that?
Mike: Yeah, you said like get to rank 5, and being sent back all the way. So that, we did originally wanted this system to be very simple and understandable. The idea that if you have earned 15 ranks, then you have 15 stars in the next season. So it is a direct translation in your case. Rank 5 means you gain 20 ranks. So you will have 20 stars the next season. But after seeing it in action for a while the direct translation isn’t that important, maybe it could be around one and a half stars instead of one star for each rank you gained. So yeah, it is something that we talk about. We don’t have any engineers working on it right, now but we are talking about doing it.
What’s the chance on a Hearthstone API
Yong: I mean, we don’t have any specific plans for releasing Hearthstone API in the near future.
Hello, Year of the Kraken is kind of going to end soon. So I am wondering if you are happy with the current release schedule of two expansions and one adventure, and if you are not going to change that, I am wondering if you are going to introduce any new cards into the evergreen sets.
Right now, we are pretty happy with two expansions and an adventure as part of standard season. As part of a standard year. So that is what we are planning on doing in the future, and we don’t have any announcements to change anything right now; but it is definitely something that we are interested in: both changing it up within the realm that we have already done, but also trying totally new crazy things.
Yong: And one thing we say very often is: Hearthstone is really a constant learning experience for us. So we don’t want to ever say: Yeah, we figured it out, this is the best way to do it, and we are going to do the exact same thing for the rest of our lives. I think we are going to keep learning more, and as we get feedback (from you guys) we will work on this together.
I want to talk a little bit about arena. You said you now have the technology, and it is a mode you guys are very passionate about. But when are we going to see some changes? Because then, you guys release Firelands Portal into common love for mage, to get even more powerful. So you say you are very passionate, but we are not seeing it. When are we going to see it?
Greetings. I would like to add something about design of the tri-class cards. We are all really excited about it. So I want to know if those kind of design are mainly from the bottom, or from the top, and how do you guys make sure that these cards are balanced and flavored at the same time, if possible are we going to see other kinds of grouping in classification in the future?
Hi, there. I was curious because you guys have talked in the past how some of the priest cards can feel a little unfun to play against, and you guys are trying to explore more design space to see sort of what their identity is. I was curious because in Karazhan you pushed some more of this resurrect archetype, and then what we have seen of Mean Streets, the Cards all look very good; but they seem you are pushing Dragon are more health and attack manipulation, which is something that the paladin also has a lot of. So I was just curious, have you guys landed on something you are looking a direction for more Priest archetypes, or how do you guys just sort of reach a conclusion like where you guys are at now with the new set coming out?
One of the things that we did specifically with the Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, and we showed off a few cards on each of these spaces, is work on three different archetypes: one of the three archetypes is the dragon deck. It is a deck that a lot of people have wanted to work for a long time. It has been okay. It has been pretty good, but now maybe here is a chance to actually make it like one of the strong decks. Now you can have that fantasy of playing the dragon deck, and win with it.
A second archetype that we are thinking about is the deck with no duplicates. People have tried the Reno priest deck before. Some people had some success, but now they also we have shown off Kazakus. It reinforces and helps boost that. It is a really fun deck type. It plays a lot differently than other deck types, because of all the variant cards. So that is two archetypes. The third one that we are thinking about is the tricky priest deck with lots of spells, and stuff like that. We have shown off Potion of Madness, which is the one that takes control of a two attack or less minion for the turn. It is a nice trick, but it is not permanent loss of control of your minions. So we think it might be an okay space to try out in priest.
Another one that we have shown off is the Pint-size Potion (-3 attack everybody). It is very cheap at one mana. it combos with a lot of priest cards. So they are sort of tricky-cheap spells-fun-to-play priests. Hopefully, one of those three archetypes appeal to each of the priest players.
Next: Hearthstone Q&A Panel (Part 2)
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