BlizzCon 2016 Hearthstone Q&A Panel Transcript
Hearthstone Q&A (Part 3)
Hi, again. This time I want to ask something about tournaments, because we all know that coming into the next year, Blizzard is going to have a lot of official tournaments in mind that is going to be shared with us, but on the other hand, right now what we are seeing in the community is a lot of third-party tournament organizers are facing a lot of issues that prevents them from organizing stuff, things about money, about viewership, about profit, blah blah blah. So I want to know going into the next year, is this the reason that you guys want to just go in by yourself and do more of that officially instead of by the third-parties?
What we are doing next year with 2017 hero championship tour, and then on top of that some of the other programs are running like the Hearthstone global games, etc, is supposed to augment what we already have, and make it more awesome.
It is not in response to us feeling like we need to go our own way, especially for something like Hearthstone global games, we learn a lot from what the community is doing, and some of the community tournaments have been in team format. So instead of like a 1v1 format which we focused on at the highest level for the Championship Tour… with the global games, we are going to be focusing on a 4v4 team based format.
So things like that, I think is really interesting. I think that the fact that those teams are going to be representing a specific country is going to be interesting, and we are doing these things because I think players want to see a lot of cool content like this. So we are all about different ways to play Hearthstone, and then different ways to kind of view Hearthstone, and we just want to make more of it.
Hello, gentlemen. We are here the voice of Latinoamerica, and I have three words for you: Nosotros amamos Hearthstone (We love Hearthstone), and our country is Perú. Actually, I have a question from a guy from México, which is supporting Hearthstone. He plays a lot. Are you into the tempo-based state that Hearthstone is right now, with little ways to come back into games, and are you willing to put in more tempo-swing cards, and/or efficient AOE to have a more dynamic game?
Our legendary Kazakus also has the option where you create your own custom spell, to pick one of the AOE. You could either turn the whole board into sheep, or deal six damage to the whole board, If you pick a 10 mana spell, or maybe something else. So I think that it is really important to have tempo swings. Hopefully, we will do more of that in the future.
Peter: It is also really important as Hearthstone goes forward to have ebbs and flows. So right now there is a little bit less AOE. After Mean Streets of Gadgetzan it is going to be a bit more. And as time goes on, different strategies become good. Different strategies become bad, and it is important that Hearthstone keeps feeling fresh.
Hi, there. I have been playing the game for a while. I want to say I really love it. I was playing other different TCGs before I came to Hearthstone, and one of the things that makes the game unique is the class structure which is kind of borrowed over from World of Warcraft, but do you think that the amount of power that each class derives from its own individual cards kind of informs the way that players think about the different power levels between the classes? For example, do you think that they expect every class to kind of have its own top tier deck? Do you think that they bring over this feeling that everything should be balanced, and then see that there is a real negative when they aren’t, and then going back, with that in mind, do you think there is anything you would have changed to kind of alter that perception?
So you get some kind of ebb and flow. Shaman has done that, a lot of classes have done that, but it is also nice to have a few classes that are close together. It is something that we like to see a lot of as long as different classes have their time to shine, and different playstyles more importantly have their time to shine.
I like, for example, playing controlled decks; but I don’t mind if I play a priest control deck, a mage control deck, or paladin control deck; and sometimes I am in the mood to play an aggro deck; but I don’t necessarily mind that much which class is playing that deck, it is just that there is an option available to me as a Hearthstone player that fits my playstyle.
Forgive me if this has already been answered in a panel, but I am curious if the three families at Gadgetzan are your answer to having neutral spell cards in the game?
Yong: I am a little worried to answer, because I feel like if I give the wrong answer she is going to shoot me from where she is.
Actually our goal for the tri-class cards was to make it feel like you are playing that family. So for the goons, when you sign up for hunter paladin or warrior — not only you play that class, but you are also getting to play the unique new strategies that represent the goons. That was our goal with the tri-class cards, and I am super-excited as we start revealing these cards over the next month to see more of a specifically how each family plays. They will be pretty cool.
Hi, again. I am really curious to know if there are any plans for sideboards, and I feel like sideboarding is really interesting, certainly at a certain level of play where maybe we could have five cards, we could swap in predefined, and as soon as the game starts we know the heroes, and we decide: hey, it is a warlock. Maybe I need a bit more of this. It is a priest, and maybe I need a bit more of that; and I feel it would really help the whole aggro being a pain to deal with, because if there is a sideboards it can be more skill to aggro, and right now I feel aggro is probably the most irritating thing to play against, because you are just like: oh, he is going to beat me up. I am not going to do anything; and it feels so powerful, but having sideboards make me feel like we are going to have more power to deal with them, and aggro will also have more power to adapt to what it is playing to. I feel it is going to be a bit more healthy.
Hi, guys. My question is about maybe creating like a custom built or a way to build a custom deck for the AI. if you run into a certain kind of deck that you are really struggling to beat, you can kind of practice and see weaknesses in your own decks to kind of work through it.
Matt: I wish. I wish.
Mike: Maybe find someone to play against. Post on reddit, and say hey I want to try it out. Is anybody a really good hand lock player? Want to play against a hand lock a hundred times, or something. See if you can cope with that. We don’t have any plans to put it in right now, but if a lot of people ask for it, I am sure it is something we could do.
Kind of a follow up. Do you think it would be possible to adjust the AI intelligence (if that is something you could put into the game) to read what cards are in the deck, and kind of figure out the playstyle of that deck?
I had a question about engineering, and how it interfaces with design as the game gets more complicated over time, more mechanics and cards and things like that, that tends to make things more complicated and can get messy, is that a challenge for you and how do you overcome it?
Matt: It is also fun when you come up with an idea, share it with an engineer, and they are like: Wow, that is so cool. I have no idea how to do that, but that is really neat.
Mike: One of the things I love about working at Blizzard is, all the different teams that are like rockstar levels. So if I just do my design job, I know the engineers will take care of it. I know the artists will make it look awesome. I know the animators will make it have an awesome animation. The sound guys will make it sound awesome. All the teams just deliver on like A+ level, and that is really nice. So we don’t really have any. It makes our risk with the engineers much lower.
Yong: Yeah it is all about communication. We have our designers sitting in this one area, and the gameplay engineers are sitting literally like next to them. So I see all the time guys like Dean, he is working on something, and he is like: hey, I don’t do this crazy thing. What do you think Josh?
And Josh is one of our gameplay engineers, and he will be like: Oh, wow! That is crazy, but awesome; and then we start working on it together. So I think the fact that everybody on the team is really committed — like we all love Hearthstone — we are all committed to making it awesome, allows us to collaborate together not just as like: I am designer. I will give you a spec, and sign my name on it, and now the engineers just going to do exactly what it says.
That is not at all the way we work. It is all about: Hey, I am going to get you excited about this card. It is a really cool idea. Hey, Yong, I am going to come over to your desk and say we are going to make the players make their own cards, and I am going to stare at you (because you are crazy) for like 10 seconds. I go: That is awesome! Then we work on it together. That sort of question, I think, it is a wonderful team to work on.
Hi, it is me again. So I am going to make sure that I don’t miss this question that is most frequently asked in our Chinese community. It is about Tyrande. So have you guys figured out how to release the skin in other places of the world, and also going to future skins like when are Druid or Warlock, these kind of heroes king going to get their own alternative skin?
So we are thinking of a lot of different creative ways to get these heroes out working with partners that are really good for the community, like Twitch. I think it is really awesome for the community when the great ways for you to kind of view streamers and kind of pro Hearthstone gameplay. So we are going to continue to do that. So Tyrande specifically in China that is something that we are definitely working on. So don’t feel too left out for now, please. We are working on it.
Okay, we hope that we can hear from you soon about the good news. Thank you.
Hello, fabulous four. So we have an abundance of riches with cards. I definitely have my favorites: Annoy-o-tron and Ragnaros. Is there any thought to changing the interface to allow us to maybe group some of the cards, or favorite some of the cards so that as we are creating new decks we can pick from our favorites?
Personally, my collection, I have lots and lots of cards. I love getting Hearthstone cards, and so it’d be nice to be able to find ways to reshuffle that, and to make the collection manager a bit easier to access, and a bit better for that purpose.
So you have a favorite in cards. I literally just talked about– I think it would be really cool. We don’t have any plans right now, but collection manager and looking at understanding what we can do to make that part of the game better for players is something that we are very passionate about.
Cool, thank you very much.
Hey, guys. Hey, Yong. I really enjoyed the opening ceremonies the other day, and of course, the Hearthstone yesterday. My question is for new players. So I do a lot of fireside gatherings and helping out with that situation, and we have a lot of people coming in, or coming over and asking: what’s going on over here? It is Hearthstone. How do I play? How do I get into this competitive tournament that you have going on during your fireside? Make a Battle.net account, go through this tutorial; and they find themselves sitting in front of a computer, or in front of a laptop all alone for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, we are over here in the fireside gathering playing. I want to know if you guys have any ideas, or plans for the new player experience at this fireside gatherings, or just new players’ experience in general?
So it is like: hey, I am a new player, I want to join your tavern brawl, and have fun with you right away. That is definitely use case that we are actively looking at right now. So thanks for the feedback. It really kind of validates our prioritization for that, and we are going to be working on that through 2017.
Thank you, Yong, Thank you, guys. I appreciate it.
Legendoftheinkeeper.com – two and a half years going now. Thank you, guys. We really appreciate what you guys do.
Hey, guys a couple of my favorite brawls were the PvE team-up brawls like the Nefarian, and United Against Mechazod, but some of the older tabletop TCGs that I have played give you a chance to have like three or four people play against one boss. I know you have the iconic Hearthstone player facing player. That is kind of maybe a limiting design factor, but is there any chance in the future that is so out of the blue that you could have two or three people like maybe a tank, healer, and a Range class work a couple of multi-classes against one big boss?
Peter: That was awesome in the trading card game. The World of Warcraft one.
Mike: Yes, the trading card game. Also, the MMO is pretty cool.
Peter: Haha, I have played that one before. Once or twice.
Mike: I love that idea. I think the nice thing about the one that we did, the tavern brawl that we did, we used the tools that we had in the interface that we could manage like on a phone and iPad and so on; but I think once we have done that, people showed a lot of interest, and we will keep experimenting more in that direction. Probably small steps. See what we can do.
It is all I can ask for. Thank you.
That is fine, so my question is regarding eSports and HCT in general with the growing push in 2017 in the competitive scene. What are you guys thinking to do (if possible with anything) for a more physical event? Similar to what we are experiencing here at BlizzCon, and over on the world stage. Are you guys looking to do more eSports events and pushing the eSports, and kind of further pushing the community aspect in general?
Awesome. Thanks guys.
Yong: Thank you.
Peter: Thank you. Yeah, I think that is all the time we have for questions today, but thank you guys so much for coming. We love seeing all the passion. We love seeing the community, and enjoy the rest of your BlizzCon.
Mike: Thanks everyone.
Matt: Thank you, guys.
Narrator: Thank you for attending the Hearthstone Q&A.
|BLIZZCON 2016 HEARTHSTONE Q&A PANEL TRANSCRIPT|
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