Hearthstone’s senior game designer discusses the dark side of new content

    
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Hearthstone’s senior game designer discusses the dark side of new content
Hearthstone is a pretty successful game with four expansions under its belt, yet every single expansion has an interesting danger hanging over its head. A new video from senior game designer Ben Brode discusses the dark side of adding new content to the game. New players find the game that much harder to get into, with far more cards to collect and sort through, while veteran players see the game adding more powerful cards and can feel old cards become obsolete as power creep infests the game.

Brode explains that the threat of power creep is a real one that the designers are aware of, but while making constantly more powerful cards with each expansion is an unwelcome state of affairs, the game also needs powerful new cards to shake up the metagame. While the video doesn’t have any easy answers for these problems, it’s worth watching to see a developer outline the issues and examine the difficult balancing act in designing and releasing new cards.

Source: YouTube

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BritoBruno
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BritoBruno

GrimoireOfThade Mind Flayer Equilibrium31 Play a Pserver then. There are several good Vanilla ones. TBC are lacking, tho, amazingly.

MikedotFoster
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MikedotFoster

I know there’s a big concern with HS right now related to random elements deciding games more than gameplay. There was a pretty big Reddit thread on it but I can’t find it — basically, in the last HS tourney several games went a specific way because of RNG.
It’s not a challenge I envy solving.

GrimoireOfThade
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GrimoireOfThade

Mind Flayer Equilibrium31 Too bad Blizz is so dead set against vanilla servers where I can reexperience the excellent Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King and skip the garbage that came after.

Janio2
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Janio2

schlag sweetleaf Do not get it a pack cost 300?

Mind Flayer
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Mind Flayer

Equilibrium31 Of the last 3 expansions released for WoW, Panda-land was by far the best.  
Both Catalysm and Warlords of Draenor were pretty terrible.
Fortunately, if you get into the game now, you can boost your character all the way to 90 and skip the old stuff.
When Legion (the next expansion) comes out, it’s expected people will be able to start a character at lvl 100, skipping all the garbage that came before.

Equilibrium31
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Equilibrium31

Yea, constantly expanding a game instead of developing a new one can really cause problems with either changing the game in a way that loses existing players or making the game too inaccessible to new players.  I think WoW really ran into this problem.  I’d probably still be playing a Blizzard game today if they came out with a new MMO instead of dragging WoW through stuff like their Panda-land expansion and all that came after it.

Line with more hugs
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Line with more hugs

Damonvile spacecampclan
As far as cards game go, horizontal progression  has been the norm since its first recorded reference. Twelve centuries ago.
I don’t think it would be too hard for a digital cardgame that can change anything at any moment, they even used that as marketing years ago. Now they don’t want to fix anything and just make straight up better cards than the old ones.

Midgetsnowman
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Midgetsnowman

bayspoon the thing is,. with other card games, you cna buy singles or specific starter decks to kickstart a collection. here, you have no choice but to grind for gold or pay upfront for packs.

Damonvile
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Damonvile

spacecampclan Come up with a fun horizontal progression game that people actually want to keep coming back to and you’ll be a rich man. Saying “Fix what’s broken” on a forum will get you some pocket lint …maybe.

Satanixx
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Satanixx

While power creep is awesome for the bottom line, you don’t want to alienate new customers with an overwhelming requirement to pay real money to be at least competitive.

Maybe find a way to develop matchmaking based on expansions/adventures owned rather than have the new folks forced to compete with people that have been playing for a while with all the cards.