Things have been rather quiet in the Hearthstone camp since the release of the Boomsday Project last month.
Blizzard broke that silence yesterday when it released a Hearthstone In the Works update which dives into what Team 5 has planned for the game.
Truth be told the update is more infuriating than anything else but let’s take a look.
First and foremost, the long requested and promised in-game Tournament mode has been put on hold “for the foreseeable future”.
“We have a lot of plans to improve many features of Hearthstone, including its social experience, and In-game Tournaments are an important part of that,” writes Blizzard.
The firm says that it isn’t happy with the way the implementation of a tournament mode is going and as such the mode is now on hold.
“Ultimately, we were forced to conclude that we needed to think about how and where we want to improve Hearthstone’s overall social experience before we can tackle adding a satisfying and robust implementation of In-game Tournaments that all players can enjoy. As developers, sometimes we have to make the difficult decision to step away from a design that isn’t working. We no longer felt that the end result would deliver on everyone’s expectations or the high standards we have for Hearthstone,” says Blizzard.
Look, we understand that things need to be done properly but Hearthstone was released in 2014 and has a robust esports scene, and how Blizzard hasn’t made building a tournament mode a priority astounds us.
Four new Classic cards
Then in somewhat good news Blizzard is finally starting to replace the class cards that were shuffled into the Hall of Fame.
There are four new cards entering the Classic set starting from next month all of which are spells. You can check them out below.
These cards don’t exactly sound all that exciting but that isn’t the point of them as Blizzard explains.
“When designing these cards we are thinking about new players’ first experiences playing Hearthstone. They should be relatively straightforward while still creating some exciting moments. They also give players a chance to see and play with cards that they don’t own. At the same time it’s important that they aren’t so powerful that they limit future design or cause problems,” says the developer.
Speaking of new players, Blizzard also addressed that problem.
New player ranks
New players have a hard time in Hearthstone’s ranked mode and try as the developer might it’s a problem that has plagued the game for years.
In an effort to solve that Blizzard is introducing 25 new ranks that only new players will be able to access.
“Ranks 50 through 26 will be for new players only, and just like ranks 25 through 20, you can’t lose Stars while ranking up. Once a player achieves Rank 25, they’ll never drop below that rank again,” explains Blizzard.
Players will have the option to skip these ranks but Blizzard will be giving away free gifts to players as they progress through the 25 ranks.
Will this work and get more people playing Hearthstone? We honestly don’t know but being in a rank with other new players and not just bad players with a ton of cards that can overpower new players sounds like a good idea.
These new cards will be available to craft or open in Classic packs in October.
Balance changes? HA!
We’ve been playing with The Boomsday Project for over a month and Blizzard has been mum on balance changes. At the moment Giggling Inventor is an auto-include in almost every deck and Juicy Psychmelon is sowing havoc in Wild mode.
Is Blizzard addressing these two high-power cards? No.
The developer says that is “happy with the excellent diversity of decks we’re seeing at all levels of Ranked Play”. Look, we’re ragging on Blizzard a lot today but we have to agree with this statement.
Sure Even Warlock and Even Rogue are met with a sigh when we face them but they aren’t nearly as hopeless as the original Quest Rogue or Jade Druid (never, ever again Blizzard).
As for Wild mode however, Blizzard doesn’t seem to know what to do with the mode.
“We’d love to hear your opinions about what you want from Wild. What do you think of how it is now, and what’s the role you see for it in the future of Hearthstone?”
We do think Giggling Inventor needs to be taken down a notch but there are currently no plans to change the card.
The developer has asked players what they think and a gander over at r/Hearthstone reveals that the community is rather vocal about how they feel about Blizzard, not just Giggling Inventor.
Overall this update was terrible. Sure we’re getting new cards, the Welcome Bundle which contains 10 packs and now gives you one Legendary Dragon returns (there’s also a special event this week) but players are noticeably bored.
Beyond boredom players are seemingly fed up with Blizzard shuffling its feet with this game and that could prove dangerous.
Valve’s Artifact is set to release this November and with the Hearthstone community as frustrated as it is at the moment Blizzard is going to have to make major improvements to Hearthstone outside of new card packs and expansions.
As fans of the game we’re holding thumbs but that grip is waning and we hope Blizzard does something drastic soon.[Source – Blizzard]