Published on January 8th, 2016 | by Peter Freeman0
2016 Hearthstone Wishes
2015 was a weird year for Hearthstone. It saw the release of two single player adventures and a major expansion pack. The problem was that, with the exception of a few cards, the major expansion and the first single player adventure did little to affect the overall game. It wasn’t until The League of Explorers that cards introduced that created a ton of new decks and allowed for a degree of change in the game.
Blizzard has been very slow to integrate new features into the game. I’m not just talking about things like Tavern Brawl, but more quality of life features as well. The game still isn’t very tournament friendly and they’ve got a long way to go in terms of creating a satisfying gameplay loop for mid-tier players.
So here I’m going to list some of the things I would love to see over the course of the next year. More than just two singleplayer expansions and one larger expansion, Blizzard really needs to start ramping up its output. Hearthstone has been in official release for nearly two years now and in beta for even longer and the game has been extremely slow to evolve.
Quality of Life Features:
First and foremost, more deck slots. Having nine is no longer enough for most players. In fact, it hasn’t been enough for most people for a long time. People are tired of constantly having to delete decks in order to make room for new ones they want to experiment with. More tournament friendly features would be nice; something like a ladder that can make it easier for tournaments to match people up. Blizzard has gotten a little closer to that with the addition of the spectator mode. They just need to go all the way and embrace tournaments to a fuller extent.
Improved Holiday Content:
This one is minor, but this year Blizzard edited some of the boards and hero dialogue to reflect the Christmas season. That was awesome, but it didn’t go far enough. The additions to the boards were lame, because you couldn’t interact with them in any way. Only doing two boards was unfortunate as well. Even more so was the “sale” where they offered fifty packs for $50. That’s not all that much. Something more in depth next time would be awesome.
Better Tavern Brawls:
When Tavern Brawl launched, it started out with an interesting set of challenges. But it wasn’t long before Blizzard started reusing some of the old challenges. This would happen several times throughout the year, sometimes for weeks in a row. We did have some interesting experiments with co-op with the Tavern Brawl right before Blizzcon. More experimental stuff like this would be awesome.
Rebalancing the Shaman Class:
I’ve written – and complained – a lot about the state of the Shaman class. It’s been a lot of trouble since the beginning of the game. If you don’t want to read my entire post on it, the summary:“Overload” is an awful mechanic and Shaman is the only class that relies almost entirely on RNG (random number generator). They’ve attempted to make Overload better by putting in cards like Tunnel Trogg, but it isn’t enough. If nothing else, there’s a reason that almost every Shaman deck runs Sir Finley in order to change their hero power to that of another class.
Tavern Brawl and the Arena are fine. But imagine for a moment if there were a casual ladder for team play. Or something similar to Magic: The Gathering’s Two-Headed Giant mode. They just need stuff to shake things up. Something that feels less stressful than competing on the ranked ladder. Tavern Brawl is part of that, but allowing for people to team up with their friends – just for fun – would be ideal.
Better Card Balance/Deck Variety:
The biggest problem with Hearthstone is that there aren’t many cards that change the game or make it fresh when a new expansion comes out. That said, there are times where one card comes out and creates what one might consider to be the best deck of all time. When Goblins vs. Gnomes came out, it was Patron Warrior. Now with The Grand Tournament, it’s Secret Paladin. It’s hard to imagine that Blizzard didn’t see these decks coming and yet still allowed the cards to go into release. In fact, many times they’ve admitted that they have done just that.
That’s an issue because not only does that sour the experience for anyone who wants to play a different deck, but it also makes laddering extremely boring when all you’re doing is running up against the same deck every time. The lack of deck variety in Hearthstone is a real issue, and one that prevents most people from enjoying the game (myself included).
There’s also an issue with cards that have to be included in every deck. You’ve no doubt seen all the complaints about Dr. Boom, who is in pretty much every deck ever created at this point. Other issues are cards like Force of Nature/Savage Roar which must be included in any Druid deck in order to make it playable. Cards like that prevent experimentation and variety, forcing people to run the same decks over and over again.
A New Class:
You want to talk about wishful thinking, let’s talk about the introduction of a new class. It’s probably never going to happen, but I would love to see what a new class would look like in game. Most people argue it’ll never happen because games like MTG only have five colors and have never introduced a new one. My counter to that is they found a work around by doing multicolored cards. So unless there’s going to be some analogy to that, a new class would be my dream. Something like the Death Knight would be perfect.
So in summation: more multiplayer modes for fun, better cards, more deck variety, more deck slots! We have a whole year to get this stuff done: let’s go Blizzard!
What would you guys like to added into Hearthstone this year?