Hearthstone's New Formats Will Balance Decks For New Players

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Hearthstone's New Formats Will Balance Decks For New Players

Hearthstone will introduce new Standard and Wild game formats to provide a more balanced game for new players.

After two years Hearthstone remains an impressively fun card game, as long-time players can attest. However the experience isn't quite the same for newcomers, who are getting crushed by advanced decks before they can even learn all the rules. Thankfully Blizzard is introducing new game formats that should allow for more balanced play. Standard format games will use decks of the most recent card types, while Wild format allows for decks from any expansion you'd like.

So let's say you're a new player still coming to grips with Hearthstone's systems. You'll want to stick with Standard games, which use a combination of Basic, Classic, and the most recent card types. That creates a certain baseline of balanced cards while still giving room for players to experiment with the latest releases. Standard format will be available in Friendly Challenges, Casual Play, and Ranked Play.

Once you have a strong card collection, you can turn to Wild format. Wild games allow players to construct decks from every Hearthstone card type, so all players will know what they're getting into. Wild format will even have its own rankings, so you can try to achieve Legend in both Ranked Play modes if you choose. That being said, you can only earn season rewards in your highest rank, so it might pay to be selective.

When Blizzard launches Hearthstone's formats later this year, Standard games will include Basic, Classic, Blackrock Mountain, Grand Tournament, League of Explorers, and the Spring 2016 expansion cards. Once the new calendar year starts, older card types will be cycled out to allow for new expansions. Cards from older expansions and adventures will no longer be available for purchase in the shop - if you want them afterwards, you'll have to craft them with Arcane Dust. On the plus side, cards that are currently uncraftable will be unlocked as their card type is phased out. Adventures you've already purchased will remain available. Finally, Blizzard will increase the total number of decks from 9 to 18.

While this might make it harder to grab some of those legendary cards you hoped for, Blizzard's move should make Hearthstone more accessible for new players without sacrificing the experience of early adopters. That's a good move in the long run, and should have us constructing new Hearthstone decks for years to come.

Source: Battle.net

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This is good for the long term health of the game, though I'm not a fan of removing stuff from the store

also fucking finally on more deck slots, 9 is not enough

Eh, fuck'em. They lost me on this game when they came out and admitted that they intentionally give new players crap cards.

RJ 17:
Eh, fuck'em. They lost me on this game when they came out and admitted that they intentionally give new players crap cards.

On that note, Ben Brode outright said that this change means they can go back and fix a lot of the bad cards in classic since its far more important that those be good in the new format.

Yes, these changes will benefit new players... so long as they only stick to standard. Since older sets will only be obtainable by crafting, the Wild format will pretty much be restricted to players who've been around a long time, or who are rich enough to buy a bunch of garbage packs just to get the dust to craft old cards. Goddamn that's such a stupid change.

Gizen:
Yes, these changes will benefit new players... so long as they only stick to standard. Since older sets will only be obtainable by crafting, the Wild format will pretty much be restricted to players who've been around a long time, or who are rich enough to buy a bunch of garbage packs just to get the dust to craft old cards. Goddamn that's such a stupid change.

It's literally the exact same thing we have now... except for a new format that will be much more accessible to new players, and keep some of the completely insane combos/synergies out of the meta.

Would you rather they never do anything to address the new player experience? Would you rather they *only* have a limited mode like Standard where older players might feel penalized? I think this is a good way to do it. There's a little bit for everybody, and the fact that Standard will be the new official tourney format will make sure all the old players don't just stick to Wild forever.

It's a net positive or even-split for everyone.

shintakie10:

On that note, Ben Brode outright said that this change means they can go back and fix a lot of the bad cards in classic since its far more important that those be good in the new format.

Yeah, the rotating format is really going to let them control the power-creep a lot better. It also frees them up a lot to tweak the older cards without creating unstoppable frankensteinian monstrosity decks a year down the line.

Wild mode is going to get completely insane further down the line though, lol. Trolden should have a lot of ammo at the very least.

I just hope they give some of the weaker classes some love when the changes come around. Without GvG or Naxx, Warlock is going to get pretty dang hard.

You know, it's funny, I only got Battle.net for Hearthstone and how I own Heroes of the Storm, Diablo 3 and just got Starcraft 2 this weekend.

OT: Have to admit, this sounds like a neat idea.
Have to hand it to Blizzard, while they don't hit all the right notes all the time, they still provide the best post-launch support for their games out of any other developer I know.
I mean, there might be someone who does it better, but hell, they were still patching Diablo 2 for crying out loud.

rcs619:

Yeah, the rotating format is really going to let them control the power-creep a lot better. It also frees them up a lot to tweak the older cards without creating unstoppable frankensteinian monstrosity decks a year down the line.

Wild mode is going to get completely insane further down the line though, lol. Trolden should have a lot of ammo at the very least.

I just hope they give some of the weaker classes some love when the changes come around. Without GvG or Naxx, Warlock is going to get pretty dang hard.

Warlock will always have some form of viability due to their hero power being so strong. Zoolock will almost always be a thing since it doesn't actually require specific minions. You'll have to fudge around some cards and the loss of Darkbomb and Implosion will really hurt at first, but they'll figure out ways around it.

The only thing that's a bummer is this will basically be the death of tribe decks in standard. Beast Hunter loses out on both good early game options (Haunted Creeper and Webspinner) without any good replacements for them. The loss of Webspinner will especially suck since it was good for a variety of reasons.

Mech decks will just not exist since GvG will be out of the picture. Dragon decks as we know them will be playable for now, but next time absolutely wont since BRM will be out of the picture.

. . . .Am I reading this right when it says that Wild Decks can include any card? Meaning that you can have a Demon Paladin? Or Frothing Warlocks? Because if so this might become very VERY interesting.

Willinium:
. . . .Am I reading this right when it says that Wild Decks can include any card? Meaning that you can have a Demon Paladin? Or Frothing Warlocks? Because if so this might become very VERY interesting.

No, it's just letting you design decks with the full card pool.

OT: I think this is a great idea and personally, can't wait for the meta to not include Piloted Shredder and Dr. Balance.

rcs619:

Gizen:
Yes, these changes will benefit new players... so long as they only stick to standard. Since older sets will only be obtainable by crafting, the Wild format will pretty much be restricted to players who've been around a long time, or who are rich enough to buy a bunch of garbage packs just to get the dust to craft old cards. Goddamn that's such a stupid change.

It's literally the exact same thing we have now... except for a new format that will be much more accessible to new players, and keep some of the completely insane combos/synergies out of the meta.

Would you rather they never do anything to address the new player experience? Would you rather they *only* have a limited mode like Standard where older players might feel penalized? I think this is a good way to do it. There's a little bit for everybody, and the fact that Standard will be the new official tourney format will make sure all the old players don't just stick to Wild forever.

It's a net positive or even-split for everyone.

What I would rather they do is make BOTH formats accessible to new players rather than limiting one of them to ONLY older players. Having a new format is great, but there's no reason to simultaneously make the old format inaccessible.

It's not literally the exact same thing we have now, because right now I can buy a GvG pack and get 5 cards from that set for 100g. Sure they're random, and maybe they're not great, but no matter what, that's cheaper than crafting those same 5 cards. Because even if it's just 4 commons and a rare, to craft that is 260 dust. A garbage pack on average gives you 40 dust. That means that what I once could've potentially gotten for 100g will now cost me 700.

For 700g, I can get a wing in Naxx that'll give me 8 commons, 2 rares, and a legendary. To craft that instead is 2120 dust, or 53 disenchanted packs, or 5300g.

This is not the exact same thing as now, because right now I CAN craft things, or I can ALSO buy packs. As of this going live, I will ONLY be able to craft, the option to buy has been taken away, which means to get those cards is now just straight up harder than it was before. It costs either more time, or more money, both of which are punishing towards new players.

So it goes back to what I said before, these changes are great for new players... assuming those new players only ever play standard and never ever play Wild with the big boys because they'll get shit on even harder than they would have before. This change is completely stupid.

Wanna know what would be a good change? Let's make Standard and Wild Formats, let's increase deck slots, and let's NOT arbitrarily make old cards inaccessible for absolutely no reason. If the worry is that people will get confused over what is and isn't standard legal, just move the olds sets into a separate tab in the shop specifically listed as Wild or Legacy sets. It's not rocket science here.

And in the long run, this will hurt old players who want to play Wild as well. People stop playing over time, they drift to other games. You need to keep a steady influx of new players to replace the old ones that leave. Blizzard of all fucking companies should know this, having run WoW for over a decade. Hell, WoW's deterioration started when they reached the point that they couldn't keep enough new players coming to replace the ones that left anymore. When new players can't get into Wild because the cards are just arbitrarily more difficult to acquire, and will continue to get more difficult to get as more and more sets become Wild, the playerbase for that format will dwindle until standard's pretty much the only thing that remains anyways. It won't be quick, will take a long ass time, but with changes like this it'll happen eventually. There's a reason why almost nobody plays Vintage in MtG.

EDIT: Oh, and of course, because old Adventures aren't purchaseable anymore, and you can't craft a boss fight, it's not just old cards are more difficult to obtain, but some of the game's only solo content is just being made permanently and completely unavailable to new players as well.

Wait.

No Naxx?

That's the set with all of the anti-aggro cards. Zombie Chow, Deathlord, Sludge Belcher, and the Warlock's Darkbomb are all gone. So many vitally important cards are just...gone. Gotta craft them now.

I'm really not sure about this change. The more sensible solution would be to either make Curse of Naxxramas free or to drastically reduce its price...but apparently Blizz is more concerned with profit than making their game more accessible.

SlumlordThanatos:
Wait.

No Naxx?

That's the set with all of the anti-aggro cards. Zombie Chow, Deathlord, Sludge Belcher, and the Warlock's Darkbomb are all gone. So many vitally important cards are just...gone. Gotta craft them now.

I'm really not sure about this change. The more sensible solution would be to either make Curse of Naxxramas free or to drastically reduce its price...but apparently Blizz is more concerned with profit than making their game more accessible.

Does making it unpurchaseable count as reducing the price? They're making it so that old adventures can't be purchased at all unless you already own at least one wing before they're rotate out of standard. The ONLY way to get those cards will be to craft them with dust.

Cards from older expansions and adventures will no longer be available for purchase in the shop - if you want them afterwards, you'll have to craft them with Arcane Dust. On the plus side, cards that are currently uncraftable will be unlocked as their card type is phased out. Adventures you've already purchased will remain available. Finally, Blizzard will increase the total number of decks from 9 to 18.

Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but unless they drastically increase how easily players can get Arcane Dust, this sounds like it's going to just make half of the cards (or more) currently in the game nigh-unobtainable to new players.

I've been playing the game semi-regularly since it had its full launch, never paying money to get anything, and I think it'd be charitable to say that I have half of the cards. I haven't ever had the dust to craft a Legendary, though if I'd never crafted infinitely more useful cards I probably could've managed one by now. I do have all of the Adventure wings, but I've bought likely 20 or less packs for each of the expansions.

Also, this might just be a personal thing but I can't really get behind them phasing out the single-player content, either. While it's by no means what keeps me playing, it's one thing that's kept my card-game-interest focused steadfastly on Hearthstone, because practically no other card game does anything like that (and if they do, they're typically not "just" a card game, but more like an RPG or strategy game with cards thrown in). I mean, it's not going to really impact me because I have all of the current Adventure wings already, but it's a principle thing.

shintakie10:

Warlock will always have some form of viability due to their hero power being so strong. Zoolock will almost always be a thing since it doesn't actually require specific minions. You'll have to fudge around some cards and the loss of Darkbomb and Implosion will really hurt at first, but they'll figure out ways around it.

The only thing that's a bummer is this will basically be the death of tribe decks in standard. Beast Hunter loses out on both good early game options (Haunted Creeper and Webspinner) without any good replacements for them. The loss of Webspinner will especially suck since it was good for a variety of reasons.

Mech decks will just not exist since GvG will be out of the picture. Dragon decks as we know them will be playable for now, but next time absolutely wont since BRM will be out of the picture.

On the bright side, at least the tribes situation is fixable. They can always release more mechs, dragons or beasts.

I'd love to see them use this as a chance to promote other, or entirely new, tribes though. Make pirates finally properly viable, or finally give us an official ogre tribe (which would be hilarious).

And on the bright side, most of the core handlock cards are basic or core. So, I look forward to the future, inevitable handlock variations :D

shrekfan246:

Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but unless they drastically increase how easily players can get Arcane Dust, this sounds like it's going to just make half of the cards (or more) currently in the game nigh-unobtainable to new players.

I've been playing the game semi-regularly since it had its full launch, never paying money to get anything, and I think it'd be charitable to say that I have half of the cards. I haven't ever had the dust to craft a Legendary, though if I'd never crafted infinitely more useful cards I probably could've managed one by now. I do have all of the Adventure wings, but I've bought likely 20 or less packs for each of the expansions.

Also, this might just be a personal thing but I can't really get behind them phasing out the single-player content, either. While it's by no means what keeps me playing, it's one thing that's kept my card-game-interest focused steadfastly on Hearthstone, because practically no other card game does anything like that (and if they do, they're typically not "just" a card game, but more like an RPG or strategy game with cards thrown in). I mean, it's not going to really impact me because I have all of the current Adventure wings already, but it's a principle thing.

I think it's mostly to push the new standard format. If they kept around all the old packs and all the old adventures (which would be absolutely useless as far as standard is concerned) there's a risk that players may just kind of, stick with the wild format and never switch over. It sucks from a collector's standpoint yeah, but I can see their reasoning.

There's always the potential for them to bring them back as special events or something. Win old cards that aren't available any more, or something. Or bring back old adventures for limited times. It just kind of depends how they want to handle it.

rcs619:
It sucks from a collector's standpoint yeah, but I can see their reasoning.

I guess I am also a bit disappointed because I did want to get all of the cards, and now that's basically going to be impossible. I like my stupid gimmick decks, and I want to continue playing the "current" game mode. There are still loads of cards I need that could actually flesh out said gimmicks to be more useful, though, and whenever this change rolls around it looks like I'll need to give up any hope of ever getting, say, Varian Wrynn for my Warrior or Aviana for my Druid, or The Mistcaller for my Shaman. And lord knows I can kiss goodbye any chance of getting all of them.

I dunno, I just don't think I'm comfortable with the idea of them essentially segregating the playerbase of Hearthstone. I can't imagine I'm the only person who's been playing for a very long time and still doesn't have most of the really good cards, and from the sounds of things we're going to be forced to either continue on like we have been but with even less chance of ever having good cards to climb the ladder, or be sectioned off into Standard with all of the people who don't have all of the cards, and thus lose access to a great number of cards that we potentially really enjoy.

I'll be the first person to admit I know very little about how game balance works, but on the surface I just can't imagine this is actually going to make the game better long-term.

EDIT: Also, planned obsolescence in a digital card game is just really upsetting. If they're going to be separating game modes and having one use only specific expansions anyway, I don't see why they need to straight up remove the ability to easily get cards from the excluded expansions. No new players are ever going to switch to Wild. I guess that could be their intention, though I can't fathom why because I feel like Standard is going to be very prone to experiencing the same problems Vanilla Hearthstone did to a lot of people, in that it got far too stale too quickly due to a limited card pool. Unless they crank out new cards at an even faster rate than they are right now, I don't see how Standard is going to really hold much interest long-term, and Wild is just going to be overrun by the same type of boring netdecks that we see on the ladder right now anyway. And if they do crank out cards faster, then if they don't increase the rate of gold/dust collection people still won't be able to keep up...

Yeah, I might just be overthinking or looking at it the wrong way, but this doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

Its all well and good until you remember that they have to remove the old stuff from the store. This'll make it harder to people who will need a lot of the Naxx stuff or GvG stuff, especially since the latter has so many meta defining cards. Still, I'm all for a format that straight up excludes Dr.Boom and Piloted Shredder without having to give them the Warsong Commander treatment.

I run a basic + expert only mage deck just for funsies. I got to rank 5 with it back in the old days and my skills have increased since then. Poor, poor newbies :(

Anyway: new format to welcome newcomers? Great! Building a big wall around some of the most useful cards? Not so great. More like bad, really. It will only widen the gap between new players and the ones who've been playing since before Naxx. Besides, aside from offering good value, those adventures are a lot of fun!

It makes sense in the long run, because they can release the cards that they want to release, now, and not have to worry about it not getting picked because of some of the better cards in gvg or naxx, or having a OP unintentional synergy, like Grim Patron and Warsong Commander, but the Wild mode is going to be stupid after a while, almost to the point of unplayable if they dont balance some of the older cards once that have been phased out.

I understand what they are doing, and why they are doing it, but it just stings a little if you have invested money into content that is now practically non-existant.

Doesn't this make the game explicitly pay-to-win? If you cycle out the old cards, then players who buy the 50-packs or the Adventures at launch have a distinct advantage over other Standard players. By the time they catch up in gold the cards would be cycled out.

I guess what Blizzard is saying is you should grind for a year, save a ton of gold, can buy pack/adventures on launch, and then save for another year.

Also, I hate how this means a number of cards will never be good/viable. I will never be able to use Neptulon with Everyfin is awesome.

Well that's just bizarre. Introducing a limited format similar to Magic's is an incredibly obvious idea that many of us have been saying they should do pretty much from the start, but simultaneously making it impossible for most people to ever access most of the cards is just insane. Especially since, as others have already noted, this makes things even more difficult for the new players it's supposedly trying to help. Getting rid of old adventures is even more insane. Not only are they one of the few ways Hearthstone distinguishes itself from other CCGs, but they're by far the best way to get guaranteed useful cards since you can see what you'll get instead of relying on RNG. Removing access to them again punishes new players far more than everyone else. Plus they're fun! What kind of idiot would deliberately remove content from the game?

NPC009:
I run a basic + expert only mage deck just for funsies. I got to rank 5 with it back in the old days and my skills have increased since then. Poor, poor newbies :(

Anyway: new format to welcome newcomers? Great! Building a big wall around some of the most useful cards? Not so great. More like bad, really. It will only widen the gap between new players and the ones who've been playing since before Naxx. Besides, aside from offering good value, those adventures are a lot of fun!

Not sure how it makes the gap wider when the pool of cards is now smaller.

UsefulPlayer 1:
Doesn't this make the game explicitly pay-to-win? If you cycle out the old cards, then players who buy the 50-packs or the Adventures at launch have a distinct advantage over other Standard players. By the time they catch up in gold the cards would be cycled out.

I guess what Blizzard is saying is you should grind for a year, save a ton of gold, can buy pack/adventures on launch, and then save for another year.

Not true. Classic packs and basic cards are always relevant which means newer players can just stick to buying classic packs until they have everything they need from there and the cards they get will always be relevant.

Beginners will want to move on to 'wild' eventually, because it allows for a lot more types of decks. However, unless the whole dust thing is rebalanced, some of the best/most fun cards from Adventures will be much more expensive than they used to be. For instance, you need 40 dust just to get a common card, and the avarage pack (100 gold, with the occasional free one from quests and brawls) gives you little more than that. Good luck if you want Loatheb. If adventures and packs are no longer available, getting cards from those sets will turn into a total grind.

shrekfan246:

rcs619:
It sucks from a collector's standpoint yeah, but I can see their reasoning.

I guess I am also a bit disappointed because I did want to get all of the cards, and now that's basically going to be impossible. I like my stupid gimmick decks, and I want to continue playing the "current" game mode. There are still loads of cards I need that could actually flesh out said gimmicks to be more useful, though, and whenever this change rolls around it looks like I'll need to give up any hope of ever getting, say, Varian Wrynn for my Warrior or Aviana for my Druid, or The Mistcaller for my Shaman. And lord knows I can kiss goodbye any chance of getting all of them.

You could still get them. The packs may eventually be removed but the cards will still be craft-able. Even that only really affects the commons and rares (the only ones you were likely to get from any pack anyway. It's been my experience that if I ever wanted a particular epic or legend, I would have to craft it, since the odds were so small of getting it from any given pack.

You've basically got no chance of getting Varian or Avianna now, to be fair. I'm sure a math-nerd could give you actual numbers, but they ain't great.

I dunno, I just don't think I'm comfortable with the idea of them essentially segregating the playerbase of Hearthstone. I can't imagine I'm the only person who's been playing for a very long time and still doesn't have most of the really good cards, and from the sounds of things we're going to be forced to either continue on like we have been but with even less chance of ever having good cards to climb the ladder, or be sectioned off into Standard with all of the people who don't have all of the cards, and thus lose access to a great number of cards that we potentially really enjoy.

Keep in mind, Standard mode is going to be, well, the new standard. It's what all the pros will play, and more importantly, it will be the mode that blizzard focuses its balance around. Every new expansion/adventure will be geared with standard in mind and they've even said that they will be going back and making changes to a lot of basic and core cards they'd always meant to.

The difference won't be felt so much at first, but eventually the two modes are going to diverge sharply. Wild will be fun, and silly and nostalgic... but with a couple more years of expansions and adventures, it's also going to be massively, massively unbalanced.

I'll be the first person to admit I know very little about how game balance works, but on the surface I just can't imagine this is actually going to make the game better long-term.

It's the only way the game was going to survive in the longterm. You could already see the cracks forming with Grim Patron (which took nuking a minion into the point of being unplayable, just like undertaker and starving buzzard), and if you think secret-paladin and renolock are strong now, imagine how they'd be with even more cards to draw on.

No dev team can possibly be expected to balance every single new card around every single other card that already exists. After a certain point, it becomes hilariously unrealistic. More importantly, it also limits what they can do with the game. Every time they create a new neutral card they have to go (how would this fit in renolock? They can't even make any new paladin secrets that are actually *good* because mysterious challenger would just be made that much more powerful on turn 6.

Without limiting the card-pool, the only (inevitable) option is to nuke cards into unplayability like they did with warsong, starving buzzard and undertaker. Patron managed to survive as a deck because the basic premise was stronger than the OTK gimmick, but that doesn't always happen (deathrattle hunter and deathrattle priest say hi from the land of broken decks).

If they're going to be separating game modes and having one use only specific expansions anyway, I don't see why they need to straight up remove the ability to easily get cards from the excluded expansions.

Because they want people to play standard as the default mode in Hearthstone. The pros will switch over because that's where they money is at, but my impression is that they're removing the old boosters and adventures so that there's less pressure to just buy GvG packs forever and never try the current game. They want people to only be able to buy currently-standard packs, so that more people will play standard.

Also, once again, they aren't removing your ability to get the cards, just the (tiny) chance of opening them in a pack. You want piloted shredder, you can still get piloted shredder. It costs 80 dust for 2, which is nothing. You want sludge belcher, now you can craft it instead of paying 30 bucks for like 20 good cards (out of what, 40-something?).

NPC009:
I run a basic + expert only mage deck just for funsies. I got to rank 5 with it back in the old days and my skills have increased since then. Poor, poor newbies :(

Anyway: new format to welcome newcomers? Great! Building a big wall around some of the most useful cards? Not so great. More like bad, really. It will only widen the gap between new players and the ones who've been playing since before Naxx. Besides, aside from offering good value, those adventures are a lot of fun!

I will admit that the adventures are fun.

However, I can totally see why they're going to remove the older ones. If you're a new player and half your legends are from Naxx... you're more likely to play wild instead of standard. Maybe you end up doing well and its fine... but maybe you get womped on by a bunch of older wild players, and you get frustrated. And you can't pay standard very well either, since you've spent most of your money/gold/dust on things that aren't even playable there. So you get double-frustrated and leave.

You can still craft any of the old cards if you really want to. I don't like them removing the old stuff, but I can see why it's probably for the best in the long-run.

I do hope that they bring them back as special events or something though. Or even re-release old cards in new expansions. Like, instead of creating a new "deal 3 damage" spell for warlock, maybe you just re-release darkbomb. New players can get it from the current pack, older players can use theirs again. If an old card would really help balance the current meta in standard, re-releasing it seems like a convenient way to fix an issue. I believe magic re-releases older cards in new expansions every now and then.

rcs619:

NPC009:
I run a basic + expert only mage deck just for funsies. I got to rank 5 with it back in the old days and my skills have increased since then. Poor, poor newbies :(

Anyway: new format to welcome newcomers? Great! Building a big wall around some of the most useful cards? Not so great. More like bad, really. It will only widen the gap between new players and the ones who've been playing since before Naxx. Besides, aside from offering good value, those adventures are a lot of fun!

I will admit that the adventures are fun.

However, I can totally see why they're going to remove the older ones. If you're a new player and half your legends are from Naxx... you're more likely to play wild instead of standard. Maybe you end up doing well and its fine... but maybe you get womped on by a bunch of older wild players, and you get frustrated. And you can't pay standard very well either, since you've spent most of your money/gold/dust on things that aren't even playable there. So you get double-frustrated and leave.

Good point. With this new format, the adventures would, if they were still available, essentially become DLC for expert players. New players would just be wasting their money if they start those adventures too soon. What could solve this is removing the option to pay for adventures with real money, meaning players would have to save up enough gold first by actually playing the game. But... it would totally clash with the F2P mechanic, so yeah, probably never gonna happen...

NPC009:

Good point. With this new format, the adventures would, if they were still available, essentially become DLC for expert players. New players would just be wasting their money if they start those adventures too soon. What could solve this is removing the option to pay for adventures with real money, meaning players would have to save up enough gold first by actually playing the game. But... it would totally clash with the F2P mechanic, so yeah, probably never gonna happen...

Yeah. Lowering the gold cost of adventures could be a good middle-ground and/or increasing overall gold-gain (which would just be nice in general, but also likely not happening).

Honestly, it sorta brings hearthstone more in line with WoW in a way. New players don't get to run Molten Core, or whatever the old raids were (I think D: I don't play WoW, actually). The story has moved on and they just get to hear about them from older players, and see the old loot when those players use it.

But! They get their own new adventures to experience as well. New loot, new things to do.

I think the changes could be very good in the long-run, but it does put a *lot* more pressure on Blizzard to iterate and innovate on their game. It really depends how they handle it.

Their are good and bad sides to this. As someone who largely plays limited it doesn't affect me all that much. But I am glad from a viewing perspective. I know In MTG if you want to play vintage these days you have to play one of like eight top tier deck lists or you may as well not bother. At least this way the meta gets changed up instead of being a solved thing.

So basically, minus a content-dungeon, minus pack buying. And turning making a legendary into a nightmare.
As a result - 130 cards craft only + 30 from a dungeon...where 90% of the legendaries are.

They do say that if you bought the 1 lvl of the dungeon, you can buy the rest, but they don't specify by gold or by real money.

Welp, time to go grind the dungeons and packs before this retarded update comes up.

When WoW (or any MMO) comes out with an expansion, 75% of the content from the previous expansion disappears or is made irrelevant. Compared to that, partially removing one or two expansions and keeping three or four is pretty fair. New players are actually able to join the game (not true currently, where would you even start to get cards?) and old players should be the most happy about the change because it means the meta can change without insane power creep. In the last three expansions, every card that came out was compared to GvG cards (This would be a great four drop! But you'd never replace Piloted Shredder with it, so it's garbage). New cards with new effects can be usable without being crazy powerful because the auto-take cards aren't in the game anymore.

I also have no idea why everyone is complaining about not being able to buy packs that you won't use in the game's intended format. Is it just collecting for the sake of collecting? It's like complaining that you can't get the Tier 3 shoulders from some midway raid when a new expansion releases with Tier 6.

Michael Dunkerton:
When WoW (or any MMO) comes out with an expansion, 75% of the content from the previous expansion disappears or is made irrelevant. Compared to that, partially removing one or two expansions and keeping three or four is pretty fair. New players are actually able to join the game (not true currently, where would you even start to get cards?) and old players should be the most happy about the change because it means the meta can change without insane power creep. In the last three expansions, every card that came out was compared to GvG cards (This would be a great four drop! But you'd never replace Piloted Shredder with it, so it's garbage). New cards with new effects can be usable without being crazy powerful because the auto-take cards aren't in the game anymore.

I also have no idea why everyone is complaining about not being able to buy packs that you won't use in the game's intended format. Is it just collecting for the sake of collecting? It's like complaining that you can't get the Tier 3 shoulders from some midway raid when a new expansion releases with Tier 6.

Pretty much, yeah. The alternative is to expect the devs to balance every single new card against every single other card ever released (which is all kinds of unrealistic) and to expect undertaker/buzzard/warsong nerfs as the norm for balancing. As more cards come out, insane combos would only become more common, and so would Blizzard having to resort to the nuclear option to maintain balance. As much as I love renolock, it just isn't tenable in the longrun. *Any* good, new neutral will *always* benefit renolock, and that deck would only become more refined and more consistent as time goes on. Having no limits actually often constrains development.

I do hope that they re-release old cards instead of just making duplicates though. I'd much rather see darkbomb or zombie chow come back in a later expansion than Blizzard just make a carbon-copy for the heck of it.

I think most of the people complaining about this either just *want* to hate the game no matter what, or they don't have any real exposure to other CCG's. This kind of change absolutely had to happen, or the game was not going to survive in the long-run. Every single CCG does this (except Yu-gi-oh. They just intentionally introduce power-creep and then ban specific cards). This is normal, and it isn't anything to get upset over. Unless Blizzard fumbles this massively on the development side (which is still possible, granted), the game will be healthier in the long-run because of this change.

Michael Dunkerton:
New players are actually able to join the game (not true currently, where would you even start to get cards?).

The funny thing is, I would say get 1000 gold, arena, get Naxx. Then, when you have enough dust, craft Dr. Boom.

GvG and Naxx were both broken, so this is a positive thing. The game has room to grow and change now, it was getting boring seeing the same cards over and over again. That being said, I just bought 20 GvG packs with my new expansion gold. Got a Sneed's!

Edit: add "and first wing Blackrock." to the top sentence. Although that won't be a thing a year from now.

Schtimpy:

The funny thing is, I would say get 1000 gold, arena, get Naxx. Then, when you have enough dust, craft Dr. Boom.

GvG and Naxx were both broken, so this is a positive thing. The game has room to grow and change now, it was getting boring seeing the same cards over and over again. That being said, I just bought 20 GvG packs with my new expansion gold. Got a Sneed's!

Edit: add "and first wing Blackrock." to the top sentence. Although that won't be a thing a year from now.

I think Blizzard just kind of needs to jump on things and reveal some new content. Most of the complaints seem to be from people who are only focusing on what's being 'lost'. That's a fair concern to have. Blizzard has revealed what they are going to take away, so now it'd be cool to get a peek of what they're going to add.

I have high hopes for the new Standard format (and the batshit insanity that Wild will become), but this really does put a lot more weight on Blizzard's shoulders. It's not going to be like when TGT came out to a resounding "Meh" and people just picked a dozen cards and forgot about the rest. A "Meh" expansion is going to have a lot more impact on the game now.

Given how good League of Explorers was though, I'm not too worried just yet. I'm super curious to see what they do with the "between 2 and 20" cards in core/basic that they're going to tweak. That's going to impact a lot of things too, and they'll have the freedom to pretty much do whatever they want. Although, general consensus is that druid is going to get a great big nerf-bat, since it's basically just been using core/basic cards since the game began. If they didn't nerf it, druid would basically be the exact same deck, while every other class goes through a significant acclimation period.

I just hope they aren't too rough D: Druid is like, my 2nd favorite class.

Also! Blizzard! Give us character skins for the rest of the classes. Geez. I'm sick of staring at Malfurian's goofy ass, and Gul'Dan's sub-par artwork.

One thing I ALWAYS liked about digital card games, there was never any time ever where you would have to ask "Was I supposed to do that?" (That was a serious problem when I played Magic).

However one thing I look down upon any and ALL modern card games is that none of them, NONE OF THEM even bother to try and recapture the dizzying heights of the 1997 Magic the Gathering PC game. Now that, THAT was a digital card game no DLC, no bullshit microtransactions, no F2P, you could access all the cards in the game AND it had an overworld, a story, rpg mechanics. Hell it even had randomized worlds. Can you imagine what a game like that would be like today? Even just a 3d remake would probably make hearthstone look like month old milk.
I know somebody is going to try and snip out what I said about hearthstone and f2p and honestly I don't care, if you aren't paying in cash you're directly paying in time and that's the nature of f2p.

I want to say i like the upcoming standart/wild format, but honestly, some of the stated reasons are just bogus!

The standart format will probably barely make a difference for newcomers, because access to cards will barely shift. The "problem" is, that the acquisition of new cards is just so much easier for veterans! They already have pretty much all the other cards and when a new set comes out, it's very easy for them to get what they want. If it's a campaign, just walk through the wings the second they come out and you have full access to the new set. If it's a booster set, buy a couple and then craft the ones you need to max your deck. For some of them, standart will actually make more sense, as it will force people to try new decks - though veterans usually already have multiple they switch for fun - and they can still fully enjoy wild with their cardpool and putting together new power-combos when they come out.

A newcomer simply can't do any of that, unless they throw a bunch of money at Blizz and this simply won't change if you restrict the format - they will still struggle/ hit a wall against a lot of players which just have faster and easier access to all of the content while i think, on the contrary, the entry to the wild format will be almost impossible for them, if Blizz goes through with discontinuing older sets. I think it can be even more important for Tavern Brawls: Sometimes it wouldn't matter, but sometimes they put up Brawls which build so heavily about specific mechanics, that they almost require certain cards to do anything, or have any fun in them. It might even negativly affect the learning curve, not being able to see how the sets developed - though this might not be important for most. And i'm kind of wondering what this will do to Arena.

To state newcomers as a reason just doesn't add up, really and discontinuing older sets just doesn't make sense to me - it's one thing for collectible card games (CCGs) with physical cards, but for digital... just, why?

However, introducing format restrictions like standart still makes a lot of sense, but for whole different reasons, as some already said, mainly from a design perspective. The thing is, that this way they can focus on new sets without having to look for the whole extend of all the cards for possible exploits or power-combos and that the power curve becomes a bit more flexible in general - of course it's wise to still look out for that, but if something comes up, they can simply say, "well, that's wild, duh", or tweak the wild format without hurting standart.
It's obvious, really, if you look at long time CCGs like Magic of course, where they have:
Blocks, which usually revolve around a specific theme (like "League of Explorers" for example).
Standart, consisting of a core set and multiple blocks (just like the standart Hearthstone wants to establish)
Vintage, which allows all cards printed (with some restrictions), which is pretty much what wild would be in Hearthstone.
And due to the vast list of cards, some additional ones, some sanctioned and even more casual formats.

But honestly, if they really wanted to look out for newcomers, the casual formats are what they should be looking at in my opinion - like pauper, which allows only commons, is a perfect format for newcommers & beginners in my opinion, as they can freely learn all the basics and small-scale combos with easy to acquire cards and still have some fun into the mid-range, until they get enough cards of higher rarity that they'll naturally want to build around those. It would be super-easy to establish a variant which restricts to mostly commons and some higher rarity cards to achieve that.

I actually think, that their approach is probably a compromise, for the designers to open their range, which kind of was necessary and probably for the company as a possibility to implement new ways for them to get what actually matters to them: money. If you put in restrictions like the ones they plan, it's actually a lot easier to build in mechanics to increase the incentive for people to spend money on acquiring new and old content alike.

So, to wrap it up: Change may be needed for Hearthstone and formats like standart make sense, but for different reasons and i think they could easily do something different to actually address newcomers to intermediate players and still let older sets persist in the shop without hurting their model.

Soak:
snip

The standard format is meant to ease entry for newcomers, not make it easy. Yes, newcomers won't be able to match the level older players are at in terms of having all of the viable cards in the standard legal sets but that level is being capped. They're lowering the ceiling rather than raising the floor.

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