Opinion: Touche Hearthstone, Now Please Change MORE

by Kevin Knocke

Not that long ago some brilliant writer posited that Hearthstone should change up the Classic and Basic cards to allow for more class and deck diversity in the game.

Kudos, brilliant writer.

Now obviously Blizzard has been working on these changes far, far longer than that article came about, but if anything it reflects Blizzard's tendency to react too slowly -- and not forcefully enough when it does react. The core issue again with several Classic and Basic cards is that they often times determine how strong a class in Hearthstone and expansions can't really change that core class identity.

So you're left with classes like Warrior that have cards like Fiery War Axe that go in EVERY. SINGLE. WARRIOR. DECK. EVER. and then there are classes like Priest that struggle to have any relevance because of how weak their core cards are.

Now when Blizzard announced a bunch of changes to the game today, it seemed like it was moving in the right direction, but again it appears they're not going far enough. Take for example the cards that have been selected to rotate out of Standard that they chose:

Azure Drake, Sylvanas, Ragnaros, Conceal, Power Overwhelming, and Ice Lance.

Some of these are totally fine. Azure Drake, for example, is obviously an example of a card that's just useful in so, so many decks and situations. However, Ice Lance being removed means that no control versions of Mage will work (don't forget, Reno Jackson is rotating out when these changes go in to effect) and it doesn't make the Mage class inherently more interesting to build.

But fundamentally, this is way too slow on these changes and they don't go nearly far enough and Blizzard still refuses to buff cards.

Priest, for example, can't be helped by nerfing cards. They're already so underpowered that card buffs or other cards rotating into the Classic or Basic Priest cards is the only way things can be helped.

Professional Hearthstone player Gaara for Tempo Storm joined The Checkpoint on WWG today to talk about just this. Skip ahead to 22:25 in the following VOD for his thoughts:

Pro players have been asking for this sort of attention for years. It's obvious that Blizzard doesn't want to overreact, but instead of cautiously helping the game, they've allowed the meta to stagnate and, as Gaara mentions, the game continues to become easier and easier to play on a regular basis.

Changes are great, that's clear. But changes need to come much more aggressively to keep the core community satisfied and continuing to promote the game.

More esports influencing from Knocke: Can Sports Games Make an Impact on Esports? | Please Change the Basic and Classic Hearthstone Cards | Is CS:GO Still Oversaturated? Most Definitely