Changes are coming to Hearthstone’s Arena mode

Blizzard has announced some new changes coming to Hearthstone’s Arena game mode.

Balancing is on the way

Balancing is on the way

Blizzard’s Dean Ayala said in a blog post:

Hearthstone has four major game modes right now: Constructed, Arena, Solo Adventures, and Tavern Brawl. One goal we have for Arena is that we want it to feel meaningfully different from any other way you might play Hearthstone. I think we’re hitting that goal now, but it’s important for us to keep that in mind when thinking about future changes. Variety among all game modes is important to us, but an equally important goal is to have a wide range of experiences within each game mode.

This is an area where we feel Arena has some room for improvement. When you first enter Arena and are offered the choice of three different classes, our goal is that you can look at those choices and choose any class without feeling disadvantaged because of their difference in power level.

He goes on to highlight that the majority of feedback that Blizzard gets on Arena mode is balancing.

So what are some ways we can address Arena balance? Tools that we have available immediately involve removing cards from Arena completely—C’Thun-synergy cards and Purify are examples of this. We’d like to avoid removing strong spells and weapons from the Arena, because they add to a lot of the unpredictability and excitement surrounding the possibilities outside the current board state. We’d also like to avoid removing iconic cards, since they are generally versatile and familiar tools to veteran and new Arena players alike. Additionally, we can remove lower-performing cards in order to make room for a class’ more commonly utilized cards to show up more often in your Arena draft.

And so the cards that will be removed from Arena draft in the upcoming patch are:

Mage

  • Forgotten Torch
  • Snowchugger
  • Faceless Summoner

Rogue

  • Goblin Auto Barber
  • Undercity Valiant

Paladin

– No changes

Shaman

  • Vitality Totem
  • Dust Devil
  • Totemic Might
  • Ancestral Healing
  • Dunemaul Shaman
  • Windspeaker

Warlock

  • Anima Golem
  • Sacrificial Pact
  • Curse of Rafaam
  • Sense Demons
  • Void Crusher
  • Reliquary Seeker
  • Succubus

Druid

  • Savagery
  • Poison Seeds
  • Soul of the Forest
  • Mark of Nature
  • Tree of Life
  • Astral Communion

Warrior

  • Warsong Commander
  • Bolster
  • Charge
  • Bouncing Blade
  • Axe Flinger
  • Rampage
  • Ogre Warmaul

Hunter

  • Starving Buzzard
  • Call Pet
  • Timber Wolf
  • Cobra Shot
  • Lock and Load
  • Dart Trap
  • Snipe

Priest

  • Mind Blast
  • Shadowbomber
  • Lightwell
  • Power Word: Glory
  • Confuse
  • Convert
  • Inner Fire

Any game that features a class system has to deal with balancing, and that’s what we are seeing here. Balancing is necessary to achieve game play in which players are ony separated by their skill, and not which character/set/gun they choose.

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