For the first six years of its life, Hearthstone’s economy remained so stable that it became dull. We logged in and played matches and earned a gold medal for every 3 games I won, or for completing daily missions. It would be a huge exaggeration to say that people liked the system – there have always been concerns about its cost – but they understood it.
That changed on November 12 with The biggest update Blizzard has made the rewards work in the game. Results: Confusion, then anger, Where the community calculated what was on display in the new system against the previous iteration.
What Blizzard should have hoped for once would be an exciting moment before the new release Darkmoon Faire expansion It now looks like a PR nightmare. The first page of Hearthstone subreddit Frighteningly reminiscent of The Blitzchung Incident A year ago – a tidal wave of negative posts about Blizzard’s alleged greed and dishonesty spammed all of the other conversations.
The controversy over the new reward system goes back to August of this year when Leaked survey Those detailed experience-based reward pathway plans. Players reacted strongly, especially regarding the amount of gold available. According to the calculations, players could have received 3,990 gold per expansion, which is much less than they used to in the 19.0 system before the correction.
In response to this outrage, players were reassured by strong messages from Blizzard. During an AMA on reddit on August 11, game director Ben Lee posted:
“I mean specifically and make it clear that we fully intend to preserve the value that players can gain in-game and maintain the flexibility of the purchases that the current rewards provide.”
Lead developer Dean ‘Iksar’ Ayala doubled that claim two weeks later With its own Reddit functionStressing that the players will not lose gold.
Players now lose gold.
Details about the new system remained scarce until patch 19.0 was released. Players first watched the complete in-customer rewards track on Thursday, November 12th. The initial bonus levels passed and the system felt excited and involved … but the rate of gain of experience was still ambiguous in the client and the XP requirements at each level were not displayed at all. It’s worth noting here that most Hearthstone players weren’t used to earning XP at all, having left it behind after initially leveling the categories to 60.
Data miners quickly began digging for clarity, and the community site Out Of Cards was the first to publish a Article Determine the experience requirements for each level. The numbers didn’t paint a great picture, and initial reconnaissance fears were well realized – the track was designed to take most of the expansion to completion, and would offer less gold than players currently have in their accounts.
Soon the Discord servers were filled with accounts and conversations, wondering where I had gone wrong. But the math seemed correct. Hearthstone fans were outraged – and the miserable bonuses aren’t the only issue with this update.
Blizzard also announced a paid “Tavern Pass” in line with the new system, providing an experience boost and cosmetics for $ 20. The phrase Tavern Pass was used for earlier expansions to denote the franchises of Battlegrounds, which are now something entirely separate – and while the previous Tavern Pass was included in pre-requests for expansion, this was not, leading to further confusion and claims of corporate greed.
An informal poll I took on Twitter indicated it was unclear what was and was not included.
Informal Poll – Did you expect a cosmetic “pub arcade” to be included in the mega package? Answer yes if you think you are getting it nor if you know you didn’tNovember 11, 2020
The new system is difficult to evaluate at first glance because it is designed to maximize the endorphin rush we know well. When the click gives you a new legend and higher level, it is hard to stop playing. While the positive modern society has dented the tone about the new system, there she Some consider rewards to be more beneficial. It depends on what you value the most, and players less interested in buying packs of gold have a completely different view of the changes.
However, it’s hard to argue in favor of the game’s increased cost and hard to say it didn’t. Another new change has been announced that is planned for “mini-sets”, with the addition of 35 cards for each future set two months after their initial release. Many players plan to store packs while intentionally limiting the first day’s experience to avoid fear of getting lost once the well dries up and inserting new cards into the boosters. The combination of declining gold, increasing group size, and confusing store offerings has justified many of the concerns about the high cost of the game. Combine it with the fact that those initial reassurances seem inaccurate, whether intended or otherwise, which is a bad look.
So what’s the fix? There are theories that this was a calculated move from the leaders in the company to extract every penny from the players, but the declared intention of the team contradicts that, and it is plausible that the numbers simply did not work out as expected. Regardless of the eye-catching “BLIZZARD LIED” YouTube ads, we simply don’t know what happened behind the scenes.
Hearthstone’s vast user base is varied, and designing a system with global benefits is a big undertaking. But Hearthstone needed to improve, Slam Dunk was easy to understand and appreciate. The new system is built on assumed trust – if you keep playing, you will come out ahead. This function must be immediately and continuously visible beyond reasonable doubt to restore confidence that has now been severely damaged. Only then will the discussion return to normal topics, such as why Pen Flinger needs a smash button.
There were already several potential solutions suggested, including doubling all the gold rewards for the first 50 levels or returning the frequently-rejected 10 golds for three wins. If I was in charge and had leeway, I would start by lowering all level requirements to 4000 xp max, which gives a steady sense of progression and a good rebound to the gold rewards while reducing confusion. The team has several options available to them, as a system with many technical details has a lot of freedom to make adjustments.
The tweaks are something the team has achieved a lot this year, as the game’s feature growth has accelerated exponentially since the launch of Battlegrounds last November. The Hearthstone team has taken more risks, and is universally praised for additions like Duplicate protection (A pro-consumer change made the game more intuitive). They also run into stumbling blocks along the way – the strength level of the Demon Hunter Class Edition is a prime example. The new economy is another test, and Hearthstone has found that pushing these limits pushes society back hard.
The Hearthstone developers have a chance to prove this was a mistake rather than an intentional cost increase, and a drastic change would be needed to calm the community. So far? We will have to wait and see how they respond. It’s a safe bet that a buzz of this magnitude will be met with a blue post in the near future, and I hope the changes are swift and significant. But faith was shaken, and regardless of the change, it would take time and effort to heal.
It’s not hard to hear me talk more about Hearthstone… Check out Twitter at Silly hat To get up to the minute, fine-tune my two podcasts if you’re looking for more lengthy analyzes. One is Give a coinAnd the And the other in Sinister guild.