[Hearthstone] Seriously, Blizzard?

The latest round of Hearthstone nerfs have been announced ahead of the set rotation, and they’re great… if it was 2016.

HS_Patches

The biggest news in there is the nerf to Patches, a card that was released in December 2016 and has been a meta-defining, chase Legendary ever since. Blizzard has acknowledged his power several times, but their explanation for the timing is… well…

As we move closer to the new Hearthstone Year, we had some concerns about allowing Patches to remain in his current state after moving out of Standard. Patches’ strength has caused almost every class to add some Pirates just to benefit from him, and his early game power forces control decks to include a good answer to him. This change should give Wild players more flexibility when building their decks.

What the literal shit, man? Can that be read any other way than “we are fine with Patches’ current state in Standard”? I mean, obviously they were fine with the card’s broken state up to this point as evidenced by a lack of any nerf for over a year. But to me, this just says that Blizzard genuinely believes that card set rotations should be the arbiter of balance in this game. And that’s fucking nuts.

Granted, Corridor Creeper is also getting deleted from the game nerfed in this upcoming patch. That does not particularly make me feel any better though, because A) how they nerfed it, and B) what they didn’t nerf. All Corridor Creeper needed was to only count your minions, rather than every minion. Hell, most of the pros that previewed the card felt like it was Epic trash because they read it that way to begin with. Instead, they turned it into literal garbage that you will be very disappointed to open in a pack after February. Meanwhile, no changes to Cubelock or Ultimate Infestation, etc etc.

Why does any of this matter given the clown fiesta that is Hearthstone’s RNG? Well, I still like playing the game occasionally. And really, the RNG does not particularly bother me – sometimes it’s in your favor, sometimes it’s not. The more fundamental problem is Blizzard’s current balance philosophy undermines any faith I have in the game’s long-term direction. Set rotations are not how you balance a goddamn game… unless the entire goal is pump & dump. Sell those packs to people chasing overpowered Legendaries/Epics and then nerf them later so the next set appears just as OP as the last. Otherwise known as the Supercell Gambit (Clash Royale says Hello).

It’s all cynical, unnecessary bullshit. These are supposed to be games, not vehicles for quarterly profits. I mean, they are that too, but I shouldn’t have to open the latest expense report to understand what the designers are smoking and where they are taking the game’s direction.

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Posted on January 31, 2018, in Hearthstone and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. “Otherwise known as the Supercell Gambit (Clash Royale says Hello)”

    What? I’ve been using basically the same two decks for months if not close to a year now in CR, just broke 4900 on one account, other is around 4600. I know they are different because CR has card levels, but more often than not a card release doesn’t completely flip the meta.

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    • I suppose it’s debatable whether Royal Ghost “flipped” the meta, but as of today, his winrate is 74.9% and usage rate is 21.6% in Grand Challenges; in Tournaments, it’s 71.9% and 14.3%. On ladder, the winrate drops to 56.7% and 5.4% respectfully, but that’s largely because of card levels. And all of this is after his most recent nerfs.

      And just look at what happened with Executioner and Night Witch when they came out.

      It’s good you kept the same decks, but I wonder how much of that is due to your available options. I know I certainly can’t switch decks in the ~4200 range anymore because level 9 rares are mostly liabilities, and the only level 5 epic I can get away with is Executioner. Not getting anywhere with level 1 Graveyard or Bandit either.

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