Last week was a tumultuous one for Hearthstone. Recent concerns after the Warsong Commander nerf has players, and content creators both up in arms about the balance methodology of Blizzard’s Team 5. Various pro players have mentioned a bit of discontent with the developers for not taking advantage of the digital nature of the game, in order to achieve a less aggressive meta. A content creator is throwing in his hat, for the same reason. With Blizzard’s new IP Overwatch on the horizon, can the team behind Hearthstone keep the game fresh, and balanced so people continue to flock to it for years to come? Lets take a look at what some of the well-known faces of Hearthstone are doing in the scene.
Our first bit of news comes in the form of a few fans noticing that both Rumay “Hafu” Wang, and Andrew “TidesofTime” Biessener are no longer representing the Cloud 9 Hearthstone Division. Hafu stated on her twitch channel back in September that she would not be renewing her contract with C9, citing better opportunities for sponsorship as a solo streamer. Wang was one of the unfortunate players caught in the Naxxramas bug that prevented her from accessing the content for months after it launched. Although she was in the running for BlizzCon 2014, she chose to move to Arena play full=time, when she was unable to continue taking part in the ladder, and tournaments.
Cloud 9 said goodbye to another face recently, as well. TidesofTime has been the slacker of Hearthstone for a number of months now, ever since he skipped out on his Hearthstone Pro League matches, and dropped off the Hearthstone streaming scene. Biessener has stated on Twitter that he is unhappy with the current Conquest format of tournaments in Hearthstone, and has no problem with the RNG aspect. If the format ever changes, he could well be back to show his stuff as an exceptional deckbuilder, and innovative player. He is currently pursuing a career as a professional Overwatch player. No word on if he will stay with C9 for the anticipated FPS title.
Content creators have recently started to come forward, and express their discontent with various aspects of Hearthstone. One such creator, Disguised Toast released a YouTube video around a week ago that detailed inconsistencies in card text that have been around since the game was in beta. One of the more prominent mistakes is the wording on the Druid of the Claw card. Essentially, it acts like all the other “Druid of the X” cards, but has the wording of cards like Ancient of War, yet the effect DotC gains is not able to be silenced like the AoW effect. Due to the inaction of developers on the subject, as well as the rise of even more inconsistencies post TGT, Disguised Toast has decided to stop producing videos for his Hearthstone YouTube channel for the time being. He has released a video previewing the League of Explorers expansion, however it remains to be seen if he will do anything beyond that.
The tipping point for most of the discontent felt on the forums, and other sites like Reddit seems to have been the Warsong Commander nerf. This gave rise to an even more aggressive meta, where Secret Paladin flourishes, and Face Hunter thrives. We’ll see if the new expansion can change all this, and slow things down a bit, as well as address some of the problems players are talking about. Lead Developer Ben Brode recently tweeted that he reads almost every post on the Hearthstone Reddit , so hopefully he will pick up on the vibe of the over 300k subscribers represented on the site, most of them players. Also, it should be mentioned that no other professional players are showing signs of stopping anytime soon. For the foreseeable future, Hearthstone looks to be in a place where the devs can address player concerns, while keeping to the core of their design idea. Let us hope that Blizzard can capitalize on this, instead of creating more cards nobody uses.