Turn2 – with Senior Game Designer Ben Brode

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Hosts: Doa | Guests: Ben Brode

Production: Sympatico & Music: Matt Ilantzis

This week with Artosis in Germany, Doa takes Turn2 on solo and brings on one of Hearthstone’s Team5, Senior Game Designer Ben Brode. Not only does Ben give up a bunch of great information as well as opinions, reasoning, and a great insight into why some mechanics are the way they are, but he is genuinely one of the nicest guys…IN THE WORLD. Definitely a great episode for any and all Hearthstone fans!

Below are some notes from topic talked about on the show!

  • Ben has Best laugh on team5
  • Mage probably just strong in meta
    • Prefer to let Meta evolve before making changes
  • Open Beta probably not this year
  • Blood Imp change is on the “watch list”
  • Hard to make neutral spells
  • The Coin
  • once upon a time there was no coin
  • players going first used to win 80% without coin in game
  • 55%/45% first turn/second turn winrate is “within range”
  • They tried 1/1 starting in play for player 2, and first minion getting +1/+1
  • The coin brought it to almost 50/50 still slightly favors turn1
  • The coin being a spell is already a game mechanic, less confusing, less to teach
  • From balance perspective the 50/50 is based on the coin being a spell
  • Hand Sizes
  • Mulligan for turn1 is weaker
  • Going first is already better, so nothing to make turn2 stronger
  • Up to 6% better to go first for some classes
  • Want to put less emphasis on the “coin flip” of going first or second
  • Unranked Arena
  • Worried about people who are played to play arena
  • Free arena run designed to combat that (show how fun arena is)
  • Philosophy of features/modes – passionate about controlling the amount of stuff that clutters the interface
  • Hearthstone options/UI is excessively simple to make it very accessible
  • Fewer buckets to seperate players into
  • iPad
  • Around the release of the game, but not sure of the timeline
  • Expansions
  • getting pace of new cards correct very important
    Still closed beta, most people haven’t played yet, especially ipad/mobile market
  • Don’t want to overwhelm people new to CCGs
  • Expansions are coming, just need to find the right pace
  • Single Player Adventures
  • Earn cards that you can take into multiplayer
  • cCrazy new stuff coming in the adventures, new directions inside the current mechanics
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12 comments

  1. Winslow

    I’m surprised he didn’t talk about Blood Imp healing for +1 and then buffing for +1. The card text should be changed, or they should make it so minions retain their injured state when buffed by the Blood Imp aura.

  2. Trashcanmagic

    I’m surprised he didn’t talk about Blood Imp healing for +1 and then buffing for +1. The card text should be changed, or they should make it so minions retain their injured state when buffed by the Blood Imp aura.

    it’s being hotfixed.
     
    soon^TM

    1. RaxZergling

      My only beef with the coin is that it is a spell and card in your hand. If those 2 attributes are required to make the coin the “solution” to second player having an even chance than that would imply that cards that abuse the fact that the coin is a spell and card are required in order to receive that second player advantage. I don’t like a mechanic like this giving more value to certain cards and making me make decisions of “oh well do I want to put this twilight drake in my deck just in case I go second?”

      Those kind of things are bad for a game like this.

      1. RaxZergling

        Also, I wanted to add something:
        I know in my personal games (I have only just recently started tracking stats – so small sample size yada yada) that my win percentage is significantly higher going second than first. I feel that as players learn how to use the coin to its full potential we may start seeing just how powerful it can be.

  3. dutpotd

    So… aside from feelings, why do people want to change the Coin?

     
    The same reason people want any sort of change, they feel the current situation is not ‘perfect’.
     
    Blizzard is basically saying in this interview it is the best answer they have found so far despite its ‘feel’ and, by the way, all other solutions tried so far feel poor as well but in different ways.
     
    It is an ends justify the means thing. Ben brought to light some of the ‘good’ things about the means as well though, some of which I will admit I hadn’t thought of previously.

  4. Bohemond

    Also, I wanted to add something:
    I know in my personal games (I have only just recently started tracking stats – so small sample size yada yada) that my win percentage is significantly higher going second than first. I feel that as players learn how to use the coin to its full potential we may start seeing just how powerful it can be.

     
    Mine is as well, and I’ve been tracking for awhile. It’s also worth noting that all of the best openings in the game require the coin. I’d guess it’s matters less at low levels and more at higher ones. Also with Mage being such a huge percentage of decks, I’d guess that it makes things appear more even than they are. I could be totally wrong though. Maybe it’s just the decks I play, or maybe I just have bad luck going 1st. 

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