Does DH have a good reason to exist yet?

  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 1155 1119 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    I want to start by saying I don't mind Demon Hunter at the moment. Its power is fine now that Twin Slice and Blade Dance are gone, so I don't harbour any of the hate I had for the class that I did throughout the Year of the Phoenix.

    Nevertheless, I still keep wondering why the class needs to exist, especially from an archetype/mechanics viewpoint. I had hoped that within a year it would be given something that makes it feel truly distinct, but as it stands everything it does is just a slight twist on what other classes could do if they were given the tools, if they don't already do basically the same thing. Let's break down DH's archetypes and mechanics to see what I mean:

    Hero attacks

    Even at the time DH appeared, multiple classes had direct synergy for the hero attacking: warrior had Hack the System, Armored Goon and Galakrond, while druid had Secure the Deck and Gonk, the Raptor had only just rotated out.

    It wasn't long before rogue and warrior were given a hefty weapon package in Scholomance, and in DMF shaman joined in with their Enhancement cards. Come Barrens, and rogue has massive weapons that look and feel a lot like DH's attack buffs.

    Even without all the fancy stuff, rogue's hero power has been silently begging for cards that synergise with your hero attacking since 2014. Blizzard just never made the cards. It's not a class identity thing either, because most of DH's weapon attack synergy cards would look perfectly sensible in rogue.

    Big demons

    Warlock...

    OK, so you could argue that warlock's class identity prohibits it from getting the burst damage that many of DH's big demons do. Fine, but they don't really need to be demons. You could make exactly the same cards with the beast tribe instead and hand them to hunter. Or maybe make them mechs, or elementals, or dragons etc. Its not difficult to find another appropriate class for the effect if you just switch out the tribe.

    Token decks

    Surprisingly not druid, because druid's token decks always use mass board buffs and minions buffs are one of the few things DH can't do.

    However, what other class has token decks but (almost) no board buffs? Hunter! We can ignore the fact Unseal the Vault buffs the whole board because you usually only press that button once so it's really just 1 big bit of burst damage. What we can't ignore is that Swarm of Locusts is literally just a slightly bigger Command the Illidari, or that they shared token synergy cards in Scholomance.

    Tempo deathrattles

    The Barrens deathrattle cards could easily have been given to rogue or hunter, and no one would have been shocked. We would all have just gone "Ooh, deathrattle rogue/hunter has a new look."

    Lifesteal burst/OTK

    OK, so here I admit the other classes with lots of lifesteal would be very weird with Il'gynoth, since all of paladin, priest and warlock are awful at burst damage (at least in Standard). That said, Il'gynoth really just makes an OTK deck, and to be honest it doesn't matter much that the lifesteal keyword is involved. It still follows the process of: stay alive; draw the deck; play ~5 cards and win.

    Basically what I'm saying here is that we didn't need DH for another OTK archetype to exist. It could have just been re-branded to fit the theme of another class and the world would turn much the same.

    Soul fragments

    Warlock... (I don't even need to add anything this time.)

    Outcast

    Finally, something truly unique to DH! It has one teeny tiny problem though, and is the main reason big demon DH never took off and bonkers cards like Coilfang Warlord are never played: outcast strongly disincentivises playing anything expensive. The end result that outcast isn't a DH mechanic so much as it is an aggro DH mechanic. The trouble is, when the strongest staple cards have outcast (as they would be because the very point of outcast cards is that they are powerful when the condition is met), all DH decks are going to want to use them, rendering entire supported archetypes worthless.

    Outcast would be so much better as a mechanic used infrequently to support aggro decks without being central to the class. At that point it could easily be slipped into one of the other classes as their flavour for a year or so. So rather ironically, I think the one thing that truly does set DH apart would be better off as something that didn't.

    Concluding remarks

    Sadly, the most I can say to justify DH's existence at this point is that at least it meant the other classes could be pushed in other directions. They often went in roughly the same direction anyway, but I suppose that's not DH's fault.

    I'm not optimistic about the class' ability to diversify this year while it is still dominated by the staples and design choices from the Year of the Phoenix, but maybe next year the rotation will herald a new era in which HS has 10 meaningfully different classes. 

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  • Synnr7's Avatar 665 318 Posts Joined 07/19/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    I understand wanting each class to be truly unique I don't think that is healthy for the game. If Warriors were THE weapon class  and mages where THE spell class that takes away from other classes not enhances them. If you look at all the classes they overlap with another in every aspect. That's actually a good thing. It helps the design of neutral (and dual) class cards. If a card is so specific it only works in one class then why do we have neutrals?

    Hero Attacks:

    A lot of classes use their hero to fight. Druid attacks with it's claws, using animal forms to attack. Rogue takes a weapon and enhances it with poisons to take down their foes. Demon Hunter is somewhere in the middle it has weapons but it's spells enhance the hero even without weapons.  Demon Hunter even has an "ignore taunt" mechanic in Kayn Sunfury.

    Big Demons:

    If we focus on the Demon aspect that alligns with Warlock. Demon Hunter's haven't had this pushed but cards like Fel Summoner or Pit Commander pulling demons from your hand or deck are very similar to WarlocksVoidcaller or Possessed Lackey. So far what we've seen these are very alike. If we go beyond Demons we have Paladin and Warrior with things like Commencement. Cards like this encourage deck building challenges. Decks shouldn't always be auto complete. Even if the cards don't make an impact, as the DH ones have so far, the variety being there is useful for the game.

    Tokens:

    Druid has the board buffs while Demon Hunter and Hunter do not. Druids want their tokens to live and continue the attack. Demon Hunter's throw away their tokens. They throw them into a board, clearing it out and benefiting from the death's with Nethrandamus or Feast of Souls. Hunters are in the middle here. Doing both board building and rushing tokens to clear. 

    Deathrattle:

    Yes these could of gone in any class certainly. However I like the swarm nature of these in DH. The kill me and another will take  my place feels Demon Hunter. Where Hunters you know it will summon a beast when it dies DH it's a deck building thing. You have to have the cards in your hand/deck to get pulled. Being prepared for the fight before hand. Rogues deathrattles tend to have value, buffing weapons or adding things to the deck. 

    OTK:

    Quote From Author
    what I'm saying here is that we didn't need DH for another OTK archetype to exist

    No we didn't need it to be DH. But is that bad that they have an OTK? As I said before different deck types in a class is a good thing. Not every Mage you face should be No Minion, even if that is the best type. Having other avenues lets players expirement to find new and dare I say fun ways to win.

    Soulfragment:

    Yes you do need to mention something. Why is it such a shock that in a dual class set another class has the mechanic? Warlocks use the healing better but DH turn those shards into a much stronger way to attack. Similar but different.

    Outcast:

    Yes it's stronger in a low cost aggro style. That doesn't mean it shouldn't exist. I think making people look at their hand different because of a mechanic is a plus. Combo also is better with low cost cards, should it be limited to aggro as well?

    Conclusion:

    I understand the idea of wanting a class to be a unique shining star. To have something no one else has. But that's not the direction Blizzard went with any of the classes. Why should Demon Hunter be different? Mechanics being similar allow for neutral and dual class cards to be better targeted. Different archetypes in a class allow for diversity in builds. Sure maybe most DH are OTK right now but the next set dropping a good deathrattle or two could push the Barrens cards into the spot light. Even if it doesn't overtake the meta build letting these exist is still healthy. Heck I've been enjoying deathrattle DH in wild a lot. It's silly sure but it still wins and it's fun to play and refine that deck. 

    To me the game would be boring if every class was predetermined by some magical unique thing they needed to do. Fighting that one Recruit paladin in the sea of Secrets is refreshing and fun in my daily climb. Don't you agree?

    Casual Dragon Cardgame enthusiast. 

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  • CursedParrot's Avatar 625 689 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    I remember reading somewhere that DH was developed with the same amount of time and resources as an expansion, which is probably why it doesn't feel like something that was intended to be added to the game since the start (I think Ben Brode even stated at one point that they weren't going to add any more classes). In the videos that they showed about DH's development, the design team said that they initially wanted to have a "Fury" resource that was unique to DH, but later in development they decided it was too complicated and changed the HP to first "Gain 1 Attack. You can use this one more time this turn" and eventually just the 1 Mana Hero Power we know today. From that history, it seems like they initially had some ideas for how to make DH feel unique and necessary, but they ultimately scaled back the complexity and made it more similar to the existing classes. Honestly I think it's kind of sad that they went in the direction of making it simple and somewhat redundant, but I can understand the choice as fitting HS's design philosophy of simplicity and being new-player friendly. As for what they've done with DH since its release, I think the most promising aspect is Token DH, but they haven't really supported it and the cards that they've made to synergize with it are all currently unplayable, so this unique identity isn't really expressed in actual games.

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  • GameTheory345's Avatar Island 410 317 Posts Joined 05/29/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    You can apply your logic to any class because there is overlap regardless of how you look at it. Let's take Warrior as an example:

    Weapon/aggro: Rogue with more armour.

    Control via hard removal: Mage & Warlock.

    Control via health gain: Priest and maybe Warlock.

    Control via board sweeps: Mage, Priest & Warlock.

    Midrange board-based buffing: Paladin. Granted, Paladin does this with spells while the minions are on board and Warrior does this without spells.

    Handbuffs: Hunter & Paladin (from MSoG).

    Recruit: Paladin & Priest.

    Forcing uniqueness is only going to limit design space. Why should anyone care if two mechanics in two classes are vaguely similar? Mage is supposed to be the spell damage class, but nobody cared when they started branching that off into Shaman (they did the same thing with freeze too). Your issue is not an issue as long as the decks feel fundamentally different to play. The word "archetype" literally dictates that the decks have the same goal and gameplan, but the process used to achieve it is different. Rogue, Hunter, Warrior, Warlock and DH all have aggressive decks, but you're lying if you say they're the "same thing", in the same way that you can't say Control Mage, Warlock, Priest and Warrior are the same. If all the decks start to become homogenous, then that is a problem, but as long as the cards are different, each deck has its own unique feel to it, and therefore they cannot be classified as the same.

    ???

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  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 1155 1119 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    Quote From Synnr7

    Conclusion:

    I understand the idea of wanting a class to be a unique shining star. To have something no one else has. But that's not the direction Blizzard went with any of the classes. Why should Demon Hunter be different? Mechanics being similar allow for neutral and dual class cards to be better targeted. Different archetypes in a class allow for diversity in builds. Sure maybe most DH are OTK right now but the next set dropping a good deathrattle or two could push the Barrens cards into the spot light. Even if it doesn't overtake the meta build letting these exist is still healthy. Heck I've been enjoying deathrattle DH in wild a lot. It's silly sure but it still wins and it's fun to play and refine that deck. 

    To me the game would be boring if every class was predetermined by some magical unique thing they needed to do. Fighting that one Recruit paladin in the sea of Secrets is refreshing and fun in my daily climb. Don't you agree?

    The thing is, the other classes DO have at least something unique from other classes, and they had many of them since Classic so we cannot even argue that it took a long time to find them. As an incomplete list based solely on what they had in Classic:

    • Druid: mana ramp
    • Hunter: err... (Admittedly hunter struggles in this regard nowadays because it was originally the only class that was structured around a tribe, which is no longer central enough nor unique enough to count.)
    • Mage: mass freezing
    • Paladin: debuffs instead of true removal
    • Priest: steal cards/minions
    • Rogue: minion bouncing
    • Shaman: totems (0-attack utility minions)
    • Warlock: self-sacrifice/discard
    • Warrior: cares about damaged minions (on both sides of the board)

    There's a certain amount on nuance in there, since a few cards do exist for many effects scattered across the other classes and neutral. But it is never enough that you would choose a class other than rogue to, say, bounce a minion a few times.

    I fully get that not everyone cares if each class has their own unique aspect, but I still think it is good for the game design for them to have something. I guess it's most important from a (casual) deck-builder's point of view. When a new card is released these mechanics set the scene for how I think of the possibilities. Will bouncing it in rogue make it bonkers? Maybe druid could play it early enough for it to actually stick?

    At the moment, DH just lacks a spark in this sense. It just fails to give me a compelling reason why I would choose over another class, except that the specific card I'm interested in happens to be in DH.

    There is definitely hope, however. If sigils become a common thing they could definitely provide DH with its own approach to things: set it up over two turns. 

    2
  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 1155 1119 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    Quote From GameTheory345

    You can apply your logic to any class because there is overlap regardless of how you look at it. Let's take Warrior as an example:

    Weapon/aggro: Rogue with more armour.

    Control via hard removal: Mage & Warlock.

    Control via health gain: Priest and maybe Warlock.

    Control via board sweeps: Mage, Priest & Warlock.

    Midrange board-based buffing: Paladin. Granted, Paladin does this with spells while the minions are on board and Warrior does this without spells.

    Handbuffs: Hunter & Paladin (from MSoG).

    Recruit: Paladin & Priest.

    Forcing uniqueness is only going to limit design space. Why should anyone care if two mechanics in two classes are vaguely similar? Mage is supposed to be the spell damage class, but nobody cared when they started branching that off into Shaman (they did the same thing with freeze too). Your issue is not an issue as long as the decks feel fundamentally different to play. The word "archetype" literally dictates that the decks have the same goal and gameplan, but the process used to achieve it is different. Rogue, Hunter, Warrior, Warlock and DH all have aggressive decks, but you're lying if you say they're the "same thing", in the same way that you can't say Control Mage, Warlock, Priest and Warrior are the same. If all the decks start to become homogenous, then that is a problem, but as long as the cards are different, each deck has its own unique feel to it, and therefore they cannot be classified as the same.

    At a mechanical level, warrior absolutely has one thing the other classes don't: it cares about damaged minions. That is particularly apt right now because of the frenzy keyword, which makes so much more sense in warrior than any other class because of it. (The fact frenzy warrior isn't a meta deck is a separate matter.)

    Of course most mechanics will be shared with other classes in some sense. I am not faulting DH for that. The point is more that it should find something that makes people choose to play DH over another class because its something only DH allows, not just because DH happens to do it a bit better than the other classes do. Until then it doesn't feel like DH is really adding any meaningfully different options.

    Maybe the sigils will be the answer, and I'm looking forward to more of those being announced.

    1
  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 1155 1119 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    Quote From CursedParrot

    I remember reading somewhere that DH was developed with the same amount of time and resources as an expansion, which is probably why it doesn't feel like something that was intended to be added to the game since the start (I think Ben Brode even stated at one point that they weren't going to add any more classes). In the videos that they showed about DH's development, the design team said that they initially wanted to have a "Fury" resource that was unique to DH, but later in development they decided it was too complicated and changed the HP to first "Gain 1 Attack. You can use this one more time this turn" and eventually just the 1 Mana Hero Power we know today. From that history, it seems like they initially had some ideas for how to make DH feel unique and necessary, but they ultimately scaled back the complexity and made it more similar to the existing classes. Honestly I think it's kind of sad that they went in the direction of making it simple and somewhat redundant, but I can understand the choice as fitting HS's design philosophy of simplicity and being new-player friendly. As for what they've done with DH since its release, I think the most promising aspect is Token DH, but they haven't really supported it and the cards that they've made to synergize with it are all currently unplayable, so this unique identity isn't really expressed in actual games.

    Yeah, I was conscious of the mechanic they scrapped during development when writing. Didn't they say they scrapped it partly because not all decks would use it, so it would be wasted in some metas? I would argue that's a non-issue to begin with because there will always be casual players that used it even when the surrounding deck was weak.

    I agree Token DH had some potential because it was set up such that you wanted to trade your minions away. With Wrathscale Naga now in Wild they're going to have to work quite hard to bring that back.

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  • Synnr7's Avatar 665 318 Posts Joined 07/19/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    There are more than nuances, a lot of that stuff other classes can do and overlap with others. Which is a good thing. 

    Quote From Author
    At the moment, DH just lacks a spark in this sense. It just fails to give me a compelling reason why I would choose over another class, except that the specific card I'm interested in happens to be in DH.

    I can understand this point however I don't think saying things like it doesn't justify it's existence as a class. It has positives like strong draw, discounts (with skull), copying effects (Zai). As well as powerful disruption with Star Student Stelina and Glide. It can also be very fast out the gate with it's hero power and many attack buffs. None of this is completely unique sure but it's not inconsequential. 

    It's also okay that the class doesn't appeal to everybody. I know people who dislike Warlock or only play Mage. It doesn't mean Demon Hunter doesn't have it's place in the game.

    As for sigils, I like the idea. It's a secret that the opponent knows and reacts too. Very neat idea.

    Casual Dragon Cardgame enthusiast. 

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  • dapperdog's Avatar Dragon Scholar 1335 2434 Posts Joined 07/29/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    Dhunters true identity is actually hero attacks. A lot of its best cards synergizes with hero attacks, it has a 1 mana hp that allows for a hero attack, a lot of its cards buffs its attack (not weapon), and its minions does things with a hero attack. Its so important to the class that getting your face frozen is more devastating to dhunters than to any other class, almost near levels of having to skip the entire turn because of it.

    You made some good points on the subject of hero attacks, but what is given to both warrior and rogue are weapons, and things that work with weapons. Your argument that rogue has been 'silently begging' for cards that work with hero attacks is kinda hard to justify, given that rogue cards has often revolved around its weapon rather than the actual attack, like Deadly Poison, Cutting Class, stuff that will do other stuff regardless of whether the rogue actually performs the attack.

    But this discussion is fairly academic. The real reason why anyone would want to play a dhunter deck is because they are the only tempo class that can heal and burn, and are the only class that needs* to draw cards to play their turn and they do it better than any other class (mage bs not withstanding). Playing a midrange dhunter is vastly different than playing any other midrange deck, with a good combination of weapons, burn, sustain and card draw that other classes simply do not have.

    I think to argue whether a class should exist on the theory of uniqueness alone is often going to end up nowhere because I remember during AoO it was largely accepted that dhunters were simply doing the same things both hunter and rogue were doing, but better. That doesn't mean that hunters and rogues were necessarily obsolete. Metas change, and so does class playstyle, part of the reason why most of us really love the first expansion after rotation.

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  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 1155 1119 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    Quote From Synnr7

    There are more than nuances, a lot of that stuff other classes can do and overlap with others. Which is a good thing. 

    Quote From Author
    At the moment, DH just lacks a spark in this sense. It just fails to give me a compelling reason why I would choose over another class, except that the specific card I'm interested in happens to be in DH.

    I can understand this point however I don't think saying things like it doesn't justify it's existence as a class. It has positives like strong draw, discounts (with skull), copying effects (Zai). As well as powerful disruption with Star Student Stelina and Glide. It can also be very fast out the gate with it's hero power and many attack buffs. None of this is completely unique sure but it's not inconsequential. 

    It's also okay that the class doesn't appeal to everybody. I know people who dislike Warlock or only play Mage. It doesn't mean Demon Hunter doesn't have it's place in the game.

    As for sigils, I like the idea. It's a secret that the opponent knows and reacts too. Very neat idea.

    I guess my issue is that there is an opportunity cost associated with DH existing: it's not like we are getting the DH variants of decks for free, because it has reduced the number of neutral cards we get. Some of those losses would have created archetypes themselves, and often quite unique ones when you look at janky neutral epics of previous years (we had 9 neutral epics each expansion before DH arrived, and only 3 since, so this makes quite a big difference). With that in mind, DH does have to do more to stand out imo.

    As for your example description of what DH can do, you could write almost exactly the same paragraph for rogue. Only the disruption part is missing, though the secrets go some way towards it (especially Shenanigans).

    As I said though, there is hope and I don't hate the class. I'm just waiting to find it novel.

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  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 1155 1119 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    Quote From dapperdog

    Dhunters true identity is actually hero attacks. A lot of its best cards synergizes with hero attacks, it has a 1 mana hp that allows for a hero attack, a lot of its cards buffs its attack (not weapon), and its minions does things with a hero attack. Its so important to the class that getting your face frozen is more devastating to dhunters than to any other class, almost near levels of having to skip the entire turn because of it.

    You made some good points on the subject of hero attacks, but what is given to both warrior and rogue are weapons, and things that work with weapons. Your argument that rogue has been 'silently begging' for cards that work with hero attacks is kinda hard to justify, given that rogue cards has often revolved around its weapon rather than the actual attack, like Deadly Poison, Cutting Class, stuff that will do other stuff regardless of whether the rogue actually performs the attack.

    But this discussion is fairly academic. The real reason why anyone would want to play a dhunter deck is because they are the only tempo class that can heal and burn, and are the only class that needs* to draw cards to play their turn and they do it better than any other class (mage bs not withstanding). Playing a midrange dhunter is vastly different than playing any other midrange deck, with a good combination of weapons, burn, sustain and card draw that other classes simply do not have.

    I think to argue whether a class should exist on the theory of uniqueness alone is often going to end up nowhere because I remember during AoO it was largely accepted that dhunters were simply doing the same things both hunter and rogue were doing, but better. That doesn't mean that hunters and rogues were necessarily obsolete. Metas change, and so does class playstyle, part of the reason why most of us really love the first expansion after rotation.

    I consider the distinction between weapon synergy and hero attack synergy to be quite superficial, though not without merit. For the most part weapons are a way to give your hero an attack value, so the two things are in no way decoupled. The fact they have always associated rogue's synergy with the weapons themselves in no way means they couldn't have chosen to attach it to your hero attacking if they wanted to switch up the playstyle of rogue for an expansion cycle. The point being that the choice to make DH do it doesn't mean DH needed to exist for the archetype/playstyle to exist.

    The matter of how different classes combine different strengths and weaknesses is a much more compelling argument for why DH ought to exist. At it stands I'm not sure DH's class identity is quite there yet though. Perhaps if it could seriously mix big demons into its decks (I'm on the fence over whether to count Illidari Inquisitor here, given every other deck is running the new Alexstrasza anyway), then it would be bringing a fresh mix of tools to the table. So far though, DH always feels either like hunter/rogue + healing, OR a warlock. They are never really mixed, and I suspect the outcast mechanic is a large part of why.

    It is a valid question whether giving healing to a tempo class switches things up enough to justify it. I'm leaning towards no, especially as they have been trying to make tempo priest work for years, and if they could just manage that we'd have a tempo deck + healing anyway. However, there is no objective answer here so won't pretend there is. 

    None of this is to say I don't think DH has the potential to easily justify its place. The devs just need to give it a bit of a rework to get it there. The sigils are definitely a good start.

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  • Synnr7's Avatar 665 318 Posts Joined 07/19/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    To me, less neutrals is actually better. Dying to Leeroy Jenkins no matter the class isn't healthy. We also have to remember to add in the Core set to the calculation of available cards. Getting that bunch of cards, free, is amazing for the game. I've honestly been having a lot of fun exploring those legendaries along side Barrens stuff. So while we loose some neutrals per set, we gain a more focused core.

    And yes you could write a SIMILAR description for Rogue. They lack the healing and taunt for long games. As well as currently don't have OTK tools and do more of a death of a thousand cuts over continuous turns of damage. Also a strong battle cry and bounce core as you mentioned before. Overall I think it's similar yet different enough to have positives and negatives for using either class.

    Casual Dragon Cardgame enthusiast. 

    1
  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 1155 1119 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    Quote From Synnr7

    To me, less neutrals is actually better. Dying to Leeroy Jenkins no matter the class isn't healthy. We also have to remember to add in the Core set to the calculation of available cards. Getting that bunch of cards, free, is amazing for the game. I've honestly been having a lot of fun exploring those legendaries along side Barrens stuff. So while we loose some neutrals per set, we gain a more focused core.

    And yes you could write a SIMILAR description for Rogue. They lack the healing and taunt for long games. As well as currently don't have OTK tools and do more of a death of a thousand cuts over continuous turns of damage. Also a strong battle cry and bounce core as you mentioned before. Overall I think it's similar yet different enough to have positives and negatives for using either class.

    I was referring more to archetype-producing neutrals like Desert Obelisk (obviously a meme example, but no doubt produced something unique), rather than generally good neutrals like Leeroy, Pen Flinger and the new Alex that we learn to hate sooner or later. 

    Core set is a big plus, although it didn't do very much to help diversify DH. I guess Illidari Inquisitor finally got the class to use a big demon, though it had to brute force it by being ridiculously OP to compensate for the problems with the outcast mechanic. (I'm not hating on outcast itself, just how it was made too central to the class.)

    And yes, DH has plenty of strengths that rogue doesn't have. As I said to @Dapperdog though, I don't personally think it is enough unless they actually combine the more disparate aspects of the class into the same decks. At present the sides of DH don't mix well enough for individual decks to really showcase how DH has a unique set of strengths, and it is not helped that we have seen lifesteal on rogue weapons twice before, making it iffy to say rogue couldn't have healing.

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  • Synnr7's Avatar 665 318 Posts Joined 07/19/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    Oh I'm sure they'll still fit their meme cards in. Blizzard is good at that. Plus with all the free rewards track stuff they are pushing I'm sure we'll have no trouble getting our meme on. Mini set will help give an extra push to mechanics that didn't take off.

    Yes you are right Core21 didn't push much in the way off controlling DH but this set changes year to year. So maybe it's not a thing they want to focus this year. 

    We may just disagree here and that's fine. As for Rogue, relying on a weapon to heal is a weakness. One Ooze and you can loose multiple cards depending on what poisons you run. Demon Hunter has a bigger variety, which is what I was stating as a positive. As for working together, I think DH has one of the most solid plans laid out. Pressure early, Inquisitor finish. Real simple. Sure the Deathrattle stuff isn't quite on the same path but just another strong card or two and I can see it holding it's own. It's real fun in wild.

    Casual Dragon Cardgame enthusiast. 

    1
  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 1155 1119 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    Quote From Synnr7

    As for working together, I think DH has one of the most solid plans laid out. Pressure early, Inquisitor finish. Real simple. Sure the Deathrattle stuff isn't quite on the same path but just another strong card or two and I can see it holding it's own. It's real fun in wild.

    I'm not sure I count the appearance of a single big demon (albeit 2 copies) as 'working together', at least not quite how I meant it, but whatever. That's nitpicking beyond what is useful, so let's just leave it there.

    Regarding memes, I could start a whole thread over DH's relationship (or lack thereof) with memes. Poor Zai, the Incredible is a card with so much meme potential but stranded in a class with no memes to offer. Were she not in DH, she would open up a whole world of silly decks. There have been plenty of cards that have had their wings clipped by the class they are put in, and I think Zai might be one of the most upsetting. Who knows though, maybe one day Illidan will stop being so serious and give her something incredible to do?

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  • Cheese's Avatar 245 129 Posts Joined 05/30/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    I completely agree with OP.

    When DH was leaked 1 day before the actual reveal (iirc), my guess was that DH would be a 1-rotation-only class, then it would rotate out like the rest of the year of the Phoenix. It would be the theme of the year kinda like lackeys the year before. I thought that because, in WoW, DH is a very restrictive class both gameplay-wise and flavor-wise.

    My guess turned out to be wrong. DH is here to say, then my first thought was "but how are they going to keep innovating on a class with such restrictive themes? Is every card in DH going to be some elf with glowing tattoos?"

    Gameplay-wise for a start. Yes, game mechanics being shared between classes isn't a problem per se. However other classes (except maybe hunter) also have their own central unique or near-unique mechanics. Ramp for Druid; Overload & Totems for Shaman; Freeze for Mage; etc...DH's central theme is hero attack, a theme it shares with Druid, Warrior, and now Shaman as well. Hero attack is also a theme that is restrictive and therefore difficult to build on as class identity. I really fear this theme will run out of steam soon...DH lacks a central theme.

    Flavor-wise, as mentioned above, half of DH cards are elves with glowing tattoos. It's not surprising. The thing is, all 9 base classes are general D&D/fantasy archetypes and therefore broad enough in their flavor to fit in plenty of themes (Dragonmaw Overseer being a priest card is BS though). DH on the other hand is specific to the warcraft universe, it has no other representation in pop culture, and is a class restricted to night/blood elves. Ofc DH is going to be full of elves with green tattoos...

    I'm not like Brode and am not opposed to new classes entirely (heck, I made custom ones), but DH is the worst class they could have picked out of the 3 expansion classes from WoW. DK and Monk would have been better. DK in particular has already been toyed with in KFT on top of being a fan favorite, and Monk is an internally diverse class like Druid. But I guess that, hey, it's Illidan so it attracts fangirls and emo kids to HS?

    I'm not entirely pessimistic though. If you look at HS history, the 9 base classes also took time to be fully refined. Burgle Rogue and Evolve Shaman didn't exist before the namesake cards were released. Hunter was entirely one-dimensional ("SMorc and/or play big stuff on curve") before 2017 (unfortunately Barrens made it one-dimensional again). Maybe Team 5 is actively working on refining DH too? Sigils can be promising if they expand on them. Soul Fragments are nice too even if they're dual-class.

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  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 1155 1119 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    Quote From Cheese

    Flavor-wise, as mentioned above, half of DH cards are elves with glowing tattoos. It's not surprising. The thing is, all 9 base classes are general D&D/fantasy archetypes and therefore broad enough in their flavor to fit in plenty of themes (Dragonmaw Overseer being a priest card is BS though). DH on the other hand is specific to the warcraft universe, it has no other representation in pop culture, and is a class restricted to night/blood elves. Ofc DH is going to be full of elves with green tattoos...

    Had I included the flavour aspect I would have said something very similar. There's no question that demon hunters are very cool, it's just that they are extremely specific. Even when you relax the WoW limitation that they're all elves (as HS has done in a few instances, most notably in Aranna's story), all DHs can be described as: A grumpy and overly serious character who's willing to sacrifice everything to avenge a perceived wrong, seeks out Illidan in Outland, learns how to dual-wield war-glaives, gets their eyes burned out for demon sight and plays host to a demon's soul. Tattoos, horns and wings all come along as part of the package.

    I think what bothers me most about DHs is that they all have pretty much the same personality, because no one would undergo the process of becoming a DH if they viewed the world in any other way. Of the available heroes, Aranna is the 'friendly' one, but by the measure of all the other classes she's still very serious.

    Perhaps ironically, the best approach they could take to diversify DH personalities comes from Valeera. She was possessed by the demon Kathra'natir,  complete with demonic runes on her skin. It would be easy to adapt the story so the character becomes a DH begrudgingly as they learn to control and harness the demon inside. That way they can be as friendly as you like, and only need to take their own condition seriously, not the whole universe.

    Quote From Cheese
    I'm not entirely pessimistic though. If you look at HS history, the 9 base classes also took time to be fully refined. Burgle Rogue and Evolve Shaman didn't exist before the namesake cards were released. Hunter was entirely one-dimensional ("SMorc and/or play big stuff on curve") before 2017 (unfortunately Barrens made it one-dimensional again). Maybe Team 5 is actively working on refining DH too? Sigils can be promising if they expand on them. Soul Fragments are nice too even if they're dual-class.

    Yes, it does look like they are working on diversifying the class mechanically. Hopefully that means they find more original things like sigils, rather than adding in well-trodden mechanics like tempo deathrattles. Certainly if they're going to introduce more overlaps, they should stop taking mechanics from hunter, rogue and warlock! 

    I was admittedly lazy when (not) discussing soul fragments. I guess I couldn't be bothered when all the soul fragments amounted to in DH were exactly what warlock did (AoE), plus the same-old give your hero attack stuff. So while novel on the face of it, they still failed to actually add much in practice.

     

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  • Almaniarra's Avatar Devoted Outlander 805 1287 Posts Joined 03/21/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    There is not much to say and there is only one answer;

    Because Runeterra did and hyped the crowds about new region/class is possible why Blizzard don't do it and use the hypes benefits.

    You don't need to explain this situation with gameplay. It was a market move and they screwed it.

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  • AngryShuckie's Avatar 1155 1119 Posts Joined 06/03/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    Quote From Almaniarra

    You don't need to explain this situation with gameplay. It was a market move and they screwed it.

    I was much less interested in why they added DH than in how much it ended up adding to the game. We don't actually need to know anything about LoR or the wider market to answer the latter question, because it is only relative to HS itself. So the for the main focus of this thread, we definitely do need to consider gameplay.

    You could look at it this way: what if it ended up a successful move? That was quite possible going into this, but the difference would be entirely internal to HS since the surrounding market would have been the same. Furthermore, that difference would boil down to gameplay (and possibly flavour to a much lesser extent).

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  • OldManSanns's Avatar Administrator Azir 1030 916 Posts Joined 08/05/2019
    Posted 1 month, 2 weeks ago
    Quote From Synnr7

    I understand wanting each class to be truly unique I don't think that is healthy for the game. If Warriors were THE weapon class  and mages where THE spell class that takes away from other classes not enhances them. If you look at all the classes they overlap with another in every aspect. That's actually a good thing. It helps the design of neutral (and dual) class cards. If a card is so specific it only works in one class then why do we have neutrals?

    ...

    Conclusion:

    I understand the idea of wanting a class to be a unique shining star. To have something no one else has. But that's not the direction Blizzard went with any of the classes. Why should Demon Hunter be different? Mechanics being similar allow for neutral and dual class cards to be better targeted. Different archetypes in a class allow for diversity in builds. Sure maybe most DH are OTK right now but the next set dropping a good deathrattle or two could push the Barrens cards into the spot light. Even if it doesn't overtake the meta build letting these exist is still healthy. Heck I've been enjoying deathrattle DH in wild a lot. It's silly sure but it still wins and it's fun to play and refine that deck. 

    To me the game would be boring if every class was predetermined by some magical unique thing they needed to do. Fighting that one Recruit paladin in the sea of Secrets is refreshing and fun in my daily climb. Don't you agree?

    Literally taken, yes I think every class needs to be unique -- if the only difference between Hunter and Warrior was that one had green card backgrounds while the other had red card backgrounds I think that would be a colossal failing. I would also say the if the only difference was that Hunter had card X and Warrior had card Y (i.e., imagine they took a pile of unreleased cards and just randomly divided them between all the classes), that too would be a failing. That's not the argument Synnr takes -- they actually write a pretty good nuanced argument that implies a distinction between "truly unique" versus general uniqueness -- but for discussion sake I think it's important to set that expectation that if you're going to add a class to the game, it needs some intrinsic novelty beyond just being the sum of cards available to it.

    Personally, I think Hearthstone should have established a lot more division between the classes even prior to Demon Hunter. That doesn't necessarily mean that each class should have only been good at one thing, but I would have liked to see each have a defined profile. Consider the current "color chart":

    • Mage is great at AoE spells, single-target spell removal, over-the-top damage, & card draw; they are good at disruption (secrets) & value generation; they are weak at healing & units; they have no rush or weapons
    • Shaman is OK at AoE spells, single-target spell removal, healing, over-the-top damage, token units, rush units, and weapons; they are poor at card draw & value generation; no disruption
    • Hunter is great at over-the-top damage, units, rush, spell-based unit removal, disruption, & weapons; they are poor at card draw & value generation; no healing & no AoE besides explosive trap
    • Warrior is great at weapons, rush, units, single-target spell removal, AoE spells (brawl, bladestorm); they are good at value generation & healing; they are weak at card draw; no disruption besides taunt

    ...and so on. Those descriptions are based largely around this developer insight article from 2 years ago, and already I'm sure people's inner voices are screaming. "How can you say warriors are weak at card draw when Cutting Class exists? Or that hunter is bad at value generation with cards like Warsong Wrangler & Adorable Infestation?" And that's BEFORE accounting for neutral cards filling in gaps (e.g., Voracious Reader to fix bad draw; Armor Vendor for healing; etc). In my eyes, the Venn diagram of even the original 9 classes is this giant blob that says everyone is way more alike then they are distinct. So from there, it's no surprise at all that Demon Hunter would have trouble distinguishing itself. That's my $0.02. 

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