Explorer, A Custom Hearthstone Format.

Descent of Dragons
  • griffior's Avatar 920 297 Posts Joined 05/31/2019
    Posted 2 years, 7 months ago

    Hello everyone, I'm back with another concept. I came up with it a while back when I was writing this article giving a brief outline of different ways that Hearthstone could be played. If you've already read that article, or have just read it, this is the Pyramid Format with a new, more fitting name. I made another post that outlined what a Tournament Mode in Hearthstone could/should look like. The visual aids I put in that were well received and I did the same for this post because it kind of help solidifies it instead of it being left up to the imagination. There are notes of self identified issues that I'll address and if you guys have gotten to know me at this point, I'm always open for constructive criticism, discussion, and exploration to improve upon my designs. Don't hesitate to tell me what you think.
    So let's get started.


    High Arcanist Thalyssra has entered the Tavern.
    Unbeknownst to many, she too is a fan of Hearthstone.
    She has set up her own table and is eager to show everyone her own dynamic rule set.
    For winning 5 games in the Explorer Format for three consecutive months, this Mage hero portrait will be awarded.
    Of course, right when I finished making this whole thing someone data-mined the new mage that might be coming.

    Hearthstone greets us with music, background noise, and of course it's cheerful dwarven announcer, Harth Stonebrew.
    From the cinematics we also get a wider cast of characters such as Ava, Velaris, Malto, and Lou to name a few. 

    Bob the Bartender has become a staple character in the Hearthstone universe over the last year and his implementation in Battlegrounds is definitely a welcomed fit into the game other than being tied to the Adventures in the Year of the Dragon.

    I thought I'd introduce a new character, Thalyssra, to be the voice of the Explorer Format, as Bob is the voice of Battlegrounds.
    I'll give you some example of some possible dialogue she could have through the year.

    Once a player has met the criteria to play in Explorer, Thalyssra will ask them to go to their collection to get started making an Explorer decks.
    Coming up with a name for this format was a challenge, it has to fit, you know?
    I thought about what players would actually be doing when they play this format.
    I thought "Players would be exploring possible cards interactions, new deck synergies, and strategies when staple cards are gone."
    Thus the name, "Explorer".

    Changing the format of your deck is as simple as switching from Standard to Wild and vise versa.
    You just click the button and bam, you're making an Explorer deck.
    Complete with it's own section in the Collection manager.

    I had to use the art from the wild section since I'm not an artist and I don't own Photoshop.
    Gimp helped out quite a lot though.
    Essentially the Explorer pages will have a page color and hero border.

    The beginning of the Standard year should mark when this Format starts.
    This Format uses every card from every set including Basic, Classic, and HOF.
    When expansions are released, those cards will be legal as well.
    Depending on how much they're played, determines how fast they get moved out of the format.

    As the Arcanist said herself, cards will become illegal as the year goes on.
    Each month a set percentage of cards will be removed from the format based on Win rate.

    "How many decks contained this card, and how often did those decks win with this card in it?"
    In other words, if say Acolyte of Pain is being ran in most/every Explorer deck, it will be banned next month.

    The format will have its own icon, I landed on a little book.
    I kind of felt as the year went on, Thalyssra would write down what cards are legal or not.

    This format will have its own ranked ladder to keep players invested into a meta that changes every month.
    This will help keep players engaged when either the meta is stale, typically at the end of an expansion right before the release of the next.

    And let's be real here, most players want the golden hero portraits

    At the beginning of each month, after you've been rewarded your Ranked rewards, you will be presented with this screen.
    Thalyssra will show you the top three most game winning cards from the previous month and state that they've been banned.

    She will also tell you that other cards have been banned as well.

    Once you open your collection manager and switch over to the Explorer format, you'll be able to see exactly what cards have been banned.
    They have that nice red tape around them to indicate that they are no longer allowed in Explorer.

    The Explorer decks you've made will likely be unplayable because they most likely lost a few cards.
    If you're playing a meta deck within that month, chances are that most of it will be banned.

    None the less, it's time to either craft a new deck, or find replacements for the cards that were removed from yours.

    Now of course when you're making a deck you might want a toggle to see what cards are and aren't banned.
    So bam, another button.

    Make a deck with what's offered to you and get back on the ladder.

    When the new Hearthstone year comes, Thalyssra will reset the format. Undoing all of the bans of that year.

    Things will be the same as they once were during Month 1 of the previous year.



    Criteria, issues, solutions, math, and outcomes.

     

    Criteria

    Earlier I stated that players would have to meet a certain criteria in order to play in the Explorer Format.

    I said that because players need to have time to amass a collection to even be able to make a somewhat viable deck in Explorers.
    Let alone be able to play after a couple of Ban Waves.

    I think if players were to reach level 50 with each class, they should have somewhat of a collection to play with.

    Issues

    Probably the biggest issue with the entire format is that people dust their cards.

    People who have been playing for years, and maybe even since launch probably already have dusted useless expansions.
    Let alone their entire Wild collection if they're dedicated only to Standard.

    On top of that, if those players, and new players can't afford to buy packs with actual money or gold, they're locked out of an entire part of the game.

    Solution

    Wild packs are available on the in-game store again, so that's a plus.

    The only solution I can think of to help players with limited collections is to make Whizbang the Wonderful and Zayle, Shadow Cloak Evergreen cards in Explorer.
    Also to add any cards that are similar to those into Explorer's Evergreen set.

    Math

    After Galakrond's Awakening there will be a total of 2,290 playable cards in Hearthstone.
    My initial plan is to only ban 10% of the best cards each month. This is what it will look like though the year.

    2,290 - April (Expansion release day) + Expansion cards
    2,061- May
    1,854 - June
    1,669 - July
    1,502 - August + Expansion cards
    1,352 - September
    1, 216 - October
    1,095 - Novemeber
    986 - December + Expansion cards
    887 - January
    798 - February
    718 - March
    646 - April (Up until the format resets with the new year)

    That's the math of the first year.
    The math may have to be played with in case the number of cards becomes so low that it's impossible to make a 30 card deck.

    Outcomes

    I see a lot of F2P's resenting the format, that they can't really play it unless they use Whizbang or Zayle.
    I get it, it probably feels really bad, maybe one of you can come up with an additional solution?

    After multiple years it might feel samey, but I think the introduction with new expansions through the year as this goes on will help it feel fresh all year.

     

     

    So there's another long winded, thought out way to introduce something new to Hearthstone.
    As I said in my Tournament Mode article, if we stay vocal about new ways to play and what we want, we might get something like this.

    Thank you for reading,
    Grif.

    8
  • BotMathematician's Avatar 250 17 Posts Joined 06/01/2019
    Posted 2 years, 7 months ago

    Wow, this is a really impressive concept. You did a great job, thank you for your efforts. :]

    I found one drawback: The first month of the game in Explorer mode (after rotation) will not be any different from the Wild mode, since all the cards will be available to players.

    And I would suggest another solution for the collection.
    Players can use the complate collection of common, rare and epic cards from wild sets absolutely free. This will make almost all players competitive, and increase the audience.

    4
  • griffior's Avatar 920 297 Posts Joined 05/31/2019
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago
    Quote From BotMathematician

    Wow, this is a really impressive concept. You did a great job, thank you for your efforts. :]

    I found one drawback: The first month of the game in Explorer mode (after rotation) will not be any different from the Wild mode, since all the cards will be available to players.

    And I would suggest another solution for the collection.
    Players can use the complate collection of common, rare and epic cards from wild sets absolutely free. This will make almost all players competitive, and increase the audience.

    Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read the article, and again for giving feedback.

    In the first month of the new year, Explorer and Wild will absolutely mirror each other 100%. The reason that Explorer resets on the set rotation date is so that there are only a few weeks where Wild and Explorer are identical, since expansions release usually in the middle of a month or several days of a month have already passed. This allows for the system to pick out OP decks as early as possible, it won't catch all of them in the first month, but there's always next month. It could be a problem but again, for only one month it shouldn't be too bad. I'd imagine most players in Standard with the new cards and old cards just getting rotated.

    So the collection part is really hard to figure out. I want players to be able to experience this, and it really sucks for those who just straight up don't have enough cards. Couple that with the fact that Team 5 make their money, pay their bills, and put food on their tables by selling packs. Maybe offer all Common and Rare cards for free strictly within this format.

    3
  • swinkscalibur's Avatar Rexxar 250 21 Posts Joined 06/13/2019
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago

    I like the idea. I had an idea that was meant to create a "deck builders" format as well.

    A New Custom Game Mode - Market Melee

    As you all know Hearthstone has 5 game modes which exist at this current time:

    1. Play Mode - (Constructed Decks - Collection Based - PVP - both Casual and Competitive - Wild and Standard Card Sets)
    2. Practice Mode - (Constructed Decks - Collection Based - PVE - Casual - Wild Card Set)
    3. Arena Mode - (Semi Random Decks - Draft Based - PVP - Competitive - Standard Card Set)
    4. Tavern Brawl Mode - (Varied Structures for all catagories except that it is always casual)
    5. Battlegrounds Mode - (completely different style of game using the cards we know and love)

    These 5 Modes do cover a fairly wide array of options for Game play styles, however I have always thought that Hearthstone could use a game mode which really highlights a player's ability to build creative decks alongside the ability to pilot them.

    In short, Market Melee is a month long alternative ladder with a mostly-limited format. It highlights deckbuilding, creativity and deep skill with traditionally undervalued cards.

    Format Basics:

    • Show Spoiler
      • Market Melee attempts to capture the fun experience of the recent Oktoberbrawl twitch event which allowed players to build a new account in a controlled limited way, while also tying in the challenge of deckbuilding with undervalued cards.
      • Players would pay an entry fee to begin a Market Madness "Run" (1000g) which lasts for a full season (perhaps there should be a few days turn over like with tavern brawl).
      • After beginning a run the player would be granted a 400 market gems, plus 10 gems for each day into the season which has passed (so not to punish late starts quite so hard).
      • Using the gems the player must construct competitive decks by acquiring cards to add to the basic set.
      • Gems will also be the rewards for winning games - with more rewards given during win streaks.
      • Matchmaking will be based on ladder position

     Deck Construction:

    • Show Spoiler
      • The deck construction involves two mechanics: Pack Opening and Card Auction 
      • The player would need to balance their Gem Budget between purchasing and opening packs and purchasing/loaning cards through the auction.
      • Opening a pack would cost 10 gems.
      • Card Purchase/Auction values are determined by two factors - card rarity and card usage, with rarity determining base cost and demand modifier.
      • Legendaries would have a base purchase cost of 100 gems, Epics - 50, Rares - 25, and Common/Basics - 10. The demand modifier is determined by the number of that card set up to be auctioned in a given season and how often it has been purchased. 
      • A card is only available for purchase if at least 1 player has put it up for Auction.
      • Gems can also be gained by putting obtained cards up for Auction; values earned are 80% of current purchase prices
      • The more "in-demand" a card is, the higher the demand modifier (aka you pay a premium), if a card is "low-demand" enough, the demand modifier will put the card on "Sale" 
      • All Basic Cards are available for free

    Market Packs:

    • Show Spoiler
      • The "Market Packs" would be a special type of pack belonging to the "Shopkeeper" and would be game mode specific (the cards are not added to the players collection).
      • They would contain cards selected from all available cards for the Season (the set of cards available can change from Season to Season - ex} one season wild, one season standard, one season custom etc.)
      • The packs would contain 5 cards as usual

     Rewards:

    • Show Spoiler
      • Winning a game earns 1 gem, a win streak gives an addition gem for each win past 2 (3rd win gives 2 gems, 5th gives 4 gems etc.)
      • Rewards are given in Packs, gold and Dust at seasons end based on Ladder results
      • Unused/Earned Gems are converted directly to dust at a 1-to-1.
    2
  • griffior's Avatar 920 297 Posts Joined 05/31/2019
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago
    Quote From swinkscalibur

    I like the idea. I had an idea that was meant to create a "deck builders" format as well.

    A New Custom Game Mode - Market Melee

    As you all know Hearthstone has 5 game modes which exist at this current time:

    1. Play Mode - (Constructed Decks - Collection Based - PVP - both Casual and Competitive - Wild and Standard Card Sets)
    2. Practice Mode - (Constructed Decks - Collection Based - PVE - Casual - Wild Card Set)
    3. Arena Mode - (Semi Random Decks - Draft Based - PVP - Competitive - Standard Card Set)
    4. Tavern Brawl Mode - (Varied Structures for all catagories except that it is always casual)
    5. Battlegrounds Mode - (completely different style of game using the cards we know and love)

    These 5 Modes do cover a fairly wide array of options for Game play styles, however I have always thought that Hearthstone could use a game mode which really highlights a player's ability to build creative decks alongside the ability to pilot them.

    In short, Market Melee is a month long alternative ladder with a mostly-limited format. It highlights deckbuilding, creativity and deep skill with traditionally undervalued cards.

    Format Basics:

    • Show Spoiler
      • Market Melee attempts to capture the fun experience of the recent Oktoberbrawl twitch event which allowed players to build a new account in a controlled limited way, while also tying in the challenge of deckbuilding with undervalued cards.
      • Players would pay an entry fee to begin a Market Madness "Run" (1000g) which lasts for a full season (perhaps there should be a few days turn over like with tavern brawl).
      • After beginning a run the player would be granted a 400 market gems, plus 10 gems for each day into the season which has passed (so not to punish late starts quite so hard).
      • Using the gems the player must construct competitive decks by acquiring cards to add to the basic set.
      • Gems will also be the rewards for winning games - with more rewards given during win streaks.
      • Matchmaking will be based on ladder position

     Deck Construction:

    • Show Spoiler
      • The deck construction involves two mechanics: Pack Opening and Card Auction 
      • The player would need to balance their Gem Budget between purchasing and opening packs and purchasing/loaning cards through the auction.
      • Opening a pack would cost 10 gems.
      • Card Purchase/Auction values are determined by two factors - card rarity and card usage, with rarity determining base cost and demand modifier.
      • Legendaries would have a base purchase cost of 100 gems, Epics - 50, Rares - 25, and Common/Basics - 10. The demand modifier is determined by the number of that card set up to be auctioned in a given season and how often it has been purchased. 
      • A card is only available for purchase if at least 1 player has put it up for Auction.
      • Gems can also be gained by putting obtained cards up for Auction; values earned are 80% of current purchase prices
      • The more "in-demand" a card is, the higher the demand modifier (aka you pay a premium), if a card is "low-demand" enough, the demand modifier will put the card on "Sale" 
      • All Basic Cards are available for free

    Market Packs:

    • Show Spoiler
      • The "Market Packs" would be a special type of pack belonging to the "Shopkeeper" and would be game mode specific (the cards are not added to the players collection).
      • They would contain cards selected from all available cards for the Season (the set of cards available can change from Season to Season - ex} one season wild, one season standard, one season custom etc.)
      • The packs would contain 5 cards as usual

     Rewards:

    • Show Spoiler
      • Winning a game earns 1 gem, a win streak gives an addition gem for each win past 2 (3rd win gives 2 gems, 5th gives 4 gems etc.)
      • Rewards are given in Packs, gold and Dust at seasons end based on Ladder results
      • Unused/Earned Gems are converted directly to dust at a 1-to-1.

    If I were you, I'd make this into a full on forum post. If you want you could also make your own screen shots and such to help display your ideas.

    It definitely seems like an interesting, and challenging format that I'd like to try.

    0
  • swinkscalibur's Avatar Rexxar 250 21 Posts Joined 06/13/2019
    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago

    I did that over at hearthpwn back in the day. I dont have as much time as I used to though

    0
  • Leave a Comment

    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Sign in here.