Even during this busy reveal period, Chadd "Celestalon" Nervig found time to visit a Hearthstone podcast Doctor3, where he talked about expansion creation, Demon Hunter, the new dual-class cards, and more! We've listed some of the highlights down below.
Everything below has been paraphrased and should not be considered a direct quote.
- Overall the implementation of the new class went well.
- The goal was to distinguish it from other classes, so it wouldn't feel like a hybrid of existing classes.
- They were prepared for quick and frequent balance changes.
- In retrospect, there's no doubt the class went out too strong, but he'd rather ship it as too strong than too weak.
- The Demon Hunter Hero Power had many changes during development, even late in the process.
- One of the potential class mechanics during development (instead of Outcast) was a one-time effect that triggered when damaging the enemy hero.
- Scholomance as a theme idea had been around quite a while.
- Spellburst's one-time trigger allowed more powerful effects than the traditional multi-trigger cards like Wild Pyromancer have.
- The dual-class pairings went through some iterations.
- One option was having only 5 pairs.
- They also tried having multiple pairings for each class, but it was very complicated.
- A lot of the pairings came quite naturally, both thematically and gameplay-wise.
- He thinks Warrior/Paladin might have been a pairing that changed during design.
- He sees the dual-class cards as build-arounds rather than just support cards.
- He doesn't think these cards blur class identity, as they're designed to be on the gameplay/flavor overlap of the classes.
- Expansion creation processes are very collaborative and include brainstorm meetings and sticky notes.
- They don't feel tied down with Warcraft lore, continue to do twists on themes.
- They love how the year-long narrative of Year of the Dragon turned out, and remain open to the idea of doing it again.
- There will be no new classes any time soon.
- He tries to answer the questions sent to him on social media, especially those that haven't been answered yet elsewhere.
- He didn't want to name any favorite places in WoW that Hearthstone could explore in the future (so that people wouldn't read into it).
- Zephrys the Great remains his favorite card, he's even thinking about getting a Zephrys tattoo.
Hearthstone New Class Takeaway
Based on the interview, we have these main takeaways from new classes in Hearthstone.
- They aren't afraid to make them overpowered to start with. Feels better to nerf than to need to buff.
- Reacting quickly with game balance patches for a new class is important.
- A new class has to have its own design space. It can't just feel like existing classes mashed together.
It's no surprise as to why we won't see a new class for a while!
Listen to Episode 58 of Doctor3
You can listen to the full podcast here or down below.