Hearthstone Game Designer, Alec Dawson, responded to a thread on Twitter on the weekend and commented about everyone's favourite Hearthstone class, Paladin.
According to Alec, Paladins are still a bit stronger than they'd like but the rest of the balance patch has been hitting their intentions. Consistency in how Blizzard has been balancing over the last "year or so" with lighter touches to cards instead of outright killing decks is the goal and they seem to be going a solid job at it - if you're asking me.
He goes on to mention that the buffs were there to fix some cards to proper costs for their power and that some of the buffs were to set up classes for the future. This could mean that some of the buffs we saw are going to see some synergies within the upcoming Forged in the Barrens miniset, or that Blizzard is looking even further at that which would be the next expansion that should be releasing around the end of July or beginning of August.
Further, on the subject of Blizzard's communication and how there was some disappointment when Alec stated the changes were going to be "spicy", he does believe they can do a better job at communicating. Alec continues by saying that although balance changes can help with shifts, we should be looking forward to the minisets and expansions for larger changeups.
Meta Changes via HSReplay
The whole discussion was brought on by HSReplay's Director of Business, Tiago Taparelli. Inside his chain of tweets, he stated he believes the patch was reasonably successful in addressing the meta with a nudge rather than significant changes, which was confirmed by Alec. Here's what Tiago had to say when looking at the data.
- Paladin and Mage’s popularity decreased substantially.
- Druid and Demon Hunter had a significant uplift in winrate & popularity.
- Matchup polarization improved overall.
Though, he goes on to mention that Hearthstone still needs to see some improvements.
- Shaman remains unplayable at most (if not all) ranks.
- Paladin is still way too strong and consistent across the board.
- Many of the new archetypes failed to gain a significant foothold in the meta..
I’m seeing a lot of discussion about the impact of the recent nerfs and buffs (or lack thereof) in the meta. As usual a lot of it revolves around @HSReplayNet’s data, so I’d like to share some of my thoughts and additional data on the matter. 1/6 https://t.co/d0HaEvnBYY
I think @WickedGood hit the nail on the head as far as mismatched expectations being behind a lot of player’s frustration. I believe this patch was meant to nudge the meta in the right direction, not significantly change it. This is what the mini-set will be here for. 2/6 https://t.co/A7irZumLCy
If that was the intended goal, I’d say the patch was reasonably successful. Looking at Legend-only data: - Paladin and Mage’s popularity decreased substantially - Druid and Demon Hunter had a significant uplift in winrate & popularity - Matchup polarization improved overall 3/6 https://t.co/1pyF0I4BFd
That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that need to be improved: - Shaman remains unplayable at most (if not all) ranks - Paladin is still way too strong and consistent across the board - Many of the new archetypes failed to gain a significant foothold in the meta 4/6
With all that said I’d love to hear from the HS team if that was truly their goal with this patch, and whether they believe that goal was achieved. @Celestalon @IksarHS @GW_Alec 5/6
Paladin a little stronger than we’d like but everything else is hitting on the intentions. Most of the buffs were to set up classes for the future or do some cost correction. Player expectations surrounding patch can be hard to manage (people have different spice tolerance 😅). (Source)
But we can see that and adjust how some of the communication goes out. We’ve been fairly consistent in the way we balance over the last year or so (lighter touches, usually don’t kill decks) and can do a better job of getting that message out. (Source)
In the end though our expansions and mini sets will act as opportunities for bigger landscape shifts. Less likely to see that in our frequent balance changes unless something is very off. (Source)
To be fair your tweet indicating it would be "spicy" heightened expectations a lot and could partially be attributed to why people feel let down. Not trying to hate on you just putting that out there.
No hate detected ❤️ (Source)
Did the team not anticipate the resurgence of Secret Libram Paladin by the nerfs? Arguably First Day wasn't a nerf for that deck, and it seems the only thing depressing it was Aggro/Secret Paladin. It was already a deck with a high win rate, just waiting to be unleashed.
We did, reason we touched First Day of School instead of something like Conviction. Things are still early so we'll see how that particular change ends up over time. (Source)
How do you feel about the current meta in Hearthstone? Let us know in the comments below!