We've got an announcement incoming via the Coin Concede podcast this evening featuring Hearthstone's Game Director, Ben Lee. The show will host an interview and an announcement from the game director, and all the fun starts at 8 PM Eastern! (5 PM Pacific, 12 AM GMT). Ben Lee was on Coin Concede's podcast last year to celebrate their 300th episode which included another developer interview and the Stormwind card reveal for Touch of the Nathrezim.

Update: Find our interview recap down below - there are some great points! Ben Lee is leaving the Hearthstone team.

Quote From CoinConcede

We are thrilled to announce that our show tonight will feature an interview and announcement from GAME DIRECTOR BEN LEE! you won't want to miss this. we'll be going live exactly one hour from this tweet at 8pm eastern/5pm pacific.

You can watch tonight's episode live on Twitch. We'll also be covering the announcement and interview here on Out of Cards, so if you can't watch live, we'll have everything recapped for you. Coin Concede is a Hearthstone podcast that is hosted by RidiculousHat, BotticusHS, SwagoiEdelweiss, and WickedGood.

Ben Lee Interview Recap

  • They want to provide different experiences for different types of players.
  • Players don't always want things to feel fair, and that among other things can be incredibly hard to get right.
  • Blizzard isn't afraid to admit when they are wrong.
  • It isn't always easy to rollout a change for something, the logistics of updating the game is incredibly challenging.
  • Ben thinks we'll see less OTK decks in the future again. The game is always going through cycles.
  • Sometimes there are a lot of hero cards, sometimes its heavy control or combo. The game has cycles.
  • Part of Rogue's fantasy is for them to feel tricksy and having lots of options. Card draw and generation, to some degree, is something they want to deliver on for Rogue.
  • It becomes hard to change certain cards when they ultimately are propping up the class as a whole. You don't want to alienate all players of the class.
  • Sometimes they aren't very good at their balancing because Hearthstone's scale in numbers is overall quite small.
  • Having a global "not less than (1) mana" rule is not something Hearthstone should have.
    • This isn't intuitive to players, the rule should be on the card text for the card.
    • They use this rule on cards when they know a card can be disruptive.
  • Blizzard knows that players are very passionate about mana reduction. The mechanic is exiting but it's great in small doses.
  • The amount of testing players do with new cards right when an expansion launches immediately goes beyond what the team is capable of doing internally.
  • Forged in the Barrens lead to the team testing the waters with the Spell School cards which is on reason why there weren't as many. 
  • Spell Schools are another tool in their toolbox to add depth.
  • Battlegrounds is continuing to grow.
  • The armor mechanic in Battlegrounds was something fun to experiment with.
  • Battlegrounds Buddies is a system they can turn on and off to dial in and see what players love.
  • Battlegrounds could see new minion types to help add new toys in the box to play with.
  • Battlegrounds is incredibly accessible and it has helped Hearthstone remain relevant in the streaming world.
  • Duels has always been played, it just gets more of a spotlight now that some streamers are playing it. 
  • Duels has a very dedicated audience.
  • When your game is 8 years old, some players just get bored and that's okay.
  • Giving players other things to do in an older game keeps them interested.
  • They didn't have the content that they wanted to with Mercenaries to launch after release.
  • There have been a lot of problems over the last year, especially with working from home, and that's hurt content.
  • There are some interesting systems coming.
  • They didn't expect players to earn so many excess coins so fast.
  • Mercenaries is meant to be a game where you can keep coming back whenever you want. A focus on single player gameplay played at your own pace.
  • The rate at which Mercenaries was consumed was incredibly fast - more than they ever were expecting.
  • Some players were fully done with Mercenaries after the first week.
  • Mercenaries did great on the business side last year. The reality is a successful product in the game helps Hearthstone grow.
  • If Hearthstone wasn't a financial success, they wouldn't get a chance to make all this content.
  • Keeping people playing the game is at the top of their mind for success of the game. That's how people will know when there is new stuff happening.
  • Login rewards are fake logins and metrics for the game. They want you to actually play the game and be a part of it.
  • Hearthstone makes more money than most AAA games do per year.
  • Core sets have been very interesting for the team. They saw huge successes with their introduction.
  • There are some familiar faces coming back in the next core set - that includes old cards that were previously rotated and some new cards that use old characters.
  • The new Year of the "blank" may have something to do with some of the characters coming back.
  • Pandaren cooking competition was a top 3 idea for an expansion at one point. It is not currently in production.
  • There are a bunch of new card types they are going to have in the new year that they will be experimenting with.
    • "Hopefully players will enjoy those".
  • Ben Lee is leaving the Hearthstone team but is going to be still working at Blizzard.
    • They have been working on building the team for a while now. The team will be in good hands.
    • Nathan Lyons-Smith will be doing some more public relations for the team.