Hello Hearthstone (Free) players and welcome to another weekly news and videos roundup here at TouchArcade. I hope you’ve been enjoying playing the game and you’ve found a couple of decks that are doing the job for you. This week there was plenty going on, from more talk about possible nerfs or Wild “demotions," to the Android client finally seeing the reduction it’s always needed, to the top Standard and Wild decks of the week, and more. And, of course, we have the top videos of the week by Kripp, Trolden, StrifeCro, and more. The talk of possible nerfs has been growing stronger these last few weeks, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we get an actual announcement some time soon. Until then, enjoy playing against (or as) pirates.
Ben Brode Talks Possible Nerfs
In a recent interview, Ben Brode talked more about the state of the game and the possibility of more nerfs down the road. After expressing his satisfaction with how Gadgetzan has been performing, he talked about how the team wishes there were more variety in how the classes are played. He goes on to talk about the history of Patches and then about Pirate decks and how the team is starting to believer there might be a problem with them, although they are waiting to see whether that problem will improve or not. He does, once more, state that if there’s a change, it will be on Small-Time Buccaneer, not Patches. The discussion then shifts to talks about the effects of Hearthstone on World of Warcraft lore and the connection between the two worlds, which sounds very promising for those hoping to see more Hearthstone in WOW.
Brode is mostly happy with the first standard season, but he feels they didn’t “solve" standard for all time and will be keeping an eye on how fresh the next rotation will feel. If it doesn’t feel fresh enough, they will intervene either with nerfs or by moving some classic cards into wild. Expect to hear more on standard in the next two months. There’s a lot more interesting info in this interview, so check it out if you want to know more about design space, mechanics, and much more.
Hearthstone China Releases Personalized Annual Stats
We’ve been seeing some cool stuff coming out of Hearthstone China recently, and this time around players with a Hearthstone China account can access their personalized annual stats, which is pretty awesome. Players can see the number of days they played in 2016, the amount of gold earned, total number of packs opened, ladder wins and regional average, the number of friends they’ve played against, number of times they won a game with either 1 health or 30 health remaining, and much more. This is a great feature and I really hope we see it on this side of the world soon because I would be curious to see my stats for 2016. Here’s hoping.
Android Client Finally Reduced in Size
Many Android players should be happier after this week because the latest update has finally reduced the size of the client down to acceptable levels. The new client has reduced the client down to 1.5 GB from 3 GB, which makes a huge different for players with older phones. In order to get the client reduced, players have to update the client and then clear date once to bring the game down to a reasonable size. I’m glad to see mobile getting some love, and I hope we continue seeing even more improvements to the iOS and Android clients.
How Matchmaking Works
If you are one of many wondering about Hearthstone‘s matchmaking, you can read this story to get a better idea. According to game designer Max McCall, the only variable that affects who you’ll play next is your skill rating. At the end of every game, the system takes into account the current and past ratings of both players and generate a new skill rating. In Casual and Legend Ranks, the system pairs players with similar skill ratings. In Ranked below Legend, the system pairs players according to star ratings. There’s no other info taken under consideration during the matchmaking (no deck style, class, etc).
Card Text and Confusion
Many players often complain – and rightly so – about inconsistencies in card text, but there are reasons why we have some peculiar text choices. Designer Max McCall took to the game’s forums to talk about the need for both “whenever" and “after" to exist. Triggered abilities work like questions, McCall pointed out, and “after" and “whenever" each asks different questions. Also, “after" creates an unambiguous sequence of events while “whenever" can be interpreted as both doing an action before or after a trigger. In the case of Wild Pyromancer for example, the team used “after" to show that the card’s action will occur after a spell is cast; if they had used “whenever," Pyromancer would trigger before the spell cast was resolved. A very interesting post that’s gives us an insight into the thought process behind the creation of card text.
Hearthstone Earned $395 Million in 2016
For those wondering how much money Hearthstone made last year, well, the answer was apparently a lot. But you probably knew that already. According to this story, Hearthstone made $395 million dollars in 2016, which isn’t shabby at all. Shadowverse, a CCG launched halfway through the year, made $100 million, which is substantial. Might we see a challenge to Hearthstone‘s CCG supremacy in 2017? I’m all for more competition.
Top Standard and Wild Decks for the Week
If you want the best netdecking around, check out these Standard and Wild decks from HearthPwn. There’s a fun Anyfin Paladin deck, a Witchdoctor Totem Shaman one, and a Control Jade Shaman while on the Wild side there’s a Beast Master and a Dragon Control N’Zoth Reno Priest. Go netdeck away.
6 Players to Watch in 2017
If you like competitive Hearthstone, these are the 6 players you should be keeping an eye on according to this story. The first one is, of course, Pavel, the reigning world champion, especially since some feel he was a bit too fortunate to win some of these matches. The second is Orange, traditionally one of the best players but also one who’s been doing very well in 2017. The remaining four are Staz, Kolento, Thijs, and Amnesiac. If you were to bet on who 2017 Hearthstone champion would be, would you bet on any of these six names?
5 Things You May Not Know About the Game
Kripp on a Meta Without Aggro
WTF Moments #86
Trump’s High Legend Experience
StrifeCro’s Control Jade Shaman
Trolden’s Funny and Lucky Moments #214
King Crush is Back
Top 5 Watcher Lethal
5 New Budget Legend Decks
As always, we have some good resources on the site for you in case you are new to the game or simply want to sharpen up your game. There’s never such a thing as too much help in Hearthstone, so check out our guides.