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Eric Dodds On Hearthstone’s Card Balance Philosophy

Hearthstone lead designer Eric Dodds took the opportunity to write a lengthy article to explain the card balance philosophy and also introduced the new card balance designer Mike Donais, who is experienced in card game design with 10 years hands-on on the field.
Eric described each of the core philosophies involved in card balance — possibly in response to feedback after the recent card changes.

The Core Philosophies that are taken in mind when changing a card is putting the card under the lens and looking whether:
A card causes non-interactive games
A card is frustrating to play against
A card is causing confusion …read more

Beta Opt-in Alert: Last Hearthstone Closed Beta Invites Before Open Beta

Several fans have been invited to Hearthstone Closed Beta and this seems to be the last wave of invites before Open Beta is announced. Now here is the thing … if you opt-in before January 7th, 2014 to the Hearthstone beta, chances are right now as I type this — oh, wait. I guess you lost all interest on my article and loaded your Account Page to see if the Hearthstone logo and download link is available. I would generally say, it is rude for you to stop reading while I am in the middle of typing, but I …read more

2014 Blizzard Licensed Products Line-Up

Blizzard Entertainment and its partners release Blizzard licensed products every year. Some of these products come in the shape of novels, eBooks, graphic novels, action figures, dioramas, statues, children’s books, and epic weapons. Did you know from Fall 2013 to Winter 2014 there are so far 41 Blizzard Licensed Products?

There isn’t an official list of recent and upcoming products. Therefore, I will share a permanent list of recent and upcoming products for which you can pre-order now and relax later knowing that you secured your copy and it will automatically be charged and delivered on release date.

Some of the products were released already, and I felt I should mention them in case you missed them. They are in stock while supplies last and shipping now.

The Fall 2013 – 2014 Blizzard Licensed Products line up is as follows: (click links to reach the pre-order page)

ProductRelease Date
DC Entertainment - World of Warcraft: Pearl of PandariaSept 24, 2013
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Collector's EditionMar 25, 2014
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Standard EditionMar 25, 2014
Diablo III: Storm of LightFeb 4, 2014
DK Publishing - World of Warcraft: Ultimate Visual GuideShipping Now
Funko POP Games - Diablo Vinyl FigureShipping Now
Funko POP Games - Diablo - Tyrael Vinyl FigureShipping Now
Funko POP Games - Starcraft Jim Raynor Vinyl FigureShipping Now
Funko POP Games - Starcraft Queen of Blades Vinyl FigureShipping Now
Funko POP Games - World of Warcraft Arthas Vinyl FigureShipping Now
Funko POP Games - World of Warcraft Illidan Vinyl FigureShipping Now
Gallery Books - World of Warcraft: War CrimesMay 6, 2014
Gallery Books - World of Warcraft: Dawn of the AspectsNov 19, 2013
Insight Editions - Diablo III: Book of TyraelOct 22, 2013
Insight Editions - World of Warcraft® Dragons Hardcover Blank JournalDec 13, 2013
Insight Editions - World of Warcraft® Horde Hardcover Blank Journal (Large)Dec 13, 2013
Jinx - Diablo III Barbarian Class Premium TeeShipping Now
Jinx - Diablo III Cartoon Lord of Terror Premium TeeShipping Now
Jinx - Diablo III Demon Hunter Class Premium TeeShipping Now
Jinx - Diablo III DiaBLO Premium TeeShipping Now
Jinx - Diablo III Monk Class Premium TeeShipping Now
Jinx - Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Premium T-shirtShipping Now
Jinx - Diablo III Witch Doctor Class Premium TeeShipping Now
Jinx - Diablo III Wizard Class Premium TeeShipping Now
Jinx - Hearthstone T-ShirtShipping Now
Jinx - StarCraft II Protoss MugShipping Now
Jinx - StarCraft II "That's How We Roll" Premium T-shirtShipping Now
Jinx - StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm Zerg Vintage Logo Zip-Up HoodieShipping Now
Neca Diablo III – Deluxe Action Figure – Diablo, Lord of TerrorMar 2014
Neca Diablo III – Prop Replica – El’Druin, The Sword of JusticeMar 2014
Panini - Starcraft War Stories: Proyect BlackstoneNov 1, 2013
Pocket Star Books - World of Warcraft: ParagonsMar 31, 2014
Sellers Publishing - Diablo 2014 Wall CalendarShipping Now
Sellers Publishing - Diablo 2014 Wall CalendarShipping Now
Sellers Publishing - StarCraft® II 2014 Wall CalendarShipping Now
Sellers Publishing - World of WarCraft 2014 Mini CalendarShipping Now
Sellers Publishing - World of Warcraft® Alliance Hardcover Blank Journal
Dec 10, 2013
Sideshow Collectibles - Diablo Polystone StatueShipping Now
Sideshow Collectibles - Starcraft Raynor Sixth Scale FigureNov 2013
Sideshow Collectibles - World of Warcraft Deathwing Polystone Statue2015?
UDON - World of Warcraft TributeOct 15, 2013

Hearthstone Update: Upcoming Changes 1/13

Community Manager Zeriyah posted the latest Hearthstone beta build patch notes which is coming out very soon. No date was provided, but the Tuesday maintenance might be a strong candidate for this patch to be released.

This new patch doesn’t have many changes or additions other than to address current class cards and neutral cards that seem overpowered.

In the case of the mage card: Pyroblast, the game developers wish the mage players to be more interactive with their cards rather than to deal ten damage as the goal to then pyroblast twice to end the game. So the cost of Pyroblast …read more

Winning Isn’t Enough?

There’s a topic in the Hearthstone subreddit that really irks me – Should the players that win the maximum number of times in the Arena get some sort of additional reward because they did so?

The suggested reward is tame enough to merit discussion as the absence of gold cards in the Arena seems like an oversight or planned purchasable option later but the origin of the suggestion is entirely offensive. Since when is winning not enough? 12 wins already awards the most gold, has the highest chance for an additional card pack or golden card, and gives the least dust. Is winning the highest possible number of matches already so pedestrian that another reward is needed?

Again, the idea of getting gold cards from an Arena run isn’t a bad idea. I’d still prefer that golden cards in the Arena simply stem from your collection – if you have a golden version of the card you drafted, you can use it. Maybe a checkbox or an icon that toggles available golden cards for the Arena deck or on an individual basis would work. If selecting a card from the Arena deck is way the wind wants to blow, however, let everyone who drafts make such a selection after the deck has been made, or maybe as it’s being drafted. Other than the experience and knowledge, previous Arena runs don’t matter in the system. There’s no rank structure, no identifier of merit or proficiency aside from forum fame and stream success. Keep it that way.

Speaking of the Arena, there’s another Arena tier list for drafting out. Made by reddit user AntiGrav1ty, the list ranks class cards as well as commons, and is organized around the classes themselves. It’s fairly comprehensive and definitely worth a gander. However, it is just a list and doesn’t have the commentary something like Trump’s card ranking does. Regardless, the tiers are useful. Maybe with some bugging and general encouragement the author(s) can provide some insight onto why some cards are ranked the way they are.

Hearthstone Test Season 2 Begins January 2

Community Manager Keganbe reported Hearthstone Test Season 1 ladder will be reset on January 2. Test Season 2 will begin after maintenance that day.
Thank you for helping us test our very first Ranked Play season! This season is intended to conclude on January 2nd, so be sure to wrap up your climb up the ladder before that date. Once the season is over, everyone’s ranking will be reset back to Rank 25, and Test Season 2 will begin!
During the course of this first test season we’ve gotten some very valuable feedback and data from you regarding the new Ranked Play …read more

Patches, Delays, and Legends

Another Hearthstone patch hit a few days ago, guided by development lasers focused entirely on Jaina and her delay tactics. The changes are simple, a delay on the delay – Cone of Cold, Frost Nova, and Blizzard all had their costs increased by 1. A bit more room to maneuver against the inevitable Pyroblast.

And Open Beta is delayed until January 2014. Everyone who opted in the closed before December 16th should be playing and complaining about decks with six legendaries stuffed inside. The closed beta opt ins close January 7th, open beta should follow soon after. The major delays have come from the nitty gritty stuff – server infrastructure and hardware. Settling up the servers, databases and hardware takes time and planning. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. Be patient and Hearthstone will be out sooner than you expect.

More top ranked players, too. There’s been some fluctuation and rank swapping with the new round. A few of them have streams, too, so watching and learning from the best is a possible path to success. They lack the sheer numbers of Trump, Kripp, Hafu, and the other big name players so they’re more able to answer questions and interact with the audiences. No disrespect intended to the celebrities but the reward of fame is also its price. Consider spreading the love around. I’m considering starting a channel for myself and give you fellow card slingers another way to waste time.

I also got my first 9 win arena streak the day before the 12 win cap was released. As much as I dislike Garrosh, the warrior and I seem to speak the same language. Rushes, injuries, weapons, sacrifices. Thrall and I don’t, despite my desperate attempts to make it work. Maybe I’m more Warsong than Frostwolf. Regardless, I know I hate Anduin.

See you in game!

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