Dear Iskar, Let The Community Help You

hearthstone 6 - Dear Iskar, Let The Community Help You

For the last year I have been wanting to write a post like this, but never really felt like it would go to the right place. Hopefully you are listening. I have worked in Software Development for almost 12 years, and know how slow developing features can be. I also have seen features go unused by users who either don't know they are there or the feature was not what they wanted. Please let our community help you create more game-play.

When the game was launch we didn't have replays. It was something requested, but not on the radar of the development team (or at least not high on the list). Because of an oversight (I am making an inference that generating the data file of the events in the game was something put in to aid development and it was left in the final game and the community ended up using it for both replays and deck overlays), we were provided access to some of the underlying data of the game. From this we have HS Replay and HS Deck Tracker.

If you opened up Hearthstone a little but more, the community would create new game types and an automated tournament environment. My proposal is to open the API of Hearthstone a little (similar to what is already done for China already).

Tournament Mode

Tournament mode was canned because the HS development team was unable to come up with a vision that it thought would appease the community. Instead of developing something in the client, allow an external program to connect to the API, perform a handshake with a HS user (for security), then launch matches between players NOT ON EACH OTHER'S FRIENDS LIST. Ideally the external application will get some amount of data from the game (both players decks, which players win, hopefully the replay file for judges at a later date). With this amount of control, a website can be setup to create community tournaments. The website could even allow the users to pick / ban classes, decks, cards, expansions. With the deck list for both players the external program would be responsible for all of this and not the Hearthstone Client. It would even work better if the external program was allowed to wait until both players selected a deck before starting the game (that way it can verify both decks are valid). I believe the ESPORTS team would even be happy to use this API at least to gather more information for rules adjudication if not developing their own tools to run official tournaments.

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Additionally similar to how there are deck codes, rule codes would be nice (saving them somehow even nicer). If a community runs a tournament that has a specific rule-set (ban a card / expansions), it would be good to see that reflected in the deck builder. Some of this logic is in place already with the Tavern Brawls we have seen recently. If a community run tournament mode was created then we could even create a draft format and only allow the user to build decks with cards they opened in virtual packs.


One last thing, allow us to create illegal decks to play against our friends. There doesn't have to be a ladder for this, but there should be a way to just throw a bunch of cards into a deck and try out something with a friend. This would also allow for true Arena Tournaments. If you wanted to play with a deck with 60 Fireballs, then allow us to create that (for simplicity I would ask if the player has 2 of a card , then they should be allow to add as many of that card to a deck as they want). If this is too much work in the short term then allow us to load illegal deck strings and we will make a website to build the decks.

Custom Game Editor

This is would probably require more work, but it is something Blizzard has done for years…until recently. Blizzard games used to provide the tools to allow users to create their own maps / game modes. Look at all of the creativity that has come out of Starcraft and Warcraft map editors. Two entire gaming genre's have emerged. The biggest travesty of late was that Heroes of the Storm never had a Map Editor released, when it was built in the Starcraft Engine. Look how many people are playing a DOTA 2 custom game right now. One of the most powerful things about card games was sitting with a group of friends and changing the rules. We can't do that in Hearthstone. The most we get is Tavern Brawl, which has had a bunch of cool rules, but we are limited to one additional game mode from Wednesday – Sunday.

There are a lot of ideas in the community that we cannot explore without a mode like this. At the very least, look at the custom game rules that Overwatch provide. While they don't have a map editor they allow a large amount of customization of general rules in the game that can be used to alter gameplay for a small amount of people. There are a lot of custom rules that were generated for Tavern Brawl that the community could use for friendly games (and if the API was opened up tournaments).

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Again, if developing the UI in Hearsthone is too much, allow us to load an external custom ruleset (even if it is just copied into the clipboard), then play with a friend using those rules would be a huge feature and allow us to play different kinds of matches.

Additional Feature that would be nice

I would love it if I could join a community in Hearthstone and have some amount of features, such as weekly leader board, deck to try this week and other things. None of this needs to be in the client. Let's say "The Angry Chicken" Podcast decided to have it's listeners play with a deck (picking one at random it will be Confuse Priest) and see who gets the most wins. If there was a way to share gameplay data with them, they could compile a list of all listeners who played Confuse Priest and show the top listeners for the week. This would probably require more access than you are comfortable with, but it could allow some features the community could use.

Edit: Sorry for spelling your handle wrong. I spelled it Iksar first, but then thought I was wrong because of a top voted post, so I assumed it was wrong. Next time I'll check twitter 🙁

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