HearthStone

On this day in Hearthstone (14 March 2016) – The technology is here! Extra deck slots!

hearthstone 1 - On this day in Hearthstone (14 March 2016) - The technology is here! Extra deck slots!

In the 5 years since release, one of the more classic and enduring Hearthstone joke/meme is the “X is too confusing for new players” line. For those who aren’t aware, it has its origins in probably the most frequently and fiercely requested features from the engaged segment of the playerbase in the early years of the game:


More deck slots

It is hard to overstate how perpetual and passionate the pleas were, back in the days. It felt like there were threads about it weekly, unfailingly upvoted to the front page here, on top of constant mentions on social media. It was clear that the entrenched core felt strongly about this one.

Team 5’s stand on this had been pretty consistent since the beginning. Here are excerpts from two interviews:

296 developer interview with eric dodds and ben brode - On this day in Hearthstone (14 March 2016) - The technology is here! Extra deck slots!
Eric Dodds and Ben Brode, February 2014:

Ben: One very important thing for why we set that deck limit in the first place is because when we were first developing, we wanted to create a collection manager which players would not be scared off by. Deck building is one of the more daunting parts about playing a card game, so we tried really hard to kind of remove complexity and streamline the deck experience and give you tools for that. One of the things that got out of hand quickly is that players would build a lot of decks, and they'd forget which ones were which. We put the nine deck limit it to keep it management and understandable. We could certainly add more in the future, but that was the reasoning behind why we started with the nine deck limit now.

Eric: Yeah, but certainly imagine if you had 50 decks, and you were looking for that one deck, it can be quite difficult.

Ben Brode, July 2014:

BB: One of the interesting things about that is that if you look at something similar—I don't know if it's a great analogue—it's bags in World of Warcraft. When you have a 16-slot backpack it's very easy to manage your inventory, but when you have a massive inventory it's more challenging, especially when you come back to the game after a long period of time. We're just worried that players who have 18, 30 deck slots can get overwhelmed and forget which one's which. It gets a lot more complicated quickly.

Nine is a really great number for user interface purposes when you're choosing a deck to use to face someone on the Ladder. And there are tools like Excel or other things you can use to save your decks. You can take screenshots of them. So it's not impossible, but it's a quality of life thing that can also decrease the quality of life for players who are already struggling to remember all the decks they have even with nine.


However, the quote that gave birth to the meme-actual came from a CM Zeriyah reply (dead link after forums moved to discourse) on the official forums in December 2014:

We don't want the Collection Manager to be something that new players go, "Wow, ok that's a lot of stuff. I can't really follow it, it's too confusing." But from a veteran Hearthstone players' shoes, that may seem absurd – the Collection Manager is second nature to them. But it's a very valid concern, and one we take very seriously.

The player base pounced on the phrasing, and thus a beautiful meme was born. Everything was labelled “too confusing for new players” from then, and silly mistakes were always met with the “please don’t take away our deck slots” response.

Read:  So you want to talk about nerfs...

The meme even went on to spawn other memes, and laughing Spanish guy videos (but of course).

For two long years, we waited.


Three years ago today, we received 9 additional deck slots!

This had, in fact, been announced a few weeks prior in the Standard/Wild rotation announcement, but 14 March was the day it was patched into the client.

Patch 4.2.0 (cough) also brought several other significant features, such as:

  • Deck Recipes

  • New Paladin skin, Lady Liadrin

  • Vastly improved search functionality, including many new search terms

  • Thai localisation

The wait was over!

(Food for thought: We’ve now had 18 deck slots one year longer than we’ve had 9)


For an alternate perspective, here are a couple of takes exploring why it may have taken so long:

  • A Google engineer's take on deck slots

  • Long-time developer weighs in

Also:

  • I'm the reason we don't get 18 deck slots
  • Deckslots too confusing for new players – Story
  • Turns out 18 deck slots really are confusing for new players

<— Previous thread: 11 March – PC/Mac launch, Pagle & Tinkmaster nerfed

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