HearthStone

The nerfs mostly suck and here’s why

hearthstone 10 - The nerfs mostly suck and here’s why
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Hey all, J_Alexander_HS back again today to give a quick run down of the balance changes and their impact for Rogue

(1) The Miscreant change is largely irrelevant. It will have no real impact on how the class plays and what decks include it. It gets a bit weaker and that’s fine. It’s a too good by a small margin and this change will help a little.

(2) The Raiding Party is a change I recommended and, frankly, it’s the only one that really needed to happen. That card is the linchpin making the whole powerful standard Myracle rogue deck work. It’s the decks very foundation. It’s what makes cards like Prep and Edwin feel busted to people, because they can be used without losing card advantage. This change slows the deck down by a full turn, and that can make or break the deck in terms of being tier 1 or tier 3 sometimes (just ask Miracle and Auctioneer). These two changes alone would have been sufficient.

(3) Preparation is where the team has messed up and badly. It’s hard to say enough about why this is a mistake but I can try to keep it sort of brief. First, classes need strong evergreen sets to avoid the issue of “this new set didn’t give class X enough support, and so it’s just not competively viable for a few months at least”. We see this happen regularly already, and this change is just another step in the wrong direction. It’s happened to Druid with ramp getting hit badly. It happened when Warrior was in the dumpster for a time after losing war axe, paladin currently lacks real support after losing more classic cards, and I guess we are just going to make that issue worse.

The changes to classic won’t seem to stop until the only cards that really matter are what came out in the last expansions. And that’s not healthy for the game.

Second, if the success of the Classic WoW beta has shown us anything, it’s that there are deep emotional connections players have to parts of their games. Preparation has been a core part of what it means to be a rogue in Hearthstone since day one. Potentially losing one of the most interesting and unique cards in the game to a pointless nerf not only sullies that emotional connection to the class and the game, but I struggle to see how the game will improve because of it.

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To make that point in Hearthstone, people responded exceptionally positively to the brawl where you got to play old, unnerfed championship decks. Those emotional connections are strong and the design team is ruining them one by one. Druid isn’t better and more interesting as a class because ramp decks are bad now. They are changing what it means to be a rogue and not replacing it with anything meaningful. Simply put, I don’t trust that the team will design something good to fill the preparation shaped hole they may leave.

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(Yes, maybe prep is still playable, but it gets a lot worse in many respects, as do all decks playing it. Small changes like this matter more than people appreciate a lot of the time)

Their track record there isn’t great. I think constraints and limits on design space are a good thing in this case because they make the class unique and interesting. Adding design space isn’t just a blanket good thing. If every class had all the design space, they become simple cosmetics.

Third, with the other two nerfs, mainly to Raiding Party, this prep change is totally unnecessary. It’s not like the Myracle deck is some unstoppable force in the meta or that any other deck abuses the card well enough. At the time of writing it’s been relegated to tier two status. It’s a good deck, for sure, and the meta is trying to counter it, but it’s nowhere near the other problems of the past the team left unaddressed.

Like, say, Dr. Boom Mad Genius. One of the only deathknights remaining and a card that singlehandedly wins games against almost anything. NOT changing that card was another terrible decision. There’s this idea floating around that Warrior is good because it counters Rogue, but the hard truth is that Warrior is good because it’s good. Largely due to them having a hero card like that. Until cards like Boom and Hagtha are gone, other classes have no chance of making a successful control deck.

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So if you want to talk about “design space,” how about looking at them?

(Yes, you can make decks to beat Warrior. I have. You can usually do that with every deck. It doesn’t mean the deck isn’t just independently strong)

It’s getting to the point that I wish Hearthstone had a classic server as well, where I could enjoy the game I fell in love with the way it was initially.

There’s something on be said for giving players new experiences in the game. There’s also something to be said for straying too far from the original experience that they don’t even feel like they’re playing the same game anymore

(4) Elysiana is actually a buff to Warrior, I think. Or it might be. The only reason this card is good is to beat other Warriors. If other Warriors can’t bounce it, you don’t have to commit a card slot to bouncing it either, allowing you to dedicate more cards to beating decks that aren’t the mirror.

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