Hello, I am a long time player of hearthstone at this point about 5 years now I've spent a lot of time on the game and I am for most part a F2P BTW tm.
To be quite honest. I don't play much hearthstone right now and which is weird considering I don't feel burnt out, at the core I still think hearthstone is a fun game and despite my title I don't think the current meta is unbalanced.
The meta is perfectly fine, decks will rise and fall, and egregious cards have been nerfed relatively quickly.
The problem with hearthstone balancing and what has happened over the past couple of expansions is something that needs to be fixed soon cause i think it's unsustainable. At the core it's really contradictory balancing choices. While standard is good for keeping the meta fresh it has also led to an impossible uphill battle for card design. Team 5 keeps forcing new archetypes for decks in an effort to move away from old metas which has 2 problems with it.
one, is that in an attempt to create new deck archetypes and mechanics it steals design space in an expansion to improve upon existing ideas. They build cards with synergies in mind instead of letting players find it themselves. I.E. TFT basically built cubelock on it's own the synergies are obvious it was never something players had to discover.
and two due to this effort to make certain archetypes viable it requires massive power creep arms race into the weakest archetypes every expansion
when it comes to control decks team 5 has become fixated on massive 10 mana swing turns when in fact all this does is devolve control match up into creating the largest "value combo" instead of managing removal to methodically outlast your opponent and then beat them down(how control decks in magic/classic control warrior are played). The amount of value control decks can get for free now is insane. Before standard the closest players got to that was proper ysera timing which while the card seems like it should be a control staple it simply doesn't generate enough value nowadays and waste card space.
think about that, ysera of all doesn't generate enough value to be viable because now, just about every class has some sort of infinite value generator.
in terms of aggro instead of careful management of resource to beat down your opponent it become throwing down as much shit on the board as possible and hope it sticks. playing around board clear is impossible since ever control deck now has an early game boardclear. Now aggro decks also have to gain more resources as a result and somehow now aggro tempo and zoo basically play like the same deck. Say what you want about how much you hated leper gnome face hunter, but at least the face hunter vs handlock matchup was one of the most interesting one and skill based ones you would see.
instead of a rock papers scissors, balancing has become a flip flop between black and white aggro or control
Moving on, the recent designer insights shows the massive hypocrisy in their recent card design. Team 5 have been too focused on the "could" rather than the "should" in card design. Class identities are already in shambles and even team 5 seams to be unable to correctly identify class identities at this point. Druid was never intended to be a zoo sort of class Somehow 5 out of the 8 class excel at swarming the board (paladin, hunter, warlock, shaman, druid). They've failed to understand that playstyle doesn't equal identity. Flooding the board is a zoo playstyle not a class identity. Mana ramping a la druid is a class identity. Team 5 wants to create new "exciting" deck archetypes while somehow maintain class distinctions. the designers insight just show they only want to reinforce existing archetypes that are also sometimes antithetical to how the class usually plays. For example, Team 5 believe that druid should lean towards a zoo play style. When mana ramp, a key component of the druid classic set literally make this impossible. Mana ramp is played to accelerate to late game not flood a board to win early. Yes, cards like savage roar, FON, and power of the wild exist but those cards are likely meant to be played as finishing combos rather than zoo buffs considering the weakness of neutral early minions in the classic set.
Hall of fame is a cop out to spice up the metagame by removing staple cards, but it creates a massive power vacuum that team 5 has to fill and they've done a shoddy job at it. when team 5 places a a card in the hall of fame they aren't doing it cause the card is too powerful, but rather they want to kill a deck archetype so they can make new ones. Freeze mage sort of decks would have never been viable again unless team 5 printed absurd amounts of board clear to make sure they can clear a board to remove kill threat. The new mage archetype says that mage should always have an answer to a boardstate when mage has never played that way until recently. Mage is a tempo based class it's not supposed to shit out answers like a control deck, but use spells which are high tempo cards to generate advantage. the classic set supports this with cards like Mana worm, sorcerer's apprentice,and it's hero power which is an extremely efficient 1 dmg ping. While flame strike can be used as a control card it's also a efficient tempo gaining card any arena player could tell you that.
lastly I don't think the meta is awful it's relatively balanced for the way it was made but it's just the fundamental of the game have shifted so much hearthstone really isn't the same game anymore and not in a good way
tldr. in an effort to make the game fun team 5 has ignored card game fundamentals.
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© Post "The recent designer insights are part of a larger balancing problem that team 5 has failed to address for a while now." for game HearthStone.
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