Riguardo al primo punto, lo Sciamano è attualmente una classe molto popolare (presenta in circa il 25% dei propri match), senza una win rate eccessiva e con una buona rappresentanza di archetipi. Secondo gli sviluppatori il problema è che tutti questi tipi di mazzo hanno troppe carte in comune e ciò fa sembrare di affrontare sempre lo stesso avversario.
È già accaduto in passato che degli archetipi diventassero troppo popolari ma anche che il meta riuscisse ad adeguarsi, per questo sono sempre restii a intervenire tempestivamente, però se sarà necessario interverranno ancora per riequilibrare la popolazione dello Sciamano.
Nel secondo post reitera come uno degli obbiettivi del team sia quello di assicurarsi che ogni partita sia diversa dalla precedente, e uno dei mezzi per assicurare questa varietà è fornire dei temi di partenza alle classi che vengono esplorati con le espansioni:
- Druido: Bestie, pedine
- Cacciatore: Segreti, Rantoli di Morte, Bestie (i mazzi Druido Bestie incoraggiano ad avere una singola creatura molto grossa mentre i Cacciatori sono invogliati ad avere tante Bestie sul campo)
- Mago: Magie, Segreti
- Paladino: Potenziamenti, Segreti
- Sacerdote: Guarigione, Forma d'OmbraShadowform, Rantoli di Morte
- Ladro: Gridi di Battaglia/Combo (sfruttati meglio grazie a Passo nell'OmbraShadowstep), Armi, Furtività
- Sciamano: Sovraccarico, Murloc, Totem
- Stregone: Demoni, scartare carte
- Guerriero: Armatura, Rabbia, Provocazione
McCall ha precisato che la lista non è esaustive e anche che se un mazzo esiste fin dall'inizio del gioco (ad esempio Freeze Mage e Miracle Rogue) non hanno bisogno di creare nuove carte per supportarli, perché il loro scopo è permettere la creazione di nuovi mazzi.
Max McCall ha scritto
We are keeping an eye on Shaman decks and we’ll see how they develop. We say that a lot. Here is what it means:
Okay, so: there are a few different kinds of Shaman decks:
- There are aggressive Shaman decks that play a Pirate package and no Jade cards
- There are slightly slower Shaman decks that play Pirates and Jade cards
- And there are even slower Shaman decks that play the Jade cards but no Pirates
All of those decks are strong, but they are all weak against Dragon decks (like Priest and Warrior) and Reno decks. If you’re tired of losing to Shamans, play Reno Warlock. In some ways, that is fine: Shamans are popular, but there are strategies that are good against them.
In other ways, it is less fine. Collectively, Shamans are popular; you play against a Shaman about one game in four. Now, the reason that a ‘balanced’ metagame is desirable isn’t because ‘balanced’ metagames don’t have dominant strategies. They are desirable because you play against different classes more frequently, which means you have a wider variety in the types of Hearthstone games that you play. Playing Shaman isn’t a dominant strategy – again, they lose to plenty of decks – but it is still boring to play against the same class over and over again.
And even though the Shaman decks have distinct differences, those differences are small. If you played against Warlocks one game in four, but half of your Warlock opponents were playing slow Reno control decks and the other half were playing aggressive minion decks, those games would feel very different from one another. On the other hand, when you lose to Tunnel Trogg, Totem Golem, Feral Spirit three times in a row, it doesn’t matter if some of those Shamans had a Pirate package or if one of them had Jade cards. Your games still felt very homogenous and weren’t that fun especially the third time around.
The point I am trying to make is ‘classes can be problematic even though they do not win too often.’ Shamans don’t win too often. Right now, they are more popular than we’d like. If they are too popular for too long, we will do something about it, as we did when we nerfed them a couple of months ago. However, it takes time to assess whether or not a class will cause the game to feel too homogenous for too long. On release, Mech Mage and recently Pirate Warrior were more popular than Shamans have ever been – but only for a few weeks, then people discovered alternative strategies and the decks became less popular. Because we know that Shamans have weaknesses, we hope that those strategies will become more popular and drive down Shaman popularity a bit so that you play against more classes more often.
We are going to keep evaluating Shaman popularity in the near future, and if we don’t like what we see, we will change something about the metagame. Perhaps we will change a card. Perhaps we will see Shaman popularity fall and not have to step in at all. Perhaps we will wait to introduce a new set and see if that creates the metagame change we want. Either way, it is a thing we are actively concerned about and paying attention to.
Max McCall ha scritto
We work hard to make games of Hearthstone feel different from one game to the next. Making each class feel that it has a distinct identity separate from other classes is an important tool to ensure different kinds of games. The hero powers are the strongest sources of class identity, but if each class used all the same cards, games would still end up feeling too similar to one another. (We’ve seen this in the past: when strong neutral cards are played ubiquitously, people enjoy Hearthstone less.)
So, we try to give cards to each class that are thematically and mechanically different. There is still some overlap, of course. Multiple classes get deathrattle rewards – that is, cards that reward players for playing lots of deathrattle minions. Weapons are too central to Hearthstone to give to only one class, so about half the classes have access to them. Druids can attack with their hero, but they don’t have weapons. In return, Priests, Mages, and Warlocks have a slightly higher emphasis on spells than the weapon classes. Still, every class needs spells, especially some removal, so you occasionally see some bleeding with e.g. Arcane Shot and Holy Smite.
We don’t highlight class flavor by exclusion very often. Hearthstone has few mechanics that aren’t core to its gameplay, so it’s tough to say ‘this class does not get this mechanic’ without paying a steep price. We do it a little – Hunter doesn’t get any healing, for example – but it’s tough to do en masse. Plus, defining things by omission isn’t very obvious.
Instead, we try to promote class diversity by giving each class a few deckbuilding themes and supporting those themes with the class-specific cards in expansions. We’re more successful with some themes than others. Getting Warriors to build decks based around taunt minions has been tough, but Warlocks are generally happy to play decks based around Demons. Sometimes our themes are weak when we debut them, but gain strength as we make new cards over time. For example, Pirate decks were on the weak side until Mean Streets, but now plundering your opponents is very popular. Also, most classes have a class-specific mechanic, and most of those mechanics support deckbuilding rewards as well.
Here are some of the loose themes we’ve tried to promote in the past. This list isn’t exhaustive, tends not to include decks that have existed since Classic, and we might do more or less of anything on here, but hopefully it gives you an idea:
Druid: Beasts, tokens
Hunter: Secrets, deathrattle, Beasts (Druid Beast decks tend to reward a single large Beast, and Hunter Beast decks tend to reward having lots of Beasts)
Mage: Spell rewards, Secrets
Paladin: Buffs, Secrets
Priest: Healing, Shadowform, Deathrattle
Rogue: Battlecry/combo rewards i.e. Shadowstep, Weapons, Stealth
Shaman: Overload, Murlocs, Totems
Warlock: Demons, discard
Warrior: Armor, enrage, taunt
Again, this doesn’t include decks that have always existed like Freeze Mage or Miracle Rogue – we don’t really need to make new cards for those decks to get people to play them. It also doesn't include 'neutral' themes like Dragons or Pirates.
The main goal of these deckbuilding themes is to get people to build new types of decks. People don’t need much incentive to play the decks they are already playing, and frequently they are playing those decks because they are strong, which is why we try to promote new decks with each set, instead of reinforcing the existing metagame.
copertina: Max McCall di Ralph Horsley