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The fine tuning needed to balance a game always has the potential to turn into an unending war, a constant struggle between company and consumer to keep game elements intact while at the same satiating the community. Blizzard is no strange to this kind of turmoil, and it seems that Hearthstone has joined the lineup of games in need of fine tuning. According to this post from Blizzard’s own blog, the next Hearthstone patch is aimed at balancing the scales for the popular card game. 

Dean Ayala, an Associate Game Designer with Blizzard, announced some changes coming in the next patch for the Arena game mode in Hearthstone. Arena is one of four game modes in Hearthstone, where players draft their decks from a pool of cards before trying to last as long as possible with that one deck. As with PVP and World of Warcraft, class balancing must be done with a certain level of precision.  Ayala seems to be basing these balancing decisions on feedback from the community, as well as what are considered to be the most powerful classes in the game. 

As it stands, Mage and Rogue classes are rated as the top and most powerful classes in Hearthstone, while Paladin comes in a at a close third and the rest of the classes “have done some shifting around in a tier below these three.” From the tone of the post, Ayala wants to shake up the current standings. 

So what exactly is he planning? 

In the next patch for Hearthstone, the following cards will be removed from Arena drafting:

Mage

  • Forgotten Torch
  • Snowchugger
  • Faceless Summoner

Rogue

  • Goblin Auto Barber
  • Undercity Valiant

Paladin

– No changes

Shaman

  • Vitality Totem
  • Dust Devil
  • Totemic Might
  • Ancestral Healing
  • Dunemaul Shaman
  • Windspeaker

Warlock

  • Anima Golem
  • Sacrificial Pact
  • Curse of Rafaam
  • Sense Demons
  • Void Crusher
  • Reliquary Seeker
  • Succubus

Druid

  • Savagery
  • Poison Seeds
  • Soul of the Forest
  • Mark of Nature
  • Tree of Life
  • Astral Communion

Warrior

  • Warsong Commander
  • Bolster
  • Charge
  • Bouncing Blade
  • Axe Flinger
  • Rampage
  • Ogre Warmaul

Hunter

  • Starving Buzzard
  • Call Pet
  • Timber Wolf
  • Cobra Shot
  • Lock and Load
  • Dart Trap
  • Snipe

Priest

  • Mind Blast
  • Shadowbomber
  • Lightwell
  • Power Word: Glory
  • Confuse
  • Convert
  • Inner Fire

On top of this, Ayala and the Hearthstone team are attempting to develop other solutions to the balancing issue including “… the ability to adjust the rate that individual cards show up in your draft depending on a designer input value.”

As with any attempts at balancing, it can be an ongoing process and only time will tell if the changes increase enjoyment for Hearthstone players. 

What do you think? Will the removal of these cards balance Arena or unnecessarily nerf the various Hearthstone classes?


Jon Schear

Staff Writer

Graphic and web designer by day, amateur digital artist/illustrator and writer for Techraptor by night. When I’m not doing any of those things, you can find me getting extremely angry in WoW as I watch my Moonkin get killed multiple times in PVP or drinking scotch.