Unless you’ve been hiding in a hole (or you just don’t play Hearthstone), chances are you have already heard the news about the new Standard format coming this Spring. Instead of spending time recapping it (you can read all about it here) or giving my opinion about it, I’ve decided to aggregate some of the best responses, opinions, and criticisms of the new format that I have come across online:
“…The problem is classic is a lot of cards that are very defining not just of class identities, but of strategies that push out other things… if this is going to be part of standard Hearthstone format forever, it requires a different lens for examining these things….
… The notion of the classic set remaining as part of standard forever is difficult for me to accept it being the best possible direction. I 100% believe that creating different formats is the best thing for Blizzard to do with Hearthstone moving forward.”
Brian Kibler makes many great points about what could have been done better with the new format in his 20 minute video.
“I have believed for quite some time that set rotations are a necessary inclusion in all collectible card games that reach a certain longevity….Games that do not have set rotations reach a point where new sets either have too many power creeps, which completely invalidates the majority of old playable cards; or new sets can’t compete with the power level of existing cards and therefore don’t sell….
…Assuming Blizzard has been working on developing Standard mode for quite some time, it would explain why Classic packs have been heavily recommended for new players and given as the reward for Tavern Brawl. Making those cards have always been a great starting point for new players, and once Standard mode is in play, this will keep the barrier for players to the competitive scene relatively low.
CVH of Tempo Storm justifies that all the change is for the better of the game.
“The monumental benefit card rotation brings to the table is that card designers have the freedom to build new cards without being limited by worrying about how those cards are going to impact the entirety of the card pool. Instead, you just sort of accept that Wild will always be kind of, well, wild, and focus on making the Standard experience as awesome as possible. Additionally, it lowers the barrier of entry to new players who might want to get involved in Hearthstone, but just get intimidated by the massive backlog of things they feel like they might need to buy across all the different card sets and adventures.
…Brode has told us that it will be the largest set of nerfs in the history of Hearthstone, with a favorite example of pointing to some Druid decks that will run upwards of 22 Basic and Classic cards, leaving little room for much else. The goal of all this is to have players wanting to play with all the new cards, and fill in any hole with Basic and Classic cards instead of the other way around.
The idea of having a large evergreen card pool for players was very important to Blizzard, and in the long run, their approach is probably for the better as they can devote time on more interesting cards and sets instead of annually re-releasing different variations of Silence, Earth Shock, and other Classic staples to have cards in Standard which fulfill those roles- Sort of like how in Magic there’s always some form of Lighting Bolt equivalent effect even if it isn’t specifically a card titled “Lightning Bolt”.”
Touch Arcade was part of the secret committee invited to the Blizzard HQ to discuss this big round of changes, and gives a nice recap of what happened behind the scenes in their article.
“Fans are going to gravitate to Standard, because that’s what Blizzard wants them to do. It’s why Blizzard is making Standard the only mode supported for its Hearthstone Championship Tour. Blizzard also plans to only feature only the top 100 players in Standard format, meaning that the top Wild players for each month won’t receive a special spotlight from the company.
…In fact, the failure of The Grand Tournament to really catch on with players could be a major factor in Blizzard setting up Standard mode. Only 13 cards from the expansion (which added 132) see regular use in competitive play today, according to the Daily Dot.
That’s how this whole Standard mode thing is a solution. It allows Blizzard to simultaneously make Hearthstone more accessible to newer players while removing overused, overpowered cards from the current meta. However, it still sucks for people who spent time and money earning those minions and spells.”
VentureBeat provides an honest look at the motivations for Blizzard to make this big change.
“As time goes on, this change will make it difficult for newcomers to be competitive in the anything goes “Wild” format. The impending phase-out of older expansions and adventures will probably also lead to an end-of-cycle buying frenzy among players who are eager to get their hands on departing cards before they become much more difficult to obtain. Both of these effects are likely by design.
…We usually think of the Internet as a limitless store, where inventories just increase because there’s no shelf space to worry about and practically no marginal cost to offering up an additional downloadable item. Blizzard’s latest moves with Hearthstone, though, are a reminder that game design and business interests mean digital goods can sometimes be nearly as scarce as real ones.”
Ars Technica provide a different perspective on why Blizzard is removing the Adventure mode cards completely.