Blizzard continues its willingness to make gameplay changes to Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, announcing upcoming changes that will drastically alter the game.
Blizzard's Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a unique entry into the trading card game genre. Its nature as an online video game coupled with its ability to incorporate elements of random number generation (RNG) has set it apart from other competitors who are often restricted by the cardboard they print their cards on. Alongside the unique elements of Hearthstone, Blizzard has also included its trademark flair and property crossovers in order to create a wider demographic, offering gamers unique cosmetic items for purchasing Warcraft or other new releases.
Blizzard has also shown that it understands card games are constantly evolving, as the developer has been quick to step in and make serious changes to Hearthstone when it feels the game's balance is being threatened by an over-performing deck. That hasn't changed now that Hearthstone is approaching its third year since open beta, as Blizzard announced earlier this week that some major nerfs are coming to some of the game's most popular - and arguably broken - cards.
The biggest change proposed in the upcoming patch is being made to the card that Blizzard itself has dubbed the most controversial one they've ever created. Yogg-Saron, Hope's End has been a dominant presence on the tournament scene in recent months, and Blizzard has now changed it so that if it dies in the middle of the flurry of random spells it casts once played, it will cut off that sequence altogether.
Yogg-Saron frequently dies during the resolution of its ability, so this change will severely affect the viability of the card as a linchpin in tournament competitive decks. Blizzard is also shutting down the tyrannical reign of Shaman aggro decks on the game's competitive ladder, nerfing both the Rockbiter Weapon and Tuskarr Totemic cards that have made the deck so powerful since the release of Hearthstone: One Night in Karazhan shook up the meta.
Blizzard also changed some of the cards from the game's Basic set to be less powerful, namely Abusive Sergeant and Execute. These changes, while perhaps not necessary immediately, were made so that Blizzard can start designing cards without worrying about the interactions with those two so much - the Basic set is always playable in Hearthstone, while other cards become unplayable in certain formats as time goes on.
The community has responded positively to these changes, with many stating that the nerfs will cause them to begin playing Hearthstone again after taking a break due to frustration over the card pool's balance discrepancies. If all goes well, Hearthstone will become even more profitable than it is now as a greater diversity of decks hopefully takes center stage in the tournament scene, something that Blizzard has proven time and time again that it can create with relative ease.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is available now for PC and iOS and Android mobile devices.