The Case for Rotation

Play Mode Discussion
I have not posted in a while, but today I will posit that the eternal sets have become burdensome to the development process of new sets. From the nerfing of FWA, all the way until the release of today’s patch notes proves one simple, underlying fact: the eternal set is broken at its core, up to and including the cards that define each class’s identity. Many have maintained that the eternal sets are the underpinning for the F2P side of Hearthstone, and help inform the class identities, but I would argue that is no longer the case. Here are my simple arguments:

1.) The F2P experience has continually been shifted away from the eternal sets, and towards more generous card offerings. New players now start at rank 50, and can earn 22 card packs by climbing. We are also given a free legendary, and several free packs with the release of each new set. Pair those two things with the events that precede most set releases, and you have a fairly healthy F2P environment. Unfortunately, with the devaluation of core class cards in the eternal sets, it has become nearly impossible to compete unless you access a high percentage of new sets, which differs from the experience even as recently as JTU.

2.) The basic/classic sets do not inform class identity any more, for two reasons. Firstly, class identity has become somewhat transmutable, and morphs between releases. This is evident by Druid moving from a ‘ramp’ and ‘big minions’ class, to a draw-heavy OTK/heavy armor gain class. So many cards have been nerfed in Druid, that their class identity has been forced into metamorphosis over the last year, and the result is a class that is only tangentially similar to the original. The second, adjacent reason that the eternal sets don’t inform class identity any more, is because new card releases don’t fit neatly into the molds offered by the basic/classic sets. This means that classes take on new identities over time, particularly when their core cards are nerfed. For instance, Warrior was once the ‘premiere weapon class,’ but with the FWA nerf, their best weapon is arguably worse than Hunter’s best weapon.

With those things in mind, it becomes more difficult for a development team to design cards, because it’s hard (see: impossible) to balance cards against an ever-changing eternal set. It would alleviate a lot of these issues if the basic/classic sets were either retooled, or rotated permanently. In absence of these changes, they will continue to be a bane on the development/balance process, and the continuing devaluation will cause both confusion and frustration among the F2P base.
01/31/2019 03:56 PMPosted by Plikuscht
and the continuing devaluation will cause both confusion and frustration among the F2P base.


i agree with everything you said, but this comment needs a minor tweak. its not just f2pers "confused & frustrated", paying customers are also feeling the same way.
Actually without classic standard would become cheaper to start and more expensive in the long term that isn't in fact bad since collect is part of the game.
The basic set (or something similar) is required or new players would not be able to build any deck. The classic set allows new players to invest in the game (time and/or money) and not feel their investment will be thrown away when rotation occurs. Both of these concerns need to be addressed before eliminating evergreen cards. More generous card offering partially address this issue however there is a limit as eventually it will cut into sales of new cards. You want to give away enough to keep F2P players interested but not so many that P2W players stop spending money.

Whizbang the Wonderful is a possible solution to these issues. Giving all new players this one card lets them play a variety of viable decks but still gives them incentive to purchase cards. Buying cards allows them to avoid having to play a random deck every game, the ability to create their own decks, and the possibility of building decks better than the Whizbang decks. In essence you would be replacing the classic set with Whizbang. I still think a basic set would be required because without it players would need to purchase way to many cards before abandoning Whizbang however the basic set can be rotated as part of the end-of-year cycle so the game does not become stale with the same basic cards existing forever. The major issue with this solution is it does not address the issue of players losing their investment in the game every rotation. Whisbang makes that investment less necessary but it still feels bad to lose all the money/time invested in building a collection.

In an ideal system power creep would not exist and the standard set could contain basic cards like Chillwind Yeti. Expansions would have all the cool effects but be balanced against basic cards rather than having cards that are strictly better. In this way the basic set would allow you to build viable but boring decks while expansions would be required for more interesting play. Imagine the basic set having every appropriate mana/health/attack combination but no extra text. Class cards would consist of a few basic spells, weapons, or other class specific cards that define the class and give you an idea of the class cards to be found in expansions. Unfortunately this would require a major overhaul so is unlikely to happen.

Instead I see Blizzard slowly nerfing the basic/classic set out of existence while introducing more and more powerful expansion cards to make the un-nerfed cards unplayable. Amy time a basic/classic cards gets put in a majority of decks expect the nerf bat to come out. In short Blaiizard wants the appearance that new players can purchase cards that they can use forever but the reality that the 'forever' cards are actually useless.
Their stubbornness on not doing classic rotation every year is becoming a problem.

Just like their stubbornness on failing to support auto squelch and Arena/Wild tournaments throughout the year.
Honestly, I wish they would just toss tavern brawl. Create a mode that is just strictly Basic/Classic and only the newest expansion.

1.) This creates a gateway for new players to get into the game and allows them the freedom to be f2p or p2p. Right now a player who wants to be able to play competitively has to place a monetary amount into a game they may not like thus creating a barrier.

2.) I would actually like to explore the new cards and have some fun trying fun ways to play them. It isn't fun when Hunters and Odd Paladins are trucking you over in the current standard format.
02/01/2019 03:22 PMPosted by NightDragon


2.) I would actually like to explore the new cards and have some fun trying fun ways to play them. It isn't fun when Hunters and Odd Paladins are trucking you over in the current standard format.


The competitive ladder and decks being played have a really dumb pre-requisite.
1. Can your deck be competitive against Odd paladin and odd rogues?

then the next question you have to ask for yourself being
2. Can your deck be fast enough to beat deathstalker rexxar?

Even among classes, its a really dumb rock paper scissors on its own.
Why even play pirate rogue, if odd rogue does the job better.
Why even try to play midrange buff paladin, if even paladin will outclass you by far.

"free up design space" is what they claim.
When in reality, they are keeping baku and genn which severely limit design space.
Can you really put any trust in this team to do anything right? I think the recent set of balance changes shows that the game has turned into a hot pile of garbage with no direction or any clear sense of how the game works

I dont see how they can manage to create a balanced or fresh classic set when the past few expansions have made the game more stale than it has ever been in its history
ITs pretty evident now that the entire classic set needs to be a rotating set instead like Kibler has said. Or just keeping nerfing classic problem cards every couple weeks into the ground. I think option 1 is better.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum