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Hearthstone dev opens up about content updates and improving communication

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When you look at the pace that Blizzard has released Hearthstone content compared to its other games, it may seem hard to believe, but hardcore players are constantly itching for news and updates related to the game. This leads to times like now — barely a month since the completion of the latest adventure pack, League of Explorers — where players have new cards they're still figuring out but are nonetheless restless for what's next.

In the video above, posted to the official Hearthstone YouTube channel this week, senior game designer Ben Brode digs into these problems. Despite his status as a developer, he's not afraid of laying some of the blame at Blizzard's feet.

"I think mostly it stems from a lack of communication on our side," Brode says. "Sometimes it's hard to avoid the lack of communication."

Brode notes that often the community gets the most anxious for news just before Blizzard is ready to announce something. Sometimes the developer holds back just in case early plans get changed. Also, he says, the studio learned not to announce things too early from the game's first adventure pack, Curse of Naxxramas.

"We kind of messed up with Naxxramas," says Brode. "We announced it much earlier than was wise I think. We should have announced it much closer to release."

So what's Blizzard's solution? Brode promises that "next time we have a lull in the development cycle," the team wants to do better at talking to the community. One of those solutions will be more videos like this one. He also reiterates that however long it takes and however frustrated people may get, the Hearthstone team is always working hard on what's next.

"We have so many things planned for the future of Hearthstone, but it's not always the right time to announce that cool new stuff," he says. "We're never far away from the next cool announcement."

You can watch the full video for yourself above. If you'd like more great Hearthstone videos, check out our YouTube playlist.

You can listen to this story — and many more — in the episode of Minimap, Polygon's daily news podcast, below.

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