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Hearthstone pro feedback: The competitive game needs more cards, new formats

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Brian Kibler says randomness isn’t really the game’s biggest problem

Over the course of the summer, a wave of common complaints spread across the Hearthstone player base. Fans watching various esports events started expressing the same frustration: Too many games were being decided by random effects — particularly the randomness from Yogg-Saron, a card added in the recent Whispers of the Old Gods expansion.

After months of those complaints, one pro Hearthstone player and streamer has decided to speak out on the subject and more. In the video above, Brian Kibler, a well-known personality in the Hearthstone community, spends more than 25 minutes going in-depth on the problems facing the competitive scene at the moment.

Curiously, Kibler says he doesn’t believe randomness is the real problem. Instead, it’s the perception of randomness that’s messing with the game. His argument is basically that if you look at the stats, Yogg-Saron doesn’t actually have a positive impact any more often than other cards with random elements in the game; viewers and players just perceive that it has a bigger impact because it’s usually played near the end of the game.

That doesn’t mean Yogg-Saron isn’t a problem, however, and Kibler still suggests that Blizzard needs to figure out a solution for it. He also suggests several other areas where the developer could improve things. For example, Kibler says that different formats for official tournaments could encourage more obvious demonstrations of the skill that is required to play Hearthstone well.

Kibler also strongly suggests that Blizzard needs to put out more cards more often. He says the ideal would be for the developer to put out two full-sized expansions and two smaller adventure sets in each calendar year. Whether or not that will be possible with Blizzard’s release schedule remains to be seen.

Last month, we spoke with Hearthstone associate designer Dean Ayala about the issue of randomness in the game and whether or not Blizzard is worried. You can read all about that here. You can watch more of us messing around with Hearthstone in our full YouTube playlist.

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