My Blizzard Application for Game Designer

So it has been a tough week for Blizzard. Everyone has been hating on the way the cards were designed and the snowball effect that RNG had in making the game less competitive to the point that became a relevant metagame card and Competitive Hearthstone simply ceased to exist. So I saw Blizzard opened up […]

Introduction

So it has been a tough week for Blizzard. Everyone has been hating on the way the cards were designed and the snowball effect that RNG had in making the game less competitive to the point that yogg-saron-hopes-end became a relevant metagame card and Competitive Hearthstone simply ceased to exist.

So I saw Blizzard opened up a Game Designer spot, and I decided it was finally time to do my first application!

Since we haven’t been getting many updates on this website lately, mostly given the Metagame stillness, I decided that this application could be an interesting read to you all, and will probably give you some insights on the game and my vision.

The requirements for the resume were:

  • Cover letter which should include:

    • Why you are interested in working at Blizzard
    • What games you are currently playing
  • Number of times you have attained the Legendary Rank in Hearthstone
  • Choose 5 cards in Hearthstone that are well designed and write a paragraph explaining why each is great.

Nuba’s Cover Letter

Hello, dear Blizzard developers and people who are going to read my application! I am Nuba, an all-seasons Legendary Hearthstone player and professional writer for the Hearthstoneplayers community.

Sadly, I lost track of the number of times I got to the Legendary rank, which should be higher than the number of seasons this game had, as I have been consistently getting Legend since the beta state of the game, years ago. Through all this time I have been evolving and becoming a better player, and I decided that it was time I apply for the Game Design team, as I figured my experience analyzing card games and such is like no other.

I have played a lot of card games in the past, it was actually years of Magic: The Gathering(MTG) that got me into Hearthstone in the first place – I used to love reading all those articles in many MTG websites and always wondered what it would be if I could write articles myself. As Brazilian citizen who doesn’t have much money to travel around the world playing tournaments, I could only be a local MTG player and never had the chance of going PRO.

To me, Hearthstone was like a dream come true: I could finally play card games on a competitive level and write my thoughts about the game if I could ever become a good player, and god did I – in about a month of Hearthstone, as a Free-to-Play player, I was able to reach my first Legendary rank in the beta test phase of the game. From there I started writing articles about my different deck choices and wasn’t long until I was hired as a writer for guide-based websites – my dream coming true.

And so I ended up here, at Hearthstoneplayers, and since then I was able to evolve as a writer and game analyst like no other – I am currently one of the two writers in the whole internet with most Hearthstone articles written, only behind my co-worker Joseph. I feel like my articles only gotten better with the passing of time, and so did I as a whole.

The reason I should join the Game Developer team is that I have a strong feeling that I can make the game better. No, in fact I have absolute certainty I can make the game better – Not only because of my experience with card games or my ability at writing Hearthstone articles, but also because I am in a constant evolving state that should be strongly beneficial to the team.

I would actually be lying if I say there is no personal interest – it would feel amazing to be a Blizzard Game Developer as well!

As additional information, I played other online and offline card games such as Pokemon TCG, Order and Chaos: Duels (I loved this one, shame it was abandoned by the developers) and a plethora of non-collectible card games from my local Play Store.

I also played World of Warcraft and Warcraft 3, both expansions, for years, and am completely on part with the World of Warcraft and Warcraft lore, including books and comics – My favorite comic is The Ashbringer.

Currently I play a couple of single-player games with awesome stories and graphics, such as a couple of Shooters, all of Dragon Age and Mass Effect games, I also play a couple of online games, such as Hearthstone, Tree of Savior and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Five Well-Designed Hearthstone Cards

Thinking about which cards I would put in this section wasn’t easy – There are just way too many well-designed cards in Hearthstone, but after some thought I decided that there are various reasons why a card is well designed, and since we can only talk about five cards, let’s point five different reasons:

  • injured-blademaster – Injured Blademaster was the first card that came to my mind – it is simple, balanced, but can open up a lot of different styles of deck building in the future. The beauty of this card isn’t in it’s power or versatility, but in the fact the developers can count on using it in the future for possible new, and fun, strategies to play with. Ever thought about running a deck with minions that would strongly benefit from circle-of-healing? Sure you did, but what about ancestral-healing? What about the fact it procs abilities such as armorsmith’s? resurrect, anyone? Injured Blademaster is a well designed card because it opens Blizzard up for future strategy designs without having to compromise card slots in said expansion, making different, and fun, decks a possibility.
  • thunder-bluff-valiant – Inspire is such a fun mechanism that I believe it should never leave the game. The number of possibilities is just too high to count, and I just love constructed-viable cards such as this one that can snowball into winning you the game, while allowing you to cast other cards in the same turn, possibly to defend yourself, and aren’t game-breaking cards that won’t give your opponent time to react. Thunder Bluff Valiant is the perfect example of how a late game finisher could be – Obviously, there are many other cards that are just as amazing as finishers, such as nzoth-the-corruptor, but I just love seeing different options for different strategies, and that is just how I see Thunder Bluff Valiant. What I loved the most about this card is that it gives you a seemingly infinite pool of thinking resources for future cards and how design should be made.
  • babbling-book – The last expansion also brought another card to my Five-list, which is, I believe, the perfect example of awesome randomness!

    Babbling Book is an amazing Tempo Mage card – it costs one mana, but gives you a random card that can/should be relevant later on in the game. The card is amazing because it can be played early on in the game, is super relevant in the late game, isn’t broken in any level as you still have to play the card you got out of its random effect, and applies perfectly one of the tools virtual card games has that others don’t – The Randomness.

  • fandral-staghelm – Fandral is a card that has been getting a lot of hate recently because of how powerful his effect is, but I strongly believe it is yet another perfect example of awesomely designed cards. What I love the most about Fandral Staghelm is that it picks up cards that weren’t previously played such as nourish and makes them top tier cards. Classic cards aren’t meant to always be great, and it is likely that the day Fandral rotates out people will stop using Nourish too, but I believe I am just fine with this thought. Fandral Staghelm is a well designed card simply because it makes the unplayable playable at high level, something similar, but less threatening to the health of the game, to mysterious-challenger – which was designed to do just that, but ended up being too broken. Fandral also makes cards that weren’t that great in the same expansion such as feral-rage much better, and is my favorite Old-Gods card.
  • ethereal-peddler – I just love strategy rotation, and what Blizzard has been doing with Rogue lately isn’t something people should be concerned about – Strategies need to rotate. While most players really want to see Miracle Rogue cards, I ultimately decided to be just fine with new strategies such as this one being implemented. To keep the feeling of freshness in the game new strategies should appear here and there, and while some might argue that the whole burgle strategy for Rogue is too inconsistent, it is still a viable Ladder option and a very fun one, while not being broken – which could’ve been a real problem. The reason I decided to put this in my Top 5 is because it is not only an innovative strategy that will rotate out with time and is amazing to play, but also because it uses mechanisms that are only made possible due to this being a digital game, which makes it even more awesome!

Closing

I am not going to be posting my Resume here, for obvious reasons, but I hope this at least gets to Blizzard’s eyes.

Applying for a spot at Blizzard’s Game Design team is something that always came to my mind but I never actually thought to be ready for this up until now, which I believe is the perfect moment for sending such a letter.

I hope this read was just as amazing for you guys as it was for me to write, and let’s hope, once more, that Blizzard at least contacts me to say they enjoyed the read, even if I don’t ultimately get hired.

Love you guys, thanks for all the support and for all the help making me a better writer and player, you guys are the reason I evolved so much with the passing of time and I thank you for that!

Cuddles,

Nuba