Hearthstone’s recent ladder revamp was a bit of a mess.
As Blizzard attempted to overhaul how ladder worked and improve the experience, the implementation didn’t go as planned. Ladder had to be taken offline for a significant period of time, and players are still a little suspicious of whether or not the legend ranks are working as intended.
In an interview with PC Gamer game director Ben Brode admitted that the roll out had not gone to plan—and that Blizzard had not communicated well enough with its player base.
“One of the biggest issues was communication.” Brode said. “We did, I think, a terrible job of communication about some of these changes we made in backend. So we had both technical issues and communication issues. I don’t expect to have either of those issues going forward. I think we’ve learned some good lessons about which things need to be communicated.”
While Brode does believe that Blizzard is improving its communication, Brode didn’t give a clear answer as to why Blizzard won’t have visible MMR ranking in the game.
Brode also went into some detail about the balance process, and what happens before Blizzard releases a new set.
“We have a team of very talented, super high level Hearthstone players to do that balance testing.” Brode said. “And a lot of the time what they do is test the limits: they try and play the fastest rush deck, or the slowest, greediest control deck. And it’s not just balance: it’s also fun, which is a hard thing for a computer to output some kind of metric on.
“If it was easy, if you could tell how good a card is by looking at it, then we wouldn’t need a balance team. [Laughs] We would just look at the cards and work out if they’re balanced or not. Part of the fun of the new expansion launch is finding out what cards are better than we thought they were and trying to break that meta.”
Brode cited Countess Ashmore, the card which draws a Rush, Lifesteal, and Deathrattle card, as his favorite addition from The Witchwood.
In just a few hours, we’ll find out if any of the cards from The Witchwood do end up broken.