Looking Back and Improving the Heroic Brawl

Heroic Brawl, the be all end all gold consumer that the forum/reddit s have been warning us about came and went like a sudden storm. Some sat defiantly on their stacks of gold while others, sensing the inevitable temptation of 12 wins, gave themselves willingly. However, all storms must come to an end and now […]

Introduction

Heroic Brawl, the be all end all gold consumer that the forum/reddit doomsayers have been warning us about came and went like a sudden storm. Some sat defiantly on their stacks of gold while others, sensing the inevitable temptation of 12 wins, gave themselves willingly. However, all storms must come to an end and now that the weather has cleared and the dust had settled it is time to observe the damage that was done. Some are crying over the loss of gold, some are cheering over their success in this brawl while others are happy that they have managed to hold on to their gold…and I am really making the last week sound like a really awful experience. I should probably stop that.

Welcome, one and all, to another article where I analyze things regarding Hearthstone and give you my opinion on what is good and bad about them. While we’re patiently waiting for the rest of the Jade Lotus cards to be revealed lets take a look at something else that took place last week other than the Kabal reveal. That something is the Heroic Brawl!

*prepares to dodge virtual rocks*

I’m not about to say that the Heroic Brawl was the best thing that had ever happened to Hearthstone. As your local researcher I’m here to take an objective look at what had transpired last week, how did the Heroic Brawl went, what have we learned from it and, most importantly, how can the future Heroic Brawl (IF it happens) be improved upon.

My opinion on the Heroic Brawl

An important lesson that I have learned is that when you’re talking about something controversial it is very important to give your own brief stance on it before digging deeper into the topic at hand. As such, let’s get this out of the way first. I’ll start with answering what is most likely the first question that will pop into some heads when they see what this article is about and that is how did I do in the Heroic Brawl? I didn’t do the heroic brawl. I had no interest of doing it in the first place. The reason for me not doing this brawl is not that I wasn’t confident enough that I could do well enough (and by well enough I mean somewhere around 7 wins) nor was it that I thought that it was the worst thing ever but it was simply that I had no reason to do it. I’ve already gotten every Whispers of the Old Gods card that I will ever need so packs aren’t of much interest to me and I knew that I probably wouldn’t be able to reach at least 10 wins for that golden legendary. I’ve decided to save my money for something else and save my gold for future packs that will be of more worth to me than Whispers of the Old Gods packs.

What do I think about the idea of the Heroic Brawl? In all honesty I think that it is a great idea that was poorly executed. The idea of a constructed arena run has been around for a very long time but it just wasn’t much talk about it this year. I wouldn’t mind having a permanent constructed arena mode in the future. The part that was poorly executed were the entry fee, the cancellation of a regular brawl for that week and the silly reward distribution. So, yea, my opinion is that it wasn’t the worst thing that had ever happened to Hearthstone but I don’t think that it is the best thing as well. It was good on paper, bad in execution. I won’t be defending it nor will I be praising it.

How did the players do?

Gathering accurate data on how well did the players do in the Heroic Brawl is not an easy task because we’re lacking the ways of monitoring the success of players on a large sample size. After searching the internet for any site that might provide me with enough insight to the Heroic Tavern Brawl results I’ve figured that I probably won’t find it so I went for the next best thing. I’ve found a reddit thread (here) which had recorded several pro player games and 12 wins games of redditors. It is indeed a small sample pool but currently it is the best one that we have so I’ll use it in my analysis.

Pro players!

Number of pro players that had reached 12 wins: 25

Number of runs that ended with the score of 11: 5

Number of runs that ended with the score of 10: 4

Number of runs that ended with the score of 9: 6

Number of runs that ended with the score of 8: 5

Number of runs that ended with the score of 7: 5

Number of runs that ended with the score of 6: 8

Number of runs that ended with the score of 5: 7

Number of runs that ended with the score of 4: 4

Number of runs that ended with the score of 3: 5

Number of runs that ended with the score of 2: 5

As we can see from these numbers, although only 25 pro players have reached the 12 wins, most runs have ended on either 5 or 8 wins with the smallest number of runs ending with the score of 10 wins. One would have thought that most of these 12 wins were achieved with shaman decks but as a matter of fact only 4 shaman decks have made it into that 12 wins list. The most dominant class on that list is in fact mage with 9 decks or, to be more precise, tempo mage with 6 tempo mage 12 win runs and 3 freeze mage 12 win runs. There are 0 priest, paladin and hunter decks on that list and only 2 rogue decks (one of which is a mill rogue).

Now that we’re done with pro players, lets take a look at the common folk.

Redditors!

Number of redditors that have reached 12 wins: 28

Well, this is less information that I have expected. Unfortunately it is all that we have because the person that was tracking the results was interested only in 12 win runs and how well did the pro players do. Shaman is more dominant on this list with there being 8 shaman 12 win runs and only 3 mage 12 win runs. On the lower end, there are still 0 hunter 12 win runs and 0 paladin 12 win runs but there is one person who had managed to get 12 wins with a priest deck and 2 people have managed to get 12 wins with rogue decks.

Results

Taking a look at all of the listed decks here are the results with each class:

Druid: 17 runs, 7 12 win runs

Hunter: 0 runs

Mage: 18 runs, 11 12 win runs

Paladin: 3 runs, 0 12 win runs

Priest: 5 runs, 1 12 win run

Rogue: 8 runs, 4 12 win runs

Shaman: 27 runs, 16 12 win runs

Warlock: 3 runs, 1 12 win run

Warrior: 10 runs, 2 12 win runs

I honestly don’t think that anyone is surprised that shaman was the best preforming class in the Heroic Tavern brawl, followed closely by mage (mostly tempo mage). Although I am sure that there were players who have reached 12 wins with hunter, I am surprised that there are no hunter runs listed.

Improving the future Heroic Brawl

What went wrong?

Now that we have analyzed that small sample pool it is time to discuss something more…fun and lighthearted…which is how to improve the Heroic Tavern brawl. I’ve seen a poll on Hearthpwn that was made the day the Heroic Brawl came out and the poll was asking ”Will you be playing the Heroic Brawl?”. Today I’ve checked the results of the poll and 80.41% (which translates into 15,658 votes) of the users who have voted on this poll have voted no. That is quite a concerning number, but what is the cause of it?

From the information that I’ve gathered while reading the comments is that there were 2 main issues of this brawl: price and timing.

It is fairly obvious to anyone that one of the main purposes of this brawl is to try to get players to spend gold (or money) that they have been saving for the future expansion. Players have recognized this and were reasonably angered by it. Not everyone is keen or throwing away 10 packs of the newest expansion for a very slight chance of getting a lot more in return. Not everyone is keen on throwing away 10 packs of the newest expansion to get a few packs of the previous expansion.

The other problem that ties directly into the first one is timing. Blizzard couldn’t have picked a worse timing to announce and release the Heroic Brawl. I can assure you that if this brawl was announced and released 3 months ago that there wouldn’t be this many angered players. The fact that the brawl was made to try to squeeze out gold (or money) from the players is not the issue here. The issue is that they have made it painfully obvious and it had backfired with a loss of over 15k potential Heroic Brawl players.

The last issue, and in my opinion the biggest one, are the rewards which are awfully distributed. If you get 0 wins then you get only 1 pack for your 1000 gold and you need 7 wins to break even but that is not even the worse part. The worse part about the whole rewards list is the astronomical gap between 11 and 12 wins! How does this make sense? Who had designed this rewards list? In which world should this make sense?

Improving the Heroic Brawl

Ok, enough talk about what went wrong with the first Heroic brawl. It is time to see how can we improve it.

The problem: The first thing that need to be improved upon is the announcement and the launch timing. I’ve mentioned this briefly before but I would like to expand upon it a bit more. There is a 4 month gap between each new expansion/adventure so it makes no sense to announce and launch the brawl too close to the expansion release.

The solution: Whenever a new expansion/set comes out there is that inevitable ”dry time” when we the community has already figured out which decks function and which don’t and we’re all thirsty for new content. From my experience I would say that this time comes around about 2 months into the latest expansion. We don’t have anything to spend out gold on so we either hoard it for the future expansions (like I do), spend it on the arena or simply buy packs because we can although we might not need anything from the set. Announcing and launching the Heroic Brawl 2 months into the expansion would be a perfect way to give us something to spend our gold on during the period when there is nothing to spend gold on. Make it last an entire week, disable the ”Win 5 brawls” quest and announce it 2 weeks in advance so that the players can gather enough gold for at least one run.

The problem: I’m well aware that the brawl was made for more competitive players, but other players would like to try it as well. The main problem here is the entry fee which is too high for a lot of players. The insanely high entry fee is something that drew a lot of players away.

The solution: I’ve already mentioned announcing the brawl 2 weeks in advance to give players a fair shot at gathering the necessary gold but there is more that can be done about this. My first idea is making a separate entry fee of 500 gold or 5$ with much lower rewards but I’ve decided to take a simpler route. Because the players are given 2 weeks to collect enough gold during the time when there is literally nothing too useful to spend your gold on other than the arena they should have enough gold for at least 1 run. What should be done is giving players 1 free run instead of lowering the entry fee. Giving the players 1 free run means that everybody can try out this brawl. I think that it is a better alternative instead of making a separate entry fee and, more importantly, it fixes the problem with those player that complain that they were ”cheated” out of their free pack.

The problem: Last problem is clearly the rewards system which is awful. Players need 7 wins to break even and the gap between 11 and 12 wins is just embarrassing.

The solution: The rewards system needs some adjusting. I’m probably not the best person to try to do something like that but what I would personally do is keep the 1 pack for 0 wins because, despite some saying that it is not fair, I honestly don’t see much of an issue here. It is like the arena. If you end up with a 0-3 score and you’re among the worst arena players than don’t expect much of a reward. What I would add is some gold, like a 50 gold for example, and 40 dust. It is not much but it is at least better than just 1 pack. Another thing that should be fixed is the ”breaking even” point which should be moved to 6 wins. I’ve never really seen the point in having a ”breaking even” point in this or the arena at 7 wins. Last, but not least, players who get 11 wins should get much, MUCH more than what they are getting now.

The number of packs, gold and dust should also be adjusted but as I’ve said before, I’m probably not the best person to try to do something like that.

Conclusion

The first Heroic Brawl was a complete mess. It was fun to watch on Twitch but it probably wasn’t that fun to play. The rewards were bad, the entry fee was too high, it was launched at the worst possible time…it was just bad. Was it a good idea? Yes, it was, on paper. I do suspect that we will see this mode return and I do hope that it will at least be launched 2 months into the expansion when we desperately need new content.

That is all I have for you today. Stay tuned for the Jade Lotus analysis and review that will come out hopefully later this week. In the meantime, tell me what are your opinions on the Heroic Brawl? Did you play it? Do you agree with the solutions or would you change something? Do let me know in the comments and if you’ve liked this article do consider following me on twitter https://twitter.com/Eternal_HS. There you can ask me all sorts of Hearthstone questions (unrelated to this article) and I’ll gladly answer them as best as I can. Until next time!