Hearthstone players are less than a week in to playing with the game’s newest set The Witchwood—but the game’s design team are working a whole year ahead of the release schedule.
In a video for Ars Technica, game director Ben Brode revealed that the next two sets are all but put to bed and the team had begun work on the first set of the next Standard year.
“Our next set… is through the final design process,” Brode told Ars Technica. “which is where we really focus on the balance and fun and clarity of the cards. The set is currently in the final design process right now.
“And the one after that, which would kick off the next year of Hearthstone, is in the initial design phase. We’re coming up with the ideas for the cards, the set theme, and what the mechanics will be. Usually there are at least three sets that we know about that you guys don’t know about yet.”
That means that before The Witchwood even came out, the entirety of the Year of the Raven has been mapped out bar a few final tweaks. Those sets will likely be out in August and December—by which time Brode and company might have forgotten what’s in them.
Brode also touched on the relative unpredictability of Hearthstone deckbuilding, despite the substantial testing process a set goes through.
“There are a finite number of Hearthstone developers,” Brode said. “and a much larger number of Hearthstone players. Things like Freeze Mage or Miracle Rogue, some of these classic Hearthstone decks, we never had anything close to that until we went out to a larger audience and players started destroying us.”
Brode also once again repeated that is was likely cards will be moved from Wild into the Classic set, this time specifically citing Shatter as a good candidate—a card players have been suggesting to make the move for some time.