Hearthstone One Night in Karazhan is yet to be fully revealed, but it?s unlikely any of the remaining cards will generate as much controversy as Firelands Portal. The common mage spell has been the center of a heated debate between Hearthstone?s players and the development team since its unveiling last week.
Hearthstone One Night In Karazhan Sparks Fierce Debate About Arena Balance
As soon as the card was revealed, fans knew it would have huge implications on Hearthstone?s arena format. The furor really kicked off a few days later when Kripparrian, a respected streamer and caster within the Hearthstone community, published his?scathing critique of the card and Blizzard?s puzzling design decisions on his YouTube channel.
He criticized Blizzard for giving Firelands Portal a common rarity, saying it would permanently warp the already fragile balance of the arena game mode. By making it common, players are likely to draft several copies of this card when playing as a Mage.
Fans will concede that the card itself isn?t even particularly overpowered. It?s unlikely to see any play at the highest levels of constructed, says Kripparrian in his video. However, its effect is perfectly geared toward the arena mode?s style of play, while its common rarity will ensure that Mage players will get to use it often. Kripparrian says this whole fiasco could have been avoided by simply bumping Firelands Portals? rarity up a notch.
In response, Hearthstone designer Mike Donais?sat down with PC Gamer to address the controversy.
?There are three [new] Mage cards: two commons and a rare. We looked at the three mage cards, and two of them are really good in Arena, while one of them is not as good in Arena?it is more situational,? explained Donais. ?So we put the one that was not very good at common, because we wanted to make sure that in Arena Mage had that kind of weaker card there at common.?
The two remaining cards, Babbling Book and Firelands Portal, are the ones Donais refers to as ?really good in Arena.? The former was assigned the rare slot, while Firelands Portal was given the common one. PC Gamer then asked why Blizzard didn?t simply make both rare to avoid any problems in arena. Donais responded saying:
?It?s an idea we?re thinking about. Actually, it would be a little bit weird if Mage gets two [rares] and everyone else gets two commons, but it?s a valid point. Something to think about. We actually are thinking about whether we can do some engineering work to give us more control over Arena, and help us balance out Arena using percentages and technology.?
Is Donais? answer satisfactory to you? Let us know your thoughts on Hearthstone One Night in Karazhan in the comments below.