Everyone's favourite Hearthstone Dad, Dean "Iksar" Ayala has brought us another Q&A! As usual, here's our recap of all the important points and a full transcript of the event.
- All previous Q&As from Dean can be found under our "Iksar's Community Q&A" topic.
- Anything covered in the previous Q&As will not be covered in the recap but will appear in the transcript below.
Important: Mercenaries Datamining
If you missed our datamining today from Hearthstone Mercenaries, you're in for a treat!
- Mercenaries Mixtape - 7 New Songs Are Coming in the New Mode
- The Training Hall Brings Pokemon Daycare to Level Up Your Mercenaries Automatically
- How Expensive Are Hearthstone's Mercenaries Buildings?
- All Bounties Present in Hearthstone Mercenaries at Launch Including Boss Fights, Regions, and Mercenary Rewards
- Chakki says we're getting 3 mana 3/4.
Next Year (2022)
- We should expect a larger than normal expansion for the last set of next year.
- Their intention over the past few years has been to create more diverse characters.
- You can see their efforts through gender, age, and human race diverisity.
- Warcraft has been historically heavy on white males. This is why they've created characters like Elise, Cariel, Rokara, and Bob.
- No plans for 2000 Wins portraits.
- They want to do more special frames, alternate art, boards - it all just takes time.
- Some products will be for sale, but they also want to make cosmetics to show off your achievements.
- More of the existing Mercenaries will see new hero skins in the next expansion.
- No updates to share yet on the "Upgrade to Golden" feature planned for collections.
- Ashes of Outland will eventually get a cosmetic Coin.
- Scholomance, Outland, and Darkmoon will all get Diamond cards.
- Most card balance changes are made due to perception.
- Cards exceeding a win rate of 54-55%, which is truly imbalanced, only happens 0-1 times per set.
- Gadgetzan Auctioneer has dodged nerfs and rotations "so, so, so many times".
- Chakki, Gallon, and BoarControl are the final design with Alec leaving. Dean still has oversight.
- The team has talked about doing an update with Hearthstone streamers being added to the Battlegrounds hero pool for a limited time.
- Kripparrian the Stormwind Guard was one example of a hero.
- To do all this, they need to find a way to partner that benefits everyone involved.
- Post-Mercenaries, we should expect systems like progression, more cosmetics, and potential improvements to gameplay for Battlegrounds.
- Both the Hearthstone and WoW team would love to do more cross-promotions.
- The two teams have been trying to brainstorm ways to work better together, but Dean thinks the reality is they're both too busy with their own games to make time for it.
- Dean has thought about making content surrounding design, like articles, but he'd probably do video instead.
Full Transcript of Iksar's Q&A #31
Quote From Dean Ayala
Hearthstone AMA #31 5:00PM - 6:30PM PST Ask me a question about Hearthstone! Or Design! (or anime…) https://t.co/a1kEGVbmlv (Source)
@IksarHS Hi iksar 🤠
@ggahSoO hi (Source)
@IksarHS What are the odds of getting design articles from you or the team? I personally love seeing the behind the scenes processes for games and they can be great resources for fans too like with the class identity article.
@coolboypai From card design? Probably low. I've thought about making content, but I'd probably make it in video form. People don't read articles anymore! (Source)
@coolboypai For written content you should be passionate about sharing info with the community and also a talented writer. A rare combo. Rosewater and Ghostcrawler are great, but they are rare gems. (Source)
@IksarHS @coolboypai Liking for you making videos. Crying about people not reading articles anymore. (Source)
@hsdecktech @coolboypai Okay in retrospect that was rude, sorry decktech we still love articles. Was mostly meant as a joke about getting older and the kids and their dang whippersnapper tiktoks (Source)
@IksarHS @coolboypai TikTok dance design articles would do really well. (Source)
@hsdecktech @IksarHS If only there was someone who is both a writer and also involved with the Hearthstone team… :p
@coolboypai @IksarHS 🤔🤔🤔 (Source)
@IksarHS Are there plans on adding 2000 win portraits/diamond borders? I have 1000 wins on 8/10 classes, but I’m not a fan of all the 1000 portraits and I think it would be cool to show off the 1000 wins using a different portrait. For example burning 500 win garrosh with a diamond border
@FroggyHSxD No plans on 2000 win specific stuff but we have tons of new cosmetics in the works. Would love to do things like more frames, alternate art, boards, etc. Just takes time to concept. We'll make some as products to sell but also want to make things to show off your achievements. (Source)
@IksarHS Mercenaries and Constructed feel to me like 2 completely separate things except for the gold that you'll need to spend for buildings and to buy packs. Is there anything that you think might help to connect the 2 games in a more cohesive game overall?
@AlonsoArrietaC1 We're okay with having different experiences across each core game mode. I'd still consider them in the same broad genre of slow strategy games but you are right in that they are mostly their own standalone experiences. (Source)
@IksarHS @Celestalon The Spanish Latam version of the game still has Ignite's card text bugged! Could you please do something about it? (spell damage is not applied to the card text)
@Rami94HS @Celestalon Fixed in upcoming patch. @Celestalon just let me know! (Source)
@Rami94HS @Celestalon Didn't make it into the mercs patch, but one shortly after. (Source)
@IksarHS As we got 4 portraits for Guff, Tamsin and Scabbs, is there any chance for 1 more portrait for previous mercs, esp Rokara? Or is this just a "from now on" kind of thing? Also, what's the best anime fight you've ever seen? In and outside of Naruto, that is. Cheers!
@kurgan_ They'll be more portraits for previous mercs in the next expansion. No comment on who just yet. Best anime fight… Naruto is hard. The original Sasuke vs Naruto at the waterfall is so iconic that it would be hard to beat. Naruto vs Pain, Sasuke vs Itachi, Madara vs everyone… (Source)
@kurgan_ Outside of Naruto…. Tanjiro and Nezuko vs Rui in Demon Slayer was probably my favorite from an art perspective. (Source)
@IksarHS Finally! I've been wanting to catch an AMA live for a long time. I have so many questions. I'll limit it to two.
@IksarHS 1. I'm curious about the philosophy behind hero emotes. For example, if I try to sincerely emote "Well Played" with Arcanist Jaina, it comes out "You are something else" (an insult) so then I switch to Lady Katrana Prestor and it becomes "You are so very clever" (another insult).
@IksarHS It feels like it makes the game culture more snarky (and feels rather off-brand), so I'm wondering what the thought is behind it.
@aqword2 Maybe a better question for a T5 writer like @themattlondon. Sounds like a good question :). (Source)
@IksarHS 2. I'm wondering about the approach to card art and inclusiveness. It seems like orcs are represented with the facial features of Black people, trolls are given Caribbean accents, but most of the "humans" are white, and mainly men.
@IksarHS What's the approach to trying to make the game more inclusive of people other than white men? Has there been any consideration of updating older cards?
@aqword2 Our intention, especially the last few years, has been to try and create a more diverse set of characters. You can see that through gender, age, and human race diversity in characters we've created over the last couple years. (Source)
@aqword2 Warcraft has been historically heavy on white-male characters and it's one of the reasons we've tried to branch out and create core characters like Elise, Cariel, Rokara and Bob that are unique to the Hearthstone universe. (Source)
@IksarHS I've actually been pleased by some of the strides I've seen there (esp Varden). But for a new user starting out with the core set (which uses mainly old art), nearly all the characters (31 of 32 at a quick count) are white. Has there been any consideration of updating old art?
@aqword2 A good question. Starting experience something we're looking at in the near future. I think it's less likely we'll update the art of a character to be a different race, but I like the idea of looking for existing cards of a more diverse group to represent the early experience. (Source)
@IksarHS Don’t ask why, but recently I did a statistical analysis on card cost by class, and all but Rogue and Druid show no statistical difference. Is this a conscious design decision, ie Druid is the expensive card class, rogue the cheap card class?
@baney64 @IksarHS I'd guess Rogue cheaper to enable Combo triggering, Druid expensive to cash on the mana ramp spells.
@oEltinho @IksarHS I guess I’m more interested in how the others are the same. It feels like, say, Hunter should have cheaper cards than warrior but they don’t. I wonder if this is a conscious choice.
@baney64 @oEltinho @IksarHS curious how you determined the statistical analysis. if hunter has only 3-cost cards and warrior has an even split of 1- and 5-cost cards, the average will be the same even though the card pool is very different.
@ASMRxism @oEltinho @IksarHS It’s basically this https://t.co/oyVIbfEa4K. See the F-test Could be wrong, was just testing, I use hearthstone json when I need a test data set. Also I realise I’m p-hacking a bit
@baney64 @ASMRxism @oEltinho To be honest I'd also have expected Hunter to have cheaper cards than Warrior on average. The other commenter was correct, though. Druid needs high cost cards to capitalize on ramp and Rogue needs lower cost stuff to capitalize on high card velocity and combo fantasy. (Source)
@IksarHS Does the Dev team prefer low power or higher power sets? I can see arguments for both, but there have been many higher power sets lately (UiS especially). Will the next standard year be more like Year of the Raven?
@Oakijak_HS Given the choice between either, probably high-power. High-power sets are pretty high on complaints and emotion but low-power sets mean players get bored and quit. Obviously we'd rather be somewhere in the middle. (Source)
@IksarHS What's your favourite deck rn? Mine is probably Garrote rogue. Btw, tried Outer Wilds DLC yet?
@Hyyyyl I basically never buy DLC. When I'm done with a game it's hard for me to go back to it. (Source)
@Hyyyyl Been playing mostly BG lately, but before that my favorite deck was Maxima Blastenh…. I mean Even Hunter. (Source)
@IksarHS How's that "upgrade to a golden card" feature doing? Btw what do you think would be the price for let's say upgrading a normal common/rare/epic/legendary to a golden version?
@imik_plays That's a good question I don't know the answer to. Will check in with our UI team. (Source)
@IksarHS About modes, cant qe just use all banned cards on Adventure Modes??? Please I want to use them on Adventure modes
@Hearthstoneisd I'll check in with team and ask about it. Reasonable request. (Source)
@IksarHS Are there plans on adding diamond cards for scholomance, Outland and darkmoon? And a coin for Outland?
@FroggyHSxD yes, all of the above (Source)
@IksarHS Hey Iksar 👋 Whenever a number of players want a card to be nerfed, do members of Team 5 ever knudge the card designer in question and give friendly jabs to them like, "hey, nice going, DEREK, you made the players mad." I like to think ya'll do.
@eminent_panda We do, I like to jokingly blame @Chakki_HS and @Songbird_HS for things. (Source)
@IksarHS @eminent_panda @Chakki_HS https://t.co/7fttRF1bMP (Source)
@Songbird_HS @eminent_panda @Chakki_HS (she loves it, really likes to be blamed for stuff) (Source)
@IksarHS Will we ever see Console releases?
@TexPine Ever is a long time, but not anywhere in the near future. (Source)
@IksarHS Do you plan to continue with this masterpiece??? (or doing something similar) https://t.co/e5P1oXZ9zQ
@Minico_20 unfortunately not, it was before its time (or after its time?) (Source)
@IksarHS I’m playing through God of War Rn and love it. Any other recs?
@BroccoliReef Ghosts of Tsushima was great. Last of Us 2 was great. Horizon Zero Dawn….. great. FTL is my favorite IPad game not named Hearthstone. (Source)
@IksarHS Do you think some Questlines should be revamped once they fully rotate to Wild?
@HolyKnight077 I suspect that quests are the topic of today and by the time they rotate to Wild players will be focused on a different topic :) (Source)
@IksarHS Your AMAs always feel very linear with just HS questions and answers. Any chance we could see something like Marvel storyline discussing or your favorite songs of the past year?
@Bored_Certified I fear that players will discover I am not that interesting of a person to ask questions unrelated to Hearthstone. (Source)
@IksarHS i've heard devs say sometimes perception of balance is more important than actual balance. have you guys made any changes to any decks or cards because of perception even if your internal stats said it wasn't an issue? ever use sites like hsreplay to see the stats players do?
@shanedestroys Most of the changes we make are due to perception. I'd only really consider something truly imbalanced if win rates are exceeding 54-55%. That usually only happens 0-1 times per set. (Source)
@IksarHS Any chance we could see more cross promotion with Hearthstone and WoW like the Sarge mount perhaps the wow tcg mounts could be added as a chance drop from Hearthstone packs?
@mancalledZ Our teams would love to do more cross-promo. I was recently on a thread where we were trying to brainstorm better ways to work together. I think the reality is that we get so busy with our own games it can be hard to make time for it, especially when we have to coordinate times. (Source)
@mancalledZ We will do more, though! (Source)
@IksarHS Over the game's life cycle, what card(s) would you say dodged the nerf bat the most relative to their time in Standard?
@DatMageDoe Gadgetzan Auctioneer dodged nerfs and rotations so, so, so many times. (Source)
@IksarHS Have the dev team ever snuck Easter eggs of themselves or their interests in HS, their trailers, or animations before? If so, what were they?
@Pokeniner2 @Songbird_HS says it was a coincidence but I DONT KNOW pupbot sure does look A LOT like her dog…. (Source)
@IksarHS @Pokeniner2 I personally don't see the similarities. https://t.co/hvBy3y8Q6G (Source)
@Pokeniner2 @IksarHS In BGs the made a card for @DreadsGaming 🥺 peggyyyy
@Slysssa @Pokeniner2 @DreadsGaming We talked awhile back about doing an update with streamers as BG heroes for a limited time. We even had some example Stormwind heroes like @Kripparrian the Stormwind Guard. (Source)
@Slysssa @Pokeniner2 @DreadsGaming @Kripparrian I'd like to do this, think BG is a place where most anything goes and celebrating community figures seems fun. Just have to find a way to partner that benefits everyone. (Source)
@IksarHS @Pokeniner2 @DreadsGaming @Kripparrian Dibs on captain Hooktusk 🥺🙂
@Slysssa @Pokeniner2 @DreadsGaming @Kripparrian No you'd just be your own hero. Cap'n Slyssa. (Source)
@IksarHS Seriously, though - is it “lie-bram” or “lee-bram”? I lean into the former because of the similarity to “library”.
@RTwoCTwo I'm pretty sure it's Lee and not Lie (Source)
@IksarHS Can you provide a humorous reason why Hearthstone will be better off with Alec leaving? We all need some copium today.
@BocLife I tried to think of something but came up empty, sorry :( (Source)
@IksarHS Alec will be leaving Hearthstone, who will be in charge of balancing from now on?
@kirayamatoXV The final design team will be @Chakki_HS, @GallonHS, and @BoarControl. I'll still have oversight as was the case with Alec but I wouldn't expect any major changes in philosophy. (Source)
@IksarHS @kirayamatoXV @Chakki_HS @GallonHS @BoarControl Will any of them be in charge of giving spoilers on twitter?
@gtluizmoratelli @kirayamatoXV @Chakki_HS @GallonHS @BoarControl Hmm, no I they will probably be pretty careful about spoilers. You are better off trying to get spoilers from me, @Celestalon, or @Songbird_HS. We're bound to let something slip. (Source)
@gtluizmoratelli @kirayamatoXV @Chakki_HS @GallonHS @BoarControl @Celestalon @Songbird_HS If you just mean balance changes slightly ahead of the blog, it'll be more or @Chakki_HS if Keaton graces us with his twitter presence. (Source)
@IksarHS @gtluizmoratelli @kirayamatoXV @Chakki_HS @GallonHS @BoarControl @Songbird_HS https://t.co/jDUug3wrjW (Source)
@Celestalon @IksarHS @gtluizmoratelli @kirayamatoXV @Chakki_HS @GallonHS @BoarControl https://t.co/5iBVBjoSuI (Source)
@IksarHS @gtluizmoratelli @kirayamatoXV @GallonHS @BoarControl @Celestalon @Songbird_HS you think i won't spoil stuff? the miniset has a 3 mana 3/4.
@Chakki_HS @gtluizmoratelli @kirayamatoXV @GallonHS @BoarControl @Celestalon @Songbird_HS oh no it was 6:31 @GW_Alec is gone for literally 1 minute and he's on twitter spoiling cards (Source)
@Chakki_HS @IksarHS @gtluizmoratelli @kirayamatoXV @GallonHS @BoarControl @Songbird_HS That’s just a good body! (Source)
@Celestalon @Chakki_HS @IksarHS @gtluizmoratelli @kirayamatoXV @GallonHS @BoarControl Good stats. (Source)
@Celestalon @Chakki_HS @gtluizmoratelli @kirayamatoXV @GallonHS @BoarControl @Songbird_HS a classic meme (Source)
@IksarHS What will be the top priority for the dev team after Mercenaries is released?
@Kross3d_ Improving BG with more systems like progression, more cosmetic options, and potential gameplay system changes/improvements. A bigger than normal expansion slated for late next year. Keeping up with content for expansions, bg, mercs. Brainstorming the next big things. (Source)
@IksarHS Have you read The Expanse books, or just follow the show? How excited are you for Season 6?
@troldann No to the books, but very excited for the show. The last season was amazing! (Source)
@IksarHS Is the team concerned about the increasing fragmentation of the player base in multiple game modes?
@TexPine Not really, games are fast enough and population size is large enough that we don't have any problems supporting the various modes with enough players. (Source)
@IksarHS What are your opinions on the common community complaint of decks/classes being able to draw through their deck to quickly and being able to do that consistently?
@Gronmin It's a real concern. A set where the keyword is essentially 'draw a card' is going to be heavier on card draw than most. It's a tough balance. Card draw is fun because it leads to having options. (Source)
@Gronmin We can do it through random generation or through draw, but both have their downsides. Limited card draw leads to playing games on curve or off the top of your deck. Upsides and downsides to all. (Source)
@IksarHS You’ve pitched a few experimental ideas over the last couple months. Assuming the team decided to do one of these larger-scale ideas, how long would it realistically take to implement? (Counting getting it working in-game and then bug/balance testing)
@sporkyreeve Something like class ban would be pretty fast implementation-wise, but things still take awhile to get into the game because every team has a log of things to get through. When you add a new 'thing' it usually goes to the back of the line. That line is often times 4-6 months long (Source)
@IksarHS Do you ever feel the sentiment that the Hearthstone team is working so much on what's coming next vs. improving what's currently broken/bugged in the game?
@TimRizzo Not really, the truth is pretty simple. We're always doing both. There are people who prioritize fixing live bugs, there are people that focus on creating future content. (Source)
@IksarHS Can i ask you a question even if im 8 minutes late?
@MyntyPhresh @IksarHS Well that's a pretty lame question… (Source)
@Songbird_HS @IksarHS >:( there are no lame questions
@MyntyPhresh @IksarHS Lame question asker says what (Source)
@Songbird_HS @IksarHS https://t.co/MQKnNtnJtB
@MyntyPhresh @IksarHS https://t.co/qI56rk0ej2 (Source)
I think we're all in agreement that we absolutely need this now that it's mentioned. It's such a cool idea, as it supports the streamers and could even highlight smaller streamers as well if it becomes popular.
Another idea could be streamer cosmetics? Like imagine Slyssa Xyrella or Kripp Millhouse cosmetics. I'd totally buy those
I think it would cool to have streamer heroes too; It ould never happen for the same reason Blizz is no longer naming characters after employees I imagine.
And it has been historically heavy on green males too.
Warcraft has always been diverse in relation to race. Humans, orcs, dwarfs, elves, trolls...
But yes, we need more diversity! When gets the hoard finally its first lesbian transgender black warchief?!
I don't think its the case. Because after all, quest mage is still alive and kicking, and as far as standard is concerned that's basically one of the most hated deck right now. Face hunter is equally loathed for multiple expansions and yet never seems to get any nerfs (barring Kolkar Pack Runner). And of course, one of the most infamous example of a very much hated card with low win rates: Tickatus, which has gone through 2 expansions unchanged. Not that Im supporting devs to start nerfing cards whenever they hear an 8 yr old crying in the distance, but its fairly obvious that there's a more robust criteria for nerfing cards.
Play rate is probably a more important criteria, judging by previous q&a. Just about every card they nerfed so far in stormwind has something to do with that. Which might explain why garotte rogue wasn't really targetted the last 3 nerfs and yet Irebound Brute was.
On the subject; just nerf that bs Sorcerer's Gambit already. Quest mage remains one of the most played and is still one of the most played today even after that Incanter's Flow nerf. Can we please have a mage with a gameplan that doesn't involve casino dice rolling or being a mostly single-player experience?
1) I think Dean’s point is that BOTH power and perception play a role, but perception is the bigger one. So a hated card with a 52% WR gets the bat, while a 52% WR card that people accept does not. But that doesn’t mean a hated 47% WR card gets nerfed. The power of the outcry only goes so far.
Quest Mage has been below 50% for most of its lifetime, so despite the hate it gets I don’t think it looks like a problem to the devs. (Since the latest balance changes, it’s crept up to about 51%. We’ll see if that’s enough.) And Tickatus, of course, has always been dumpster tier. Dean said many times that Tickatus was toast if it started winning games. The fact that he was thinking so much about a weak card is evidence that perception influences him.
2) You say that these cards are hated, but you didn’t mention that they’re also loved. Quest Mage stayed super-popular even with bad performance because many people liked it. Tickatus was played because people thought it was fun. (A point Dean made many times in his AMAs.) And Face Hunter is a consistently popular deck even when it’s not tier 1 - a lot of players really love it.
People are always more vocal on message boards about what they hate, but a successful game has to be designed around what people love. It’s a tough balancing act, and I think Team 5 handles it better than most people realize.
Quest mage's win rate according to hsreplay is over 55%. Granted I don't have a premium account so I can't give you a bigger picture, but its clear enough that quest mage is not a below 50% win rate deck. Its a polarizing deck that only really loses to either a burn end game or a combo faster than it can finish the quest, or a deck tailor made to beat it. To put simply, quest mage loses hard to some decks while unconditionally beating others and in my books that's not healthy for the meta. Outside of that, the deck is clearly being heavily played, and is highly resistant to tempo style decks, which is a fundamental part of the game. I can assure you quest mage is not a bad deck, unlike the earlier garrote shark rogue, which at very least require some skill to pull off.
If the devs cant figure this out, then Im at a loss. Because its been quite some time since I last had so little motivation to move up ranks.
On the love-hate thing. Well, that's something no one but blizz can answer because only they have the data to prove it. But looking at what little evidence we have clearly its not a well liked deck among a good portion of the community, and hardly anyone ever rises up to defend it, and Ive seen people defend face hunter and tickatus decks. You are right in pointing out that people are often more vocal about what they hate, but if there's more hate now than before (and that's what we have now), what would that in turn tells us?
To get good stats for higher ranks, I usually look at Vicious Syndicate. It’s not updated as frequently, but it shows you stats for high Diamond, Legend, and top Legend. Their last report before the nerfs showed Quest Mage at 47-49%, depending on which slice you look at. Meanwhile, it was played 12% of the time outside of Legend, which is pretty amazing. Presumably most of those people chose the deck because they liked it.
Post-nerf, Mage has improved. The brand new report shows it at 50-51%, though at it’s peak it’s only the 11th-best deck. Playrate has only increased about 1%, interestingly enough.
I agree that RPS metas are unhealthy, and it does feel to me like there has been some aspect of that lately. But other people who should know the data are saying that’s less the case than in the past, so I don’t know.
I will say that there has been no recent deck I’ve hated as much as some is the grindy control decks of the past that left you trapped with nothing to do for the last 10 minutes of the game: Rez Priest, Dr. Boom Warrior, that awful OTK Paladin…
Suggestion to nerf the gambit - this would apply to all 3 stages
I know a lot of folks here don't actually keep up with the competitive meta scene, but Quest Mage is actually far from nerf worthy.
Also, that would absolutely kill the questline
This is the target, to kill the quest.
According to HSReplay winrate of Quest Mage currently is 60+% for most refined lists. Also this deck is, along with Quest Warlock, the most toxic deck in current meta.
BTW, I encounter it every 3-4 games.
Quest Mage *overall* is at 51.1% on HSReplay - if you cherry pick specific builds which have very poor data, you'll find outliers at higher percentages, but that's not how data analysis works. You have to look at the WHOLE batch of Quest decks to make an argument about nerfing, and looking at the whole batch it's just not even close to a problem right now. You just personally don't like it and are leaning hard into confirmation bias.
Yeah, between bronze and gold, where almost nobody plays. HSReplay stats are completely unreliable, use vS instead.
First off, HSReplay stats are not "Completely unreliable". They may not be an indicator of certain perceptions, but to dismiss them so flippantly is condescending at best, and naïve at worst.
Secondly, even if you look "between bronze and gold", those players matter as well. Dismissing the contributions of the lower end of the ladder is a SUPER elitest and frankly speaking, rude way to treat other gamers.
Not sure what the purpose of your comment was, but if it was to be rude and piss off people without regard to anything else other than your own biases, then congrats. You did the job.
They are completely unreliable, because they only take a very limited amount of data. Especially looking at specific lists for very specific, low rank brackets will heavily skew your perception simply due to lack of data.
I'm sorry I hurt your feelings, but for balancing the game data between bronze and gold is mostly completely useless. People who stick in those ranks beyond the first few days of the month in general play a lot more homebrew jank and unoptimised lists due to lack of dust or knowledge. Of course a refined deck like Quest Mage will shred right through those, so will every other refined list. In fact, in those ranks Quest Mage isn't even a problem at all, since you have decks like Elemental Shaman and Aggro Druid with 65%+ winrates. But sure, I'm the biased one.
First off, ya didn't hurt my feelings. So you can take that passive-aggressive comment and put it where the sun don't shine. I'm a D5-legend player every month. Secondly, people who "stick in those ranks" are probably PLAYING A GAME and having fun. You know fun right? That thing that is the purpose of games at their core? Nah, you don't. Thirdly, I never said "looking at specific lists for specific low rank brackets". I just said taking the whole ladder into consideration. Maybe try reading more thoroughly next time?
Lastly, not sure where mentioning "elemental shaman and aggro druid" has to do with anything because I certainly didn't mention it, so yes...you are still the "biased one". Not because of any statistics but again because you think that data that is gathered from anyone but the "diamond to legend" subsect of players is irrelevant.
Oh, and this will probably rub your pickle the wrong way...
I make legend every month with off-meta or heavily modified meta decks every month. Last month and this month I'm using a modified version of ping mage. U mad bro?
In my opinion all they needed to do is to simply have the mage cast all three spells in one turn or it resets. That way they cant just clear and freeze everything and expect to still finish quest by turn 7. It'll also more or less remove ice barrier as an option, and playing cards like incanter's flow or board clears are at the expense of finishing the quest.
I like your suggestion. Though Im sure team5 will tell you that its too confusing to new players. It makes it harder to play stuff like Refreshing Spring Water, which is also why I think it'll absolutely just kill quest mage - and I can live very well with that.
With all the 0 cost spells I fear this wouldn't change much. Between hot streak, flurry, and cheap arcane spells it doesn't seem like this would do a ton, considering most quest mages already run some if not all of the cards I mentioned...
It'll slow down the quest completion enough that its viable but gives enough room for a board to actually do something. Plus, that also adds another dimension to the deck's gameplan. You can draw, clear the board, or freeze, but it may not progress the quest so you cant just play blindly. In some games you can even sandbag them because all the cheap frost spells needs a target, and until then all the spells they're playing isn't going to do anything to progress the quest.
Sure, sometimes they just get all the cards they need and you just die, but it'll at least be a hell lot less consistent than it is now.
That seems much more flavorful seeing as the reward is infinite spell damage +3 and we'd need to play 3 spell damage minions. I'd change the wording though, coz you'd need to play the minion, not cast it like a spell
I want to be the Mayor of Value Town so bad