We had the opportunity to visit Blizzard Campus this past week while we were in town for the Warlords of Draenor cinematic premiere. While there, Zeriyah and Lyndsi Achucarro set us up with an opportunity to sit down for an hour with some members of Team 5 and talk about the past, present, and future of Hearthstone.
We were able to talk to Game Director Eric Dodds, Lead Artist Ben Thompson, Senior Game Designer Mike Donais (responsible for game balance), and Community Manager Christina Sims joined us as well.
Some topics discussed were the development of Hearthstone, why Curse of Naxxramas and the challenges facing development of it, what Blizzard has in store for the future of Fireside Gatherings, how Android development is shaping up, and will we see new classes added to the game anytime soon?
A summary of some of the bigger pieces for those who may not want to watch the full thing:
- New features being worked on right now: Observer mode, new card expansion (that is not adventure mode), Android and phone development
- The UI for the phone will probably surprise people at how much won’t be different from it’s PC/tablet counterparts
- There are no plans to add new classes to the game. It’s not even being discussed.
- The reason why there may be no new classes is because of the difficulties and balance issues it could bring and that there doesn’t seem to be a real need for them. It makes sense in WoW, but not for Hearthstone.
- Blizzard sees botting as an issue and are aware of it, but as of right now they have no details to share on how they will handle it.
- Fireside Gatherings are going to get more support from Blizzard. They’re also going to add a Barcraft style feel to them soon.
- Support for local tournaments (brackets, locking in decks, etc.) has been talked about, but it’s not something currently being worked on, but something they would like to get to.
- Mike Donais created the hunter challenge. Everyone owes him a beer. He’ll be at BlizzCon.