Game Review Random

Where did the hearthstone withdrawal mechanism of Hearthstone fail

1. What is Rotate?

In the legend of Hearthstone, the ladder is divided into standard mode and wild mode. In standard mode, only basic cards + classic packages + expansion packs in the past two years can be used. Wild mode can use all cards. Blizzard will remove the expansion pack that has reached the end of its life from the standard mode in April every year, and release a new expansion pack. This process is called retreating.

Figure 1: Blizzard will launch a season theme every year and release a new expansion pack. The picture shows the new version of 2018 “Raven Year”

2. The necessity of leaving the environment?

In order to ensure the freshness of the trading card game, Hearthstone must launch new copies/expansion packs with a certain frequency to expand the current card pool. However, the continuous release of new card packages will cause problems:

> First, the composition of the strongest deck must be more and more expensive. On the one hand, the price is expensive. Players have to buy all expansion packs and select the strongest cards in each expansion pack to form the deck; on the one hand, the cost of learning Expensive, each expansion pack contains a different mechanism, and new players must learn and be familiar with the card skill information of all expansion packs.

> In addition, if the old expansion pack has been accumulated in the environment, it will bring another problem, that is, the old card pool is too large, and the subsequent release of the new card pack has a reduced ability to adjust the environment and gameplay, resulting in Players’ desire to buy new cards is reduced.

Therefore, if you want to continue to attract new players, you must lower the entry threshold of the game. At the same time, in order to ensure the sales of expansion packages, game manufacturers must constantly adjust the environment. Generally speaking, there are two strategies for adjusting the environment of card games: 1. Hearthstone Legend and Magic’s strategy of retreating from the environment has been continuously replacing part of Ka Chi II. Take the game king’s ban card. Restricted card table, the restricted card table will be updated every 3 months.

3. Where is the hearthstone legend’s environmental withdrawal problem?

>The classic card pool of Hearthstone is too shallow

The classic card pool of Hearthstone has only 382 cards, and there are only three card packs in each environment, each of which is about 130 cards, which means that nine occupations need to be divided into 382+3*130=772 cards, On average, there are less than 90 cards per occupation, and a deck needs 30 cards to form. This results in almost one set of high-strength decks for each class in each version; and too few cards lead to a very weak restraint relationship between cards. A supermodel card or super comb often lacks restraint. The ladder is unscrupulous, and eventually the ladder environment is the same, and the competitive game becomes a game of luck. In 2016, German professional player lifecoach1981 announced that he would withdraw from the professional hearthstone competition. He used 5000 game statistics to find that the hearthstone legend is a game of luck and version greater than technology. Therefore, we found that the retreat of Hearthstone not only brought a bad game environment to the ladder, but also reduced the player’s freedom, limiting the player to a few strong decks.

Figure 2: The appearance rate of various occupations from May 11th to 17th, 2020. It can be seen that except for Stalker/Hunter/Mage/Priest, the occupation rate of other occupations is very low, and the win rate is only about 40%.

>Negative effects of simplified game mechanics

Hearthstone’s game mechanics are relatively simple compared to Game King, Magic, and even the later Quinte cards. Hearthstone cards are only spells and followers, as long as there are enough crystals to trigger the card , And the position and state of the followers cannot be adjusted during the combat phase. Simple means easy to learn and easy to learn, however, the rhythm and gameplay of the game have become single, how to play with a few fees, become a fixed mode, fast attack in the first five fee shop, slow career in six fee Starting aoe to control the field, this requires the designer to innovate, make articles on the cards, constantly launch new card effects, and new settlement mechanisms (such as raid/sleep) to keep the game fresh and regulate the game rhythm. Under such a premise, the introduction of the environment withdrawal mechanism will bring great pressure to the designer and consume creativity too quickly. At the same time, it will also lead to the hasty development of the expansion package. Many op cards have entered the environment without testing. Cause the environment to deteriorate. What is more, in order to force a certain card, greatly weaken a classic card that is not very strong.

Figure 3: In order to forcefully push the new version of the game of killing thieves, forcefully weaken the blade dance that is not high in the playing rate.

>Bad single digits and balance changes

In the Hearthstone legend, whether it is spell damage or the follower’s blood volume and attack power, it is almost maintained in the range of 0-15. This design brings great difficulties to the subsequent balance design. For example, the overpower of a card needs to be weakened, but the cost of this card itself is very low. The average attack and health ratio per fee is a non-integer close to 1, so how to weaken this follower will be a limited choice combination. , So that many times it is either excessively weakened or unable to weaken. In this context, the introduction of the de-environment mechanism requires constant balance changes to the cards of the new expansion pack based on the existing cards. The designer must either carefully calculate the strength of the new card at the design stage, or based on The win rate is updated frequently to make balance adjustments. However, the reality is that no matter which method is perfect, the excessively cautious strength design leads to a bleak sales of the new version of the card; no one wants to do so; frequent changes will cause player dissatisfaction.

Figure 4: After the change of the flying knife juggler, the attack power of each crystal consumed changed from 1.5 to 1 and was directly abandoned by the environment

>Failed one version multiple expansion package strategy

Figure 5: Schematic diagram of retreating environment, 1/2/3/4 are expansion packages in different order

As shown in Figure 5, the Hearthstone legend implements a three-expansion package strategy, which means that three expansion packages 1, 2, and 3 are simultaneously parallel in an environment. Over time, new expansion packages 4 are launched and the old expansion packages 1 are introduced. Exit the environment. In order to stimulate players’ desire to purchase new expansion packs, it is necessary to ensure that the strength of the new expansion packs is greater than the first two expansion packs, so we will find that the values ​​and effects of various followers and spell cards become more and more powerful, which further reduces The player has a shallow selection range of classic card pools. At the same time, as the strength of the cards gradually increases, the skills of some heroes will become weaker and weaker, thus making the game move towards a process of continuous strengthening. , Each version is experiencing a numerical inflation.

Figure 6: Rampagers of the same rarity and the same cost are gradually strengthened in different expansion packs, or a little more health, or a trigger effect, the classic card pool that is not deep is further compressed

Author: Andrew YU
Source: Tencent Game Academy
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