After releasing the second expansion, Knights of the Frozen Throne, recently in 2017, Hearthstone has introduced the new content called Co-op Raids in Gamescom. The Co-op Raids is a PvE content that players join the force of Lich King and encounter the boss together. The demonstration of this new content will be held at the Blizzard booth in the hall No. 7 of Koelnmesse.
It’s been about 10 days since the release of the new expansion, and some would like to know what Hearthstone developers think about the current balance and upcoming updates. We visited Hamilton Choo, the general producer, and Ben Thompson, the lead artist, and had an opportunity to hear their thoughts at Gamescom.
Q. We are curious to know the purpose of designing this Co-op Raids that will be revealed in a few moments.
Hamilton Choo: The scene where you battle against Arthus the Lich King in WoW is personally one of the most impressive memories. I got this inspiration from that many players gather to take down one mighty enemy, and designed this Co-op Raids. I hope that many people who visit Gamescom would have the same feeling at the Hearthstone booth.
Q. The word “Raids” naturally reminds of WoW. Will there be a group leader just like in WoW
Ben Thompson: We haven’t designed the game with that much details yet.
The fundamental of the Co-op Raids is to provide an opportunity for players to enjoy the raids content that has been specifically designed for Hearthstone. It may seem as sort of the PvE content, but you do not need to follow rules of MMORPG such as a group leader or having different classes in the group.
Q. Will you add more Co-op Raids bosses with upcoming updates other than just Lick King?
Hamilton Choo: Nothing’s been decided yet. However, it is still a possibility if we receive positive feedbacks about this new content from many players.
Q. It seems that you attempt to improve the features of Fireside Gatherings recently. What do you expect to change?
Ben Thompson: By providing various tools, we expect it to have their distinctive characteristics at each offline location. We have recently allowed each tavern to have their special name or signature for the purpose of making the host or hosting location’s own brand.
Hamilton Choo: Personally, I would like each location to have their distinctive atmosphere. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see all taverns in the world having their own identity and people visiting their regular places? We are still interested in these matters.
Q. As new features have been implemented into the game with the expansion, there are concerns that the game gradually becomes complex.
Ben Thompson: We are aware of those concerns. However, we do believe at the same time that providing many types of cards in the expansion would help to create a new meta.
Q. We would like to ask a few questions about this expansion as well. From the perspective of balancing the game, Druid is one of the problems frequently mentioned and brought up on the table. Do you have any plans for this?
Hamilton Choo: I believe that it’s a bit chaotic as the expansion is still in the early stage. We plan to adjust the balance when we see a deck that is really overpowered or that is commonly used by too many players.
Q. There was Adaptation in the last expansion “Journey to Un’Goro”, and Lifesteal in this expansion. Wouldn’t the game become more complex and different from the original design of Hearthstone because of these special abilities?
Hamilton Choo: It would resolve the problem to some extent, for example, by discarding the special abilities concurrently with other season card packs in ranked. But, we always monitor the comprehensive difficulty of the game in general.
Q. A number of classes already have extra heroes, but not Druid and Warlock. Will we see them in the near future?
Ben Thompson: All we can say is that we will show interesting heroes in time, and we hope that you wait for a big longer.