How do you feel about the new expansion?
We feel very excited. This is an expansion where we're going back to a familiar place—which is Gadgetzan—that a lot of players know. But it shows a whole new side of Gadgetzan that players have never seen before. These are the newest stories and characters that we have ever had in a Hearthstone expansion.
What is the unique thing that Mean Streets of Gadgetzan has?
One of the things that are unique about this expansion is that Gadgetzan is a city of opportunity. It is a city that breaks the rules. So because it's a city of rule-breaking, we're actually going to break some of the normal rules you see on the cards themselves. One of the cool things about this expansion is the trial class parts. A good example of this is the Kabal Courier. Kabal Courier is a trial class card that can be played by the Kabal faction. It discovers any card from Mage, Priest, or Warlock, so players will have
One of the cool things about this expansion is the trial class parts. A good example of this is the Kabal Courier. Kabal Courier is a trial class card that can be played by the Kabal faction. It discovers any card from Mage, Priest, or Warlock, so players will have the chance to use cards from some other class to help them out.
What are your thoughts on having too many choices in Hearthstone, especially in competitive play?
Having a lot of choices and different tools to make different kinds of decks—that's what makes Hearthstone fun. We think a good meta is a meta with a lot of diversity and a lot of different types of decks. So even for pro players, it's a good thing.
Let’s talk about Priest balance.
We agree [laugh]. I guess I can start by talking about our overall philosophy and the way we think about it. We recognize there will never be 100% perfect balance. There will never be the case where every single class is the exactly same in terms of win rate.
I think it’s okay to have some classes a little bit more powerful than other classes from time to time, but we don’t like when one class is always powerful and one class is always less powerful. We want to see certain classes getting their time in the sun and other classes maybe not as powerful for some period of time. Like, it used to be the case that Shaman was one of the least powerful classes; now we see a lot of Midrange Shamans. Now is the time of Shaman. I guess it doesn’t feel good to be a Priest player in the current meta.
We believe Priest is in a situation where they could use some help. We are going to be adding pretty strong Priest cards in Mean Streets of Gadgetzan.
What’s your future plans for Hearthstone eSports?
We just announced the plan for 2017 Hearthstone eSports. We used to have our regional Championships where we had North America, Europe, China, and Asia-Pacific Championships. One of the big changes we’re making next year is that we have Unified Global Championship every season. Winter, Spring, and Summer will all be played globally. We’re very excited for that change.
We also have the Hearthstone Invitational, which is going to be more of an invitation-only tournament where we get pro players or streamers or influencers that are going to compete, more for fun. So we’re very excited for that too.