Hearthstone has recently went through many changes. The game-changing balance updates and the addition of original card packs are surprising a, but the largest change is undoubtedly the newest expansion, “Rastakhan’s Rumble”.
Here is an interview with two of the designers on the Hearthstone team, Dave Kosak and Liv Breeden. The two have assured fans that unique card like the Loa will “shift the metagame dramatically.”
Q. Rastakhan’s Rumble has been just revealed. What is the central theme of this expansion?
Dave Kosak: 9 teams that represent each class battle each other at the Gurubashi Arena. Each Troll champion worships a different Loa.
Also, all classes will get two new Legendary cards. One is Troll Champion, and the other is the Loa. The Loa is an animal spirit that the trolls worship. There are also the Spirit cards, which are Rare cards. The Spirit cards can Stealth for one turn and you can get powerful synergy if you chain the Spirit cards and the Loa as a combo.
Q. What inspired you to create Void Contract, the card that destroys half of each player’s deck?
Dave Kosak: The Warlock class had to have a card that matches the theme of the expansion, a card that makes itself a sacrificial offering. We designed the card to match the fantasy vibe of the Warlock class.
Q. Will there be more cards that affect the opponent’s deck and hand?
Dave Kosak: There have been cards that affect the opponent’s deck and hand before. We made the card this time because it matched the theme of the Warlock.
Q. The Boomsday Project was somewhat dependent on the Witchwood expansion. There are negative comments saying that the meta went back to Witchwood after the balance patch.
Liv Breeden: More new cards will be added in the next expansion, so the meta will shift dramatically soon.
Dave Kosak: The devs always think about the past, present, and future expansions when designing a new expansion. The Loa cards and the Spirit cards will be even more powerful when they are used with the Boomsday Project cards, so the meta will shift at a large scale. When people played the demo version of Rastakhan’s Rumble, a lot of them said that it will be a lot of fun to use Spirit of the Shark with some pre-existing cards. I’m also excited about the synergy that the Spirit cards will have with other cards.
Q. New original cards have been revealed as well. The cards look somewhat like a lesser version of some pre-existing cards. How did you create the new original cards?
Liv Breeden: Original cards are always used in Standard, so it is important to portray the identity of the card’s class well. But if the original cards are too powerful we have to limit the future cards. We had to take this into consideration when designing the cards.
Q. In the recent balance patch, Mana Wrym was nerfed to a 2-mana card. Some players are worried that this is too much. What are your thoughts on this?
Liv Breeden: Mana Wyrm is an original card so it is used in Standard. As we kept on monitoring the card, we decided that if Mana Wyrm is a 1-mana card it would be a card capable of rapid snowballing that the opponent cannot do anything against. We do not want the gameplay to be one-sided, but Mana Wyrm was one of the cards that made the game one-sided.
The Mage class uses a lot of spell cards, but it was hard to design low-mana spell cards because of Mana Wyrm. We are expecting to see a wider variety of spell cards after the nerf on Mana Wyrm.