On the first month, I got the same bonus stars in each. But I've struggled to get comfortable with a deck in Standard, tried to learn a bunch of different ones, and my win rate dropped. So my bonus stars dropped. Which in turn makes it harder to get a good number of bonus stars even when you do perform well unless you play, like, a *lot* of games.
As a result, this season I've now got 8 bonus stars for Wild and 4 for Standard. The "minimum bonus" for each tier is at least one star lower than required to reach that tier before your bonus drops to one star. So I can't make up those bonus stars in Standard unless I make up ten ranks, so presuming a 50% win rate that's 60 games. Which probably more than I play across all formats in a month.
Logically, it makes sense at this point for me to abandon Standard and focus on Wild, especially given that you now get rewards per tier you climb. The trouble is that, generally, I don't much care for Wild. But I don't have much choice now to play in a format I dislike.
This might be the beginning of the end of my long love affair with Hearthstone.
Guess I'll be playing more Heroes or simply finding something better to do with my time.
I was doing the latter yesterday, with Spell Damage Shaman. Make dudes, kill the opponent. Takes about six or seven turns max. If they even hint at a recovery, Concede, and try again. I climbed from Bronze 9 to Silver 9 in about eight games, but it's boring. I want to play Reckless Priest. I want to play Quest Shaman. but if I want to win, I need to play Hunter, or Murlocs. It's a drag.
That said, my kids help me see how much is still great in the client. They love Battlegrounds, and we play it collaboratively. I'm getting an AppleTV mostly for the purposes of smooth screen sharing to the big screen for this. My 8yo beat a Dungeon Run for the first time and was super excited. He's plugging away at Puzzles, Monster Hunts, Challenges, and all the other modes we all forget about. They're great. Funny, cool music, cool choices.
I can recommend LEGENDS OF RUNETERRA as well. Solid title, plays very differently for those who like F2P CCGs on mobile.
Not saying none of these cards needed adjustment, but the game seems to have gone from an attitude of "never nerf anything no matter how broken" to "nerf everything, as soon as it's successful". Seriously: every tier 1 deck has taken a hit.
Since there are always going to be tier 1 decks, I can only presume the intent here is to constantly shake up the meta so players have to keep building and trying out new decks.
That's not the game I want to play. I want to learn a deck, get good with it, and climb the ladder. Combined with the ladder changes I was complaining about above, the game feels like it's becoming actively hostile to more casual players.
And that's one of the two key factors that keep leading to this series of nerfs: every card in the set is at least playable, if not great. No other class has that luxury and it's especially notable that the two classes with the worst Basic/Classic set (Paladin, burdened by Secrets and ineffective healing; Shaman, burdened by Overload and random Totem crap) are utterly absent from the meta.
The other factor is the 1-cost hero power. Again, no other class has that luxury. It provides superior versatility to every other class, not only because of the cost (usable on turn 1, rounds out any curve with either face damage or removing a key minion) but because it's an active hero power. It directly affects the board on turn 1 and every turn thereafter, unlike random, static powers like Shaman's or Warrior's. Clearly, the dev team didn't learn their lesson from the Genn/Baku year. Everyone remembers how oppressive the Odd decks were because of how powerful the upgraded hero power were. But people forget that the first terror deck was Even Paladin because of the versatility provided by doing for 1 mana what normally costs 2.
The other problem is what has been Jeb's main complaint: mana cheating. The ability to completely turn around games, not because of one card, but because of one card that enables 2 or 3 or 4 others by eliminating their restraint: mana cost. DQA, Galakrond the Nightmare, Skull of Gul'dan; they all do this and it makes the random nature of HS worse because a game that you've played properly and in which you've put yourself in winning position is suddenly taken from you because the opponent played 1 card that allowed him to draw and play 3 more. This is the same problem that made Mysterious Stranger so bad. Almost no one argues that that card was bad for the game. DQA and company are essentially the same thing.
So, no. The nerfs have nothing to do with regularly shaking up the meta. They've introduced a ton of problems to the game by adding a 10th class. But there were other problems with it that were actively hostile to casual players: You'd basically always lose if your opponent played X card. Or Demon Hunter.
There's always been "tiers" of decks (for what it's worth), but this recent expansion really saw a bifurcation of haves/have-nots. Demon Hunter, Warrior, Rogue were Haves and Shaman, Paladin, and probably Warlock were Have-Nots. Other Heroes had ways to win, but were pretty tied down by the dominant decks. Everyone needed to play things that could kill DH's early board, because you certainly weren't going to compete on the board with them. Rogue and Warrior got to play swingy effects for free (Rogue via Galakrond, Warrior via Risky Skipper.) Demon Hunter, as noted above, just had all the tools. Access to 2/2's on turn 1, free cards, and finishing with 6/7's that dealt 6 and the ridiculous Warglaives. You didn't use lose, you lost the whole game. It was barely contested.
I was actually wondering what happened at Blizzard to cause this. Was it by design? Get new players into the game with a juiced new Hero? Or was it just a bumbling mistake by overworked development team not seeing the forest of the game for the trees they were planting for DH?
Mana cheating has always been a thing. It's always going to be a thing. Getting effects for less than they cost is just a smart thing to do in a resource-limited format. But they are so pervasive they are impossible to ignore and maybe even tolerate. Puzzle Box gets you about 30 mana worth of effects for 10, or even more (luck) for even less (hence the Dragoncaster nerf). Dragonqueen Alexstrasza usually got you around 12 for free (assuming you are ok with an 8/8 for 9, so make it 10 free mana). Priest has Murazond and Soul Mirror to exploit, Rogue has Galakrond, Warlock's Quest, and on and on. I don't even think this is the problem!
The problem is "Casinostone." What you are getting reduced, what falls out of the Puzzle Box or gets lowered by Skull of Gul'dan is hugely swingy on the game.* Skull can save a DH 9 mana, or it can save them 3—or even less when Twin Slice cost 0. Galakrond stumbling into Kronx for 0 is usually gamebreaking; stumbling into Backstab? not so much. One of my followed Streamers has been streaming nothing but TwoBoxes.dec for the last couple months, and it's entertaining to watch, though I really hate being on the other end of these games. You feel like you are losing to a die roll. Why bother spending time thinking about what your deck can do when you can let hearthstone.exe do all that thinking for you?
*(An aside: Zephrys isn't random, you know exactly what should come out on any mana in any board state. I exploit this regularly to get Wild Growth for turn 3 in mirrors, to get Natalie Seline on 10 to kill the big thing, or Twisting Nether to clear, &c.)
I think that's the greatest "sin" of this recent meta. They took the agency out of the player's hands and put it almost exclusively into the deck builder's hands. Playing the actual game well has never mattered less. Too many players have the option of relying on their decks to "save" them with undercosted, cheated-out, gamebreaking turns.
There's been no other period in the game when a third of the available classes basically don't exist on a competitive level. There's also been only one other period of the game when the entire meta revolved around one class: Undertaker Hunter. Everything was tied to beating that class in the same way that everything is currently tied to beating DH. Warrior is the second-most powerful class and deck because of one reason: It usually beats Demon Hunter. That's it. It also would utterly destroy Shaman and Paladin (Risky Skipper!), if those two classes were actually played competitively. But they don't matter. Only Demon Hunter matters.
What's going to be interesting from a design standpoint is seeing what kind of cards get added to DH in August. They already have everything: great early and late minions; great removal, both targeted and AoE; great weapons; great spells; and, most tellingly in a card game, spectacular draw mechanics. What else do they need? Where's the weakness that might be shored up by a new set as Shaman and Paladin are desperately hoping for? What new thing could you add to DH that wouldn't simply reinforce their presence at the top of the table? Firebat was saying the other day that HS has basically become an exercise in playing Demon Hunter. It's the only truly viable class, with everyone else just trying (in vain) to catch up. You'd normally look at the class mechanics and think: "Hunter should wreck these guys because of all the damage they take." But, no, they have excellent life gain, too; better than anything Hunter has ever had, I might add, which is a specific design weakness that keeps the class from being like, well, Demon Hunter (Mage and Rogue also have this intentional restraint.)
So you can argue Demon Hunter is "better" in that they do actually interact with the board quite a bit. The problem being they clean your side every turn and still manage to play a dude or two.
I have no interest in Libram buff or evolve mechanic so I have been off those classes for a while. Been enjoying Priest and Galakrond warlock because there is decision making and counter play to be had. Sure I get scammed by mages and rogues from time to time, but still having fun with it.
When BG dropped I was all about that for solid month or two. They release new stuff all the time for that and I admit I don’t know best strategies for new heroes or how to beat build a winning Pirate Comp. What I find constraining about that game is Murlocs. Nothing beats board of 30/30 poison divine shield frogs. And it really sucks when you build some really well conceived Mech or whatever comp and final boss is Murloc guy. I have been top 2 with over 30 health and conceded once I saw the other guy had murloc nuts.
It's even more so for for Fungal Fortunes. I mean it's not like Spell Druid is terrorising the meta. Not everyone is even in agreement that it's a tier 1 deck and I've seen it backfire and pull minions. It's fine as it is.
I haven't seen enough of Dragoncaster to know, and for the other two I take your point about 0 cost cards. But the way Warrior and Druid have been targeted make it feel like they just want to take any performance deck down a notch for the sheer hell of it.
MacDirk Diggler wrote: The DH nerfs may lead to another DH archetype to rise that you will find equally dismaying. It’s the new Barnes. You play Magtheradon on 4 and if opponent doesn’t have access to single target removal for that it’s game over. Because Mag will also clear the board when he pops. The slang for losing thusly is “getting slapped by the Magtheradong”.
Yep. Seen it. There are enough control tools in DH that I've seen a few versions of this running around. FFS, it's a brand new class and they can make a better control deck than Paladin and they don't even need Wild Pyromancer.
@Matt: Usually when they pluck cards out of what is seemingly "the blue" like that, it's because of win rates based on that card's play AND what they anticipate is going to be a change based on other nerfs. They just nerfed DH, which means it's going to be weaker and, thus, Pirate Warrior could go on a Rampage (little joke there.) Similarly, one of the things containing Spell Druid is DH because they can't get going fast enough. With a lesser DH, they need to slow Druid's ramp capability or we're back where we were with Jadeworld.
Of course, as I explained earlier, I think the root cause of the DH domination runs deeper than a couple key cards. Just like the failure to contain Odd Paladin caused them to retire Genn and Baku a year early, I think they're going to have to make a more basic alteration to Demon Hunter before things will really change.
DH is still chugging along just fine, they just have access to so many cool effects. Wrathscale Naga is cool with the little Illidari they make, Altruis is still cool with Twin Slice, the best Silence, the best Battlecries, Demon synergies, &c &c. It's been what, like six nerfs, and they are still probably the best class in Standard. That's crazy.