Hearthstone’s Demon Hunter Released and Nerfed in One Day
Hearthstone’s latest class Demon Hunter has had quite the ride since its release. It broke the game, was nerfed considerably to try to fix the problem, and has remained a bit on the broken since then. The rollout of the biggest new addition to Hearthstone in a while proved to be a disaster, so can Hearthstone cope with major balancing changes?
Demon Hunter is the latest addition to Hearthstone and has definitely been something different. The class has been unlike anything seen before in the game, but not in a good way. Blizzard has reacted to the backlash pretty fast, but some players are still keen for more to be done to fix this problem. Beyond the class’s initial problems, the botched rollout can give us some indication of how difficult it is to add something as big as a new class. Hopefully, this will be a learning curve for more new classes in the future.
What is Demon Hunter?
Demon Hunter was a new class added to Hearthstone with the latest expansion. This is the first new class to ever be added into the game, making it quite the cause for celebration.
A new class has the potential to completely alter the best decks you should be aiming for. Players were imminently sent reeling to try and figure out how the latest class fits into the metagame and effects their strategies. They quickly found that it fits into the metagame like a sledgehammer, and effects into their strategies by torpedoing all of them.
It was overpowered essentially. While all other classes had some balances or pros and cons, Demon Hunter was a jack of all trades. It threw the balance of the game way off. It was clear something had to be done about Demon hunter, and to their credit Blizzard were quick with a fix.
Demon Hunter’s Changes
Within a single day, Demon Hunter had seen its first major nerf. The major Demon Hunter cards that had been showing up in decks had their mana cost increased. The changes are built to reduce Demon Hunter’s ability to draw excessive cards easily, which would let them completely swallow up the board with minions.
Today we’ll be applying a balance update to a few Demon Hunter cards in a server-side patch.
Read the full details here: https://t.co/NACBf6UUr8
— Hearthstone (@PlayHearthstone) April 9, 2020
The addition was made in a sever side patch. Blizzard was aiming for speed with this one. Coming in the middle of a global pandemic and lockdown, a next day fix to a balancing problem is an impressive reaction time. Demon Hunter isn’t quite finished though. It will be receiving quite a few more major changes over the next few weeks, to try and ensure it fits properly into the balanced game.
Is Adding New Classes a Problem?
As far as adding new classes to Hearthstone, Demon Hunter basically went as badly as it is possible to go. However, Blizzard showed they were quick on the draw when it came to a fix, and this move has won a lot of goodwill from fans who were otherwise annoyed at the sloppiness of the rollout.
— Durik (@durikclassic) April 8, 2020
The critique did not stop there..
This is why people are losing their shit in Wild. I lost this game in one turn, and the giants weren't even on the board on my turn. @PlayHearthstone This is non-interactive gameplay. If you want more of my money please balance Quest Mage in Wild. #wildhs #hearthstone pic.twitter.com/MwM9mFcV2s
— Wild Card (@WildCardHearth) April 13, 2020
Some though, are questioning how this a problem this glaring wasn’t spotted in testing. The class was so broken it required an immediate fix. Although it is strange that it was not caught at all. Some slack can be cut for blizzard with the ongoing events around the globe obviously impacting development. However, the agility of the fix suggests they’re still capable of testing things pretty quickly.
A game as balanced as Hearthstone might have some issues with big new elements being introduced. A new class like Demon Hunter is a great way to spice things up. However, it doesn’t really work if it makes the game frustrating and boring to play. New additions to the game are great for keeping it alive. Although developers need to be careful that they’re adding to a competitive game. It won’t work to just bulldoze it for the sake of some short time boosts in attention.