The current form of Hearthstone makes it incredibly hard for new players to join and enjoy the free-to-play card game. The problem lies in the fact that a substantial amount of grinding is required to collect enough cards for competitive decks. Hence, those playing since the start of the game have the greatest advantage. Newcomers are likely to be overwhelmed when pitting their common cards against decks stacked with legendary and epic minions.
Posting on Reddit, game director Ben Brode explained that the casual mode of Hearthstone matches players based on the number of cards that they own. Hence, there is a high chance of fresh players to win their games. However, this makes them assume that the game is that easy. They venture straight ahead into the ranked mode where they are completely obliterated. This also ruins the ranked matchmaking to some extent.
“We mentioned this a couple months back, but yeah, generally agree the ranked experience for new players is bad. We are sorting through several solutions right now that have various pros and cons, and will update as we have more to share,” noted Brode on Reddit.
He also shared that the win-rate of new players in the casual mode has increased from twenty-five percent to almost fifty percent since the game was released two years back. This has only worsened the gameplay experience since almost everyone is jumping straight into ranked games, where they quickly realize the problem with their low-tier decks.
Blizzard is well-aware of this fact and is working on a solution. However, players should not expect it to arrive any time soon.
When asked why the developer cannot simply make it easier for players to collect cards, Brode stated that it would not solve the problem.
“You are assuming that improving new players’ decks will give them a higher win rate. I think it doesn’t matter what they are playing with, as long as we match them with players who are also new (which is what we do in casual, where they have a ~50% win rate). The upside of starting them with bad cards, is that they feel progression and increased power as they play in the beginning of the game. This early progression is one of the things that really excites new players, and if they’re achieving 50% win rates, it doesn’t feel like we need to remove it.”
On the weekend, Blizzard teased that it has a lot of new events in the pipelines for the community. To give a small taste of that, the developer gave away a free “Fight Promoter” card to everyone by logging in.
Earlier this month, Blizzard confirmed that Hearthstone has crossed seventy million players worldwide. To celebrate the milestone, the developer gifted three Journey to Un’Goro card packs to every single member of the community.