Shacknews is at PAX East throughout the weekend and with Hearthstone set to release the Witchwood expansion next week, this felt like a good time to catch up with the folks at Blizzard's Team 5. But PAX East didn't just bring out the people behind Hearthstone, it brought out the man himself, Game Director Ben Brode.
The interview covers various corners of The Witchwood, including the lore surrounding the new Hearthstone expansion, some of the ideas behind the card designs, Team 5's approach to certain card designs, and more. We also made sure to ask about the idea behind Dollmaster Dorian. But we also couldn't let this opportunity pass without asking about the Cubelock and whether a big piece of it (the Carnivorous Cube) will be brought back down to earth in the near future.
"Cube is very good," Brode told our own Greg Burke. "It's strong and I think it's maybe going to be continually strong, maybe too strong. We might have to nerf it. But we're about to enter a big period of change for Hearthstone. A lot of cards are leaving, a lot of new cards are coming in, players haven't seen all the cards yet, I don't know if that's going to be enough of a change. We'll have to see, but we're certainly open to a nerf. It depends, because this is a tough deck to pilot. We look at the statistics for players who have won less than 50 games and their statistics are not good, right? The players who have played more than 50 games of this deck, their winrate starts getting better. It's a very skill-testing deck with a lot of nuance to it. That's pretty good to have in Hearthstone, to have skill-testing decks that are hard to pilot. I like the general idea of the deck, but we obviously don't want it to be too overpowered. It's not the best deck right now and when we nerf stuff that's not the best deck, that's sometimes worrisome, because the best deck could get even better. So it's something we've got to look out for. I'm not saying 'No, we won't nerf it,' but I do think we want to wait and see what the new deck brings."
As for what Brode's favorite new card of the set is, according to the Hearthstone Game Director, we have yet to see it.
"There's a Shaman card coming in that players are going to lose their minds about."