Hearthstone interview: Unused mechanics, new classes & Battlegrounds

As Hearthstone moves towards the release of the Forged in the Barrens expansion, we ask Blizzard's Dean Ayala and Chadd Nervig about the game's next class, mechanics that ultimately went unused, and the success of Hearthstone Battlegrounds.


There's a lot that goes into development for Hearthstone, as Blizzard has gone beyond Standard and Wild play. A lot of design has gone into side modes like Hearthstone Battlegrounds and Duels, creating more ways to utilize certain mechanics. With so much going into the game, there naturally remain questions about the game potentially adding an 11th playable class. We asked Hearthstone designers Dean Ayala and Chadd Nervig about that and other subjects, but don't expect to see a new class anytime soon.

"There's a lot of factors that go into determining the right time for a new class," Ayala told Shacknews. "The first question is, is that even compelling at all? When we looked at Demon Hunter, it seemed like it was. All the metrics that we have and all the data that we have and then the reception that we try to quantify from articles online and people talking on places like Reddit or from other regions, it seems like it was a pretty positive experience. There's a bunch of excitement that comes with adding a new class that makes people want to come back, it makes people want to try it, whether you're new or whether you're coming back to the game you haven't played for a while.

"In terms of timing, I think we just want to space those things out. I think in the next class, it's probably a matter of 'when' rather than 'if.' Demon Hunter went over pretty well. We just have to find the right expansion for it and the right theme, the right mechanics, that sort of thing."

We also discuss mechanics that pitched, but ultimately left on the cutting room floor. And we also discuss the ongoing success of Battlegrounds, which is still receiving regular updates.

Hearthstone's next expansion, Forged in the Barrens, is expected to release later this month. For more interviews like this, be sure to subscribe to Shacknews and GamerHub.TV on YouTube.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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