Hearthstone director on why Grim Patron nerf and new classes are not in the cards

There's a lot of 'new' coming in Hearthstone's upcoming Grand Tournament expansion. However, there won't be a lot of change, as far as classes and nerfs go. Game director Eric Dodds talks to Shacknews about why new classes are not coming to Hearthstone and also why Grim Patron will remain just as it is.


Shacknews has been on top of the recent Grand Tournament expansion announcement for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Our own Greg Burke recently attended the event and had the opportunity to sit down with game director Eric Dodds, who opened up about several aspects of the game, including the new mechanics, its growth in eSports circles, why Grim Patron won't be getting nerfed anytime soon, and why additional classes are not in the cards. In fact, on the topic of new classes, Dodds stated that such a change would ultimately be "detrimental" to the game.

"As far as adding additional classes, we actually have no plans to add additional classes," Dodds told Shacknews. "Right now, there's nine classes, which means the combinatorics of 'Hey, I'm playing Priest and I'm going to learn how to play against all of the nine possible classes.' That means there's sort of 81 possible matchups there, so a huge number of matchups that you have to learn, so we don't think the game needs more classes right now." Later, he added, "We really like the number of classes we have now and feel like it would be to the detriment of the game to add more classes."

That led to the topic of the Patron Warrior deck and the balance issues that such a deck has raised since its arrival in the Blackrock Mountain adventure. Dodds acknowledged that Blizzard is monitoring the situation, but notes that there are no changes incoming as of yet.

"It's certainly something that we're paying attention to," Dodds explained. "Certainly, there's a lot of community feedback around that card and that combination. But we are always very cautious about stepping in and making any changes to the environment, unless we feel it is absolutely necessary. So it's certainly something that we have talked about and something we will continue to talk about, but we're always very cautious about making changes, because it is so important to us that when we put a card out there, that it feels solid and it feels like 'Hey, I got this card in a pack and it still feels like it's that same card.'

"So is it possible that change will happen? Maybe. It's certainly not something that we're planning to do right this moment. And it's also possible that with the addition of all of these new cards that are coming out in the Grand Tournament that big changes will happen there. So all I can say is, it's something that we do pay a lot of attention to, but it's also something that we do absolutely not do lightly if we're ever going to change a card."

For more on the Grand Tournament, be sure to follow Shacknews, as we analyze the new cards as they're revealed. Be sure to check out the full interview with Dodds below, including a second interview that goes further into detail on the process of balancing cards.

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?

From The Chatty
    • reply
      July 24, 2015 11:18 AM

      "That means there's sort of 81 possible matchups there"

      What? This guy is the Game director? His maths is terrible.

      Of course there are not 81 possible matchups.

      The number of possible matchups is 45, because Mage v Warrior is the same as Warrior v Mage and you should not count this is a different matchup. Therefore 9+8+7...+1=45. (First class has 9 possible matchups, 2nd class has 8 possible matchups ... and the last class has only 1 possible matchup that wasn't counted before, which is the mirror match)

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