Ideas for New Hearthstone Mechanics

Posted: Mar 08 2016

With the upcoming expansion and removal of so many frustrating cards and mechanics, we feel that now is a great time to start speculating/dreaming about new mechanics that Blizzard can introduce into Hearthstone's new and future formats. Discover, the newest global card mechanic introduced with the League of Explorers expansion, is probably the overall best mechanic Blizzard has thought of. While it doesn't completely remove RNG factors from the game, it gives control to the players over what their RNG ends up being, as well as more options for your turns.

While other mechanics like Joust or Inspire weren't quite as enjoyable, Blizzard has a lot of options to make the game overall more fun and, more importantly, less frustrating to play and deal with. Below is a list of potential mechanics we'd like to see, in no particular order.

1. True Combo

Rogue combo cards are a pretty neat idea, but it's not truly a combo since you can play really anything for the effect. While this hasn't been much of a problem since the game's early release, things like Coin+Defias Ringleader were so overpowered it was an instant win on the game's first turn. In general, I think combo'ing could be made a lot harder to pull off but also a LOT more powerful. In general having the Coin to combo is just pretty bullshit as well, and feels terrible to play against something like Coin+SI. 

Here's an example using the Coin+Defias combo I mentioned earlier. Let's say you Had Defias Ringleader with it's existing text. Now, we introduce a new card, called Defias Rouser, with the ability to augment the Ringleader and make the combo more powerful.  


While this effect may not be all that powerful, the essence is you take ordinarily iffy cards on their own and make them very powerful due to the nature of needing another card on the same turn to make it work. That would probably not be a game breaking mechanic, and would reward some creative deck building as well as good decision making to allow the combo's to work. It would also make combo'ing feel like combo'ing, rather than simply playing more than one card on your turn.

2. Finishers

As you can probably tell by now, I love Rogue decks, and in the Warcraft universe always thought the Rogue archetype to be the most interesting. Perhaps I'm just a treacherous bastard, though. Finishers are something we're used to from WoW Rogues, abilities that you use after your combo builders to have a great effect based on how much combo point building you did before.  

There are two directions I think can be taken with a Finisher mechanic. The first being a mechanic that has a great effect if combo's were played on one turn. Since that may be too prohibitive you could also extend it to X amount of previous turns, which could introduce some really interesting gameplay. 


Cards with a finisher effect would also be great for a deck-building experience. Overall having your cards relate to each other and work together is quite rewarding, even though it can occassionally be frustrating if you don't get all the right pieces. To combat that, you'd want the cards to at least be playable on their own, if only slightly weak, but quite powerful if able to be utilized properly together to give that Rogue feeling of combo'ing a bunch of little stuff into a huge finisher.

3. True Damage

While this idea seems to be a direct nerf for Warriors, i think the game could benefit from a small subset of cards that ignore armor and immunity like Divine Shield or Ice Block/Malganis effect. I don't think it should be a mechanic that's commonly seen, but something that introduces an answer to otherwise very difficult mechanics to play around. The "True" part sounds certainly like something a Paladin would have, but I'd be a bit hesitant to give only this mechanic to one class, especially one that already has 3 very viable decks, so we introduced a Paladin and neutral idea for this mechanic.


 4. More Weapon Diversity

Currently the game's weapons are relatively straightforward - do X damage per attack with Y charges. Some weapons have some effects, such as Death's Bite, but there's a lot of room for interesting cards that utilize the weapon slot, especially considering Warlocks, Mages, Druids and Priests don't really use them at all. In Warcraft lore the caster classes all have a type of magical armor, and I think the weapon slot would be a nice place to incorporate some cards like that. 

We made new "Weapons" for Mages, Warlocks, Priests, Paladins, and Druids respectively. Hunters, Warriors, and Rogues have enough weapons as it is (Although perhaps the same can be said for Paladin), so having defensive weapons will likely not really help them or ever see play. The idea here is the weapon charges are used up each time you're hit. Since that could be too weak against decks with a lot of minions, perhaps it would be better to use a charge per turn of taking damage from an enemy. 

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