One of the biggest problems in Hearthstone has been new players starting the game. There are a ton of cards to get and because of that, it's very daunting for new players. Changes are coming that should address this and create an entirely new game mode that should shake up the base game for the better.

There is so much here, I am going to clip out most of it to discuss.

"You’ll play Standard using a deck built solely from a pool of cards that were released in the current and previous calendar year, along with a core foundation of the Basic and Classic card sets (which will always be valid for Standard). You’ll be matched against other players who are also using Standard decks.

Standard will help make for a more dynamic and balanced metagame:

* A select set of cards makes each new card have more impact!
* The developers will have more freedom to design exciting new cards.
* It lets newer players jump in faster without having to collect as many cards.
* Standard is only available as a format in Friendly Challenges, Ranked, and Casual play, so it won’t affect Arena, Solo play, or Adventures.

Wild is our new name for the Hearthstone you already know, because it’ll be the format where anything can happen. While Standard puts a bright spotlight on recently released cards and brings a more balanced experience, when you queue up for Wild, you’ll be cozying up with the crazy fun of Hearthstone you’re already familiar with. Of course, as more and more cards are added over time, the wilder and more unpredictable Wild will be!

In terms of gameplay, nothing is changing for Wild: you’ll be able to finish quests, earn gold, rank up on the ladder, get card backs, earn Legend rank, and use all the cards you’ve already collected to build a Wild deck, just like you always have. When you queue up for Ranked or Casual play with a Wild deck, you’ll always be matched with other players who are also using Wild decks.

The arrival of Standard format will also be an excellent time for us to take stock of Hearthstone. While normally we’re quite conservative about making balance changes to Hearthstone cards (and we’ll continue to be in the future), we’re planning to take the new Hearthstone year as a golden opportunity to re-evaluate a number of cards in the Basic and Classic card sets, including class cards, and make some long-considered adjustments.
"

Blizzard will also be phasing out the ability to buy old expansions and adventures that are not part of standard. You will be able to craft these cards if you want, but the Naxxramas adventure and Goblins VS Gnomes packs won't be available for purchase. Additionally you will be able to dust all the old Adventure cards for full value, so if you want you can dust Maexxna, Wailing Soul or Sludge Belcher if the only mode you play is Standard.

After I first heard the news I'll admit, I was a bit scared but after more consideration this really does seem to be a good move for Hearthstone. Standard will be the new primary format and Wild will be available for anyone that can swing it. I've always dreamt of crafting Dr. Boom but since Goblins VS Gnomes is heading out there is no longer a reason to do that. That said, we will all lament some cards being phased out like Sludge Belcher and Loatheb.

That said, having a more accessible format to new and existing players seems like a great thing. But what do you think? There is a lot here so I recommend reading the whole post and FAQ linked below.

http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/blog/19995505/a-new-way-to-play-2-2-2016

AdamPFarnsworth wrote on 02/03/2016 at 06:32pm

This is a HUGE change. One that will be worth following. I jumped on the Hearthstone bandwagon hard when it came to mobile and was pretty decent at it.

I've not played for a month or so now, and this update upsets me a little. I don't like losing adventures like Naxx. When I started, I was more interested in Black Rock, so I played through that, then saved my gold for the Grand Tournament expansion. I've played a couple tiers of the League of Explorers adventure, but got a little burnt out on the game. Now if I want to play Naxx, I have to get in a quickly grind up to 700 gold to unlock a level of Naxx before it goes away if I want cards from it. This frustrates me.

But at the same time, I realize that having a Standard game will greatly help out newer players. Wild could be really fun years from now when you see a card you've not seen for years played as well :)

Will_Ball   Game Mod   Super Member wrote on 02/03/2016 at 08:01pm

I will probably play both Standard and Wild. Keep decks for each.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 02/03/2016 at 09:27pm

@AdamPFarnsworth, it sounds like you'll still be able to acquire the cards from Naxx or the Goblins/Gnomes adventures via crafting, rather than doing the adventures. The cards aren't going away, they're just changing how you get them, and limiting what will be available for use in the Standard vs Wild arenas.

AdamPFarnsworth wrote on 02/03/2016 at 10:21pm

Sure, I know that, but crafting a card like Kel'Thuzad seems impossible lol

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 02/03/2016 at 10:41pm

@Adam @scrypt "How will purchasing Adventures work?
You will be able to purchase Adventures that are part of the current Standard format normally. Adventures that are not part of Standard will no longer be available for purchase. If you already own at least one wing of such an Adventure, you’ll have the option to unlock the remaining wings using in-game gold.
"

So if you have at least one wing of an Adventure open you can keep unlocking the rest with gold to collect the cards. So if you haven't already and still want to unlock at least the first wing of Naxxaramas.

http://us.battle.net/hearthstone/en/blog/19995505/a-new-way-to-play-2-2-2016#cards

Bina wrote on 02/03/2016 at 11:39pm

Did anyone else notice how forced the cheerfulness of that designer was? His smile was a little to big and his voice has an underlying tension. I think he's trying to be reassuring, but it comes off as just kinda weird to me.
I'm really excited about this change up. Though I have to say I hope they continue to balance some of the cards from classic so that we see a real change up. Cards like Tirion and Silvanas still seem OP and may go back to being an auto-include if Blizzard doesn't do something. Or I could be really wrong about that and we might see a flood of new builds wildly different from anything we've seen before.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 02/05/2016 at 01:20am

"Did anyone else notice how forced the cheerfulness of that designer was? His smile was a little to big and his voice has an underlying tension. I think he's trying to be reassuring, but it comes off as just kinda weird to me."

I've been subscribed to the Hearthstone YouTube channel and seen a few of Bens videos where he talks. From my observation, I could be wrong, he seems to have a nervous energy about him and also seems like he wants to be select with wording. I think one reason why he is careful with wording and especially this news drop is how much of a big change this is and how vocal the Hearthstone community is. Some people are really upset and very vocal about it. I think the, general, consensus is somewhat mixed but coming out in support of this. That said, some people are pissed and I can see how they'd be a bit nervous people might riot. Change is hard and some gamers are really really hard to deal with sometimes.

"Though I have to say I hope they continue to balance some of the cards from classic so that we see a real change up. Cards like Tirion and Silvanas still seem OP and may go back to being an auto-include if Blizzard doesn't do something. Or I could be really wrong about that and we might see a flood of new builds wildly different from anything we've seen before."

I think some balancing to Classic is essential for this to work, otherwise the best cards to get are the OP ones from classic.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 02/05/2016 at 02:50am

Interview with Ben Brode after this news. It's really interesting and well worth a read.

http://www.pcgamer.com/ben-brode-on-why-standard-hearthstone-has-to-ditch-the-old-card-expansions/

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 02/05/2016 at 02:57am

PC Gamer also listed the most important cards that will leave Standard when that starts and #1 is Sludge Belcher. I agree, that card is important and nearly always a win to any deck you add it to.

http://www.pcgamer.com/the-20-most-important-cards-that-will-be-removed-from-hearthstone-standard/

Will_Ball   Game Mod   Super Member wrote on 02/11/2016 at 05:26pm

Good pcgamer interview. Thanks for posting @jdodson!

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