Inside a professional player’s mind
Hello, my name is Dionysis Bogdanos, mostly known as VampAurora. I have worked in many positions, including but not limited to: Player, Manager, Administrator, Editor, Writer etc. Nowadays I am conducting interviews with pro players from many different eSport scenes, with a main focus on Hearthstone and Overwatch.
For the past 2 months or so, and while conducting my interviews, I had the chance to talk with many professional players and see what they think about the game. How it should be played, what they’d like to see changed between others. What do they all have in common though?
Adrian “Lifecoach” Koy is a Hearthstone player from Germany. He is currently playing for G2 Esports.
I think that the argument that I have encountered the most is concerning RNG. Of course it’s a card game and luck will always be a factor, but they do think that it should be limited. This will help the skill cap to not be cropped to the bottom. I have to say that I totally agree with that. Blizzard should distinguish Hearthstone into two different but equally important communities and modes; the competitive one and the casual one. Each one of them has its own needs, and even though both sides play the very same game, they actually approach it on two whole different levels.
I understand that Hearthstone is meant to be easy and fun to play, and a piece of cake for anyone to learn. And I am fine with that. Create new content, such as the amazing Karazhan, an adventure that was the best one so far, in my opinion. They can keep delivering new fun cards to play and have fun with, even if they require RNGesus himself to come down and help you win that game. But keep them on a different aspect of the game, because this is not healthy for the competitive scene. There have to be restrictions and limitations in everything that’s considered competitive. Take that Yogg-Saron out of the tournament card pool, stop nerfing complex decks that require you to think more before just swinging cards around, and give players more playable cards.
Esteban”AKAWonder” Serrano is a Hearthstone player from Spain, currently playing for SK Gaming.
One great example of how Blizzard should approach the tournament scene was BatStone. In BatStone, the community banned by vote some card. Then, the participating players banned a card of their choice as well. This tremendously increased the skill-cap of the tournament, as the banned cards were RNG-heavy cards like Yogg-Saron, Tuskarr Toremic and Barnes, and the pros banned cards that they probably didn’t feel comfortable to play against. So they all had to improvise, bring new innovative decks and practice with them in time. This way, they could compete in a more skillful environment. That’s the way that it should be done. With that move, they were able to give a breath of fresh air to the competitive tournament scene.
With the latest nerf of Yogg-Saron, many pros complained that Blizzard ruined the fun they were having, mostly on their streams. This card was used to make an entertaining show out of. By leaving the card as it was and banning it from the tournament you would have kept both sides happy. Both the competitive players that want to rely less on luck, and the casual players that just want to have fun by watching Yogg do his thing. Nerf the Patron Warrior archetype but don’t completely waste it, or even leave it as it is and make a card only available in a “tournament mode”, that way excluding it from casual play. There are a lot of ways to address that issue, and Blizzard definitely has to think over them.
All in all, I think that we should keep both sides happy, by creating a game environment that will be versatile and will allow everyone to have fun in the way they enjoy. Whether we like it or not, Hearthstone will always be divided in those two communities, competitive and casual. Either you are the guy that comes back from work and just wants to have fun by dropping down Yogg-Saron to do all the work for them and not have to think about anything, or you are the guy that strives to be the best at the game. Trying to calculate everything in your reach, have fun your way, and that’s how Hearthstone should be formed around.