Hearthstone Lead Game Designer Ben Brode is back with another developer insights video, this time tackling the sticky topic of consistency in Hearthstone, while also touching upon the differences between digital and physical card games.
Brode admits that druid cards like Druid of the Claw and Ancient of War are a bit inconsistent in how they work. Both give a stat-boosting choice, though one is a buff while the other is a transform effect, and thus silences and return-to-hand abilities affect them differently. Brode says that that’s less of an issue in the digital realm because it’s better to have easily understood effects that treat “edge cases” like silences a little differently. In the physical realm, you’d need a judge at all times to interpret those edge cases, but a digital CCG comes packed with its own judge — the game itself — to help speed things along.
I can see that, though there’s an easy solution: Change Druid of the Claw’s text to include a “transform” effect, as was done with newer cards like Druid of the Flame. Brode brings up this solution himself later in the video, that choosing between “4/4 with Charge; or 4/6 with Taunt” would help consistency but negatively impact the simplicity of making a decision between “Charge; or +2 health and Taunt.”
Personally, I think it’s more a case of being so used to something that changing it — even if it makes it better — seems confusing even when it’s not, and that Hearthstone players would adapt with little to no trouble, and that it would be better for the game in the long run. What do you think?