Last week, I suggested that Blizzard was in the right for not communicating about the changes it was planning for Hearthstone‘s much-maligned progression system until there was something clear and detailed to present. That happened today, with a lengthy post from Game Director Ben Lee, detailing the changes that would be coming in a patch this month, which are themselves just the first step in redressing player grievances and instituting a fairer system.
The overall goal of the changes is to make progression faster and provide more rewards at level-ups. To accomplish this, particularly onerous quests are being revised or removed, and Tavern Brawls and Battleground matches will grant progress when appropriate. Higher levels will require about 20% less XP to advance overall, and those 100 post-50 levels will be broken up into 300 levels, so as to provide more regular rewards.
So what went wrong? Lee said that event XP was figured into initial calculations, which made leveling particularly difficult when there were no events going on. He also acknowledged that quests that required legendary cards or successful Arena runs “were a mistake and we shouldn’t have included them to begin with.” As an apology, players can receive five Darkmoon Faire packs and 500 Gold by logging into the game from Dec. 15 to Jan. 18.
There are still plenty of issues surrounding the new progression, as well as issues with Duels and the Tavern Pass that have had players seeing red the past few weeks. Lee said that he knew this was a “new and complex system that required iteration” and that his team would focus on additional feedback and iteration to make more changes down the road. Hopefully for them, that won’t take too long, because today’s changes will likely have a minimal effect in appeasing players who have been going on at full blast over the past few weeks.