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What mechanics would you like to see in Hearthstone?

Game Designer Max McCall took to the official forums to discuss keywords in Hearthstone. This was a response to the original question about why there were no longer any Inspire cards in standard.

Originally Posted by Max McCall (Official Post)

Having too many keywords in Hearthstone would be overwhelming. Most of our sets have a new keyword, and some of them have more than one. If, in addition to a set’s new mechanics, we also kept around Spare Parts and Inspire and so on, we’d quickly reach Peak Keyword. Every set is someone’s first set, and learning Hearthstone is tough enough without a bevy of cards with words you don’t understand.

The marginal benefit of the twentieth keyword in the same Standard environment is small. We don’t need many keywords to make deckbuilding interesting and give people new strategic options. So, we do most of our keywords on a set-by-set basis, and they naturally sunset when Standard rotates. Because we have fewer keywords, we can support those mechanics more; having a theme is more fun than having a card or two with Inspire. Instead, we can layer cards like Maiden of the Lake and Garrison Commander on top of Inspire to give the mechanic more depth. We wouldn’t be able to do that if we had more keywords, because we don’t have enough cards in each set to do so.

Personally, I felt Inspire was a little lackluster. I’m not upset to see it sunset and removed from the current standard format. Yet, the Discover mechanic debuted in League of Explorers and it seems like it’ll be a staple going forward. The concern brought forward is that learning Hearthstone can be difficult enough without additional overwhelming mechanics.

As Hearthstone continues to refine and stabilize their expansion development process, I’m sure they’ll settle into a nice rhythm. I don’t mind revisiting old mechanics in new expansions, but no way should every previous mechanic released have a presence in every subsequent expansion. That would definitely be too overwhelming. However, seeing something like Inspire come back in a 2019 expansion would be acceptable.

Magic: The Gathering has accumulated years and years of new mechanics which could translate to Hearthstone. Some of my favorite ones included Scry (Look at the top card of your deck. You may move it to the bottom of the deck), Threshold (This card gains a bonus so long as you have played an X number of cards), and Lifelink (Gain health for every point of damage dealt by this minion). Scry provides you with some minor deck manipulation options. If you don’t like the next card coming up next turn, you can toss it to the bottom of your deck. Threshold could make a card like Argent Squire relevant in the late game. Sure it starts out as a 1/1, but if you’ve played 10 cards as the threshold, maybe it gains +2/+2 in stats. Lastly, Lifelink is a mechanic that’s technically in Hearthstone already (like Wickerflame Burnbristle).

What mechanics would you like to see revisited or added from different games?

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