Say goodbye to another Hearthstone game mode: Hearthstone Duels to be discontinued in April 2024
Today, the Hearthstone team has announced that its Duels mode will not receive any further updates, and will be removed from the game client in April 2024. This is a harsher end to that game mode than what happened to Mercenaries mode in February 2023: Mercenaries was put into maintenance mode, so its players could at least continue to play it (and can still do so to this day), even if it would no longer receive any new content. Duels, on the other hand, will become outright unplayable.
In the announcement post, the developers justified this decision as something that would “allow [them] to shift [their] resources to where [they] feel they will have the most impact, including Traditional Hearthstone, Battlegrounds, and more.” To be perfectly honest, even though we have no official numbers on this, it’s been very clear to anyone paying attention that traditional Hearthstone (also called Constructed) and Battlegrounds are the two most popular game modes by several orders of magnitude. Other modes, like Duels, Mercenaries, and even the once-popular Arena, have been receiving very little attention from the community in streams, content, and discussions in such varied places as Twitch, YouTube, Reddit, or Twitter — and this has been the case for a long time.
The post also highlights that the upcoming Battleground Duos mode is “scheduled for an upcoming Battlegrounds patch,” and that “[they’re] trying out some Duels Treasures in [the] next Arena season.” The former statement implies that Duos will require attention from a significant number of team members, and perhaps this had some weight on the decision to shift resources away from a mode like Duels, which most likely wasn’t being enjoyed by a significant enough number of players. Meanwhile, the idea of putting Duels Treasures in Arena means that the development that was being done to that mode might not go completely to waste, and could bring an interesting shake-up to Arena runs.
All in all, although this decision wasn’t exactly written on the stars, it’s hard to call it “shocking.” Duels mode simply wasn’t being enjoyed by a notable enough contingent of players, and it was easy to forget that the mode even existed in your game client unless you were a die-hard fan. However, it’s obviously sad news for those die-hard fans, and we hope that they can find a new way to keep enjoying the game — perhaps finding Arena as a worthy substitute.
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