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Dean Ayala talks about Disruption effects, the future of Hearthstone, maps, Locations…

Dean Ayala answered new questions from players during the night. The effects of disturbances, the future ofHearthstone, maps, Locations, Battlegrounds, the success of game modes and the position of Game Director. Find the most interesting information below.

Disturbance effects

  • We will still see Disruption cards, but not at the level of Spiritbreak Illucia
  • Dean thinks these effects were better received than the developers expected.
  • We see such effects as the team is more open to taking risks than in previous years.
  • Developers are more inclined to make more complex cards even if these sometimes generate negative emotions.


  • The team is currently exploring what a two-set story could be for 2024.
  • The developers have spoken with the WoW team about the potential canon of this arc, but discussions are still in the early stages.
  • A small team that will take care of elements related to new and old players is being created.


  • It’s rare for developers to create cards late in the design of a set in order to combat parts of the meta.
  • The developers are always open to adding more races to the game, the expansion’s theme just needs to support that.


  • Forged in the Barrens is the set for which the developers wanted to do something similar to Places.
    • Champions cards were minions with activatable effects.
  • United in Alterac Valley was the second time the developers wanted to try these activatable effects, and also the first test of Locations. The latter did not find any fun ideas.
  • In the heart of the sunken city was the last attempt at Location cards, but the developers didn’t have enough time to fix some interface issues.
  • Locations occupied two board slots for ‘many months’ and had a socket you could place a minion in.
    • Locations at this stage were only active when there was a minion inside.
    • When the minion died, the Location lost one point of durability.
    • Top deck Location cards in this iteration was a bad experience if you didn’t have minions.
    • Cora would like to do something with this technology one day.


  • Currently, the team is working on one or two updates at a time.
  • Ultimately, the goal is to work on major Battlegrounds updates as well as expansions forHearthstonethree at a time.

Achievements of game modes

  • Developers gauge the success of game modes through data.
    • Do players play this mode?
    • Less or more than before?
    • Do the polls indicate that players like this mode?
    • Does this mode generate income?
  • Once these questions are answered, it is necessary to determine how to support it. The question is not whether this one should be supported or not, but whether the people supporting it would be more helpful on something else or not.

Game Director

  • Dean discovered new things, but this position is generally elements with which he was already comfortable.
  • Dean wants 70-80% of the time to be spent tweaking what already exists and the rest of the time doing new stuff that we might not expect.
  • Even with a larger team, it’s hard to make new features because when developers add new things, you have to keep people working on them.
  • Pleasure and surprise are part of the original values ​​ofHearthstone. Dean hopes that will always be the case.
  • Dean is now working on long-term (1-3 years) new release planning.