Blizzard has released a new Designer Insights video, one in which Ben Brode addressess the concerns raised by the Hearthstone community over the new Priest card, Purify.
For 2 Mana, the card Silences a minion on the board and then draws a card for the player. Subsequent complaints about the recently revealed card have centred around a handful of themes.
First, Purify seems – on paper at least – to be pretty underpowered, which raises the question of why the team would bother making "bad" cards in the first place. Second, the Priest class isn't in great shape right now, and so is least capable of bearing the weight of a gimmicky card in such a narrow release set. Finally, there's the question of how Purify might make Priest's Arena fortunes even worse.
In the Designer Insights video which you can view below, Brode addresses these concerns. We've also broken out the key comments if you just want to know the importal details nice and fast.
- It's no secret that Purify's not powerful, and it was not intended to be so. Sometimes they want to allow players to make crazy decks, and some players simply enjoy wnining with bad cards. Consider Emperor Thaurissan from Blackrock Mountain versus Majordomo Executus from the same release.
- Internal playtesting of Purify resulted in Silence Priest decks that were a lot of fun to play – they're just not particularly competitive or powerful. If you don't care about winrate but it excites you to think about Purifying an Ancient Watcher, or using Barnes to summon Deathwing before applying the silence effect, this would be a great deck type for you. If not, that's fine - you're just not that type of player.
- Why now given Priest's situation, when the team could use the opportunity to make the class great? It's fair criticism, and the team misread community sentiment going into the reveal. Knowing what they know now, they would have put a different card in there.
- Brode maintain's that Purify is good for the game, but perhaps would have been better off in a set of big flashy, exciting and powerful Priest cards. Brode believes there are tools in Karazhan to make Priest competitive again, and he hopes Dragon Priest will rise again. If not, they'll continue to advance Priest in future sets.
- The dream is that every class has multiple competitive archetypes and a 50% winrate. The reality of the system though is more complex. Depending on the meta, certain decks come in above and below that.
- On Arena balance: Priest is one of the worst performers in Arena and Purify is not going to help. Purify will be removed from the Arena pool altogether.