Hearthstone designer Mike Donais popped up on Reddit overnight to address community concerns that certain mechanics introduced with new expansions were subsequently neglected.
Most notably of all, not a single Inspire card remains in Standard play following the rotation of The Grand Tournament from the format. That's a lot of fanfare for a fun new mechanic, ultimately left to fizzle out in the long-run.
It turns out that this issue of losing previously new mechanics is discussed regularly within the development team. Here's what Donais had to say about the current thinking around the problem:
“This is a topic we discuss a lot,” he began. “We have mechanics that fall into 3 categories:
”Mechanics we use a lot: Lifesteal, Poisonous, Discover
”Mechanics we use sometimes: Played an Elemental last turn, Holding a Dragon, Mech build arounds.”
”Mechanics we might bring back: Hero Cards, Joust, Inspire, Adapt, Quests"
It's this last category that could prove the most interesting of all, as it's the first time we've seen hard confirmation that older systems might be expanded upon in future expansions. Given the number of options the team can explore during any given rotation though, it seems likely that any return would occur once the old set was no longer available.
Going further, Donais outlines improvements he would like to make to these old mechanics when they return. When Joust was introduced with The Grand Tournament, for example, players would be forced to reveal a card from the top of their decks. If the person initiating Joust had a more expensive card, they typically got to keep it. Donais would change a future version of the mechanic so that ties - which occurred often - would actually count as a win.
It's fascinating food for thought, especially given how popular Death Knight cards have been in the latest Frozen Throne expansion. Would you like to see them make a comeback in a future expansion? How would you change them for a second run? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.