We're slap bang in the middle of Hearthstone's best month in a very long time. Last week, Blizzard launched Classic mode, which enables you to hop in a time machine back to the June 2014 patch and smash faces with a host of unnerfed Charge cards. As expected, matches are snappy, Midrange Druid's Force of Nature/Savage Roar combo is still disgusting, and Miracle Rogue's ability to draw cards at breakneck speed feels outrageous to lose to.
Hearthstone players have surfed an enjoyable wave of nostalgia right up to the release of the new Forged in the Barrens (opens in new tab) expansion today, and scrolling through the community subreddit has felt unusually friendly and welcoming. I've seen lots of retired Hearthstone players return to experience the game as it was when they first fell in love with it, including Reynad, who's back with his spiraling Twitch rants (opens in new tab).
It's nice to have the option to take a break from all the 'created by' shenanigans that we've grown accustomed to over the years, and dip back into a mode where the cards carefully nestled in our decks were the only tools we could rely on in a match—no discovering the perfect removal, big swing spell, or valuable minions that can turn the tide of a match. Classic is exactly as we remembered, apart from a few strange bugs that still need squishing, but there's one glaring omission: the 'Sorry' emote.
For those who never experienced the joy (and fury) of the 'Sorry' emote the first time around, allow me to enlighten you. This was the interaction that preceded the 'Wow' emote, and to date the only one to be nerfed. 'Sorry' was the pinnacle of bad manners, due to the patronising manner with which players would spam it in order to irritate opponents after a powerful play. Inevitably, it even happened in tournaments. Back in 2015 at the Archon Team League Championships (opens in new tab), Firebat and Forsen smugly machine-gunned the 'Sorry' emote to tilt each other when they had lethal damage.
Somewhat surprisingly, Blizzard took the complaints of players who habitually forgot to squelch their opponents seriously, and banished the insincere apology back in April 2016, just before Whispers of the Gods released. The 'Wow' emote that replaced it isn't as satisfyingly condescending, but does still get used in response to some ridiculously lucky piece of RNG. The cooldown on emotes also stops us from spamming too hard like the good old days.
"Sorry that happened"
Look, I get it. One emote isn't going to make or break Classic. But this is a mode aimed entirely at nostalgia, so it makes sense to get the experience spot on, even if that means more livid ALT+F4ing from players on the receiving end of my insincerity. It's also clear that the community (opens in new tab) has a hankering to see 'Sorry' return. While we get to relive the 126.96.36.19932 patch, it's just not quite the same without the OG emotes. BMing aside, sometimes it was just a handy way of genuinely apologising for roping by accident. We also have the 'Oops' emote, but this feels somewhat reserved for misplays now.
I'm not sure how difficult it would be to implement this change for a single mode, and I imagine it's low on Team 5's list of priorities after the colossal changes that have been made to the rewards track (opens in new tab), the introduction of the new Core Set (opens in new tab), and a fresh expansion launching later today. It's a shame that it's been missed from the old format, though.
In lieu of the 'Sorry' emote returning, there are a few things you can do to make your time in Classic feel even more Classic. I've set my Hero Portraits to the default choices, and I've equipped the Classic card back for the full vanilla experience. If you're enjoying the new (old) mode and want to try out some of the archetypes that dominated back in 2014, we've got a list of the best Hearthstone Classic decks (opens in new tab) to help you out.
And hey, if you're really determined to enrage your opponents, we'll always have Jaina's quintessentially annoying: " Hello".