Blizzard backs down on unpopular Hearthstone change, so now weekly quests will 'only' waste twice as much of your time, rather than triple

Whizbang's Workshop Mage spells
(Image credit: Blizzard)

As our Tim Clark wrote when he complained about live service games wasting players' time just to boost phoney player engagement numbers, "almost everyone reading this will be familiar with games that use predatory design in order to keep players logged in, whether that be to juice those all-important Daily Average User numbers so beloved of shareholders, or just in the hope that you might crack and drop some dollars in the MTX store." 

The main example he gave was of Hearthstone's revised weekly quest system, which tripled the targets players would have to reach to clear those quests while only offering an additional 20% boost in experience points. It was not a popular change, to say the least.

Blizzard responded swiftly with the typical "we've heard your feedback" message, saying, "it's clear that we pushed too far." But rather than scrap the changes altogether, they've simply been revised, and not by that much. As the latest patch notes show, the new weekly quests are things like "Play Battlecry cards 75 times (instead of 100)" and "Win ranked Hearthstone games 10 times (instead of 15)". While the initial change tripled the difficulty of completing quests, this iteration still doubles them, and for the same piddling increase in rewards. 

Unsurprisingly, these adjustments haven't gone down well with the community either, as you can see on Reddit. "Yeah this is still terrible number wise," says one player, "100% more work to get like what 20% more exp? Do they even know basic math?" Another suggests that "we should demand full reversion...this is blizzards usually playbook. Make something way worse, then revert a little bit to appease us. Well blizzard I'm not gonna be appeased." Other players are simply announcing their intent to uninstall. "I hate feeling like some weird corporate retention metric more than I like this game", says one.

If you're looking for an alternative, there are plenty of digital card games better than Hearthstone. And would you look at that, Magic: The Gathering Arena just got a new expansion—a set of cowboy-themed cards that encourage you to do crimes.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.