Over the last month, Blizzard has laid down the law by banning thousands of Hearthstone accounts for botting. Perhaps in a weird act of revenge we may never truly understand, the bots have returned to Hearthstone—and this time they're rigging the Twitter voting that's being used to reveal new cards from the game’s Goblins vs Gnomes expansion.
The official website has been drip feeding new cards to fans since the set was announced at Blizzcon. It teases two cards, with name, cost, and text hidden, and enables people to vote on Twitter for which they think should be revealed a few days later. Today marked the end of the sixth vote, and with it came compelling evidence of foul play.
The last contest had over 40,000 votes cast, and saw the blue side receive a surge of votes towards the end to win by less than 200, but within minutes of the next vote going live, the same side had nearly 1,200 votes while the other sat at a few dozen. Users on the Hearthstone subreddit started crying foul, and the discovery of a twitter user who voted for the blue side hundreds of times in a matter of minutes provided a convincing argument against the legitimacy of the contest.
Credit to reddit user /u/Nulligon for the well timed screenshot.
With only two votes left to run, it’s unlikely Blizzard will adjust the voting system. Senior game designer Ben Brode light-heartedly acknowledged the situation and has already stated that all the cards will be revealed before Goblins vs Gnomes launches next month anyway. So, no harm done really, although it sucks some of the joy out of an otherwise fun idea (but does oddly play into the misbehaving mechs theme). Meanwhile, we've been reviewing each of the recent cards as they've been announced, which you can take a look at here.