Hearthstone to drop restrictive Arena 'synergy picks' system

Blizzard has pulled a swift u-turn on last month's changes to Hearthstone's Arena mode after negative feedback from fans. 

In the mode, players pick between one of three random cards, repeating the process until they have a full 30-card deck. Last month's Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion added a system whereby your options for the first two cards are limited to a smaller pool of "synergy cards" that work well with other cards of the same type.

The idea was that these cards would provide a good base for a cohesive deck because they would help direct your future picks. In reality, as Bo reported after the change, players complained that the new card pool was too small and that it was forcing you to make sub-optimal picks down the line.

Well, Blizzard has been listening, and the system will be dropped in a future patch. We don't know when, exactly, just that it won't happen in the major upcoming balance patch.

"This won't be removed in the Balance patch...it will be removed in a patch after that though," said Mike Donais, one of Hearthstone's designers, on a Reddit post yesterday. "The first two picks will be the same as all the other picks. It is being removed."

Fans on the post seemed happy with the response. "It's cool trying new features and even cooler reacting to feedback and adjusting accordingly," one wrote. And I agree: as long as the change happens promptly then it'll be a good example of a developer listening to community feedback.

Samuel Horti

Samuel Horti is a long-time freelance writer for PC Gamer based in the UK, who loves RPGs and making long lists of games he'll never have time to play.