Over the years, Hearthstone updates and expansions have added a heap of new cards, modes and strategic possibilities. However, one thing has remained unchanged since the digital card game's release back in 2014: Character classes. There are only nine, and despite some clamour for more, that number is unlikely to change any time soon.
Image credit: Blizzard.
In Hearthstone, classes determine which class-specific cards players have access to, as well as which special hero power they can draw on. During an interview at BlizzCon last weekend, art director Ben Thompson explained that nine classes felt like the right number when they launched the game, and it still does now.
"There's a lot of complexities around introducing a new class," he said, noting that classes have to fit into both standard format, which restricts cards to create a focused experience usually based on recent sets, and wild format, which allows players to use cards from any set. "How do all these cards play with it?" he continued. "Ultimately, nine classes presented the right amount of complexity for what we were making at the time and continue to make today."
That isn't to say the Hearthstone team hasn't thought about it. They almost decided to ape Warcraft universe neighbour WoW and introduce a Death Knight class in recent expansion Knights of the Frozen Throne.
"It was like, 'What do we do with Death Knights? How does that feel?'" said Thompson. "But rather than introduce another class, we decided it'd be cool to see what these classes would do if they were also Death Knights. It provided an opportunity to try something new and fresh."
For now, Thompson and the rest of the team are happy with where things are at, class-wise. Down the line, anything is possible, but probably don't get your hopes up.
"I think we always hesitate to say never," concluded Thompson, "but at this point in time, we aren't having that conversation."