Diablo in Hearthstone Battlegrounds: from failure to failure? Community complaints and dev responses about the Hero that is finally leaving on Tuesday.

Diablo entered Hearthstone Battlegrounds on November 2nd with the Hallow’s End event. At first, Diablo was not performing as intended, and Blizzard reacted quickly, hot fixing it after only three days. Soon, those changes turned Diablo from unplayable to being the dominant character in Hearthstone Battlegrounds.

Diablo Hearthstone Battleground
Diablo Hearthstone Battleground

The Battlegrounds’ community wanted to exile Diablo from Hearthstone. Earlier this weekend, Dom, Game Designer on Hearthstone Battlegrounds, confirmed that Diablo would leave on Tuesday 30th.

The Diablo problem in Hearthstone Battlegrounds

The new Diablo Hero was a nice shake in Battlegrounds' meta, at first. However, it turned into a problem that scaled out of proportion, with many pro players and top streamers complaining about how toxic the game pattern had become.

As we mentioned before, Diablo in its original state could not dodge failure due to its low power level. Soon after its release, Blizzard reacted to this, and suddenly things turned upside down. This weekend, Cora, Hearthstone Game Designer, in an interview with ItsBen on YouTube, confessed that “the initial Diablo was pretty weak”. She continued by saying what most people think happened after the buffs:

“I think with Diablo we may have overreacted slightly”

Cora about buffing Diablo in an interview with ItsBen

After the changes, the new Diablo was truly spreading terror in Hearthstone Battlegrounds being actually, the only Tier 1 hero in the game. Let’s see if you can spot the difference.

Diablo pre-buff <a href="https://twitter.com/HSReplayNet" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">HSReplay</a> stats in Hearthstone Battlegrounds
Diablo pre-buff HSReplay stats in Hearthstone Battlegrounds
Diablo post-buff <a href="https://hsreplay.net/battlegrounds/heroes/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener nofollow">HSReplay stats</a> in Hearthstone Battlegrounds
Diablo post-buff HSReplay stats in Hearthstone Battlegrounds

While players didn’t mind this at first, because, after all, Diablo was only a temporary thing in Hearthstone Battlegrounds, not knowing the expiration date made the community anxious.

Finally, yesterday, Dom's announcement brought some peace. However, now that we know Diablo is leaving Hearthstone Battlegrounds, what is the aftermath?

What were the devs intentions with Diablo?

From the beginning, Diablo was meant as a limited-time event character, as the Hallow’s End announcement said. But Diablo’s appearance was not something isolated, it was part of a big promotional event much greater than Hearthstone Battlegrounds.

“Diablo was always intended to be this. A really awesome promotional event. We put diablo in Mercenaries, and we put Diablo in Duels, and Diablo 2 Resurrected came out.”

Cora about the Diablo event

Hearthstone Game Designer Cora talks about the event in an interview. “The event was initially intended to only be for two weeks. (...) For something that was only a two-week event we really wanted to have it be impactful.” Something happened, and two weeks became four, and that I think was the main issue. Players had had just too much Diablo in their Hearthstone Battlegrounds experience.

If the event would have lasted the expected two weeks, many of the complaints wouldn’t have even happened. Furthermore, if we change our point of view and put ourselves in the Dev’s shoes, we can understand why they evaluate Diablo as something successful. The event offered a completely different game experience for players, made Hearthstone Battlegrounds join the Diablo-themed promotion campaign, and, after the patch, Diablo was actually a character that inspired fear.

Some final thoughts

Finally, we must understand that it is never easy to find the sweet spot where everyone feels good about the meta. There are millions of players in Hearthstone. Moreover, this huge player base, don't play the game at the same level and is not a homogeneous mass. Cora summarizes this pretty well and gives us a final take that creates some additional expectations for every Battlegrounds player.

“It's important for us to keep in mind that we have to balance for different levels of play which can be difficult at times. I'm really personally happy that we're taking risks like this.”

Cora's take on balance and risks.

Let us all pray for that creativity to keep flowing to keep receiving more awesome Battlegrounds content. Whether you loved or hated Diablo, stay tuned to Esports.gg for more Hearthstone news and updates. I’m out of here before I have to face the Lord of Terror again.