A Hearthstone Dust refund that went wrong exposed inefficient communication. Many players were frustrated and some were banned.

A minor Hearthstone patch meant to refund players, spiraled into the current Dust Gate due to technical errors. Furthermore, the lack of official efficient communication left a bunch of Hearthstone players confused about why they got dust in the first place and frustrated after it was taken away, and some were even supposedly banned. The Hearthstone team assures that no player suffers actual Dust loss as a consequence of this. What actually happens, and why Hearthstone players are angry about this Dust Gate, in this article.

Hearthstone Dust Gate begins

Some days ago, Blizzard launched a reparation for players cause of a bug that allowed them to get extra copies of uncraftable Golden cards. The idea was to delete those extra copies and give Hearthstone players a full dust refund on them. This didn’t go well.

First, the list for Card subject to reparation was wrong. Then, some Hearthstone players got this Dust refund twice. Furthermore, the update that intended to delete just the extra copies deleted way more than it was supposed to. Not a good start at all.

Hearthstone Forum post about "Recent Dust Grans and Missing Cards"
Hearthstone Forum post about “Recent Dust Grans and Missing Cards”

This might be a rough start, but what made it a bigger problem was the fact that there was little communication about the topic. If you are not a forum user or follow relevant content creators or Hearthstone’s team personal account, it was just a mystery what was happening. Why did Hearthstone give free dust? Why did it do it again?

Hearthstone’s Dust Gate communication problems

Hearthstone Forums are, in fact, an official communication channel. However, since they have little promotion and haven’t been in use in the past, not many players go thru them. Many content creators and prominent community members argued if this was the right way to communicate important issues since a great portion of players would never see the posts.

Zeddy's take on Blizzard's communication problems on Hearthstone Dust Gate
Zeddy’s take on Blizzard’s communication problems

Zeddy’s take is valid, the way things were communicated made it so that many players felt scammed. Furthermore, RegisKillbin added that Hearthstone is relying too much on third parties to carry the message, and in this Dust Gate, no one could know for sure besides Blizzard what was going on.

It is fair to say that Alkali (Hearthstone Community Manager), Decktech (Blizzard Writer for Hearthstone), Dylan (Blizzard Content Manager), and many others are putting an enormous amount of effort to close this gap by using their personal accounts. However, this is a fix, not a solution. Whenever new content is released in-game notices pops-up, information on issues like these should be accessible in-game too for the vast majority of casual players to know.

Hearthstone Dust Gate Bans?

The Hearthstone Dust Gate problems didn’t end there. According to Reddit user Junior-Efficiency-27, they were banned after using the extra dust given by Blizzard.

“I logged into being awarded all this extra dust. I spent the dust on epics and a few legendaries for druid. None of which were nerfed recently or soon to be. Next day middle of game I’m kicked off and suspended and the rest is in the emails and screenshots.”

Junior-Efficiency-27 about his Suspension on Reddit

That is right, a 15-day suspension, and he was not the only one. According to others Reddit threads, Blizzard suspended several accounts on similar grounds.

Nicholas Decktech Weiss quickly responded and, despite not being able to comment on disciplinarian measures, the team would look into them the following day.

What happens next?

Well, the official Hearthstone forum post states that Blizzard completed the Dust refund process. Moreover, they will investigate individual reports to make sure everything happened as intended.

Regarding communication, Alkali answered the community concerns on the Hearthstone Dust Gate topic in a Tweeter Thread. Her points are valid and are good to know that the team is aware of these issues. We shouldn’t be blaming the team since they are actually going the extra mile in many circumstances. However, we all agree that something needs to be done.

Alkali response to the community

Finally, Hearthstone Lead Designer Iksar also commented on the topic. Despite not being part of Hearthstone Dust gate, he mentioned that this is a lose-lose situation for both Blizzard and players.

The last thing to mention is that errors happen, but is important that Blizzard is listening to the community. Having many team members addressing these topics and acknowledging that there is a lot of room for improvement is the hope that we all need. If we are lucky enough, the next Hearthstone Dust gate will have fewer ramifications thanks to this experience.

Stay tuned to Esports.gg for more Hearthstone news and updates. See you next time, in the tavern.

Manuel

Manuel "Rane" Delgado

Writer of the Month: August | Twitter: @RaneTDF

Manuel “Rane” Delgado is an experienced Hearthstone caster, content creator, and tournament organizer from Argentina. He started his career on Esports casting his own tournaments, now he currently covers Hearthstone Grandmasters’ Americas region for LATAM, among other content creation. Besides esports, he works in a construction company, which made him kind of a "handyman" when fixing everyday house problems.