Patch 26.6 will introduce the Hearthstone Twist beta! We interviewed Blizzard about the new game mode.
Blizzard just announced the new Hearthstone Twist game mode! Twist will replace Classic mode and involve seasons. We sat down with Hearthstone's Matt London and Chadd Nervig for an interview on how Hearthstone Twist works, the seasons, beta, cards, decks, and more.
Hearthstone Twist game mode
The debut beta format of Twist will be New Age and involve the Core Set plus all sets from Ashes of Outland to the current one. This game mode will also feature seasons that have a "twist" in terms of the rules. The first debut beta twist will be no neutral cards. It will launch with patch 26.6, and players can climb the ladder until July 1.
“We're going to test it a few different ways, I think, and we'll see what players are most engaged with,” London said, referring to the seasons. “The plan in the early days is to rotate on a monthly schedule so that the seasons of Twist actually coincide with ranked seasons and our other constructed formats.”
At the end of a season, Hearthstone will check what a player’s highest rank is across the Standard, Wild, and Twist formats before distributing ranked rewards. The Hearthstone team plans to introduce events during seasonal rotations that offer unique rewards and engagement with the Twist format as well, London noted. These events will let players enjoy Twist for a shorter period without having to grind on ladder for an entire month.
By completing event objectives and experiencing the format, players can decide whether to continue or switch to something else. The goal is to let players freely move between different Hearthstone formats.
“We really want people to feel free to move between different formats in Hearthstone like this,” London said.
In terms the rewards track, there will not be one, according to Nervig. However, players will gain XP towards the normal rewards track and can use gold to spend on packs or battle-ready decks. He also explained the difference between Hearthstone Twist and Tavern Brawl.
"There's some like overlap and design space between Tavern Brawls and Twist, but Tavern Brawls are designed to be fun for a weekend. Twist [formats are] designed to be fun for a month," Nervig said. "And so some of the more off-the-wall things [or] formats are more appropriate for a Tavern Brawl. And so that's where some of these things end up."
Hearthstone Twist beta
As for the beta format, it will be New Age. This will include the Core Set and every set from Ashes of Outland onward:
- Core Set
- Ashes of Outland
- Scholomance Academy
- Madness at the Darkmoon Faire
- Forged in the Barrens
- United in Stormwind
- Fractured in Alterac Valley
- Voyage to the Sunken City
- Murder at Castle Nathria
- March of the Lich King
- Path of Arthas
- Festival of Legends
No neutral cards in New Age beta
For the beta, London emphasized the creation of new context for cards that already exist in the game. There will be a lot of new deck-building experiments that players can conduct when they don't have easy access to powerful answers in neutral.
The Hearthstone team put a lot of thought into designing Twist seasons beyond New Age as well.
“So there's a few different components to sort of the way that we're designing Twist seasons,” London told esports.gg. “One is, what's the card pool that we want players to engage with? And then the other is what kinds of rule variants can we experiment with to create a kind of constructed gameplay that is distinct in some way from Standard or from Wild?”
Hearthstone Twist decks: Druid, Demon Hunter, Paladin, Mage
As for Hearthstone Twist decks, There will be opportunities to use dual-class cards both from the most recent Mini-Set and Scholomance Academy. London shared a few of the decks he’s most excited about with esports.gg.
One of them is a Druid deck featuring questlines that are powerful haymakers without ending a game too quickly. Meanwhile, a battle-ready deck for Outcast Demon Hunter is similar to the current Wild version. Another deck of interest is Pure Paladin.
“I think one of the decks I'm most excited to play is Pure Paladin,” London said. “It's right there in the name. It fits really nicely with the rule restriction of no neutrals. And so being able to play some of these just incredibly powerful cards from past, present, and future, you know — one of the battle ready decks is like a Pure Librams deck. And so you're basically playing incredibly efficient cards all along the curve throughout the game."
London added that he likes to stack up a bunch of Librams on the new Liadrin and then play a bunch of cards with upgrades. Additionally, Nervig expressed excitement about Fire Mage shenanigans from a past expansion.
“United in Stormwind has some Fire Mage synergies that I was looking forward to exploring – whether there's a little larger pool of cards would let that flourish a little more,” he said.
The missing link between Standard and Wild
These battle-ready decks will give players a chance to guide their deck building in the early phases of a format, London explained. There will also be pack bundles offered to support Twist and make it easier for players to jump in and play.
“Ultimately, I think that we want to provide those opportunities for people that don't have built-out collections to be able to jump in and play Twist,” London continued. “But one of our primary goals with Twist is to create more value for players’ existing collections.”
This means Wild or Standard players who have a decent collection will easily be able to try Twist. According to London, it’s really about finding more opportunities like Wild to give cards more life beyond Standard.
That's all for now. Stay tuned on esports.gg for more news and updates!