Patch 20.0, the latest Hearthstone update, would be the biggest in the game’s seven-year existence, ensuring that the forthcoming Year of the Gryphon would be one of the most essential in the hit card game.
Hearthstone was released in March 2014 and has since established itself not only as a card game but also as a forum for spin-offs in other genres. The most well-known example is Hearthstone Battlegrounds; however, Hearthstone Mercenaries, which will be launched soon, will further expand the brand’s offerings.
Though Hearthstone has experienced numerous changes across the years, 2021 is expected to be the most important. Year of the Gryphon will start with Forged in the Barrens, the next Hearthstone extension, as well as two big concept shifts: the Hearthstone Core Set and the Classic format.
The Core Set would do away with Basic and Classic cards in favor of a free 235-card curated deck to aid players with their gameplay, whilst the Classic format would bring back the 2014 metagame and still use cards as they were then.
With so many changes on the way, players were expecting some significant updates, which Senior Game Designer Alec Dawson confirmed on Twitter. According to Dawson, Hearthstone patch 20.0 would be the largest patch “to date,” as he outlined the scope of the project while also informing fans that a small balance change will be delayed because of the huge undertaking.
Although there have been recent complaints about a weak Hearthstone Standard meta, Dawson’s follow-up tweet suggests that Blizzard is still fine with the meta, while the small balancing fix will apparently resolve “gameplay feelings linked to burst damage” if it were to go live.
The most important takeaway is that the Hearthstone team is being as open as possible about proposed changes, not just minor ones but major ones as well. This is because it wants to get the massive gameplay changes coming with Hearthstone patch 20.0 out as soon as possible.
The release of Hearthstone patch 20.0 would be the largest in the game’s seven-year existence, and it will come as no surprise to those who have been watching Blizzard’s updates and planned improvements for Hearthstone in 2021.