Hearthstone Rolls Out a Hotfix to Change the Discover Mechanic
Blizzard dropped a hotfix for Hearthstone, shortly after the latest expansion went live. Scholomance Academy had quite a few cards to let players “Discover” a card as an effect. Discover as a mechanic lets the player generate a random card, but there’s a catch. Previously, these cards could Discover themselves, but no longer! Well, to be fair, this comes out of nowhere. The community has been criticizing how this mechanic works for a while.
Make Hearthstone Less Stale
This hotfix doesn’t just go for cards that specifically have the Discover mechanic. Cards in general that “generate a random card” can no longer generate themselves.
“Overall, this change is aimed at helping games feel a bit more varied,” said one of the one of the devs. “While generating the same card can be an exciting individual moment, these types of experiences tend to have diminishing returns after a while. These adjustments should make for healthier games against classes with a ton of resource generation.”
Discover is an excellent mechanic on its face, but here’s where the major problem comes in. Hearthstone decks have a finite number of cards – 30. It’s not like MTG Arena, where you can have 60 cards, 120 cards, or whatever number beyond 60. Heck, in older MTG decks, you wanted 200-plus cards for Battle of Wits. In Hearthstone, you have to strategize and consider what the player can do with 30 cards.
But when there are simply so many options to Discover/Generate cards that aren’t in your deck (or sometimes not even in your class), it creates far too much RNG and chance. There are just so many Discover cards that it goes from being a “fun mechanic that’s rare and useful in the right situation” to “absolutely mandatory – include as many of them as possible to generate as much card value as humanly possible.
It’s too common and too easy to slap into a deck over and over. Then you combine it with cards that let you cast a spell again (say, Archmage Vargoth), and who knows how many free cards you could come away with? That’s the point of the Discover hotfix in Hearthstone. These kinds of effects can also ruin the principle behind a Highlander deck, where you can only have one of each card. That’s just a personal gripe.
The ability to proc the same card over and over was likely rare but could feel overwhelmingly frustrating. However, we did see that for certain cards. You can still Discover a second copy of the same card if it’s still in their decks. This, in particular, goes for Shadow Visions. Shadow Visions lets you discover a card already in your deck, so that will still function as normal.
There were some other minor changes made that are worth noting. For Battlegrounds, Mr. Bigglesworth (Kel’ thuzad’s cat) is now available for all players. There was also a bug fix around Jandice Barov. Occasionally, the selected minion summoned would not have the death upon damage enchantment when summoned again by Khadgar. They also fixed a bug where headmaster Kel’ Thuzad would not resurrect minions destroyed from being returned to a full hand.
All told, this is an excellent move for Hearthstone in the form of a Discover hotfix. It’s an ability that has frustrated me for seasons, and while I do use it, I understand how busted it can be. There’s nothing wrong with having powerful effects like Discover. The problem comes from having too many and keeping pulling the same card over and over from a single Discover use.