Kripp Partners with HearthArena

According to a headlining post on Hearthstone Reddit, Kripp has officially partnered with Hearthstone Arena Drafting site HearthArena. While this speculation was teased out a while back, it is official now. What impacts does this have on the overall status of the arena?

  1. More people will play Arena – Kripp has over 800k subscribers on YouTube, and his videos get hundreds of thousands of views. While he isn’t the best arena player with measured win rates, he is considered the most notable face of the arena. His recent success in the Old Gods meta has bolstered that claim. A guy with so much reach in the gaming community can only draw more people into the arena.
  2. More people will use HearthArena – I’m not sure what kind of agreement the two parties have in place, but Kripp will likely have to advertise HearthArena to some extent through his channels. Arena-main players already expect that most people use a drafting tool. Expect it all the time. This likely means less “really bad decks” and a more monolithic style, as more people are drafting with the same app.
  3. Slightly easier competition – Let’s say this partnership is a huge success, lots of people are playing Arena and using HearthArena. Well if this happens, the arena is getting a lot easier. I’d say that there will be moderate success. Some people try arena, think it’s too hard and don’t come back. Some people will keep sticking to it. The hardcores will remain in the arena no matter. I think a few Ranked/Brawl main people would move over to the arena, and this makes things slightly easier. Of course, you won’t expect to see these people when you’re fighting an 11-win final boss.
  4. Changes to the internal algorithm – Early indications are that Kripp will not work on tweaking any of the tier scores of the cards. Apparently, he will fill a branding role and show his face when displaying picks. Right now, that role is filled by the League of Explorers. I don’t know though. Something is amiss when you have one of the best arena players in your stable, and don’t pick his brain for improving your tier lists. The HearthArena algorithm is considered a trade secret of sorts, likely composed by data from the HearthArena users, plus tweaks from their arena experts. Kripp is a much bigger name than anyone else on the team, so he would likely have some sway in making decisions.
  5. Nothing happens – Let’s face it, Kripp and HearthArena are already well-known quantities. Almost everyone who plays Hearthstone watches or knows of Kripp. When people ask for arena help online, they are immediately turned to drafting assistance at HearthArena. So when you have two known quantities partnering, it’s possible nothing happens or changes to the arena.

On the HearthArena Fallout

Anyone who pays attention to the latest Hearthstone news will know that top arena players ADWCTA and Merps have left HearthArena, the popular Hearthstone Arena drafting tool. In lieu of posting the actual posts put up on Reddit regarding the split, here is a link explaining what happened to those not in the know. Alternatively, this video may or may bring the point forward.

As a mostly arena player, I have used HearthArena for drafting since last December. I can say it really helped optimize my arena picks, and clearly delineates a good card from a bad card.

I come at this with an angle of emotional investment for ADWCTA and Merps solely because they taught me a lot about playing arena. The Lightforge Podcasts are very informational, and their stream is the only one I have ever watched on a weekly basis. I don’t think I would have heard of HearthArena without some posts by them on forums. With that said, I will not be using HearthArena for my arena drafts for the foreseeable future.

This provides me with an interesting experiment of sorts. With about 11 months of play with HearthArena, I tracked 193 total arenas, registering me a 4.99 win average (fell right off 5!).

Now I’ll be using spreadsheets to track my post-HearthArena progress. If anything, I will develop my own drafting style in the arena, while still being able to pick a bad card from a good card. Is it possible I could be a better arena player without HearthArena.