‘Hearthstone Mercenaries’ uses AI to populate slow PvP queues

Hearthstone Mercenaries includes a new PvP mode known as the Fighting Pit – but you could end up facing a bot if nobody else is queuing.

Blizzard developers have come up with a new way of ensuring you still get a decent match up if nobody else is queuing for PvP – facing you off against AI.

Hearthstone lead game producer Gloria Zhang explained that this new AI system will help players who can’t seem to find a game.

“If we are not able to find an equal and fair game for you, then we will just give you an AI in PvP mode for you to be able to have a fair game and still have fun,” she explained.

This is especially important in the earlier levels, where developers feel there will be fewer players drawn to PvP as they continue to level up their characters.

“We expect for lower-level parties, while you’re still levelling up, that a lot of people will still be levelling up in PvE,” said Zhang. “There might be a smaller portion of people levelling up in PvP mode.”

When it comes to matchmaking, Hearthstone Mercenaries uses a combination of skill-based MMR and your party’s level to determine which players make a decent match up.

“We have done a lot of work on the matchmaking system for this game mode,” Zhang added. “We allow different levels of characters to participate in PvP. That means at different levels, you will have different power levels of teams or parties that you bring into the PvP queue.”

“The matchmaking system will not only consider your MMR, which is your skill level, it will also consider the power level of the party you brought into the match.”

Hearthstone Mercenaries, a new RPG style game mode, has launched within Hearthstone today on Android, iOS and PC. This new mode is entirely separate to the original game and tasks players with building a dream team of mercenaries to take on increasingly challenging foes.

Meanwhile, Hearthstone Mercenaries may include more non-franchise characters in the future after the introduction of Diablo to its ranks.

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