The Diablo III console development team might’ve been lighting it up today at E3, but the coolest stuff in the Blizzard universe was happening on the Hearthstone blog. Some new cards were announced along with updates explaining just how the game would work. Here’s the meat of what was discussed:
- Hearthstone Quests: It’s only fitting that a game based on World of Warcraft should feature quests. These quests, apparently ever-changing according to Hearthstone blog, will award players gold, the currency used to purchase card packs. Gold will of course be integral in building your decks.
- Gold: Mentioned above, players will want to acquire gold in order to purchase booster packs for their Hearthstone decks. It’s also been mentioned that gold will be used to gain entry into The Forge!.
- Leveling System: Are you tired of grinding alts to level 90 only to be greeted with reputation gates and the horrors of LFR? Hop on Hearthstone then and grind your favorite class up. Those who do so will be rewarded with basic and Gold cards, as well as experience. Not unlike in World of Warcraft’s PvP, experience is awarded in victory or defeat, with more experience being awarded for winning. The exact amounts have not been explained at this point.
Along with the aforementioned system updates, it will be possible to battle individuals on your friends list, and a number of cards have had their frames stylishly updated. Nice, but hardly the meat of the post. The focus on leveling and questing should do an interesting job of differentiating Hearthstone from other available trading card games on the market. While other games might be more complicated, most do not feature the ability to level up, at least not in the traditional MMORPG sense.
On to the fun stuff, new, updated and redesigned cards. Here’s the decently sized list of updates to existing cards:
- Vaporize now triggers when an enemy minion attacks your hero.
- Illidan Stormrage redesigned—you may want to grab some fire resistance gear for this change. For 6 mana, Illidan is a 7/6 minion that has the ability: “Whenever you play a card, summon a 2/1 Flame of Azzinoth.”
- Onyxia has a new power: “Battlecry: Summon 1/1 Whelps until your side of the battlefield is full.” Many whelps! Handle it!
- Mind Vision now costs 1 mana and copies a card from your opponent’s hand.
- Mind Control Tech has lost his mind and has built a new, more polished one. His new power reads: “Battlecry: If your opponent has 4 or more minions, gain control of one at random.
And, here’s a look at the new cards:
Shield Slam: It appears Warriors will have access to their vaunted Shield Slam ability, and fortunately it looks to have the potential to be just as strong as its MMO counterpart. Garrosh Hellscream, Hearthstone’s Warrior representative, has the hero ability to give himself armor, and that could make this ability incredibly strong, especially for only one energy.
Far Sight: Shamans should recognize Far Sight from World of Warcraft. In Hearthstone, the spell will allow the Shaman utilizing it to draw a card and spend three less energy to cast whatever card is drawn. Considering the spell costs three energy, I’m not entirely sure how this card will be all that useful, but expect some research in the coming weeks to figure that out.
Savannah Highmane: The six energy beast of the Northern Barrens provides players a sizable minion with a powerful Deathrattle ability. Upon expiring, Savannah Highmane will award its owner with two 2/2 Hyena minions. This card is strong for a number of reasons. It’s 6/5 statline puts it just under the 7 attack power cusp that would allow the Big Game Hunter minion to destroy it upon entering the game. What’s more, if your opponent does utilize some board clearing ability to take Savannah Highmane out of the game, you will not be left high and dry, instead owning two small minions that can continue to press the assault. I would not expect to see Savannah Highmane in every deck, but if you’re looking for a solid mid to late game creature, this minion is a fine option.
Do you want to have the edge against your friends and enemies alike when Hearthstone goes live? Be sure to keep it locked to BlizzPro for weekly analysis on cards, matchups and insight on how to build your own winning decks. Did you miss our look at the Rogue Shadowstep card? Check it out here.