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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone is the most popular app in the world after one day


Apparently we weren't the only ones waiting for Hearthstone to come out on the iPad. According to Business Insider, Hearthstone is the number one app in 34 countries, and the number one game in 36. This includes the United States.

Magic: The Gathering and other CCGs also have a large support base on the platform, so it isn't really surprising that Hearthstone would be popular amongst users of the tablet. What is surprising is that it rocketed up the charts so quickly. It is estimated that the game could pull in $30 million in the first year from in-app card sales, which would make this foray into the tablet space quite worthwhile for Blizzard.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone Fireside Gatherings are coming to a town near you

If you're looking to get your Hearthstone game on, why not at a Fireside Gathering? Blizzard is planning the first of these Hearthstone meetups on April 26th, and invites you to attend or host your own local gathering. Anyone can host a Fireside Gathering in a public space with internet access, though you're on your own for finding a suitable venue. If you're interested in attending, but not organizing, just head over to the Fireside Gathering page and scroll to the bottom for a list of upcoming gatherings.

Though the video makes these gatherings look friendly, we have to worry about the danger of all-out brawls erupting when the first mage breaks out a pyroblast. Attendees will get a unique Hearthstone card back for their trouble -- just be prepared to dodge if things get out of hand.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone officially launches in US app stores

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now available to download in the US for iPad. The fast-paced card game was released earlier this month in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, but players looking for it in the US had to wait. The wait is over, and you can get your copy of the game for absolutely free and level up while waiting for Curse of Naxxramas, the new adventure-mode expansion for the game that's set to release this summer. Android and Windows tablet users, never fear -- a version of the game for those platforms should be coming out some time later this year.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone releases on iPad in Australia, New Zealand and Canada

The Hearthstone iPad roll-out has begun! The game is live on the app store in Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Other regions of the world are "coming soon" with the reason given in the official blog being as follows:
Blizzard
Launching Hearthstone in a limited set of countries allows us to focus on the end-to-end player experience and make sure it's awesome before we move on to the rest of the world. If you don't live in Australia, Canada, or New Zealand, you don't have much longer to wait to get your hands on Hearthstone for iPad-Murloc Scout's honor.

It's also worth noting that everything is shared across all devices, so your collection linked with your account on your PC or Mac will be available on your iPad too. This is really exciting for people in those territories, and the rest of us will look forward to it landing on our local app stores soon.

Hit the break for the full blog post.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone: The deadly Emperor Cobra

While I can't fit the Emperor Cobra into every deck I make, I'm a big fan of it. The Emperor Cobra is a low-cost card that presents a clear and present danger as soon as it takes the field. Any minion the cobra damages, it dies instantly. A well-played Emperor Cobra can lay low the strongest of legendaries or bust through the beefiest of tanks. It's the great equalizer.

Of course, for a 3 mana minion, the Emperor Cobra's attack strength and health are a little on the low end -- the cost of having such an impressive ability. You need to know how to play this card at the right time to make the most of it.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Last Week in WoW: No April Fooling to be found here

Briefly, I considered using today's Last Week in WoW as the delivery mechanism for an April Fools' Joke. Rather than recapping the last week on the site, I was going to recap WoW Insider's entire existence, presenting links to everything we've ever posted in our history. This idea lasted no more than a few minutes, when the reality of the task settled in. Instead, I'll give you a few stats, which aren't jokes whatsoever. They're just interesting.

WoW Insider launched in November of 2005. Since then, we've published nearly 40,000 articles. Let's assume the average word count per article is 500 words -- it's likely more than that, given how many features we've run over the years and how much we like to talk, but let's say 500 anyway. That's 20,000,000 words. Twenty million. The average length of an adult fiction novel (not an erotic novel, but adult as opposed to young adult) is 100,000 words. Since November 2005, we've written 200 novels about World of Warcraft and Blizzard games in general.

So scrap the gag of linking you everything, because that's a Herculean task and I am no Hercules. Instead, let's stick with what happened this past week.

Most popular posts of the week
Follow along for Warlords news, WoW Insider features, editorials, and news from all other Blizzard titles.

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Filed under: News items, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone Insider

Breakfast Topic: Does Hearthstone still have you in its grasp?

Quite a few of you were playing Hearthstone upon its launch -- many were playing even earlier, in Hearthstone's beta. Some played out of genuine interest, others to get their hands on the Hearthsteed. The game officially released nearly three weeks ago and I'm curious how many of you are still playing.

Personally, I love Hearthstone, but I can't find the time to fit it into my schedule. It's no secret I'm in the Heroes of the Storm technical alpha, then there's World of Warcraft and the newly released Reaper of Souls thrown into the mix. There simply aren't enough hours in the day to play every Blizzard title. Despite my love for Hearthstone, it has a low position on the totem pole. Are you still playing? Did you never play to begin with? Did you only intend to earn your Hearthsteed, but the siren call of card draws lured you in for good? If you stopped playing, why?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone's Trump talks Twitch with Mashable

Hearthstone logo
For a long time, if you wanted to watch someone else play Blizzard games live, Starcraft II was your only real option, with some WoW arena gaming popping up here and there. With the addition of Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and now the technical alpha of Heroes of the Storm, though, Blizzard has quickly grown their number of streamer-friendly titles.

Many of you are probably familiar with Jeffrey Shih, aka Trump, a Hearthstone streamer who currently makes his living doing just that--playing Hearthstone on Twitch.tv. He's one of a several streamers featured in a recent article on Mashable that discusses the state of gameplay streaming as both entertainment and work. Twitch currently partners with about 5100 streamers who make income from their gaming, and some, such as Trump, make enough to do it as a full-time job. If you're interested in gaming as a profession this is a neat article that discusses some of the realities of the work itself, as well as the factors that have made such work possible in the last few years.

Filed under: Interviews, Hearthstone Insider

Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls offering Hearthstone expert card packs

Are you planning on picking up Diablo III: Reaper of Souls on March 25? While you're waiting, you may want to check out Hearthstone, Blizzard's latest game release. Players that have pre-ordered Reaper of Souls will find a treat waiting for them -- Expert Card Packs waiting to be opened and played. Both the Digital and Retail Standard editions will get you one free Expert Card Pack, while Digital Deluxe and Retail Collector's Editions offer three Expert Card Packs.

If you have yet to pre-order Reaper of Souls, the offer will be available to those who purchase the game after its launch as well. The card packs require a Battle.net account to be redeemed, and there is a limit of five Expert Card Packs per Battle.net account. Players who have pre-ordered either the Digital or Digital Deluxe editions of the game should have their cards available immediately -- if you are waiting for the retail version, you'll find codes in the box to redeem in exchange for your cards.

Check out the official post for more information about the offer, the rewards, and how to get started with Hearthstone, if you haven't already tried it out for yourself.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Diablo 3, Hearthstone Insider

How Hearthstone won over a skeptical Magic veteran

New Hearthstone card backs
I started playing Magic: The Gathering in 1995. I've loved the game ever since a friend introduced me to it. I've played both face to face and online, in one-on-one tournaments and in 12-player free-for-alls. It's the only collectible card game I've ever committed myself to playing.

Then along came Hearthstone. I received an invitation to the closed beta. I gave it a few hours and then I dismissed it. I had a long list of reasons. The game was too simple. I felt helpless during my opponent's turn. I couldn't protect my most valuable creatures by keeping them out of combat. I didn't have enough interesting cards to develop the quirky strategies that I prefer in Magic.

A few weeks ago, on the advice of a fellow Magic player who had been playing Hearthstone nonstop since open beta, I gave it another shot. I tried to approach the game without my Magic prejudices. I soon discovered that Hearthstone has a lot more to offer than I first thought.

Here's how Blizzard won me over.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Hearthstone Insider

Should you be playing Hearthstone, if you're playing WoW?

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft officially launched last week -- but players have been enjoying the game in open beta for months. A highly interactive digital version of collectible card games, Hearthstone pits you against the computer and later, other players in battles of wits that test your ability to build cunning combos and clever gambits that have your hero ultimately come out on top. Players can build custom decks of 30 cards, and earn gold by completing quests, using the gold to purchase more cards to construct even more devastating decks. Or, if you're so inclined, you can drop cash at the shop and purchase your deck that way.

That said, it's an addictive and pretty fun game, all things considered. But if you're playing World of Warcraft, is Hearthstone something you should also be playing? From a story and lore standpoint, absolutely not -- you're not missing anything at all. There's no story built around Hearthstone, just cards and careful moves. The Warcraft tie-in refers only to the heroes chosen to represent the different class decks, nothing more. Yet at the same time, it might be worth taking a peek at the game, if you're a WoW player.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone heroes ranked not by power, but by lore

Hearthstone news site Liquidhearth posted a pretty interesting rank list yesterday. The site primarily focuses on the game-related side of Hearthstone -- arenas, deck builds, card abilities and the like -- however, this particular article looks at not the individual cards, but the heroes featured on Hearthstone's nine available decks. The list is laid out and ranked not by the relative power of the class deck, but by the place they stand in Warcraft lore.

Each hero is given a brief descriptive summary detailing their place in Warcraft's history, and each rank is justified by one of three panelists quizzed for the column. What makes it interesting is that from a Hearthstone standpoint, the order isn't really quite where I think it should be. Mage decks, for example, are absolutely devastating if they get the right cards -- and I've had my cards thrown right back at me by more than one incredibly clever set of combos from a priest deck. The rogue deck is particularly devastating when used correctly as well.

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Filed under: Lore, Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone: Beware the Ancient Watcher

Every now and then, I come across a card (or card combo) in Hearthstone that I know won't necessarily help me be more competitive, but is a heck of a lot of fun. For example, integrating the Ancient Watcher into my Druid deck probably won't win me a tournament anytime soon, but I'll have a good time playing it regardless.

The Ancient Watcher is a 2 mana minion with 4 attack and 5 health. That's pretty beefy for a 2 mana minion! There's a catch: it can't attack. In a druid deck with a pair of Keepers of the Grove and an Ironbeak Owl for good measure, that obstacle is easily overcome. Silencing the Ancient Watcher removes its restriction, turning your 2 mana minion into a powerhouse. It's unlikely you'd want to silence your own minion rather than one of your opponent's, but the opponent has nothing worth silencing, it's better than wasting it.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone demos on iPad at CN Hearthstone conference

At a Hearthstone conference (the CN Hearthstone conference, to be exact), Blizzard pulled out the stops and gave a demonstration of Hearthstone for the iPad. We've been hearing that the game will be on tablets since BlizzCon, but although there's a video you can watch here of the game running on an iPad, there's still no specific news of a release date for the device. Watching the video, it's clear that Hearthstone runs very well on the device, and is easy to control with the tablet scheme.

Alex Dai, Blizzard's General Manager for Greater China, had some comments about how game balance and new cars will be handled as well. Head on over to 2P.com to watch the video, or follow us behind the break.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Hearthstone Insider

The red Hearthsteed mount isn't gone


Right now we have a cool looking blue Hearthsteed mount to ride around on after you've won three games against other random players in Hearthstone. A lot of people really like the mount, and rightly so, it's pretty badass.

But more people are asking for the red version now, a version that has only been datamined. Players incorrectly assumed that because both a blue and red version were released in the game files that one would be an Alliance mount and the other a Horde mount. This spread like wild and has entered into the collective thought process of the WoW community.

In reality the mount is just not being used yet, per Cory Stockton's tweet above. It'll probably be used at some other point -- a lot of sources are pointing at Diablo III's upcoming expansion. So just wait and see. It'll be here eventually, it's too cool not to be.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

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