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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

More new Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes cards revealed

We're all hyped with Warlords of Draenor, but those of us who play Hearthstone are also looking forward to the impending release of Goblins vs Gnomes. Since BlizzCon, the Hearthstone community team has revealed a few more new cards from the expansion set.

First among them is the Illuminator, a 3 mana cost 2/4 minion that restores 4 health at the end of your turn if you control a secret. The Illuminator might provide the mage and hunter decks with new healing capabilities, or give the paladin deck even greater capabilities on that front. Also revealed: Jeeves, which provides both players with continuous card draw, the warrior minion Shieldmaiden with a +armor Battlecry, and the shaman's Ancestor's Call, which puts a random minion from each player's hand on the field.

While the Hearthstone playing field will certainly be altered by the release of this expansion, we're curious to see which of these cards will actually make their way into players' decks. A number of additional cards will be revealed before the expansion's launch, and if you want a say in what will be revealed, head over to the Hearthstone site and cast your vote.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone: Goblins vs. Gnomes cards and mechanics

Hearthstone announcing its expansion, Goblins vs. Gnomes, is no surprise. The fact that it releases in one month is a surprise. At BlizzCon this afternoon, Hearthstone Game Director Eric Dodds discussed some of the expansion's new gameplay developments in their Fireside Chat. You can see all of the newly revealed cards in our gallery embedded at the end of this post or follow along to learn about the new Mech minions, Piloted Mechs, Spare Parts, and new class cards.


Mechs

Goblins vs. Gnomes introduces a new minion type: Mechs. Not only are many of the new minions Mechs, but a number of old minions will be placed in this new category, too. The Harvest Golem was offered as an example along with the Alarm-o-Bot and Mechanical Dragonlings. There are enough new Mechs included in the expansion that you could, if you wanted to, build a full Mech Deck.

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Filed under: BlizzCon, Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes Announced


Today at BlizzCon 2014, Blizzard announced Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes. This will be the game's first expansion -- the previously release Curse of Naxxramas was just an adventure pack.

Goblins vs. Gnomes will launch next month. It is playable from the floor at BlizzCon today.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Blizzard teases Hearthstone announcement at BlizzCon

Select Hearthstone fansites and general gaming outlets have received curious mail from Blizzard Entertainment over the course of the last week. BlizzPro, Polygon, TouchArcade, and Hearthstone streamer Noxious have each shared a postcard which presents a blueprint of an in-game gadget and the following text: Making plans for BlizzCon -- I hope you like my invention!

These postcards, combined with recent teasers on the Hearthstone website and November's goblin-themed card back, it seems likely BlizzCon will present an expansion themed around the mechanical side of the Warcraft universe and the long-standing goblin/gnome engineering rivalry. Some Hearthstone fans have even been attempting to read between the lines on Blizzard's on-site teasers, speculating on the addition of new game modes, new creature types, and possible new hero abilities. Given BlizzCon begins in less than 24 hours, it might be best to wait and see.

Filed under: BlizzCon, Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone patch notes and November card back

Hearthstone received a minor patch yesterday -- its major points are the inclusion of new card backs. The October Hallow's End card back was added, as well as the BlizzCon card back, the Warlords of Draenor card back, and November's upcoming goblin-themed card back, which can be seen above.

The patch also includes the following bug fixes for the iPad version of the game:
  • [iPad] The search field is now properly shown at the top of the screen when the keyboard is present in the Collection Manager.
  • [iPad] (China only) Login sessions are now preserved when switching between wi-fi points.
Personally, I'm not digging the goblin card back, but they can't all be winners. No doubt, there are people out there who love this one but aren't big fans of, for example, the pirate card back.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone on Android possible "before the end of the year"

Those of you waiting for an Android version of Hearthstone, your wait shouldn't be too much longer. The Hearthstone community team provided an update on the game's mobile development today, stating their aim is to release the Android version before the end of the year. Phone versions of the game, both iPhone and Android flavors, are further off, potentially releasing in early 2015. Hearthstone's desktop and tablet UI don't translate well to the phone, what with the significantly smaller screen size, and will be customized for the phone experience.

It's somewhat surprising that this information was shared via a blog post with BlizzCon right around the corner. Then again, this isn't the biggest news in the world -- we've all known Android and phone versions of the game are on the way, we simply didn't know when. There may be bigger and better things in store for BlizzCon, such as the possible expansion the developers have mentioned in recent months. Or there may be nothing. We'll know in a few weeks.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone's Americas Championship deck builds

If you're a Hearthstone fan, you already know the game is partially strategy, and partially building the right deck of cards to play with. The top players at the recent Americas Championship certainly know all about deck building as well as strategic play, and the official Hearthstone site put together a comprehensive list of decks used in the Championship via Hearthhead. Every playable class has at least one entry, and all cards are laid out clearly so you can see what was used.

Although constructing identical decks won't be an instant win in championship play, browsing through the various builds might help you identify which cards are particularly valuable when it comes to competitive play. Head over to Hearthstone's website for the full list -- even if you're an experienced Hearthstone player, it's worth checking out.


Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Do we need bigger friend lists?

This is a problem I hear about, but don't actually have, because I'm not a terribly friendly person. Try not to be shocked. But I do have some friends, and a lot of those friends are very friendly people (they'd kind of have to be to be my friends, I suppose) and they often complain that they're full up on friends. I'm not sure how one can possibly manage that many friends, but nevertheless there are folks who have completely used up all one hundred potential friends and want/need more. However, it seems they may have to wait a while. Bashiok had this to say on twitter:

This is one of those issues that makes me wonder. For one thing, the battle.net friends list actually extends past World of Warcraft - it has to be coded to work with Diablo III, Starcraft II, Hearthstone and soon Heroes of the Storm. That's a lot of different games with different code, and WoW is certainly the oldest of them. I can imagine the limits of the oldest game holding back the development. Still, for the friendly souls among us, I hope it gets solved soon.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Diablo 3, StarCraft 2, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone Insider

Blizzard highlights Hearthstone crafts

Hearthstone's Community team has come out with a new feature that highlights arts and crafts among the Hearthstone community. There are those among the players that are enthusiastic about the online card game who are not only having fun playing the game, but are ridiculously talented, turning their creative energies to crafting all sorts of fun items after the game they love to play. This is the first of what I hope is many posts featuring the Hearthstone community's creative efforts -- and man, are these some incredible projects.

Two different recipes are highlighted in the video, a Hearthstone-themed roll cake, and some incredibly cute caramel-filled Hearthstone chocolates. What I love is that both recipes are actually tutorial videos, so those of you that want to try your hand at making these at home can do so. I've never actually made a roll cake before because they always seemed to be pretty complicated, but the video certainly has me wanting to try. Chocolates, on the other hand, are pretty easy to work with in comparison. If you're looking for creative holiday gift ideas for your gamer friends, you might want to check that video out.

Also highlighted in the post are three absolutely gorgeous crafted items. There's a Heartstone in a box, as well as the lovely candle-holder shown in the header image above. The third is a jaw-dropping reconstruction of the Hearthstone box featured when you begin the game. To check out all of the arts and crafts, head to the official site. If you've got any creative Hearthstone crafts of your own that you'd like to share, be sure to post on the official forums and show them off.


Filed under: Arts and Crafts, Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone's October 2014 Ranked Play Season ushers in Hallow's End

It's a new month, which means a new season of Hearthstone ranked play is upon us -- and a new card back. This month's theme is Hallow's End. These card backs seem to get consistently better, evolving from glorified palette swaps to artwork with far more detail.

To earn the card back, you must reach rank 20 in ranked play before the end of the month. If you're an inexperienced Hearthstone player, we would advise waiting a few days before giving it a shot. A new season of ranked play means a ranking reset. Much more experienced players will be aggressively working their way up the ranks to their usual place and are apt to stomp you if you get in their way up the ladder.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone season 6 ending soon

If you count today, there are only 5 days remaining in the current season of Hearthstone ranked play -- and thus only 5 days remaining to earn your pirate-themed card back. You need only reach rank 20 to earn the card back. As we've mentioned many times before, that isn't too difficult a task. You can't lose stars (or ranking) until you've surpassed rank 20. Until then, you have nowhere to go but up. The impending weekend is a good opportunity to do it.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Most Hearthstone players don't surpass rank 15

If you follow any number of prominent Hearthstone players, your perception of ranked play might be a little skewed. Being above rank 10 -- or even top 5 -- seems perfectly standard. When you play the game yourself, frustration mounts quickly because you can barely make it into the teens. However, Blizzard has recently stated you may be better than you think. According to the stats they've released, 75% of players are between rank 15 and 25. Only 2% of players are in the top 5 ranks, with only 0.5% of the playerbase at the Legend rank.

While Hearthstone had no difficulty hitting 20 million registered players, I often wonder if competitive games based on ranked played have issues with retention. When ranked play is the central game option, the simple nature of the beast means the majority of your players will sit at the lowest rungs of the ladder. The truly dedicated will invest significant time and energy into overcoming that hurdle, but certainly not everyone. The answer isn't to give people free victories, but is there another way to keep them engaged?

If you're interested in the full infographic, it can be found below or on Battle.net.

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Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone hits 20 million registered players

Hearthstone header
Blizzard hit a milestone recently with the free-to-play digital card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft breaking 20 million registered players. For scale, that's double the number of players WoW had at its peak during Wrath of the Lich King in 2010. The most amazing thing about that is Hearthstone has yet to release on all intended platforms: Android tablet, Android phone, and iOS phone versions are still forthcoming.

All in all, the registration numbers indicate that there is very widespread interest in Hearthstone indeed, and for good reason. It's a ton of fun to play!

Filed under: News items, Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone expansion coming 'soon'

The release of just a handful of new cards with Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas had a notable impact on competitive play -- the priest deck is considered by some to be a powerhouse with a suite of deathrattles, for example. That's often the case with collectible card games such as these, so an inevitable expansion has the potential to make Hearthstone feel like a whole new game again. Eric Dodds, Hearthstone's lead designer, told our sister site Joystiq at PAX Prime that just such an expansion is coming "soon."

It seems likely an official expansion announcement awaits us at BlizzCon. We have to wonder what approach they'll take with an influx of new cards. Power creep is always a concern -- Curse of Naxxramas's relatively few, deathrattle-themed cards is one thing, but the addition of a hundred new cards might be something else altogether. An oodle of new cards needs to hold some allure over the old ones to draw players in, but does Hearthstone have room for that many additions, given its simple rule set? An increase in base power-per-mana would be one approach, but unlikely to be endearing to players. That works fine in MMOs, but not card games. Brand new mechanics are also possible, something beyond Battlecry, Deathrattle, and Charge. Other CCGs have attempted to modify their tournament rules to limit the use of cards from previous sets or hold tournaments/ladders where only specific sets are allowed for use in play, requiring competitive players to dip into each and every set. That feels like a very un-Blizzard thing to do, but a CCG is new territory for them. Who knows?

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

Hearthstone season 6 reveals Pirate card back

The sixth season of Hearthstone ranked play has begun, which means a new card back to earn. This month's theme is Pirates and presents, in my opinion, one of the best-looking skins yet. To earn the card back, you must reach rank 20 in ranked play before the end of the month. Anyone who does it with a pirate-themed deck gets a thumbs up from me.

Filed under: Hearthstone Insider

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