PAX East just opened its gates a few hours ago and Blizzard has taken the lid off their latest project as promised, although it’s not exactly what you were expecting. It definitely is ““something different”, we’ll give them that.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a free to play collectible card game set in the Warcraft universe targeted at the more casual audience. New cards can be obtained in-game or buy them online via microtransactions for a small amount of money. Players can build a deck consisting of various classes from World of Warcraft, and these cards will be placed on a virtual table. There will be over 300 cards at your disposal, and players also have the ability to craft their own cards. Battle.net will be powering the multiplayer suite of the game.
“We’ve always loved collectible card games at Blizzard, so it’s been exciting to bring everything we love about the genre to life in Hearthstone,” said Mike Morhaime, Blizzard CEO and co-founder. “We’re putting a lot of focus into creating a fun new game that’s easy to pick up and play, but also has a lot of depth. We can’t wait to share it with everyone.”
Here’s a bullet list of features:
Free to play online collectible card game.
Opt in to beta in your Battle.net account management!
Beta begins this summer, with release this year.
Playable on PC, Mac, and iPad.
The game will be easy to pick up, but have a good amount of depth and complexity.
The board is 3D, with lots of animations to make gameplay more exciting.
There will be over 300 cards with the initial launch
You can purchase more card packs for roughly $1 per five cards, or slowly earn them through gameplay.
There will be Basic and Expert cards, with Expert cards being broken down into categories like Common, Rare, Epic, and Legendary.
You’re guaranteed to receive at least one card of rare or better quality per pack.
Each card in the pack also has a chance to upgrade to a “Golden” version of the same card.
Disenchant cards that you don’t want to receive dust, which is used to craft new cards.
There is a deck builder, which can build decks for you, or you can build your own.
The game will be a 1v1 game using Battle.net matchmaking.
Playing will allow you to earn medals every week.
You can also play against AI at different levels of difficulty.
Any purchases you made during the beta will be credited back to you in the form of new, unopened card packs at launch.
The game is being developed by a small team over at Blizzard is probably meant to be an experiment with the Free-2-Play market which Blizzard had no dominion over, until now. While many of you might have been expecting a new AAA title and left disappointment, you can bet that the developer is already hard at work on Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void, some new Diablo content, and its next gen MMO which has hidden in the shadows for far too long. So you’ve got plenty more to look for in the years ahead.
The Beta will begin sometime this summer, while the full release will release sometime later this year for PC, Mac and iPad. In the meantime, you can check out the cinematic trailer that came with the reveal below.