Hearthstone News from Blizzard HQ

 Jaina Proudmoore Tutorial Voiceovers, Fireside Chat #2
 Twisting Nether Board Effect, Fireside Update, Hero Voiceover Recap

Hearthstone News from Blizzard HQ

Blizzard held the 2013 Fansite Mixer today at their headquarters in Irvine, California. We spoke with the Hearthstone developers during a Q&A session and have some things to share with you.

General

  • There is a tutorial that uses Jaina as the player's hero. After the tutorial, players will start out with Jaina as their main deck.
  • More decks (classes) will be unlocked as they play Jaina and the other heroes.
  • Players will be given daily quests that they can complete to earn rewards.
  • A concede option is available for players who want to forfeit a duel.
  • There will be some cross promotion with World of Warcraft. The "mtg genre" is a genre that hasn't gotten the love it deserves.
  • The game will be fully localized in different regions. 
  • Devs want to put in stuff the community think is right for the game (Examples: 2v2, Spectator mode)
  • There is interest in supporting a Hearthstone esport based on how the community wants to see it.
  • Aside from being free to play, the game is a small download which makes getting into it easy.
  • Possibility of cosmetic options for microtransactions.
  • Pushing for players to play multiplayer instead of single player. Daily quests to defeat opponents will help.
  • In-game card searching will be filtered by keywords
  • Dev team consists of mixed levels of TCG experience.
  • Small team size is a communication asset.

Matchmaking

  • Both ranked and unranked gameplay will be made available.
  • Players competing in ranked gameplay will receive medals to denote their skill level.
  • Achievements will be earnable in ranked gameplay.
  • Matchmaking will be based on a hidden matchmaking rating and not the cards in ones deck.
  • It's possible to be competitive with all the common cards. In playtesting, lots of people at the high end aren't using many expert cards.

Game Progression

  • Progression will be iterated upon in the future, currently serves as a means to give players basic cards.
  • Lots of unused Warcraft lore and content that is yet to be used.
  • Expect to see Warcraft lore from both the past and the future in card decisions.
  • Post-launch development cycle will be based upon community feedback.
  • Funding isn't important as Blizzard has many other successful projects. Key focus is the quality of the game. Blizzard core philosophy "Making the best game ever".

Gold

  • Gold is the primary currency of Hearthstone.
  • Will be used to purchase packs of cards and will be the entry fee for entering the forge
  • Primarily earned through the completion of daily quests.

Cards

  • Golden Cards are getting tweaked. They will have colored banners for each class.
  • Golden Cards will have specular highlights and will interact with the environment.
  • Changes will be made to cards only if it is absolutely necessary.
  • Do not want to ban cards from play, they would rather modify them
  • Expert cards will be available through booster packs which are purchased with gold.
  • Basic cards will be earned through leveling your hero up and playing the tutorials
  • Players may create a maximum of nine decks.

Forge

Not too much was said about the forge, but they did reinforce there will be information about it coming soon.

  • Players will buy into the forge using gold.
  • Players will likely not be keeping the cards they build in a forge deck. There is conflict between playing in the forge or opening packs for card acquisition.
  • They want players to compete in the forge, not just use it as a less random card selector.
  • They expect the forge to fill a niche, but want to make it accessible for people who would otherwise glance over it.
  • It's not expected that players instantly jump into the forge.

iPad / Tablet Support

  • Support for iPad versions 2 and over is planned along with the iPad Mini.
  • iPad version of Hearthstone is currently very well developed.
  • Finalizations are being made to get cross platform battle.net integration.
  • Focus being put onto a dynamic backend to allow for easy exploration of other platforms.

Fireside Chat #2

We had a live chat with CrsJames and Liam (HSPlayers) who were on-site at the Blizzard HQ today to discuss the Q&A session. The show was cut short, but if you'd like to hear about their gameplay experiences, be sure to check it out. We will have a normal podcast next week once everyone is back in the comfort of their basements.

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