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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
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.