Patch 25.4 Preview - Mercenaries Stops Getting Content Updates & New End Game Mercs Mode
Huge news drop from Blizzard. Read everything below!
Quote from Blizzard
Patch 25.4 will bring some awesome updates to Mercenaries, including new Mercs, Mercenary Faction designations, dual-type Mercenaries, and the all-new Mythic Boss Rush end-game system! It will also be the last major update to the Mercenaries mode as we align our goals and focus on continuing to make Hearthstone the best digital card game in the world. We’re excited to share more details about the next Hearthstone year, Core Set, and expansion, ahead of Patch 25.6. But first, we want to talk about the major Mercenaries updates coming in 25.4.
Six More Mercenaries Join the Village
Six new Mercenaries are coming in Patch 25.4. This is our final planned infusion of new collectible Mercs into the mode, and they’re some of our most interesting Mercs yet.
You can get all the details about the new Mercs in the 25.4 Patch Notes, coming soon. Once these Mercs join the fray, we’ll have over 120 total Mercenaries for players to collect, add to their Parties, level-up, and max out. That’s one bustling Village!
Dual-Types, Reworked Types, Factions, and more!
Starting in 25.4, Mercenaries will be able to have two different Types to better represent their identities. We’ll have Human-Undead, Celestial-Beasts, and more! Several Mercs will gain a second Type in this update, opening up a whole slew of new synergies across your collection.
Many Mercenaries will also be gaining Factions, like Horde and Alliance—signified by the flag in the upper-right corner of the card. These will make it easier to tell exactly how a particular Treasure or Ability might impact your Party. Some Abilities, Equipment, and Treasures have been updated or reworked to refer to Factions and/or to better work within the new Mythic Boss Rush system. On top of that, we’re adding five new Factions, for a total of seven.
You already know the Horde and Alliance well, but now they will have clear flags to show where their loyalties lie. Explorers represents the League of Explorers who are now, truly, in a League of their own. The Empire, Legion, and Scourge Factions represent different enemies of Azeroth. The Empire is comprised of the Old Gods and their followers; the Legion is the Demons and demigods who make up the Burning Legion; and the Scourge is made up of the Lich King and his shambling Undead servants. Finally, Pirate has been converted from a Type to a Faction, and represents those raiders and rapscallions who don’t fly any flag but their own.
Mythic Boss Rush End Game Content Coming Soon
The final big system update to Mercenaries is the new and challenging Mythic Boss Rush end-game system. At its core, Mythic Boss Rush is a gauntlet of bosses with randomized elements that you can face to earn more Renown and push your Mercs beyond their limits.
Mythic Boss Rush is weekly content, with a new Boss Rush unlocking every day throughout the week, until a reset at the end of the week. Each Boss Rush is like a Bounty with 3 Bounty Boss fights in a row, leading to a final Boss that is two Bounty Bosses at the same time!
Mythic Boss Rush has been streamlined to include only the most interesting PVE content: there are no Point of Interest nodes or mob fights, just bosses. Bosses will also have random anomalies that make them stronger—with power that scales based on a sliding difficulty setting you can choose for yourself. You earn Renown as a reward for each clear, with the bulk of your Rewards being granted after your first clear, based on the difficulty you were set to for that run.
How are you supposed to take on this bevy of big, bad bosses? In Mythic Boss Rush, you’ll be able to spend your Renown to upgrade your Mercs’ Abilities, Equipment, Treasures, and stats beyond Maxed! Those upgrades persist from Boss Rush to Boss Rush, letting you take on bigger and badder bosses each week.
In Mythic Boss Rush, you can spend Renown to upgrade your Mercs beyond their Max. These upgrades don't carry over to regular Bounties or the Fighting Pit.
You’ll be able to unlock Mythic Boss Rush via a free upgrade to the Travel Point. The upgrade becomes available once you’ve unlocked Heroic Bounties and have at least one Maxed Merc. Mythic Boss Rush adds tons of replayability to Mercenaries for players who love the PVE aspect of the mode and are hungry to push their Parties to the limits.
Continued Support and New Frontiers
After these updates, we will be focusing on making the Hearthstone and Battlegrounds modes the best they can be. At the same time, Mercenaries will continue to get support for bug fixes and periodic balance changes as needed, but no further regular content updates. With the new additions in this patch, we hope that Mercenaries will be a fun, fulfilling mode for players.
To everybody who has ever chased a Bounty or gathered around the Campfire, we thank you for making this chapter in Hearthstone’s history special, and we hope you’ll enjoy everything Mercenaries has to offer in 25.4. See you in the Tavern!
What I find puzzling is that they didn’t make it about cards… I mean, it’s a card game, isn’t it? To this day, I’m confused why the pve didn’t revolve around cards, like Slay the Spire. A truly missed opportunity of epic proportion. I figured everyone was expecting a game like Dungeon runs, including the dev team. It’s puzzling.
translation: our new game mode with aggressive monetization flopped.
it has the same fate of HOTS.
omg thats a really good idea! make the mercs gamemode something like super mario maker, where people can design bosses, encounters and loots after each fights. people can be given a choice to pick from different boss portraits, different boss names (like dark souls messages lol) and different ability combinations. community would come up with crazy good and creative stuff I am sure of it.
Activision loathes community created content, remember?
Mercenaries PVP is quite strategic when you max out yours mercs. Also that little design team is very competent IMO. I dont think Mercenaries will be unplayable without new mercs, but PVP need more modes to be leaved in stand alone mode, i will see you crazy guys at fighting pit in a afterdeath match.
And I spent all my gold to buy mercenaries pack!
TRANSLATION: "We never figured out how to monetize this thing in a way that made any sense whatsoever."
I think it was doing *okay* in terms of income, but okay does not satisfy Activision.
I can't imagine how. There was very little reason for a long-term player to buy packs, and the prices on the cosmetic bundles were a ridiculous joke.
For the past year or more, I'm pretty sure the Mercs design "team" consisted of exactly one guy.
Well first off, the modes are merged, so for people like me who liked Mercenaries and played regular Hearthone were was much more likely to buy the battle pass than I would have been otherwise. You don't need to sell very many overpriced bundles from the shop to make money when the mark up is that crazy either.
Based on what do you think it was one guy? And if it was one guy that means they were barely spending any money on it and their returns would be significant.
Like Hearthstone was very holistic in terms of providing rewards for all their modes at once, and I'm not sure why they're moving away from that. It seems counter-intuitive for everybody. I don't think there's more money to be made splitting them up.
If you play traditional HS, the tavern pass pays for itself. You do not need the additional "incentive" of Mercs cosmetics to entice you. Those portraits are tiny and static and unappealing. The diamond versions are actually so annoying that many players wouldn't use them due to the additional voice lines. That's why they gave everyone the gold version of the diamond skins so soon after release. Bottom line, no one ever cared enough about portraits to spend money on them.
I believe it was one guy based on the fact that they introduced him sometime last year as someone who would improve the direction of the game. I believe he did make Mercs a better game, so kudos to him, but he is not a native speaker of English. (He's from Eastern Europe, iirc.) Every update after that announcement was full of super-weird grammatical errors that never would have made it live if a native English speaker had glanced at the cards for even a second. Obviously he had support in terms of art and coding, but he was definitely the only game designer on the project.
As for "not good enough for Activision," I'll just say that no company ever shuts down a viable stream of revenue -- emphasis on "viable." It's possible that Mercs was providing a small trickle of profit, but my guess is that even that small trickle was trending steadily downward. It is the correct decision -- not just a "greedy Activision" decision -- to shut it down before it starts losing money. Mercenaries has been a PR nightmare from day one, so the "holistic" argument holds no water. If anything, it has had an overall negative impact on the Hearthstone brand throughout its existence, and I'm saying this as someone who did enjoy the mode while it lasted.
This doesn't prove that the mode wasn't making money. You just don't *think* it could be making any money, based on pretty baseless intuition.
Nah, Activision has proven themselves time and again to put short-term thinking before a good product. Ever since Morhaime left the company. Reforged, StarCraft 2 Multiplayer, things that were working, that kept customers, that helped the brand but not good enough for Activision.
I think losing the China market (which Mercenaries was basically made to appeal to) probably was the nail in the coffin for the mode, but Activision is still most likely just unsatisfied with acceptable returns on a product. Because that's what they always do.
And you think this doesn't apply to literally everything you've said?
When a company discontinues a product, the most common, most logical reason is lack of revenue. Believe what you want, but I'm going to go with Occam's Razor on this.
Lol good riddance. I said from the beginning that Mercenaries had no semblance to Hearthstone and they confirmed it. It's a miserable mode for miserable people. Battlegrounds was an obvious extension, but Mercenaries was just like WTF.
This mode just failed hard from start to finish no matter how hard they tried to make it sound worthwhile. To those who actually played this mode, bless your hearts.
It may not have been to your taste, but there's no need to insult the people who enjoyed it. It didn't fail because no one played it. (Mercenaries content always received a reasonable number of views.) It failed because the monetization was stupid.
Again, there were thousands of people looking up how to complete the event challenges, so obviously people were playing. I'm sorry it's so painful for you to be wrong that you have to lash out like a child.
A few people will always play it. An amount that makes it sustainable to put work into is another story.
I am yet to be convinced I'm wrong about anything including the intellect of Mercenaries enjoyers.
This already exists - it's called Dungeon Runs.
turns out raid shadow legends isnt very fun
I was very excited for a PVE mode. Then very disappointed when I saw what it was.
I would like to be able to use my cards to make my decks to battle PVE opponents in an environment where I can earn packs. Would I be willing to pay gold for this? Sure. Something similar to the gold/value proposition that Arena has.
If you can make it with user generated dungeons, even better as it will then take a lot longer to get stale.