Big changes and “a new way to play” detailed for Hearthstone

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HEARTHSTONE

HEARTHSTONE! Originally launched as an alternative card game that wasn’t bogged down by years of rule changes, tweaks and massively complex strategies, Hearthstone quickly evolved into just that. That’s not to say that Hearthstone is a bad game at all, but it’s not as inviting these days to newcomers as it was when it was first unveiled.

There’s a big hurdle for rookie players these days, a power gap that is bigger than a squash match between Brock Lesnar and Kung Funaki. Blizzard wants to fix that.

To get players back in, Blizzard will implement some big changes. According to the developer, two new play modes by the name of Standard and Wild will launch in the US spring for Hearthstone that will keep the game “fresh, exciting, and accessible.” Blizzard said that their goals for Hearthstone are:

  • Standard will help make for a more dynamic and balanced metagame.
  • A select set of cards makes each new card have more impact!
  • The developers will have more freedom to design exciting new cards.
  • It lets newer players jump in faster without having to collect as many cards.

“Standard is a new format in Play mode that allows players to go head-to-head using only the most recently released Hearthstone cards,” Blizzard wrote.

You’ll play Standard using a deck built solely from a pool of cards that were released in the current and previous calendar year, along with a core foundation of the Basic and Classic card sets (which will always be valid for Standard). You’ll be matched against other players who are also using Standard decks.

That sounds like a massively improved balancing act already. As for Wild, it’s the Extreme Rules version of Hearthstone. “It’ll be the format where anything can happen,” Blizzard said.

When you queue up for Wild, you’ll be cozying up with the crazy fun of Hearthstone you’re already familiar with. You’ll use any of the cards you’ve already collected to build a Wild deck and be able to finish quests, earn gold, rank up on the ladder, get card backs, and earn Legend rank, just like you can in Standard.

Beyond this, Blizzard announced that any player who had unlocked all nine Hearthstone heroes would also receive another nine more deck slots, bringing their total up to 18.

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Last Updated: February 3, 2016

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Valshen

    9/9 for 9 with no abilities? Shit card, maybe uncommon at best.

    • HvR

      Should have ability Sparkles:
      causes all minions in play to fall down laughing and miss a turn

  • Stardust…huehuehue

  • Sooo they essentially took the insert from a MTG booster pack and copied the format info off it?

    Not exactly original but okay.

    Give it a year and they will add the legacy format. 😛

  • HvR

    Keeping it fresh by implementing the same divisions Magic The Gathering came up with in the 90’s

  • Sageville

    Does this mean I won’t be able to use some of my cards?

    • HvR

      Only if you play Standard

      • Sageville

        So normally I play ranked, I assume that would stay as is?

        • HvR

          Sounds like they will be replacing Ranked with Standard (only current and previous years cards) and Wild (free to use what you want)

          Both will using the ranking system.

          • Sageville

            So then the oly place you can use all your cards is in practice?

            I’m not a happy campa

          • HvR

            No, you will be able to use all your cards in Wild which is also Ranked play.

          • Sageville

            I should probably have read the entire article….

  • Dresden

    Hearthstone is fine as it is IMO. As a new player I feel you can buy packs/expansions if you want to get ahead or you can grind dailies like I do for free and still get better through sheer experience and eventually buy it all anyway with in-game gold.

  • Alessandro Barbosa

    So, it’s exactly the same at Magic The Gathering then. Blizzard are going to have to release more cards more frequently then

    • Sageville

      Keep people buying new expansions, all the time… all the monah

  • Hargrim

    Started playing this in Beta. Stuck around through Naxxramas, but I never got to doing the last wing. Limited playtime at the time, coupled with very limited skill, the gold grind was just way too much. Then came the Goblins vs Gnomes expansion, I lasted another week and have barely touched the game since. What other card games call power creep is a 100m dash in Hearthstone

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