BlizzCon 2017: ‘Hearthstone’ Q&A Panel Revealed Some Promising Plans for the Future

BlizzCon is officially over, unfortunately, but it was a blast to attend, and we got plenty of fun Hearthstone [Free] news to hold us over until the next expansion hits. During the Hearthstone Q&A panel, the developers went beyond just talking about the upcoming expansion, so we got some interesting tidbits of information that I think you’ll find interesting. Nothing ground-breaking, unfortunately, but plenty of cool things nonetheless. One of the most important insights was the possibility of a traditional draft mode coming to Fireside Gatherings in the future. Arena start off looking like Magic‘s draft, where players have to pick cards from the same packs, which brings out a whole different strategy.

The developers considered doing that for Hearthstone early on, but the game’s asynchronous nature got in the way. So, they focused on the most interesting part of the draft process, where you’re down to having to pick between 3 strong cards. However, Ben Brode mentioned that they have been considering doing the traditional, synchronous draft mode for Fireside Gatherings, which I think would be a great incentive for people to actually attend those. Would that be something you would be interested in? I think it would be pretty call since it would emulate Friday night Magic.

Another interesting tidbit is that some Dungeon Run bosses will be rarer, secret encounters, which is one way the developers are adding replayability to the mode. The developers don’t seem to be planning adding more Bosses to the mode down the road though, but the many Bosses combinations should provide plenty of entertainment. Then the Druid Hero skin came up (Druid is the only class that doesn’t have an alternate hero yet), and the developers said they are working on it but are nowhere near announcing anything. They did say they are looking into different flavors and want the Druid hero to feel different than Malfurion.

One attendee asked whether the developers will ever give us the opportunity to have a deck with random card backs instead of always having to assign a card back, and the developers seemed to like that idea a lot. If I had to guess based on their reactions, I would say we might be getting that feature soon. Ultimate Infestation came up, of course, but it sounds like the card won’t be nerfed or changed any time soon. And that was about it. So, while we didn’t get anything ground-breaking out of the panel, we did get some cool future plans. I hope we get that randomized card back feature soon.


BlizzCon 2017 – New ‘Hearthstone’ Arena Cards Picked by Applause (or Yells)

Hello again from BlizzCon 2017. We have some cool news today straight out of the Hearthstone [Free] Q&A panel, but it wasn’t the Q&A part that was the most exciting. What the developers did for the first time was let the attendees vote for 1 new Arena card per class to be added to the game, and it was great fun seeing both which cards were the people’s choice and which ones didn’t make the cut. For each class, we got to see 3 picks with a short (usually very short) explanation behind each of the cards. These new cards won’t be making their way to Arena right away, but they should be coming in a not-to-distant patch.

The first class we got to see was Hunter, and the clear favorite here was Deadeye, which lets you use your hero power on minions. Unsurprisingly, Deadeye was easily the standout and will be coming to the Arena. The choice for Mage was a bit more close, with Polymorph: ??? and Power Cosmic getting lots of yells but Polymorph: ??? getting picked at the end. I’m glad we are getting that card because it opens up some really fun offensive and defensive capabilities.

Warrior’s picks were all weapons, and even though it looked Axe of the Eclipse was going to get picked, the honor ended up going to Blazing Longsword. Paladin’s Hand of Salvation got picked next, another card that opens up some interesting possibilities and trickery. Generous Spirit was the Priest pick, with Smoke Bomb next for Rogue, Crackling Doom for Shaman, Nature’s Champion for Druid, and Bottled Madness for Warlock. What do you think of these new cards? Would you have picked different ones? Sound off below.



BlizzCon 2017: ‘Hearthstone’ Dungeon Run First Impressions

If you’ve been watching the news coming out of BlizzCon 2017, then you probably know by now that Hearthstone [Free] is bringing us a new expansion, Kobolds and Catacombs, in December, but, what’s more interesting to most players, Hearthstone is also getting a single player mode called Dungeon Run, and I got to play it earlier today. First, a few quick words for those who haven’t read the earlier stories we’ve posted. Dungeon Runs is single player content that emulates roguelike dungeon crawlers using the Hearthstone recipe. You can read more details in our earlier story.

So, how does it play? Although I didn’t have access to all the heroes or bosses, I can already see the new mode’s great potential. Think of this as a more customized version of Arena, but instead of playing against other players, you play against different bosses, and that makes each run feel new and interesting. You start by picking a class. Each class comes with a pre-set deck of ten weak cards, and the reason behind that is so you can feel like a Level 1 adventurer in a role-playing game, an adventurer with just basic weapons and skills. Since you start with such a weak deck, every one of the powerful cards you’ll find along the way will change your deck substantially.

Once you pick your Hero, you draw the top card of the boss deck and see which boss you’re facing next. The boss deck will come with 48 bosses, although the demo was, of course, much more limited than that. Bosses come in all shapes, sizes, and difficulty levels (more on this in our upcoming interview with the developers). In one run, and they do feel like runs, I went from one boss with 20 health and a Hero Power that cast a Counterspell to a 40-health boss with a pretty strong deck packed with Legendaries. So, expect surprises, just like you would in a dungeon crawler.

Fortunately, every time you beat a boss, you get to grab some loot and strengthen your deck. There are two kinds of cards you get every time. Right after I beat each boss, I got to pick one of three treasures, which are pretty powerful cards and can sometimes give you a passive power (Spells cost 1 less, for instance). And then, I got to pick one of three sets of three cards, each with a specific theme. For instance, in my Mage run I could have gone the Elemental route or the Secrets route, and so on. And the sets are named, which will make it easier for beginner players to figure out what each selection will do for their deck.

I had a lot of fun building different decks based on how I wanted to play and what kinds of cards I got. And a fun fact about the Treasure cards: the developers pointed out that these cards are so powerful that they couldn’t add them to the ranked or casual side of the game without breaking it. Decisions will matter immensely, just like when levelling up a hero in dungeon crawlers. In one run, I made the mistake of going all in on Elementals after beating two bosses and ended up not having the right cards to beat the next one.

Overall, Dungeon Run is great fun and will definitely feel different than anything you’ve played in Hearthstone before, including solo Adventures. It does show how having a fully digital game allows developers to get those cards and use them in all kinds of crazy ways. I think this new mode will be great for new players, since card collections don’t matter and there’s no PvP pressure that might scare people off. The variety is pretty much endless (1.4 Kobillion as the developers said jokingly), and playing with only 8 out of 48 bosses each run creates those moments when you’re hoping you don’t get X boss or hope that Z boss will be coming your way soon. What do you think of Dungeon Run? Excited to play the game so differently?


Frodan Interview, Marin the Fox, BlizzCon News, and More ‘Hearthstone’ Weekly News in ‘Touchstone’ #116

Welcome to another Touchstone Tavern, our weekly roundup of all things Hearthstone [Free]. Last week was quite a fun one as Blizzard is gearing up for this weekend’s BlizzCon, so there were plenty of interesting stories and expansion hints. You see, by this time next week, we’ll know what the next expansion is, and I’m personally very interested to see the direction the developers are planning on heading. There’s talk of more pirates, but I’m not sure the players would be too happy to see that. In general, this past week was a fun one, partly because the Halloween celebrations have also commenced. Enjoy our roundup, and if you see me at BlizzCon, come and say hi. And, because of BlizzCon, we won’t be posting a roundup next week.



BlizzCon’s In-Game Goodie is Legendary Marin the Fox

Today Blizzard announced that those who’ll attend BlizzCon physically or virtually will get their hands on a brand new golden Legendary, Marin the Fox. We don’t have much more on what this Legendary is outside some art, but it does look like a pirate or adventurer. We’ll know more about what he is and his place in the new expansion during BlizzCon. Read the whole story here.


Blizzard Responds to Fireside Gathering Issues

As many of you know, Blizzard’s new Fireside Gatherings have been having all kinds of issues, and many players have been complaining about them. So, a recent Blizzard blog post addressed most of the current issues and talked about ways to get around them for the moment. Read the whole story on those issues here. Has New Social Issues, Blizzard Giving Away Pack to Celebrate

If you’ve tried to use the desktop app during this last week, you probably saw the new Social tab. This new tab is an attempt by Blizzard to respond to the popularity of platforms like Discord by giving its players the ability to group up and organize without having to leave the app. And to celebrate, Blizzard is giving away a free card pack. Head over here for more details.


Should Death Knight Cards be Removed from Arena?

Many players have expressed the opinion that Death Knights shouldn’t be in Arena because they can often offer an unfair advantage, but, as this article describes, Blizzard isn’t planning n removing them. The developers said that the cards aren’t really that much more powerful than other powerful cards, so they don’t see the need for removing them at the moment. The response from players was that Death Knight cards are in a class of their own. What do you think about Death Knights in Arena? Read the whole story here.


An Interview With Frodan

Frodan is one of the most popular Hearthstone personalities and definitely one of the more recognizable voices. This entertaining interview goes into Frodan’s path to his current role, how tiring his job can be (e.g. streaming for ten hours straight), and much more. Definitely an interesting read that you should check out. It’s always fun seeing how different the various paths that lead to these kinds of jobs can be.


BlizzCon Inn-vitational Might be Hinting at the Next Expansion

During BlizzCon there’s going to be a really entertaining three-part Inn-vitational, and it looks like the team names might be giving away some details on the next expansion. As we talked about in this story, the names of three of the four teams are clearly references to the last three expansions, which leaves the last one as a possible clue for the upcoming expansion, which will have been announced by that point. What do you think?


The BlizzCon Mobile App for 2017 is Available

If you’re attending BlizzCon either virtually or in person, make sure to download the BlizzCon Mobile app, which has been updated with 2017 content. As is the case every year, the mobile app includes the schedule of the events, maps of the venue, the ability to do your shopping online and pick up in person, and much more. Check out the whole story here.


This Week’s Top Decks

If you’re looking for the best decks of the week, look no further than this article, which includes the top ten decks. The top deck is Tempo Rogue, followed by Highlander Priest, Jade Druid, Evolve Shaman, Murloc Paladin, Zoo Warlock, Aggro Token Druid, Pirate Warrior, Midrange Paladin, and Secret Tempo Mage. A good selection of decks that should give you a leg up on ladder.





Why Would You Make This Card?

WTF Moments

Trolden’s Funny and Lucky Moments

Losing Has Never Been so Much Fun

Furnace Fire Bug

Spookiest Turn 1

Fastest Ranked Win

Play Dead Hunter OTK

Best Board Clears




BlizzCon ‘Hearthstone Inn-vitational’ Hinting at Expansion Details?

So, remember when we wrote that Blizzard was being a bit vague about its Hearthstone [Free] plans for this month? And remember when we thought the vagueness might have to do with the upcoming expansion? Well, it seems like we might have been somewhat right. Today, Blizzard announced its Hearthstone Inn-vitational, a big event scheduled for BlizzCon 2017. This event puts 12 of the most popular streamers and pro players into four teams and has them complete a variety of challenges. The first challenge is using pre-constructed Wild Decks, the second uses Standard Decks, and the third will have the players putting together decks from cards they have found as they try to take each other out. The teams include players like Kripparian, Firebat, Disguised Toast, Reynad, Thijs, Dog, and others.

Now, what many on reddit have noticed is that three of the four team names seem to allude to the three previous expansions, which makes the fourth name very interesting. The teams are Jungle Giants, Grimestreet Grifters, Chillblade Crusaders, and Big-Time Buccaneers. As you can probably guess, the first three are references to Un’Goro, Gadgetzan, and Frozen Throne expansions, but what is the fourth one? Is it possible that it’s a clue for the next expansion? Every player I know has had more than enough of pirates this year (thanks Patches), so I would be surprised to see more Pirates. What do you think? Is reddit reading too much into this, or is there something there?


BlizzCon 2017 Virtual Tickets Are Now Available

BlizzCon 2017, Blizzard’s huge celebration, is drawing near, and while the actual tickets have long been sold out, you can still virtually attend the event using BlizzCon 2017’s Virtual Ticket, which is now on sale. The Virtual Ticket allows you to watch an internet stream of the events happening at the Anaheim Convention Center, including all the panels, contests, interviews, opening and closing ceremony, and more. I have “attended” BlizzCon using the Virtual Ticket in the past, and it was a great way to be a part of one of the biggest gaming conventions globally without having to figure out how to get there and where to stay. The Virtual Ticket costs $ 39.99, and you can get one per Blizzard Account. You can even gift one to a friend or relative if you feel generous.

The Virtual Ticket also allows you to get your hands on some virtual in-game goodies, including a Horde/Alliance World of Warcraft Mount and (quite possibly) a Hearthstone [Free] card back. And if you are a big swag fan, you can use your Virtual Ticket to buy the BlizzCon Goody Bag and gear for $ 10 off. Overall, the Virtual Ticket is a great deal for those who enjoy Blizzard’s games and shows, so check it out.


More ‘BlizzCon’ Tickets to Go On Sale July 5th

If you were hoping to attend BlizzCon this year, I’ve got good news for you. Blizzard has just announced that the Anaheim Convention Center brand-new hall is ready to accept visitors, so the conference will be expanding and with it the tickets available. So, if you didn’t manage to get your hands on any tickets the first two days they went on sale (and they did sell very fast), get ready to once more try your luck on July 5th. Specifically, on Wednesday, July 5th at 7 PM PT, you can try and grab one of the $ 199 tickets (plus taxes and fees) to attend the two-day gaming convention on November 3rd and 4th.

I attended last year’s BlizzCon, and it was great fun. I got to see a ton of Hearthstone [Free] matches—including the World Championship—attended Hearthstone developer panels, and got my hands on some sweet swag. So, if you want to try your luck once more, mark July 5th on your calendars.