Big Hearthstone Changes Revealed For 2017

Big Hearthstone Changes Revealed For 2017

Standard, according to Blizzard, gives their developers more freedom when they sit down to come up with new design ideas for cards. Blizzard is also looking to improve the Fireside Gatherings program, and will be adding new features to it in 2017. Read on to get the full scoop on what's happening this year.

The gigantic announcements about Hearthstone last night - the Year of the Mammoth as they're calling it, including the removal of adventures and new plans for old cards - has been followed up by a few Reddit posts from game director Ben Brode. (Yes, that means if you have at least one Golden Ragnaros, you'll get 3200 dust!) The dust will be automatically awarded upon log-in once the Year of the Mammoth begins.

Once the first major expansion for this year drops, Blackrock Mountain, The Grand Tournament, and League of Explorers cards will become exclusive to the Wild game format.

Perhaps the biggest changes, though, are not found in the release schedule, but rather in the changes to the Standard game format. Standard would allow players to only use cards from expansions released that year as well as Classic cards. "Our overall intention with Standard is to keep the game feeling fresh for all of our players, and to allow newer players to jump into Hearthstone quickly, without collecting lots of cards to build a competitive deck". Usually, the new sets are supplemented by basic and classic cards that don't rotate out, however, this year things will be a little different. Blizzard's rationale is that it's just too versatile and is an auto-include in any deck that runs a five mana card. Deck variety stagnates, potentially interesting build-around cards fall by the wayside, and the gameplay experience begins to feel less dynamic. The reasoning for each of these cards rotating out seems to be that each of them were somewhat overplayed, causing the deck slots where they could be inserted to become stagnant. In examining some of these classic cards, though, Blizzard has made a decision to move some out of Standard and into Wild format, where all cards are eligible for play. These cards will be added to the new Hall of Fame set, which will also include cards that are now in the Reward set. The cards being moved to the Hall of Fame set in Wild are Azure Drake, Sylvanas Windrunner, Ragnaros the Firelord, Power Overwhelming, Ice Lance, and hide. Instead it will release an expansion toward the start of the year, one in the middle, and one around the end.

Hearthstone's Year of the Mammoth will begin once the first expansion of 2017 is released.

"Cards will be acquired via packs like other expansions in the past; additionally, each release will include optional single-player missions that will help develop the expansions' thematic narratives and offer fun challenges". The most recent of these, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, did a much better job of combining the feel of the Story expansions with the new card sets, so I'll be interested to see how this plays out. Additional details about the new release model will come later. There will be a Heroic Tavern Brawl which will use the Wild format and Blizzard is in talks with third party tournament organisers to create competitions that use the format. But in order to keep away from "incentivizing players to dust their cool Wild cards", they opted to just give players the dust while also allowing them to keep the cards. Per their post, the studio promises daily rewards simply for logging in, including card-crafting dust, gold and Expansion packs with other unnamed perks.



Other news