Sunday, March 24, 2013

Oh WoW: Blizzard unveils Hearthstone trading card game at PAX

At the Penny Arcade Expo, Blizzard surprised the assembled gamers by announcing its new video game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. Despite the name, this is not a traditional World of Warcraft game, but a free-to-play combat trading card game in the mold of Magic: The Gathering. The one-to-one online matches will be powered by BattleNet.
Like many games on mobile devices, Hearthstone can be played without spending any money at all. You can earn new cards and build a deck for free if you spend enough time playing. Spending real-life money will accelerate matters, though. Cards will come in 5-card packs that range from mediocre and common, to powerful legendary ones. Each pack will run you $1. With over 300 cards promised at launch, you can go on buying for quite some time if you so choose. There will be a crafting system that allows players to trade in duplicate cards, as well.
Building a deck can be done automatically, or through meticulous examination of stats. It’s totally up to the player. You will have to pick a hero before embarking on any card shuffling. This determines what kind of minions and special attacks you have access to. Blizzard promises a ranking system of metals similar to the one in Starcraft 2. The entire game is also very 3D and animated, in contrast to some similar games.
Blizzard claims to have created a completely new 15-person team to develop this, and other games that don’t fall into Blizzard’s usual range. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will be available on PC, Mac, and iPad when it arrives late this year. If that seems like too long a wait, you can try to get into the limited beta this summer. Blizzard is already accepting registrations for the beta.

1 comment:

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