For years now, Hearthstone has had a Charge problem. Blizzard hopes The Witchwood, Hearthstone's next set of cards, will finally hold the answer.
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Wolf-beasts and witches star in Hearthstone's next expansion The Witchwood, due to launch in April.
Remember the Warcraft zone of Gilneas? Its spooky forests and worgen inhabitants are the setting for Hearthstone's next batch of 135 cards.
Single-player content is coming, too - a new mode named Monster Hunts, although details are scarce.
Hearthstone's ranked play mode has now been offline for 24 hours while Blizzard battles a major bug.
Blizzard has announced details of Hearthstone's next yearly cycle, named The Year of the Raven.
As usual, this will see card sets older than two years cycled out of the game's Standard format and into the anything-goes Wild play mode. Retiring sets include Whispers of the Old Gods, One Night in Karazhan and Mean Streets of Gadgetzan.
Three cards from Hearthstone's base sets are also getting pulled out of Standard: the powerful mage spell Ice Block, card-drawing murloc Coldlight Oracle and the beefy Molten Giant.
Hearthstone is nearing the end of its yearly rotation - when a bunch of older card sets get dumped out of Standard play and into the everything-goes Wild format.
To celebrate, Blizzard is holding a number of events to celebrate Wild over the next month, ahead of the new year's expected start date in April.
From 19th February until 11th March, Hearthstone's Arena mode will feature cards exclusive to the game's Wild format.
Blizzard is shaking up Hearthstone's ranked play progression system, and specifically how you'll shuffle down levels at the end of each month.
If you log onto Hearthstone today, you're in for a big surprise. Namely, three free card packs for new expansion Kobolds and Catacombs.
I suspect that if you grew up with Indiana Jones and the Goonies, with Tintin and Fighting Fantasy paperbacks, the merest combination of words like "Dungeon Run" is likely to trigger a Pavlovian response. Luckily, Blizzard's take on Dungeon Run, employed as the wriggly, twitching spine of Hearthstone's recent Kobolds and Catacombs expansion, has much more going for it than the simple pulp poetry of its name.
Hearthstone has celebrated the launch of today's big Kobolds and Catacombs expansion with a live-action trailer.
The video pretends to be a trailer for The Light Candle, the direct-to-VHS directorial debut of chief kobold King Togwaggle.
However true that is, Blizzard has created a loving tribute to 1980s fantasy films - most notably the puppetmasters of the Jim Henson Company, and their films Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal.
Hearthstone's next big expansion, Kobolds and Catacombs, is due for release next week - but it was not always going to be themed as such.
Blizzard's original plan for the set was a collection themed around World of Warcraft's mysterious mecha-goblins, the Blingtrons, and during development was titled Blingtron's Lootapolooza.
Blingtron's coins were placed in this teaser image of the year's Hearthstone sets, which was created before the switch to Kobolds was made.
Hearthstone's next big expansion, Kobolds and Catacombs, arrives next Friday, 8th December.
Along with 135 new cards, Blizzard is stuffing the expansion with free single-player content which anyone can access for free (the fun-looking Choose Your Own Adventure-like Dungeon Run mode).
There are new card mechanics, too: Recruit, to pull a minion from your deck; Spellstones, which are spells that increase in power as you play; Unidentified Items with semi-randomised effects; and the first Legendary weapons.
Hearthstone's 2018 release schedule will take the form of three more big expansions, developer Blizzard has revealed.
After years of alternating between 100-plus card expansions and smaller, narrative-driven single-player "Adventure" drops, 2017 has seen a move to consolidate the two.
The result - three expansions in one year, with single-player content included - will continue into 2018.
Blizzard has given us a brand new, legendary card from the upcoming expansion Kobolds and Catacombs to show off. So, without further ado, here it is.
At last week's Blizzcon, Blizzard announced that all Hearthstone players would net the new Legendary card Marin the Fox for free from November 6th. Consider this your reminder (because I completely forgot, so perhaps you did too).
Marin the Fox is technically part of Hearthstone's upcoming Kobolds & Catacombs expansion, due this December, despite his early release. He's a lovable swashbuckling rogue, and an eight-mana-cost minion that will place a 0/8 treasure chest (known as the Master Chest) on your opponent's side of the board when played.
If you, as the summoner, then destroy that chest, you'll receive one of four treasure cards: Golden Kobold, Tolin's Goblin, Wondrous Wand, and Zarog's Crown.
Blizzard has announced this year's final Hearthstone expansion, Kobolds & Catacombs.
Kobolds & Catacombs is, says Blizzard, a love letter to classic fantasy dungeon crawlers, and harks "back to the roots of classic fantasy, full of monsters, treasures, and traps". It will add a total of 135 new cards, including brand-new legendary weapons.
Legendary weapons will be available for all nine of Hearthstone's classes - even ones that have never had weapons before. One of these, Dragon Soul, belongs to the priest, and enables you to summon a huge dragon once you've cast three spells in a turn.
A note from the editor: Metabomb is Gamer Network's specialist competitive gaming site with a particular emphasis on Hearthstone. Each week we're inviting the team to bring you a round-up of all the biggest news and events they've been covering.
Blizzard's Battle.net app now has a gifting function, so you can send in-game items such as Hearthstone card packs to friends.
A note from the editor: Metabomb is Gamer Network's specialist competitive gaming site with a particular emphasis on Hearthstone. Each week we're inviting the team to bring you a round-up of all the biggest news and events they've been covering.
Hearthstone is getting a cool new feature for Halloween - the ability to pick cards from two classes when starting an Arena run.
A note from the editor: Metabomb is Gamer Network's specialist competitive gaming site with a particular emphasis on Hearthstone. Each week we're inviting them to bring you a round-up of all the biggest news and events they've been covering.
Sin City is the global capital of gambling. Casinos with colourful chips, well-postured croupiers and automaton pensioners plugged into slot machines. At first glance it might not seem sinister, but strip back the glamour and Las Vegas paints a sad picture - its denizens cogs in a billion-dollar machine fuelled by potentially addictive gaming. The novelty of the place can hide its true intentions.
The BlizzCon 2017 opening ceremony - the place for this year's major Blizzard announcements - will take place Friday, 3rd November at 6pm GMT. And as always we'll be both in the audience there and in our office here covering it live.
I've been playing Hearthstone now for more than four years, since the days of its closed beta, but I can still remember every update to the game and how well it stuck with me, and how, generally, it was received by the game's talkative community. This time last year, I was put off by Mean Streets of Gadgetzan's influx of new cards, and surprised when, this spring, Blizzard promised three more big card dumps over the course of this year.
Hearthstone players can now call upon their favourite cards and cardbacks in these snazzy 3D-printed phone cases.
Blizzard has announced it will open its own esports arena on 7th October.
Some of Hearthstone's oldest, most-used cards will be nerfed in a new patch due in the near future.
The wait for a lavish new Overwatch animated short has ended - a new one has aired. For Mei.
Streaming service Twitch has rolled out a deck of new features for Blizzard games Overwatch and Hearthstone, including the ability to filter matches by the hero or mode being played.
For nearly a year Blizzard has been threatening to change the name of its proprietary online multiplayer service Battle.net to the more on-brand Blizzard.net. That is the name of the company, after all, which would theoretically make things less confusing. However, after a scant few months under the new monicker Blizzard rethought this approach because the Battle.net name has been around for over 20 years (since the studio launched Diablo in 1996). Changing it now has led to bewilderment.
One of Hearthstone's most popular streamers has fought back against a pack of players who regularly sniped his games, Eurogamer's competitive gaming sister site Metabomb reports.
Blizzard has given us a new card to reveal from Hearthstone's next expansion Knights of the Frozen Throne. It's named Venomstrike Trap, and is a Hunter-class Secret.
Here it is:
Venomstrike Trap is a two-cost Hunter secret which summons a 2/3 Poisonous Cobra when one of your minions gets attacked. The Cobra will then have the poison mechanic, meaning any minion which attacks it will be killed at the same time, however strong it is.
Blizzard has announced the next expansion for card strategy game Hearthstone.
Knights of the Frozen Throne, out in August, adds 135 cards to the game and lets you transform heroes into Death Knights.
Nine of those cards are new legendary Hero Cards that, when played, transform heroes into Death Knights. This gives them frost-rimed armor and modified hero powers. There's a new mechanic, too, called Lifesteal. This heals players for damage dealt.
Hearthstone's next expansion will alter the entire game, making it a lot easier to acquire new cards.
Possibly the biggest change will be that every time you acquire a Legendary card it will be one you don't already own. This will be true of all Hearthstone card packs, not just new content.
"Opening a Legendary card should be exciting and we think this change will make it consistently better," said game director Ben Brode.
Hearthstone's next big expansion Journey to Un'Goro launches next week, and Blizzard has passed along a new card from the set to take an early look at.
Un'Goro is a new Lost World-style set with a menagerie of extinct and mythical beasts to uncover. One of the most powerful cards in terms of attack and strength will be Tyrantus - a bloody great big dinosaur.
At 10-mana cost, Tyrantus earns his huge 12 attack, 12 health stats, and as a Legendary card gets something extra as well - a resistance to spells and Hero Powers.
Hearthstone is putting up its card pack prices - and fans aren't happy.
As expected, Hearthstone's next expansion will feature a dinosaur-filled Lost World-style setting. Its name is Journey to Un'Goro.
There's a fresh mechanic, Adapt, for bolstering minions with a number of upgrades. You choose one of three possible upgrades from a pool of 10, with effects such as adding Taunt, Windfury or summoning a sidekick minion for help.
Another change comes in the form of Quest cards, played like secrets, which require you to fulfill a set requirement during your game in order to unlock a powerful Legendary card.
Hearthstone will add an enormous, wallet-busting 390 cards this year as part of three 130-card expansions. It's the first time in the game's history so many will arrive within a 12-month period.
There are no smaller Adventure-style releases, which weave a story around the new cards and provide bosses to beat. Some elements of this format will appear as part of the expansion updates, however, Blizzard has said.
The coming 12 months of Hearthstone will be named the Year of the Mammoth - which fits with a recent leak that suggested dinosaur cards were on the way.
Metabomb - Gamer Network's competitive gaming site and sister-site of Eurogamer - is hiring a full-time Staff Writer to join the editorial team.
Hearthstone's next expansion may be called Lost Secrets of Un'Goro and focus on dinosaurs.
That's according to an expansion dug up by fans after being spotted on the professional resume of regular Hearthstone voice actress Lani Minella.
Minella's resume also lists five new cards she'll be voicing: Golakka Crawler, Pterodactyl, Anklesaur, Hydra, Brontosaurus.
UPDATE 01/12/2016 11.40pm: Blizzard has released a "hotfix" for the card duplication issue that plagued Hearthstone players earlier this afternoon.
Hearthstone expansion Mean Streets of Gadgetzan will be released this week on Thursday, 1st December, Blizzard announced on Twitter (via Metabomb).
Gadgetzan brings 132 new cards to the game; a motley assortment dredged from the underbelly of Warcraft. Many of those cards are associated with three new factions, themselves associated with specific deck classes in Hearthstone.
Hunter, paladin and warrior decks are associated with the Grimy Goons, a burly bunch. Mage, priest and warlock decks are associated with the mystical Kabal. And druid, rogue and shaman decks are associated with the Jade Lotus assassins.
After 23 years at Blizzard, we were all a little surprised to hear that Chris Metzen had actually retired.
Blizzard has announced Hearthstone's next expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, due in early December.
Announced moments ago by executive producer Hamilton Chu during the BlizzCon keynote, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan is set in a city "where gangs rule the streets." I hear it's "full of swindlers and cheats."
This thieves' paradise will add three new classes to the card combat game. These include the brute mobsters, the Grimy Goons, the sneaky assassins syndicate Jade Lotus, and a rogue spellcasters legion The Kabal.
Imagine if they don't actually reveal Sombra.
Blizzard has announced a new high-risk, high-reward event for Hearthstone.
The collectible card brawler will soon host a limited-time Heroic Brawl with a steep entry fee: $10 or 1000 in-game gold. (UK price still to be announced).
Heroic Brawl tasks entrants with constructing a single deck for up to 12 wins - although your run will end after three losses, similar to the existing Arena.
This year's Blizzcon schedule has been revealed, giving us some idea of what to expect from Blizzard's big ol' knees up come the start of next month.
Blizzard has announced more changes to Hearthstone in an attempt to reign in some of the game's most popular cards.
Blizzard has announced plans to ban some of Hearthstone's most popular cards from the game's Arena mode.
Blizzard has banned a widely-disliked Hearthstone card from the game's pay-to-enter arena mode - before the card in question has even been released.
There's a Beauty and the Beast-themed card in Hearthstone's upcoming One Night in Karazhan expansion.
Want to see it? Be our guest:
Kara Kazham! is a 5-cost warlock spell which summons a 1/1 Candle, a 2/2 Broom and a 3/3 Teapot onto the board.
For someone who hasn't played Hearthstone, I know more than I should about it. Nothing useful like what cards to use for an easy win, of course, but I do know my fair share of Warcraft lore. I know what Rusty Horn sounds like, too, and I know that Trump is the unfortunately named but soothingly voiced king of How to Twitch streams.
Hearthstone players will get to spend One Night in Karazhan next month, in the latest expansion for Blizzard's collectible card battler.
45 fresh cards will be released over four weeks as you explore areas of a pre-World of Warcraft Karazhan dungeon. Although, instead of your usual dungeon, the tower is hosting a 70's disco-inspired party.
A free Prologue mission where you play as Medivh will allow all players to nab two free card. Following that, the four wings will roll out for £4.99/700 Gold each. Or you can just pick up the lot for £13.99 on PC/Android or £14.99 on iPhone/iPad.
Hearthstone's next adventure will be revealed on 28th July, an invitation sent to press by Blizzard suggests.
Hearthstone has a brand new shaman hero, and it is a murloc - one of Warcraft's tiny amphibians which plague card players in rush decks.
The Warcraft movie hasn't Thralled critics but it's doing the business globally - and director Duncan Jones is up for a sequel if it comes to it.
Globally the Warcraft movie has made $377.6m, reported Box Office Mojo, and more than $200m of that in China. That makes Warcraft the most commercially successful video-game film ever, beating previous champion Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time ($336m), which starred Jake Gyllenhaal's muscular torso.
The Angry Birds film, meanwhile - which I've watched and it isn't great - has made $327m.
The Duncan Jones Warcraft movie may be on course to flop in America (where it opens 10th June) but in China it's bigger than Star Wars: The Force Awakens - it's massive! Perhaps we'll see sequels after all.
Blizzard has pledged to investigate a pilot programme that will crack down on abuse in Twitch's live chat.
Last night, Activision Blizzard posted its quarterly financial results and - no surprise, really - it is doing just fine.
The company posted better-than-expected revenues, posted user growth across its collection of games (those released by Activision itself, plus Blizzard and mobile giant King).
Across all three brands last year, players spent 10bn hours playing and 32bn hours spectating Activision games. Combined, that total is roughly equal to the total number of hours spent watching Netflix by its entire userbase worldwide.
Yesterday, Hearthstone players discovered a card had gone wrong. Using a simple technique, you could give your hero character the ability to Taunt.
Hearthstone is no stranger to change. Between its official launch two years ago and the latest milestone of 50m players, it has been regularly refreshed by drops of new cards. But this week's arrivals of the game's Standard play mode, where only the past two years of cards can be used, and the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion, have uprooted the game in two completely new ways. They have seen Blizzard remove cards from typical play for the first time, but also give a new, all-powerful card away to each and every player. Visit the game's firelit tavern now and you'll find the experience vastly changed from just days ago.
Blizzard has removed the ability to say "sorry" to your Hearthstone opponents.
Blizzard has announced changes to some of Hearthstone's most popular classic cards.
Hearthstone's next major expansion, Whispers of the Old Gods, is due on 27th April in Europe and Asia for PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices, Blizzard has announced.
Those in the Americas will receive it a day earlier on 26th April.
Whispers of the Old Gods introduces 134 new cards along with a tavern and "possibly a lot of other things" that we'll have to discover for ourselves.
Blizzard game servers were overloaded and brought down by a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack overnight that hacker group Lizard Squad appears to have claimed responsibility for.
As Hearthstone's latest expansion - Whispers of the Old Gods - looms large on the horizon, time is ticking for some of the card game's most iconic decks. When the expansion becomes available sometime between the end of April and the beginning of May, Blizzard's solution to keeping competitive play under control - despite an ever-expanding card pool - will come into effect.
Blizzard has added a new hero to Hearthstone - but you have to play World of Warcraft to unlock her.
Hearthstone's first expansion for 2016, Whispers of the Old Gods, launches late April to early May, Blizzard has announced.
Whispers of the Old Gods adds 134 new cards to the game, themed around the four titular Old Gods of the WarCraft universe: C'Thun - the only God to be shown off so far - Y'Shaarj, Yogg-Saron, and N'Zoth. Try rattling those off after a couple of pints.
As well as a fresh batch of cards, the expansion heralds the arrival of two new Ranked gameplay modes: Standard and Wild. The former phases out cards from Hearthstone's first two expansions - Naxxramus and Goblins vs Gnomes - while the latter is an anything-goes affair, much as things are at present.
Hearthstone's next major expansion has been leaked via a painting on a wall.
Blizzard has announced a major change to Hearthstone that will see older cards removed from play in a new Standard mode.
Blizzard has released a new video in Hearthstone's Designer Insights series, in which senior game designer Ben Brode talks about the thinking behind the creation and ongoing curation of the game's Basic set of cards. It provides a number of insights into how the team consider future card design, and the principles of power-creep in the game.
Hearthstone always finds it greatest moments when it drinks deeply from its thematic inspiration. For The League of Explorers, that means a dusty trawl through the ancient echoing catacombs of WoW's more adventurous desert dungeons. Not only are the encounters tremendous fun, but this third Adventure for Hearthstone - going by this first of four drip-fed wings at least - is shaping up to be the high point of the game's tentative journeys into single-player content.
Hearthstone's latest update, live now, has added support for tomorrow's League of Explorers expansion, and includes a few extra bonuses for fans of the collectible card battler.
Blizzard just announced Hearthstone's third adventure that - surprise! - comes out next week.
Overwatch on console! New Hearthstone Adventure! Warcraft movie trailer debut! No Diablo. Sad face.
Hearthstone players will be able to buddy up and take on a common foe together for the first time this week.
Blizzard has announced plans to alter one of Hearthstone's cards, a move which will in turn drastically reduce the potency of one of the game's most powerful and established decks.
It's hard to imagine two more polarised moments in snooker's history. Back in 1997, Ronnie O'Sullivan - arguably the most talented player of all time, and alongside Jimmy White and Alex Higgins certainly one of the most popular - completes a maximum break of 147 in an unprecedented five minutes and 20 seconds.
Until the 10th of August 2015, I had never played a game of Hearthstone. I'd made a point of never going anywhere near it, in fact - not because I wasn't interested, but because I feel like I can only commit to one card-based metagame at a time.
Will Blizzard's virtual collectible card game Hearthstone be a part of the Winter Olympics 2030?
UPDATE 24th August 2015: Hearthstone expansion The Grand Tournament should go live at 6pm UK time today, Blizzard has said.
Blizzard tweeted to say The Grand Tournament will not begin before 6pm UK time, so barring any teething problems, Hearthstone players should be able to get stuck in tonight.
ORIGINAL STORY 19th August 2015: Hearthstone expansion The Grand Tournament launches next Monday, 24th August, Blizzard has confirmed.
Blizzard's going big at Gamescom this year. First, there was yesterday's media briefing which revealed a sprinkling of the publisher's plans for games like Heroes of the Storm and StarCraft 2. Later on tonight though, we'll be getting our first look at the next World of Warcraft expansion at the publisher's second special event.
Blizzard has announced a new Reveal mechanic for Hearthstone at its Gamescom media briefing, which allows players to not only get a sneak peek at what might be lurking in their opponent's deck, but also gain some handy advantages if certain conditions are triggered.
When you play Master Jouster onto the board, for example, both players reveal a minion from their decks. If the card you reveal is more expensive to play onto the board than your opponent's, Master Jouster gains defensive bonuses. Other cards gain attacking power or return Health points to your Hero, depending on similar comparison conditions.
As well as this new mechanic, Blizzard also intends to shake up Hearthstone's seasonal Ranked Play reward system. Right now, all players who log in and reach the game's lowest rung on the ladder receive a new card back as a reward.
UPDATE 23/7/15 8.00am: Blizzard has now announced UK pricing for The Grand Tournament's pre-purchase offer, which costs £34.99 on PC, Mac and Android.
£34.99 is the standard price of 40 card packs, but this offer will net you 50 Grand Tournament packs when they launch plus a special card back.
It costs more on iPhone and iPad, however - £39.99.
Hearthstone players have discovered a card combo that can block the opposing player from being able to play their turn.
Off-screen footage of the Warcraft movie by Legendary Pictures has leaked from San Diego Comic-Con.
George Lucas' famous special effects studio, Industrial Light & Magic, has whipped up a heck of an interactive trailer for the upcoming Warcraft movie.
Released on YouTube, this Skies of Azeroth trailer lets viewers look around the world in 360 degrees by dragging their cursor. Think Google Earth, only way more seamless (and, ya know, Azeroth).
Set atop a flying gryphon, you can only view the sprawling city of Stormwind from above, but what a view it is! Now if only the real World of Warcraft looked that good in game form.
Blizzard's addictive collectible card battler Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will soon receive a brand new mode: Tavern Brawl.
UPDATE 13:26 11/6/2015: Blizzard has confirmed that the new Heroes will be sold for either £6.99 if you purchase them through the in-game shop of the desktop client, or £8.99 if you buy them via your iOS device.
Blizzard is giving European Hearthstone players free cards to say sorry for connection issues suffered last week.
The number of people who subscribe to massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft fell to 7.1 million, Blizzard said - but the success of Hearthstone and Diablo is helping make up for it.
Destiny and Hearthstone have made a combined total of nearly $1bn in revenue life-to-date, Activision announced in its latest earnings report.
More than 30m user accounts have been created in Blizzard's collectible card battler Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.
Hearthstone has finally transitioned onto smartphones of both the iOS and Android variety.
Hearthstone's new resident record breaker has returned to Twitch with a double challenge: for the most cards drawn in a turn and also the most fatigue damage.
Hearthstone expansion Blackrock Mountain comes out next week, Blizzard has announced.
It goes live on Windows, Mac, iPad and Android tablets on 2nd April in the Americas region, and 3rd April in Europe, Korea, Taiwan and China.
The rollout begins with the release of the first wing, Blackrock Depths.
UPDATE 25/3/15 12:00pm After one day, 21 hours, 18 minutes and 29 seconds, the longest ever turn in Hearthstone is now complete.
The upcoming iPhone and Android phone versions of Hearthstone will be compatible with its PC, Mac, iPad and Android tablet counterpart, Blizzard has confirmed.
There are no plans to nerf either Hearthstone's Hunter Hero or the popular Dr. Boom card, according to game director Eric Dodds. The confirmation came as part of an interview with Eurogamer's dedicated Hearthstone sister site MetaBomb at Rezzed, the PC and indie gaming show hosted by Gamer Network.
Blizzard has unveiled the Blackrock Mountain Adventure for virtual card game Hearthstone.
It really is award season for expectation-exceeder Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which was last night crowned Game Developers Choice Awards Game of the Year.
The next Adventure for Hearthstone may be themed around World of Warcraft's Molten Core raid, according to information datamined from a patch on Blizzard's servers (thanks, Hearthpwn via MetaBomb).
The patch details three new cosmetic card backs for the game, although no card images are present in the files.
The most interesting of the three is called Molten Core, tagged as a reward for a license detection, and carrying a further note that it relates to the "purchase brm presale". BRM is likely an abbreviation for Blackrock Mountain, the WOW region where the Molten Core raid is set.
While eSports is big business in North America and East Asia, where thousands pack out stadiums to watch professional gamers compete at live events, in the UK it's fair to say eSports has yet to take off in a live setting at least.
Over the last 15 years, Eurogamer's parent company Gamer Network has launched a number of websites. Some, like Eurogamer and our US counterpart USGamer, are aimed squarely at consumers, while others like GamesIndustry.biz cater to industry interests. All of them share a common theme in covering the entire spectrum of gaming tastes.
Dragon Age: Inquisition won big last night, crowned AIAS Game of the Year (and best role-playing game) at the 18th annual D.I.C.E. Awards.
Destiny has more than 16 million registered users to date, Activision announced in a new earnings report.
The Undertaker, one of Hearthstone's most popular and powerful cards, is to be nerfed in an upcoming patch.
When you review an expansion for a game like Hearthstone, you're appraising the community that plays it every bit as much as you are the new tools forged by Blizzard's blacksmiths. And this particular community is for the most part remarkably conservative; one that prefers to huddle around the warmth of an established fireside rather than seek out new flames. It's to the internet that the majority of players turn - rather than their own card collections - in order to craft the latest and greatest decks.
What that means in practice is that the first month of Hearthstone's first full expansion has been dominated by a gradual, grudging evolution of the old order, rather than the sort of explosive revolution thematically suggested by the new mechanical characters and contraptions of Goblins vs Gnomes.
One by one, reliable cards are nudged out of established decks with no small amount of hesitation, to be replaced with a new card that synergises just a little better with the rest of the deck. The fine details have changed a great deal, in other words, but the broader brush strokes remain the same - for the most part. Certainly anyone who feared that their hard-won combat experience would be made redundant by this fresh content drop can rest easy.
Blizzard's free-to-play strategy card game Hearthstone is rolling out worldwide on Google Play and Amazon Appstore for Android.
Hearthstone's first expansion, Goblins vs Gnomes, is due on 9th December in Europe, Korea, Taiwan, and China, Blizzard has announced.
Our friend in the Americas and other parts of Southeast Asia will receive it a day earlier on the 8th.
The expansion will launch on PC, Mac and iPad.
What is it about Blizzard's games that command such obsession and commitment from those of us who play them? There's the emergent complexity that springs up from root simplicity - easy to learn, hard to master if you prefer - but there's something more to the magic of the time you spend in these worlds, something that transcends the fundamental nuts and bolts of tightly-tuned gameplay.
Blizzard has revealed another card for the upcoming Goblins vs Gnomes expansion set, recently announced for Hearthstone.
Twenty of the 120 or so new cards planned for Goblins vs Gnomes, the first expansion set for Blizzard's card game Hearthstone, have been revealed over at the game's official website.
Hearthstone's first expansion pack, Goblins vs Gnomes, has been announced at Blizzard's annual fan convention in Los Angeles this evening.
The expansion will be released next month and introduce more than 120 new cards to the game, all of which are themed around the mechanical inventions of the competing Horde and Alliance factions.
Two new cards were mentioned during Production Director Jason Cheyes' presentation at Blizzcon's opening ceremony: Explosive Sheep - which may perhaps be a variation on the existing Polymorph spell - and the Annoy-o-Tron. Expect plenty of random effects to disrupt the status quo of Hearthstone's metagame.
And that's a wrap!
Following a recent ban wave that saw thousands of Hearthstone accounts temporarily closed for making use of botting software to automate gameplay, the creators of the most popular tool - Hearthcrawler - have shut up shop for good.
Blizzard has confirmed the temporary banning of thousands of Hearthstone accounts that were found to be making use of botting software to automate gameplay. The botting programmes allow users to effortlessly earn gold to buy new card packs, as well as unlock cosmetic rewards. Some owners of the software have even achieved the game's ultimate Legend rank by cheating in this way.
Hearthstone is on track to come to Android tablets by the end of the year, Blizzard has announced.
UPDATE 14/10/2014: Unity has said it's not selling up.
As well as a series of content wings packed with fiendish bosses, the recent Curse of Naxxramas expansion for Hearthstone also introduced a spooky new background board for the game. Alas, its use was limited to single player matches set inside the new adventure.
Hearthstone will be getting over 100 cards in its next add-on, Blizzard has revealed.
Hearthstone production director Jason Chayes told Polygon that the next Hearthstone update "will be our first expansion" and it "will have a lot more cards. We're talking about more than 100."
Chayes noted that Blizzard is really fixated on how to pace an ever-evolving project like Hearthstone. "We really want to make sure the pacing is great not just for seasoned Hearthstone players but for new players coming into the game too," he said.
Blizzard has released a bit of data on people who play Ranked mode in Hearthstone, revealing that only a tiny minority of players ever hit Legend rank and that the vast majority of players sit somewhere between ranks 25 and 15.
Free-to-play card-combat phenomenon Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has been downloaded upwards of 20 million times, Blizzard has announced.
Blizzard has announced plans to nerf two of Hearthstone's most popular cards in an upcoming patch.
Hearthstone: The Curse of Naxxramas is a fantastic idea for an expansion pack for the collectable card game - and one with interesting origins. You might imagine those lie in World of Warcraft, and you'd be half right: Naxxramas was a raid dungeon in that game, floating above Dragonblight in Northrend. (Or so it says on the internet. In common with a lot of Hearthstone players, I never really got into WOW - you don't need to know any lore in order to enjoy Hearthstone.) But if you ask me, the reason we have something like Naxxramas is more to do with Blizzard's core philosophy about what makes Hearthstone tick.
Price and Availability
Out now on PC, Mac and iPad
Blizzard has dipped into the competitive Hearthstone pool and plucked out one of the best players around to help it design the virtual card game.
What's going on your tombstone? Mine will read: You can't lose stars at this rank.
Game broadcasting platform Twitch has announced major changes to the way it works ahead of a rumoured $1bn Google buyout.
Hearthstone developer Blizzard has said it is aware of an issue which caused some users to be charged more than once when trying to buy today's new Curse of Naxxramas content.
Ever find yourself flipping a card in Hearthstone, or whacking a giant leg in World of Warcraft, and wondering who that character is and why they're important?
In most circumstances, the Warcraft ambience is too bold and cheerful to allow for anything as creeping and underhand as fear. And yet Curse of Naxxramas, the new Hearthstone single-player adventure, is still a horror game to me, and the horror - the wonderful, energising horror - began when Eurogamer staff writer Tom Phillips showed me Duplicate. Duplicate's one of Naxxramas' new collectible cards, and beneath that suspiciously anodyne name stands a thing of real dread. Play Duplicate - it's a secret, which means it lurks hidden on the board until its trap is sprung by specific circumstances - and when a friendly minion dies, it will put two copies of it back into your hand.
The entire card set for Hearthstone's The Curse of Naxxramas expansion has appeared online, ahead of its simultaneous European and North American release at some point overnight.
UPDATE 17/7/14 9.15AMThe Plague Quarter, The Curse of Naxxramas' second wing of content, is now available to download in Europe.
Contained within it are three more bosses to defeat - Noth, Heigan and Loatheb. Beat them to unlock three new cards (Stoneskin Gargoyle, Unstable Ghoul, Sludge Belcher) and a new legendary card (Loatheb himself).
Three more wings are set to launch over the next three Wednesdays - pricing details lie below.
Blizzard has finally revealed the pricing for its first Hearthstone single-player expansion Curse of Naxxramas.
Korean-based eSports organisation the International eSports Federation has made its controversial male-only tournaments open to all.
An eSports organisation has come under fire for hosting male and female-only tournaments.
UPDATE 30/06 09.30 BST:
Blizzard community manager Aratil took to the Hearthstone forums yesterday to announce that pricing information for the Naxxramas expansion will no longer be revealed on 1st July.
"I know everyone is really excited for any and all information regarding Naxxramas," they wrote.
Hearthstone is fantastic as a quick, anonymous multiplayer game, where you can always find a never-ending line-up of worthy opponents ready to do battle, but strangely for a game set in a bustling Warcraft tavern - not to mention one of the most popular attractions on Twitch - it's not actually that social. You can't really talk to other players that much, and the system of canned emotes - conceived to limit griefing - has already been subverted by sarcasm. Take too long to act and you generally get a "Greetings!" to hurry you along, while the intent behind "Sorry" and "Thanks" is nakedly hostile.
Leaked images have revealed new details on The Curse of Naxxramas, the first expansion for Blizzard's collectable card battler Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.
As expected, the content closely follows the Naxxramas dungeon found in World of Warcraft, with familiar foes such as Patchwerk, Gothik and Loatheb appearing as AI adversaries.
Their hero powers involve the abilities to summon skeletons and spiders to their aid.
The winner of yesterday's DreamHack Hearthstone tournament has become embroiled in a controversy surrounding messages received from friends during the final match.
Infinity Ward's first-person shooter Call of Duty: Ghosts is the best-selling PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game, Activision has said.
Blizzard felt like its work to balance Hearthstone as a free-to-play game was "validated" during the game's beta phase, the developer has told Eurogamer.
It was during this time when notable players like Trump began broadcasting their gameplay on Twitch and successfully reaching the game's Legendary rank without spending a penny.
It was an indicator for the team of Hearthstone's balance, that you could be good at the game without splashing out. Seeing it happen was "unexpected but also very reassuring", production director Jason Chayes explained.
A site has launched that allows users to collectively play games of Blizzard's virtual card game Hearthstone, similar to the recent Twitch Plays Pokémon phenomenon.
The Hearthstone team at Blizzard has its hands full at the moment finishing Curse of Naxxramas and the upcoming Android version, all of which means nobody's spending any time thinking about console versions, the developer told Eurogamer last week.
There is a corner of Blizzard Entertainment that is now obsessed with death. As we grow older we all start to dwell on our own mortality, of course, but this is different: the people making Hearthstone are excited about death, the process of dying and the effect death has on the ones we leave behind. I can hear it in their voices, speaking to me over the phone from thousands of miles away. They are excited about finally realising the potential of death - and particularly the potential of deathrattles.
Last night I beat Trump in a game of Hearthstone, and my hands are still shaking.
BlizzCon, Blizzard's gargantuan get together, returns this year, the company has announced.
A recent survey of 10 million mobile gamers claimed only 2.2 per cent of the free-to-play audience spent any money at all. That's worrying - does it mean developers are deliberately designing games to cater for the minuscule minority rather than the vast majority?
Blizzard's card combat sensation Hearthstone has finally launched worldwide on iPad where it's a free download.
Blizzard has announced the upcoming single-player adventure mode for collectible card game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.
Curse of Naxxramas is set in the necropolis of Naxxramas, which will be familiar to World of Warcraft players. Here Kel'Thuzad is the ultimate bad guy in a player versus environment adventure through five unique wings of the dungeon.
The expansion adds 30 new cards to the game, which you get for defeating the adventure's bosses, which include Maexxna, Loatheb and Patchwerk. Each boss has unique cards and hero powers. For example, the Plague Quarter boss, Heigan the Unclean, has an Eruption spell, which does two points of damage to your left most minion, and Mindpocalypse, which causes both players to draw two cards and gain a mana crystal. The completion of each wing rewards you with a guaranteed new Legendary class card.
Card battling game Hearthstone has done more for Blizzard than overfill the coffers: it's inspired a new - but old - way of working.
Blizzard has soft-launched the iPad version of its free to download collectable card game Hearthstone.
It's live now in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It will go live in the rest of the world soon, Blizzard said.
Blizzard said Hearthstone has a whopping 10m registered accounts, based on the PC and Mac release. This number will no doubt grow significantly now the iPad version is rolling out.
EGX Rezzed kicks off at the Birmingham NEC tomorrow and if you needed any more impetus to consider joining us there then perhaps a Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft tournament will tickle your mana curve?
When it first became obvious that Hearthstone was awesome and everyone loved it, a lot of people expected Blizzard to hurl resources at it and for the game to grow massively in scale and scope - and yet it hasn't really changed. Instead, the Hearthstone that emerges from a long and increasingly public beta period is much the same as the one that became an invite-only sensation late last summer: a beautifully appointed card strategy game with a few game modes and a smallish stable of 500 cards. How come? There were bugs to squash, sure, but wasn't there time to bang out much-requested features like a spectator mode?
The final pre-release patch offers a clear hint. Nat Pagle, a popular card that allows you to draw other cards quickly from your deck, has started waiting a turn before he becomes useful, giving you longer to take him out, while Ragnaros the Firelord now has a sweet new animation that sees the board crack open to reveal a flaming chasm that he rises out of before slamming fierily into place. There are dozens of these little tucks and tweaks - some cosmetic, some systemic - and they seem to have been the focus of all those new resources. But then what else did we expect from Blizzard, a company that often scraps or redesigns games entirely, years into development, if they don't meet its exacting standards?
It makes sense for the game, too. Hearthstone doesn't trade on its fine detailing alone, but the charm in those details is what forces it into your every waking thought. The different game boards are interactive, letting you peck holes in windows with your mouse cursor or fire an orcish catapult between turns, while the interface for checking your card collection is a book that you can leaf through admiringly - a slightly clumsy tool more than worth it for its tactility. Every card has gorgeous, colourful and enigmatic artwork and some of my favourite throwaway sound effects since clicking on peons in Warcraft 2.
Blizzard's free-to-play collectible card game Hearthstone has left beta and launched proper on PC and Mac.
iPad support is coming soon, Blizzard said. Versions for Android, iPhone and Windows tablets are in development and will be available "in the future".
"We saw some reports early on that Hearthstone might destroy the planet," said Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, Blizzard's furiously addictive collectible card game, will see another round of tweaks before its final release.
Load up a game of Hearthstone, Blizzard's exquisite collectable card battler, and you suddenly feel at home. Maybe it's the cold weather outside, the dreary January mornings or the dark winter nights. Whatever it is, there are few more welcoming sights on your PC screen than Hearthstone's warm ember-filled glow, or the sound of its genial dwarvish inn-keep welcoming you in.
If you only started playing Hearthstone recently when it went into open beta, then hopefully one of the things you're starting to appreciate as you become more proficient is the subtle balance that exists among the hundreds of cards available in the initial version of the game.
Oops! Missed this earlier in the week. The first Hearthstone Adventure mode - a single-player PVE experience where you earn new cards - will arrive after Hearthstone launches on PC and iPad, and will contain new quests, game stages and between 10 and 20 new cards.
The information comes from a Chinese interview with executive producer Hamilton Chu, which was reposted on Hearthpwn.
Chu also said new premium - paid-for - content was on its way. This will offer content that doesn't affect the balance of the card game, such as alternative heroes - Varian "Lo'Gosh" Wrynn instead of Garrosh Hellscream, for instance - as well as new card backings and game boards.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is barely out of closed beta but developer Blizzard is already having to fight off its first clone.
UPDATE: That was quick! 24 hours after its North American launch, Hearthstone is now into open beta in Europe, too. The game is free to download and play for everyone from the European Battle.net. Want to know why you should give it a try? Check out Tom Bramwell's Hearthstone beta review.
ORIGINAL STORY: Blizzard's much-anticipated Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has finally entered open beta in North America, and will arrive in other "main regions" within days.
If you live in the United States or Canada and have yet to get a beta key you can now simply download the game client for free from Battle.net.
Star Blizzard developer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street has been hired by League of Legends maker Riot Games as joint lead game designer with Ryan Morello.
UPDATE 2: As those of you playing Hearthstone may have observed, the patch implementing the card changes promised below is now available, so it's time to boot out all those Novice Engineers and make tricky decisions about your Dark Iron Dwarfs and Defenders of Argus. The patch was around 5MB, I think.
Blizzard has made a change to parental account controls that, by default, set kids' accounts to 'not allowed to buy stuff'.
Blizzard has delayed the launch of the Hearthstone open beta.
The collectible card game had been due to open its doors to all this month, but it looks like it will now do so at some point in January 2014.
"We believe the right thing to do for the game is to not rush it out into open beta, but to instead hold onto it a little longer to make sure it's ready for wider testing," production director Jason Chayes wrote in a blog post on Battle.net.
Blizzard has nerfed the Mage hero in collectible card game Hearthstone.
The latest patch targeted the Mage, which was considered by players to be the most powerful class.
Area of effect spell Blizzard has had its mana cost raised from five to six. Area of effect spell Cone of Cold is now four from three. And Frost Nova is now three, up from two.
Blizzard has released a fresh update for its insanely addictive collectible card battler Hearthstone.
Patch #4217 adds a new version of the game's Ranked mode, where ratings are now reset at the end of each month. You begin as a lowly rank 25 ("Angry Chicken") and from there work your way up to "Legendary".
Another important change is a gold cap for winning games in Play mode (you currently gain 10 coins after three wins). This doesn't affect gold earned through quests, achievements or in the Arena and has been introduced to combat gold-farming bots, Blizzard has said.
Eurogamer's alpha and beta reviews are reviews of games that are still in development but are already being offered for sale or funded by micro-transactions. They offer a preliminary verdict but have no score attached. For more information, read our editor's blog.
Pick a card, any card, and I can probably tell you what it does. Backstab? One of the rogue's finest - zero mana cost, does two damage to an undamaged minion, useful if you can buff spell damage beforehand. Knife Juggler? Love that card! 3/2, which is great value for two mana, and he tosses a knife at a random enemy every time you play a minion. Always in my deck. Ragnaros? By the time you see it, you're dead already.
Two months ago, I couldn't have told you why a collectable card game was different to a trading card game, but today all I think about is Hearthstone. I wake up earlier so I can play it before work, I take lunch at my desk so I can play an extra match, I watch people play it on Twitch while I'm idling on my sofa. Blizzard's collectable card game (you can't trade the cards, see) has only just made it out of closed beta, but I'm already an addict.
Update #2: OK, we've just finished sending out 2500 Hearthstone beta keys to the winners of the competition. Check your email to see if you've won!
Behold, the cast of the Warcraft film, as revealed by movie makers Legendary and Universal (and Slashfilm).
At BlizzCon this month Blizzard ran through a number of changes and additions it will make to its in-beta free to play collectible card game Hearthstone.
There are already an awful lot of cards in Hearthstone, Blizzard's amazing new online collectible card game, and they cover a wide variety of play styles. Last week, though, I opened a fresh pack and found a card that's posing an unusual problem: whenever I play it, it's so powerful that I feel bad about the whole thing afterwards. Meet Onyxia, the dragon.
Obvious as it is in more than one way, Blizzard played its cards perfectly with Hearthstone. Its World of Warcraft-themed card game, which goes into open beta next month incidentally, began as a side project. Almost immediately, it became a phenomenon. Over a million keys have been sent out during the closed beta, and still that's nowhere near enough. Sites have buckled under the stress. Howls of protest have echoed throughout the net. Quite possibly the developers of Scrolls have wept, and not without cause if so.
Blizzard has announced iPhone and Android versions of its collectible card game Hearthstone.
Both versions are in development at the company and will be out "probably" in the first half of 2014, Blizzard said at BlizzCon.
Meanwhile, the PC version goes into open beta next month, or, perhaps, January 2014, Blizzard said. An iPad version is also in the works.
UPDATE #3: The keys have all been distributed! Check your inbox and congratulations if you won.
UPDATE #2: The competition is now closed! Thanks to everyone who entered! Winners will be notified directly through the email they use for their Eurogamer account.
UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who has entered the competition so far! We've had huge demand, so Blizzard has kindly given us another 400 keys on top of the original 2600. If you have already entered, you don't have to do anything else - you just have a slightly better chance of winning one. If you haven't entered, what are you waiting for?
It's hardly a shock to hear that Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will put you in mind of Magic: The Gathering, but perhaps more surprising is the sheer extent to which it will make you think about PopCap games, too. Blizzard's latest is virtual card battling at its most physical and also its most ingratiating.
Cards don't snap when you deploy them - they slam onto the tabletop, venting particle effects and ominous wheezes. New packs glow and then bust open when purchased from the in-game store, and enemy heroes explode in slow motion, scattering fragments across the screen when defeated. You can mess around with the 3D churches and taverns and virtual pets that sit along the edge of the board, the colour scheme is heavy with purples and deep reds and magical, electric blues, gloriously pulpy Warcraft art is emblazoned over the face of every minion or spell card, and the loading bar even says funny PopCap-type things. Bribing guards. Straightening decks.
It all makes sense, too. This is a very traditional collectible card game at heart, but, throughout the design, elements have been streamlined and complications untangled. Player choice hasn't been reined in so much as redirected - channelled into a swifter, more immediate kind of battler. The kind of battler that will fit in around a few levels of Plants vs Zombies.
BlizzCon 2013 tickets will go on sale in two batches later this month.
As a rule of thumb, I don't like cards, unless they're against humanity or possibly involve chips. I never played Magic: The Gathering or collected sports figure memorabilia, and always managed to quietly sneak out of any room where gin rummy was being played. I've also never played World of Warcraft. It's no stretch to say that I was less than enthused when Blizzard announced that its upcoming title, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, was a Warcraft-themed card game (for iPad as well as PC and Mac). And I was still holding out for a Lost Vikings reboot. Oh darn.
Blizzard has announced Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft, a digital collectible card game.
It's the developer's first free-to-play game, and is set in the Warcraft universe.
Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft is made by Blizzard's new team five, made up of 15 developers who got together to create a smaller, more experimental experience than the company is known for.