Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Overflowing with character and imagination, Hearthstone feeds off and fuels a vibrant community of players.

Spotlight

Key events

20th December 2013

Hearthstone open beta delayed

Here's a brand new card from Hearthstone's next expansion

The Boomsday Project, Hearthstone's next expansion, is set to launch on 7th August - but we can show off one of its brand new cards on Eurogamer today.

Cloning Device is a Priest spell with the keyword Discover, so you can snaffle a copy of a minion in your opponent's deck.

Of course, with that ability you also get the chance to see the kind of deck your opponent is running - and speculate what else they may have coming up. Discover lets you pick one card from three - giving you knowledge of three cards in your rival's arsenal.

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Hearthstone mechs, scientists star in The Boomsday Project expansion

The Boomsday Project will be the next expansion for Blizzard's collectible card battler Hearthstone.

The set will launch on 7th August and feature cards themed around scientific research and mechs - the work of nefarious scientist Dr. Boom.

The first details popped up out of the blue this afternoon - seemingly a little early. The video below - an almost 10-minute explainer led by an entertaining cast of Hearthstone developers - has popped up, although links to the set's official site and pre-order pages are still offline.

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Hearthstone game director Ben Brode announces departure from Blizzard

Hearthstone game director Ben Brode announces departure from Blizzard

"I'm excited to be scrappy and a little scared".

Hearthstone game director Ben Brode has announced his departure from Blizzard after 15 years with the company.

Brode made the announcement in a post on the official Blizzard forums earlier today, telling friends and fans that, "After 15 years at Blizzard and almost 10 years working on Hearthstone, I have made the incredibly difficult decision to embark on a new journey".

"I am very fortunate to be able to take a crazy risk right now in my life," Brode explained, "and I'm excited to be scrappy and a little scared."

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Blizzard announces November dates for this year's BlizzCon

Blizzard has announced that this year's BlizzCon will take place on November 2nd and November 3rd, with tickets scheduled to go on sale in May.

BlizzCon 2018 will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center, California, and will feature the usual array of developer panels, Q&A sessions, cosplay, and contests. Attendees will also receive a commemorative BlizzCon goody bag containing "a cache of loot based on their favourite Blizzard games".

Tickets for the two-day event cost $199 USD and will be released in two batches. The first batch goes on sale at 7 pm PT on May 9th (that's 3am on May 10th in the UK), and the second will be made available on May 12th at 10 am PT/6pm in the UK. You can buy them here.

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Here's a big new Legendary card from Hearthstone's next expansion The Witchwood

Eurogamer can reveal a beastly new Legendary minion from Hearthstone's next expansion The Witchwood.

Emeriss is a huge, 10-mana cost Legendary Hunter dragon with eight attack and eight health. The real kicker, though, is her immensely strong Battlecry power.

When playing Emeriss, all minions in your hand will get their attack and health doubled. That's quite an effect.

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Hearthstone's new expansion The Witchwood is all about werewolves

Update, 5/4/18: Blizzard has announced that Hearthstone's next expansion, The Witchwood, will release on Thursday, April 12th.

Once players log into Hearthstone after The Witchwood's arrival, they'll be able to download three card packs and a random Class legendary card - all from the new expansion - for free.

Blizzard also notes that it will be bringing its Witchwood card reveal season to close in a livestream on the official Hearthstone Twitch channel on April 9th at 6pm GMT / 11am PDT.

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Hearthstone announces Year of the Raven

Hearthstone announces Year of the Raven

New hero, in-game tournaments, three classic cards retired.

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.

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New Hearthstone update is a Wild thing

New Hearthstone update is a Wild thing

You make my hearth sing.

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.

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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's live-action Kobolds and Catacombs trailer is a love-letter to '80s fantasy films

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.

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Hearthstone's Kobolds and Catacombs expansion originally themed around WOW's Blingtron

Hearthstone's Kobolds and Catacombs expansion originally themed around WOW's Blingtron

"There are some cards which take us four or five sets to find a home for..."

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.

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Hearthstone's Kobolds and Catacombs expansion launches next week

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.

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Hearthstone to get three more big expansions in 2018

Hearthstone to get three more big expansions in 2018

With single-player content in each.

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.

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Hearthstone's free card from upcoming expansion Kobolds and Catacombs available now

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.

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Hearthstone's next expansion is a love letter to classic dungeon crawlers

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.

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FeatureLetter from the meta: This week's top Hearthstone decks

Along with all the latest news from Metabomb.

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.

FeatureLetter from the meta: This week's top Hearthstone decks

And all the latest news from Metabomb.

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.

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.

FeatureA fireside chat with Hearthstone's biggest bosses

Brode and Chu talk adventures, cross-platform play and consoles.

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.

Battle.net renamed Blizzard Battle.net

Bigger name change rejected, new logo erected.

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.

Here's a brand new card from Hearthstone's next expansion

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.

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Hearthstone's next expansion turns heroes into Death Knights

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.

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Hearthstone's next expansion will make acquiring new cards a lot easier

Hearthstone's next expansion will make acquiring new cards a lot easier

Say hello to more Legendary cards and fewer duplicates.

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.

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Here's a big new dinosaur card from Hearthstone's next expansion

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.

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Hearthstone's next expansion Journey to Un'Goro detailed

Hearthstone's next expansion Journey to Un'Goro detailed

Quest cards! Adapt power! Dinosaurs! More!

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.

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Hearthstone will add three 130-card expansions next year, no adventures

Hearthstone will add three 130-card expansions next year, no adventures

And some old favourites are retiring on top of the usual rotation.

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.

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Metabomb is hiring a Staff Writer!

The world could always use more heroes.

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 fans unearth dinosaur-themed expansion

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.

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Hearthstone's Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion releases this week

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.

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Hearthstone's next expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, revealed

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.

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Hearthstone announces new mode with $10 entry fee

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.

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What we expect from Blizzcon 2016

Sombra? Hearthstone expansion? More?

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.

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's next expansion invites you for One Night in Karazhan

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.

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Warcraft most successful game-film, Duncan Jones up for a sequel

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.

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Activision details just how well Destiny, Call of Duty, Hearthstone are doing

Activision details just how well Destiny, Call of Duty, Hearthstone are doing

Average Destiny playtime now 100+ hours, across almost 30m users.

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.

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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.

Hearthstone's Whispers of the Old Gods expansion due next week

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.

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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.

Hearthstone Whispers of the Old Gods expansion adds 134 new cards

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.

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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.

BlizzCon 2015 live report

Overwatch on console! New Hearthstone Adventure! Warcraft movie trailer debut! No Diablo. Sad face.

Overwatch on console! New Hearthstone Adventure! Warcraft movie trailer debut! No Diablo. Sad face.

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.

FeatureIs it too late to start playing Hearthstone?

Busy night... but there's always room for another!

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.

Hearthstone: The Grand Tournament expansion release date

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.

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FeatureHearthstone at Gamescom: a fireside chat with Blizzard

On adding new deck slots and in-game tournaments, helping new players, and why nine Heroes is enough.

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 announces new Reveal mechanic for Hearthstone

Blizzard announces new Reveal mechanic for Hearthstone

New tiered Ranked Play rewards are on their way too.

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.

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Hearthstone's next expansion is all about the Hero Power

Hearthstone's next expansion is all about the Hero Power

UPDATE: UK pricing announced, costs more on iPhone/iPad.

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.

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Soar over Azeroth in the Warcraft movie's interactive VR trailer

Soar over Azeroth in the Warcraft movie's interactive VR trailer

See all 360 degrees of Stormwind from aboard a gryphon.

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.

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New Heroes coming to Hearthstone

UPDATE: Blizzard reveals pricing details of the new cosmetic content.

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.

Hearthstone expansion Blackrock Mountain out next week

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.

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Blizzard happy with Hearthstone's explosive Dr. Boom

And aggro Hunter deck looks safe, too.

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.

Hearthstone pre-release patch hints at Molten Core expansion

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.

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Introducing MetaBomb - our experimental new games portal

Dedicated games coverage kicks off with Hearthstone.

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.

Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes review

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.

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FeatureGames of 2014: Hearthstone

The box of delights.

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.

Hearthstone's Goblins vs Gnomes cards teased

Spectator mode also confirmed for the smash-hit collectible card game.

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.

Goblins vs Gnomes expansion revealed for Hearthstone

Goblins vs Gnomes expansion revealed for Hearthstone

120 new cards to be added to the game next month.

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.

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Hearthstone bot maker forced out of business

Blizzard takes further steps to clean up its games.

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.

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's next expansion will add over 100 cards

Hearthstone's next expansion will add over 100 cards

Blizzard hopes to eventually add more single-player content and game modes.

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.

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Only 0.5% of Hearthstone players reach Legend rank

"You're better than you think!"

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.

Hearthstone: The Curse of Naxxramas review

Hearthstone: The Curse of Naxxramas review

Things can only get meta.

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

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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.

Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas expansion release date confirmed

Hearthstone's Curse of Naxxramas expansion release date confirmed

UPDATE: Second wing now available to download.

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.

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Hearthstone Curse of Naxxramas expansion out in July

Hearthstone Curse of Naxxramas expansion out in July

UPDATE: Pricing announcement delayed, but July release still on target.

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.

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FeatureWhat's it like going to a Hearthstone Fireside Gathering?

We went outside long enough to find out.

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.

Hearthstone Naxxramas expansion shown off in leaked images

Hearthstone Naxxramas expansion shown off in leaked images

New cards, powers and WOW bosses spotted.

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.

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Hearthstone beta "validated" free-to-play approach, Blizzard says

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.

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Blizzard not working on Hearthstone for consoles

Android takes priority. Spectator mode being designed at the moment.

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.

FeatureHearthstone Curse of Naxxramas: where death is a power-up

What the 30 new cards will mean for Blizzard's card strategy game.

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.

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?

Hearthstone single-player adventure mode Curse of Naxxramas announced

Hearthstone single-player adventure mode Curse of Naxxramas announced

30 new cards! Nine class challenges! One new game board!

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.

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Hearthstone soft-launches on iPad - out in the UK soon

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.

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Hearthstone tournament taking place at EGX Rezzed

Show tickets still available for Friday and Sunday and on sale on the door.

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?

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft review

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.

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Hearthstone leaves beta and launches proper on PC and Mac

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.

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FeatureA fireside chat on Hearthstone's past, present and future

Blizzard opens up its hand on the CCG phenomenon.

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.

FeatureThe Hearthstone you didn't get

Looking back at the way Blizzard changed card values during the closed beta.

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.

Update on first Hearthstone Adventure and expansion

Update on first Hearthstone Adventure and expansion

Plus, new paid-for game boards and alternative heroes.

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.

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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft enters open beta

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft enters open beta

UPDATE: The gates are open in Europe, too.

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.

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Blizzard nerfs Pyroblast and tweaks nine other Hearthstone cards

UPDATE: New patch out now, containing "last big set of balance changes" before open beta.

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.

Hearthstone open beta delayed

Hearthstone open beta delayed

The gates aren't open.

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.

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Blizzard nerfs Mage in latest Hearthstone patch

Blizzard nerfs Mage in latest Hearthstone patch

"We understand that the Freeze mechanic can be frustrating to play against."

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.

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Hearthstone patch tweaks cards, ranked play, adds gold cap

Hearthstone patch tweaks cards, ranked play, adds gold cap

Now you start at rank Angry Chicken.

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.

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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft beta review

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft beta review

Game of the rest of the year?

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.

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FeatureWings of desire: My favourite Hearthstone card

And why I'm never going to use it again.

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.

FeatureHearthstone: Blizzard's secret weapon

What's in the cards for Warcraft's new cousin, and the future it predicts?

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 announces iPhone and Android versions of Hearthstone

Blizzard announces iPhone and Android versions of Hearthstone

PC open beta to launch December 2013 or January 2014.

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.

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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft beta key giveaway

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft beta key giveaway

UPDATE: The competition is now closed! Winners to be notified directly.

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?

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Job done! A weekend with the Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft beta

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.

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FeatureHearthstone - the collectible card game that could convert you

Blizzard's Warcraft-themed Magic rival is no Lost Vikings, but it might be the next best thing.

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 announces Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft

Blizzard announces Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft

F2P collectible card game set in the Warcraft universe.

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.

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