Blizzard Announces Hearthstone

Warcraft developer surprises all by revealing a new collectible card game.

Blizzard Entertainment promised to reveal something unusual today, and it’s safe to say they delivered. While most of us were expecting more news about the Blizzard All-Stars MOBA, the actual announcement is something very different. 

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is the new title, and it’s an online collectible card game set in the Warcraft universe. Influenced by their long-held passion for games like Magic: The Gathering, and drawing on experience with their own trading-card game, Hearthstone is described as easy to learn and simple to play, while still containing a layer of deep strategy.

Players can test their mettle against both basic and expert AI, before fighting against each other through Battle.net matchmaking. As they develop experience and win matches, players can bring more cards into battle, either by earning or purchasing booster packs. Hearthstone also includes a crafting mechanism; unwanted cards can be disenchanted, with the materials then being used to create something more potent.

From the video footage shown at PAX East, Hearthstone features Blizzard’s renowned high-quality polish throughout. Everything looked beautifully presented, from combat that included rich spell animations, to the intuitive page-turning interface used for building decks. Developed by a 15-strong team of multi-disciplined Blizzard veterans, chief creative officer Rob Pardo quipped that this could be the first game that they announce and launch in the same year.

And the best part? Hearthstone will be free to play and launches later this year, with beta due in the summer. It will initially launch on Mac and PC, with an iPad version coming out shortly thereafter. If you’re eager to get dealt in as soon as possible, head over to the beta sign up page now. 

Gareth “Gazimoff” Harmer, Senior Contributing Editor

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meh
# Mar 22 2013 at 10:17 AM Rating: Decent
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For a brief moment I was actually excited. Then I find out this is just another card game... I just hope they don't combine it with WoW and allow players who play this game to get ahead of players who do not somehow.

I didn't care for Legends of Norrath, don't see me caring about this.
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