BlizzCon is over and with all the announcements made it is a lot to take in. It was an epic BlizzCon with some major announcements made for Heroes of the Storm, the WoW expansion, and the Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls expansion. HearthStone, our latest gaming addiction also had quite a few announcements. Let’s have a look at what we can expect going forward:
1. Open Beta begins in December
Finally, the wait is almost over for those of us that have been trying to get hold of a BETA key. Rob Pardo announced in the BlizzCon opening ceremony that the open beta would start sometime in December. We still don’t have an official release date, but open beta is being considered the soft-release due to the free-to-play nature of the game. Blizzard did say they will be handing out more beta opt-in waves after BlizzCon, so there’s still a chance you’ll get access to the beta before December.
2. HearthStone on iPhone and Android
We expected this, but we received confirmation that the mobile launch of Hearthstone is being targeted around the second half of 2014.
3. New Cards
The golden version of the Elite Tauren was given to the attendees at this years BlizzCon. You can still forge the normal card using arcane dust though. Some of the other new cards are:
4. Card Changes
- Mind Control’s cost is changing to 10, up from 8. Mind Control can be frustrating to play against, and is dominating play at the lower ranks. This should allow opponents playing versus a Priest to have a couple more rounds to make use of their high cost minions before they have a sudden change of mind.
- Starving Buzzard’s Health is changing to 1, down from 2. Hunters were very strong against Druid, Mage, and Rogue in Copper through Platinum leagues, and this change should help those match-ups.
- Unleash the Hounds can blow you out in a single turn, without any minions on the table. We’re going to take a look at this card to see if there are some changes we’d like to make for the next patch. We haven’t decided on a direction yet.
5. Ranked Play Changes
Exciting changes are coming to Ranked Play in Hearthstone! The new system makes your path to move up in the rankings more transparent, and gives top-level players more ways to differentiate themselves from each other.
- Each month, all players restart at Rank 25: “Angry Chicken”
- Players will be matched against players of similar rank.
- Win a game, acquire a star!
- Acquire enough stars and you’ll rank up!
- Each rank has its own icon and medal.
- Win streaks may give additional stars.
- At higher ranks, you’ll lose a star if you lose a game.
6. Looking ahead
- Hearthstone will have expansion sets, each featuring packs full of exciting new cards!
- Introducing Single player missions. These will come with a smaller set of cards that can be unlocked and will provide new strategies to explore.
Are you new to HearthStone? Have a look at our beginner guides and tips series”
- We have our HearthStone BETA keys! Here’s a first look for beginners
- HearthStone Guide – How to Choose a Hero and Deck Type
- HearthStone Strategy Guide – Taunts, Tips and Damage Spells
[HearthStone Announcements at BlizzCon 2013: Source]