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Hearthstone: Expansion, Core Set, Mercenaries … We take stock

Hearthstone game news: Expansion, Fundamental Set, Mercenaries … Taking stock Hearthstone, released in 2014, is preparing to welcome its seventeenth major update over 20.0. The latter, like its older sisters, integrates the usual 135 unpublished cards. But that’s not all ! The patch will also bring two new playable modes: the classic format and the book of mercenaries. Finally, the operation of cards that can be used in standard mode is subject to some changes. Many changes that are summarized here.

What’s more than the last few years?

It’s clear that Blizzard has been offering its card game in the same way since 2017. In fact, the publisher integrates three new extensions every year. The year of Griffin, which is 2021, is no exception to the rule: three sets are planned, the first of which was featured on BlizzConline (date) and is called Forged in the Barrens. It will be released on March 30th on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android. Nevertheless, the team responsible for the TCG has wanted to get out of this routine since last year. Several things confirm this: the release of a new class about the Demon Hunter (April 2020) as well as the introduction of two new game modes: Battlegrounds (November 2019) and Duels (November 2020). A wish that will last until 2021. Ten days before BlizzConline, Blizzard announced important changes to the game on its blog. Among other things, the revision of the basic set of cards and the introduction of two new game modes: The Book of Mercenaries and Hearthstone Classic. Patch 20.0 is considered by Alec Dawson, senior designer of the title, to be the greatest achieved since the game was released in March 2014. We originally planned to do a small balance patch this week, but we had a few issues that affected our timeline. 20.0 is our biggest patch to date (Barrens, Core, Classic) and wants to make sure that the launch goes smoothly. 1/2 – Alec Dawson (@GW_Alec) March 1, 2021

What does Forged in the Barrens bring?

Hearthstone’s seventeenth expansion is expected at BlizzConline in February and is well known. It’s called Forged in the Barrens and will be one of the playable pieces of content when version 20.0 of the title releases on March 30th. It’s inspired by the Barrens and the Crossroads, a must-see for anyone considering themselves an adventurer of the Horde. Like its predecessors, this set brings 135 new cards. By the way, Frenzy is the extension’s signature keyword. If a minion benefiting from this enchantment takes damage and survives, an effect is triggered. It is reminiscent of Rage Access, a keyword that was deleted by the developers three years ago. Finally, Forged in the Barrens rethinks its spells. First, a new mechanic appears (specific to the expansion): It’s about rank spells. These develop according to the number of mana crystals the player has. Every class will have one. Another consequence of 20.0 is that the spells are definitely classified by the magic school. For example, a fireball will be a fire spell while a thunderstorm will be nature.

Redesign of passport and diamond cards: more rewards?

As the final secret uncovered from the first phase of the year of Griffin, cards of the diamond type arrive on March 30th. Like the gold versions, they are only aesthetic (understand: they have no in-game advantages compared to the original cards). Editions that are supposed to be rare as it is impossible to create them or restore them in packages, but rather via achievements or the reward path. These cuts have a diamond edge and an exclusive 3D animation. On the occasion of an article posted on its blog, Blizzard made it clear that there will be several and that this skin only affects legendary cards. At 20.0 and therefore Forged in the Barrens, we know that Samuro and Bru’kan will be entitled to their diamond version. A novelty that was announced at the same time as the revision of the rewards course. The latter, the main route to extracting gold, is revisited in 20.0. In total, as many coins (5650) are given out as before, but faster. In fact, the amount of experience required to reach a new level, such as the number of gold coins granted, will be halved, allowing for an increased frequency in obtaining rewards.

What is the basic amount?

Before we go into the explanations of the small revolution that players can expect with Patch 20.0, we should come back to how Hearthstone works. There are currently two formats for ranked games. The first is the standard mode and is chosen by Blizzard during its competitions: (the Open Cup, the Master Tours, the Grandmasters, but also the World Championships). It is possible to play cards from the expansions of the last two years as well as the so-called basic and classic sets. The second, called Free, has no special conditions and you can play any card. From March 30th, however, the Basic and Classic sets will be replaced by a basic set of 235 cards. If it contains twenty-nine never-before-seen cards, the latter contains cards from expansions that have disappeared from the standard, as is the case with the Weaver (Naxxramas) or the Ethereal Summoner (League of Explorers). But how do you get it back? In contrast to the classic and basic sets mentioned above, the basic set is completely free. In fact, the cards that make it up are given to players according to the level of each of their classes. For example, a player with his ten classes at level 60 has all cards in principle on March 30th. For the others, it will only be enough to play to regain them: there will be no gold to be spent during the process. After all, this set should change every year and give the title freshness. As with World of Warcraft in 2019, it’s up to Hearthstone to acquire a classic format. Like Forged in the Barrens, it was featured on BlizzConline on February 20th. It offers players a chance to play version 1.0.0.5832 of the game which is one of the very first. If in this format some of the cards transferred in the free set are welcome, they are even in their original form, without the nerves that appeared afterwards. Classic mode will be available when the 20.0 patch is released and therefore by March 30th at the latest.

What do we know about the new mode, the Book of Mercenaries?

This is BlizzConline’s surprise on the Hearthstone site: The Book of Mercenaries is a new game mode, separate from the original mode. If the sounds of the corridors evoke similarities to Slay the Spire, this cannot be confirmed as no game sequence illustrated the mode. Blizzard’s press release reveals that it is inspired by “strategic role-playing games whose roguelike-style missions offer a new challenge to every game.” The player will recruit mercenaries, some of whom are celebrities from the Warcraft license (Ragnaros, Sylvanas), and compete against each other in PvE or PvP. The press release states: “In each round they choose their actions at the same time as the opponent and then discover the unfolding of the fight.” As in the Book of Heroes, the Mercenary Mode lets you learn more about the history of the characters recruited. Beginning of April 06 with Rokara.

What about duel mode, battlefields, and the arena?

During a question-and-answer session, three developers and designers took a deeper look at the future of Hearthstone. First of all, new content will be added to duels. As a reminder, the mode has been in beta since it was released on November 17th. It offers a different experience than traditional ranked games in that it offers different hero powers as well as passive treasures. Two new sets will enhance players’ various journeys since Forged in the Barrens and Voyage in central Un’Goro starting March 30th. Then it may seem legitimate to wait for additional content for BattleGrounds, the Heartstone car battler. For the latter, however, on the occasion of 20.0. Nothing planned. It will be necessary to wait for 2/20, the release date of which is still unknown, to see the arrival of the Hurans, a new generation of servants in the mode. As for the arena, nothing has been communicated about it in the past few weeks.

What’s next?

Update 20.0 therefore promises the most extensive and densest update since the game was released seven years ago. However, the team behind Hearthstone have no plans to stop there in 2021: two things to remember. The first is a simple speculation about the next expansions for the year of the Griffin: if Forged in the Barrens is based on the heroes of the Horde, whose logo is black on a red background, it is legitimate to believe that the second set will be released in this one Year affects the alliance, which is the opposing faction. A hypothesis supported by the colors of the third expansion that will be released, as the latter is reminiscent of the Alterac Valley, a battlefield where the two factions meet in World of Warcraft. Find out more about 20.0: Year of the Griffin in-depth introduction to the Core Set and the classic Hearthstone format – BlizzConline 2021 Opening Ceremony – Forged in the Barrens Summary New for the Year of the Griffon Hearthstone: Diamond Cards and Battle Pass

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