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New content for the game involves the addition of new card sets and gameplay, taking the form of either expansion packs or adventures that reward the player with collectible cards upon completion.

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In contrast to other games developed by Blizzard, Hearthstone was an experimental game developed by a smaller team based on the appreciation of collectible card games at the company. The game was designed to avoid pitfalls of other digital collectible card games by eliminating any possible plays from an opponent during a player's turn and by replicating the feel of a physical card game within the game's user interface.

A lot of small changes could make a big difference.

Many of the concepts as well as art assets were based on those previously published in the physical World of Warcraft Trading Card Game. The game has become popular as an eSport , with cash prize tournaments hosted by Blizzard and other organizers. Set within the Warcraft universe, Hearthstone is a digital-only, turn-based collectible card game which pits two opponents against each other.

There are nine classes: All classes have unique cards and abilities, known as hero powers, which help define class archetypes.

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  7. There are four different types of cards: Quests are a type of spell exclusive to the Journey to Un'Goro expansion. The game uses a freemium model of revenue, meaning players can play for free or pay to acquire additional card packs or content. All cards cost a certain amount of "mana", a budget each player must abide by which increases by one each turn with a maximum of ten.

    Minions and spells are unique. Minions will be placed directly onto the board on play and may carry special effects like Charge or Deathrattle, allowing the minion to attack instantly or making the minion do something special upon death, respectively. Spells have distinctive effects and affect the board in various ways.

    Cards can be obtained through opening card packs or by crafting them with Arcane Dust. There are various game modes with the most prevalent being Standard and Wild. Standard mode only includes the Basic and Classic collections alongside the expansions from the last two years.

    Once an expansion rotates out of Standard, it can only be played in the Wild format. These two game modes are divided into Casual and Ranked modes. Players can climb the tiered ranking system in Ranked, while Casual allows for a more relaxed play-style. At the end of each month the Ranked season ends, rewarding players with in-game items depending on their performance.

    Arena has the player draft a deck of thirty cards from choices of three. These adventures offer alternatives way to play and are designed specifically. The following table lists the card set releases by their name, type, North American date of release with the release in other regions typically within a day afterward , the date of the expansion's removal from the Standard format, and the distribution of cards within that set. Initially, Blizzard introduced an alternating series of Expansions and Adventures, with roughly three new sets released each year.

    Expansions are new card sets, containing between new cards, that become available to buy or win, as well introducing new mechanics to the gameplay. In , Blizzard changed their approach, and plan to only release Expansions in the future, through at least Blizzard moved away from Adventures as they found that because Adventures gated the set's cards until the challenges were completed, these cards did not readily enter the meta-game, and when they did, they would be used more by expert players who could easily complete the Adventures' challenges compared to amateur players. Blizzard has adopted a "Year" moniker to identify when expansions rotate and retire from Standard format.

    However, due to player demand in July , players were again able to purchase these retired sets and all future sets that are retired from Standard by using real money on Blizzard's online store. Development of Hearthstone at Blizzard was inspired by two directions, according to developer Eric Dodds: To explore this new direction, Blizzard brought a number of people into "Team 5", named after being the fifth development team formed at Blizzard.

    Of the game types they explored, Team 5 soon focused on the collectible card game approach, given that many on the team and in Blizzard had played such games since their introduction.

    Hearthstone - Wikipedia

    They also saw that new players to Warcraft may be drawn into the other games through playing Hearthstone. After about a year of starting development, the team had produced an Adobe Flash prototype of the game that offered the core card game mechanics and the unique heroes. At this point, several on Team 5 were temporarily moved into other teams to complete the release of StarCraft II: This to month period was considered fortuitous by the team, according to Chayes. Principal designers Dodds and Ben Brode remained developing Hearthstone , and the two were able to quickly iterate many ideas using both the prototype and physical replicas to fine-tune the game mechanics.

    Secondly, those that were put on StarCraft II came back with ideas based on StarCraft ' s asymmetric gameplay to help balance the various heroes while still creating a unique characterization and play-style for each. Further development on the game's user interface began using the principle that the game needed to be both accessible and charming, being able to draw in new players and to be clear how to play the game.

    Dodds stated that "it's important that you don't have to spend a lot of time understanding the rules to play the game, the depth grows as you go. Card text was written in a way so that a new player should be able to immediately understand the effects.

    Happy Ghoul, happy life.

    From the beginning, the game was designed to be played solely online and to mimic the feel of physical cards to make it more accessible to new players. Dodds found that past attempts to digitize physical card games by other companies left areas they felt were lacking, and wanted to improve on that experience. Hearthstone was designed to eliminate any gameplay from the opponent during the player's turn, streamlining the game. Other aspects of the game's interface were set to replicate the feel of a physical game being watched by an audience: Hearthstone starts with the player opening a box, during gameplay the cards waver and move while in their hand, and cards when played slam down on the board.

    When attacking, cards leap across the board to strike the target; when a massive spike of damage is dealt, the board shakes; when a massive creature is summoned, an unseen audience gasps in awe. The boards on which the cards are played can be interacted with in various ways, such as virtually petting a dragon, although the feature is purely for entertainment and has no effect on gameplay. Unlike physical trading card games, "Hearthstone" was designed early on without any trading system between players. Hamilton Chu, executive producer of Hearthstone , stated that "a key thing for us was focusing on [the user] The game's name, Hearthstone , was meant to imply to a close gathering of friends by a hearth , a goal of what they want players to feel.

    McConnell came upon the idea of mixing Celtic music with blues rock —pondering the idea of "what if ZZ Top or Golden Earring had been transported back in time to the Middle Ages? The beta testing periods were used to evaluate the game's balance, adjusting cards found to be too powerful or too weak, and making sure no single hero or deck type dominated the game. At this point, Blizzard opted to make Hearthstone free to play and while card packs can be bought with in-game currency earned through winning matches and completing quests, players can also buy packs if they do not want to wait on earning currency.

    This helped to significantly boost the game's popularity on release. Blizzard provides regular bug fixes, updates, and expansions for Hearthstone. Hamilton Chu, the executive producer for Hearthstone , stated that Blizzard intends to support the game for ten to twenty years. Blizzard had originally envisioned to release Expansions in a staged approach as to not drastically jar the player community, creating the Adventure concept for the first post-release addition with Curse of Naxxramas.

    The meta-game remained unpredictable for several months, helping to keep the playing community interested in playing the game and in validating their strategies. The solo challenges on Adventure mode also served as a means to help players understand some of the stronger archetypes of card decks and learn strategies to defeat them, helping them become better players against human opponents. Development of the themes and mechanics for each Expansion and Adventure are often based on the current atmosphere around the Hearthstone community, according to senior designer Mike Donais.

    This idea was reflected by the dropping of the "Heroes of Warcraft" subtitle from the game's name around December to demonstrate to new players that the game was no longer tied to Warcraft. In addition to new cards and mechanics, Blizzard has also worked to add new features to Hearthstone itself. The Tavern Brawl mode was in development for over a year before it was released in June ; the feature went through many iterations before the team was satisfied.

    The introduction of the Standard vs. Wild formats in April was an issue that the developers knew since Hearthstone ' s initial release that they would need to address; according to Brode, as new cards were introduced to the game, they recognized that new players would start to find the game inaccessible, while adjusting the balance of the meta-game of which cards from previous expansions had proven over- or underused.

    Though they will continue to design the game to maintain the appropriate balance for the Standard format, they will also monitor how future cards will impact the Wild format and make necessary changes to keep that mode entertaining. They found that these cards were often "auto-includes" for certain deck types, and created a stagnant metagame around those decks, and opted to move them out of Standard. As compensation, those that own these Hall of Fame cards received the arcane dust value of the cards they possess while still being able to use those cards in Wild.

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    To make up for cards moving out of Classic, Blizzard may consider bringing in individual cards from retired sets into the Classic set that they believe would be suitable for Standard. Hearthstone was first announced at Penny Arcade Expo in March for Windows , Mac , and iPad , with an expected release date in the same year. The game was released on March 11, , [64] available on Microsoft Windows and macOS operating systems.

    By the end of March , the game had more than 10 million player accounts registered worldwide. The smartphone version of the game includes new UI elements that place the player's hand on the bottom right but only half visible, so players must tap on their hand to zoom in and play cards. Single cards can also be viewed full screen by tapping and holding on a specific card, which is useful to read all the card details while using a smartphone display.

    To mark the release of Hearthstone , Blizzard released the Hearthsteed mount for World of Warcraft players that is obtained by winning three games in Arena or Play mode. Legacy of the Void [74] and Overwatch. An alternate hero for Shaman, Morgl the Oracle, is available through Hearthstone' s "Recruit A Friend" program after the recruited friend reaches level Since the Blackrock Mountain adventure, each expansion and adventure have introduced an exclusive card back for players that pre-ordered it.

    Before releasing the Knights of the Frozen Throne set, Blizzard worked with Dark Horse Comics to publish a three issue comic book series based on the set's Death Knight theme. Thanks to the designers' focus on accessibility and fast-paced gameplay, Hearthstone has been the focus of a number of tournaments. Hearthstone was the focus of a number of other tournaments during its closed beta, including those hosted by Major League Gaming and ESL.

    Blizzard staff "were a little surprised, in a good way" with the game's success as an eSport during its closed beta. The Americas and Europe regions' qualifiers featured players each, and determined half of those players from actual in-game performance in Ranked play during the April—August seasons. The four most successful participants of each region's qualifiers went to the World Championship, for a total of 16 players. Heartstone is part of electronic sport demonstration event in Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games held in Turkmenistan.

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    5. As a demonstration sport, medal won in this event aren't included in the official overall medal tally. Hearthstone will become part of electronic sport demonstration event in Asian Games held in Indonesia. Eight countries are able to participate after qualified from their respective regional qualification with Indonesia automatically qualifies as host. As a demonstration sport, medal won in this event will not be included in the official overall medal tally.

      Heroes of Warcraft received "universal acclaim" on iOS and "generally favorable" reviews for PC, according to review aggregator Metacritic. The game was praised for its simplicity, gameplay pace, and attention to detail along with being free-to-play, while the lack of actual card trading between players and any form of tournament mode were pointed out as the major shortcomings.

      Eurogamer gave the game the perfect score of 10 and remarked that the game is "overflowing with character and imagination, feeds off and fuels a vibrant community of players and performers, and it only stands to improve as Blizzard introduces new features, an iPad version and expansions. The only major drawback noted was that the "absence of extra features hampers long-term appeal". Later Hearthstone card expansions have also been well received. Gnomes has also been positive, with Game Informer writing "the first expansion set for Hearthstone is a major step forward for the already accessible and fun game", and awarding it a score of 9.

      Commentators have noted that Hearthstone can suffer from "pay to win" mechanics, that those that invest monetarily into the game to get new cards and packs have generally a better chance of winning, though it is possible to be successful without spending money. Friedman does add that this cost is less an issue for casual players, since it is still possible to rank well during each season play with fundamental deck types. By September , there were more than 20 million registered Hearthstone players [] [] and by January , there were more than 25 million.

      Hearthstone has proved to be a popular game to stream and watch on services like Twitch. Forbes awarded Hearthstone as the best digital card game of From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Hearthstone disambiguation. Because of the sporadic additions to the set, there are no definite release or removal dates. Hearthstone at the Asian Games.

      Watch out, Hearthstone -- here comes Artifact". Retrieved November 7, Retrieved March 14, Retrieved November 23, Retrieved January 15, Retrieved February 1, Retrieved November 28, Try Google Play with Chrome. Collect powerful cards and create mighty decks. Summon minions and sling spells to seize control of an ever-shifting battlefield. Wield masterful strategies and defeat all players who dare challenge you.

      Experience the magic, mischief and mayhem with your friends. Build your deck to harness the power of amazing minions and spells - brave the mysterious forests of The Witchwood and hunt the evils that lurk in the shadows, or become a powerful Death Knight from the Knights of the Frozen Throne. Explore dark caverns and unearth hidden powerful weapons and treasures from Kobolds and Catacombs. Master your deck, and assemble powerful combos, in this fast-paced card game of cunning strategy.

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      Seize control over the battlefields of Azeroth and experience dazzling real-time, player vs. Hearthstone is linked to your Blizzard Account, allowing you to play from your mobile device and desktop with ease. Play Hearthstone, wherever you go.