Hearthstone’s Year of the Phoenix is fast approaching its final phase as the upcoming expansion Madness at the Darkmoon Faire, was announced earlier today alongside other big changes coming to the game. Alongside the announcement of the new expansion, Hearthstone’s official livestream also provided some new details about the upcoming revamp to the game’s progression system, as well as a new game mode.
With Madness at the Darkmoon Faire just around the corner, Let’s take a look at some of the changes and additions coming to the game.
The Hearthstone development team has long teased future changes to the game’s current progression system and it seems that with the upcoming expansion, their first iteration of a brand new progression system is ready to roll out. In the Fall Reveal livestream’s Hearthside Chat, Senior Game Designer John Yang introduced the new system which will include not only a rework to the game’s Quest system, but also a new Achievements system.
Achievements in Hearthstone will be available in every game mode, and alongside the new Quest system, they’ll serve to incentivize unique playstyles as well as card collection. What they won’t be incentivizing, however, is daily or regular grinding (which is a good thing!). The new Quest system will reward players with experience points rather than gold, with the experience points contributing to the Reward Track towards gold and item rewards. This way, players will no longer have to log in every day just to make sure they don’t miss their dailies, and can instead choose when they want to rack up those experience points for rewards.
As for rewards, we’ll also be getting something new aside from the usual card packs and gold, in the form of cosmetic rewards. The new system will be introducing 10 new Hero Portraits each with two unlockable upgraded portraits. These new portraits can be obtained with the same experience points that will also net you those card packs and gold. In addition to new Hero Portraits, this expansion will also be introducing a cosmetic Coin reward, meaning every future expansion will have a unique Coin skin obtainable through the Reward Track or Tavern Pass.
Lastly, we’re finally getting Profile pages to show off our stats and wins in every mode. E ever wondered just how many wins you’ve racked up in the countless hours that you’ve played Hearthstone? You’ll find all that data neatly displayed on your Profile page, alongside your individual wins with each class.
The Darkmoon Faire is a carnival of sorts, organized by its ringleader Silas Darkmoon. World of Warcraft players might recognize the faire as a festive venue where they can participate in various events and acquire some cute Darkmoon pets. In Hearthstone, however, Darkmoon Faire has something much more sinister hiding beneath its surface, and long-time Hearthstone players would recognize those purple tentacles anywhere.
That’s right, the old fan favorite and once-excellent game finisher, C’thun is coming back. And where C’thun goes, so do the rest of the Old Gods: N’Zoth, Y’Shaarj, and RNGsus incarnate Yogg-Saron are all coming back to spread madness across Darkmoon Faire. While the Old Gods will be taking the form of Legendary cards, their sinister grip on the minds of faire attendees also sets up this expansion’s unique keyword/mechanic: Corrupt.
As Game Designer John McIntyre explains in the Fall Reveal, the Corrupt mechanic is based on the adage that power corrupts. In line with the adage, a card’s Corrupt effect is triggered whenever a card higher than its cost is played. The first example shown in the livestream was Fleethoof Pearlhusk, and we’ll be seeing more cards with the Corrupt keyword as card reveals roll out in the coming days.
Aside from the upcoming card reveals, we have another thing to look forward to: Game Director Ben Lee announced that from Madness at the Darkmoon Faire onwards, expansions will be receiving 35-card mini sets at their halfway points. This means that the initial Darkmoon Faire set of 135 cards will receive an additional 35 for a total of 170 cards after two months, and that future expansions will be made up of 170 cards as well. This is a huge change that will surely help to shake up the meta in between expansions.
The last of the big announcements in the Fall Reveal is the addition of a new game mode called Duels. Duels is a new mode which is basically Hearthstone’s excellent Dungeon Run format made PvP. As our semester at Scholomance Academy comes to a close, the faculty are now here to show us just why they’re this expansion’s Legendaries as they face each other in Wizard Duels.
Duels play similarly to Dungeon Run, except your cards coming from your collection rather than from a set starting deck. You start by choosing one of four heroes, a Hero Power, and cards for your starting deck, and as you win each battle you’ll get to add new cards as well as special weapons and spells to your deck.
Starting today, Duels will be available on Early Access for you to try out, and if you’re not quite sure how to build your starting decks yet, you can check out some gameplay with popular Hearthstone streamers Kibler and Kripparrian on the latter half of the Fall Reveal livestream.
While it’s still a few weeks before the grand opening of Darkmoon Faire, you can check out today’s patch notes as well as the announcement for the expansion on Hearthstone’s official site. Our pals at AKG Games Philippines will also be hosting a Hearthstone event tomorrow on the Electronic Sports and Gaming Summit livestream at 3:00 PM, so make sure to watch! And if you’ve got the time to watch the Fall Reveal, you can check out the full livestream below:
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