More on Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

Can Blizzard make a game that lives up to their standards, but is much smaller in scope? Only time (and Hearthstone) will tell.

Can Blizzard make a game that lives up to their standards, but is much smaller in scope? Only time (and Hearthstone) will tell.
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Today at PAX East, Blizzard unveiled their latest game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a digital TCG based on the Warcraft universe. The game will be available initially for PC and Mac, with an iPad version coming later.

About the team

“Could we make a game that lived up to our epic standards, but is much smaller in scope?” said Rob Pardo. “What we really wanted to prove to ourselves was that we could still kinda go back to that old garage programmer days of a small team accomplishing something really fun.”

“We started a team within Blizzard that we called Team 5.” The purpose of the team was to be small and nimble, and to create the game in a very different manner from Blizzard’s usual process. They had 15 people total, primarily made of generalists who could wear a lot of different hats.

About the game

Early Blizzard founders loved CCGs like Magic: The Gathering and Jihad. This team wanted to replicate some of that early experience. They wanted an accessible game that would be easy for new players to embrace and still have nostalgic elements that their dedicated players enjoy. Play as one of nine heroes from the Warcraft world such as Garrosh Hellscream or Anduin Wrynn. It’s designed so that players can play a single game in ten minutes.

The game is expected to launch with around 300 different cards, with each pack containing five random cards. Players will have the option to buy or earn packs, and packs are expected to cost around a dollar each. Players will be able to craft their own cards by combining the powers of multiple cards.

Hearthstone has three play options:

  • Play mode: Play online against randomly matched players to earn medals or packs of cards.
  • Practice mode: Where you go to learn the game or try out new deck ideas against normal and expert AI.
  • The Forge: You start out with a bunch of random cards and have to choose one from a series of three to craft a deck. Once your random deck is assembled, you’re matched against another random player who has also gone through that process.

“Epic should mean an epic fun play experience that you want to play for a really long time. That doesn’t mean the game has to have thousands and thousands of monsters, a huge monolithic technology… Do something that’s small in scope, but epic in gameplay.”

The game will be released sometime in 2013, with a beta opening up this summer. Interested in signing up for the beta? Check out the Hearthstone website for that and more details.

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