Welcome to the Heroes of the Storm Overview panel. Your panelists are: Dustin Browder (game director), Alan Dabiri (lead software engineer), Sam Didier (art director), and Chris Sigaty (production director).
Browder: Hello BlizzCon. This is kind of a dream panel for me here. These are all the guys that I hang out in the office with all the time. We play board games together, we play “Dungeons and Dragons” together, so I get a chance to come up on the stage and talk about the game we have been working on for the last couple of the years is an absolute blast. We got Alan Dabiri, lead software engineer, we have got, Samwise Didier here art director, and we got Chris Sigaty, production director.
Alright, we are gonna talk to a little bit about what we are working on for “Heroes of the Storm”. So Heroes of the Storm is a lot of different things. It is a big game, we have been working on for a long time, but I am gonna try to boil it down to some sort of key points for you guys.
It’s about getting these Blizzard heroes into the game. It’s about trying to create an environment, where we can bring all of the heroes from all of our worlds, into one single amazing game.
It’s about fun with friends, and this seems kind of obvious, I guess; but it’s about playing with your buddies. This is a team game. We want to focus it on team work, and working together as a group and it’s about these battlegrounds, these new ways to play games of this genre. New challenges, new strategies and new tactics. And of course, for us it’s about paying homage to the amazing Blizzard community.
They really helped to create and to invent this entire genre of games. So I don’t know what you guys think, like for me it really seemed like everything really exploded when Warcraft III, came on the scene.
We had some really great stuff of course in Brood Wars, and even before, but Warcraft III is, it seemed like everything just really took off.
If you missed the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket livestream, then you’d be glad to hear that I have finally added the transcripts of all three Diablo III: Reaper of Souls panels held at BlizzCon 2013. Please, spread the word and share the link with your friends, communities and social networks. Or Reddit.
Presenter: Welcome to the Diablo III Lore and Story Q&A panel. The panelists are: Leonard Boyarski (senior designer), Michael Chu (game designer/writer), Brian Kindreagan (lead writer), Valerie Watrous (game designer/writer) and Justin Parker (historian)
Kindreagan: Hey, BlizzCon! I’m Brian Kindreagan and I’m the lead writer on Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. And I’m gonna ask everyone on our panel to introduce themselves before we get to the questions. So let’s start with Leonard.
Boyarski: I’m Leonard Boyarski, and I’m senior world designer.
Chu: Hey, I’m Michael Chu and I’m game designer and writer. And you can probably blame me for some characters like the Monk, Witch Doctor Covetous Shen and Zoltun Kulle.
Watrous: Hi, I’m Valerie Watrous and I’m a writer on Diablo. I work mostly on dialogue and characterization.
Parker: Hello, I’m Justin Parker. I’m the historian or one of the historians. We mostly work with the world that’s gone before and trying to keep continuity as best we can.
Kindreagan: So, Justin is the surprise last minute addition to our panel. So that he can help with the some of the really deep Diablo history if we get into that. So, OK, let’s open it right up for some questions. If you have any questions, call me up.
Presenter: Welcome to the Diablo III: Gameplay Systems and Crusader panel. Your panelists are: Josh Mosqueira (game director), Kevin Martens (lead game designer), Paul David (senior artist), Nicholas Chilano (lead animator), Andrew Chambers (senior game designer), Nicholas Eberle (senior technical artist), Wyatt Cheng (senior technical game designer), Travis Day (game designer), and Steve Shimizu (lead gameplay programmer).
Mosqueira: Good morning Blizzcon, How you guys doing?
[People scream with happiness]
I brought the whole gang with me today, because there is a lot of you guys out there. I mean I have lot of really cool things for your guys today. So what are we covering today? This is the gameplay panel.
So yesterday we talked a lot about some of the big new features that you are gonna expect with Reaper of Soul’s adventure mode . But today we are doing a deep dive on the few of the very core things that are at the heart of Diablo.
And those start with epic heroes. So the guys here are gonna talk to you guys about “The Crusader”. Our knight in battlestar armor. What was our process behind, how we come with his skills, his look and how we are fulfilling that fantasy. But “The Crusader” may be the star of Reaper Souls but all of the five classes are getting brand new skills. And why here we are gonna talk to you guys about what you are gonna expect.
Presenter: Welcome to the Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Preview Panel. Your panelists are: Josh Mosqueira (game director), Kevin Martens (lead designer), Stephen Wong (senior gameplay programmer), Jesse Maccree (senior level designer), Joe Shely (senior game designer), Julian Love (lead technical artist), Tim Linn (lead interior environment artist), and Zaven Haroutunian (level designer).
Mosqueira: Hey, how you guys doing?
[People scream with happiness]
Mosqueira: Are you guys ready to face Death? Awesome isn’t that cinematic just awesome, we’re really excited to be here, umm my name is Josh Mosqueira, I’m the game director, and it’s a great honor to be here with you guys today, we’re going to show you some of the cool new things we have in store for you guys for the ”Reapers of Souls” .
We got a great panel for you guys today, but before we get in to meat and potatoes of Reapers of Souls, I want to take a few moments to talk to you guys about what Reapers of Souls means to us.
What of our high level goals we had when we started the project; and for us it all starts with epic heroes, where you are the Barbarian or Demon Hunter or the Monk or the brand new Crusader, You’re a knight in a battlestar armor, you guys are playing heroes which are bigger than life and you are facing the forces of darkness.
In “Reaper Souls”, we’re celebrating the dark gothic hearts. It is at the root of Diablo, and we have a sleuth of new monsters for you guys to kill and loot; and Joe and Julian, up here, are gonna talk to you about how our monsters are designed to live to die, and we’re not only introducing new monsters we’re also introducing brand new villain to the world of Diablo in the form of Malthael — the angel of death, and Tim and Zaven are going to talk to you guys about Pandemonium — the final battleground where you guys are going to be confronting Malthael, and trying to stop death; but we’re not just stopping there, one of the most important goals for us is we wanna make sure that there was, an end game for everyone.
Hello Blizzplanet readers, unfortunately some technical difficulties have gotten in the way of my write-up about Shadowmoon Valley as shown at BlizzCon 2013, so in the meantime let’s look at another important topic. Just when are we going to get to Draenor, anyway?
Presenter: World of Warcraft: The Adventure Continues panel. Your panelists are Alex Afrasiabi (Creative Director), Tom Chilton, Brian Holinka, Dave Kosak, and Chris Metzen (Senior VP Story & Franchise Development).
Kosak: Hello, hello, hello BlizzCon. Guys I am… I am so excited! I’m so excited to be here just to meet the fans and the costumes – guys you outdo yourselves every year. I got to tell you, you guys make this the most fun gaming convention I’ve ever been at, hands down! Thank you so much.
Alright so we’re going to talk about Warlords of Draenor. So if you were on an earlier panel, I think we blew through two hundred PowerPoint slides in like 60 minutes or something. It was a little much, we kind of ran out of time. For this panel we wanted to want to slow down a little bit, take it easy.
We are going to talk about just a few topics. What we’re going to do is we are going to talk about the heart of this expansion, our values sort of the soul and why, most importantly why Draenor is absolutely the next place to take the Warcraft franchise.
Alright, so let’s get my PowerPoint up here, because I’m a big fan of PowerPoint.
Okay so recap, how did we get here? How did this all began? We asked ourselves what if, what if you take, you take this guy, Garrosh Hellscream. Now we know about Garrosh, we know about his values, we know what’s important to him; we know yeah, yeah we know the kind of horde that he wanted.
Duncan wishes to develop a Warcraft movie based on his view as a player of the game. He wants to go to the roots of what the original Warcraft was, which is you can be a hero no matter what side you are on; and it is about both sides. It’s gotta be red and blue. Horde and Alliance. Not just from the point of view of the Alliance as the original movie script was.
Another interesting thing that spun out of this panel is that Duncan Jones is hoping to have a preview of the Warcraft film by BlizzCon 2014. If that is not awesome news, then how about the fact Rob Pardo and Duncan Jones mentioned “Next Year’s BlizzCon”? After reading the details in a nutshell below, you may read our entire panel transcript here.
Orcs will be real actors, emotive as much as any human character.
There is a scene in the Lion’s Pride Inn (Goldshire)
Concept Art shows: Dalaran, Draenor, Iron Forge, Stormwind.
Many Blizzard Artists, including Wei Wang, contributed an estimated 4,000 pieces of concept art for the film.
The past six months (June-Nov 2013) has been focused on pre-production design.
Half the cast is live-action actors and the other half are motion-capture technology based actors.
Real costumes will be crafted for the actors performing with motion-capture technology to have photographic references for the animations.
Nick Carpenter and Blizzard Cinematics team are working with Duncan Jones (Film Director) and Bill Westenhoffer (VFX Supervisor).
The orcs will really act and have personalities.
The Costume designers will create full-size casts to build the real Blizzard-style costumes.
Motion-Capture technology has been used in Planet of the Apes, Avatar, and The Avengers.
The team working on the Warcraft film was the same who worked on the film THE HULK.
The team is creating a duplicate of Elwynn Forest. The trees will be created as physical props capturing their size and distribution across the landscape too.
Bill Westenhofer and Nick Carpenter plan to add easter eggs found in-game into the Warcraft film.
Legendary and Blizzard have worked in collaboration to make this film.
The film will be set during the First War, during Warcraft I: Orcs and Humans (1994).
The lead characters are Sir Anduin Lothar and Durotan of the Frostwolf clan.
Duncan hasn’t been able to find an actor to play as Durotan.
Lothar and Durotan represent the highest ideals for each of both races.
The film will be done from the point of view of the humans and the orcs. Equally. Both races are heroes.
Durotan did never show up in the first Warcraft game. Was added to the lore later. The film will be like the Ultimate Spider-Man line reintroducing the Ultimate Warcraft classic story.
Duncan Jones hopes to break barriers introducing a War movie told from the point of view of both sides. A unusual structure for a movie.
Duncan teased whether the film and Warlords of Draenor tie-in somehow or not.
Bill Westenhoffer compares the Warcraft movie with Gladiator (2000). Actors will get dirty, covered in grime.
The music of the film has to be true to the music of the game and the environment soundtracks.
The swords that are being built are the biggest swords that a human can wield.
The production of the film is being documented as it progresses. Photos and video taken. Duncan would love to see a “The Making of” Art Book or Behind-the-Scenes DVD. No plans yet.
If the film works out they would be excited to continue the story. Trilogy isn’t ruled out. Metzen teases many trilogies if they put their mind to it.
The Production Team is pushing to include strong female lead roles.
If the Warcraft movie succeeds Blizzard hopes to have TV studios knocking their door to launch a Warcraft TV series like Game of Thrones.
Lord of the Rings by Peter Jackson inspired Duncan Jones to wish to direct a fantasy movie.
Duncan thinks Peter Jackson has really set the bar as to what fantasy needs to be and anything the Warcraft movie team does has to match or beat that.
Duncan would like to have the Warcraft movie available in 2D and 3D so that fans choose which version to watch.
The Warcraft movie will be PG-13, but explains they can get their way with strong content with that rating, citing the Joker’s pencil scene in The Dark Knight was … PG-13.
During the Q&A a fan cited Avatar, Lord of the Rings, and Game of Thrones had in common the development of linguistics for some races. Duncan Jones confirmed they have a linguistics team member who worked on some of those movies developing orcish language for the Warcraft movie.
Production Team Revealed
During the BlizzCon 2013 Warcraft Movie panel, Duncan Jones and Bill Westenhoffer revealed some of the team members in the Warcraft film production.
Gavin Bocquet: Production Designer for Star Wars: Episode I, II, III
Mayes C. Rubeo: Costume Designer for Avatar, World War Z, John Carter, Apocalypto, Dragonball: Evolution.
Paul Hirsh: Filming Editor for Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol (2011), Source Code (2011), Won an Oscar for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), Footloose (1984), Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Carrie (1976), Phantom of the Paradise (1974).
Alex Gartner: Producer of Season of the Witch (2011), DC Comics The Flash (2016). Get Smart (2008)
Simon Duggan: Cinematographer for 300: Rise of an Empire (2014), The Great Gatsby (2013), The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), I, Robot (2004)
Now that I’ve gotten home from one epic Blizzcon, let’s go over some substantial changes coming to raiding in 6.0!
Spec is everything:
One of the biggest announcements for Warlords was that armor pieces will now change stats according to spec. Plate is plate, mail is mail, leather is leather, cloth is cloth. Here’s an example: I have a Pandaren monk who starting 6.0 will have leather with agility stats in my Windwalker spec. If I change to my other spec, Mistweaver, it will change agility into intellect the moment the spec cast bar completes! Same goes for Brewmaster, which would shift to armor emphasis as a tanking stat. This change also includes Tier bonuses for each spec as well! What impact does this have on WoW? It means a few things: raids will gear up faster, with no more hunter mail drops that an elemental shaman can’t use for their primary spec. A cat druid will no longer skip on intellect gear, its leather armor pieces will change stats for all roles! There will still be non-armor gear (such as trinkets) that will be role specific, but as a whole this will be a very welcome change to how gear works. My Ret Paladin can actually consider tanking without being in tanking armor that is more suitable for two or three raid tiers prior. Alternate PvE specs will likely get a lot more use now that players can try out new roles on a more competitive ilvl. Imagine having your 4 piece set bonus and switching to Prot! This change will also apply to PvP, which is a welcome change for many classes.
Speaking of PvP, a very welcome change is coming that will have people using the same Arena gear. No longer will you struggle in rated Arenas while you earn enough Conquest points to become competitive. Along with the resilience changes in Mists of Pandaria, this poises PvP to be skill based. Do you prefer flexing your PvP gear muscles in the outside world? That gear is still available for purchase, but will not function in ranked games.
You may be wondering, what about gems and enchants? They are on almost every piece of gear! You know what is on every piece of gear? Reforging! So much gold and bag space for switching specs. Fear not, for Blizzard has taken steps to make sure these obstacles are minimal:
1) Reforging: Removed! Blizzard felt it was too much of a penalty without enough fun to it. It caused people to hesitate on gear, fearing the cascade effect that so many of us are familiar with.
2) Gems: Less items will have gems, but they will increase in potency. I like this change because it makes gems feel special and more manageable for switching specs.
3) Enchants: These have also been reduced, which will make us feel them more as well as make gear less expensive to play with different specs.
4) What about Jewelcrafters’ and Enchanters’ pocketbooks? Blizzard stated that they will be creating new ways for them to make money, minimizing the economic impact for those professions.
A couple of other things. As I mentioned above about Brewmaster, armor will now be the primary tanking stat as Blizzard really likes active mitigation going forward. Hit, and expertise will no longer be a factor as they have been removed! The sigh of relief in the room when this was announced was universal. It appears that Blizzard’s philosophy for this expansion is to really remove obstacles and things that are useless wastes of time (looking at you hit and expertise) so we can maximize our time playing. Next up we will be discussing the exciting raid size and name changes! What are you most excited about?
Dota 2 is complicated. It doesn’t have a learning curve so much as a learning wall. The volume of information to memorize and master is immense and intimidating: the multitude of hero builds, items, crafting, ward locations, creep respawn timers, rune types and timers, the hundreds of hero powers and status effects that can change them. Factor in team fight tactics, lane strategies, and meta game organization and the game has moved from complex to daunting, even unwieldy. That’s just the knowledge required to play, not the mechanical skill required from the player like last hitting, hero ability timing, and map awareness. I’ve put more 500 hours into Dota 2, and about as many in the original, and I’m passable with a few heroes.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with Heroes of the Storm so in my first game at BlizzCon I dropped my expectations. Whatever I played was whatever I was going to judge the game on. I’ve read the briefs from Blizzard, watched the videos, but I wanted to go in as open as possible. I did, I think. Over the course of the two day Blizzard celebration I spent about 4 hours with Heroes of the Storm and played 6 games with different heroes each time. My time certainly wasn’t wasted. Heroes is fun, but that’s almost unnecessary to say as a fan of MOBAs. It’s got the standard trappings – lanes, heroes, pushing, and frantic team fighting – but Heroes does a few things differently.
First, there are no items (and no gold!). None. At all. No health potions, no tangos, no town portal scrolls. Your hero has a town portal ability that recharges. I don’t miss the items. They serve a purpose in other MOBAs but items usually come with the baggage of being boring most of the time. They improve stats or damage, rarely adding powers or altering the ones a hero has. It’s easy to be crippled by missing an item or two because you’re not attacking as fast as you should be. The lack of items means the hero powers improve significantly on their own or via talents. It’s a simple system that leaves more cognitive power for fighting and less for GPM and shopping.
No last hitting. This isn’t unique to Heroes, *cough*League of Legends*cough*, but it’s not common either. Last hitting is usually the sign of a precise, skilled player in Dota. It’s how you earn most of your gold. With no gold to gather, last hitting has gone out the window. I don’t mind it in Dota but I didn’t miss it here.
Shared XP. Not reduced XP when another hero is close by, but even, shared XP for all heroes. Everyone levels at the same time. Your carries won’t be 22 while your support are struggling at 10. The even power curve makes everyone solid in a team fight – no Crystal Maiden syndrome.
Mounts! What’s a Blizzard game without animals you can sit on? Mounts do exactly what you’d expect – they help the heroes move faster. Easier grouping, more team fights. Everyone wins, except those that die.
The differences Heroes has from the other MOBAs reflect the game’s thesis: it’s about the hero punching, plain and simple. There are creep waves and towers and forts but Heroes wants you and your friends to square off against 5 opponents and beat each other silly. It succeeds on that goal – no one I spoke with didn’t enjoy their time with Heroes and want more.
So who were the heroes I played?
Falstad and Nova from the Assassins, Sonya from the Warriors, Malfurion and Uther from Support, and Abathur from the Specialists type. The highlights:
I enjoyed Malfurion the most but that’s because I’m biased – I love playing support and looking like a weirdo. He heals well, roots, and silences.
Uther heals well, gives his buddies invulnerability through Divine Shield, and can stun. Like any paladin, he’s sort of a frustration to counter but rewarding to play.
Nova is a sniper. Chances are that if she shot you, you’re not going to live very long. She hits hard, summons an annoying clone, and can call a nuclear strike. It’s as great as it sounds.
Abathur is…different. He’s interesting. He’s a mix of Lifestealer and Wisp which makes him absolutely terrible to fight against. He’s rated “Very Hard” to play and it shows.
It’s not that Falstad isn’t fun, it’s that the others were much more fun. I really liked flying over the jungle and descending on enemies as a hammer throwing alcoholic.
Sonya didn’t feel particularly special. Her abilities are simple and straight forward, as one would expect a barbarian would be. Maybe for the carries out there that like fighting and fighting and fighting (any Alchemist fans?) but she was the lull in my hero selection.
Heroes is a fun game so far. I want to play more. Boy do I want to play more. Hint hint, community reps. It’s got some room to grow and I look forward to watching (and hopefully playing) as it does so.
Hello everybody, I know this is a few days post BlizzCon, but its the thought that counts, right? Anyways, the Warlords of Draenor demo from BlizzCon has been covered elsewhere; so this won’t be quite like the other descriptions of it. Instead I’ll be focusing on some neat tidbits I found, as well as some potential theories to the expansion’s plotline. Take the jump downwards to find out more!
Another round of great cosplayers with Blizzard QA II Cynthia Hall as Malthael, and fans disguised as Imperious, Tyrael, Jaina, Witch Doctor, Draenei, High Inquisitor Whitemane, a Mist Creeper, a female orc and a female elf. Even a dog cosplayed dressing up as a BlizzCon 2008 Big Blizzard Bear mount. More Cosplay over at Day One photos.
DPerschonok got the chance to take a few photos with Ben Brode and Jason Chayes (Hearthstone team).
This is a transcript of the entire one-hour Warcraft Movie Presentation Panel held at BlizzCon 2013. Feel free to share with friends. — Medievaldragon
Introduction: Welcome to the Warcraft Movie Presentation Panel. Your panelists are Duncan Jones, Rob Pardo, Chris Metzen, Bill Westenhofer, and Nick Carpenter.
Metzen: Wuzzup, BlizzCon?
Pardo: Alright, everyone. Welcome to the Warcraft Movie Panel. We did this I think three years ago or something like this? But this time, I think it’s going to be 10 times the excitement as we actually have a release date for the movie.
I want to introduce everyone to the panel. To my right is Duncan Jones. He is the director for the Warcraft movie. He’s director of a couple of really awesome films you guys have seen: MOON and SOURCE CODE. And more importantly to you guys, Duncan has been playing Warcraft games since Warcraft One (aka Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, RTS), played Warcraft II, Warcraft III, World of Warcraft — even played Lost Vikings.
I think you guys all know the gentleman to my left, which is Chris Metzen. The guy in charge of all lore, story and franchise direction at Blizzard and pretty much all the soul at Blizzard. So we are going to talk a lot more about the movie and all what we are trying to do with it. And then to his left is Bill Westenhofer. Bill is the special effects supervisor for the film. He actually won the Oscar twice for Life of Pi and The Golden Compass.
Ben Brode narrates a Hearthstone match between a Priest and a Hunter in this Fireside Duel. Both contenders clashed in a spectacular way that definitely makes you wonder second by second who is going to win this match. It is hard to predict until the very end.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a free-to-play digital collectible strategy card game that anyone can enjoy. Players choose one of nine epic Warcraft® heroes to play as, and then take turns playing cards from their customizable decks. Players are able to cast potent spells, use heroic weapons and abilities, or summon powerful characters to crush their opponent.
Why is Blizzard making Hearthstone?
We looooooove collectible card games and have been playing them since our Silicon & Synapse days. Creating a digital strategy card game felt like a natural next step for us, so we put together a small team and have been hammering away at Hearthstone for a while now. This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time, and we’re excited to be working on something different from our other games. Same goes for creating a game for iPad in addition to PC. It’s been a thrill to work on Hearthstone, and we hope everyone has as much fun playing it as we’ve had building it.
Do I need to know anything about card games or Warcraft to play?
Not at all! We’ve designed Hearthstone so that anyone can get into it, no matter how familiar they are with the Warcraft universe or collectible card games. The game will teach you everything you need to know as you play it.
More after the break…
What are the key game modes and features?
Hearthstone’s key game modes and features include:
Practice mode: Hone your abilities and test out new deck ideas against A.I. opponents of basic or expert skill levels, and unlock playable heroes in the process.
Play mode: Duel other players to level up your heroes and complete quests along the way. To see how you stack up against the competition, enter Ranked mode, where you’ll increase your medal ranking as you duel others in a tiered ladder system. Whether you’re a grizzled veteran, a curious newcomer, or fall somewhere in between, Battle.net matchmaking will pair you up against a worthy opponent.
The Arena: Put your skills to the test in this mode where deck-building is half the fun. Assemble a new deck by choosing from a selection of randomized cards provided for the match, and then duel other Arena participants for a chance to win rewards. Players can use gold or real money in order to gain entry into the Arena. After winning or losing a specific number of matches, you will unlock a chest of loot based on how well you did.
Quests: Players can immerse themselves in new, ever-changing quests that will reward them with gold when completed. Gold can be used to purchase more card packs or gain entry into the Arena.
Collection Manager: Browse your ever-expanding card collection, disenchant cards for raw materials to craft new ones, and build a variety of custom decks to suit your shifting strategies.
What is the difference between Ranked, Unranked, and Friendly play?
In Ranked mode, you will move up through multiple tiers of medals based on your win/loss record. In Unranked play, you’ll still be matched with other players, but your performance doesn’t affect your matchmaking for Ranked play or your placement in the ladder. Both modes allow you to complete quests and level up. You’ll play ranked matches by default, but you can select the option to play in unranked mode.
Friendly duels are matches played against friends in your Battle.net friends list. Friendly duels do not contribute to your quest progression.
What are the different types of cards in Hearthstone?
Once you’ve selected your hero in Hearthstone, there are three types of cards you can use to construct your deck: spells, weapons, and minions. Individual cards are included in either the “basic” or “expert” card set (see below).
What’s the difference between “basic” and “expert” cards?
Basic cards are the “starter” cards that form the foundation of each hero’s class and are earned as you level up the hero. You can have up to two of every basic card in the game in your collection.
Expert cards are cards that can only be found in card packs, created using the crafting system, or won within The Arena (certain quests grant them as well). They’re distinguished by their rarity, which is shown in the form of a gem—common (white), rare (blue), epic (purple), or legendary (orange). Generally, the rarer a card is, the more complex it is, often providing you with new strategic options. You can have any number of the same expert card in your collection, though only two of any common, rare, or epic card, and one of any legendary card, can be placed in a deck (except when building a deck in the Arena).
Both basic and expert cards have important roles to play in all decks, regardless of whether you’re just starting out or are a Hearthstone grandmaster.
How much does it cost to play?
Hearthstone is free to play, and there are a number of different ways to acquire cards through gameplay. In addition, players will have the option to buy additional card packs through an in-game store using Battle.net Balance or other supported payment methods, such as major credit cards. However, there is no requirement to purchase card packs in order to play Hearthstone.
What are all the different ways a player can acquire cards?
Players will earn their first set of cards as soon as they start playing Hearthstone, while certain game modes and features will award additional cards through gameplay. In addition, players will have the option to purchase additional card packs through the in-game store using Battle.net Balance or other supported payment methods, such as major credit cards. Here are the different ways to get cards:
Practice Mode: Play against A.I. opponents representing different classes to unlock new heroes and basic cards.
Play Mode: Participate in traditional head-to-head matches to complete quests and earn gold for purchasing card packs.
The ArenBuild a deck by selecting one card from each of a series of randomized card choices, and then play against other Arena participants. After winning or losing a specific number of matches, you will open a chest of loot based on how well you did.
Crafting: Disenchant expert cards in your collection to receive Arcane Dust, and then use your collected Dust to craft other cards of your choosing. Basic cards cannot be disenchanted.
Card Packs: Purchase card packs containing five cards each using your Battle.net Balance or a variety of supported payment methods. One of the cards will always be “rare” or greater. In some cases, you can get more than one rare, or even an epic or legendary card.
Leveling: Participate in a duel against the AI or another player, and earn experience whether you win or lose. Once enough experience is earned, your hero will level up, potentially granting access to new cards for your collection. As you level, you’ll also unlock Golden versions of each class’s basic cards.
How many cards are available in the game?
There are over 300 cards in Hearthstone. Some cards are granted as you unlock and level up your heroes, some are earned from completing quests, and others are found inside card packs that can be purchased with gold earned through completing quests or by competing in the Arena. We plan to introduce additional cards over time.
Can I trade cards to other players or sell cards for real cash?
No, Hearthstone is not designed to support these types of transactions. The crafting system gives players a way to easily and quickly disenchant cards they don’t want—and create the cards they do want—without the complexities of a trading system.
Can players choose to battle against their friends in addition to taking part in match-made duels?
Of course! You will be able to play against your friends via your Battle.net friends list.
THE LAUNCH DETAILS (SO FAR)
When will Hearthstone be released?
We are in beta right now, and are aiming to have Hearthstone fully released this year. That being said, we’re also going to take as much time as necessary to make sure Hearthstone is as fun and polished as possible.
On which platforms will Hearthstone be available?
Hearthstone will initially be available for Windows® and Macintosh®, with a version for iPad coming later. We also announced at BlizzCon that we would be supporting iPhone and Android in the future.
Will Hearthstone be localized? Which languages will it be available in?
We’re planning to localize Hearthstone in the same languages as World of Warcraft wherever possible.
How do Hearthstone and World of Warcraft relate to each other?
Both games take place in the Warcraft universe, and World of Warcraft players will recognize a lot of aspects of Azeroth in Hearthstone. That said, you don’t need to know anything about World of Warcraft to have loads of fun in Hearthstone.
THE GAME MECHANICS
What makes Hearthstone different from other card games?
We’ve designed Hearthstone to be easy to learn so that anyone can get into it—but it’s also deep enough that even the most elite duelists will find it a challenge to master. Hearthstone is designed around short, action-packed duels that generally take 10–15 minutes to play.
How many players can play in a multiplayer game?
More than one, but fewer than three.
Which heroes are featured in Hearthstone?
You’ll be able to build a deck based on one of nine epic Warcraft heroes, each representing one of the original World of Warcraft classes: Druid, Hunter, Mage, Paladin, Priest, Rogue, Shaman, Warlock, and Warrior.
Wait, what about Monk? Where’s Death Knight?!
The roster of heroes represents the nine classes that were available at World of Warcraft’s launch. It’s still too early to discuss our plans for heroes aside from these, though the game will continue to evolve over time. So practice patience, young monk! And death knight, you’re immortal, so you can chill for now too, right?
Will additional content be available in the future?
We plan to add more content and additional cards as the game evolves, but we don’t have any details to share just yet. Right now, our focus is making sure the game is as fun and polished as possible right out of the gate.
How does Practice mode work?
In the game’s Practice mode, you play against a computer-controlled hero of any class at one of two different difficulty levels. Challenging that hero will unlock it for play and expand the types of cards you’re able to add to your collection. Players will earn a fledgling Mage deck just by launching the game, but that’s only the beginning of the journey. . . .
Can I create new decks or modify my current deck?
Absolutely! Customizing the perfect deck to suit your play style or to counter a rival is a huge part of Hearthstone. As your card collection grows, the in-game Collection Manager will help you create, save, and edit multiple decks for whatever situation or play style you can think of.
What if I’m new at deck-building and need some help?
We want anyone to be able to get into Hearthstone and build a deck without having to understand all the nuances of deck building. To that end, we’re developing a feature that will examine your deck and card collection and provide suggestions for what you should add.
What comes in a card pack?
Each pack comes with five cards. Your chance to receive a particular card depends on its rarity: common (white), rare (blue), epic (purple), or legendary (orange). You’re guaranteed to receive at least one rare or better card per pack. Each card in the pack also has a chance to upgrade to a “Golden” version of the same card.
What is a Golden card?
All cards found in a card pack have a chance to be upgraded to a Golden card when the pack is opened. This upgrade will affect the appearance of the card—it will animate and look extra cool— but not its power. Cards can also be crafted into their Golden version and acquired while leveling.
Does Hearthstone support asynchronous play?
Hearthstone is designed to be a fast-paced experience. That being said, we recognize that players may want to play the game in short bursts with their friends over a longer period of time, so we’re looking into the possibility of supporting asynchronous play.
How does The Arena work?
You’ll be able to purchase entry into the Arena with either gold or real money. Once you’re in, you will build a special Arena deck, choosing one card at a time from a series of card options until you have a full deck of 30. You’ll then duel with that deck against other Arena participants until you win or lose a specific number of matches. At the end, you will open a chest of loot based on how you did that can contain a variety of rewards like gold, card packs, and more!
How do I disenchant and craft cards?
Expert cards can be “disenchanted”—giving the player a resource called Arcane Dust but destroying the card in the process. Once a player collects enough dust, they can use it to create any card in the game, including Golden cards, permanently adding that card to the player’s collection. The amount of Arcane Dust received and/or the cost of the card created depends on the card’s rarity (common, rare, epic, or legendary).
Only expert cards—that is, cards that come in card packs or are earned through playing in the Arena—can be disenchanted. Basic cards (i.e., cards with no rarity indicator) cannot be disenchanted.
THE TECHNICAL STUFF
How do I pay for cards?
Windows and Macintosh players will be able to purchase card packs within the game using their Battle.net Balance or any other Battle.net-supported payment method attached to their account. On the iPad, players will be able to make purchases using the payment methods they’ve associated with their AppleID in the App Store. The exact process will differ slightly for each region. We’ll provide further details as we get closer to launch. Players will also be able to use gold to purchase card packs.
What are the system requirements for Hearthstone?
You can check out our system requirements for Windows and Mac on our support website.
Will I be able to add friends in Hearthstone and chat with people?
Yes! The folks in your Battle.net friends list (both BattleTag and Real ID friends) are available for games or conversation. Players will not be able to chat with anyone who is not on their friends list. However, players will be able to choose from a variety of emotes for basic communication during games.
How can I communicate with opponents during a game who are not on my friends list?
We have an emote system that lets you communicate in a safe way with random folks you are playing with online. You can thank, congratulate, or threaten your opponent with the voice of the hero you are playing.
Do you need a Battle.net account to play Hearthstone?
You will need a Battle.net account to play Hearthstone on PC. If you don’t already have a Battle.net account, you can create one at http://www.battle.net
Do you need a World of Warcraft, or any other Blizzard game accounts to play Hearthstone?
Nay, ye do not!
Do I have to play in the region I live in? I want to play with my buddies in that other country!
After the game is released, players will have the ability to connect to other game regions when playing Hearthstone, but their progress, card collections, and friends lists will not be shared across regions. Ye have been warned!
Will there be parental controls for Hearthstone?
Yes. At launch, parents will be able to use Battle.net’s Parental Controls system to restrict their child’s ability to make purchases within Hearthstone.
Can I play on the iPad against someone on the PC, and will my card collections carry over between the two?
Yes, Hearthstone will have cross- platform compatibility to allow iPad and PC players to all be in the same pool when matchmaking. Your collection will also be available across both the PC and iPad versions of the game.
Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a free-to-play strategy card game for Windows, Macintosh, and iPad. Designed to be deceptively simple and epically engaging for players of all backgrounds, Hearthstone features quick and lively duels that evoke the spirit of a friendly match played beside a crackling tavern fire.
Each player’s card deck centers around a hero representing one of nine iconic Warcraft classes, customized with a set of minions, spells, and/or weapons based on individual strategy and available cards. Players will be able to hone their skills in practice matches against the computer, and when they’re ready for the challenge, they can take on their Battle.net friends and other players in friendly duels on PC or iPad. To further develop their decks, players will be able to acquire cards by crafting them and by winning or purchasing new card packs. With hundreds of unique cards to choose from, the potential card combinations and possible strategies are endless!
Play Mode: Duel other players to level up your heroes and complete quests along the way. Whether you’re a grizzled veteran, curious newcomer, or fall somewhere in between, our Battle.net matchmaking will pair you up against a worthy opponent.
The Arena: Put your skills to the test in this mode where deck-building is half the fun. Assemble a new deck by choosing from a selection of randomized cards provided for the match, and then duel other Arena participants for a chance to win rewards. After winning or losing a specific number of matches, you will unlock a chest of loot based on how well you did.
Practice Mode: Hone your skills and test out new deck ideas against basic or expert AI opponents, and unlock new playable heroes in the process.
Collection Manager: Browse your ever-expanding card collection, disenchant cards for raw materials to craft new ones, and build a variety of custom decks to suit your shifting strategies.
Quests: Players can immerse themselves in quests that will reward them with gold when completed. Gold can be used to purchase more card packs or gain entry into The Arena.
Crafting: Disenchant those extra cards in your collection to receive arcane dust, the building block used to construct Hearthstone cards. You can then use this dust to craft the cards needed to complete one or more of your decks or your overall collection.
Friendly Duels: Want to challenge your buddy to a quick match (or just show off your shiny new cards)? Hearthstone is connected to Battle.net, so you’ll be able to fire up a game with a friend right from your friends list.
PlayStation®4 players can now experience the full adventure of Blizzard’s epic action RPG, Diablo® III, and the upcoming expansion, Reaper of Souls™ . . . all from the comfort of their couch in Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition! Take on the role of one of six powerful character classes— Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor, Wizard, or the all-new Crusader—and embark on a dark journey through Acts I-V to save the world of Sanctuary from ancient and sinister forces. With the new DUALSHOCK®4 wireless controller and a custom-designed console interface, players will be outfitted with touch pad functionality and new social features as they engage in pulse-pounding combat with hordes of monsters and acquire items of incredible power.
Blizzard Entertainment provided the press a brief gameplay video featuring the monk battling it out against the Siegebreaker, Halls of Agony, the High Heavens, Southern Highlands, and other areas of Sanctuary.
The Siegebreaker part shows how some of the new features work. Loads of demons rush at players right in the middle of the Siegebreaker event, upping the difficulty a few notches.
New Game Mode: Adventure — Explore the world of Sanctuary and complete Bounties and Random Dungeons to earn awesome loot! You can adjust difficulty.
The video shows a new Waypoint map that allows you to see all of Act I waypoints as a map. Some of the locations, for example, Caverns of Araneae or Halls of Agony Level 3 will display a blue question mark which denotes a Bounty quest which lets you earn bonus reward which includes Experience (XP) and Gold.
The example reward shown was 340,000 Experience and 136,000 Gold.
A Nephalem Obelisk may be found next to Cain’s House. It allows the entry to Nephalem Rift events.
The video below also shows Clan Channel Information, News, Roster and Settings UI. Each Clan member can be given a rank or privilege setting.
The new game systems: The Mystic Enchanting UI and Transmogrification and the updated Paragon System.
Reaper of Souls™ is the upcoming expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s epic action RPG Diablo® III—a dark and terrifying new chapter in the ongoing conflict over the mortal realm of Sanctuary.
What is the story of Reaper of Souls?
Following the defeat of the Prime Evil by the Nephalem in Diablo III, the mortal realm of Sanctuary should have entered an age of hope and prosperity. Instead, this event has drawn out a shadowy being of immense power, one more sinister than any demon.
Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, vanished long ago. In Reaper of Souls, he returns as the Angel of Death and seizes the Black Soulstone, the ancient artifact containing the essence of the Prime Evil. It is now up to the Nephalem to track down Malthael and thwart his plans, a journey that will take them through the legendary city of Westmarch, across the fetid swamps of the Blood Marsh, and into the ancient halls of the Pandemonium Fortress.
The defeat of Diablo, Lord of Terror, should have given rise to an age of hope. Instead, it has drawn out a shadowy being of immense power whose malevolent purpose has yet to be revealed. Reaper of Souls™, the upcoming expansion to Blizzard Entertainment’s epic action RPG Diablo® III, opens a dark and terrifying new chapter in the ongoing conflict over the mortal realm of Sanctuary.
Malthael, the fallen Archangel of Wisdom, vanished long ago. In Reaper of Souls, he returns as the Angel of Death and seizes the Black Soulstone, which contains the essence of the Prime Evil. Should this dark power be unleashed upon the world, the results would be catastrophic.
Fortunately, a new hero is ready to join the cause and bring Malthael to justice—the Crusader. Clad in massive armor and bearing an impenetrable shield, this new playable class charges into battle wielding a range of cruel and punishing weapons and employing powerful battle magic to strengthen allies and weaken foes. A natural walking tank, the Crusader adds might and versatility to any party of adventurers.
Dustin Browder (game director), Sam Didier (senior art director), and Kaeo Milker (senior game producer) discuss the development of Heroes of the Storm over the years and several iterations through past BlizzCons and fan feedback.
Many heroes can be seen in action including: Jim Raynor, Kerrigan, Nova, Thrall, Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter, Diablo, Uther Lightbringer (healer), Zerg Queen, Abathur, Illidan, Arthas, Lili Stormstout, Chen Stormstout, Elite Tauren Chieftain, Anub’arak, Tyrael, Stitches, Tyrande Whisperwind (healer), and more for a total of 18 heroes. Watch the videos after the break.
Heroes of the Storm has some wicked cool character customizations and these model screenshots are testament to that. For the most part, the game is Free-to-Play, but some of these customizations give us a glimpse into one of the possible venues for Blizzard Entertainment to add a virtual store to Heroes of the Storm. More after the break …
Heroes of the Storm is a free-to-play online team brawler, starring your favorite Blizzard characters. Build and customize heroes from across every Blizzard universe to suit your play style. Team up with your friends and engage in fast-paced mayhem across varied battlegrounds that impact strategy and change the way you play the game.
In each match you can select from an array of Blizzard heroes and join a team to battle against enemy players, with the ultimate goal of destroying the enemy base. You’ll have the opportunity to stage classic showdowns such as Raynor vs. Kerrigan, or mix and match heroes from different games to fight together and against each other.
Each hero starts the game with a set of powerful abilities and traits, and over the course of the battle you’ll have the ability to customize your hero with unique talents and heroic abilities. While each hero has certain core strengths, the talents you select can greatly change the way your hero fights. Support heroes like Uther for example, can be played as almost a pure healer, or can take on more of a damage dealing role.
Heroes of the Storm is a free-to-play online team brawler starring your favorite Blizzard characters. In Heroes, the epic battles between the champions and villains of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo aren’t settled with last hits and kill-stealing—players are distinguished through the accomplishments of their team.
Whether you’re a hardcore WoW raider, a demon-slaying Barbarian, or a Bronze league Terran, you’ll find a customizable hero from across the Blizzard multiverse to suit your play style. Grab your buddies and engage in fast-paced mayhem across varied battlegrounds that impact strategy and change the way you play every match. When the mightiest characters in gaming history clash, only you can decide who’ll come out on top!